You are probably wondering the same thing I was when I first heard of this restaurant—what’s with the name? I kept that question in mind before going for a visit. When we got to restaurant, for a moment I lost my thought because of the elegantly designed rustic interiors of the place. Asan si Diwa at Ila is located inside a food park, but it’s difficult to miss since it’s the only restaurant that has the most unique interior and the most spacious indoor seating.
Diwa Flores and Shiela Alipio, a couple who met in the BPO industry a few years back, both shared a passion for food and traveling. After several years of working in the BPO industry, they both felt the need to follow and pursue what they really wanted—to do something they’re passionate about. And that is how they came up with the idea of a restaurant incorporating dishes from the places they’ve visited.
Diwa and Ila have been traveling the Philippines for three years now, and the restaurant’s concept came out of all the exceptional and delectable food they encountered throughout their travels. Asan si Diwa and Ila is a travel-themed restaurant specializing in seafood and practically anything grilled! During our visit, we tried several dishes and here’s what we think!
DIY Shrimp – P199.00
For starters, we tried the D-I-Y Shrimp. For the D-I-Y Shrimp, you can choose from 6 flavors (Garlic, Spicy, Spicy Garlic, Hearty Sauce, Curry and Ginataan) and 8 available add-ons (Shredded Corn, Sun-dried tomatoes, Shitake Mushrooms, Pork Floss, Mixed Veggies, Jalapeno, Shrimp and Egg). We had garlic shrimp and the taste was amazing. The sauce was also perfectly combined and it didn’t overpower the taste of the shrimp.
Sinuglaw – P149.00
Up next we had Sinuglaw. I was excited to try this dish because I love everything with raw fish and they usually come with a hefty price tag. Sinuglaw is a dish from Davao and is a combination of Sinugbang Liempo and Kinilaw na Tuna. I tasted the meat first and I could taste all the smokey goodness oozing out of it after having my first bite.
I had the tuna after, hoping it wouldn’t disappoint, and boy, it didn’t. I think it was the best Sinuglaw I’ve had here in the metro. They also didn’t scrimp on the tuna and liempo. And for the price, this is definitely worth your buck.
Our next dish was Binagoongan. I was a bit skeptical about this one since it looked dry—but you know what they also say; don’t judge a book by its cover. The meat was tender and the flavor was permeated to the core. It’s also notable to say that the eggplant was cooked perfectly and complemented the dish. There was no need for extra sauce!
Hinalang – P199
Then we had Hinalang; a beef soup from GenSan, but of course, lovingly personalized by Chef Diwa. You can change up the spiciness of the dish based on your preference. He also added noodles to it, which gives off a Ramen vibe to it—it’s a lot like Filipino ramen minus the egg and more meat!
Leche Flan – P50.00
And last but not the least, and also the star of our night, Asan Si Diwa at Ila’s special Leche Flan. Well, when you see it on the menu it only says Leche Flan, but once you taste it, you’ll know why it’s special. On the outside, it looks like your normal leche flan drizzled with chocolate syrup. But after the first bite, the texture would feel familiar, but not because of the creamy consistency you get when devouring a creamy flan—but the kind of consistency you get when you gobble up your first spoonful of ice cream! Yes, this dessert is like a fusion of flan and ice cream, which is immediately evident on the first bite. And I thought Leche Flan couldn’t get any better. Just make sure that you consume the dessert immediately, because just like ice cream, its best consumed right out the fridge.
Would I come back? Definitely! Asan Si Diwa at Ila Seafood Grill has so much more to offer that one visit isn’t enough to give them all a try. Oh, and before I forget, you’re still wondering why the name? It’s because when they’re out traveling, discovering new places and tasting new dishes somewhere in the 7,107 islands of the Philippines, their friends and relatives would often ask, “Asan si Diwa at Ila?” And if by any chance you wonder the same thing, give their restaurant a visit and find out for yourselves.
Asan Si Diwa at Ila Seafood Grill
Contact: (02) 622-0222 | (0956) 504 7223 | (0917) 326 8274
704 Aurora Blvd, New Manila, QC (inside Adventure Food Park)
Operation Hours: 4:00PM-12:00AM (Except Tuesdays)
43 Malingap St., Teacher’s Village QC (Inside Sagul Food Park)
Operation Hours: 4:00PM-12:00AM