Namnam in Greenbelt 2 occupies the space below Burger Bar. It serves comfort Filipino classics and as well as dishes with a twist. I had an idea of the interiors in Namnam, since they made it a staging area of sorts when I visited Burger Bar for their advanced tasting last year.
The interiors are bright and clean with a few colorful touches of blue green to give it a pop. I really liked their comfortable chairs, sometimes the little things are important in enjoying a meal. They have a pretty nice menu that is divided in half, the left side is Filipino classics while the right side is dishes they’ve added a twist to. They also have 3 sizes for their dishes, small (good for 1), medium (good for 3) and large (good for 6) so there’s no problem eating there even by yourself or with just 2 people.
Our first dish was an appetizer called Street Balls (P255/medium). Deep fried fish, squid, tofu and lobster balls served with 3 sauces. Easy to like but I wished they served ticks with sticks for a more street feel.
The eponymous Ensaladang Namnam (P195/medium) is a playful take on the classic Filipino salad. The elements of the manga’t bagoong is spruced up with some citrusy pomelo, and smoked fish.
Deep Fried Chorizo and Kesong Puti Lumpia (P195/medium). It might look like the run of the mill lumpia one might find anywhere but after one bite you’ll get a nice surprise. There’s a creamy and flavorful filling that’s equal parts salty and smooth.
House Crispy Sisig (P205/medium). Our dinner mates were in love with this dish but I found it normal, crispy sisig that’s been well seasoned. I was too focused on the next dish.
Caramelized Patis Wings (P285/medium). If you regularly read my posts, you’ll know I favor the sweet and savory dishes and this one is no different. Mention patis, and the smell and salty taste taste immediately comes to mind but I could hardly taste it here. I would say this is kinda like Filipino honey mustard chicken wings, yum.
Our unusual drinks of the night, Kape Sago’t Gualaman (P75) and Strawberry-Kamias Shake (P115). The sago’t gulaman is given a caffeine jolt courtesy of the coffee, subduing some of the sweetness usually associated with the drink. The strawberry and kamias fruits are a bit on the tarty side but their combination results in a nice refreshing mix.
Sinigang na Short Rib and Watermelon (P390). Watermelon is probably one of the least likely ingredients I’d find in a sinigang but it actually works quite nicely here. There a sweet and sour thing going on that tempered what I dislike in sinigang.
Overloaded Garlic Bangus Belly (P290/medium) is a dish garlic lovers should not miss. Deep fried in butter and loads of garlic makes this a yin yang of healthy and unhealthy but equally good.
Lamb Adobo (P365/medium). Lamb, cooked in the traditional adobo way which removes the gamey taste people dislike. Each piece was tender and flavorful making this a nice change from the norm.
Crispy Pata Tim (P585/medium) is a deep fried pork leg that’s been braised in Chinese spices. A mix of two classic cooking ways that makes you wonder why they did not think of it before. It’s served a pair of bread, ala pata tim but they were not the best, quality wise.
We had three rice dishes namely University Fried Rice (P135/small), Breakfast Fried Rice (P160/small) and Tinapa Rice (P65/small). The tinapa rice and the university rice which is essentially tapa and garlic with egg, were both nothing special. The breakfast fried rice (bacon, corned beef, steak bits with scrambled eggs) is the one I enjoyed. I actually could have this as a dish in itself, it’s the mixing in of things that I did a lot when I was a kid.
For our other carb of the night, Batil Patung (P310). A classic Northern noodle dish that I’ve never had before. It is a sweet savory dish with sausage, beef, liver and vegetables that is a match to my taste buds.
For dessert we had Gata Leche Flan (P148/medium) and Turon of Mango and Kesong Puti (P230/medium). I was not a fan of the turon but really enjoyed the leche flan, creamy but with a strong “gata” (coconut cream) flavor.
I had an enjoyable experience in Namnam, with comfort Filipino dishes sharing equal billing with new twists. Whatever may be your fancy, no need to be forced to choose since you can just get both. Prices are quite affordable in the area, a sign why even at 9pm on a weeknight, the place was still full.
Namnam in GreenbeltG/F Greenbelt 2, Esperanza St. cor Greenbelt Dr. Ayala Center, Makati Telephone Number: 625-0515 Operating Hours: 11am to 11pm daily
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