If I was asked what food I would enjoy when I'm feeling homesick, I would usually answer something to the tune of anything from my childhood. It has got to be familiar and tasty. The food needs to remind me how it was and bring joy to what I am doing. One place that I recently visited brought smiles to my tummy and great pleasure to my taste buds. I just had one heck of a time enjoying FRIENDS AND FAMILY in BGC.
Located in Bonifacio Global City's High Street Central, FRIENDS AND FAMILY is right in the middle of everything. It's a restaurant from the Raintree Hospitality Group. This is the same people behind a number of restaurants and hotels in the Philippines that is known for quality service. (RELATED: CHECK OUT MY EXPERIENCE AT BLUE MARINA BORACAY) They know what they are doing and I'm glad I visited them that day. No other than chef extraordinaire Kalel Chan was there to welcome us.
"It has got to be something comforting. Dapat masaya pagkinain mo." These were the words of the chef that is known to make things simple but delicious. You could see how passionate he was when he was talking about the different dishes and how they got to be. He knew that the dishes had to be best shared with friends and family. Hence, everything on the new menu jived in.
It was no surprise for chef to make something that is familiar from his childhood. New additions were all related to FILIPINO-CHINESE dishes that would make you remember how Binondo or even Greenhills used to be. There were a lot of similarities and flavors that were definitely spot on with the dishes in FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
Honestly, I would have been happy with just the CHINATOWN FRIED RICE. It was not your normal yang chow. This had cuts of spring roll or lumpiang shanghai and even some sweet Chinese sausage.
Speaking off, you could get an order of their LUMPIA SHANGHAI as well. It's not your ordinary spring roll. There's a spark that is clear with the quality of ground meat they used to make the rolls. The wraps were crunchy but the meat kept its form. Really good on its own but better with a bottle of beer.
Other main dishes that should not be forgotten would have to be the HONEY LEMON CHICKEN, CHINESE ADOBO, SWEET AND SOUR PORK, and the CAMARON REBUSADO. The Lemon Chicken had a bit of a sweet streak in it. The Chinese Adobo was pure heaven with each spoonful. The Sweet and Sour pork was just crunchy and perfect. Heck, I had such a great time that I almost forgot about the Camaron Rebusado. Somewhat similar to tempura, this shrimp puff was a great treat.
Another part of the new menu from FRIENDS AND FAMILY that got me hooked was their Noodle section. Comprised of mostly Makis, it can't get better than this.
A Filipino-Chinese Heritage dish, this thick and silky sweet soy soup is filled with egg whites and fried pork. You can choose between MAKI, MAKI MI, and MAKI and KIAMPUNG COMBO. The Maki is basically just the soup itself. The MAKI MI has noodles in it. The must order though would be the MAKI and KIAMPUNG COMBO. This is soup served together with rice topped with chinese sausage, peanuts, thinly sliced pork humba, and pickled mustard greens. Don't forget to mix in some black vinegar and hot sauce. They complete everything.
Just to get that crunchy texture, the MIXED SEAFOOD CRISPY CANTON TOSTADO ON A SIZZLING PLATE might entice you. The noodles is first served separately from the toppings and sauce. It is then added. Here, you get to hear the sizzle coming out from the hot plate. A great dish for noodle lovers.
If these aren't your type, you might want to try the CHILI GARLIC MIXED SEAFOOD JAPCHAE. Granted that it sounded like a Korean dish, this is mixed with xiao xing wine along with seafood ingredients.
At this point, I was already full but I was determined not to stop. With a Filipino Styled Spaghetti, I dug in. Each bite let me have a sweet salty flavor that you would have experienced as a kid. It was joyful and reminisce of my past. I devoured it with gusto. Yes, I finished the dish.
Dessert would make anyone swoon with delight. You have to make room for them. The Buchi were filled with peach mango, flat tops, and even salted egg cheese dulce. Flat top would be the easy choice but I was surprised with the salted egg cheese dulce. It was actually weirdly good. If you like something refreshing, they also offer mango and sago and even almond jelly.
If you're a smoker, you'll be happy to know that COCONUT CLUB, just beside Friends and Family, is a designated smoking area. It has ac just like chotto matte, another sister restaurant that offers the same refuge for smokers.
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FRIENDS AND FAMILY is like your home or your friend's house. It's where you get a little dose of your past just so that you enjoy the present. Good Stuff from this restaurant.
FRIENDS AND FAMILY
G/F Bonifacio High Street Central
Near Central Square Mall
Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig, Metro Manila
Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my opinion. Was invited to try out the restaurant.