New Restaurant Alert: Xander's Diner at Pamplona Tres, Las Pinas
Get monster milkshakes and eight-inch-tall burgers from this diamond in the rough.
Block 14, Lot 17, Alabang-Zapote Road, Villa Cristina Village, Pamplona Tres, Las Piñas City
Open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Sunday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Friday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) It feels like a well-kept secret. For a large restaurant with a loud sign, colorful exteriors, stationed on the main road to boot, Xander’s Diner can be surprisingly hard to find. “'Pag may dumadaan, 'di agad nakikita,” owner Jenny Tiu says. It’s an uphill climb, but Jenny and her team have managed to make it work.
It really goes all-out retro diner.
Jenny envisioned a diner concept that would showcase her favorite food to a wider audience. A voracious foodie turned passionate chef, Jenny found herself making dishes for her family. “Sila 'yong inspiration ko. These are the type of food that they like,” she explains. The diner itself is named after Jenny’s nephew, while several dishes are named after other relatives.
True to its diner aesthetic (large, colorful walls in deep reds and purples, high-backed black-and-white booths, and a soda fountain-inspired counter), Xander’s offers a lot of burgers. Out of the 10 variations on the menu, it’s the Xander’s Boss (P275) that sells the most. With soft, homemade buns, three-quarter-pound patties, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, bacon, and a generous slather of cheese sauce, the Boss is a satisfying mouthful. In January, the diner re-launched the Boss Challenge, where customers who finish the Boss Combo (which includes fries and iced tea) in five minutes can get the entire meal for free.
Loaded Nachos (P140)
Loaded Fries (P120 to P150)
Bacon and Potato Munchees (P100)
Onion Rings (P75)
Firehouse Burger (P135)
For those who crave a little more meat, Xander’s also has the Big Boss Burger (P425), which contains an additional patty, Spam fries, onion rings, and chicken skin. At eight inches tall, the Big Boss can be considered enough for a group of friends. “It’s so heavy,” Jenny says. “[But] I saw 20-year olds finishing one whole [once].”
Korean Style Chicken Wings (P200 to P350)
Inihaw na Liempo (P135)
Korean Beef Stew
Xander’s also offers rice meals, such as the Korean Beef Stew (P135). Jenny’s take on the usually spicy rib is a sweet and savory flavor that can be quite addicting. “I hesitated [about] bringing it here because this was supposed to be a diner,” Jenny recalls. “But my sister really loves the beef stew, so she insisted that we add it to the menu.” Her sister, who is also her business partner, proved to be right. The Korean Beef Stew has become such a big hit, they even sell it in platter sizes now.
Another bestseller, especially this summer, are Xander’s monster milkshakes. These crazy ice cream drinks are topped with a generous helping of whipped cream and cake chunks that enhance the whole experience. The diner recently launched three new flavors for the season: Cookies and Cream (P199), Blueberry Cheesecake (P229), and Ube Quezo (P229).
Chocolate Monster Shake
Blueberry Cheesecake Monster Shake
Vanilla Caramel Monster Shake
Strawberry Velvet Monster Shake
Cookies and Cream Monster Shake
A passionate baker, Jenny also creates cakes and pastries for her bakery Baked by Achie, which is located beside the diner. All weekends of May will feature a Dessert All You Can buffet at Xander’s, where sweet lovers can gorge themselves on Jenny's sweet products to their hearts delight for P199.
For Jenny, Xander’s Diner is her pride and joy. She makes sure that every item on the menu is made from scratch and tested by her family and staff. She would commute from her home in Makati to Las Piñas every day to check how the diner’s doing until it closes for the night. Customers would often find her on the floor, helping out the waitstaff and chatting up guests. "I want people to know that they get more than they pay for," she says.
Now if only more people would take notice.
Photos by Majoy Siason