The other day I was feeling very nostalgic so I dragged a girlfriend of mine to Maharlika, a Filipino restaurant in the East Village in Manhattan. I love this restaurant in how it takes traditional Filipino dishes and serve them in a modern way. Usually, most Filipino restaurants I’ve been to are buffet style and the food is piled high on top of your plate. But at Maharlika, they take Filipino food and turn it into Filipino cuisine, plating each dish with such care that it almost makes you sad to bite into it, almost. I started with the balut, which is the traditional boiled fetal duck egg that you can usually only find at road side vendors in the streets of the Philippines or other Southeast Asian countries. My poor friend had to turn away as I devoured the little unborn duck, which was swimming in a soup of yummy broth within its own shell. Once you get past that fact that you’re eating an unborn duckling, the flavors are reminiscent of chicken broth served with hard-boiled egg. For my main course, I went with the sizzling pork sisig, served with a side of garlic fried rice. The pork was deliciously crunchy and seasoned to perfection, and the garlic fried rice was the best accompaniment, balancing with the salty, spicy pork.
I definitely highly recommend this restaurant, especially for those who have never tried Filipino food but are adventurous enough to give it a go.