B&P Just Like Home Review: Not Just Breakfast ClassicsJune 22, 2019
Sometimes, when doing this job, I have to have immediate assumptions about a place. There are so many new openings, that you’ve got to filter out the potential duds—either to save your time, or avoid giving horrendous reviews. I will admit now that B&P is one of those things I usually look over—it’s associated with a big restaurant group, slightly tacky decor that’s all mom-and-pop-shop yellow and wicker, and awful, awful names for the food. For example: Belly My Baby for a pork belly dish, a Chick to Chick for southern fried chicken, and High School Life for some morning adobo. The restaurant started receiving so much buzz however, that I decided to go anyway, in spite of all my reservations. Turns out, you really can never judge a book by its cover. In the past few months, after so many new mediocre or horrible restaurants, B&P is a very welcome new addition to the Manila dining scene.
The menu needs major editing, and gives off a bad first impression, and absolutely no justice to the food that is served in front of you.
B&P is an all-day breakfast place, serving a varied menu of their takes on different classics. The menu, at first sight, is a trainwreck. Dishes are rammed into categories that are so random, and make little sense. There’s a Grandma’s Get Fit section with dishes named after certain exercise regimes, such as Zumba, Kickboxing, and Yoga. I can only assume that these are meant to be eaten after the aforementioned workout, or named these just to be kitschy. There’s three different sections which, at least to me, all mean the same damn thing—Breakfast Specialties, Hall of Fame, and Chef’s Table. The menu needs major editing, and gives off a bad first impression, and absolutely no justice to the food that is served in front of you.
Their B&P Chick to Chick is the best example of a stunning dish with a bad name. But holy crap, this thing is pretty damn good.
Their *groan* B&P Chick to Chick is the best example of a stunning dish with a bad name. Their take on the southern fried chicken trend, is the most different one I’ve seen yet. Most versions do the usual buttermilk brined poultry, that is then deep-fried. Instead, B&P churns out a buttermilk batter, which is a coating similar to tempura batter, or those found on fish and chips. Holy crap, this thing is pretty damn good. The batter is earth-shatteringly crisp, slightly sweet, with a savory undertone. Because the batter is this crisp, all the juices of the chicken were trapped inside, that even an often dry and pallid chicken breast were extremely moist. Pairing it with a condensed milk-drenched French toast and a peppery brown gravy made a near-perfect bite; those who were never convinced by the sweet and savory trend need to try this dish in order to be converted.
Primera tapa, served in a stone bowl, was also a decent version of a classic. At first, I questioned the heavy and clunky presentation, but welcomed it when my food was still warm towards the end of my meal. The egg was cooked the only way scrambled eggs should be cooked—still slightly runny, and very fluffy. While under-seasoned, I realized that it was how they intended to be, as it became the perfect partner to the salty, garlicky tapa, whose thin strips were tender and flavorful.
Creole-style eggs were a little less successful, but I understand why they would be heavily appreciated.
Creole-style eggs were a little less successful, but I understand why they would be heavily appreciated. There’s a giant hamburger steak, and a well-seasoned gravy topped with expertly poached eggs, but it was a little ruined by the blanket of cheese that did nothing to enhance flavor or texture, and by the absence of any Creole-style spice or seasoning. Even though this plate of food is just a little bit boring, it could easily be downed in a sitting. Pancakes also were simple, and came with a very generous dousing of condensed milk, but tasted just like pancake mix, confirmed by their open kitchen, where an assistant was spooning some powdered stuff out of a giant Krusteaz mix bag.
B&P, with all its weird missteps, is a place one can easily love.
B&P, with all its weird missteps, is a place one can easily love. Ignore the decor, get past the awful menu, and it is definitely better than some of the very dire all-day breakfast concepts that are now all over the city. Held back by some minor issues, most of the food speaks for itself, and the service ain’t so bad either. There may not be anything new or exciting going on here, but what they do well, they do really well. Sometimes, I love it when I get it wrong.