New Restaurant Alert: Neil's Kitchen at Westgate Alabang, Muntinlupa
A whimsical take on comfort dining
L701 Westgate, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Contact: 772-1334, 710-8962, 0928-524-7403, 0917-841-7401
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (last call at 9 p.m.)
(SPOT.ph) Entering Neil's Kitchen, housed in an impressive Mediterranean-inspired building in Alabang, feels like stepping into a storybook. The staircase is adorned with random items that include a birdcage, a unicycle and a chair, welcoming you into a well-lit space that has booths offering large window-views of the neighboring area. Magazines are hung beneath the large bar for everyone to use, while a widescreen TV is on the corner wall.
The whole look sets the mood for a relaxing good time, which is exactly what the owners are going for.
It almost looks like an art space.
The Instagram shot
Yes, this huge place had to shut down due to overbooking.
"Food should always be fun!" says self-taught chef Neil Ramos, as he sits in a corner of his lively restaurant, whose walls yell out witty one-liners like "I enjoy long romantic walks to the fridge," and "Count the memories, not the calories." Neil comes from a family of foodies, and he spent his childhood in his lola's kitchen learning how to cook from the family chef.
A veteran of the catering scene in the south (he is the exclusive caterer for The Hills events place in Silang), Neil officially opened the doors of Neil’s Kitchen on January 6 as a way of inviting potential clients to sample their food. The restaurant initially opened in December, but they had to close to manage the huge amount of bookings they received over the holiday season.
Table for two?
We are always dreaming.
Though its chef is more known for his intercontinental dishes, Neil's Kitchen offers Filipino food with an "Instagram-worthy" twist. For Neil, Filipino food is authentic comfort food, which is why they decided to serve it in their homey restaurant. "The real meaning of comfort food is food that we grew up with."
Crab Fat Pasta
The restaurant's bestseller is the Sinigang Paella with Grilled Pork Belly (P350), a unique combination that surprisingly works. The strong sour kick from the broth is melded into the rice, which complements the salty grilled pork well. Another take on sinigang is the Grilled Salmon in Miso Sinigang (P695), where a slab of fish is laid on top of pickled greens and drizzled with miso. Accompanied with sinigang rice, the salmon is grilled to perfection while the miso gives a mild burst of sour taste.
Turon de Napoleon
Fried Suman, Mangga & Chocnut
Among the desserts, Neil says people love the Fried Suman, Mangga & Chocnut combination (P250) most, which is a layered tower of kakanin, mango puree and chunky Chocnut smothered with coconut milk. The three Pinoy treats come together to leave a creamy and sweet taste in your mouth.
We love that jukebox hiding behind the plants.
Because you have to feed your soul, too.
Neil’s Kitchen is also home to My Father’s Bookstore, a Christian bookshop found in one corner of the space. Owned by Miriam Quiambao and husband Ardy Roberto, My Father’s Bookstore offers a space where people can check out the inspirational fare, read, and relax.
Neil's Kitchen is still on soft opening, with the full menu slated to come out within the month. Neil hints at offering an even bigger menu, which might include a Filipino sandwich line, several salads, more desserts, and a jar bar. That could only mean more people.