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NamNam, truly malinamnam

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More and more restos are sprouting in Makati and I’ve visited one that is perfect for small, medium or large group, it’s called NamNam — a fresh and delightful take on Filipino comfort food.

IMG_7045{ Even the interiors have a modern take on Filipino restaurant look }

If you are the type who craves for a classic Pinoy dish, expect NamNam to satiate your cravings. And if you are the type who wishes to put twists on your classic Pinoy favorites, be ready to be surprised with their version of twisted classic Pinoy dishes!

IMG_7032{ Ensaladang NamNam Php115, small }

I love the combination of pomelo and green mango taste. Just the right sour taste enough to whet your appetite.

NamNam is just one of the concept restaurants by the same team behind Que and Burger Bar. Their urge to put up this concept sprung because they feel that Filipino cuisine is under-served hence the birth of NamNam last January 2013.

IMG_7038{ Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon Php215, small }

This one surprised me. I’ve been eating that red thing (see above) and thought it was tomatoes and was so surprised to know that it is the watermelon! It gave the classic sinigang a spun of sweet against its sour taste.

IMG_7034{ University Fried Rice Php135, small }

Perfect for solo eaters. Its comparable with rice bowl meals — you have your meat embedded in the flavored rice and now top with sunny side up. Comfort in a bowl!

IMG_7036{ Caramelized Patis Wings Php155, small }

Don’t be fooled with the name. Although it says patis (fish sauce), this is not salty at all. It has the right crisp to the bite, enough sweet, salty and spicy to the taste. Sarap papakin!

IMG_7041{ Buko Pineapple Shake }

Another menu item that has a surprising twist. Tastes more Pineapple than it looks.

IMG_7047{ Gata Leche Flan Php85, small }

A classic Pinoy dessert twisted with rich flavor of gata (coconut milk). If you are not too much of a sweet tooth, better share the small serving with a buddy.

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What I personally liked about them is that they have small (good for 1), medium (good for 3) and large (good for 6) servings which I think is brilliant. They also presented their menu in a 50/50 presentation — half classics – half twists (if only I have a better photo of their menu, you’ll know what I mean!)

So even if you’re a solo eater, there’s surely a dish for you. Same if you’re dining with a big group, you can opt to choose several dishes in medium so you can share and you can taste a lot more dishes than just eating your own dish order.

Have a taste of malinamnam goodness at NamNam!

NamNam
G/F Greenbelt 2, Esperanza St cor Greenbelt Dr
Ayala Center, Makati
Philippines
(02) 625-0515

Calderón Cocina Tapas y Bebidas

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Spanish cuisine is surely close to Pinoy‘s heart. And why wouldn’t it be? Ever since the Spanish settlers in the 16th century lived in our country, their dishes highly influenced our own Pinoy local cuisine. So spotting Calderón, an authentic home-style Spanish restaurant in a quaint, cozy hole-in-the-wall setting in San Juan is like finding a precious gem that’s truly to be treasured!

Calderon Paella{ Paella Valenciana Php700 }

*Of all the dishes, Paella Valenciana is the only one I missed to capture. So photo credits to Dude For Food!

I first heard of this resto from a friend who wanted to set a girl’s night out but didn’t push through. So when we got an invite to sample their luscious dishes, my heart skipped a beat! It’s meant to be — Calderón’s meant to satiate my Spanish cravings!

IMG_2489_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Paella Negra Php500 }

Between these two rice dishes, Paella Negra has got to be my favorite. And this one tastes really good! I suspect I love this especially because of the garlic mayo!!!

IMG_2493_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Bacalao ala Vizcaina Php280 }

IMG_2495_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Pollo Iberico Php800 }

We’re lucky to be served with this famous bestseller, roast Spanish chicken recipe, which would normally require you to order 1 day in advance. The meat is tender and flavorful with all those garlic and herbs, slowly cooked together with the chicken. It’s totally worth ordering in advance to be enjoyed on your next foodie date!

IMG_2497_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Sangria Calderon Carafe Php700 }

We dined here on a weekday, but having a sangria in hand made me feel like I’m enjoying the night away on a weekend! How could I be so lucky?! *laughs*

IMG_2498_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Chuleton en Calderon }

*Now available in 8oz and 14 oz sizes.*

Another surprise of the night — first dibs of this amazing Chuleton, which at the time we dined was still not part of the menu, but is already part of their menu as I write this post. Premium Wagyu beef + seasoned with salt  and pepper = ahh-ma-ziiing Chuleton! Another new favorite!

IMG_2500_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Patatas con Aioli Php250 }

This dish in a small bowl is surprisingly perfect when paired with Chuleton! Try it as a pair, I’m telling you! MUST-TRY!!! It’s cheesy and malinamnam!

IMG_2502_dpp_1200_sahagunCheers to good food with good company!” has become my favorite line. *smiles*

IMG_2508_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Cangrejos ala Calderon, seasonal Php1000 }

A must-try for crab lovers. This specialty was cooked in lots of garlic, tarragon, olive oil and infused with lemon. This is worth getting your hands dirrrty!

IMG_2512_dpp_1200_sahagunMy date for tonight. Thanks my B for the wonderful photos yet again. *wink*

IMG_2514_dpp_1200_sahagun

IMG_2515_dpp_1200_sahagun

IMG_2516_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Fabada Asturiana Php300 }

IMG_2521_dpp_1200_sahagunAnother first dibs on their new dish, Roasted Bone Marrow. Heavenly, sinfully good! Enough said.

IMG_2526_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Pasta de Chorizo Php220 }

The egg on top was a surprising element in this chorizo pasta.

