Asian flavors and staples
Ninak, derived from kanin (flipped to coin a unique name) which means rice in Filipino is a one-stop restaurant for Southeast Asian flavors and popular staples. Here you can take a gastronomic trip to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines through their dishes.
With rice as its culinary centerpiece, a major mainstay in Southeast Asian cuisine, the restaurant brings to the table comfort, flavors, and culinary cultures. The restaurant is owned and managed by the Jose brothers, who also gave us the popular gourmet burger chain in the metro, the Brothers Burger. Ninak started as a food delivery service outlet in Ortigas and Pasong Tamo Makati catering mostly to call center agents in those areas. It has then become a full service restaurant as their customers grew. Currently, Ninak operates two branches, one in Kapitolyo Pasig City and another in Pasong Tamo (in front of Don Bosco School) Makati City.
Ninak promotes a casual, no-fuss but satisfying dining experience as evidenced by its neat and sleek two-story setting executed in a minimalist manner – subdued yet stylish, a relaxing green and white color theme, pieces of quiet charm, all complementing its straightforward and homey Southeast Asian-inspired menu.
Ninak is popular among foodies because of its menu’s authentic flavors and freshness. Here, your options are many, from the dishes to the drinks.
Try its Thai-inspired Green Mango Salad (P 185) with Thai dressing, toasted peanuts, shallots, red chili and cilantro that will absolutely wake up your senses on your way to your main dish.
It bestseller Laksa noodle soup (P320) is a perfect way to comfort your tummy – it’s tasty, warm, and creamy. This traditional Malaysian staple dish is rich in fresh coconut curry soup and loaded with squid balls, chicken fillet, shrimps, boiled egg, rice noodles and tofu garnished with bean sprouts and cilantro.
Green Mango Salad
Of course, Ninak offers a delectable selection of rice dishes! There’s the traditional Thai-inspired dish Bagoong Rice (P 190), the sweet, spicy and sour shrimp paste-mixed fried rice with tangy green mangoes, sweet pork, chili, scrambled egg, green beans, shallots, and a wedge of lime. With these ingredients, the interplay of flavors is an appetizing experience.
You will also enjoy its Grilled Vietnamese Pork (P 270), a marinated pork steak served with singkamas (Mexican turnip) relish and nuoc mam sauce. The Tilapia Tamarind (P 350), a crispy and savory fried tilapia covered with tamarind glaze is also a good choice.
Ninak also offers interesting and refreshing fusion drinks like the Berry Mango Slush (P 120).
Grilled Vietnamese Pork
Ninak has been a favorite spot for Asian food lovers and the reasons are pretty obvious – flavorful comfort food at reasonable prices served in a pleasant and quiet setting. Experience this by visiting its branches soon.
Article and photos by Adrian Pempena
Edited by Ingrid Soriano