Adding to the eclectic facets that make Nicanor Garcia St. (former Reposo) in Makati an art lover’s favorite is a new Asian gastronomical site, called Phat Wong Asian Cafe. Situated right across Alliance française de Manille, Phat Wong Asian Cafe brings about a cozy dining atmosphere adorned with warm wooden furniture, cushy sofas and arm chairs, and pleasing wall decors to compliment its tantalizing menu.
Phat Wong Asian Cafe’s menu includes original edible masterpieces spurred up by its award-winning chef (notable for Lolo Dad’s Brasserie), as well as famous Asian dishes fused with ingredients that are unthinkable but are nonetheless delightful to satisfy the craving palette.
For Starters, I was able to sample Deep-Fried Shitake Mushroom Roll served with sweet and sour sauce,
savory and truly appetizing Blue Crab with Crab Fat on Lemongrass Dumpling served with creamy wasabi sauce,
perfectly combined Crispy Tofu, a mix of Smoked Bangus and salted Black Beans, and a side dip of chili sauce,
and its pride and joy, nutty Shrimps, Pomelo and Young Coconut paired with coconut milk and lime dressing, which only has to be seasoned with salt and pepper to balance the taste.
As for my main dish delights, there was the tender-juicy Grilled Chicken Jicana (singkamas) and Mango on Pako Leaves with Sesame Garlic Vinaigrette,
a double serving of chunky Deep-Fried Adobo and Menudo Pao, a filling savory of chicken and pork adobo stuffed in semi-sweet buns,
scrumptious Pad Thai Omelet, Pad Thai noodles and shrimps enveloped in egg omelet,
and one of my favorites, semi-sweet Grilled Baby Back Ribs Tocino with garlic and vinegar sauce.
Whereas among Phat Wong’s recommended dishes, I was regaled with Hainanese Fish, a wonderful ensemble of steamed whole grouper served with soup, condiments and Hainanese rice steamed in chicken broth,
and Bistek of US Rib Eye marinated in calamansi and soy sauce with sauteed onion, a dish that all Filipinos will surely love and enjoy eating a cup full of rice.
As my stomach by now has been filled with these tenderlicious dishes, my sweet tooth has yet to be satisfied. So I did not mind at all when a tantalizing plate of Halo-Halo Moderno was served in front of me. The taste of spiced syrup, braised beans, banana, jackfruit, tapioca and leche flan harmonizing in my mouth was delightfully refreshing. I will definitely come back for this, especially due to the crushed coconut juice ice (and not iced water) used to mix in this desert.
And even if one delicious desert should be enough, it never is when the sight of Baked Meringue placed on top of fresh seasoned fruits, bathing in fresh Pandan cream comes to your attention. To feel the meringue’s suppleness slowly sinking in with the sweet floral taste of the Pandan cream, taunting the softened banana slice with another bite of the meringue is simply an experience worth having.
I finally capped my meal with a gratifying glass of House Tea, another offering that is not short of Phat Wong’s discernible quality.
With all my senses focused on my satiated belly, I could only thank the talented Phat Wong team for offering such a marvelous meal. The taste and presentation is really exceptional and well-deserving for its reasonable price.
Phat Wong Asian Cafe (formerly Ricco Renzo Cafe), Ground Floor LRI Building, Nicanor Garcia (Reposo) Street, Bel Air II, Makati, Metro Manila. Tel. Nos. 298-3573, 555-1346. Opens daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.