For 36 hours when I traveled to Colombia in Latin America, I was able to eat authentic Colombian food in Medellin. I lived with locals who cooked their cuisines everyday at home and taught us a thing or two on how to cook them so we can bring it to where we came from to share them to our own family and friends.
Also, my Colombian friends would always introduce us to their food wherever we go and dine at local restaurants during the time I lived in their country. Of course, my taste buds are definitely missing the authenticity of food from this side of the world.
My Colombian coffee is already gone, the last remnant of what I brought home from Latin America. And so, imagine the thrill of knowing where to get that Patacon I’ve been craving for, Brasas was like a hidden gem found in the city of Manila in my homeland. Owned by Nathaly Montoja, a Colombian who married a Filipino chef Ian Delfin, the couple started this restaurant offering Latin American cuisine in the Philippines.
So I decided to try it out for myself at the SM North Edsa branch and as I said, it’s as authentic as you get in Philippines since sourcing the real ingredients straight from that continent is not as easy as buying them from the groceries so the restaurateur has to end up using some of the ingredients available here. I tried making my own Patacon at home and cooked it for my friends but I can’t find the right kind of banana they used over there so I had to settle with what’s available here.
First on my list is ordering Patacon and their smaller version is Patacones. Topped with Tomato Salsa, Mozzarella Cheese and Smoked Pork, it was a depart from the Guacamole, Tomato Salsa and Corn that I was used to in Colombia but there is similarity as well. I loved the taste of Smoked Pork which lingers in your mouth, making you want to eat more. Though the Patacon itself was crispier compared to the one I’ve eaten before which I preferred.
Papa Francesa is a name I never forget because it’s so different with how we call it here which is French Fries in English so I always have fun saying it whenever I buy it in Colombia. At Brasas, they call it Papas Fritas so we decided to have it also. It’s the same as the local or American fries we always had but it’s quite good because it was crunchy and not soggy.
Pollo Asado Platter is one of the Colombian cuisine I miss. They got the salsa and ensalada right since it tasted the same but the chicken was different. The Patacon is the same as the one I ordered above and the rice is the same as what we locally have here. It somehow reminds me a bit of the Bandeja Paisa from Medellin, Colombia which is made of Chicharon (it’s our Liempo version in Philippines), fried banana, fried egg, Arepa, rice, ensalada and salsa served in a huge plate. Nonetheless this is good as well.
Ensalada de la Casa has the twist to their usual salad because of the orange zest sauce which is quite good and blends well with the chicken and vegetables. This is one of my favorite food at Brasas apart from the Patacones.
What’s a Colombian meal without a Colombian coffee? Incomplete! So I decided to try it at Brasas. I was hoping for Juan Valdez but they were serving a different brand of coffee. It was quite good and similar to my favorite Tinto so yes, I was quite happy with my choice.
If only there was Aguardiente I would have ordered it as well hahaha! But only a few shots since I don’t want to be drunk afterwards or as they say boraccha! Also if only my stomach wasn’t full yet I would have ordered more from their menu. Oh well, there’s more to try the next time I visit. So now’s the time I say que rico! Muy delicioso!
While dining, Brasas plays Latin music but they include reggae versions of R&B songs as well. It would be better if they purely play Latin music such as Salsa, Bachata, Vallenato, Merengue or Reggaeton, you name it to keep the authenticity of the restaurant.
Yes, it’s a must go to place to try other Latin American food and I’m curious to check out their Latin Dance nights at their SM Jazz branch one of these days. I’ve only been to Chihuahua Mexican Grill for salsa dancing so this is another place to go to.
Photos courtesy of Brasas
Visit Brasas websites for more info at:
Branches: 5th floor, The Podium | Food on Four, SM Aura Premier | 4th floor, The Block, SM North Edsa | Ground Floor, SM Jazz Mall | Evia
Tel. #: The Podium – 5705559 | SM Aura – 8084976 | Jazz Mall – 3305781