Get social with Manila Social Club

Although I have written about Manila Social Club before (see here) it is worth updating my review of the restaurant since I recently went there for dinner. The space is tight knit so if you don't have a reservation then you may have to sit at the bar. But the bar offers the full dinner menu so you won't miss a thing. Manila Social Club is the type of restaurant that will remind you of that friend's grandma whose kitchen always smelled like kare kare sauce and whose stove was overflowing with pots of pancit. The food here is delicious, will make you feel warm and definitely keep you full. 

Prito Lumpia- vegetables, chilli-shallot vinaigrette

Prito Lumpia- vegetables, chilli-shallot vinaigrette

Crab Dauphine- lump crab, served on corn custard with chive oil, caviar

Crab Dauphine- lump crab, served on corn custard with chive oil, caviar

Short Rib Kare- parsnip puree, asparagus sesame-hazelnut veloute

Short Rib Kare- parsnip puree, asparagus sesame-hazelnut veloute

Lechon Kawali- pork belly, roast vegetables, rice

Lechon Kawali- pork belly, roast vegetables, rice

Ube bread pudding with ice cream

Ube bread pudding with ice cream

Favorites:

1. Crab Dauphine- Chunks of crab in a corn custard is as rich and heavenly as it sounds. The bits of caviar doesn't hurt either.

2. Short Rib Kare- The tender beef in this dish is elevated by the peanut butter sauce. The spices in the kare sauce cuts through the heaviness so that you're able to finish the dish. It only took me about 7 minutes to eat it all! Make sure to get a side of garlic rice with it. 

3. Ube bread pudding- Manila Social Club knows how to knock ube desserts out of the park. This dish is no exception to that. If you haven't had their ube donuts (which you have to order 2 weeks in advance) rest assured that the ube desserts you do have will be just as good. 

Favorite Filipino Finds: Manila Social Club and Maharlika

I think Filipino food was meant to be in my life. My first friend was a half Filipino girl whose soul is all Filipino because that is the only cuisine we ever ate together. We haven't seen each other in years but because I am now in a relationship with someone who is half Filipino, I have been reunited once again with my beloved cuisine. Filipino food is my version of comfort food. It's food that is often cooked by large families with aunts, moms and sisters who know that food will always bring people together. It reminds me of family. Here are my favorite two Filipino restaurants.

1. Manila Social Club

Left to right: Lumpia Shanghai/Roasted Vegetable Paella/Torta Talong/Ube and Mango Ice Cream

Left to right: Lumpia Shanghai/Roasted Vegetable Paella/Torta Talong/Ube and Mango Ice Cream

Favorites

The roasted vegetable paella ($12) is out of this world amazing. The rice is cooked with saffron, tomatoes are stewed just enough so that it is not soggy and the chefs at Manila are very generous with the portion of chanterelles (which will make you forget you're eating a vegetarian dish). This dish was a highlight for me.

The torta talong ($12) is an eggplant based omelette with garlic rice and tomatoes. Ask for some hot sauce and you've got the ultimate comfort food. I love the addition of the eggplant with the omelette because it makes the dish hearty and of course delicious.

Manila Social Club is trending in the Instagram world with their new Cristal ube donut and traditional ube donut so beware of long lines during brunch since they only take reservations for dinner. 

2. Maharlika

Goat curry

Goat curry

Favorites

Maharlika has been around for a while and knows how to cook Filipino food. My favorite dish at Maharlika is their goat curry which happened to be a special on the night I was dining. The goat was cooked without bones and stewed in a tomato based broth. The garlic bread was a great spoon substitute for picking up all the flavors of the broth. If this dish is not offered the day/night you stop by, get the fried chicken and ube waffle (my second favorite). Ube waffle drizzled in honey with perfectly battered fried chicken is almost as good as their goat curry.

Maharlika offers an extensive brunch and dinner menu with great prices. My goat curry was $22 and fried chicken with ube waffle is $21.