It’s taken forever for me to write about Mannam but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the spotlight. Because they do. They honestly do. I wanted to write about them as soon as I took my first bite of their noms. And I would have if not for unforeseen events and
laziness life getting in the way.
Let me stop the rambling and tell you about that one weekday I was in Makati for lunch. It doesn’t happen all that often because I live and work in Taguig but it just so happened that I had some errands to run on that side of town that day. By noon, I was done and I wanted a quick lunch before heading back to the office. Went straight to Food Choices because it near and it seemed like the most logical option since I was alone and I didn’t want to eat in a fancy little restaurant by myself (and I didn’t want to splurge). Food Choices is pretty quiet on weekdays, lacking the usual shrieking of babies, the giggly laughter of hormonal teenagers, and the general buzz of busy.
Holy shoot I’m rambling again! Sorry, I do tend to go on and on about unrelated things. Anyhoots, I found this new (to me at least) stall in one corner where the old Cucina used to be. What drew me to their stall was their food displays- their noms out front in scrubbed metal pots and pans, not unlike those you find in your typical carinderias, but with a certain air of classiness about them. Maybe it’s because of the simple block lettering that reads “Comfort Filipino” to the side, or the large screen displays of their menu, or the uniformed service staff that seem to know what they’re doing, or the combination of all of those things make the tiny place look quite.. elegant.
Mannam is the official name of this little place and I had all but confused it with the restaurant in Greenbelt 2 called Namnam (you can’t blame me, eh?). They both advertise comfort food, Filipino-style. They even have the same color scheme, baby blue and classic white. Up until now, I’m not entirely sure if the two are affiliated but the food selections are different, that much I can vouch for.
Am I rambling again? Okay, let me try to get back on track. So Mannam offers Filipino combo meals called Kumpletos, complete with rice of choice, ulam of choice, gulay of choice, sawsawan of choice, and Lemongrass Sinigang soup. Reminiscent of the Pinoy turo-turo, but somehow fancified. Meat choices include Tapa Style Grilled Beef Belly (which looks so nommy, I’m all set to try it next time!), Inasal-Style Grilled Chicken, Bagnet-Style Pork Belly-licious, and Butterflied Fried Tilapia. Their rice choices include White rice, Tinapa Rice, Garlic Rice, and Bagoong Rice. My Kumpletos meal that day was a combination of Tinapa Rice, Bagnet-Style Pork Belly-licious (the best seller!), and Kare Kareng gulay. I got all that plus free Lemongrass Sinigang soup all for p149 bucks!
My tray was pretty full, because they serve food in large plates. Add in the soup, veggies, and sauce bowls and it can get pretty crowded. I’m not sure where to start, but I think I should say that I’m usually an ulam hoarder and a half-rice type of girl. One Kumpletos meal from Mannam comes with a mountain of rice and although I’m not proud to admit it, since this is a food blog and I’m mostly honest, I have to say that I guiltily finished every morsel TT_TT. Here I declare that Mannam’s Tinapa Rice has usurped the imaginary BaconTunaMelt trophy from Kanin Klub, former holder of the Best Tinapa Rice award (I hold a gala night in my head once a year).
Good rice can be ulam by itself but Mannam doesn’t stop at just
good fantastic orgasmic rice. Their ulams could and should win awards. Mannam’s Bagnet-Style Pork Belly-licious in particular, is belly, belly-licious. Sinfully so. A slab of fatty pork belly is seasoned and cooked bagnet-style, salted and fried to mouth-watering perfection. The meat was so juicy and tender that cutting into it was effortless, even with my flimsy plastic spoon and fork. I savored it all- meat, fat, skin, oil, rice, soup, sauce. In the end, I was in bliss.
|5 out of 5 bacons! Mannam is perfect. It’s a little stall where you can grab a quick, large, and affordable Filipino dish that’s unique, filling, and delicious. Perhaps the choices are a bit limited, but what they offer now are pretty darn fantastic, there really isn’t room for complaints.|
Food Choices, 3rd Floor, Glorietta 4
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