University Food Crawl: Ateneo de Manila EditionMay 14, 2020
- Andre OrandainWords
Katipunan may be long and traffic infested, but it is also host to a variety of establishments that cater to students in the surrounding area. When you venture along the avenue you’ll discover a treasury of flavors—some good, some bad, and some outright horrible. However, we’ve combed through them and mapped out our favorites; if you’re doing an Ateneo food crawl, these are our standouts that you should try:
1. Ken Afford
As “punny” as it may seem, Ken Afford makes really good food. It’s simple and quite direct with its food—simple, home-cooked classics. From the lechon kawali to the beef nilaga, the array of classic dishes is bountiful, and properly executed. Try their crispy kangkong with chicken and garlic (PHP 90), and a bowl of perfectly sour sinigang na baboy (PHP 135).
2. Wok Dis Way
Ateneans are apparently very fond of puns; Wok Dis Way is a little shop tucked behind Shakey’s, and is the haunt for cheap, and soul-satisfying meals. When you’ve exhausted all your energy at school, and your wallet mimics the emptiness of your stomach, order some adobo rice (PHP 120) and a plate of sizzling sisig with egg (PHP 130). It’s your choice if you want to share.
3. Katsu Café
This little box speaks volumes in flavor and technique, serving perfectly fried pieces of katsu on donburi. All their donburi are excellent, but the Pork Katsu Curry Rice (PHP 255) is a perfectly balanced dish with ample amounts of spice, and just the right amount of crunch from the breading.
4. Roku Sushi + Ramen Restaurant
This is the best place to get your ramen and sushi fix along Katipunan. With heavenly broths, and well-executed sushi, Roku has become one of the most popular restaurants along the avenue. An order of their Firecracker Roll (PHP 249) and the Roku Shoyu (PHP 239) ramen is a must on your first visit, but you’re bound to come back and explore the rest of their menu.
5. Go Salads!
Established a few years ago, Go Salads! has firmly cemented itself into the Atenean diet. With its inexpensive yet flavorful salads, the small kiosk has found a following in those trying to detox from all the grub they’ve been consuming. The takeout salads have been a big hit and—unlike most new stores—Go Salads! is here to stay. Get a Sweet Caroline (PHP 100) with sundried tomatoes, candied walnuts, parmesan and smothered in honey balsamic dressing, and their sundried tomato hummus with Pita (PHP 55), which expertly mixes the sweetness and tang of the tomatoes with the chickpea paste.
Named after the Beatles song I Am the Walrus, the bar is playful, psychedelic and brimming with an assortment of drinks that would satisfy anyone after a long week of exams. From their array of fun and funky cocktails, the Strawberry Fields Forever, a vodka based drink flavored with the freshness of strawberries, and the Tinkleberry, a mango flavored cocktail spiked with some chili, will surely keep you craving for more. Both are priced at PHP 70/glass and PHP 200/pitcher.
7. Salt Bakery
With the saturation of bakeries dotting the metro, there is little a pastry shop can do to avoid melting into the background. Salt Bakery is not that kind of pastry shop. Instead of shelling out classic favorites, it innovates and excites, with a diverse array of treats, from their signature salted egg custard (PHP 65) to their own interpretation of Christina Tosi’s classic crack pie, affectionately named the Tosi (PHP 125).
8. Fat Persian
A rebranding of the old favorite Persepolis, Fat Persian has kept the flavors that made it a classic, but has reinvented itself in design. Showing off a sleeker aesthetic, with its whitewashed cement walls and minimalist décor, the restaurant might not make you think Persian—until you eat their food. Keeping things affordable and evenly spiced, the Fat Persian shines in both quantity and intensity. Grab a bite of their Beef Kebab (PHP 115), served with a hefty amount of rice, and their Kofta Balls (PHP 189) served atop their own tomato sauce. They also serve their homemade garlic and chili sauce; feel free to exhaust these onto your plate.
9. Brickfire Steakhouse
It’s not that hard to find good steak; it’s just that it’s too expensive if you’re working on a student budget of almost-nothing. Brickfire is an affordable steak shop which has won students over with their meat. Try their Cowgirl Annie (PHP 149), a T-bone steak, which you can either have plain or smothered in honey mustard or wasabi.
10. Korean Ginseng Samgyetang
Owned by a Korean Missionary which uses age-old recipes spanning generations, this little restaurant is as authentic as it gets. Though the restaurant has a very kitschy design which reads fast food more than anything else, the food is authentic—the best you can find around the area. Their namesake is what you want to try, a simple and healthy dish of chicken cooked in a broth of ginseng and secret mix of herbs. Clean and delectable, it’s a well-needed departure from the normal Katipunan diet.