Monday, August 8, 2011

1521 - Haven of Filipino Cuisine

For a while now, a friend of mine keeps on telling me to visit 1521 - a Filipino restaurant at Shaw Blvd in Mandaluyong and for some reason, my feet hasn't brought me to Wack Wack and eat at this restaurant.  Last Friday, while strolling along Burgos Circle looking for a place to have dinner, I saw this:

It didn't dawn to me at once that this was the resto that my friend has been telling me until I asked the food server what are the dishes they are offering.  Oh my! I didn't know they have a branch in Burgos Circle! How would I know? They just opened three weeks ago!

I immediately called up my friends and told me that I have selected a place to eat and while I was browsing the menu, this line caught my attention with a smile:

"Ma, anong ulam?" means "Mom, what's for lunch/dinner?"  This is very Filipino.  It immediately brought me back to the times when I'm still living with my mom and looks forward to what's instore for lunch or dinner.  It almost brought tears to my eyes (maybe, i just missed my mom's cooking).

After Elmo (the waiter) described some of the dishes to me (and while waiting for my friends to arrive), I decided to have Dinamitang Keso (Dynamite Cheese).  As described in the menu, this is a signature cheese sticks dish of 1521 spiked with slivers of de-seeded green chili served with mango wasabi sauce. 

So while waiting for the dish, a friendly woman approached me and introduced herself as Chef Tanke.  Yes.  The Chef and owner herself.  The stars are with me!

We chatted for a while and Chef Tanke told me that she was formerly with the advertising industry but decided to venture into cooking.  Which is her passion. She studied in Italy for formal training but admitted that she loves traditional Filipino ways of cooking and dishes itself.

What she wish to achieve when you eat at her resto?  Nostalgia and a homey feeling.  That, as if your mom was the one who cooked the food for you.

My friends arrived and Chef suggested several specialty of the house for us to try.  She is very passionate in describing each dish.  I felt it and I know how this brings her joy.   She promised to give us good food and hoped that she will achieve her mission - nostalgia.

Excited much, I ate the Dinamitang Keso immediately and forgot to take pictures.  So here is what was left (before we finish it all).

1521's Dinamitang Keso

It was rich and creamy and not very spicy.  The Mango-wasabi sauce is perfect also.  Yummy!

The menu is rich with Filipino dishes named humorously I would say.  We decided to order the specials of the house beginning with:

1521's Pinalutik na Inantala

This is their version of chicharon (pork rind cracklings) served with three (3) dipping sauces namely Burong Tilapia, Pickled Kamias and Sinamak (a local vinegar conconction).  The sound of the rind still crakling when served is heaven.  Its crispy and not salty.  I particularly liked the pickled kamias from among the three dips.  The burong tilapia tastes good as well, does not smell bad (as this type of dish usually is).  Another YUM!

Next on the menu is the Dai-Mos - Daing na Bangus sa Miso

1521's Dai-Mos - Daing na Bangus in Miso
This dish is perfect for those who are kind off afraid to eat fish (like me) due to 'lansa' or the fishy taste of it because this dish has nothing of those. 

First sip and....wooh! Feels like home. The soup is rich, quite thick and with just the right amount of sourness in it.  The daing na bangus in this dish is something new to me...and I liked it.

So far so good...very good.

Next is the famous (and the chef is bragging about it) Pochero ni Tankeko.

1521's Pochero ni Tankeko
It is served with Ensaladang Talong (eggplant salad in vinaigrette).  The sauce is made up of mash yums, plantains and tomato sauce.  The beef is tender and was I believe (from the taste and look of it) was cooked slowly or the traditional way.  This is another good and very nice dish you should try.  Masarap (delicious).  Promise!

Aside from the number of Filipino main dishes you can choose from, 1521 is also serving, again, traditional and old time favorite Filipino desserts like leche flan, buco pandan, puto bumbong, etc.  They even have Inutak, a native delicacy of Taguig.  Sadly (for us) Inutak is not available that night.  Sold out according to Elmo (*wink*)

So Chef offered (yes, she visits and chats with her guests every now and then) Nilasing na Saging.  As a description, it is flambe'ed plantains with rum and jackfruit.

1521's Nilasing na Saging
Oh my! you should try this.  Perfectly cooked plantains and I can't get enough of the sauce.  So yummy!

Our tummys are saying no but our mouths are saying yes.  We still want to eat.  Another dessert?

Meet Hubad na Suman at Manggo.

1521's Hubad na Suman at Manggo
This.Is.Very.Delicious. What is the synonym of perfect? (coz' I'm sounding redundant).

Suman is my least favorite Filipino delicacy, but I'm going back to 1521 to eat this one. I'm serious.  The sauce is made up of coconut milk, sugar and pandan.  My mouth is watering right now just looking at the picture again.

The resto is also serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  The ones we ordered were:

1521 Ays-Ti

Sago't Gulaman

Ginger Pandan Iced Tea

The Ginger Pandan Iced Tea is very refreshing while the Sago's Gulaman is sweet - a little bit sweet for me.  The 1521 Ays Ti is a conconction of pineapple, orange, cranberry and green tea? I'm sure of the first three, I'm not confident with the last ingredient if I got it correctly.  A little less syrup maybe next time?

It was indeed a dinner to remember. The ambiance and the food plus the friendly staff and very hands-on Chef Tanke - everything what being a Filipino is.  I felt like being a guest in one of the luncheons given by a very hospitable host.


To give you a peak of what it looks like inside this homey resto, I took some shots

Reception and the Welcoming Committe
the second floor
The paintings on the walls are very Filipino.  Clothes and party scenes.  Even grandmother chasing her grandson. :D
a scene in one of the walls of 1521

1521 lived up to their tagline : Rediscover Filipino Cuisine. Dine in this haven and go back in time. You'll never regret it! 

Oh and by the way, with all of those we ate, it only costs us less than Php2,000.00.

1521 has branches at:

547 Shaw Blvd. Brgy Wack Wack, 
Mandaluyong City

Burgos Circle, Forbes Town Center
Fort Bonifacio Global City
+632 552 1909
Mon - Thurs:10:00-23:00
Fri - Sat:10:00-01:00
+63917 858 1521


  1. It was a nice way of rediscovering Filipino cuisine! Thanks for following my blog, nice to see a fellow "Kulinarya's" food blogger. I'll also be following you already!

  2. hi joy!

    you are welcome and thanks too :D


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