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Braska: A delectable mix of past and present

Chocnut Cake

Discover this hub of Filipino comfort fare in bohemian Malate

Long before the thriving dining scenes in Makati, Bonifacio Global City and Maginhawa Street came about, the streets of the charming district of Malate and its turn-of-the-century homes cradled the go-to destinations for pleasurable leisure in the metro. But while the area may have lost a bit of its endearing allure, there remain places where the old magic can be found.

Derived from Nebraska – the old street name of its location – Braska Restaurant is a paean of sorts to the lost charm and elegance of Manila’s famed district. Located along Jorge Bocobo St., this contemporary Filipino restaurant aims to bring back the warmth of the old Malate through the comforting flavors of familiar favorites.

“We felt that there was something missing in the market, not necessarily in terms of Filipino food, but more options that expressed the spirit of Malate as it was,” shared Braska Brand Director Mark Abellon.

“Comfort food is food that is familiar. It satisfies not just a longing for flavors people who grew up with, but also the desire for the comfort and warmth of family, of home, and of friendships. And that’s what we hope to encourage in our customers—a feeling of ease, well being and happiness. That was the appeal of Malate before,” Abellon added.

Old and new flavors collide

And the comfort found in the commingling of the past and the present is consciously extended to Braska’s menu – one that’s peppered with local favorites that promise to take diners on a nostalgic trip.

While you can enjoy classics like Roast Chicken, Baby Back Ribs and Paella, Braska’s true savvy is in their ability to satisfy any hankering for traditional Filipino fare with items like Pinakbet, Laing, Caldereta, Crispy Pata and Adobo.

Adobo Rice with Chicken and Pork Adobo

Adobo Rice with Chicken and Pork Adobo

And, similar to their yearning to revive Malate’s beloved feel of the past, they came up with familiar Filipino dishes with fresh twists that’s distinctly their own with offerings like Longganisa Meatballs, Chicken Skin Chicharon and Bangus Sardine Pasta (house-made milkfish sardines prepared aglio olio and scooped over pasta).

Longganisa Meatballs

Longganisa Meatballs

Also on the list of twists is the Shrimp Avocado Salad drizzled with the piquant Cilantro Lime Dressing – a welcome diversion from the typical Filipino method of just freezing the fruit after mashing it with milk and sugar.

Shrimp and Avocado with Cilantro lime dressing

Shrimp and Avocado with Cilantro lime dressing

Adds Executive Sous Chef Poch Hogar, “One of the specialties of the restaurant is the Guava Jelly French Toast (French Toast filled with sweet-tangy guava jelly and served with cream cheese and bacon). It’s something you won’t find in other restaurants. There are certain foods that you want to eat if you’re sad and feeling down. For me, guava jelly has the ability to brighten up the day.”

Another Braska favorite is the Calamansi Tart – calamansi custard smoothed over golden crust, then dusted with confectioner’s sugar and topped with ripe mango slivers. Its tangy taste soothes the taste buds and refreshes the appetite.

Calamansi Tarlet

Calamansi Tarlet

Other dessert must-trys from Braska’s kitchen include Chocnut Cake (an homage to all-time Pinoy sweet treat fave – Chocnut) and Café Misu (made with Braska’s house bread, chocolate, chocolate cream and whipped cream).

Chocnut Cake

Cafe Misu

Cafe Misu

Said Abellon, “We wanted to introduce something that’s still Pinoy but with little tweaks here and there so that it’s also appealing to foreign guests. We though of the two different market—the Filipino foodie who finds comfort in familiar Filipino flavors and foreigners raring to sample the local cuisine—and find a comfortable compromise in between.”

BRASKA Restaurant is located at 1669 Bocobo St., Malate, Manila. For more information, call (02) 995-3981 or email hello@braskaph.com

 

By VIA BAROMA

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