Manam Comfort Filipino: a homage to classic Pinoy dishes

Friday, 27 September 2019

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Manam Comfort Filipino pays homage to classic, all-time Filipino favorites by elevating these into modern gustatory masterpieces. You can still expect to enjoy your much loved Pinoy dishes but with a slightly different although welcome interpretation.

Manam restaurant review in SM Mall of Asia

Manam Comfort Filipino: a homage to classic Pinoy dishes



    Our Manam Comfort Filipino experience


    We had the chance to try Manam last summer in its SM Mall of Asia (MOA) outlet. We met with Khris’ friends for lunch in one hot summer afternoon. It was a holiday so the mall was understandably crowded.

    Manam coffee with sago and gulaman
    Coffee with sago and gulaman

    Manam was not spared from the huge crowd; there was a long queue of people outside waiting for their turn to be seated inside the restaurant. Thankfully, we did not have to wait too long to get inside Manam. There were a lot of diners but the servers were quick to take orders. The food was also served fast, a plus point considering the bevy of diners that time.

    Location and ambiance


    I would not really consider Manam’s branch in SM MOA as the most convenient outlet to visit. But that is just me because we currently reside in Makati. The restaurant is located at the side of MOA’s Main Mall, so it’s fairly easy to access. There’s no need to look for it within the vastness of MOA. Although it was a little crowded when we visited, Manam’s interiors are spacious. The walls are adorned with various paintings and photographs of food. The tables are amply-spaced so moving around was not really a challenge. Manam was generally a good-looking and comfortable restaurant.

    Food


    We were a big group so we ordered several of Manam’s specialties like the Sinigang na Beef Short Ribs and Watermelon, House Crispy Sisig, Overloaded Garlicky Chicken and Pork Belly Adobo, Kare-Kare with Oxtail, and Crispy Pancit Palabok.

    I must say that every dish is an explosion of flavors and each one is a different experience altogether. Let me start with the Sinigang na Beef Short Ribs and Watermelon.

    Sinigang is a sour soup dish made with vegetables and either meat or seafood. Being sour, one would expect to find in sinigang acidic fruits like mango and tamarind as souring agents. Never have I imagined that a sweet fruit like watermelon would go well with sinigang. Surprisingly though, the watermelon provided a refreshing burst of sweetness to this version of sinigang. It still had a hint of sourness but I am not sure if it were from the watermelon.

    Manam's Sinigang na short ribs and watermelon
    Sinigang na short ribs and watermelon

    Another classic Filipino comfort food that was given a slight twist was the Overloaded Garlicky Chicken and Pork Belly Adobo. It’s got everything that I want in adobo – more salty that sour, thick and flavorful sauce, and full of garlic bits. It’s delicious and comforting; you cannot not have this with a nice bowl of steamed white rice.

    Manam's Overloaded Garlicky Chicken and Pork Belly adobo
    Overloaded Garlicky Chicken and Pork Belly Adobo

    Meanwhile, if you do love kare-kare, then do try Manam’s version of it - Kare-Kare with Oxtail. This dish does not have much fanfare in it but the flavors are spot on. I also like the bagoong (shrimp paste) that came with it because it was fragrant and delicious.

    As for the House Crispy Pork Sisig, well, it did not require any fanfare either. Sisig, being so flavorful in itself, does not really need to be fancy. In fact, it should be cooked the way it should be in order for diners to fully enjoy its rich taste. Thus, if your taste buds are nagging you for crispy sisig, then you won’t go wrong with Manam’s House Crispy Pork Sisig.

    Manam's Crispy Pancit Palabok
    Manam's Crispy Pancit Palabok

    One dish at Manam that really piqued my curiosity was the Crispy Pancit Palabok which I saw being served at the table adjacent to ours. It was a tall stack of what appeared to be fried noodles. The server poured a thick sauce over it and began to mix it all together until the noodles softened. It was a good thing that our friends ordered it, too, upon the recommendation of our server.

    Apart from the crunchy noodles, the Crispy Pancit Palabok is just your traditional, good old garlic-shrimp-chicharon palabok. Again, because palabok is already an explosion of flavors, there’s really not much you can do about it in terms of coming up with new versions. Manam’s Crispy Pancit Palabok is already good in itself.

    Price and Service


    The price is fairly reasonable considering the size of the servings. The plates are all good for around two to three people so that’s not so bad. As I had mentioned earlier, service is quick and efficient.

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    For similar restaurant reviews, you might also want to read the following articles:

    1. XO 46 Heritage Bistro: a Filipino restaurant extraordinaire
    2. Dekada: where flavor and history meet

    Manam Branch Locations


    Manam at SM Mall of Asia is located at Ground Floor, South Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City. You may contact the restaurant at telephone number (02) 889-1020 if you wish to inquire or make a reservation.

    Aside from its Mall of Asia branch, Manam is also located at the following addresses:

    1. Level 1, Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
        Telephone number: (02) 625-0515

    2. Ground Floor, Net Park, 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
        Telephone number: (02) 332-9390

    3. Central Garden, Ayala Fairview Terraces, Maligaya Road Corner Quirino Highway, Novaliches, Quezon City
        Telephone number: (02) 625-4719

    4. Ground Floor, O Square Building 2, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan City
        Telephone numbers: (02) 504-9152 and +63 9176272678

    5. Third Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
        Telephone numbers: (02) 728-2735

    6. Lower Ground Floor, The Parkway, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City
        Telephone number: (02) 282-3298

    7. Second Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
     
    8. Ground Floor, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila

    Have you experienced eating at Manam? How was it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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