This Asian-American BBQ Platter Makes Summer Last All Year Long
Peach Boy is a bright and cozy spot in Mandaluyong.
G/F NORKIS Building, Calbayog Street corner Domingo M. Guevara Street, Mandaluyong City
Open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Saturday), 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) Peach Boy doesn’t seem like a young man’s first dive into the restaurant business, but that’s what it is. Award-winning chef Sonny Mariano puts his skills to work with all-around food lover Paolo Q. Rama’s vision—and it begins and ends with a love for peach cobbler.
That said, the titular “boy” doesn’t pertain to young master Rama (though he might not mind so much if you think so), but rather to an old Japanese legend of a child who is born out of a peach and grows up to be a hero. Different regions of Japan have their own versions, but the general themes of the tale are growth and bravery.
The story checks out when you think about what goes into opening a business, but you can also tell that the team behind Peach Boy took these themes to heart and gave the venture their best. The space itself makes great use of natural light and doesn’t lean towards any particular aesthetic. Instead, they seem to have cherry-picked (or peach-picked, ha!) and melded different genres together to create something bright, cozy, unassuming, yet bold all at the same time.
In that sense, it matches the menu, which is a veritable hodgepodge of cuisines that ranges from all-day breakfast options to some of the best sandwiches we’ve had in a while. How you want to play it all out is really your call, but allow us to make a few suggestions.
The Crispy Crab & Cheese Pockets (P195) are stupidly edible; if you’re not careful, you’ll end up having a basketful to yourself and looking like a jerk. But with the decadent combination of crab and cream cheese in fried wonton, we can’t really blame you. You can add sweet chili sauce for some heat, too.
Peach Boy’s take on the ChoriBurger (P175) leans sweet, being more of a longganisa patty than a chorizo one, but is offset nicely by the nigh-perfect atchara and the barbecue mayo. Did we mention that it’s all made in-house?
But it’s the Peach Pork Belly (P158) that really puts stars in our eyes. This sandwich is holding up the restaurant’s name with the peach barbecue glaze and peach salsa—presented to the diner on a potato brioche bun that’s basically the perfect vessel for such a heavyweight champion of flavor. The meat is tender and is paired perfectly with the crunchy fries.
If you’re looking for rice, well, who isn’t? Enter the Teriyaki Chicken (P195), a plate of smoky-sweet juiciness, served with Peach Boy’s signature rice and a refreshing cabbage slaw you won’t push to the side of your plate. (What are you, 12?) But if you’re rolling in with the squad, you’re gonna want the BBQ Platter (P925), which is like a summer party on steroids—on a plate.
But for the all-day breakfast stans out there, the Adobo Fried Rice Omelette (P125) is kind of everything you’d hope it would be and a little bit more. We know every household’s adobong manok recipe is different, but in its way, this one’s about as close to a quintessential recipe as you can get, if ever there was one. The Sisig Fried Rice Omelette (P125), on the other hand, is a spicy little adventure ostensibly wrapped in egg, but underneath it all, it’s savory-sweet in the best sense. The egg allows the wave of flavor to break gently, so you can really enjoy every bite.
The Prettiest Sister of this menu, though, has to be the Ube Lava Pancakes (P195). This pile of purple lives up to the Instagram hype. It’s not too sweet, but with the real ube halaya sauce, it’s rich and treacly and overall just really, really good.
If you’re not a breakfast-for-dessert person, the Peach Cobbler (P150) might actually be the perfect dessert. The crumble of the cinnamon-dusted streusel on top of a light peach compote is elevated—as most things can be—by a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and it’s hard to find a better combination of scents, textures, and tastes.
That’s not even half of what this place has to offer, which is saying something when you consider how new it is, but we can confirm it’s all beyond peachy to us.
Photos by Ian Santos