CHECK IT OUT: Namnam at Greenbelt 2, Makati City
Filipino, contemporary style
Greenbelt 2, Makati City
Tel. No. 0917-539-9661, 625-0515
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) The sisig at Namnam should be classified as dangerous. The sneaky kind of dangerous that creeps up from behind and knocks you out without you ever noticing. The pork jowls are cooked crunchy, creating something between chicharon and those addictive drippings on the bottom of a plate of crispy pata. While there's nothing wrong with the succulence of traditional sisig, the shiny evidence of fat has always fended off those who value free-flowing arteries. Namnam's, however, will have you shoveling-with rice, no doubt-with the crispy grilled pork muffling out your gastronomic conscience until you finish the entire plate. That's when the guilt steps in.
Ensaladang Namnam (P115, P195, P355)
House Crispy Sisig
Namnam, a contemporary Filipino restaurant from the same folks behind 'Cue Modern Barbecue and Burger Bar, gives diners a new perspective of Filipino cuisine by offering updated versions (Twists) alongside old favorites (Classics). The Kare Kare with Oxtail (P275, P475, P925) is juxtaposed with Lamb Curry Kare Kare (P365, P665, P1,225), the Crispy House Sisig (P120, P205, P375) with Corned Beef Sisig (P145, P265, P480), Sinigang na Baboy (P190, P345, P645) with Sinigang na Short Rib and Watermelon (P215, P390, P720). Even desserts go beyond the usual rice cakes: ube is stuffed in wanton wrappers and served with yam-topped vanilla ice cream (Nilupak Ala Mode, P165) and chocolate biscocho is served churros-style with rich tsokolate on the side (Pan de Churros con Tsokolate, P205).
Sinigang na Short Rib and Watermelon
Nilupak Ala Mode
Pan de Churros con Tsokolate
Pinoy fare has never been conducive to solo dining, but Namnam is thoughtful enough to offer their dishes in three serving sizes: Small (good for one), Medium (good for three), and Large (good for six). Still, except for a few tables, Namnam is packed with groups happily chatting over large plates of adobo and pinangat.
Caramelized Patis Wings
The classic sisig gets the biggest stamp of approval, but the true Namnam experience lies in their creative executions. The Caramelized Patis Wings (P155, P285, P515) flaunts faultless balance: a honeyed sweetness opens up a deeper smoky flavor and, despite being smothered in the slightly tart sauce, the skin is crisp and delicious. The Pinsec Frito with Tomato Aligue Dip (P150, P270, P515) is the type of appetizer you have to order in large. Tomato brightens the hearty flavor of aligue and, when slathered all over the deep-fried pork-stuffed wantons, it results to pica-pica you can't stop eating.
Tinapa Rice (P65, P115, P220)
University Fried Rice
That is, until the University Fried Rice (P135, P245, P460) comes along. The tapsilog-styled bowl is garlicky with salty pieces of cured beef to complete it even without ordering a separate viand. We must insist though that the sisig is mandatory.