Namnam: Filipino Comfort Food with a Twist at Greenbelt 2

When it comes to eating out, I have this bad habit of usually ignoring Filipino restaurants since I've always associated Filipino cuisine with something we can easily whip up at home. However, my recent visit to Namnam Comfort Filipino at Greenbelt had definitely changed my perspective. Actually, I was already planning my next visit right after the trip!
Namnam at Greenbelt 2

Located at Greenbelt 2, Namnam which is established by The Moment Group, the same brilliant people behind 'Cue Modern Barbecue and Burger Bar, is definitely not your ordinary kind of Filipino restaurant. Unlike most dining places which serve either classic Filipino fare or a lineup of modern Filipino dishes, Namnam prides itself by offering both.

Namnam Greenbelt Restaurant
Namnam's homey yet classy interior
After checking Namnam's menu, I understood the concept and found it very exciting. Like most restaurants, the dishes are categorized into starter, salad, soup, mains, etc. However, the lineup of Filipino dishes are further split into Classics or Twists. As the name suggests, Classics covers the traditional fare, something reminiscent of lola's cooking. On the other hand, Twists carries dishes perfect for the adventurous foodie.

To add to the exciting Filipino food offerings at Namnam, I was also glad to find out that every dish comes in 3 sizes -- small (good for 1), medium (good for 3) and large (good for 6), like that of most Chinese restaurants'. With this exclusive feat, Namnam assures there's a serving of its Filipino comfort food fit for every budget and stomach size.

The Meal Starters

To start off our meal, we went on a palate-whetting session and had a variety of appetizers a.k.a. pulutan, from both the classics and the twists.

Street Balls of Fish, Crab and Lobster with a Trio of Sawsawans (Medium P255)
CLASSICS: Street Balls of Fish, Crab and Lobster with a Trio of Sawsawans (Medium P255)
First was a plate of Street Balls of Fish, Crab and Lobster with a Trio of Sawsawans. I can't remember all the dipping sauces since I barely even touched them. The fish, crab and lobster balls were fried to a nice tenderness and were oozing with flavors so I didn't even need the sawsawans. They were far from being greasy too.

Salpicao (Medium P285)
CLASSICS: Salpicao (Medium P285)
Next, we had the classic Salpicao which is a stir-fried beef and garlic dish. Like how good salpicao should be, Namnam's version has tender pieces of succulent beef oozing with savory garlic flavors. Since I've had quite a few salpicao dishes in my life, I can definitely say that this is a good one. Every spoonful also feels homey and familiar.

Baby Squid in Olive Oil and Garlic (Medium P265)
CLASSICS: Baby Squid in Olive Oil and Garlic (Medium P265)
We then had the Baby Squid in Olive Oil and Garlic. At first, I wasn't too interested on this dish, seeing that it resembles my mom's adobong pusit. However, after getting a few mouthfuls, I can say it's pretty good. Every bite didn't fail to whet my palate, especially since the dish didn't only have savory flavors but some kick of spice as well.

Deep-Fried Chorizo and Kesong Puti Lumpia (Large P360)
TWISTS: Deep-Fried Chorizo and Kesong Puti Lumpia (Large P360)
Frankly, the classic appetizers were good but a little too tamed for my taste buds. However, this serving of Deep-Fried Chorizo and Kesong Puti Lumpia was a game changer. It marked the beginning of the more adventurous side of our dinner with its savory, creamy and cheesy goodness. I didn't even need to add vinegar to my lumpia piece as biting through the crunchy wrapper unlocks a medley of flavors. Yum!

Caramelized Patis Wings (Medium P285)
TWISTS: ✓ Caramelized Patis Wings (Medium P285)
Although I liked the lumpia, this serving of Caramelized Patis Wings successfully triumphed as my favorite appetizer during the meal. While I'm not much of a saucy chicken wings fan, I found myself constantly oohing and ahhing as I devour my chicken pieces. These wings may not have a super crunchy skin, but the caramelized patis coating was more than enough to make up for it. Every bite oozes with savory, sweet, tangy and spicy flavors that successfully got the "I shall return for you" remark from me.

