Capitol Commons and Estancia mall: 20 restaurants, 31 things to try
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Have you been to the Capitol Commons recently? With the new mall, Estancia, and the neighboring buildings, comes a whole slew of dining options.
The pictures are from a ton of our own foodstagrams and from a tasting event, Urban Flavors, held last September 22.
Before we tour the mall eats, let's take a look at the restaurants in the surrounding buildings.
Peri Peri Charcoal Chicken
Replacing Nomama is Peri Peri Charcoal Chicken, which recently relaunched with an all-new look.
What's great about the place is that the vibe is very relaxed, and the interiors feel very spacious and comfortable. Also, yes, there's free Wi-Fi!
Go the classic route with the 1/4 chicken with one (P180), two (P205), or no sides (P140), your choice. The one below features hummus and garlic java rice as the sides.
Nearby, there's also the classic Sentro 1771. What makes this branch special is the location – large, sunny, bright, and airy. You'll find it gets packed during the peak hours. Here are a couple of menu standouts:
Lamb caldereta (P550)
Lengua with mushrooms salpicao (P550)
Swing by to pick up a light snack or make your own sandwich come lunchtime (tip: bring a friend ot two to split bread and ingredients with, as it can get pricey if you're on your own). You can also opt to get some of the ready-made sandwiches they sometimes have out for the lunch crowd, though they do run out quickly. The ham and cheese sandwich above was P175.
Santi's is not in the mall, but it is across the street, right next to the park and near Sentro and Starbucks.
This wasn't bad if you're looking for finger food before your main course. Mushrooms like the ones served has the tendency to taste almost fishy, but these ones were just salty enough.
Involtini of grilled eggplant, roast tomato, feta cheese, and olives
Among the appetizers served at our table, this one was a favorite. Eggplant can be an overwhelming flavor, but the feta cheese balanced it out.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Get this one to share. The large serving is definitely a good thing if you're having dinner and drinks with friends, but bad if you're all alone – you can only have so much of this rich dip until you get tired of the flavor.
Come for Vietnamese favorites like pho bo (P280), bun cha (P250, regular size), and fresh spring rolls (P215) – don't forget to get some ice cold Vietnamese coffee, too.
Florabel was one of the restaurants featured at the tasting event referred to above, but the goat cheese and watermelon salad featured isn't our favorite among a diverse menu that contains tons of other alternatives. The desserts, particularly the frozen Brazo de Mercedes (P225), are not to be missed.
Of the salads at Florabel, the crab and caviar salad (P450) is also among the tastiest menu items – and the prettiest.
Estancia is filled with food finds from its interesting mix of restaurants. Save room for dessert at Purple Yam, where you can get ice cream with flavors like Pandan, Champoy, Mangosteen, and more.
Photographed above: champoy ice cream (P60 - 1 scoop; P100 - 2 scoops) with additional kalabasa tikoy disc (P30).
Churreria La Lola
Crunchy, sweet churros dipped in a luxurious chocolate sauce? Yes, please. Drop by La Lola, on the ground floor of Estancia, for a fix. The popular shop has been expanding, with branches in a number of the metro's malls.
Medium churros, 6 pieces – that's plenty and good enough for a small group to share – cost P110, and you'll want to add a serving of the chocolate sauce, an additional P60.
Burrata topped with grape tomatoes and fresh basil drizzled with balsamic reduction and served with sourdough toast (P350)
This burrata was delicious, and the fresh veggies on top balanced out the thick creamy cheese. The sourdough was a great choice for this too – it added a hint of flavor, and paired well with the balsamic reduction.
Wholesome Mojito (P120)
Don't let its dark green color fool you. This mojito tasted nothing like veggies and it's just as fresh – fresher even – than any other you've tried. This shake is a great option if you're looking for something to cool you off in the summer.
Bread Selections: Spanish Bread Biscocho (P180/pack), Coconut Bun (P180/pack), Squid Ink Dinner Roll (P300/pack), Rosemary & Rocksalt Focaccia (P120/pack) Pastry Selections Mini Raspberry Lattice (P195/pack)
Artisan Emporium's bread selection is great if you want to bring some home to share. The Squid Ink Dinner Roll intrigued us because of its color, but its flavor wasn't quite as different as we'd hoped. If you've got a sweet tooth though, their Coconut Bun and Spanish Bread Biscocho is perfect for munching on during merienda.
