People who complain that it is too expensive to grab a meal at Eastwood City clearly do not know where to look. Tucked away in the third floor of Cybermall is a little, almost nondescript restaurant that dishes out flavorful rice meals and hearty noodle dishes, portioned quite generously, and at prices that definitely do not cost an arm and a leg.
Nama Nama/Zuppa Café, caters to office workers looking for a filling meal without having to pay a lot. The place has been operating for over a decade, with its staying power due to its ability to maintain the quality of their dishes while keeping the prices low.
They also recently added new menu items (hence, the Nama Nama rebranding) while still keeping old favorites from Zuppa Café. They have a loyal customer base that keeps going back for more of their delicious dishes.
I frequented the place when I worked in the area, and even after I have moved offices, I still come back for the occasional frugal date with my boyfriend, or when I crave their salpicao. Not one dish is priced over 170 pesos, and as mentioned earlier, the servings are huge. Just to give you a clearer picture: I am a huge rice eater, and can polish off three cups of rice with ease. Whenever I eat at Nama Nama, I struggle to finish my food. Yes, they’re THAT generous with their food.
Here are some of my favorites from Zuppa Cafe: Chicken Madras Curry
This dish truly packs in the heat! Tender chicken breast fillets and potatoes cooked in curry, served in curry-flavored rice. Very flavorful and spicy, just the way I like it!
Thai Bagoong – This dish is perfect for those looking for bold flavors and have a thing for sweet-salty combinations. Sweet, paper-thin, tender beef slices topped with slivers of sour green mango served on a large bed of bagoong rice. I usually share this with someone else, as it is very strongly-flavored. But definitely not unpleasant!
Salpicao el Toro – This is my go-to order whenever I visit this place. Tender beef slices cooked and seasoned just right, with a very strong garlic flavor. It is served with garlic fried rice and topped with lots of toasted garlic. I usually order this whenever I have a craving for breakfast-y food. This is perfect with sunny side up eggs.
Oh Tokyo – This dish is a recent discovery. I had a craving for shiitake mushrooms, and this is one of two items that had it. I didn’t regret ordering this. Thinly cut beef and shiitake mushrooms are simmered in a sukiyaki-like sauce, and served on sweet soy rice. It’s like having sukiyaki don minus the noodles. I definitely enjoyed this one. It comes with carrot slices, too, for extra crunch.
And here are my favorites from Nama Nama: Thai Green Chicken Curry Rice – Chicken breast slices cooked in Thai green curry paste, coconut cream, and spices with eggplant and string beans. Not as spicy as the Madras Curry, but definitely just as hearty! This comes with plain rice, all the better to sop up all the sauce. Really good!