Tucked in the quiet residential uphills of Mandaluyong City, a cozy restaurant called St. Nicholas is slowly gaining popularity.Owned by the General Manager cum Executive Chef, Mr. Nick Pelaez, I went home that night with a full tummy, new acquaintances and a promise of more laughs with old friends.
It was past four PM and nearing dinner time. My friend Jherson patiently waited for me at a nearby fast food. Upon arrival, the small group of invited individuals were already gathered in the rectangular table. My other friend Joshua arrived just after us.
|Civet Coffee are for sale|
After introductions, Chef Nick asked what refreshment I would like to have. He offered a choice between Choco Banana Shake and Milk Banana Shake. I am not really a fan of the banana fruit turned drink (but it is my favorite fruit). But hey, I was there to try something new so I opted for the latter. After taking a sip, I think I have now become an official fan of their Milk Banana Shake. Yes, I really like it.
As soon as everyone were settled, we were served various dishes with sweet-sounding (and delicious) names like Sweet Chili Garlic Shrimp, Tinolang Manok sa Pakwan (Watermelon), Paru-Parong Tilapia among others.
|Ebi Tempura with Suka Dip (P 199)|
It was a good thing that I did not think of downing the hot cup of rice because I sure would not be able to taste everything on the table. Some dishes were familiar whilst others were new to my ears. Some had unique names while the desserts were simply awesome.
We were presented with various viands but what I really liked is that these dishes come with a twist. The names are unique and the food served were also interesting to the palate.
|Paru-Parong Tilapia (P 199)|
First on our plate was Okoy Gulay. I thought this was a little bland, or maybe I was just used to the usual okoy I eat as a child, but for me that was good since it is on the healthier side. The insides also remained tender even after minutes of serving. Be sure to try it with the vinegar.
|Okoy Gulay (P 99)|
Next served was a deep bowl filled with the steaming Tinolang Manok sa Pakwan (Watermelon). St. Nicholas Restaurant’s version of tinola gets a thumbs-up sign from me as the soup alone can already fill your tummy. Masarap siya (It’s delicious) and was actually sweet-tasting.
|Tinolang Manok sa Pakwan (P 199)|
My favorite, the visually appealing Sweet Chili Garlic Shrimp, just got the right taste. It was not too sweet and just got a little hint of spiciness. I think I was unable to taste much of this but at only P 199 pesos per plate, I am sure it will be the first in my order list in my next visit.
|Sweet Chili Garlic Shrimp (P 199)|
Surprisingly, the restaurant also offers a variety of exotic-sounding dishes like Tapang Usa and Tapang Baboy Ramo. We had several more dishes. Sad I was unable to have a sample of Adobong Crocodile though.
Oh! And I won’t forget mentioning that their desserts were just heavenly. Here are some of the mouth-watering desserts we tried.
|Turon de Tsokolate (P 75)|
|Chocolate Lava Ala Mode (P 199)
Made from pure chocolate ingredients
Hence, the ‘lava’ name
Overflowing chocolate babe!
|Temptation by Tablea Ala Mode (P 179)
Now don’t get me started with this one
St. Nicholas Restaurant offers affordable, good-tasting food. But aside from these, what will make me go back here is the ambience itself.
Upon seeing the interiors that afternoon, I thought that the place was a little on the different side. The place was a mixture of coziness, old world charm and unique, eclectic accents. I like the classic kitchen ware they use as I am a sucker for anything antique and archaic-looking stuff. That gold plate almost made it to my bag. Chef Nick said I could have it but of course I was just kidding. Okay, I admit, half-kidding. 🙂 Okay Chef, can I have that pretty gold thing when I go back? (lol)
But as soon as dusk came and enveloped the surroundings, I quickly fell in love with it. I found the restaurant actually romantic. Or maybe because I am girl. But with the soft glowing lights and the murmur of classic Filipino songs? Well, the atmosphere it created was just lovely. I would like to just hang out there next time and learn to drink civet coffee. Or maybe I will be on a date. Yes, that’s it! It could pass for a secret rendezvous for couples in looove. <3
Perhaps Chef Nick also loves traveling as tarpaulins of famous Philippine travel destinations were put up in some parts of the restaurant. I kept guessing if the one on the left side was actually Calle Crisologo. I could not see clearly since a huge ventilation machine was standing in front of it. My hunch was confirmed after the area was cleared and I saw the enigmatic Calle Crisologo once more. Albeit in an enlarged photo. Now he would know that it is one of my favorite travel destinations.
The others left as soon as our dinner was over. But me and my friends together with Chef bonded for a few more minutes over table games and travel tales. This, aside from our dinner, was what made this day a delightful event.
Thank you Chef. And by the way, I really can’t put down that gold plate still.
How To Get To St. Nicholas Restaurant
The restaurant can be easily reached by private and public vehicles. Take MRT and alight at Boni Station. Ride any jeepney (Gaby’s, Stop ‘N Shop, Kalentong) towards city hall.
From city hall, right turn past Pan de Manila and take a left at San Rafael St. St. Nicholas Restaurant is on the left side, corner of Fatima and San Rafael Streets.
Unfamiliar with the place? Check the map below or search St. Nicholas Catering Services in Google maps.
|Map from St. Nicholas Restaurant Facebook Page|
St. Nicholas Restaurant
1 Fatima St. Cor. San Rafael St.,
Plainview Subdivision, Mandaluyong City
(632) 535-7637 / (632) 788-6426
Tuesdays to Sundays
11 AM to 12 MN
Asian Fusion and Filipino
Lunch, Dinner, Coffee and Drinks