As what the Hotdog band sang in their song Manila, “I keep coming back to Manila. Simply no place like Manila.” It’s just so difficult to say goodbye to Manila. It’s so hard to forget. All the good times during its heyday. No matter what I’ve already experienced, no matter where I’ve already been, there’s really no place like Manila. I just got to keep coming back to Manila. In this edition of EATSplorations, I will be featuring a restaurant that aims to bring back the old days with its classic Filipino dishes and an ambiance that would really take you back to the good old days! Get ready to be transported back in time as I share about the Classic Filipino Food at Mabini’s Restaurant in Manila!
Classic Filipino Food at Mabini’s Restaurant!
Say hello to one of the newest Filipino restaurants in Manila, Mabini’s! Mabini’s is an all in one place, it’s an eatery, cafe, and a shop at the same time. Perfect for locals and tourists alike.
Mabini’s is located at the ground floor of the Tesoro’s Bldg. along Mabini St. in Malate, Manila. Just look for the Sunshine Ice Cream cart and you’re there.
Yup, that’s their full menu! Be ready to feast with your family and friends when you visit Mabini’s!
It felt like home when I made my way inside Mabini’s. The place reminded me of how Filipino restaurants looked like during the ’90s. Nothing spectacular interior-wise but you know that the food will be awesome.
Sikmura (Php 215)
Green Mangoes, Singkamas (jicama), Crispy Bagoong (crispy shrimp paste), Siling Patis (spicy fish sauce), Salty Sugar. This one’s a perfect appetizer for a great Filipino feast!
Balut Mata Pobre (Php 260)
Sizzling Balut with Taba ng Talangka (crab fat), Garlic Butter, and Chili. If you are adventurous enough, you might enjoy this dish that’s full of creamy and rich Filipino flavors! Sinfully delicious.
Sizzling Squid Steak (Php 288)
Grilled Giant Squid Steak for the win! And yes, this is THE BEST SQUID DISH EVER! Perfectly grilled and seasoned to perfection. If you are a big fan of anything squid, you must try this one. This alone is already a big reason for you to make your way to Manila. Believe me, it’s the best!
Chicharon Bulaklak (Php 265)
Crispy Fried Flower Chitlins (pork small intestines) with House Made Spiced Vinegar. Perfectly crispy, fragrant, and sinigang-like in taste. One of the best Chicharon Bulaklak that I have ever had!
Ubod ng Sarap (Php 155)
Fresh Spring Roll with Shrimp, Pork, Peanuts, Vegetables, and Garlic Sweet Soy Sauce. I loved this one so much! It was packed with a lot of stuff and the sauce was unique and really tasty. I could probably eat this every single day. Awesome and very Filipino fresh spring roll!
Laing Inside (Php 885)
Baked Fresh Water Prawn with Taro Leaf Coconut Curry, Ginger, and Green Chili. The most extravagant dish of this EATSperience, thanks to the huge Ulang or Fresh Water Prawn used as a protein and as a vessel for Mabini’s version of Laing. The sweetness of the freshwater prawn complemented the spicy taro leaf coconut curry really well. It may be a bit pricey but it’s worth the EATSperience.
12-14 inches of Chicken Barbecue fillet with Java Rice and Atsara. This one was still off the menu during my visit but it might already be in their menu right now. This is definitely good for sharing but you might end up eating this on your own because it’s so damn good! It tastes like the classic Filipino barbecue that we all love.
Bisteka (Php 980)
Cast Iron Seared Black Angus Rib Eye Steak with Soy Calamansi Onion Jus, Fried Onions, and String Potatoes. This one is Mabini’s take on the Filipino Beef Steak or Bistek. They elevated it with no other than a thick cut of a perfectly medium rare Angus Rib Eye! A bistek with rib eye, 100% yes!
Seafood Platter Sungkaan (Php 1,599)
Since there’s an abundant supply of seafood all over the Philippines, Filipino seafood platters have always been a part of any Filipino restaurant’s menu. Mabini’s just made it more Mabini’s by making an entire sungka worth of different sauces and dips that would all go well with the bounty of the Philippine Seas! Again, the squid was great and the others, too. Make sure to try each and every sauce and dip to EATSperience Mabini’s seafood platter completely.
Pansit ni Aling Doreen (Php 398)
Freshly Pulled Pancit Canton with Stir-fried Vegetables, Bagnet, and Toasted Garlic Longganiza. This one is definitely one of the best dishes of my Mabini’s EATSperience and probably, one of the best Filipino noodle dishes ever. This noodle dish is packed with so many delicious ingredients! Crunchy veggies, crispy pork, and garlicky longganiza. What more can you ask for?! Please do order this when you visit Mabini’s. You’re welcome.
Dirty Ensaymada (Php 185)
Freshly Baked and Grilled Ensaymade with House Made Dirty Ice Cream. It’s like your typical dirty ice cream sandwich but way better, thanks to the extremely fluffy ensaymada of Mabini’s! Never leave Mabini’s without ordering this.
Skillet Cassava Cake (Php 155)
Steamed and Seared Cassava Cake with Caramel Condensada and Melted Cheese. This was really really yummy!!! I can’t say anything else. Mabini’s Cassava Cake is a must try. That’s it!
Chocolate Dream Cake
Wait, what? There’s a dream cake in Mabini’s? Yup, there is and it sells so fast. That’s why when you drop by, make sure to get one. Why? Well, it is way different and way better than most dream cakes out there in the market. It’s like a chocolate ice cream cake already. That good!
When you visit Manila, Mabini’s Restaurant is the place to be! Good food, great service, and homey old school Filipino restaurant feels. I truly enjoyed my EATSperience in Mabini’s. Manila may not be in your usual foodie radar right now but because of Mabini’s, believe me, it will be. Commuting all the way down to Manila will be worth it, thanks to the people behind Mabini’s. That’s it for this edition of EATSplorations, until next time!
Tesoro’s Building, 1451 Mabini Corner Rosario Street, Ermita, Manila
11:00am to 10:00pm (Mon-Sun)
Budget: 1200 php for two