BREAKFASTING AT GOTO MONSTER
Filipino food tends to be an acquired taste for some people. Sure, everyone knows the staple of chicken and pork adobo, pancit and lumpia. But when we get deeper into Filipino cuisine, it can really put people’s palates to the test.
My friends Yoselin and Jonathan are not the amateur travelers. I met Yoselin while working together for Australian Travel Wholesalers – Worldwide Traveler. She was based in our L.A office, while I was out in the New York City office. We traveled around Thailand together a couple of years back and we both share big love for Asia and its food. Her husband Jonathan and herself have traveled to many afar countries, not limited to Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Spain, and the U.K. So, when she told me they were coming to Manila for a good four days, I was over the moon because I knew I had company to eat with. Better still, two who shared the same international palate as myself. Yeah!
The first stop had to be Goto Monster. Goto Monster is a low key, hole in the wall, carinderia. Owned and run by a lovely couple – Michael and Jean. Michael is not a local, and has been living here for quite some time. Jean, I’m sure taught him quite a bit. Hence how knowledgeable he is on Filipino cuisine, recipes, and how connected he is to the city as a whole. If you stop by there during the evening, and you may just catch them both running the show and interacting with their customers.
Goto Monster can be found in Makati City and is open 24 hours – Holler! Had I not been told about this hidden treasure by another good friend of mine, I never would have known its existence. This was my second time here. The first time was during the evening, and my friends, it is quite the hot spot at night. This is the only carinderia I know where you can bring your own bottle of wine, or whatever beverage you desire, eat their delicious food, and make new friends. It’s a quite a small spot, just like any other carinderia. But worth the wait, if you do have to.
It draws in a crowd of all sorts, ranging from hungry call center workers who have finished their night shift, to foreigners wanting to see what all the talk is about, to regulars who appreciate good food at an affordable price.
Aside from the delicious food – which I will get to later, what I really can appreciate is the consistency of the service, presentation, and quality of their dishes. No matter how busy they get or what time of the day it is.
I brought Yoselin and Jonathan here because to me, it’s unlike any other place to eat in Makati. Sure there are carinderias, but not quite on this scale.
The dishes are based on simple Filipino favorites, with a little surprise in their recipes. We are talking silogs with mustasa salad, goto with tinapa flakes, fresh spring rolls with talong chips, leche flan flavoured ice pops, and waffles a la mode – which in its right mind, deserves its own post – foreals! One thing, I am glad that the dishes still stayed true to themselves. Nothing is worse than a bad remix. Am I right? Goto Monster did no reinventing, but instead enhanced the beauty of each dish.
What did we order?
We decided to go for brunch during the week and lucky for us, we managed to get the entire table to ourselves. Thank God for that, because I wouldn’t know where we would have put all our plates otherwise.
Seeing it was still late morning, we opted for more savory dishes over sweet. Porkbagnetsliog, chickenadobosilog, tapsilog, Goto Special (naturally), and the fresh spring roll. The Barako coffee washed it all down very well.
I seldom eat fried food, so when I do eat any type of silog, I tend to get that oily feeling in my throat. Not so much this time. I think I had to thank the mustasa salad for that.
Why are most of these dishes ending with SILOG? What the hell does SILOG mean?
Silog refers to a dish consisting of garlic fried rice, fried egg, and a meat or protein of some sort. This is the Filipino version of the Korean Bibimbap.
If you are living in Makati or the surrounding areas, and you haven’t paid these guys a visit. What are you waiting for? To avoid the crowds and God forbid, running out of food, aim to go during the day. The best way I can advise you to get here if you don’t drive, is by Uber.
I think the menu is good enough for people whose palates are not too ambitious or well developed. Just enough flavor for everyone. Besides, you can’t go wrong with rice and meat. Oh and if you are vegetarian, there are also different dishes containing tofu, plus the spring rolls for sure will be your friend.
Click the thumbs up button if you have been here or are planning to go, and spread the Goto Monster Love!
**CARINDERIA = An eatery that serves local food, which you eat on tables while sitting on plastic chairs or wooden stools. No frills, with a simple menu.
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