BY PAUL MICHAEL CAMANIA JARAMILLO
After a worship service with my friend kuya Warlito, we went to SM North EDSA for a dinner. I told him that we should try MANGAN. I thought it's an Ilocano-owned restaurant. Mangan is Cabalen's other brand. Mangan Restaurant has been serving Filipino food that celebrates the uniqueness of Kapampangan cuisine. From the name of the brand which means "Let's eat", it has become our tagline in enticing guests to try and enjoy home cooked meals despite their busy schedules.
"Traditional meets contemporary" is Mangan's tagline. One is sure to feel nostalgic even with a modern ambience when they step inside Mangan Restaurant and taste their traditionally cooked meals.
Since the restaurant’s establishment in 2001, Mangan has opened branches in various locations in the Metro namely: Robinsons Place Ermita, Robinsons Galleria, SM Mall of Asia, and SM City North EDSA, The Annex.
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Let's take a look at its menu.
In keeping with its name, the restaurant menu features a section called “Ispesyal ning Bale,” (House Specialty) where Bibingka with Quesong puti or Queso de bola and salted egg (P130), and Puto Bumbong with grated coconut and mascuvado (P95) highlights the restaurant’s specialty. Sadly, we were not able to try these since the Sampler (P110) is not available when we went there at the evening.
The Sari-Saring Merienda Menu includes Seafood Pancit Luglog (P155), lanched rice noodles topped with a special shrimp based sauce with mixed seafood toppings, tinapa flakes, deep fried tofu, ground prawn crackers.
For Sari-Saring Kakanin, the restaurant has Sari-Saring Kakanin (P105), Sampelot (P100) and Turon Saguin (P45)
An interesting item under the heading of “Ispesyal na Handa” is called tofu sisig (P100). Mangan’s tofu sisig is a golden tidbit of tofu, well seasoned and slightly spicy. It is a light, delicious and healthy alternative to the usual sisig combination.
Is sinigang your favorite? Mangan has a variety of this Pinoy favorite dish - Sinigang sa Miso na Salmon Belly (P280), Sinigang sa Bayabas na Ulo at Buntot (P240), Item Sinigang na Babi sa Sampalok (P250) and Sinigang na Sugpo sa Camias (P380).
Sisig ni Mely (P260) is the usual chopped meat sisig that we know. The big difference is that this variety came cold and wrapped up in a banana leaf.
Bigger groups can share a variety of platters they offer. From fried, to grilled, to steamed and to a platter of fresh seasoned fruits (P380). One is Inihaw Pyesta (fiesta) platter (P890), this is a combination that includes Inihaw na Liempo (grilled Liempo), chicken barbecue, Alabos na hipon (steamed shrimp), Inihaw na bangus (grilled and stuffed milk fish), Inihaw na talong with burong hipon (grilled eggplant), Inihaw na tahong (grilled mussels), Dahon ng Mustasa (Mustard leaves) and a delicious variety of sawsawan (dips).
Another is Pritong Paborito (favorite fried dishes) for P890 which includes Pritong manok (fried chicken), Lechon Kawali (deep fried pork Liempo), garlic pugo (quail), Pritong tilapia (fried St. Peter’s fish), Pritong biya at sari-saring sawsawan. For health conscious and vegetarians they have steamed vegetables platter (P250) which includes steamed talong (eggplant), okra, sitaw (string beans), Ampalaya (bitter melon), Patola, Upo, Talbos ng Kamote (Camote tops) and a delicious variety of dips that complements all these.