Naci: Ultimate Comfort Food and Dessert Destination

Eating has been one of my most irresistible guilty pleasures in life. Although I have already packed on unwanted weight for indulging in various gustatory delights in almost a daily basis, I just can't say no to good food especially when it's a wide array of comfort dishes like what Naci generously offers in Connecticut Street, Greenhills.

Naci Slogan Naci Interior

Located in the second floor of Fox Square Building, Naci is a 7-month old haven for foodies who just want to enjoy good comfort food without stretching the budget too much. Owned by Ms. Nadine Nocom, Naci which is named after her restaurateur-father Mr. Nacy Nocom, prides itself on serving a variety of creative dishes meant to be shared with good company in a homey atmosphere, and with friendly and attentive service.

Naci Wine Wall Naci Open Food Prepping Station

Staying true to Naci's promise, every guest walking in to the restaurant can enjoy the cozy interiors and earth-toned colors of the 220-square foot dining destination. Having a seating capacity for approximately 120 guests, Naci does not only exude a homey ambiance, but can also excite diners with a wall of award-winning international wines, and an open patisserie.

Of course, foodies like myself cannot simply sit and appreciate the calming environment of Naci without sampling the best-selling dishes of this comfort food and dessert bar. So to start our food adventure at Naci was a beautiful Appetizer Sampler (P380).

Appetizer Sampler P380
Chorizo and Brie Puffs P380 Beef Taco Spring Rolls P210

This generous platter of Naci's best-selling appetizers had the really sumptuous samplers of Chorizo and Brie Puffs (P380) which are baked cream puffs filled with Spanish chorizo, brie cheese and bananas, and Beef Taco Spring Rolls (P210) which are crispy spring rolls filled with a Mexican beef taco filling and served with tomato salsa and sour cream. These two bite-sized meal starters were my favorite in the bunch which also included some Junior Crabcakes (P280) -- shallow-fried sautéed crabmeat croquettes with remoulade and petite greens, and deep-fried and glazed Buffalo Chicken Wings (P295).

For a light follow-up, our group enjoyed three of Naci's salads -- Kani Mango Crunch Salad (P200), Smoked Salmon Salad (P290), and Fried Chicken Macaroni Salad (P250).

Kani Mango Crunch Salad P200

This Japanese-inspired Kani Mango Crunch Salad filled with layers of assorted greens, crabsticks, ripe mangoes, cucumber, crispy wonton and vermicelli and generously drizzled with wasabi mayo, was very light and refreshing on the palate.

Smoked Salmon Salad P290

Unlike the previous dish, this Smoked Salmon Salad was simple yet so irresistibly good as it carried bold flavors of the mixed greens, smoked salmon and Parmesan shavings which were tossed in a honey-lemon dill dressing.

Fried Chicken Macaroni Salad P250

Although not as great as the first two salads, the Fried Chicken Macaroni which had marinated crispy chicken cutlets sitting beneath a macaroni salad, was a filling dish with a light and a very safe blend of flavors.

After a light start, it was finally time to move on and try Naci's Filipino-fusion pasta offerings -- Nadine's Adobo Cannelloni (P300) and Beef Caldereta Lasagna (P310).

Nadine's Adobo Cannelloni P300 Beef Caldereta Lasagna P310

Nadine's Adobo Cannelloni had classic flaked adobo rolled in pasta and topped with béchamel-laced adobo sauce and mozzarella. The Beef Caldereta Lasagna on the other hand, had layers of homemade pasta and beef caldereta filling topped with mozarella. Although this trip to Naci was the first time I've seen Filipino dishes made into pasta, the fusion of classic Filipino entrées and Italian pasta-cooking techniques worked perfectly!

Peking Chicken Pizza P495

Following suit after we've tapped a portion of Italian cuisine through the Filipino-fusion pasta dishes we had, was the Peking Chicken Pizza (P495) which had generous toppings of flaked roasted chicken, hoisin tomato sauce, Chinese sausages, shitake mushrooms and cheese. Although pizza is originally Italian, the Peking Chicken Pizza was an explosion of bold Chinese flavors atop a crispy thin-crusted pizza.

Peruvian Chicken Rice P350

Not being stereotypical here, but as an Asian, a rice dish is always a must when we're talking about comfort foods. And to satisfy our carb craving, we had the Peruvian Chicken Rice (P350) -- slow-cooked baked rice with chicken chunks and sautéed capsicums, topped with aioli. Although Naci's version is not an authentic paella, this rice dish is as satisfying taste-wise.

Although we've already tried a lot of sumptuous dishes at Naci, our festive dinner was still starting when it comes to sampling main entrées.

Nate's Steak and Eggs P385

We first had Nate's Steak and Eggs (P385) -- seared beef patty stacked over parsley rice, topped with fried egg and onion rings and served with chunky mushroom gravy. Although this dish looks really presentable, the beef patty was not something I'd go gaga for. Even my companions find this so-so, if not for the savory mushroom gravy.

