When I got back from Hong Kong, I got an invite from Pink Panda to dine in their restaurant. I was leaving for the States in a few days and haven't packed yet (plus I had yet to unpack my Hong Kong things), but since I wanted to eat here with T even before I got an invite, I decided to make this our dinner date before I left.
Pink Panda is another brainchild of Erwan Heussaff, along with Hatch 22, Hungry Hound, Niner Ichi Nana and a lot more.
It is a hidden gem in the area and this is probably what gave birth to the hashtag #WhereisPinkPanda on Instagram and Twitter.
If you're familiar with A. Venue Mall, Pink Panda is just near it. Just look for a dark space with a pink neon sign in front and that would be it!
T and I found the decor of Pink Panda interesting. Even their walls have amusing accents, from jeepneys to potted plants.
Pink Panda has a private room for meetings and special occasions.
It can seat around 10 people.
Pink Panda serves a fusion of Chinese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, and Thai food, which they call "soul food".
When the server gave us the menus, I noticed that the drinks and the food have witty names. My drink is called Pink Panty (P110/$2.50) which is raspberry flavored and mixed with almonds and syrup. At first, I was hesitant to try it because I wasn't too sure about almonds and raspberry being mixed, but it was surprisingly good. According to our server, this is their best seller.
T got the Kopi Panda (P110/$2.50) which is cold coffee. T liked it and said it's very refreshing.
All of the names on the menu sounded intriguing so we didn't know what to order. We just asked our server to tell us what we should get.
For our salad, she suggested the Mango and Papaya Catfish Salad (P380/$8.60) which has a trio of mangoes, green papaya, shredded catfish, golden shallots, and chili lime dressing. I love the presentation.
Then another server asked if we'd like him to mix the salad and serve it to us. I said yes because I didn't want to be the one who destroyed how it looked like. T and I both like this dish.
Our server also suggested the VC Spring Rolls (P260/$5.80) which is spiced pork, trio of mushrooms, grilled shrimp and picked jicama rolled in rice wrapper. Half of the rolls are fresh and half are fried. It comes with two sauces so you can choose what you want to use.
Another interesting starter we didn't order because it might be too much for me and T, would be Dimsum and Then Some (P350/$8) which has spicy shrimp dumplings, pork mushroom shu mai, kuchay shrimp dumplings, shrimp and pumpkin dumplings, shrimp hakaw with chili garlic ponzu. Notice the name? Told you they're witty.
I love prawns and I love salted egg so when I saw this on the menu, I knew I wanted to order Salted Egg Prawns (P775/$17.50) which is fresh water prawns with Pateros salted egg. T and I both like it as it is very flavorful. One thing we both didn't like though is how the shell of the shrimp is kind of hard to remove, only because the rest of the sauce comes off with the shell. Sayang the flavor.
I also like the combination of colors in this dish. Here's a closer look.
For his main, T ordered the Vietnamese Coffee Steak (P1,350/$30.50) which is 10 oz certified Angus rib eye steak with condensed coffee rub and vegetable and mushroom stir fry. I've never tried coffee-flavored steak so this is pretty interesting. There is just a hint of flavor which will make you think what it is, if you didn't see the menu. The steak has a lot of fat but I'm sure most of you want that in your steak. The vegetable dish that comes with it is similar to chopsuey but with a twist.
They said we should try Pink Panda's mixed drinks. And when we saw this, we took it as a sign and said yes ;)
T likes whisky so he got Old Styling (P250/$5.66) which is whisky mixed with Angostura bitters, sweet vermouth, coinreau wash and agave syrup.
I got the Pumped Panda (P250/$5.66) which is tequila blanco, cinnamon syrup, lime juice, vanilla, mure, and soda. At first I was hesitant to order this because of the cinnamon but our server said there's just a hint of it in the drink. There's actually a cinnamon bark inside my drink but she's right, the taste is not overpowering. I like this and I also want to bring home the bamboo glass where they served my drink in. It's so cool!
Thank you Pink Panda for hosting a wonderful dinner date for me and T before I leave for the States :)
Nice food presentation.
Free wifi (don't forget the hashtag #WhereisPinkPanda)
Nothing really, except if you feel like it's too hard to find (but for me this is a plus!)
If you're looking for something different, Pink Panda is something you could try. Some may find the food and drink expensive, but it's the ambiance and the unique food experience that make it worth the price.
Pink Panda Manila
Dining Date: 23 June 2014
Y2 Residence Hotel
4687 Santiago Street corner B Valdez Street
Mobile No.: (0917) 389-0714
Monday to Sunday
11:00am - 3:00am