‘Malinamnam’ at Namnam: Comfort Filipino

Visit this Greenbelt restaurant if you’re in the mood for comfort food, or are just plain hungry and looking for that tasty and affordable meal

There’s nothing more comforting than eating food that is familiar to you, something that you’ve loved since childhood. As a Filipino born and raised in this country, I am extremely proud of our local cuisine.  From our leche flan up to our famous lechon, it’s all good and yummy.  It’s no wonder that we have a lot of Filipino themed restaurants catering to our cravings. One of the newest restaurants to fill this need is Namnam: Comfort Filipino at Greenbelt 2.  It’s located right below BurgerBar, another recently opened restaurant.  Both restaurants are owned and operated by the Moment Group, which also owns Cue’ Modern Barbeque in Taguig.  Namnam is the Moment Group’s third restaurant.

I arrived at Namnam around 4pm with a grumbling tummy, ready to take some great shots with my camera. From what I’ve learned doing these articles, it’s always a good thing to arrive hungry and ready to eat.

Namnam exterior

Inside Namnam: The Dining Area

Once I got the shots I liked, I sat myself down and got comfortable. One thing I liked about this place right off the bat is the location: it’s right in the middle of Greenbelt 2, where all the restaurants are. The interior is good looking, clean, and is definitely conducive for having a good meal with friends and family.  Namnam has their menu set up into classic and twist (modern Filipino) cuisine. To make it further customer friendly, they have their food available in small (good for 1), medium (good for 2 to 3), and large portions (good for 6). This I liked, because if you come in with a large group of friends, you can order the large portions. Or, if you’re like me who wants to taste everything on the menu all at once, you can order the small portions without breaking the bank.

Table for two or four?

For this article, I wanted to try something different.  I wanted to do desserts and drinks first. I took a look at the drink list and found lots of interesting drinks and shakes in their selection.  Since there were so many that interested me, I decided that I should try two of them only so that I wouldn’t spoil my appetite.  I tried the Ube Sago (P95) and the Mango-Pom-Coco Cream Sago (P120).

Ube Sago

Mango-Pom-Coco Cream Sago

The two drinks were great!  They were refreshing, cold, and tasty.  But my absolute favorite drink out of these two was the Ube Sago.  I love creamy ice cream, and this was creamy, tasty, something achingly close to melted ice cream in a glass.  It was a dessert and a drink in a one-two punch combo.  A must try if you love your shakes.

Since I got my dessert fix out of the way early, I decided to take a look at the meals.  And once more I find myself staring at the salad menu. The older I get, the more I find myself attracted to the green stuff. I figured I should try the Ensaladang Pako (P85 – small).  This particular salad came with a type of green that I’ve never had before: pako (fern).  That goes to show you that I’m only now starting to appreciate the salads. Actually, it kind of reminded me of the Makahiya plant. But the taste was superb! The combination of the greens and the vinaigrette was deftly mixed.  The vinaigrette was not overwhelming, but tasty enough to add to the total flavor of the salad. It’s made out of Fern, salted egg, tomatoes and tinapa flakes, house vinaigrette, and is tossed.

Ensaladang Pako

Okay, so enough for the salads for now.  Let’s move onto some beef dishes.  This next dish was my favorite for the day.  It has a modern twist to an old favorite meal of mine. The dish I’m talking about is our all time favorite: Sinigang na Short Rib Beef and Watermelon (P205 – small).

Sinigang na Short Rib Beef and Watermelon

I consider this dish synonymous with Namnam. It’s comfort food. It was warm, tasty, and the beef was super soft like it was cooked for hours. If you come to Namnam to eat, I recommend this dish. I asked their marketing officer Carissa what makes this dish so tasty and different, and I got a wink and a smile from her.  She said it was the watermelon. I said, “Watermelon?”  Hmm, I wonder how they made that come out in the dish to be so tasty…? Too bad I couldn’t figure it out.  That only means I have to keep coming back for this dish.

The Sizzling Kapampangan Sisig (P140 – small) was next. This classic dish was really crunchy and full of flavor. It was a good kind of crunchy, and was gone way too soon. I kicked myself for ordering the small plate.

Sizzling Kapampangan Sisig

Full yet again with more meat, I decided to take another stab at a salad ( I’m feeling guilty, most likely). The dish I had next, the Ensaladang Namnam (P90 – small), was made out of Tinapa flakes, mangga't bagoong, pomelo, native tomatoes, and red onions. At first I was sort of scratching my head, wondering if this combination would work, but it definitely did.

Ensaladang Namnam

The next dish I wanted to try was the Pancit Canton Special (P120 – small).  I usually have pancit at birthdays or fiestas, and usually they turn out dry or bland tasting. This particular pancit wasn’t that at all! It was on a level of…well, comfort food. This was the first time I’ve really enjoyed pancit canton, except for the guilty pleasure of eating the 'instant' kind. This dish was my second favorite for the day.

Pancit Canton Special

A different pancit canton experience for me

The last dish I decided to try out (because I was already getting full) was the University Fried Rice (P135). Why the name, you ask? It’s because of the propensity of having tapsilog near schools and universities in Metro Manila.  Now, this unassuming dish has its treasure hidden underneath the rice. Egg on top, rice in the middle, and the beef tapa on the bottom. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the tapa because I was too busy munching before I remembered that I needed a shot. It was good tapa, and I would recommend this if you’re dropping by for a quick lunch.

University Fried Rice (there's tapa underneath)

Another day done, and another tummy filling experience to jot down in the good old diary. I sat back and reflected a bit. I do love my comfort food, and Namnam does serve up some great comfort food classics and twists. If you’re in that mood to have some comfort food or are just plain hungry and looking for that tasty and affordable meal, you should definitely give Namnam: Comfort Filipino a try.  I will surely be back since I’m in that mood most of the time!


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