Salad, Vegetable and Seafood

After a good start, we proceeded to the ensalada, gulay and dagat portion of our dinner.

Ensaladang Namnam (Medium P195)
TWISTS: ✓ Ensaladang Namnam (Medium P195)
As far as I know, there aren't a lot of salads in Filipino cuisine. However, this beautiful serving of Ensaladang Namnam which is a platter of green mangoes, pomelo, tinapa flakes, onions, tomatoes and peanuts in bagoong dressing got me digging in mouthful after mouthful. Some may find the green mangoes too tart and overpowering, but I personally love it this way as it is very reminiscent of eating one of my favorite street foods -- sour green mangoes with bagoong, just without the hassle of eating from a stick.

Tortang Talong with Longganisa (Medium P295)
TWISTS: Tortang Talong with Longganisa (Medium P295)
I'm not a big fan of tortang talong, and I guess most of my companions weren't too as this Tortang Talong with Longganisa dish was left untouched for quite a while after being served. However, the dish was actually pretty good after getting a taste of it. The addition of longganisa to the eggplant added more savory and meaty flavors too.

Overloaded Garlic Bangus Belly (Medium P290)
CLASSICS: Overloaded Garlic Bangus Belly (Medium P290)
For seafood, we had the classic Overloaded Garlic Bangus Belly which is a staple in our home. To be honest, I'm not a fan of bangus in any way, especially fried ones since it tends to dry out the inside. However, this bangus belly dish got a few forkfuls from me, so it was pretty good. And while the bangus item didn't successfully convert me to a fried bangus lover, I can't say that I'm not a fan of its savory garlic-butter sauce.

Grilled Tiger Prawns topped with house-made Aligue Butter (Large P765)
CLASSICS: ✓ Grilled Tiger Prawns topped with house-made Aligue Butter (Large P765)
Right after this platter of Grilled Tiger Prawns topped with house-made Aligue Butter was served, I already found myself excited for a yummy seafood allergy-inducing part of the meal. The tender and smoky prawns on itself are already good, but add aligue butter into the equation and you'll have unadulterated seafood goodness! I only had a piece though as I have seafood allergies. But if I didn't, I would've loved to have more.

Soup and Sizzling

We further got into the main course with a yin and yang -- soup and sizzling.

Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon (Medium P390)
TWISTS: ✓ Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon (Medium P390)
Forgive my ignorance, but I didn't even know there's watermelon-based sinigang. I'm happy that I got a taste of this Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon though, which even impressed me after just a single sip. Unlike tamarind-based sinigang, this has a more subtle tartness and a slight sweetness that makes every mouthful very enjoyable. The beef short ribs were also a delight to munch on as they were very tender and succulent. Definitely, this is an item worth coming back for again and again.

House Crispy Sisig (Medium P205)
CLASSICS: ✓ House Crispy Sisig (Medium P205)
If we had homey comfort food with the sinigang, the other side of the spectrum offered us the sinful and classic House Crispy Sisig which is a pork jowl, cheek and ear item served on a sizzling dish. Topped with chicharon, this is probably the crunchiest sisig rendition I've ever had! Even my companions enjoyed munching every crispy mouthful. However, if I have to be nit-picky, I'd say this is on the mellow side flavor-wise, and must be eaten with rice. Adding more seasoning can make this a stand-alone dish though.

Rice, Desserts and Drinks

As a self-confessed carb-loader, I was excited to try out the different rice variants of Namnam. And yes, I get pretty excited not just with desserts but also with rice. Haha!

Tinapa Rice (Medium P115)
CLASSICS: Tinapa Rice (Medium P115)
First on our table was this serving of Tinapa Rice. Although I'm not much of a tinapa fan, I actually enjoyed pairing this dish with the sisig. This rice variant has a hint of salty and smoky flavors, making it a nice rice dish to pair with other items.

Breakfast Fried Rice (Medium P285)
TWISTS: Breakfast Fried Rice (Medium P285)
Next was the Breakfast Fried Rice which has corned beef, bacon and steak pieces thrown into the mix. This is pretty flavorful and can pass as a stand-alone rice dish, although it's good as an accompanying carb item to viands too.

