Phat Wong Asian Cafe on Nicanor Garcia St. in Bel-Air, Makati has been on my list of must-try restaurants. This is the reason why we found ourselves here on a rainy Thursday to catch the last day of a Deal Grocer promotion: only P150 for P300 worth of food in Chef Ariel Manuel’s Asian-themed eatery (he’s more known for fine dining at Lolo Dad’s).
Frankly, I thought my coupon would only get me as far as ordering one appetizer, but this was not the case. There were a lot of reasonably-priced items which makes this place great for snacking, especially when you find yourself in this side of Bel-Air (resto is in the same building as the LRI Design Plaza which has an array of home furnishings stores.)
Take a peek at what we chose from the menu: deep-fried adobo & menudo pao (two pieces for P105), banh mi roll for P125, phad thai omelet for P240 & the beef pho, P260.
The deep-fried pao was worth the money & very tasty too.Two pieces can already fill you up and the adobo pao was better than the menudo. I find these very greasy though …. naturalmente coz it’s deep-fried 🙂 Things like this make me realize that I prefer the siopao or buns steamed rather than fried.
Taste the Banh Mi Roll if you haven’t been to Vietnam because any interpretation of the delicious banh mi as we know it on the streets of Saigon is a sacrilege, to say the least. The authentic Vietnamese sandwich takes pride first, with its crusty, perfectly-baked baguette and then the delicious filling which may either be grilled beef, pork belly, meat balls or sardines. Frankly, I don’t know why Phat Wong borrows the term banh mi to describe ham, pork & chicken fillings wrapped in chewy flat bread or tortilla.
Nothing to crow about the beef pho either. The taste of the soup just doesn’t do it for me, and I can’t imagine how small their bowl was.
The pad thai omelet was the only thing I liked from what we chose in the menu. But then again, I haven’t explored the other items like their version of Hainanese chicken or the Pinoy duck mami. My initial experience makes me want to wait for another groupon promotion rather than pay the full price.
Verdict: an abundance of fusion. Stick with the classics. Stick with Lolo Dad’s.