NYC: Maharlika

Monday, December 24, 2012

I first discovered Maharlika a little more than half a year ago when a friend suggested we come here for dinner. I quickly fell in love with the modern filipino foods served here - prior to this, I thought filipino food was mainly about amazing lumpia and adobo. Maharlika's opened my eyes - what you've heard about asians eating rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is not an exaggeration. Since my initial discovery, I've come back quite a few times for brunch. Let me show you why I can't just get enough...

RECOMMENDED!!! Perfectly fried chicken - moist on the inside, crispy outside. Taro-like Waffle with Savory Butter
Filipino Pride Chicken 'N' Ube Waffles - Flourless Filipino-style fried chicken, ube “Prince-worthy” purple waffle, macapuno jam, anchovy bagoong garlic chive compound butter

The chicken is PERFECT - amazing fried crunchy skin on the outside, deliciously moist chicken the inside. Add the Ube, a purple yam (tastes like taro), waffles, reminiscent of taro egg waffles that you can get off the streets of Hong Kong - and the anchovy herb butter, then it's gold! And of course, with all chicken and waffles, the sweetness from the syrup ties everything in together for a perfect bite.

Alright now that I've drawn you in, let's back track here a little bit. Maharlika's "Filipino Moderno" restaurant prides in making traditional filipino dishes and giving it a new twist. So a lot of dishes you find here are usually inspired by filipino ingredients and tastes, just like grandma used to make, except, I only wish I had a grandma who cooked me filipino food.

Maharlika - Filipino Food your modern grandma makes!

The modern ambience makes this place you can bring your less adventurous friends who are scared of "hole in the wall" joints

Maggi, vinegar infused with garlic and ketchup
Had to show you another picture! Chicken and Waffles!

In addition to Chicken and Waffles, there are other recognizable brunch items such as eggs benedict and french toast, with a Filipino twist on it of course.

Eggs Benigno - eggs benedict made with Spam, sweet potato home fries,  & salad w/coconut-sugarcane dressing

Mango Stuffed French Toast w/ caramelized coconut & fresh fruit
Then we move on to the territory of more traditional filipino food, such as a national favorite, sisig, a dish made with egg, pig ears, snout, cheek and belly. It's cooked 3 times, first boiled, then grilled and finally sautéed with with onions, garlic, lemon. And of course, it's served with a side of garlic fried rice.  While the description sounds a bit off putting considering it's made from untraditional parts of the pig, I assure you it's flavorful and delicious and if I didn't tell you what it was, you'd eat the whole dish without thinking twice.

Sisig with Garlic Fried Rice, and of course, Maggi soy sauce

Another popular menu item here that I order every time because it features all the things I love: garlic fried rice, fried eggs over easy and a pickled salad of onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. And of course, what's a traditional rice dish without some meat. I've actually ordered all three, and all three are delicious. The sausage is a bit more tender/juicy, the iron steak is a bit more flavorful, and the cured pork is on the dryer side, but tastes wonderful with the vinegar soaked in garlic.

iLog Breakfast silog = sinangag (garlic rice) + itlog (egg) all served with relish of kamatis, pepino, sibuyas and wansoy with patis dressing choice of: - 11 Tocilog – homemade tocino, a 7-up cured pork - 11  - 16

Longsilog – longganisa, sweet, garlicky pork sausage + "silog" (garlic rice and egg)

Tapsilog – homemade tapa, iron steak marinated and air-dried + "silog" (garlic rice and egg)

Tocilog – homemade tocino, a 7-up cured pork + "silog" (garlic rice and egg)

To finish off our brunch, we had ice cream - avocado, cheddar cheese, and purple yam ice cream to be exact. I really liked the ube (purple yam) ice cream, perhaps because it reminds me so much of taro. This was the end of a perfect brunch. and you know I will be back again soon!

Avocado, Queso (yes, cheese), and Ube ice cream

A dinner review to come soon! Until then, I would say Maharlika is a solid choice for all occasions. Just be sure you make a reservation at least a day in advanced if you're coming for brunch or else the wait will be 1.5-2 hours long!

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Maharlika | Yelp

111 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

(646) 392-7880
Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
Maharlika
* Overall
★★★☆ ☆
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
East Village / Filipino
* Street Address
111 1st Ave. (at 7th St.), New York, NY 10009
* Phone
646-392-7880

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