After our awesome day-trip to Tagatay, we arrived back in Manila beat, stinky, dirty and hungry, so we didn’t stray far from our hotel for dinner. The Astronomer, Nina and I dined at a fast food-style joint called Mang Inasal on Makati, while Cathy took her meal back to the hotel. Here’s a heartwarming blurb from the restaurant’s website.
Mang Inasal endeavors to adhere to elements that bear a distinctively Pinoy stamp—grilling with charcoal, rice wrapped in banana leaves, a marinade concocted out of local spices and herbs, bamboo sticks for skewers, and the ambience that encourages kinamot (the Ilonggo term in eating with the hands) whenever chicken inasal is served. All these evoke a rush of nostalgia for tradition, culture, and most of all, Home.
The protocol here is order at the counter, pay, take a number and the food is delivered when it’s ready. Just like at Rubio’s!
Nina ordered Paa with Rice—grilled chicken (leg and thigh) with white rice and a kalamnsi. This is referred to as a Paborito Meal on the menu, which I assume is comparable to a Western value meal.
The Astronomer also ordered a Paborito Meal—Pork Inasal with Rice. The meat wasn’t super-tender, but it was very satisfying and well-seasoned. The flavors reminded me of Korean barbecue. Charcoal grilling imparts of a lovely smoky taste upon the meat.
The best perk of the Paborito Meals is unlimited rice! One was enough for Nina, but The Astronomer demanded seconds. There is an employee at Mang Inasal whose sole job is to provide rice refills. After he scooped a fresh ball of rice onto The Astronomer’s plate, he said something like, “here is your second rice, and it is free!” He cracked us up.
The Astronomer and Nina shared a side of Krispy Kangkong—deep fried river spinach with a mayonnaise dip. Definitely not up my alley (I prefer my vegetables honest), but The Astronomer and Nina seemed to like it fine.
In the mood for something sweet, I decided to try one of Mang Inasal’s dessert offerings. After grilling the woman working behind the counter on her favorite sweet on the menu, I settled on the Saging Melt. The Saging Melt, which was comprised of shaved ice, topped with bananas and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, was a huge let down. The ice cream was good enough, but the bananas’ texture was horrendous (I’m pretty sure they were frozen for months prior to being served) and the shaved ice was just strange. Boo.
Villa Building, Jupiter Street, Makati City 1207
Phone: (632) 890-2442