Having just returned from Philippines for our wedding, Ricky and I were commenting how hard it is to find good Filipino food here in Dubai, especially with pork! It was a pleasant surprise then that we were invited to try out the Manila Grill; a restaurant serving Filipino food (and yes, pork!) in the Asiana hotel in Al Rigga area.
Although we were a little unsure of what to expect, after looking at the menu we were very excited to get stuck in!
We started off with Sinigang na Hipon which was delicious, and packed full of massive juicy prawns. The soup itself had a lovely coconut flavour with a spicy tang. It reminded us a bit of Tom Yum Soup – which we are huge fans of.
Our first main was the Sisig. Ricky loves sisg whenever we are out (he says it’s the perfect drinking food!) and this dish was made in the Pampanga style. I was informed by our very helpful waiter, RJ, that the chef is from the Pampanga region and this was his speciality. The sisig was amazing, it had more of a creamy texture than I am used to, but I loved the twist on a classic favourite.
Of course once we saw it on the menu we couldn’t resist ordering the Crispy Pata! This classic Filipino dish of pig’s leg slowly boiled and then fried was just delicious and exactly like I’d have it back home. It was so tender and crunchy, perfectly mixing with the classic soy/vinegar dip.
Ricky ordered the Bicol Express, which he has always wanted to try as it’s the area in Philippines where my father is from. The Bicol Express at Manila Grill is delicious, packed full of creamy coconut which contrasted beautifully with the fresh chillies. It reminded us of a Thai or Indonesian curry and it’s a true testament to the variety of regional food in the Philippines.
To accompany it all we had the seafood fried rice. This was brilliantly well done, with the eggy rice combining perfectly with shrimp, crab and squid. You could eat the rice as a meal on it’s own! But it made a perfect accompaniment to the dishes.
Overall I’m delighted to recommend the Manila Grill for an authentic, fun experience. If you are planning a special night with your kabayans, I’d definitely recommend a trip there – you can even head upstairs to Boracay Nightclub afterwards to continue your festivities!
PS We also loved the live music playing during our meal, the upbeat tunes from the band were the perfect way to kick off our weekend.
To wash down our meal, we had the lemon mint mocktail which was extremely refreshing. It reminded me of a fresh cuban mojito. As we were still recovering from our wedding celebrations we had ours without the alcohol!
Ground Floor, Asiana Hotel، Salahuddin Road, – Dubai
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