Herb & Garlic Butter (P250/bottle), Yoghurt Butter (P250 / bottle), Strawberry Chicken Liver Pate (P220/bottle)
Top up your loaves of bread with some of the Artisan Emporium's butters and spreads. The flavored butters were great, but the real standout here was the Strawberry Chicken Liver Pate. Liver isn't for everyone, but if you like it, you'll love this one. The sweet strawberry provides great contrast to the liver's flavor, it's definitely something to try out.
Mini Apple Tatin Lattice (P175/pack) Mini Apricot Lattice (P185/pack)
These selections from Artisan Emporium were good, but weren't standouts. These pretty pastries would definitely make a great gift for your mom or someone special though, for the next birthday or anniversary.
14" whole Oreo Strawberry Tart (P1,300), 14" whole Graham Blueberry Tart (P1,200)
We were served bite-sized versions of these at the event, but they still tasted great. These tarts are a classic, and we don't think you can go wrong with these, whether as gifts for your loved ones or to have with coffee. Aside from the whole 14-inch tarts, you can also get the Strawberry Oreo Tarts at a half (7 inches) for P650, and singles for P250. The Graham Blueberry Tarts are available in the same sizes, but at P600 and P220 respectively.
Cold Asian noodles (P185)
The peanut butter flavor that PBCo is known for was quite overwhelming in this dish, but the fresh veggies that topped these thick noodles were a good balance to the heavy peanutbutter flavor. Get this if you want to try something new, but get it to share in case you get tired of the taste.
Spice & Cleaver
The Mask, The Mexican, Lamb with Feta & Olive Sausages (1 pc P280/ 2 pcs P480)
Spice & Cleaver specializes in sausages for a reason – the ones they served up at Urban Flavors were delicious. If you aren't sure which to try first, the Lamb with Feta & Olive Sausages was the best for me, followed by the smoky, spicy The Mexican. The Mask is a sisig sausage – we'd get it for the novelty, but if you're craving sisig, you're better off getting the original version.
Definitely order a side of sauerkraut (P480) with your sausages too. The one at Spice & Cleaver had just the right amount of that sour pickled flavor and even had a bit of a spicy kick.
I Am Kim
Kitayama steak and eggs bap (P540)
The meat in I Am Kim's Kitayama Steak and Eggs Bap was tender, but also leaned a bit on the chewy side. This dish, served in a hot stone bowl, is a great dinner option for cool nights. Be sure to mix in all the sauces served on the side for a much richer flavor, and scrape off all the tutong (burnt rice) at the bottom of the bowl for that delicious crunch.
Matcha Latte (P170)
Many restaurants get matcha too sweet – UCC Clockwork doesn't. This thick latte is a good alternative to your after meal coffee.
Green Tea Sansrival (P260), Hokkaido Malt Cake (P235), Mango Crème Brulee (P240)
The Mango Creme Brulee was the best among these 3. There was no shortage of real mango in the cake, and added interest to the otherwise its otherwise soft and fluffy texture.
With a very cool selection of individual breads and pastries, Jipan could be a destination for a fun lunch or a quick stop for takeout merienda.
But if you can, stay for the food – including this delicious, crispy spicy tuna salad (P295) to rival the ones at other Japanese restaurants around the area.
Have your wings cooked as you order at Wingstop, a popular spot known for crispy chicken tenders, diverse array of rubs and dips, a number of wing combos, and a casual and friendly atmosphere.
Loaded fries, P155
Chicken tenders (3 pieces, P195, 6 pieces, P385)
Buffalo Wild Wings
Speaking of wings, there's another option at Estancia in Buffalo Wild Wings. Take a rare opportunity to sit outside and take in a view of the park and the breezy Capitol Commons area.
Wings start at P295 for the snack size (at least 5 pieces).
Are you hankering for Japanese curry? You can get it at Coco Ichibanya, with their many options not limited to chicken or pork. The pork cutlet with vegetable curry above costs P440.
Here's a great option for a more budget-friendly meal. Two fried chicken legs at Korean chain Kyochon will run you P149, and you can order steamed rice at P40, for a total bill of just under P200.
There's a spacious branch of Cafe Med in Estancia, where you can order staples like gyros and kebabs, and douse with garlicky white sauce. The chicken kebab platter below costs P380 (with basmati rice).
Is there anything that caught your eye in this new hotspot? Tell us in the comments below! – with reports from Wyatt Ong/Rappler.com