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The Flavors of St. Nicholas Restaurant | Just Got “Digested”









I was informed that there is a new restaurant in Mandaluyong City that is making a noise in the gastronomic world and receiving some good reviews from its patrons, so, I got curious that I invited my blogger friend Wyatt of Wyatt’sKitchen to verify this rave report. Though there was a map provided to us,  it took us awhile to locate to where St. Nicholas Restaurant is seated near the City Hall of Mandaluyong.


So, without further adieu, we put their dishes into the test with our discriminating taste buds as our tool to judge. In the end of our meal, I came up with my verdict to where I classified the dishes as  a HIT, for THE FILIPINO MASSES  and the NOT- SO- MY CUP OF TEA dish.

Let’s start with the HITS of St. Nicholas Restaurant

TINOLANG CHICKEN SA PAKWAN  (Php 199)

 
Tinolang Chicken sa Pakwan


Tinolang manok is an all time Filipino favorite dish but in St. Nicholas, the chef made a twist to make this local dish interesting and intriguing. The watermelon perfectly blended with the chicken as its base soup.  

Among the dishes I have tasted in St. Nicholas Restaurant, the Tinolang Manok sa Pakwan stood out and could be the flagship dish of this restaurant. This dish was just refreshing and I highly recommend this  for everyone to try. Ill give it a 5 star rating.

PARU-PARONG TILAPIA (Php 199)

 
Paru-parong Tilapia


Another dish that made a mark on my palate was the Paru-parong Tilapia. Nope, this is no longer new to us but what made it better from the other regular deep-fried tilapia was the dip or the sweetened tamarind sauce. 

There was nothing special about the tilapia but magic happened when we dipped the crispy fish into the sweetened tamarind.  It has a light sweet-and-sour flavor that would bring a smile on your face.  Honestly speaking, I crave for the sauce more than the fish.  If not for the tamarind sauce, this will just receive 2.5 star rating but because of the twist this dish gets  4 stars from me.

OKOY NA GULAY  (Php 99)

 
Okoy na Gulay


With the Okoy na Gulay sticking out from their menu, the vegetarians have a special place in this restaurant. Instead of shrimps, Chef Nick made use of carrots, cabbage and kangkong for his self-made recipe.

Different homemade vinegars in St. Nicholas Restaurant




On to how this delicacy tastes like, the Okoy alone taste no extra ordinary but blooms in my mouth with the help of the 3 types of homemade vinegars for a twist. Ill give it a 3.5 star

ADOBONG CROCODILE (Php 299)

 
Adobong Crocodile


For a change, you might  want to try their exotic Adobong Buwaya or crocodile. Yup, you heard (read) it right, they serve crocodile meat. Tasting crocodile is no longer  exotic for me as this is a usual main ingredient for some dishes in Palawan, Davao and in Butuan City in Mindanao.

If you are wondering how the meat tastes like, well, one for sure was, it doesn’t taste like chicken as what others would describe it. Rather it was more of a pork, only the meat was a little tender that requires more time to cook compared to your regular pork adobo.

If you were not informed that it was crocodile meat, you would think it was just any regular pork adobo. There was nothing fancy about the flavor but for the sake of comparison  I am suggesting for you to try it. The taste was an inch above average and so Ill give it a 4 star rating.

CHOCO LAVA ALA MODE (Php 199)

Choco Lava ala Mode

As for the dessert, I was stunned by their house pride Choco Lava. It was a cake with hot and molten dark chocolate inside. The base bread and the molten chocolate were delectable and so smooth that slowly melts once it touches your mouth.  It took me another bite to reassure with what I have tasted just to confirm it was not just my imagination. It was indeed GOOD! I am giving away my twinkling twinkling 5 stars for this dessert!

BROWNIES ALA MODE (Php 79)

Brownies ala Mode

This “brownie” was a tricky one as I was expecting that the base brownie was made out of chocolate until I took a bite and discovered it was made of wheat or oat. Without the ice cream toppings, it was more of an oat bar than a brownie. But due to the innovation of the chef to make this “brownie” special, I am giving away my 5 stars for this.

HONEYED FRUIT IN ICE CREAM (Php 199)

Honeyed Fruits in Ice Cream 
I am a fruit lover and this dessert was just perfect for me. Its sweetness was just right. I just hope next time there will be more types of berries found in this dessert, that is if I could only make a request. Maybe not everyone will agree but this was my favorite among the desserts that was served to us. This delight embraces my 5-star rating.


The Ones that Fit for the Filipino Masses (Pang masa ika nga!)