University Fried Rice (Medium P245)
TWISTS: ✓ University Fried Rice (Medium P245)
My favorite among the ones we've tried was this serving of University Fried Rice. At first, I was wondering why it was named as such. If I didn't know what this is called, I'd probably guess this is the Pinoy breakfast fried rice. I wasn't that far off though as this dish was inspired by tapsilog, a staple Pinoy breakfast item and a dish well-loved by students. Unlike most tapsilog which has a sour note though, this rendition is more on the sweet and savory side. Even without any viand, I can and will definitely eat this on its own. I know I just can't say no to those tender, meaty and succulent beef pieces. Yum!

Gata Leche Flan (Medium P148)
TWISTS: ✓ Gata Leche Flan (Medium P148)
As much as I wanted to try more desserts, I was already full to the brim so I only managed to squeeze in a piece of the Gata Leche Flan. I was wrong to think that this is a light Pinoy dessert though as it was quite dense with a rich and creamy coconut-y flavor. I really like that there are lime shavings on top of the flan too, since they gave the much-needed acidity that cuts through the richness of the leche flan. Oh, another thing I love about this item is that it wasn't overly sweet. It has all the right amounts of flavor.

Ube + Sago Shake (P95) and Gabi + Black Sago Shake (P95) Namnam Menu Greenbelt
✓ Ube + Sago Shake (P95) and Gabi + Black Sago Shake (P95)
Click the menu photo to enlarge.
For drinks, I got to try both the Ube + Sago Shake -- a smooth and rich ube beverage which tasted like melted ube ice cream, and the Gabi + Black Sago Shake -- a concoction with light and creamy taro flavor and some taro bits. Both were yummy!

THE VERDICT

As someone who doesn't dig Filipino cuisine that much, Namnam has truly left a very good impression. Everything we've tried was good, although I noticed I'm more inclined on the Twists section of the menu. For the portion sizes and quality, I'd say Namnam offers reasonably-priced Filipino fare, even catering both to purists and adventurers. And with the option of choosing from small, medium or large for every item, the beau and I won't have problems when it comes to budget, variety and left overs. Even a solo foodie can enjoy and leave full without breaking the bank. So Namnam Comfort Filipino, thank you for a wonderful Filipino dining experience. The beau and I promise to return!

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


Namnam Comfort Filipino, Greenbelt 2
G/F Greenbelt 2, Esperanza St. cor. Greenbelt Dr.,
Ayala Center, Makati
Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 625-0515
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Instagram

39 comments:

  1. Another Filipino comfort food opened over at greenbelt! on payday ill be visiting them and try their House Crispy Sisig if it is delicious or not!

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    1. Go try Namnam! They have other sisig variants too ;)

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  2. We're the same so my knowledge about good Pinoy food places are limited! But my boyfriend loves Filipino food so it's nice to know there's one in Greenbelt pala. The other one we know lang is Fely J's :)

    www.joeiandme.com

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    1. I haven't even tried Fely J's, although I've been wanting to! Haha.. Anyway, give Namnam a try. You bf might love it ;)

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  3. My faves at Namnam are the Kesong Puti Lumpia and Watermelon Sinigang! Everything is soooo good but just those two alone are enough to make my meal. :D

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    1. I love the Kesong Puti Lumpia too, but the Caramelized Patis Wings won me over! Love love love it, as well as the Sinigang na Watermelon too :D

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  4. u had me at caramelized patis wings and kesong puti lumpia! :) their prices are affordable ha.. my friend was raving about this place before.. perhaps D and I should check it out :)

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    1. You should! I'm sure you'll like the Caramelized Patis Wings :D

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  5. Oh wow the salpicao looks really, really good. I got hungry just by looking.

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  6. OMG OMG!!!!! Good thing sa greenbelt to.. I can visit it these days! yay! :D gusto kong tikman shakes nila :3

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  7. We have the same perspective when it comes to Filipino restaurants. The baby squid and salpicao look so appetizing though.

