June 12, 2016

Exile on Main St.

Being in exile is a situation in which you are forced to leave a place and go live in a foreign place. This might sound a bit harsh, but there are times when you get that feeling to just leave everything behind and go somewhere where you know nobody or to place you have no idea how to traverse. Or being in exile may mean going to your safe or happy place and just be alone away from the noises of this world. And maybe, just maybe, you will meet new faces who will make you feel like you're not lost in this crazy life. 

Speaking of exile, I was recently invited to this hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Katipunan, Q.C. which happens to be named Exile on Main St. This branch is their second and the first one is in Malate. Both (though I haven'tbeen tothe Malate branch) exudes a different kind of world with its interior design. It's like going through that rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. 

The  restaurant is owned by three college friends and theater practitioners which they named after their favorite Rolling Stone album: Exile on Main Street. Both the Malate and Katipunan branch are tucked in a small compound where you'll feel exiled from the world all the time. 

Through the uncanny and eclectic interiors of both sites, people got curious and through word of mouth Exile on Main St gained its popularity from people of all walks of life, especially the artists, the poets and of course the foodies. 

When it comes to the food that they serve their philosophy is simple, they offer dishes that the owners love to eat and serve them the way they enjoy them. They make their own sauces, dips, breading, batters, crusts, salsa, sausages, desserts, ice cream all in-house and from scratch! What's also great about Exile on Main St. is that they try to be out-of-the-box while keeping their prices friendly, after all, their clienteles are mainly students and yuppies.

So here's a showcase of what we I got to try with other bloggers at Exile, the names of the dishes are also quite not your ordinary food names:

Gimme Shiitake - Meaty strips of Shiitake mushrooms encrusted in chive crumbs and paired with Garlic Wasabi Mayo Dip. If you don't know the song the name of this dish is based on, go and listen to it. It's just a shot away, man. OMG I love mushrooms all of its kind! And having them battered and deep fried with a wasabi mayo dip is just like heaven!

Longganisa Con Sinta - Fried Longganisa Dumplings served with Black Vinegar & Salsa. A lovely, lovely dish made with sweet, homemade longganisa by the lovely, lovely Lola Jacinta herself. What a gal! . Not your typical dumplings for sure. A lot of us loved it but I personally didn't like it that much because i don't like sweet longganisa but it's worth the try since the black vinegar neutralized the sweetness

Nature Boy Nachos/Grunge Nachos - Corn Nacho Chips with Special Salsa made with diced green mangoes and apples and Torn & Frayed pulled pork on the side, and a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese because why not? 

Frequent Flyer Chicks with the China sauce - wings in savory soy sauce and honey coating with a spicy finish, and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. I think this is my first time to try chicken wings with an Asian flavor, and yeah I love it! You can really taste the Asian or Chinese undertones specially the sesame.

Frequent Flyer Chicks with the Texas saucewings coated in thick, slow-cooked, tomato-based barbecue sauce with a smoky hum. The old-school flavor which we all love. I like that it has got just the right amount of spiciness in them. Thumbs up on this one!

Frequent Flyer Chicks with the Java sauce - wings in creamy satay or peanut sauce with a hint of sweetness, and topped with roasted ground peanuts. I love peanut butter and I love that the sauce of these wings doesn't taste too much peanut butter-y and was just enough to make you remind of its Balinese influence.

Torn & Frayed - pulled pork stewed in a heady plum, soy and sesame sauce with caramelized ginger and garlic. This is something that I've got to try for the first time and I like it! This dish can serve two, unless you're really famished and you can also order this on a half order with white steamy rice!

Drunken Dory - the pasta is first cooked in a tomato and cream sauce with herbs and seafood broth, before they top it with the pan-seared fish. You can switch the sauce btw and if you want it can be  served with rice. 

Baboy O' Riley - crispy liempo near chicharon in status. choose any of the wing sauce you want to pair it with, recommended china sauce or black vinegar & salsa, served w/ rice. This is the crispiest lechon kawali I've ever tasted and really goes well with their black vinegar (which I super love by the way).

Monggo Tinapa Mo! - the classic hearty dish of monggo beans, malunggay and smoked fish, topped with chicharonn and served with rice. Yes the name of the dish name has an exclamation point at the end of it, because this dish deserves it! It is that intense! This mung beans stew will send you back to that time in your childhood where your mom or grandma will cook it for Friday lunch. But this version got some added oomph because it's mixed with frayed smoke dried fish and malunggay leaves which makes it so tasty! My favorite of the dish served to us that rainy afternoon! It was just perfection!

Tinapesto - Exile makes their pesto from scratch: fresh basil leaves, garlic, Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and so on. This is the Sunshine pesto with tinapa (smoke dried fish). 

The White Stripes - pasta with fennel sausages, made in-house, and tossed in roasted garlic and basil cream sauce. I actually love how simple this dish and how the fennel sausage added a lot of texture to it. 

Dorytos - pasta cooked in tomato and cream sauce with herbs and seafood broth, topped with a pan-seared fish. The pasta and the sauce was already enough actually and then there's the cream dory fish. 

4'Shroom Pie - egg-less pie, filled with Enoki, Button, Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms in herbed cheese sauce. Perfect for the one who wants to forget that Sundays are cheat days and if you're a wanna-be or true vegan. Oh sorry it has cheese, so never mind, forget about being vegan!

Calamansi Iced Tea - all-natural iced tea brewed from tea leaves with real real calamansi juice. yes it's all natural, evident with its taste. None of that powdered, artificial crap.

For the desserts and ice creams check my blog post here: Exile Creamery Co. 

Whew! That was a lot of food, desserts and ice creams for a short span of time that we visited Exile on Main St.! What a great way to spend a cold, rainy, gloomy Sunday afternoon with fellow foodies. Food is really a pick-me-uppers yeah? Thanks for having us Exile On Main St.! Imma definitely be back soon!!!

Malate Branch:
Unit 2 #2428 Leon Guinto St. Barangay 727, 
Malate, Manila, Philippines
Katipunan Branch:
Unit H, 299 Katipunan Avenue, 
Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Philippines
Contact Nos: 0916-2205097; 0917-8720767
Email; exileonmainstrestaurant@gmail.com

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: 
Exile on Main St. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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