Whenever we have foreigner colleagues visiting us in the Manila office, Abe has always been my recommended place for eating dinner. I dunno why, I guess it’s the beautiful ambiance of Serendra plus the nice ambiance of the restaurant itself.
Abe means two things. As what the restaurant stated in the menu, Abe can mean any of the ff.:
- Capampangan word for friend, companion, and getting together
- nickname of a beloved son of Pampanga, Emilio Aguilar Cruz (1915-1991), writer, editor, painter, connoisseur, bon vivant and legendary eater outer
To sum it up, I understood based on my multiple dining experiences with Abe Restaurant, that it serves Kapampangan dishes and the restaurant was put up to pay a tribute to Abe.
The beautiful image at the entrance of Abe Restaurant is an image of Abe, the restaurant owner’s father. What a way to honor a father. Abe must be proud considering how successful Abe is. The place is always jam-packed!
We reserved a few days earlier. Luckily, we were given a table inside the private room. We shared the room with another group of diners. In spite of being in a secluded room, it wasn’t hard calling out the attention of the servers. Whenever we want to order more food items or want to ask for water, they are always there to serve. I’m pretty impressed with the service considering how I ranted a before that they could improve on service. I guess they did!
Another thing that I love to rave about Abe is their food. I still have fond memories of my trip to Pampanga a few weeks ago. My key takeaway in my trip there was mainly how delicious kapampangan food is! Abe is like our Pampanga in Manila. It gives us a taste of Pampanga in our very own city.
- Bamboo Rice (Php 250)
I heard a loud voice then I saw the server banging the bamboo. Surprise! The rice is actually placed inside a bamboo! There was too much rice but the reason why I love this rice is because it’s very tasty! There were mushrooms, shrimps and bamboo shoots in the rice. I can actually eat the bamboo rice even without any other dishes because of its rich taste.
- Lamb Adobo (Php 410)
I’m not used to eating lamb. If it’s adobo, I always preferred pork. I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked this dish. I especially love that garlic was all over the adobo. It made the dish looked good. The after-taste of lamb wasn’t present too and I was wondering how they did it but I’m just thankful! This dish is best eaten with rice.
- Spicy Sisig Pampanga (Php 195)
the good ol’ Pampanga fave! Whee! Eating this dish made me remember my trip to Pampanga a few weeks back. It had that taste. Minced pork cheek & chicken livers cooked in garlic, chilies and other spices. Oh so good!
- Abe’s Morcon (Php 320)
This dish is basically embutido. Abe’s version was slowly cooked for hours. Their morcon is meat roll with chorizo, egg and paprika. Yum! We usually eat embutido fried and we just dip it in ketchup. I like Abe’s version as they cooked it together with our favorite sauce. Super enticing!
- Binukadkad na Pla Pla (Php 395)
I have no idea how this dish was cooked. The binukadkad na pla pla was just too nice to look at. Every single time this dish was served, first time diners will always have this ‘wow!’ reaction. I was already looking forward to that reaction when it was served in our table haha! The fish was tilapia and it was deep fried to crispiness. It was too crispy that I think I was able to swallow some small bones.
The pla pla was served with balo balo relish and mustard leaves. As I recommended my companions, I told them to get some fish, put in the mustard leaves and spread some relish and wrap it around. I remember that was how Kapampangans eat them.
- Tamarind Shake (Php 105)
I was supposed to order kamias shake but it was out of stock. I then ordered my 2nd choice which is Abe’s tamarind shake. I love fruit shakes and I especially love to try out unique kinds of it. So as unusual as people think of Tamarind shake is, I ordered it. Yes, it was sour but it was so refreshing!
- Sikreto ni Maria (Php 165)
I’m contemplating if I should share with you what’s in this dish. Since it was named Sikreto ni Maria, should I respect that and just let you guess what the ingredients in this yummy dessert are? I’ll share with you what’s obvious. There’s the carabao milk ice tea.
Order this dish when you go to Abe and discover what the secret is. You won’t be disappointed
- Ube Jalea with Macapuno (Php 150)
I’m not sure how to react when I saw this dessert. It didn’t seem complete. I felt that I needed to eat this with another dish. Luckily, we ordered Turon which is perfect with this purple yam and macapuno.
- Turon with Nangka & Ube (Php 80)
A different twist to our favorite pinoy turon. This time, the main ingredients were jackfruit and ube. It worked! I liked it! I’m not sure though if Php 80 is a good price for 2 pieces of it.
My favorite among the dishes we ate at Abe is the sisig! I’m sure I’ll be back at Abe. If I’ll be asked in the future what my recommendation is for our visiting friends, Abe will still be my answer.
The food, the ambiance and the service were good! Abe definitely serves items closest to what Filipino food is about. Me and my team enjoyed our dinner. I wish we can do this more often.
Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines