Part of the fun of traveling is the eating the local food. By tasting the signature dishes of the locale – see what flavors the people savor, how they use available ingredients and more – you get to learn much about their culture and history.
Sadly, I haven’t been able to travel to our neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, as other priorities got in the way. However, there is a way to get a taste of Southeast Asian flavors, thanks to Pandan Asian Cafe.
One of the recent ventures by Chef Mike Sarthou (or more widely known as Chef Tatung), Pandan Asian Cafe brings iconic Southeast Asian dishes to Quezon City’s dining public.
The resto is situated where Lazat Fil-Asian Restaurant & Bar used to be. It maximized the place’s open and airy layout, adding vibrant greens from decor and plants, which add to the feeling of freshness.
Before the pandemic made itself known, I had lunch here with my officemates. Our Southeast Asian meal consisted of:
Nasi Goreng (Php285). The Malay version of fried rice with chicken, eggs and vegetables and distinctly flavored with sweet soy sauce called kecap manis.
Orange Chicken (Php450). A variation of General Tso’s chicken wherein battered chicken is served drenched in fruity orange sauce.
Salt and Pepper Squid (Php340). The Chinese version of fried calamari wherein squid pieces are covered in light batter, then deep-fried to become crispy on the outside, tender and chewy on the inside.
Sticky Rice (Php210). Traditional Thai dessert of sticky rice in coconut cream sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with mango slices.
Iced Vietnamese Coffee (Php160). Also known as ca phe da, it is made by allowing hot water to drip through medium to coarse-ground dark-roasted Vietnamese-grown coffee beans into condensed milk then stirring with crushed ice.
I’m glad with the break from the usual lunch fare that Pandan Asian Cafe provided our group. I just found the portions a little small.
During the ECQ, the resto temporarily halted its operations but re-opened last July. It also expanded its offers to include party platters of its best-selling dishes for takeout or delivery.
So if you feel like expanding your culinary horizons, drop by or order a food tray to go.
Pandan Asian Cafe is located at 76 Scout Limbaga Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries, reservations or delivery requests, call +63 2 83550998, +63 2 83515279 or +63 917 7748999.