Naxional is the newest go-to restaurant for those looking to broaden their culinary horizons. Naxional brings the heart of South America to Manila. Heavily inspired by the most-loved dishes South American locals enjoy every day, Naxional’s menu is filled with authentic, traditional family recipes cooked using both local and imported spices and seasonings.
Their food is born out of the owners' collective passion for its different countries, and heavily inspired by home cooking and traditional family recipes. The Naxional team has partners who hail from the region and grew up with its flavors, and some who have traveled the region and fallen in love with it.
The place's interior is dimly for a cozy atmosphere. The walls are studded with murals and paintings that represents the countries of South America and its culture. Plush leather couches/cubicles line the walls and tables with leather-upholstered seats occupy the other spaces which totally gives you that "diner" feels.
Almost every area of this restaurant is Instagram-worthy. While waiting for our orders, I can't help but roam around and take photos, yes for my blog, Instagram and IG stories. We were assigned with one server who explained to us what are the dishes made of. Because we don't know most of the names of the dishes.
Bacon-Wrapped Pollo - grilled chicken thigh fillet wrapped with thick-cut bacon with citrus guava and BBQ sauce. We ordered Yuca Fritas and Mofongo with this. Yuca Fritas are deep fried cassava roots just like French fries. Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish composed of fried plantains then mashed with salt, garlic and oil in a wooden mortar and pestle and either mixed with pork cracklings (chicharon) or bits of bacon. The chicken wrapped with bacon was very rich in flavor. I liked it so much, I hoped that there is more in the serving like 2 more pieces hehe. The mofongo is by far my favorite of all the side dishes, it was sweet and the pork added more texture to it. The Yuca Fritas were so-so and quite dry and were only 3 pieces. Either way the mofongo made up for it.
Chipotle BBQ Ribs - slow cooked pork spare ribs with citrus guava and BBQ Chipotle sauce. For this dish we ordered it with Fresh Corn Arepas and Brazilian Fried Rice. Fresh Corn Arepas are flat, round, unleavened patty of soaked, ground kernels of maize (corn) that can be grilled, baked, fried, boiled or steamed. Brazilian Fried Rice is rice seasoned onions and garlic, usually it is fried in oil with minced onion and garlic before adding water. The ribs were awesome, tender, smoky and very tasty. The serving was very generous too, this can already feed two people. I wasn't a fan of the Fresh Corn Arepas and Brazilian Fried Rice. For the Brazilian rice, it had a little bit too much of cilantro which kinda put me off. As for the arepas, it had an after-taste that I honestly didn't like, maybe it's an acquired taste.
Brazilian Lemonade - lemonade with coconut milk. The coconut milk mixed with lemonade is something new for me but this drink was refreshing.
For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile: