New Restaurant Alert: Naimas at Legazpi Village, Makati
This is Filipino cuisine like you've never seen before.
Naimas Taste of Home
G/F CAP Building Amorsolo Street corner Rufino Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City
Contact: 625-5943, 0977-403-2290
Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Friday), 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) What used to be an empty space at the corner of Rufino and Amorsolo Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati is now a pretty, Filipino restaurant with heavy wooden furniture and dainty aerial vases. It's called Naimas: A Taste of Home and it's all about Ilokano cuisine.
This porch is lovely.
It doesn't even look like you're in the city.
Very modern Filipino style
Naimas is "delicious" in Ilokano. You can find classics like Bagnet (P240) and Gising-Gising (P220), but the menu takes an interesting turn with lesser-known traditions. Naimas features Adobong Itik (P260), Sizzling Litid (P250), Gisaeng Balot (P220), and even Sinampalukang Kambing (P300). These are certainly items you don't often find in other restaurants.
It's easy to see who this Makati restaurant wants to serve. By using recipes and culinary techniques from all over the Philippines, Naimas tries to replicate the flavors of Philippine provinces. Ingredients are even brought to Manila to truly drive home the flavors of, well, home.
The Naimas Bagnet (P240) is one of their bestsellers. Instead of the more fashionable belly, Naimas uses the nape of the pig, which is really how bagnet should be. It is crispy but impressively juicy. The kitchen cooks the bagnet the traditional; way—hanging it out to dry after several rounds of frying.
Another favorite is Crispy Tawilis (P220), which you should really pair with Ensaladang Mangga (P160). Butterflying the tawilis makes it easier to eat—almost like a chip you can’t stop digging into. The mixed native mangoes, tomatoes, and bagoong alamang (which deepens the acidic flavors of the mango) go perfectly with the salty crisp of the tawilis.
One dish that always has customers intrigued is the sleeper hit, Adobong Itik (P260). The duck simmers in a special marinade until they're able to coax out the tenderness of this naturally fatty bird. They use free-range itik from Nueva Ecija, which yield more tender and savory meat. Duck oil is used in the adobo sauce, intensifying those amazing flavors.
For the perfect pulutan, grab a plate of the Kilawing Kambing (P300). The goat skin is boiled in brining fluid until it reaches this delicious and springy texture. Green and red chilies, ginger, onion, and spring onion give this dish a brighter personality. Sukang Iloko and calamansi complement the spices, allowing the meat to absorb even more loud flavors.
Vegetable lovers and non-lovers alike will fall for the Gising-Gising (P220). Creamy sigarilyas is sautéed in native garlic, onions, and shrimp. The bonus is the bagoong isda it's also cooked with that layers wonderful spicy and salty notes.
In their mission to promote the flavors that hit the heart, Naimas—ironically—went beyond the comfort zone.
Photos by Zanti Jimenez