It was a sunny day at Alabang as I crossed the street from Festival Mall’s main building to their newly opened extension called the River Park. I made my way to Mati’s Meat and Bread to find my photographer already there, talking to some people. It was Caron and Paul, owners of the place. They all greeted me with a big smile and a handshake.
Mati’s Meat and Bread has a stunning view of River Park; you stand by the window, clear glass stretching from ceiling to floor, and you’re towering over a serene lake backdropped by a vast, lush garden in beautiful landscaping. Natural light fills the spacious room of Mati’s, and I love the way it hits the red brick wall accents of the place.
Mati’s Meat and Bread, only three weeks old, is a subsidiary of Melo’s Steakhouse, which prides itself in pioneering Certified Angus Beef in the Philippines. Catered more towards young professionals and families, however, Mati’s Meat and Bread serves equally premium dishes and steaks, but at much affordable prices.
The food in Mati’s, as I have discovered, is a fusion of the familiar and the unfamiliar. They take the food that we know and are accustomed to in a certain way, and they turn it into something new and exciting.
Say Jule’s Mac and Cheese (Php 320), for example. The macaroni is extremely tender, doused in white creamy sauce, and topped off with crumbs which adds a perfect contrast to the natural saltiness of the melted cheese.
Or JJ’s Special Tacos (Php 235), with its bits of crispy pork belly, kimchi, and nori cream cheese spread. These are ingredients well loved individually, but roll them all up together in soft tacos, and the flavors explode in your mouth in creamy, delicious unison.
Mama’s Buffalo Wings (Php 240) is definitely one of my favorites. Deep fried savory chicken wings glazed in a sweet and spicy sauce. It comes along with a blue cheese dip too, for that fantastic twist, which just works surprisingly so well.
The dish that piqued my interest was this—the Balut Aligue (Php 180). Served on a hot pan, the balut was tender and warm. Every bite sends you to a nostalgic taste of childhood; afternoons biking in the streets and coming home to your lolo eating balut in the garage. The salty red aligue sauce is the element that sends you to a whirlwind of the present, the modern, which is never a bad thing either.
And then of course there’s the steak. Don’t leave out the steaks, as these are what Mati’s Meat and Bread is primarily all about. There’s Mati’s Angus Burger (Php 280) for burger lovers such as myself, Salpicao Rice (P350) which is tender salpicao beef served with delicious steak rice, and my favorite—Steak with Mashed Potato and Vegetables (Php 350). The steak was so tender and tasty, that the wide eye wonder that ensued after my first bite is completely justified.
But that isn’t the cream of the crop yet. It gets better. The main event, as Paul puts it, is the Certified Angus Ribeye. It comes at a hefty price of Php 1,350, although the slab is big enough for sharing and every inch of that Ribeye definitely worth the penny. It is also “cooked table side,” so expect a little cooking showcase beforehand.
Mati’s Meat and Bread
Here are a few more dishes that I got to try:
Bia’s Four Cheese, Php 320—thin crust pizza topped with blue, mozzarella, parmesan, and gruyere cheeses.
Tali’s Gamberetti, Php 320—thin crust pizza topped with shrimp, garlic, and achovy.
Seafood Pasta, Php 300—fettuccine, salmon, shrimp and clams.
Camille’s Spinach and Arugula Bean Salad with Sweet Vinaigarette, Php 210.
Jamie’s Braised Beef Melt, Php 280.
Brownie a la mode, Php 220 and Canonigo, Php 220—Mati’s Meat and Bread’s twist to the classic Braso De Mercedes.
Chatting with Caron and her husband Paul while we all shared these wonderful dishes, was like chatting with old friends. They were beaming at all times as they talked about their family, their son Matteo from whom Mati’s Meat and Bread is named after, and their recent trip to Japan. They were warm and welcoming, which is everything I could say about their food, too. The goodness and groundedness of the family, coupled with their genuine passion for good food, certainly radiates through their dishes.
Mati’s Meat and Bread is not a place just worth trying. It is a place worth coming back to, again and again and again.
MATI’S MEAT AND BREAD
Unit B2, River Park, Festival Mall, Alabang