Maharlika is more current, trendy, and upscale than your regular neighborhood Filipino restaurant. There is no hot counter of food here. Nor is there karaoke available or a giant television blasting TFC (The Filipino Channel) in the background. Maharlika is a proper sit down restaurant, complete with a bar and menu that reinvents Filipino food presentation to appeal to foreigners and Filipino food lovers. The owners and management are proud of what they have done with the place. They should be. Service and food was excellent.
Maharlika made it a point to introduce each and every patron to the customs and culture of the Philippines. Chicharron. Vinegar. Banana ketchup. Pork. These are a few things that characterize staples in a Filipino diet and were showcased by the waiter. We made sure we had plenty to eat. You cannot go to a Filipino home and starve. That's not how Filipinos do things. We also like to share. My group ate off of each other's plate. We weren't all Filipino but the custom of sharing transcended ethnicity. I like to think of sharing as a basic rule of manners to follow.
|Tapsilog and the complimentary Chicken Chicharron in the corner|
|Eggs Imelda with Caviar|
|Ube Waffles and Fried Chicken|
|Mango French Toast|
The serving size at Maharlika is just right. The food was fancified, which was different than a typical Filipino breakfast, but definitely well received by everyone. I look forward to the dinner options available. Since Maharlika is only in its soft opening stages, they do not formally have a set menu other than brunch.
If one thing is consistent, it is Maharlika's dedication to service. A few months back, when Maharlika was doing a pop up at Resto Leon, I emailed them inquiring reservations for a party of 35. Nicole emailed me back immediately ready to make accommodations. On our most recent visit for brunch, Nicole recognized one of our party from Twitter, and made it a point to introduce herself as well as to make sure we got our French Toast because, of all the wonderful dishes offered, we really came for the French Toast! I find it so refreshing that this Filipino gem really keeps in touch with their customers. I do believe that is what is going to keep them coming back. After all, don't you want to feel at home and loved when you go out to eat? It's the Filipino way.
Photography Credits: Maharlika (logo), Stella Dacuma Schour Photography
111 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003