New Restaurant Alert: Melting Pot at J. Abad Santos, San Juan
Cultures converge at this humble eatery.
103 J. Abad Santos Street, Little Baguio, San Juan
Tel. No. 624-1009, 0917-550-1191
Open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday); 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday to Saturday); and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (weekend brunch)
(SPOT.ph) The people over at Melting Pot like to play with their food. Ingredients are taken with a grain of salt-not literally, of course-and they’re made to surprise the palate. They add strawberries to the buffalo wing sauce, they mix peach and peppermint in their tea, they grill their pizza and make it taco-thin just because they can. The result is blasts of flavor and an overall unique take on comfort food, European, to shake things up.
Nacho fondue, anyone?
Strawberry Buffalo Wings
Crushed sausage replaces ground beef in the Choriqueso Nachos (P295) and cheese fondue is served in a pot for those who want more of that creamy kick. If you need more, that is: already on top of the purple totopos are sweet onions, mozzarella, and chimichurri sauce. The Mushroom Soup (P135), made with pure wild mushroom and cream, is so thick it’s almost puree-like in consistency. Salty mushroom fries on the side are something we’d take over the usual potato any day. Melting Pot’s much talked-about dish, the strawberry-spiked buffalo wings (P235) is an eye-opening endeavor. It pushes you to see the familiar sweet and tart of strawberries in a different light-as a successful savory component. It’s spicier than what you’d expect from a dish laced with berries, but it doesn’t lack the heat you look for in wings.
If appetizers hint at the potential of a restaurant, the main courses define it. Generous, homey, and creative is what you’ll find at Melting Pot. The sizes are enormous as comfort food should be, and the play on textures and contrasts keeps thing from becoming surfeit.
Our jaws dropped when this Fish and Chips dish was delivered to our table.
Representing London is their bestselling Fish and Chips (P220 to P330), a lively presentation that makes you think the cobbler was alive if not for the crisp, golden-brown, beer batter it’s coated in. Classic pairings of malt vinegar, potatoes, and peas complete the dish, but the potatoes are cubed instead of wedged and the peas are mashed to spread the flavor more evenly as you swipe it on the fish. The Roast Beef (P320) changes things up by using thinly sliced beef belly doused with a peppery sweet gravy and sided with potato mash.
Cordon Bleu a la Melting Pot
Peppered Pork Chops
Melting Pot also offers comfort food that can make you disregard the consequences: the Cordon Bleu a la Melting Pot (P285 to P395) is their take on a French classic. Smoked bacon delicately wraps around filleted chicken before being fried then presented with earthy brown mushroom gravy and mashed potato. A separate serving of nacho cheese sauce substitutes for the traditional cheese core of the roll up. The Peppered Pork Chops (P220 to P330) is an inch-thick, knee-weakening monument that would make you flex your stomach muscles in mouthwatering anticipation.
A cheese pizza that can render you speechless (P300)
Traditional lasagna (P290) cooked with tagliatelle and soft-boiled egg.
Melting Pot is owned by the same people behind Chow Fun.
Dessert is yet to be their priority, but based on their current menu, it’s safe to expect good things.