By Mart Yosores and Mia Aguila
More and more young adults of the 90s are retiring and millennials are entering the workforce – the generation gap is definitely back. Not only does this create challenges at work, but also in industries such as music, fashion, and food. However, a new Filipino restaurant in BGC challenges age-gap disparity by accommodating all generations. Friends & Family is the ideal place for different generations to bridge the (age) gap over authentic Filipino cuisine.
The Foodie Station was lucky enough to be invited to the soft opening and media preview of Friends & Family last March 23. We were the first few ones to taste their well-thought-of Filipino menu that could sate the palate of diners from every generation.
Upon entering Friends & Family, you would easily feel the vibrant yet homey ambiance of the restaurant. The huge tropical plant standing tall by the entrance instantly gives guests an all-Filipino vibe. The cozy interiors, hospitable staff, and menu are all culturally on-point – even meticulous senior citizens would agree!
As Filipino food enthusiasts, it’s almost impossible to choose a single favorite. So read on and find out the items we would love to share with family and friends.
REFRESHERS AND CON HIELO
The opening of Friends & Family is very timely for the summer season mainly because of their Refreshers and Con Hielo. Choose from a wide variety of refreshing fruit juices and smoothies to keep cool. One of the most recommended cold treats is the Mango Sago.
What makes their Mango Sago Con Hielo refreshing? The ice is actually frozen milk! Mango Sago be extra!
SIGNATURE BBQS (char-grilled over hot coals and wood)
A Filipino restaurant will not be complete without grilled meat on sticks. From pork ‘tenga’ to ‘isaw manok’, name it and chances are, the restaurant has it! Two of the highlights that The Foodie Station tried were the Special Pork BBQ and the Chicken Ass Inasal. Both the pork and chicken had the real taste of Filipino barbecue – sweet and tangy; most likely a family recipe passed on from one generation to another.
The cuts of the meat are big yet tender, and the sauces are made even tastier by grilling. Believe it or not, one stick of barbecue is good for two (light eaters).
PIC-A-PICA SMALL PLATES
Like most diners, we love to have appetizers before indulging on mains. We could have the Cheesy Garlic Butter Scallops as our main meal, TBH!
If you are fond of cheese, you will love how it melts on the scallops! As if creamy cheese isn’t good enough topping, crunchy fried garlic bits are added on top.
Who dines at a Filipino restaurant without ordering Classic Sizzling Pork Sisig? Not us! The crunchiness of pig’s ear, face and liver mixed with mayo and butter – you are welcome to imagine while staring at the photo! For titas and titos, though, best to ready your maintenance meds.
Just like the Classic Sizzling Pork Sisig, Lechon Kawali is also a must-have for family food bonding sessions. Crispy Pork Belly served with Crispy Pata sauce and achara on the side will make you ask for more cups of rice.
You are a true-blooded Filipino if you feel dissatisfied without rice during your meal. Friends & Family is established by Filipinos, for Filipinos, so they know the exacting taste and appetite of their fellow countrymen! They are aware of Filipinos’ love for rice so they created Wok-Fried Bagoong Rice.
The rice is very flavorful because it is sautéed with bagoong, tomatoes, onions and garlic, and topped with green mango salsa and crispy scrambled egg. “Kanin pa lang, ulam na”.
For some restaurants, dessert is optional, but here, it is mandatory! Who can resist dessert anyway? We ate with much gusto the Crispy Turon Banoffee Pie topped with whipped cream and banana chips, and Cheesy Yema Cake with yema cream. Heads up folks, the yema cake is also included in their Yema Crema Con Hielo.
ADVOCACY OF WORLD-CLASS LOCAL FILIPINO PRODUCTS
Not only does Family & Friends make diners of all ages feel at home, they also strongly support Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or Local Entrepreneurs through product consignment. Love and support local!
Some of the consigned products are Organic Oil priced at PHP220 to PHP280, Gourmet Tuyo, Tinapa Flakes, Hot & Spicy Bagoong, and Potato Chips. You may check more locally-produced goods when you visit Friends & Family.
No matter the age or generation, Friends & Family, located on the Ground Floor of Bonifacio High Street Central, can cater to Filipino diners daily from 11am to 11pm.