Back in January, I had the privilege of visiting Manila Social Club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a Yelp Elite event. Having heard a lot about this place and their infamous 2hours and up wait list to dine, I seized the chance to visit for this private event.
It’s no secret that I love Filipino food. It’s my greatest comfort with dishes similar to those from my Hispanic roots; like Lechon Kawali and chicken adobo to name a few.
The Yelp Event was amazing and I made a mental note to come back for brunch or dinner service. My new co-worker, who is new to New York, asked if I had ever been. We had a brief conversation about it and she said Let’s Get Brunch! Having familiarized myself with their crazy wait times, I suggested we arrive EARLY.
So, here we were at 10:30AM on a Saturday on a rainy, nasty day in Brooklyn. We were first in line.
I am sure that because of the yucky weather, people took their chances showing up a little after 11AM- when they open- and very few were fortunate to snag one of the 13 tables. That’s all they have, 13! We were seated and once all the tables were filled, arriving patrons were told the wait was 2 hrs. TWO HOURS. And they waited.
In the rain.
Feeling like this was a golden opportunity, C and I ordered a little bit of everything. We were going to experience all of brunch!
To start, we were given some potato rolls with ube butter. These rolls were fluffy and pillowy and freaking delicious. I inhaled mine and nearly asked for another but refrained since we had ordered a boat load of food. When in Rome…
I had a cup of coffee which needed to refilled quite a bit. The coffee was nice and strong. I recently had never experienced a notably bad cup of coffee at a dining establishment until I went to a cute place in Forest Hills… so sad.
One of our appetizers was the fried avocado. Wasn’t really sure about this but C requested it so I figured why not? The avocado retained its creaminess and had a delightful and light crunchy coating. The addition of a slivered pickled onion really took this up a notch. Would definitely order this again but it’s a heavy appetizer.
We ordered my absolute favorite- Lumpia. A Filipino spring roll. They were crisp and flavorful. There really isn’t nothing more to add because they were amazing. Feed me all the lumpia!
When in Rome, you do as the Romans do. So we ordered Spam Fries. These didn’t wow us [right away]. If you like spam, you will like these. We barely touched these but took some home and after reheating leftovers, I really enjoyed them. They seem to be dried a little before they are fried. They had more texture to them while still tasting like canned meat.
In addition to our appetizers, we ordered sides to go with our entrees. Hindsight is 20/20. Had we known the size of these things, we likely would have narrowed our choices down by half. We were running out of precious stomach room.
The longaniza (AKA sausage) hash was the most anticipated item but sadly it disappointed. It was just okay. The presentation was great but led us to expect unctuous spoonfuls of hash. We got very soft potatoes and very little sausage. Would pass on next time and just get a side of sausage.
C got the soufle mango pancake with ube ice cream. A monstrosity! A cakey, fluffy, delicious monstrosity. Her ube ice cream was delicious too. She wanted a side of eggs which were buttery and fluffy.
I got the tocino (bbq pork belly-ish) with two eggs over garlic rice. The eggs and rice were great. The tocino was sadly dry. Flavor-wise, I enjoyed the tocino but I would likely order something else next time.
About midway through our feast, we found ourselves waving the white flag and packing lots of leftovers for a massive “snack” to take home. The mish-mosh tasted glorious later in the day after a long walk and a nap.
Overall, I enjoyed our experience at Manila Social Club. There were some misses/disappointments but I would definitely come back. They have a golden ube donut that is $100… but I hear good things.
Will have to check out dinner…