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.
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.
|Namnam's homey yet classy interior|
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.
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.
|CLASSICS: Street Balls of Fish, Crab and Lobster with a Trio of Sawsawans (Medium P255)|
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.
|CLASSICS: Salpicao (Medium P285)|
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.
|CLASSICS: Baby Squid in Olive Oil and Garlic (Medium P265)|
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!
|TWISTS: Deep-Fried Chorizo and Kesong Puti Lumpia (Large P360)|
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.
|TWISTS: ✓ Caramelized Patis Wings (Medium P285)|
Salad, Vegetable and Seafood
After a good start, we proceeded to the ensalada, gulay and dagat portion of our dinner.
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.
|TWISTS: ✓ Ensaladang Namnam (Medium P195)|
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.
|TWISTS: Tortang Talong with Longganisa (Medium P295)|
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.
|CLASSICS: Overloaded Garlic Bangus Belly (Medium P290)|
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.
|CLASSICS: ✓ Grilled Tiger Prawns topped with house-made Aligue Butter (Large P765)|
Soup and Sizzling
We further got into the main course with a yin and yang -- soup and sizzling.
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.
|TWISTS: ✓ Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon (Medium P390)|
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.
|CLASSICS: ✓ House Crispy Sisig (Medium P205)|
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!
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.
|CLASSICS: Tinapa Rice (Medium P115)|
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.
|TWISTS: Breakfast Fried Rice (Medium P285)|
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!
|TWISTS: ✓ University Fried Rice (Medium P245)|
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.
|TWISTS: ✓ Gata Leche Flan (Medium P148)|
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
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