Masas, exceptional Filipino traditional cuisine
Established in 2002, Masas Filipino Cuisine was among the first restaurants to rise on Greenbelt 2 Makati and has been there ever since.
It is owned by three friends with a shared love for eating and who agreed to set up a restaurant they could call their own: Lovell Gopez – distributor of Mizuno Sports Gear; Eli Antonino – sister of GenSan City Congresswoman Darlene Antonino; Christopher James Escudero who’s the COO and who’s married to GMA 7 newscaster Connie Sison.
From the start, the owners knew what they wanted their restaurant to be. A Filipino restaurant but with a marked difference, succinctly stated as “traditions perfected”.
Their recruitment of staff echoed this. The general manager, the chef, the admin and service staff all come from different regions in the country. They were encouraged by the owners to share recipes of dishes that their provinces are most noted for.
GM Julie Radaza, a nutritionist-dietician with 16 years of experience in the food service industry, is proud of Masas’ upholding Filipino cuisine which she called a delicious blend of Chinese, Spanish and Asian influences.
Masas has earned two other distinctions. It is the only restaurant in Makati City that serves Pancit Buko (inspired by a dish in Pangasinan) where coconut meat is used instead of the usual egg noodle.
It is the only restaurant in Greenbelt that serves served zero (negative 0º or freezing point) alcoholic beverages. When the bottles are served, there’s a technique in preserving the snowy feel and taste of the beverage. Slam the glass bottle with a fork to transfer the icy cold liquid into real ice formation. Drinkers, Julie explained, love it because it has a soothing effect on the throat. In Tagalog parlance, “suabe ang dating.”
A best-seller that has yet to be dethroned from its top slot is their crispy pata which is popular with big groups of 4 to 5 guests. It is the most expensive at P675. Crispy outside, yet the meat is very tender so that when you chew it, you can hear the crunch even if you try very hard to close your mouth to muffle the crackling sound.
Here’s another. Masas kare-kare tastes so good, that it needs no add-on shrimp paste sauce, nevertheless the ‘bagoong’ is provided.
Tables – made of mahogany – are littered with various ‘sawsawan’ (condiments) like kuratsoy which is their native Iligan version of vinegar and soy sauce, waykurat and piñakurat.
And what is the Masas menu? They’re authentic regional Pinoy dishes that Masas refers to in their bill of fare as sabaw, gulay, ulam, panghimagas.
Here are some of their tempting ulam (main course) and kanin (rice): Laing, ensaladang talong, gising gising (spinach dish with pork and chilies in coconut milk), pinakbet, kalderetang lamb, bellylicious (crunchy pork belly), peking friend chicken, bacolod chicken inasal, inihaw na posit, blue marlin a la gambas, binawangang bangus, garlic sesame infused fried rice, binagoongang rice, tinapa rice.
By the way, vegetarians are not neglected. They can take their pick from vegetarian pinakbet, vegetarian laing, lumpiang ubod.
To complete your selection, choose from any of their drinks – frozen dalandan, frozen margarita and zombie (pomelo with gin).
The crowd profile is interesting and to-die for (especially if you’re in the service industry), Class A/B and companies. Expats make up 60% of that crowd. Dinnertime is the busiest when they have to look after the eating guests and at the same time attend to waiting guests.
The young ‘uns – you see them mostly on Thursday and Friday evenings because acoustic bands like Snare, The Groove or Emman perform on those nights at the Patio Area from 8 pm to 11 pm.
Masas has three areas – the ground floor which can seat 48, the mezzanine can hold 55 guests, while up to 75 persons can choose to lounge or rock and roll at the patio or al-fresco area.
Plans are afoot next year for branch expansion because Masas owners are determined to instill among Filipinos and foreign nationals a deep appreciation of traditional Filipino food. Where they will branch out, no one is saying just as yet. If you’re desperate to know, try to seek enlightenment from the huge La Independencia sepia photograph of Jose Rizal hanging on one of the walls across the flight of stairs leading to the mezzanine. Or from the other well-preserved old photos of the Manila Cathedral, Puente de España and Escolta St. While you’re sitting on one their abaca-upholstered chairs and doodling with the weaved place mats.
Now you’ll get to enjoy this traditional yumminess at a very untraditional price from Masas Filipino Cuisine!
- Specializes in traditional Filipino cuisine selected from the best Filipino menus across the country
- Only restaurant in Greenbelt area serving ‘Served Zero’ alcoholic beverages
- Only restaurant in Makati City serving pansit buko
- Open for functions and events
- Acoustic performances on Thursday and Friday nights
- Homey, relaxed ambiance; friendly staff; reasonable prices
- 3 areas: Ground floor – 48 seating capacity; Mezzanine – 55 pax; Patio or al-fresco – 75 pax
- Free WIFI for guests
When In Manila, be sure you get your taste of perfected, traditional, Filipino food! Head over to Masas at Greenbelt 2 in Makati and get your fix on all the yumminess of the Philippines! Be sure to try the unique Pancit Buko and the very yummy Steamed Fish Pla-Pla (my pick of the night). Oh and I also really loved the, definitely perfected, Sinigang Soup and the food coma inducing Kare-Kare! Pretty much….. I LOVED all the Filipino dishes at Masas!
Masas Filipino Cuisine
Traditional Filipino Food
Location: Unit 105 Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City
Contact: 489-0084 / 757-40-30 to 31
Filipino Food: Masas Traditional Filipino Cuisine in Greenbelt Makati