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IMG_2531_dpp_1200_sahagunMany thanks to Calderon’s dynamic team — (L-R) Chef Rafa Ysip, Angela Melo, Marmi Perez and Monchet Carballo for a delicioso dinner.

IMG_2535_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Churros con Chocolate Php250 }

Another classic Spanish postres (desserts) — thick chocolate against soft crusty bread peppered with sugar. Classically good!

IMG_2545_dpp_1200_sahagun{ Torrijas con Helado Php250 }

A sweet ending to a sumptuous dinner, indeed.

Calderon Cocina Tapas y Bebidas
403 F. Calderon Street
San Juan, Metro Manila
Call 238-2264 for inquiries.

Red Garlic Bistro Cafe: Flavors from around the world

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For my first “exclusive” invite, we went to try a sampling of dishes from the vast menu of Red Garlic Bistro Cafe. I’m delighted to know that they are offering distinct flavors from almost all over the world, inspired by the owners’ friendship and travels worldwide.

IMG_1697_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Santiago Chili Taco Poppers Php255. Freshly hand-picked chili fingers from Ilocos, stuffed with Mexican taco filling wrapped with ed jalapeno dough. }

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This is one of their bestsellers and I MUST AGREE! The taco shell doesn’t crumble down after every bite (it was a bright idea to use pizza dough as taco shell!), it’s spicy enough to crave some more and you gotta love the Mexican filling and pepper mill dip sauce made from scratch! Really “for-the-win”! And nobody knows the recipe aside from Chef Jacq!

IMG_1707_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Pear Salad with Walnut and Bleu Cheese Php455. Poached fresh pear in Sweet-Wine with crumbled bleu cheese, dragon fruit, watermelon on top of fresh salad greens, served with Pom-Cran Vinaigrette. }

This is a new dish launched in their new branch in Fort (where they transferred from Katipunan area). Green salads are no longer foreign to me, in fact I’m loving eating salads now more than ever! …And it’s good that food places are offering different takes on this healthy salad by adding more and more fresh fruits with interesting dressings from the usual.

IMG_1712_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Cajun Style Baby Back Ribs, Half Slab Php699. A choice of a slab rack of pork ribs expertly cooked to ensure they’re fall-off – the bones tender. Then we char-grilled then glazed with our Smoked Tangy Apple Bbq Sauce , served with Mashed Potatoes. }

It’s also good to note that Red Garlic seems to be the only restaurant that offers Beef Ribs. Can anyone confirm that? But from the restaurants I’ve tried before, it seems to be right because we’re always getting pork ribs.

IMG_1720_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ St. James Beef Rendang Php369. Tenderly simmered beef slowly cooked with mix of authentic premium Asian spices and ingredients in Thai coconut milk served with fragrant Jasmine rice. }

An Asian dish that was truly a surprise for me that night. I’m excited with everything with creamy and spicy sauce!

IMG_1726_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Trio pizza Php659 }

Create your own sample with choice of three kinds of pizza. The ones we’ve tried are Basillica Con Tartuffo Fiorentina – Sauteed fresh mushrooms with grilled Italian sausages, topped with Fontina and Mozzarella, Torre Del Creco (shrimp & arugula) best seller – roasted Italian tomato, basil with sautéed rock shrimp, fresh arugula tossed in lime- vinaigrette garnish with Grana padano cheese and Cinco De Mayo (Five Cheese) – our very own Italian sauce with Mozzarella, Cheddar, Fontina, Ricotta Cheese and Parmesan Cheese topped with special herbs.

Truly a mouthful both for their names and their taste!

IMG_1731_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Red Garlic Signature Roll Php495. Tamago, softshell crab, ebi tempura and fried tempura roll. }

Japanese is my new favorite cuisine. This is one of their bestsellers and their version is huge!!! Also did you notice that their version has a topping aside from just filling?! And this maki roll comes with spicy mango cream (which they say is Dra Vicky Belo’s favorite). Makis are my new favorite food in the world!!!

And a full meal would not be complete without the sweets. Always, always leave room for desserts!

IMG_1734_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Lava cake Php275. Served with a choice of Vanilla or Raspeberry ice cream. }

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{ Warm Bread Pudding with Sabayon Vanilla Sauce Php215 }

It’s not only a night of food tasting but also drink tasting too! Check out what they have to offer to quench your thirst and I guarantee you — these mocktails and lemonades are really interesting and colorful drinks that made me feel like I’m on the beach, by the sand, with any of these drinks on hand! O ha, rhyming yun ah! They’re consistent with their fusion theme all the way to the drinks.

IMG_1740_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Bermuda triangle drink Php160. Mix of orange, mango and cranberry }

IMG_1741_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Pink sparkling lemonade drink Php155. Pink lemonade with Sierra Mist, sweet and sour and mint }

IMG_1745_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Blue Margarita drink }

IMG_1750_dpp_1200_a-stormy-sky{ Mai Thai drink }

From Katipunan they moved to Fort and opened last 22 April and one of the “new” things they are trying is converting it into a bar between 10pm-1am with a disc jockey! Perfect partner with their line up of drinks.

Truly, eating here is like traveling around the world because of the different cuisine and variety of dishes you can order from their menu and I think that is part of their “edge”.

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Special thanks to Ms. Bing Benares, Restaurant Manager and Jacq Yap, Chef — for this awesome awesome dinner and drinks! AND photo credits to Brian Sahagun!

Red Garlic Bistro Cafe
Two Parkade, 7th Avenue, 30th Street,
Bonifacio Global City
+02 856 2822