Garlic Rosemary Chicken P420

Although the steak and eggs failed to impress our taste buds, what came in after were some of the best dishes I've ever had. The Garlic Rosemary Chicken (P420) which is grilled chicken marinated in rosemary and served with gravy, buttered vegetables and mashed potatoes, was very tender, moist and distinctly flavored with the comforting pine-like taste and aroma of rosemary.

Fox Square Fish Fillet P360

The Fox Square Fish Fillet (P360) which is a beautifully-plated selection of pan-seared marinated fish fillet topped with fried banana slices and served with crispy potato wedges and lemon butter sauce, was also a very flavorful treat both for the eyes and for the palate.

Bistek Lechon Kawali P280 Chef Ed's Pork Shank P480

However, the best main entrées for the evening would undoubtedly be the sinfully good Bistek Lechon Kawali (P280) -- double-fried crispy pork belly served with Pinoy classic bistek sauce, and Chef Ed's Pork Shank (P480) -- onion soup-braised French-cut pork shank topped with melted cheese, which literally falls off the bone and is truly a masterpiece of executive chef Ed Quimson.

After exclaiming countless ooh's and ahh's with every bite of Naci's wonderful food offerings, we didn't let the evening pass without trying out the dessert selection of this glorious food gem in San Juan.

Cream Puff, Chocolate Fondant, Caramel Cream, Pistachio Chocolate, Red Velvet Blueberry, Mango and Razz Cheesecakes, Coconut, Black and White, Banana Walnut
Left: Cream Puff, Chocolate Fondant, Caramel Cream, Pistachio Chocolate and Red Velvet Cupcakes
Right: Blueberry, Mango and Razz Cheesecakes, Coconut, Black & White and Banana Walnut Cupcakes

We were served with two beautiful platters of very enticing mini cakes and cupcakes. And although I can seriously assure you that each one of these are worth ordering, there was one which really, really stood out -- the Black and White Premium Cupcake which had silky and cracking chocolate glaze-coated dark Belgian chocolate ganache atop a dense vanilla cupcake.

Next to The Lobby at Acacia's glorious moist chocolate cake, the Black and White Premium Cupcake is one of the best cake-based desserts I've ever had.

THE VERDICT

If you've read this lengthy restaurant review from top to bottom, you've probably gone tired of the word "beautiful". However, as much as I wanted to use other adjectives, "beautiful" perfectly describes the food and everything else we had at Naci. Yes, even their restroom had a lovely ambiance and comforting minty smell.

Seriously, almost every single dish we got to sample looked and tasted beautiful to our senses. Coupled with great service in a very homey restaurant, Naci delivered an ultimate comfort dining experience which greatly surpassed our expectations.

Taste - 5/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Naci Comfort Food & Dessert Bar, San Juan
2/F Fox Square Bldg., 53 Connecticut St., Greenhills
San Juan City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 726-7266
Facebook Page

50 comments:

  1. Coming from you, I'm looking forward to use our vouchers here a few weeks from now. ^_^

    Did you use any vouchers here? Also, are high-chairs available (I'm planning to take my 1-year old daughter with us)?

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  2. I'd love to try the Filipino-fusioned pasta dishes. :)

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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  3. hhmmm, sarap nman jan... kakaiba ung mga foods! a must try restaurant, i'll visit that Naci soon!

    It’s a GIRL Thing

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  4. Wow!! I have to try this place soon. Mga tomorrow after Sunday mass. Hehe

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  5. I like how they effortless prepare their food especially the Nate's Steak and Eggs! "No appetite will be left unsatisfied"! I like that! Are you satisfied after? For sure you did Sumi! Looking those photos makes me drool! Haha

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  6. Appetizers that look as good as these will only ruin my appetite for the main course. And when you get to the ultimate meal, you're not starving anymore.

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  7. Parang ang sarap ng Fox Square fish fillet! How long was the serving time? Anyhow, it seems worth the wait!

    I'm sure to add this to my bucketlist!

    dennis
    http://dennisgalvez.wordpress.com/

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  8. I can't get enough of your food posts, Sumi dear! =) Naci suddenly turned up on my list of foodie places to try soon. Plus, what I loved most about your review of Naci is their generous servings and beautiful presentation. That to me, is something that's worth the money and visit. =)

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  9. Ang dami nyong kinain. Hehehe!

    I love how you described their food! Parang ang sarap kumain. Sayang lang ang layo nito. Bet ko ang Smoked Salmon Salad.

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  10. Drooling over this!
    Why do we have to be far from this place! :(
    Thanks for sharing this.

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  11. Naci truly serves beautiful and sumptuous comfort food. Makes me want to go back! :)

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  12. I wanna try all of the foods in the picture especially the salads and the Filipino fusion pasta they really look yummy but I find it a little bit pricey.