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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  8. My eyes are fixated on the leche flan! Looks namnam, indeed! :)

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  9. Gata leche flan has got me curious! It's good they have sizes ha. Bihira yun.

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  10. i don't usually go to filipino restaurants when dining out. But this looks promising!!! :D

    -Dress Me Up Buttercup

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  11. wow, you got me really hungry at 2:30am. I think the most interesting dish among those you mentioned was the Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon. It's highly likely that I will be trying out this restaurant in the coming days. ^___^

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  12. Yes, I'm also one who ignores restaurants that offer Filipino food because I'm not so much into this cuisine. Namnam, on the other hand, is somewhat different and definitely it gives original Filipino food a twist. This is highly recommended for foreigners and locals to try.

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  13. Me myself love the kind of Filipino restaurants that offers something with a twist or Filipino infuse with other cuisines. Maybe, because got used to of Filipino classics and eating on more frequent basis is too boring for foodies like us.

    I'm just wondering how you able to munch all those delectable food at namnam?

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    1. Haha.. I wasn't alone naman when I went to Namnam. There were 10 of us on the table so the food was just enough for us :D

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  14. I really love how you take pictures. That "Gabi plus Sago shake" is very mysterious! Its kinda rare. :) And their dishes are very rare, they really put some twist into it. Gotta try namnam! :D

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  15. Your rating for this resto is almost perfect. And I do rate too the prices are almost perfect to the pocket of those on top earning income level of the society. Namnam is 100% owned by a Filipino. Isn't it? No wonder why it is named as such for it is local name for "yumyum", meaning a person is craving more for a more luscious foods.

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  16. Your pictures are so good that made me salivate all over the place! hahaha!

    Anyway, I love the place, I can be comfortable right ahead if I'll be having my dinner at this resto. The Twists recipes seems so interesting huh! :D

    Tortang talong is best dipped with tomato ketchup. I've tried it myself and it was oh so yummy! I also love bangus! Although not a fan of its bones. :D


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  17. I love how Namnam played with our classic faves. It's like a surprise in every dish. Tried their Caramelized Patis wings and the Sinigang with Watermelon. Oh yeah, let's not forget about their Gata Leche Flan!

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    1. Yes! Those are my ultimate faves at Namnam! :D *apir*

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  18. One word, wow! I love how they made a twist to the dishes to make it more exciting to try. I must say that this restaurant is a must try even if we seldom eat fine dining because of the kiddos.

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  19. The food looks great but I did not like interior that much it looks too clinical

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  20. I have dined here before..They have some great leche flan but everything else was decent

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    1. Saw your post about Namnam.. Most of the dishes you tried were from their Classics if I'm not mistaken. Try the ones from the Twists, they're the ones which left me a really good impression :)

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  21. I got curious with the foods with a twist especially the WaterMelon Sinigang, my first time to know of this Filipino food.

    Just by watching these photos, makes me want to have a midnight snacks. <^-^>

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  22. I love chicken wings and I'd like to try the Caramelized Patis Wings as per your recommendation too. Everything looks namnam to me!

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  23. ohhh, interesting interpretation of the usual favorite filipino dishes. i'm curious about the deep fried chorizo and kesong puti lumpia. parang dun pa lang busog na ako.

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  24. I like that their dishes come in different sizes! And, like you, I didn't know that watermelon could be used in sinigang as well! I'll tell my mom about this. Hihi

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  25. wow... i love it!!! i want to try this one... thanks for this.. you give me an idea where to hang up... i love the foods.. it looks great..

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  26. OMG, love those food shots! Stumbled upon your wonderful blog & I'm enjoying the space here. I'm following you at instagram (blackswan65) & would love to have you follow me too. Looking fwd to sharing!

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  27. Wonderful photos. Makes me want to eat there ASAP! I really like how the Crispy Sisig looks, what more if I taste this :)

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  28. Nice pictures and foods looks so great and so yummy!!!

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  29. i wanna try the House Crispy Sisig,sisig is one of my favorite!

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