Try This: Mulberry Door Takes Comfort Food Out for a Luxe SpinJuly 28, 2017
A tall wooden door stands in the middle of urbane 8 Forbestown Center. Enter and you are welcomed into what appears to be someone’s living room, with homey elements like shelves filled with books and pillow-lined couches—but also intricate table centerpieces and mini-chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling. While the indoor greenery, flowers, and barn wood tables add a rustic, vibrant feel, blues and greys on the curtains and walls maintain an overarching sense of understated elegance. There is style and sophistication to the place, for sure—but with a coziness that draws you back in, it’s hard not to feel at home.
Trish Panlilio has always loved cooking for her family—especially for sons Luca, Matteo, and Quintin. And whenever the boys would have friends over, Panlilio would make sure everyone was well-fed by serving up her slew of specialties—thus fueling her curiosity and eagerness to experiment in the kitchen. Eventually this would lead to the birth of NawwTy’s Kitchen, Panlilio’s first catering business, NawwTy’s Kitchen. Through word of mouth and regular participation at the quarterly-held The Gourmand Market, which Panlilio also helps organize, NawwTy’s Kitchen would come to be known for its hearty slew of home-cooked dishes, all with Panlilio’s little personal tweaks that take the simple to sumptuous—luxe comfort food, in their own words. And three years past NawwTy’s Kitchen’s debut, Panlilio felt it to be the right time to take the next step: by dipping her toes into the restaurant world, in the form of Mulberry Door.
True to the soul of NawwTy’s Kitchen, Mulberry Door fuses the comforting goodness of home with just the right amount of understated grandeur—in its interiors, as well as in its food. Think comfort-food classics: creamy soups, sumptous pastas, stick-to-your-ribs slow-braised meats and belly-busting paella—but with little touches and details that make it all Panlilio’s own. Notably, a number of their menu items come named after her sons—the assignment of which Quintin shares they just “called dibs on” based on their own preferences while conceptualizing the menu—revealing Panlilio’s undying dedication, at the end of the day, to her family and the ones she loves.
Bone Marrow Onion Soup
Mulberry Door takes the classic French onion soup for a spin by swapping the traditional cheese topping with an ingredient known to provide decadence to many a Filipino dish: bone marrow, roasted to a deep, toasty char and imbued with lemon zest. While the soup itself arrives on the relatively lean (albeit flavorful) side, you’re free to scoop out as little or as much of the bone marrow as you please—alternate spoonfuls of marrow and the soup to feel the sensation of unctousness and warmth in succession, or mix the marrow into the soup all at once and watch it melt and help thicken the steamy soup that awaits.
Matteo’s Lamb Burger
Matteo would always crave a burger after a good workout or a round of basketball with friends, Quintin tells us. By no means an ordinary burger however, lamb takes the place of beef (as preferred by Matteo himself) and comes as a thick patty with an ultra-juicy center. Surprisingly clean in flavor, its meatiness mingles wonderfully with crisp lettuce, nutty alfalfa sprouts, creamy gruyère, and sweet caramelized onions in between the two hearty buns. House-made taro chips and a mint aioli on the side and seal the deal for a platter of flavors sublime enough that it stimulates the senses, but still comforting in its familiarity.
Add a little skip to your step with one of their signature cocktails, created with the help of Kalel Demetrio of Liquido Maestro. The London Fog features basil, passionfruit, gin and earl grey liqueur for a fruity, herby mix that is as soothing as it is refreshing—before the gin kicks in anyway, by which time you’ll be in for an eye-awakening buzz.
Mulberry door offers luxe takes on comfort food classics.