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BRASAS: Kicking Off the Latin American Fever in Manila :)

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BRASAS is the first restaurant specializing in Latin American Street Food in Manila. Aside from Brazil Brazil, which is a churrascaria, you won't find much Latin American cuisine in the metro.

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil draws near (it kicks-off June 12, 2014), it would be interesting to see if the Latin American fever takes over Manila. Brasas is on the right track in leading the introduction of the cuisine to the local foodies.

Check out the flavors of Brasas in their flagship store in Podium:

The Best of Gourmet Food at Podium:


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"Brasas" means red hot coal, and the name pays tribute to the charcoal flavors of their food.

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Nathaly Montoya is the head chef of the restaurant. A native of Colombia who married corporate Filipino chef Ian Delfin, she is the secret behind the yummy food in Brasas.

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At first, it may be a bit difficult figuring out what to order because the menu seems like it's from a burrito place but with Latin American names for the dishes.

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If you are looking for a quick bite or merienda, try the grilled wraps. But it is best to have lunch or dinner here to really savor the rice pairings and try a variety of flavors.

(Check out the complete Brasas Menu.)

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To start off, you can order the chef's favorite -- Puerco Asado, which is Cuban slow-roasted pork belly.

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They have an "alley" feel to their resto, which comes across as quaint, even with the graffiti on the walls.

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We decided to eat outside since we were a big group. We were having a post-Mother's Day, post-Elections celebration with my wife's parents.

(Tip: We figured only the restaurants in the malls were sure to be open on Election day.)

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★ CARNE ASADA FRIES (P120). Large-cut fries topped with our special Chili made with Smoked Chorizo, chopped Carne Asada, grated Monterey Jack cheese, Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream.

This was a really good serving of fries -- it had generous toppings of meat and cheese!

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Patacones (P140). Crispy Plantain Chips with Smoked Pulled Pork & Tomato Salsa & melted Monterey Jack cheese.

This was OK. Maybe we weren't too sold on it because we're not used to the hard, crunchy texture of the Plantain Chips. Better order the fries for appetizer.

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★ Beef Grilled Wrap (Regular - P220)Charcoal-grilled Beef, Flour Tortilla, Tomato Salsa, roasted Sweet Bell Peppers, sauteed Onions, served with Chipotle Sauce.

The Beef Wrap was really delicious. It had a hefty serving of beef and was dripping with sauce. I loved that it was topped with my favorite sauce in Brasas: Chipotle. (It's a bit spicy but not that hot, and it has this sour cream flavor.)

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★ Chicken Salad (P150). Charcoal-grilled meat, Mixed Fresh Greens, Seasonal Vegetables, Crunchy Tortilla strips.

A healthy way to indulge in the Brasas flavor -- order the salad topped with meat.

The grilled, spiced flavor of the chicken was addicting. We couldn't help but want more of it!

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★ Chicken Rice Platter (P180). Charcoal-grilled meat with South American Slaw, Patacones & Yellow Rice, served with Chimichurri Sauce.

My personal favorite. :) I loved the flavors of the char-grilled chicken that had a different Latin spice. I liked dipping it in the sweet-yet-tangy chimichurri sauce and pairing it with the yellow rice. Yummy!

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★ Puerco Asado - Cuba (P240). Slow-roasted Pork Belly with crunchy skin, roasted Seasonal Vegetables, Rice & Beans.

The Puerco Asado is a winner in our book! Really soft pork belly with crispy skin, served with brown rice and beans. I loved the addition of banana slices, which is a signature of Cuban cuisine.

(The kids did not like the beans in their rice, though.)

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It had a thick portion of meat with a good layer of fat that literally melted in the mouth. Sarap!

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Lomo Saltado - Peru (P260). Sauteed Sirloin strips, Tomatoes, Onions, French Fries.

The sirloin meat with tomatoey sauce was good too, but it was overshadowed by the other meat dishes.

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★ Pastel de Cholo - Chile (P210). Slow-cooked Beef Brisket, Carrots, Green Peas, Corn Mash with crunchy crust.

This tasted like menudo with a crunchy corn mash on top. I liked it; it's something different.

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A meal as good as this needs to be finished off with a good dessert -- so we tried all their dessert offerings. :)

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Panna Cotta (P80). Soft and creamy custard with sweet ripe mangoes.

The panna cotta was really good even without the mangoes in the middle.

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★ Tres Leches (P130). Fluffy chiffon cake soaked in 3 kinds of milk and topped with whipped cream.

We loved this airy cake that's flavored with different kinds of sweet milk.

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Alfajores (P55). Rich butter cookies filled with creamy dulce de leche.

This was just like a cookie with yema flavor in the middle.

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Overall, we love the Puerco Asado and their Chargrilled Chicken with Chimichurri sauce. It's great that their prices range from P180-P260/main dish and the portions are good to share. The desserts are milky-sweet and a good way to cleanse your palate.

They were a hit in Mercato when they were starting out and testing their concept. I'm happy for them that business in their Podium store is picking up and that expansions to SM North and SM Aura are in the works. I do hope we get to see them in a real street food setting again soon.

Check this out if you are looking for a different Latin American flavor!

BRASAS. Latin American Street Food
5th floor, The Podium, ADB Ave., Ortigas Center
Telephone: +632 570-5559
Facebook: Brasas Philippines

★ - Our favorites :) Highly Recommended!

Related Post: Word of Mouth by Sandy Daza | Discovering Cuban cuisine

The Best of Gourmet Food at Podium:

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If you have tips on awesome food and travel destinations, please email me at anton@diaz.ph.

Full Disclosure: We paid for our meals. I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. We know the owners who are our former neighbors and former colleagues at P&G.

I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I do not accept advertising from food and travel places we feature in the blog.

P.S. Have you tried Brasas? Let me know your own experience in the Comments section.

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Comments

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I would agree their food is good. But their service is absolutely terrible. We had to wait for almost a hour to get our orders. And my officemate even asked Nathaly, we found out our orders was given to another customer. Also there are discrepancis with what is said in the menu and what is in the final meal. They said they would correct it but we waited for 20 more minutes and it they did ot come back.

All in all we wasted a hour and a half eating here. Food is not worth the long service they gave us and we are not oing to eat here again.

Oh lastly, there chairs are poor in quality, it seems not strong enough to hold a 200 lbs person without breaking.

I've been regularly dining in Brasas Podium even way before they started branching out and my experience has been very positive so far.

I find their staff very pleasing and I even thought Brasas was a foreign franchise at first.

I don't mind eating there often as I think their pricing is very reasonable and I enjoy trying out the various dishes they offer.

My favorites so far are the chicken rice or salad, the picadillo soup, and Anton's recommendation, the Puerco Asado (although I feel guilty as it is quite fatty).

Im a relationship manager from Meralco and one of our programs now is knowing our SME customers. We would like to know our chain accounts like we did with Mr. Freeze, Mr. Siomai, etc and feature them in our success stories for free. We would like to seek for your assistance if we can set-up a meeting with the owner.Kindly contact me through my cp 0939-9391768.

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