Pandan is an Asian cafe specializing in Southeast Asian comfort food favorites by one of our favorite chefs, Chef Tatung Sarthou of Talisay fame. It promises authentic recipes—no twists—and flavors that will bring memories of your travels to neighboring countries.
With the over saturation of Filipino fusion concepts last year, Southeast Asian food is now trending in Manila. No wonder, Pandan was a hit the moment it opened, filling a void for people craving for Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian or Vietnamese flavors in the QC area.
First Things First
Pandan is a total make-over from Asian fusion to legit Southeast Asian flavors of the former Lazat resto by the same owners.
Interior designer Ivy Almario wove her magic to transform the setting into a garden oasis with the use of fresh, plastic and stenciled plants and green leaves.
It retained its homey vibe with a relaxing green animo motif, a laid back ambience with the use of lounge chairs and an organic feel with Crazy Rich Asians as peg.
The alfresco area on the second floor with a tropical romantic feel—elegant but still casual—is suitable for functions.
You can reserve the 20-seater private function room with a green jungle feel and inspiring vibe.
There’s a second function room with library feels, perfect for boardroom discussions or product presentations.
The menu is designed to satisfy your craving for hawker fare or Southeast Asian flavors, including Filipino food, in a homey setting.
Starters & Soup
Start with the flavors of Vietnam—fresh Goi Cuon and tasty chicken satay smothered with peanut sauce.
The seafood laksa, served with a lighter coconutty broth version and sotanghon noodles, could satisfy your craving for laksa.
The serving portions were big, good for family sharing, and the flavors somehow complemented each other.
My wife’s favorite—tender beef stewed with secret rendang spices and coconut milk sauce that went well with rice.
The Nasi Goreng was a meal in itself, now the preferred fried rice instead of the usual bagoong rice.
Indonesian fried chicken with lots of crunch from its sauce. It was good, but we are not fans, generally, of fried dishes.
Instead of sting ray (or pagi), the grilled pampano was served with overflowing freshly made samba sauce with tomato and onion salsa. Yum!
This was surprisingly good, with the right roasted flavor and wok hei with the noodles not clumping together.
Milk tea with pink flavor popularized in Bandung made from evap/condensed milk with rose syrup and lychee. Ang tamis lang.
They have a limited number of desserts, but order this buko pie with coconut crumble on top.
To end, order the Vietnamese coffee served in a sexy see through glass with a good amount of condensed milk and strong Vietnamese coffee flavor.
Overall, Pandan was just perfect for our Southeast Asian cravings with food that satisfies our ASEAN soul in an elegant, casual setting.
Our favorites were the Beef Rendeng, Nasi Lemak, Sambal Ikan and Char Kuey Teow, but the rest was also good like the Laksa and Vietnamese platter. The drinks were too sweet, and I do hope they will have better dessert options. Budget ₱500/head.
This is perfect for Sunday family get togethers (aside from the usual Chinese restaurants), for business meetings or catch up sessions with QC friends. There are plenty of private nooks or function areas to reserve for your gathering.
Congratulations to Chef Tatung, Ivy Almario and partners for an awesome Southeast Asian cafe concept in QC!
Live an Awesome Life,
Founder, Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Chef Tatung. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.
P.S. The secret to Chef Tatung’s success is his self-written manual for restaurant operations based on time tested policies and procedures. Galing! I do hope he publishes it so that more restaurateurs can benefit from his wisdom and experience.