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  13. Super Yummy, I wanna try their food. very irresistible..:)

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  14. i want the crabcakes, salmon and my favorite cream puffs :) They look delish :)

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  15. the pictures are great but this place is expensive for this probinsyana.

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  16. Hi Sumi, you always have good food photographs. ^_^ They make your reader crave for the foods you are writing about.

    I am offering high resolution [1,200 x 800px minimum] seamless white background Free-to-Use images to my audience on my blog; I look forward that you can share some or one of your photos.

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  17. I haven't been back to Fox Square lately and I'm glad you shared this since I am not familiar with other food outlets here aside from 3 I've dined in already. The pasta fusion and desserts look delish! :)

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  18. you know Sumi minsan napapaisip ako san mo ba nilalagay yang mga food na yan sa tiyan mo...kasi parang feeling ko ang dami lagi ng order mo..nauubos mo ba lahat yan?..hahahaha..
    as always..mouth watering ng blog mo..

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  19. I would love to try the Adobo Cannelloni and Beef Caldereta Lasagna! Interesting!

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  20. Homayfreakinggawd! I am drooling at the sight of those gorgeous desserts.

    Sumi, I have a love-hate relationship with your blog. Haha! Love the food posts, hate that I'm in front of my laptop just looking at your photos. :D

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  21. Such gastronomic visual yumminess! Love your food shots and here's hoping I could visit soon!

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  22. The advantage of reading a very nice food blog while having lunch is you tend to have this feeling of "gluttony" even though what I am eating is just an ordinary province dish---tinolang isda. It taste like it tastes like "fox square fish fillet" kahit tinola lang kinakain ko---^^ now I don't know if I want to get annoyed or happy about that---but one thing is for sure---it makes me eat more and more while reading your post and looking at the photos.

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  23. I'd like to try the smoked salmon salad.
    BTW, great photos :)

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  24. omg, these looks like heaven! thank you for featuring this! I'm looking forward to visiting Naci soon! :3

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  25. OMG, i should visit this when i go to manila...

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  26. Oh yeah! now I've got a place to go to hehe

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  27. ang beautiful nga sis! and i love their slogan. parang destination talaga ito for us a. weeee

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  28. I like to try Beef Kaldereta Lasagna.

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  29. Food looks good! I want to try the Kani Mango Crunch salad! I should visit this resto some time.

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  30. I want to try the Smoked Salmon Salad and Pizza. Yummy!

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  31. Really love the food at Naci! Let's go back! Haha

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  32. another one on my list, hope soon as i want to taste those cupcakes!

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  33. I'd love to make tambay sa dessert section. Yum!

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  34. Everything is
    DELISHious!
    I super like them especially the
    Fox Square Fish Fillet.

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  35. Indeed, no appetite will be left unsatisfied..burp! burp! hehehe.....sarap to the bones

    BTW, I have awarded you with versatile blogger award

    see my post here

    http://www.jayradarafol.blogspot.com/2012/04/versatile-blogger.html

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  36. Funny whenever you post about food that looks good to me, the first thing I think of is.. It's so far! And when I post about good food here, you say that too bad it's too far from you. At least we get to share with each other whatever's in our area :D

    Have a great week ahead of you!

    www.joeiandme.com

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  37. Sarap talaga sa Naci! I'll also blog about my dining experience at Naci.

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  38. Enticing indeed ... panira ng diet ito.

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  39. wow, you've rated 5 for the taste, well that I trust its really superb. You made us save from food / resto trauma Sumi.. I may say, you are a life-saver :)

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  40. I had a great time in here most especially when I was next to you. Indulging is the best pleasure.

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  41. All the food looks so yummy. I'm suddenly hungry. Hehe..

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  42. Wow! The food photos are amazing! I actuall felt myself salivating as I read your post.. :D I will definitely visit this place when I find myself in Manila! :)

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  43. Since I love lasagna, I'd like to try that caldereta version! *Drools*

    And those pastries looks promising, *looks at the cream puffs*

    Will try to visit this place soon! and hopefully my cravings and appetite will be satisfied too :D

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  44. Oh God, I hate this article. No, it's not what you think - I hate it because it's about food and I'm trying to lose weight, hehe! The pics here are just so amazing, I wanna take a bite out of my laptop screen!

    Sumi, because you have tempted me with your delicious write-up, I have a bone to pick with you. ;)

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  45. The adobo and caldereta pastas are very unique! hahaha I'm not sure if I want to try them or not! hahahaa :D Definitely want to try the Garlic Rosemary Chicken though. Looks so good :)

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  46. Very neatly arranged, love all the food presentation...another to put on my list!

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  47. yay,all of the food look mouth watering,wanna try all!

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  48. Yummy! I love to try Chef Ed's Pork Shank and the Black and White Premium Cupcakes.

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