Ghetto Grub: Tamerlane’s Ihaw’s

December 31, 2018

Kamayan, or the Filipino practice of eating with one’s bare hands, is still something I do regularly when I’m at home or whenever I camp out. I particularly like eating fried chicken wings and rice this way (I associate this with happy childhood memories, go figure.)

Outside of the actual “Kamayan” restaurant however, I wouldn’t have thought to see this done at other eateries. This made stumbling upon Tamerlane’s Ihaw’s (yes, that’s exactly how they spell the name of the restaurant) over at Antipolo a pleasant, though unexpected, surprise.

TAM outside

Photo by the author

Despite its location, all the seats are packed full during lunch and dinner.

Tamerlane’s is hidden along a nondescript street in a quiet residential area in Antipolo. Still, despite its location, all the seats are packed full during lunch and dinner. It features the usual ihawan fare of grilled meats and seafood, all of which are displayed at the counter. The ordering process is simple. You point out or hand over your selection to the cashier, they grill it, and then serve it you. You can now proceed to eat.

With nothing but your hands.

That’s right, every customer in this restaurant has to eat kamayan style. There are no utensils. It’s just you, your plate, and a banana leaf. Oh, and your hands, of course.

The approach is interesting enough that even the Korean residents of Antipolo have become regulars of the eatery.


I don’t read Hangul. I’m guessing this says “Washing of hands is encouraged.” Photo by the author

TAM food

Photo by the author

The food is nothing out-of-this-world, but you can hardly go wrong when it comes to grilling. The seafood looks fresh enough and safe to eat. They regularly run out of stock of the items on display, so you can bet that they fill a lot of hungry bellies. Items are affordable, with prices ranging from PHP 15 to PHP 60 for the pork barbecue, BBQ chicken wings and grilled pork chops. Whole seafood, like the catfish and squid, can range from PHP 80 to PHP 140, but these are good for sharing. They also have grilled vegetables, and a salad made up of tomatoes, onions, and salted duck eggs.

TAM fish

Photo by the author

TAM kamayan

Photo by the author

Every bite is more satisfying when you need to scoop your meal with your fingers.

Eating here during dinner is particularly pleasant. The hot rice and grilled meats seem to taste better with the cool night air doing its best to save you from the tropical heat. Every bite is more satisfying when you need to scoop your meal with your fingers, blow on it to cool it down, and bring the food to your mouth in just the right way to prevent any piece from spilling to the floor.

It’s rustic, it’s simple, and it forces you take your time eating as you just can’t relentlessly shovel food into your mouth like you could with a spoon. In a city where tradition is becoming a novelty, it’s refreshing to experience eating like this again.

If you’re ever in Antipolo and want to experience no-frills dining in the traditional Filipino way, try Tamerlane’s Ihaw. It’s nothing fancy, but we really wouldn’t want it any other way.

Know of any other hole-in-the wall places that let you eat with your hands? Do you think some foods just taste better when you do? Let us know in the comments below!

Tamerlane’s Ihaw’s
Along J. Sumulong Street, Antipolo City
Open from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Nico Goco Nico Goco

Nico is an engineer with a fondness for food, drink, and cooking. This is in serious conflict with his desire to lose weight. Writing is his outlet to make sure the right side of his brain still works. When free, he likes to read, travel, and nurture a dozen different hobbies. He also believes that the perfect fried chicken is the cure to anything.

10 comments in this post SHOW

10 responses to “Ghetto Grub: Tamerlane’s Ihaw’s”

  1. Adrian De Leon says:

    Ang layo ng inaabot mo para kumain! Haha. Mukhang ayos to ah, nakakamiss magkamay.

    • Nico Goco says:

      Haha, on weekdays kasi Paranaque, BGC, and just the South in general ako. Weekends, it’s QC and East (Pasig, Antipolo and other parts of Rizal). 🙂 medyo lagalag talaga ako.

      • D Camacho says:

        Ang sarap mo naman kasama pag food trip! Kung san san umaabot! haha.

        • Nico Goco says:

          Haha, pero marami talagang masarap sa Manila area. And hirap lang kasi hindi ako masyado madalas na dun. 🙂 all of us should go on a road trip minsan. (kahit sa binondo nalang muna :p)

          • D Camacho says:

            I study in the Manila area but I’m scared of traffic and getting stranded in general that I rarely go out and explore for food. 🙁 Kahit sa Binondo, hanggang Wai Ying lang ako. haha.

  2. Juliane says:

    Won’t miss this if I go to Antipolo. Grabe nkakagutom tingnan. Thanks for this!

  3. Addi dela Cruz says:

    Up in the mountains yung location, pero game.

  4. jelie says:

    ansarap talga pag grilled 🙂 nakagutom.. 🙂

  5. Maimai Hernando says:

    thanks for featuring kamayan. 🙂 kainan namin yan during college days. best barbecue ever! nakakamiss kumain dyan.

  6. Too bad! I haven’t been there. Eto ba yung malapit daw sa Cristimar Village? Eto ata yung nakikita ko sa FB na nasunog recently lang.

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