Thursday, September 20, 2018

First Bite: Salamangka

I rarely drink these days as I am fully embracing the fact that I'm now a certified tita who enjoys tea sessions at home with biscuits. But I was feeling a bit down a few weeks back and needed the companion of friends. And since we haven't been to Eastwood as a group, we opted to have our long overdue bonding session there. To our surprise, there are a lot of new establishments around and one that caught my interest was Salamangka. 

Hello, Salamangka.
Salamangka is the newest brainchild of 121 Group. Positioned as a restaurant, cafe and bar in one, expect a good variety of comfort food, specialty coffee and cocktails under one roof. Named after the Filipino word for magic, Salamangka aims to enchant its guests with its offerings that are not usually offered by other establishments in the market. 
Located along Eastwood City Walk, its prime corner location is hard to miss. The restaurant can comfortably sit about 20 inside with a few more by the bar. It also has its own washroom for guests.
Since this was our fourth stop of unintentional food crawl, we went with small bites for sharing and chose Keso Stix (PHP299), Keso at Bawang Quesadilla (PHP219), Itlog na Maalat Pakpak (PHP349) and a pitcher of Salamangka's homemade cocktail Wakwak (PHP349, good for 5).
First served was our cocktail made with mango puree, rum, lime juice and mint leaves. And I loved it. 
It had that lovely sweet taste from the puree and was balanced by the zest of lime and the kick of rum. Each gulp had that nice refreshing after taste too from the mint leaves. 
Keso Stix was served next and we were pleasantly surprised with its serving size. We were told that each stick is of the size of a finger. But these must be very swollen ones. And we meant it in a  good way. 
This was one of our favorites that night. You can enjoy it as is or have it with any of the three sauces--tomato salsa, curry and honey mustard-- it is served with. The only downside of this dish is its price which we all found a bit steep for what you're getting. 
Keso at Bawang Quesadilla tasted pretty much like Keso Stix sans the light crisp of the batter. I actually liked this more than the former because of its garlicky taste. I also liked that it is served with PikNik shoestring (my favorite!) and tomato salsa
I was a bit iffy to try the wings after seeing some chili bits on top of it but it was not spicy at all. Each wing had that right amount of salted egg coating giving it that delectable flavor without being cloying or overpowering. One order comes with 5-6 pieces and great with cocktails or beer! 

And it was apt that they also offer Engkanto Brewery in their list of offerings as it mythical name fits its concept. 

More guests came in around 8 p.m. and by the time we left, only the bar seats were available. So it is best to come early.
Service was superb and the staff seem to be enjoying what they are doing. They engage with the guests making it a memorable visit. 
As we were almost done with our meal, one of the staff approached me and mentioned that they would like to offer a complimentary dish as token for visiting Salamangka. I didn't want to impose so I told her that whatever they find good to try would be perfect. But I was surprised when they opted to charged our Wakwak and Keso Stix on the house! It was a very generous gesture. Thank you, Salamangka!

Needless to say, I'll be back!

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 2, Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City. 

Salamangka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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