New Restaurant Alert: Sweet Ecstasy at Jupiter Street, Makati
Burgers that offer a different kind of high
10 Jupiter Street, Barangay Bel-Air, Makati City
Open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Monday to Friday), 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Saturday), and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) In a world where burgers have become platforms for incorporating foie gras and truffle into the realm of "everyday people" food, it's hard to get excited about simple lettuce and tomato. But then there's Sweet Ecstasy, which is a delicious reminder of an almost-forgotten confidence in simple, honest food.
When you can’t get a seat, have one on the go.
The drive-by on Jupiter Street used to be a small stall in Cubao X selling milk and cookies-hence the dessert-oriented name-until one day, one of the partners, Al Galang, decided he wanted to make burgers. Co-owner Fran Tobias says, "He said he could do it." She points at the platform that is essentially the restaurant, the posters that proclaim burger puns, the menu. "This is all him."
Al and Fran co-own Sweet Ecstasy with Diego Castillo and David Vo.
You're likely to compare it to California’s In-n-Out, but it is, at this point, better, because it's actually available. Sweet X burgers are cooked fresh upon order. According to one of the many signs that adorn the space, "Serving food right is more important than serving food fast." The highlight is the patty: a terrific 100% beef grilled to a light crunchy char. Al doesn't use any fillers, so as you work towards the middle of the sandwich, it crumbles, squeezing out terrific grease onto your fingers and more into the bun. Double (P230) that goodness just because you can.
After the patty, Sweet X doesn’t do much else to their burger. Lettuce, tomato, cheese (if you want it) in a freshly toasted brioche bun stamped with the trademark "X" make up the standard Sweet X burger. It’s minimalist-but self-assured.
Unlike life, being Single (P170) is actually enough in Sweet Ecstasy.
The most incredible Steamed Burger
Al's piece de resistance, however, is a shy, off-the-menu burger. Steamed in a special cabinet, then flash-grilled to develop that delicious smoky coat. The only other element is a bale of caramelized onions, which oozes out the most amazing juices into the bun when the entire thing is flattened. Dank and rather off-kilter, it's the messiest to eat, the succulence twice as much as the others, but it's a glorious celebration of flavor from something seemingly so bare.
Boneless stuffed wings
Soy Honey Wings
The chicken wings (P200 to P320) are addictive. Fleshy but bony at the same time, the Sriracha Lime flaunts a sweat-inducing, punch-you-in-the-stomach heat, while the Soy Honey is subdued but substantial and absolutely lip-smacking. It's impressive to realize that Al learned the ways of the kitchen by himself, especially considering his other secret success: boneless wings stuffed with cheese-stuffed jalapeños. This is as dynamite as dynamite can get.
Pickle Fries (P120) made with sour baby dill pickes-a competition for the Onion Rings (P100).
Fran admits they don't sell their milk and cookies-yet-but a touch of that former sweetness can be seen in the collection of milkshakes. Their dedication to give only the good stuff results in the richest 100% Big Scoop ice cream milkshakes (no ice!) in flavors like Strawberry (P160) and Green Tea (P160). Or, you can have the ballsiest Balls (P160), which is one from the bevy of alcohol-spiked shakes.
This perenially packed place on Jupiter proves that confident simplicity (and, of course, excellent execution) can go a long way. You can try all of these fancy-schmancy culinary fanfare, but at the end of the day, you come back to the burger. You come back to Sweet Ecstasy's.