Trivia: The word ‘maple’ only appears once in Main Street’s current menu—in the dessert section, even. More on that shortly.
Welcome to Main Street
Main Street, named after a street in Canada close to owner Adam Tan’s heart, is a small shop along the more sedate Tuscany in McKinley Hill, Taguig. Tan has somehow devised a way to make the space work in his favour by placing creative knickknacks here and there, and cleverly concealing appliances and other equipment that he doesn’t want to put out in the open. Its walls also tell patrons a little something about its owner and conceptualisation, playing host to black-and-white photographs of places that have inspired Tan.
“I spent a lot of my time in Canada for my studies,” he shares. “My ultimate objective was to take in all that I could learn while out there, and then put my own twist to it when I would open in the Philippines.” Menu offerings at Main Street consist of food items that are quite common in the Vancouver area. “Crab cakes, fish and chips, mussels and fries—these are all very common there,” he adds. “The difference? They don’t serve these with rice in Canada. Here in Manila, I had to make sure I had rice options available before bringing in the mashed potatoes.” He also takes pride in the fact that most of their produce and ingredients are locally sourced.
One of the dishes that Tan is most proud of is the Poutine (P145). Despite how popular it is in Canada, I’ve never encountered it before here in the Philippines. Poutine is basically fries served in beef gravy and cheese cubes, which makes for a lip-smacking dish that simply oozes comfort and joy. “We kept our version of Poutine as authentic as possible,” Tan explains. “This isn’t a hybrid of anything. This isn’t Poutine inspired by something else.” I love the dish as it is, but there will be an option to add bacon in the near future.
Up next are the Crabcakes (P220), three perfectly round pieces of crab-stuffed breading served with mango salsa. The crab meat is juicy and very compact, which is great because the breading does not take away any of the crab’s natural flavours. The mango salsa, which is tangy and slightly spicy, makes for a good partner in crime. The Wagyu Cheeseburger (P390; add P50 for bacon) promises a high-quality dining experience thanks to Kitayama’s wagyu beef blend coupled with a sesame bun and other house ingredients served with a siding of fries.
The highlight of my savory food experience was the three-piece Buttermilk Fried Chicken (P260). Many restaurants do serve fried chicken as part of their menu, but rarely do owners bring it out for the media to write about. The skin is flavourful and deliciously crispy, and the meat retains its juiciness despite it all. Tan also shares that they make their own buttermilk, which does wonders in enhancing the flavour of the chicken. This dish is a definite steal for its price.
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Main Street should also become famous for its Homemade Ice Cream, a menu addition by one of Tan’s partners. The dessert-loving fiend in me wanted to try all flavours, so we went ahead and did it. For P95, you can get two scoops of Milk and Cookie Dough (the current bestseller), Malteasers, Smores (the best), and Organic Maple and Candied Bacon. Tan revealed that he has plans to add more flavours soon. They also serve Beer Below Zero at affordable prices ranging from P55 to P75.
Assorted flavors of Homemade Ice Cream
Organic Maple and Candied Bacon, Milk and Cookie Dough
Comfort food restaurants have become quite popular lately, but Main Street manages to create its own niche. Tan and his partners have made comfort food available and accessible to everyday diners, which fits the bill perfectly as the menu consists of common, everyday food that one would find in Vancouver. The premise of a happy belly—what more could you ask for?