Shhh! 10 More Secret Off-Menu Items in Manila Restaurants
Pro tips for pro eaters!
(SPOT.ph) Allow us to give you some valuable life advice right now. No matter what you're going through, you always have a choice. Sometimes, however, the choice isn't obvious. Manila's restaurant scene is a beautiful metaphor for this. Sometimes, what you're really craving isn't on the menu right in front of you. You just have to sniff it out.
Of course, we're always ones to give a leg up, so we're doing the search for you. We snooped around some of the Metro's restaurants and picked up some valuable off-menu items to try. If you're looking for Jamba Juice, try reading 10 Must-Try Off-the-Menu Dishes (2013 Edition).
Pasha's Sultan Kebab (P480)
This beauty isn't something you can have on a whim. Pasha's royal dish plays hard to get and is only available for advanced ordering because flavors like these don't come instantly. Cubes of tender lamb sit on a throne of mashed eggplant; the rich flavors are offset by tasty grilled tomatoes.
Pasha has branches at General Luna Street, Poblacion, Makati City; and Makati Prime Citadel Inn, P. Burgos Street, Poblacion, Makati City. Read more about Pasha.
Soil's Pre-Dessert Ice Cream
Soil's palate-cleansing, pre-dessert ice cream changes flavor every now and then. One time, it was a tart balsamic vinegar, now it's a cool olive oil. Whichever one is available, however, is always an interesting adventure!
Soil is at Unit 16, Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Read more about Soil.
Eighteen Bistro's Portobello Cream Cheese Dip (P240)
This creamy wonder is an offshoot of a bestseller, the Spicy Portobello and Cream Cheese Pasta (photo). It's for folks who just can't get enough of the tasty pasta sauce. The sauce is almost too rich, but just before it crosses the "cloying" border, a hint of spice bursts in to give your palate a break. This secret option comes with a couple of pieces of toast.
Eighteen Bistro is at 51B Scout Rallos Street, Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City. Read more about Eighteen Bistro.
Gibraltar (P130) from Toby's Estate
It's funny how this bestseller is still a "secret" item. This drink is essentially a cortado, a heady shot of espresso with just a splash of milk. Give your mocha a rest, why don't you?
Sweet Ecstasy's Wingception (P260)
Everyone knows about the secret Steamed Burger (P205), but we're not sure if you've been acquainted with the Wingception. This is goodness within goodness within goodness. Imagine deep-fried, boneless chicken wings stuffed with hot peppers , which are further stuffed with gooey cheese. Each bite is rich and explosive. You might want to dip these boneless babies in blue cheese sauce. Not only does it temper the impact, it also gives us an excuse to enjoy more cheese!
Sweet Ecstasy has branches at 10 Jupiter Street, Makati City; Regis Center, Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City; and Uptown Place Mall, Uptown Bonifacio. Read more about Sweet Ecstasy.
Mensakaba Geishu's Black Tantanmen (P250)
This under-the-radar, 12-seater ramen place adds extra mystery with a menu on stealth mode. The Black Tantanmen is an open secret. It's loaded with black sesame seeds, which actually help carry the weight of the usually rich Japanese noodle soup. This ramen is definitely a nutty one!
Mensakaba Geishu is at 345 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Tipple & Slaw's Sriracha Mac and Cheese (P220)
We admit that we threw a tantrum when Tipple & Slaw unceremoniously kicked off the fiery macaroni and cheese from the menu, but when we were introduced to their Burnt Mac and Cheese, all debts were definitely paid. Still, if you want a bit of bite to your comforting classic, just whisper it to the server. They'll know what to do.
Tipple & Slaw is at 2/F Forum South Global, 7th Avenue corner Federacion Drive, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Tipple & Slaw.
Takashi's Spam Curry Rice (P190)
The Japanese love Spam, and we Filipinos can totally understand why. There's a nice, juicy, salty reward inside that squarish tin. The best part is that it takes so well to other embellishments. Case in point: Takashi's surprise Spam Curry Rice. The heavily spiced, lightly spicy curry proves that strong-on-strong flavors can be delicious if done right. Plus, there's the rice to take things down a notch.
Takashi has branches at Pioneer Center, Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City; and Elizabeth Place Building, 332 H.V. Dela Costa Street, Makati City. Read more about Takashi.
Breakfast Bin's Liempo Chips (P160)
Thin cuts of pork fried to be crunchy as chips? Maybe it's a good thing that you have to order these off-menu babies three days in advance. For your health's sake.
Breakfast Bin is at 168 Maginhawa Street corner Magpakumbaba Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City.
Chunky Sam Burger (around P755) from Chunky Sam's Diner
Everyone knows that this diner serves certified Angus beef burgers and that the Chunky Sam is the signature grilled rib-eye steak. What people don't realize, however, is that you can mix these specialties together in one amazing dish. The Chunky Sam Burger replaces ground meat with meaty slices of certified Angus rib eye. The final price depends on the steak's weight and your choice add-ons, like onion confit, mushroom confit, sharp cheese sauce, jalapeño, tomato relish, and cheeses (mozzarella, sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, feta, Danish bleu cheese or kesong puti).
Chunky Sam's Diner is at Chimes Square, Congressional Avenue Extension corner T.M. Kalaw Street, Mira Nila Homes, Quezon City. Read more about Chunky Sam's Diner.