 
SIZZLING PORK SISIG (Php 99)

 
Sizzling Pork Sisig


Pork Sisig is synonymous to Pinoy “pulutan” made of diced pig’s cheek savored with spices, topped with egg and calamansi on the side. Instead of being crunchy as the way regular restaurants prepare their Sisig, here at St. Nicholas, the Sisig was a little chewy as a proof that they used the facial muscles, fats and ligaments of the pig on this dish. Ill throw my 3 stars for this.

PRAWN (SWEET  CHILI GARLIC-Php 199/ EBI TEMPURA W/ SUKA DIP-Php 199)

 
Sweet and Chili Prawns


Shrimps and prawns are my weakness! I can consume a whole platter of it with an advanced 100mg Allopurinol in my stomach. And for 3 years that I have been eating shrimps from different restaurants around the provinces in Mindanao, I can’t help myself but to compare how “regular” the Sweet and Spicy Shrimps served to us. The spicy-ness wasn't kicking at all!

Ebi Tempura 

The Ebi Tempura saved the other shrimp dish, thanks to its vinegar dip. Since shrimp tops my favorite seafoods, I'll give my 3 stars for this, not so good, not so bad.

 
ADOBONG MANOK AT BABOY SA DILAW (Php 199)

 
Adobo sa Dilaw


Pinoy Adobo is just timeless and this local dish has more than a dozen of variations in different regions in the Philippines. One of the variations is the Adobong Manok at Baboy sa Dilaw (turmeric) which this restaurant serves also to their patrons.  But I like my adobo with strong aroma and stingy taste that this recipe failed to impress me, so I am giving my 2.5 stars for their version of adobo.

The  Not-So-My Cup of Tea

TEMPTATION  BY TABLEA ALA MODE (Php 179)

 
Tablea ala Mode


I am not saying this Tablea Cake wasn’t delectable; it’s just the flavor was not compatible with my tongue. Maybe I had so much tablea in Davao before that I’ve got used to the very rich and smooth texture of this delight (on how they managed to result to that kind of texture, they say it’s a secret).

I appreciate the courage and effort of the chef to offer something different but this chocolate cake covered with tablea just doesn’t give a bite.  Maybe it is way better to keep your tablea as a hot beverage for your patron. Ill give it a 2-star for the effort and the plating presentation.

TURON DE TSOKOLATE (Php 75)

 
Turon de Tsokolate


The Turon dipped in chocolate syrup could have been better if the banana served to us wasn't over ripe. And for the record, the restaurant is using “lakatan” (scavendish) which is sweeter than the regular “saba”. I like my Turon fillings a litter tender and not so soft and saggy. Two stars for this.


Saying Goodbye?

But before we depart from St. Nicholas restaurant, the owner offered us to try their Civet coffee and I was enticed to take a seep. Indeed it was different from the regular brewed coffee as there was no need to add sugar to experience its intensified unique flavor. I am loving this coffee but I hope the source of their civet coffee isn't coming from the farms that forcefully feeding the civet with coffee beans. (This is an animal welfare issue people).


Still Digesting...

Overall, I could see that St. Nicolas is currently in the shifting stage and the menu is focused mainly on the local Pinoy dishes that are fitted for catering. Their Choco Lava and Tinolang Chicken sa Pakwan would sell a million if well presented and promoted.



And for the facility, there is just so much going on with the almost 1-year old restaurant in Mandaluyong City. I find this venue full of inspirations but a little out of order and so “loud” without a centerpiece or it must be an ordinary day that there is no need for them transform the place into a magical venue fit for certain occasion. But nevertheless, a restaurant has to be pleasing all the time, whether ordinary or special days.

According to the operator, the decorations were inspired with the memories of his jaunts and adventures to the different parts of the world. I would suggest taking a second and third opinion and collect some suggestions to “realign” and highlight the best feature that would make the restaurant pleasing to the eyes.  

I understand that this requires an additional investment but could be minimized through recycling and de-cluttering. I would like to emphasize on the upgrading of the comfort room for the patrons usage.


Together with the entrepreneur, Nic Pelaez
Good thing I wasn’t there for the place and their food tastes way better than how the place looks like. The customer service was impeccably good ! ' Til next chao!

(If you think you have an opinion on my review, write it down in the comment section)

St. Nicholas Restaurant was founded by Makati born Chef Nick Pelaez. Born in a family of food lovers and now at his 39 and still a bachelor, Chef Nick is a now successful entrepreneur in the food catering business that has been running for twelve years and counting.

This time, Chef Nick is expanding his food business by opening St. Nicholas Restaurant to the public that sits at the corner of Fatima and San Rafael Sts. In Brgy Plainview, Mandaluyong City. For more information and reservation please call the numbers below.


St. Nicholas Restaurant | Catering Services

#1 Fatima St. Corner Rafael St.  Brgy. Plainview
Mandaluyong City, Philippines

Contact Number:

+63 02 535 7637 | 788 64 26

Operationg Hours: 11am to 12 mn



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