Just a street off BANAWE in Quezon City lies a very artsy yet casual place. 13 UBAY might seem intimidating outside but it is very homey and has delicious dishes to offer to its visitors. Everything is simple and spot on.
Chef Zaza Sarmiento or Corazon Esperanza as we fondly called her spearheaded this project alongside with a couple of partners. According to her, this place used to be a printing press that they transformed into a restaurant. With years of experience under her belt from working abroad, she made one of her dreams come into reality. Her restaurant is now part of the growing food business in the metro.
One quick look at the menu and you could definitely see some eye catchers.
An interesting starter from 13 UBAY'S lineup is the FRIED TRIPE (150Php). This deep fried honey comb tripe is addicting. Having vinegar as a dip for this munchie just makes it perfect. Be sure to try the spiced vinegar as it is hotter and definitely my choice as well. For some, it may be a little bland but a dash of salt would quickly fix it. On the other hand though, I liked it.
The restaurant also converts itself into a mini-bar at night. With a lot of signature cocktails to choose from it would be a crime not to have delicious bar bites.
For 13 UBAY, there are two must tries. The LIVER and BANANA and the GRILLED CHEESE.
The liver and banana surprisingly works well together. Having a balsamic glaze gave it a sweet touch. The liver was thoroughly cooked as well that it worked. For me though, I enjoyed the GRILLED CHEESE more. A mixture of cheese is wrapped with bacon. It is accompanied by poached pear. This is sweeter but definitely perfect with a glass of alcohol. Definitely my top pick as well.
Their DIRTY MASH POTATO is also pretty good. Accompanied by their home made bacon, the chunks of potatoes are also present. As such, it gives a bite. The bacon isn't too salty as well so they blend well together.
One of the chef's specialty, the GRILLED CHICKEN HARISSA is a must try at 13 UBAY. A North African chili pepper paste is used to marinate and cook the chicken. IT gives it a somewhat reggaeish feel and taste. A little smokey and great with rice.
A safe choice would be their Fried Chicken with Tamarind Ketchup. The Chicken is perfectly cooked and deep fried to perfection. The Tamarind ketchup has a little zing to it because of this fruity delight. One thing though that they could improve on is to make the ketchup thicker. Everything else is delicious.
For dessert, 13 UBAY has a decent spread. One could go for the safe bet of DALANDAN TORTE. It has the right sweetness and has a dalandan custard to give it that citrusy taste. MY pick though would have to be the UBE PIAYA that is home made and is from scratch. This is also a personal favorite of the chef as it is the only UBE she eats. I got to say, I LOVED THIS!!!
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13 UBAY is a hidden gem for me. Their take on comfort food and the dishes they serve can really compete with veterans in the food industry. I really enjoyed the skewers and the dirty mashed potato and the UBE dessert. Delicious. Check out the different masks on the wall as these were bought from different countries. There are also blown up photos that were taken by the Chef's Grandfather. Very powerful shots.
13 UBAY RESTAURANT
#13 Ubay St., Sta Mesa Heights
Banawe, Quezon City.
TIP: There is parking in the building compound itself.
Open from 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 11pm
Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. was invited to try out the dishes in 13 ubay.