Manila Maki: Makati's Hidden Pinoy-Japanese Fusion Gem (Elizabeth's Place HV De La Costa)

Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

My bestie Eric and I have this weird habit of inviting each other as spontaneous or impromptu as possible when we know we're in each other's convenient zone.  A few days ago, I was in Makati where he works so I invited him to have a lunch break at an instantaneously found place called "Manila Maki" at Elizabeth's Place Condominium.  If you're unfamiliar with the location, it's wiser to ask the name of the building instead so people can guide you towards it. 

In case you're wondering why Manila when it's in Makati, we asked that too.  Manila symbolizes Pinoy food and not the location.

manila maki

Eric was smiling as soon as  he saw their happy hour poster by the entrance.  I, on the other hand, was allured by Manila Maki's unique decor and interiorIt was a certainly a mix bag of creativity that blended well with each other.

The lights were made from laminated Japanese newspaper sheets.  Some parts of the place also had Japanese newspaper as a wallpaper.  Tables were either made of solid wood or wooden planks formed into a picnic table.  The chairs had a lot of variety too from modern plastic ones to steel garden types to wooden stools made of planks and picnic benches. 
manila maki

Seeing their wooden framed food shots and glancing on their menu filled with their Pinoy-Japanese dishes made me feel a bit skepticI mean who does Pinoy-Japanese fusion?  I've always considered myself to be an adventurous foodie but never have I encountered such a bold twist.  I'm fearing that I might end up forced to finish all our ordersEric is a good friend but he is such a picky eater.  If he doesn't like the food, no one can ever make him eat even if it means saving his life.

manila maki
Each table had Japanese newspaper wrapped chopstick, napkin and soy sauce holders.

manila maki
And, plates were set up with soy sauce holders so you're ready for a whole new maki experience!


seared tuna kinilaw
Seared Tuna Kinilaw (245 php)
As you can see, the Seared Tuna Kinilaw is cooked with precision.  Other than that, the preparation doesn't seem too technical as it is topped with peppers and sesame seeds and served with spicy vinegar dip.  Yet, the delivery of the dish  was surprisingly splendid!  We both thought it was ingenious!

Premium Rolls
manila maki
Manila Maki (255 php)
Our server recommended their best-selling Manila Maki.  It appears like an ordinary topped tuna-topped maki but it's actually very complicated.  It's drizzled with a light mango dressing, the sushi rice is rolled in garlic bits and filled with fresh Philippine mango, kani salad and nilasing na hipon.  I found this to be a more interesting version of the usual California Maki

adarna roll
Adarna Roll (225 php)
To be honest, we loved the Adarna Roll more than the Manila MakiCan you guess what's on top?  It really looks like Unagi but it's actually their crisp bangus belly fillets braised in teriyaki and topped with sesame seeds.  They were wonderfully tasty.  The rest are common sushi complements such as: kani salad, mango, cucumber, lettuce and topiko duo.

spicy tuna salad
Spicy Tuna Salad (265 php)
Manila Maki's Spicy Tuna Salad makes all the spicy tuna I've tried in the past pale in comparison.  Despite being so saucy and flavorful due to the interesting pinoy twist of using taba ng talanga, the tiny tempura flakes successfully delivered a sensational crisp in every bite.  It is spiced with chili flakes which you can request to be milder or spicier depending on our preference.

Ala Carte
Longgiyoza (125 php)
I love the classic gyoza but boy, the Longgiyoza has swooned me to a whole new level.  Aside from the perfect skin thickness, smoothness and meat juiciness, cabanatuan longganisa amazingly adds an explosive savoriness to it.

bon bon chicken
Bon Bon Chicken (185 php)
The appearance of the Bon Bon Chicken is similar to the Korean fried chickenBut, this is way better!  Upon trying a piece of these boneless crunchy chicken coated in sweet garlic-ginger sauce and drizzled with Japanese mayo, Eric and I just couldn't stop ourselves from munching on some more.  We finished this bowlful even to the last crunchy sauce-coated batter

Sisigdon (215 php)
The highlight of our meal was the Sisigdon.  It's a bowlful of pork sisig with beaten egg, sweet shoyo sauce, chili powder, green onions and chicharon bits. Gosh! My words can never be enough to expound on this.  You just have to try this out for yourself to appreciate the magical sensation of taste and texture of this dish.

molten lava
Molten Lava (165 php)
I wanted to try the Coco Mango which was not available at the time but I always have to have my dessert so I settled for the Molten Lava instead.  Unlike other lava cakes which had hot fudge splurging from the center, this one just has a center that's more moist than the other parts but lots of chocolate fudge is found on the outside.


buco lychee
Buco Lychee (140 php)
The Buco Lychee is a tall glass of very refreshing thirst-quencher and palate cleanser.  

Manila Maki Specialty Drinks
calamansi saketini
Calamansi Saketini (195 php)
The Calamansi Saketini is Manila Maki's take on the Martini by substituting sake.  Sake has a very bold flavor but this drink masks its perfectly by delivering a nice tangy and mildly sweetened calamansi blend.

the maki cooler
The Maki Cooler (225 php)
The Maki Cooler is a sweet and delicious four seasons and dalandan juice mixed with coconut rum, vodka and sake concoction that so smooth you'll forget you're having alcohol.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Manila Maki is Makati's hidden Pinoy-Japanese Fusion gem.  I have to hand it to them.  They really know what they're doing.  Every dish is a masterpiece.  We couldn't help but swipe everything clean... everything sticky grain and to the last drop of our beverage.  Price is affordable.  Serving size is great for sharing especially their SashimiPinoy Maki and Premium Rolls.  The drinks are just as good so go ahead and pair them with your food.  They also offer a reliably fast WiFi.

P.S. Saw on their menu a pamphlet that they also do catering with more dish options.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Manila Maki Menu
Ambiance Nigiri Sushi | Sashimi | Pinoy Maki | Premium Rolls 
Salads | Sushi Katsu | Ala Carte
 Tempura | Teriyaki Inasal | Teppanyaki |  
Noodles | Donburi |  
Rice | Desserts Drinks 1 | Drinks 2 |
=Favorites or Recommended 
Manila Maki
Business Address Elizabeth Place Condominium
332 HV Dela Costa, Salcedo Village, 
Makati, Metro Manila
Business Hours Lunch: 11am-2pm
Dinner: 5pm-11pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge N/A
Budget/Person 200-500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 822-7319
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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