Rating: 7 / 10
Verdict: There’s a new Captain in town!
Budget: P80 – P100 per head
Just when I thought Filipino food everywhere was the same old thing (whether the restaurant is disguised as a gourmet or modern restaurant), I stumbled upon this little hole in the wall called Captain Manok. They serve the traditional favorites like Lechon Manok, Liempo, Bagnet and Crispy Pata but what sets them apart is that the menu does not stop there! They also offer sandwiches, wraps and rice meals with an international twist. They have a Vietnamese sandwich (similar to the banh mi) but with a Filipino twist as well as the Chicken Frankie Wrap which gives you a taste of Chile with a Filipino twist. Taking a look at the menu, you can see that their prices are not only reasonable but they are actually cheap!
Upon first glance, you would think Captain Manok is just like any other Lechon Manok stall out there but you couldn’t be more wrong. The people behind it actually have big plans for this little hole in the wall. There are already talks of adding more items on the menu and even opening up a small restaurant with a seating area. Exciting things are in store for the Captain and even though they may be under a working title – they are slowly but surely become a favorite to the residents of Mandaluyong City.
Since it is a stall with no seating area, people usually just order for take out but my friends and I decided to eat while standing by the counter. They prepare the food as soon as you order it so you are guaranteed that all the ingredients are fresh and we figured it would be better to taste the food as soon as they prepared it for us! The Lechon Manok is one of their best sellers so we chose to taste this first. The chicken was already chopped up for us when it was served so it was easy for us to eat with forks (and easy for me to grab all the skin off of the chicken!!). I had my first bite of the chicken alone and was able to taste just how flavorful it really is; I later on learned that they actually marinate the chicken for 3-5 days before it is ready to be put on the grill. No wonder every bite was bursting with flavor! I don’t like when you’re eating chicken and part of the breast just tastes like boiled chicken because the flavors from the marinade didn’t seep in far enough but thankfully I didn’t have that problem with the Captain’s Manok! We were also given a Pata Sauce to dip the chicken in but even without the sauce, the Chicken was already a winner!
Next up was the Chicken Frankie Wrap – you would think that this is just their Lechon Manok in a wrap but actually, the chicken is cooked in a completely different way. It is actually dipped in a seasoned batter and then fried until crispy then they put in vegetables (like lettuce, carrots and cucumber) and drizzle a cheese dressing before wrapping it up to serve to you. The Chicken Frankie wrap promises a taste of Chile and though I’ve never had Chilean food, the flavors in this wrap are unlike anything I’ve tasted before, surely it is unlike anything you will get at your regular Lechon Manok stalls! Heck, you probably won’t even find this there. It looked like a burrito but didn’t taste like one! The blend of spices used to season the batter is what contributes the most flavor to the wrap, that’s also what probably gives it the exotic taste.
I enjoy sandwiches a lot and I always say that if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be sandwiches (or sushi)! This particular sandwich did not disappoint. I have been craving for something like this for the past few months but haven’t exactly found a place (or the time) that served this kind of sandwich so I was really happy when I saw this on the menu! It is a Vietnamese inspired Pork sandwich. The pork in the sandwich is very tender and easy to chew, and the vegetables (like cucumber and jicama) gave it the fresh taste that you look for in a banh mi! I was pleased to find out that the bread they used was also quite fresh! I was told that they were going for a sandwich that was very generous with the fillings and if you ask me, I think they’ve certainly succeeded because it was a challenge eating the sandwich without anything spilling over!
This dish certainly lives up to it’s name! It is Spicy, Juicy Pork over rice with a side of marbled potatoes. Definitely something I would crave for because for the price of P79, you get more than your money’s worth! The potatoes were boiled first and then stir fried so you can expect each one to be melt-in-your-mouth soft. The pork was flavorful and juicy – I always expect dishes like this to be sweet since the Filipino palette loves anything sweet but this was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. They even chopped up a green chili and tossed it in there to add to the flavor. The serving of pork was quite generous and I don’t recall having any fat in my order (although the fat is practically my favorite part and so hard to resist).
I’m so happy that there’s finally a literal hole in the wall place that offers more than just Lechon Manok and Liempo! Overall, I enjoyed the different dishes that Captain Manok has to offer and will definitely drop by the area again soon to grab some take out. (Maybe even tonight because writing this made me crave for the Spicy Juicy Pork and Chicken Frankie Wrap!)
I’m including a photo of their menu so you can see for yourself that they truly do have Something For Everyone!
Address: #152 San Francisco St., Brgy. Plainview, Mandaluyong City
Telephone Number: 9358926
Operating Hours: 11:00AM – 10:00PM