MANILA, PHILIPPINES - We celebrated a good friend's birthday at Ninak about two weeks ago. We have been reading a lot about it lately hence the decision to try their food! And boy are we surprised with what we tasted!
Ninak is actually "Kanin" backwards. To my non-Filipino readers, kanin means rice, which is a staple food in our country and in most of our neighbouring countries. If an Italian could not live without pasta and risotto and the Americans incorporate some corn and wheat on their diet, we, Filipinos, could not pass a day by without consuming rice. Ninak offers a great mix of Asian comfort foods that are cooked and made for the Filipino palate and I think that is the reason why we enjoyed all the food that we ordered to bits! Since we are already on the topic of rice, let us start then with the rice that we ordered. On the leftmost is the Tinapa Rice (Php 170++). I am not really a fan of tinapa rice so I do not have any recall of how it tasted but the slight sweetness of the Bagoong Rice (Php 190++) and the spiciness and uniqueness of taste of the Nasi Goreng (Php 175++) left an impression on me that we actually ordered another round of these two.
The Grilled Vietnamese Pork (Php 270++) seems like the counterpart of our Grilled Liempo here but just meaty and less fatty and more succulent.
Out of all the dishes that we ordered here, the best that we had were their curries! I could still recall how creamy and flavorful the curries were that we required another serving of rice just to devour and drain the dish, broth included. If there is a viand that you must not skip here in Ninak, I would definitely say that it would definitely be these. We ordered the Fish Curry (Php 260++) composed of fish fillet simmered in coconut oil with mixed vegetables, aromatic Keffir lime and basil together with the Chicken Curry (Php 270++) which are chicken strips embellished with young corn, carrot and eggplant and simmered in coconut milk along with Thai curry paste. The curries are available in variants of yellow, red and green.
The Soi Chicken (Php 315++) had 6 huge chicken cuts that were deep fried and topped with crispy garlic (which I like) and their specially concocted sweet, spicy sauce. It earned mixed accolades from the group; half of us was actually raving about it and some of us were not that enthusiastic about it maybe because it did not taste extraordinary at all.
If the Soi Chicken earned mixed reviews, the Crispy Beef Belly (Php 345++) earned unanimous likes from us. Seriously! Look at those big chunks of fats attached to the meat and ask yourself how can it not be? It is tasty, sinful and filling!
Simple as it may be but I love their Sambal Kangkong (Php 145++)! It is fresh and I think it is served as a great balance from all the meat we have consumed.
The restaurant and chef were kind enough to give our birthday boy a Creme Brulee. Look at how happy he was! The night progressed with more stories, laughters and crazy moments. Their lovely staff and crew also added to the greatness of the night. I love how attentive their staff are to our needs that we only needed to call them when we were already ready to bill out. If you are craving for some Asian comfort dishes and some lovely curry, I assure you that Ninak will not only satisfy your craving but it will also complete your evening!
(add) Unit 101 Seven East Capitol Bldg. East Capitol Drive cor. Sta. Rosa St. Kapitolyo, Pasig, in front of Three Sisters | (phone) +632 655 6902 | (facebook) /OfficialNinakRestaurant
Note: I just read that Ninak already has a new branch in Pasong Tamo! This got me excited since I am quite near Makati.