Happy Tummy

Restaurant Review: Café Naya at The Palace

It was on a Friday night when PMI held an event at The Palace Pool Club, giving us a good reason to visit Manila’s famous nightlife destination. Yes, it was our first time and we couldn’t be happier! We’re going tugs tugs after so many years! Haha! Getting old, we are.

Before going inside, we decided to have dinner at Café Naya, the only establishment there that offers a laid-back vibe in the middle of a bustling nightlife.

The restaurant has a nice ambience to it. The whole set-up and the theme were not jarring on the eyes even with those lights coming through that glass wall.

This was the only picture I have of the place ‘coz there were many celebrities at that time, I was too shy to take a lot of pictures. Haha! So let’s just get to the food part, shall we?

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In a restaurant that isn’t Japanese (it centers on coastal cuisine), we were surprised to find a Japanese section on their menu. Normally we wouldn’t get dishes that are off the menu like rib eye steak in a Chinese restaurant or tom yum soup in a Korean restaurant because we think they’d taste odd. This time though, we were in for a surprise!

We ordered for their Spicy Kani Roll (P295), a kani roll with sriracha mayo and stuffed with shrimp tempura, as an appetizer. Oh boy it was good! One bite surely called my taste buds to attention! The flavors were on point with the right amount of sweet and spicy dressing that made me go “hmmmmm so good” with every bite. It was really mouthwatering! I salute you, chef!

PS: the picture didn’t give justice to how good it tasted!

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For the main course, I ordered for their Chicken (P439). It was grilled just right, juicy and savory, seasoned with greek spices and topped with herbed yogurt. Underneath the chicken was a bed of sweet potato puree surrounded with eggplants and zucchinis.

The chicken tasted really good and was even better when mixed with the yogurt sauce. The sweet potato puree on the other hand was not to my liking. It was moist and sweet but… I don’t know how else to describe it basta I didn’t like it. Haha!

PS: another not so good shot. I really need to improve on taking good food photos, eh?

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My boyfriend ordered for the Salmon (P576), being a big fan of the fish. It was an olive oil poached salmon on a bed of bulgur wheat. It would have tasted better if it was served hot. Or do they really serve it cold? I’ve no idea. Our server might have forgotten that we were waiting for nearly 20 minutes for this order, that we had to follow up on it. I wanted to comment about it but my boyfriend was too hungry to even care.

To be fair, it was a big chunk of a delectable salmon. And the mixture of all the ingredients in that bulgur wheat was interesting it can very well be an alternative to white rice. A healthy alternative I must say. But, like I said, it would have been better if it wasn’t served cold.

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The very first thing I always check on the menu is the dessert section, every single time! Hehe. I was already eyeing their Yoghurt Panna Cotta (P249) even before we started our meals.

This silky smooth yoghurt panna cotta was definitely one of the best I’ve had so far! Seriously. If only I didn’t stuff my belly with the mains and the roll, I would have finished the whole jar by myself! It was that good! The yogurt was firm covered with dulce de leche and spiced up with caramelized pineapples. It was healthy. It was delicious. It was perfect! Yum! Another I salute you, chef!

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Most of the food we ordered were impressive that we want to come back to try the other interesting dishes on the menu such as the Warm Camembert, 24 Hour Shortribs, Naya Burger, all the Japanese rolls (as in literally all of it!), and the Chocnut Pot De Crème. And of course, I would definitely go back for another jar of that Yoghurt Panna Cotta! Don’t they sound all so delicious?

You know what’s another good thing to point out? The prices! The dishes were neither too expensive nor too economical. They were reasonably priced given the serving and the quality, plus considering it is located in a prime spot in BGC. Good value for money!

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We went in right away to go tugs tugs and get drunk. Kidding.

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LOCATION9th Ave. cor. 36th St., Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig, Metro Manila

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