I was recently invited to dine at this hidden gem in the Boni area, Mandaluyong City named St. Nicholas Restaurant. Named after Santa Claus, St. Nicholas serves mainly Filipino dishes with an Asian flair.
For appetizers, we were served the Okoy Gulay (Php 99) and Poque Poque (Php 99).
I love Okoy (with shrimps on it) and the Okoy Gulay was something new for me. Poque Poque, an Ilocano eggplant-based dish is quite refreshing to the palate.
We also had their version of Ebi Tempura with Suka Dip (Php 199).
|Suka dips at St. Nicholas|
Enjoy dipping the Ebi Tempura in three kinds of vinegar dips this place has to offer.
We also had Sweet Chili Garlic Prawn (Php 199) and Sizzling Pork Sisig (Php 99).
|Sweet Chili Garlic Prawn|
|Sizzling Pork Sisig|
Chef Nick, owner of St. Nicholas, also served us Filipino dishes with a twist like the Tinolang Chicken sa Pakwan (Php 199) and the Paru-parong Tilapia with Sweet Tamarind Sauce (Php 199).
|Tinolang Chicken sa Pakwan|
|Paru-Parong Tilapia with Sweet Tamarind Sauce|
I love the sweet note in the reddish tinola broth because of the watermelon. As I love Thai flavors, I liked the sweet tamarind sauce on the tilapia. It is best eaten while the fish is still crunchy.
We were served two adobo dishes: Adobong Manok at Baboy sa Dilaw (Php 199) and the exotic Adobong Crocodile (Php 299).
|Adobong Manok at Baboy sa Dilaw|
Adding turmeric or luyang dilaw to adobo isn't exactly new but not a lot of restaurants serve this type of adobo. The meats are very tender and the flavor of the turmeric enhanced its taste. I have tried crocodile meat before in Palawan, but I haven't tried it in adobo, and boy, St. Nicholas' version is worth trying.
St. Nicholas also serves delightful desserts that any dessert person (like me) will love.
We had the Turon de Tsokolate (Php 75), Temptation by Tablea ala Mode (Php 179) and Brownies ala Mode (Php 79).
|Turon de Tsokolate|
Chef Nick added more natural sweetness to my favorite snack of all time, turon, by using Lakatan instead of Saba, plus a hot chocolate dip I was so tempted to drink.
|Temptation by Tablea ala Mode|
|Brownie ala Mode|
I love Temptation by Tablea cake as well, but I was surprised at how much I liked the Brownies ala Mode. The warm brownie blends well with the strawberry ice cream and syrup. It's a lovely treat for the kids and kids-at-heart.
We also had the Chocolate Lava ala Mode (Php 199) and other ice cream treats for sharing: Heavenly Chocolate Overload (Php 165) and Honeyed Fruits in Ice Cream (Php 165).
|Chocolate Lava ala Mode|
|Heavenly Chocolate Overload|
|Honeyed Fruits in Ice Cream|
I also had their Choco Banana Shake (Php 65) and one type of coffee I have been wanting to try again for the longest time: Civet Coffee or Kape Alamid (Php 135).
|Choco Banana Shake|
The last time I had Civet Coffee was in Davao and since then, I haven't found a place in Manila where it is available. Good news for me (and my fellow coffee lovers), St. Nicholas has Kape Alamid!
St. Nicholas Restaurant serves surprisingly affordable and delicious Filipino food. Also, it is one of the few restaurants the serves exotic dishes such as Adobong Crocodile, Tapang Usa, Tapang Baboy Ramo, and Tapang Kabayo. They also serve solo meals for as low as Php 55.
I had a lovely time at St. Nicholas, the dishes were amazing and the service was satisfactory. The ambiance could still be improved though, as this alfresco place seems too cluttered for me. Still, I'd go back here for the food and the coffee. :)
Thanks to Karl Ace and Chef Nick Pelaez for having us.
St. Nicholas Restaurant
1 Fatima Street corner San Rafael Street,
Plainview, Mandaluyong City