|The Davao Boodle Fight by St. Nicholas Catering and Restaurant|
|Lunch diners in Mandaluyong City|
I've visited the garden-style St. Nicholas Catering & Restaurant more than once before for a taste of inventive Filipino dishes. My recent revisit last month was a rendezvous with a few friends, including Photographer Michael Gracer and new acquaintances, over the Mandaluyong City restaurant's new bestsellers -- the Boodle Fight. Armed with nothing but an empty stomach, my lunch with fellow foodies matched the type of Filipino food presentation for indulgence that day. After all, a Boodle Fight is aptly called as such because of the way military men eat in the forest or wherever they're lodged for a mission. You eat with bare hands and reach out to a banana leaf-based variety of local dishes as if it's the highlight of the day.
At the restaurant that's a stroll away from the Maysilo Circle of the Mandaluyong City Hall, a group of four of us shared the Davao format Boodle Fight that consisted of Hot & Juicy Shrimps, calamares, shrimp tempura, lechon kawali, eggplant tempura, salted egg, onion and tomato and a hefty serving of steamed rice in the middle.
|Hot & Juicy Shrimps, the restaurant's other best-seller|
|A fancy wall display at the restaurant|
|Tinolang Manok Sa Pakwan|
|Restaurateur and Chef Nick Pelaez|
Chef Nick Pelaez At The Helm
Run and operated by restaurateur and chef, Nick Pelaez, the restaurant is now on its third year of serving Filipino foodies in this side of Metro Manila where a glut of fast food is taking over the daily diet. Because of the intimate ambiance of the restaurant, diners visit at the odd hours of the day like brunch or late afternoon for early lunch or merienda, respectively. The busiest hours, of course, are lunch and dinner times. The usual guests are those who prefer clean and delicious home-cooked food over random finds at eateries.
Boodle Fight Price and Other Variants
For only Php999, the bilao-served treat is more affordable than other versions being offered by other restaurants in Metro Manila. Dining guests can also choose a lot of other Boodle Fight variants from Palawan, Boracay, to Batangas for the same price. The options are definitely a lot for repeat visits with loved ones.
We also ordered the restaurant's inventive take on the Tinolang Manok -- the Tinolang Manok sa Pakwan. At first sip of its broth, it tastes a bit weird especially if you're used to the conventional version of the chicken dish. However, the distinct taste settles in once you've mixed the soup and the chicken with rice in your mouth. It's actually perfect for those who are on the hunt for the unusual.
|The ambiance at the restaurant is fancy but intimate|
|Temptation By Tablea a la mode, a must-try|
|Choco Lava a la mode, a dining favorite|
|Hot & Juicy Shrimps|
Hot & Juicy Shrimps
Since I already got to taste the restaurant's other bestseller, the Hot & Juicy Shrimps, my dining colleagues tried it for the first time to their delight. They actually appreciated that it was served super hot, flavored and spiced up which made consuming shrimps more memorable than the usual way. They also found it interesting that they can request for other levels of spiciness for their next visit, including the regular taste.
"...I was excited to sample the restaurant's underrated dessert called Temptation By Tablea a la mode."
After Seafood Degustation, Desserts Galore!
For my revisit, I was excited to sample the restaurant's underrated dessert called Temptation By Tablea a la mode. In my opinion, it's better-tasting than its other banner dessert which a lot of other diners also love -- the Choco Lava a la mode.
|Hot & Juicy Shrimps|
|The restaurant is also sought-after for catering events.|
Diners are attracted to the restaurant's cozy ambiance that's complemented by its eclectic design, an interesting display of knick-knacks and mementos from Chef Nick's various travels in the Philippines and abroad. This year, with the recent passing of his dear mom, he decided to set aside a special wall in the dining area where he displayed a portrait of her along with some of her collection of antiques.
Mandaluyong City is well loved for its giant electronic billboards but beyond them is a quaint residential area past the city hall where St. Nicholas Catering and Restaurant is located. It's where foodies and those who love to frequently dine out meet up for local dishes and more.
Check out my previous blog post about the restaurant here.
Photography by Michael Gacer
St. Nicholas Catering and Restaurant
Official Facebook fan page
Address: #1 Fatima St. corner San Rafael st., Bgy., Plainview, Mandaluyong City, Philippines 1550
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