Classics or twists? Small, medium or large? Your size, your way...
Namnam is a casual restaurant that offers good Filipino comfort food. Its creators are the same ones behind Burger Bar; thus, it is located just below it, right at the heart of Greenbelt 2's restaurant strip.
Here, it's all about choices. From giving you different size options of their fare---small is good for 1 person, medium is good for 3, and large is good for about 6---to offering both classic Filipino dishes, and ones with a twist, Namnam presents a way wherein everyone is sure to find something they like, fit for their current appetite or degree of hunger.
For starters, we had a hodgepodge of seafood street balls, an elevated version of the popular Pinoy street food. On the side was a trio of sauces, and I felt more inclined to dip it into the vinegar since my favorite sweet fishball sauce was nowhere to be found.
A miscellany of elements formed a pretty heap, with pomelo pulps gently tumbling down from the apex. Somewhere in there were tinapa flakes, mangga't bagoong, native tomatoes, red onions and peanuts. It was actually pretty nice, even with the unripened mangoes overpowering the salad's flavor most of the time. I just teamed it with a spoonful of pomelo bits to even out the taste.
The Tinapa Rice, although good, was nothing extraordinary, especially if you're familiar with Kanin Club's or Ninak's, which has this generous amount of tinapa, plus sliced red egg and tomatoes to boot.
I have an on-again-off-again propensity for corned beef; lately though, it's on the off-again mode. And while I do enjoy the occasional sauteed corned beef with dices of potatoes, it's in the bottom of my favorite "-silog" list. That said, this particular dish was actually very tasty and addicting. The scattered scrambled eggs, bacon and steak bits stir-fried into the mix didn't hurt either.
I love tapsilog, so it comes as no surprise that I enjoyed this University Fried Rice, especially when the beef tapa is this tender. The double-yolked egg was a lovely bonus.
The name of this dish is not familiar to me, albeit it being listed in the classics section of the menu. Apparently, this sweet Northern noodles has a treasure of sausage, beef, liver and vegetables underneath a fried duck egg.
Inside this ordinary looking lumpia was a delicious mix of chorizo bits and creamy white cheese. It was an interplay of flavors that was definitely enjoyable to eat.
Up next were some wings. The patis flavor was actually lost on me, but I didn't really care. It had this sweetish palatable taste, which was good enough for me. I'd have eaten it heartily with my bare hands if I weren't so aware of the manners I had to mind.
Yes, I love Boneless Bangus Belly, and seeing it drowned with butter is a plus. However, I am not really a garlic person, so I didn't get to appreciate this dish as much as a garlic lover would.
The first time I've tried Lamb Adobo was at Abé, which had this robust taste that was on the briny side. In comparison, this had a more subdued flavor of sauce, and focused mainly on the fried lamb shoulder that was braised then pulled to achieve a tender outcome.
These pork knuckles were tender, yes, albeit there was also nothing memorable about it. A couple of cua paos were served, just like how they do it in Chinese restaurants.
Again, lack of proclivity for corned beef means a lack of appreciation for this dish.
Definitely scrumptious with its crisp pork bits and chicharon, this favorite Filipino pulutan was indeed flavorful. It's one of their best sellers, but what I really fell in love with was the next dish...
Watermelon is an unusal ingredient to be found in sinigang, and yet it lent a delectable sweetness that tempered the usual sinigang's savory acidity. Two of my favorite kinds of sinigang are pork country style ribs and beef short ribs, and with the latter being used here and paired with this insanely beautiful broth, I just couldn't stop eating it. You have to try it. Don't even think about leaving Namnam without ordering this dish! We call it Watermelon Sinigang though, since its official name can be quite a mouthful. I think I can have this every day without getting tired of it.
Such velvety consistency was probably due to coconut cream used instead of the usual milk. Its saccharine taste was not at all cloying despite it also being rich, so this had me bringing a steady stream of spoonfuls into my mouth.
Not your usual banana and langka turon, though I think I like this one better. The fact that I love mangoes may have something to do with it, but marrying it with white cheese proved to be a good idea.
I regretted that I only ordered Pandan Iced Tea---which was good, too, by the way---instead of being adventurous and getting one of their unique combinations of fruit shakes. All of my dinner companions were raving about their drinks, and I vowed to get one (or two) the next time I'm there.
Namnam is pretty similar to Kanin Club in the sense that it generally serves good Filipino food with a few stellar dishes that's not to be missed (Watermelon Sinigang!!!). The fact that the prices are affordable, plus you get to choose the amount of food to be served, makes Namnam a fit place for those sporadic cravings of Filipino comfort food. And with the number of viands they offer, you'd be enticed to go back again and again.
Spot: G/F Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City
Contact Nos.: 0917-539-9661 or 625-0515