Highly Recommended: Hapag MNL, A Celebration of Filipino Tastes in a Pretty and Organic Package

For our post-Valentine’s Day date, hubby and I tried out a new private dining restaurant in Katipunan. To be honest, I’ve been trying to het a reservation at Toyo Eatery but their times are always inconvenient, so it was very lucky for us to see Hapag MNL open.

The Hapag MNL team was very responsive on Facebook Messenger. Even though we booked late, they still accommodated us. That’s a plus one in terms of service for the Hapag MNL team.

The place was not as easy to find. All I can say is, just trust Google Maps. Fortunately, we had parking!

The place was chill yet cozy. There were a lot of people servicing customers the day we went. We were off to a good start!

Even the toilet looks snazzy:

There was not a lot of options to choose from but the Degustation Menu at php2,700 per head. The only thing you had to pick were the main courses. Hubby chose the pork belly while I got the Bistek Tagalog.

Hubby had the fresh coconut (php150) while I paired my meal with the wine (php800).

Bread with honied butter was served. At one slice of bread each, mejo bitin yung bread.

Warick Warick

The first course was the warick warick, an Ilocano dish. It tastes like slightly sour sisig wrapped in deep fried crunchy chicharon. This was nice. Too bad you could not really ask for more.

Sinuglaw

The next dish was the Sinuglaw, which features fish kinilaw with some grilled pork and pickled vegetables. The dish looked like a tiny garden. The leaves and flower were edible and I devoured them all.

The sinuglaw was paired with Argentinian white wine. I could taste a bit of basil and the kinilaw had a very citrusy dressing. The whole thing tastes like a delicious garden. Check out what’s inside:

Oyster Bonete

This is a tiny oyster burger — with fresh Aklan oysters, homemade bonete, adobo aioli and mulberry.

Check out the lusciousness of the oyster. Yum!

Laing Leaves

Laing leaves is Hapag’s specialty. It contains around 4-6 laing balls that are so tender and so juicy, surrounded by fennel leaves, fried flowers and a lot of other stuff that’s ediblez

The squid ink laing balls was tender and juicy. For the dressing, they sprayed the dish with last year’s mango pickles sauce. We ate everything except for the twigs and the stones. I felt like a rabbit after eating some flowers and leaves.

Ginataang Alimasag

This was a semi thick coconut squash concoction with custard, crab meat and prawn head sauce.

The dish was topped with chicharon and pancit pansitan. This was yummy as well.

Banana Heart Granola

Husband did not love this dish but I loved it. This was a slow-cooked banana heart topped with sweet pinipig cashew raisin granola and wrapped in betel leaf.

Let’s have a close up of the dish:

I generously applied the black banana bagoong and sweetened whipped cream. I have never tasted anything like this yet. All I can say is that this is a cleverly thought of dish and showed the ingenuity of the chefs.

This dish was paired with sweet and thick rice wine.

Calamansi Sorbet

To clean the palate, the calamansi sorbet was next. It was too sour for my taste and I could not finish it.

PANGALAWA

Litson Binagoonan

Hubby ordered the slow cooked pork belly with coconut bagoong sauce, piled mango and eggplant with garlic multgrain rice. It tastes as good as it looks. Better to try some other main or the Bistek Tagalog which was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

Bistek Tagalog

Oh my gosh, this main dish was to die for!

The striploin steak was tender and juicy. It was perfectly cooked and the flavors… oh my. I don’t think you can make it even better. The steak came with onion puree, crispy onion rings and bistek jus.

I highly recommend this dish! Everyone who is a meat eater should order this. The rice that it came with also perfectly complements the dish. Even though I was already full, I still made the effort to finish the steak.

Even though the servings were kinda small, overall, the meal was filling. By the time the mains came, hubby was full and satisfied.

This is way better than all the other posh places you’ve chosen,” he said. “Mas sulit dito!”

I agreed wholeheartedly. This was way better than Cru, The Tasting Room and VASK.

Hapag offered more authentic Filipino dishes but added their own unique twist to it. There’s a lot of variety to keep things interesting, and yet the servings were enough para mabusog ka. This is a private dining restaurant that we will go back to again.

PANAPOS

We ordered each of the desserts for variety. Good thing there were two of us for two desserts.

The Tropics

Coconut ice cream with roasted pineapples, gluten free polvoron and latik with fish sauce. The tastes of coconut was overwhelming and I used the fried panutsa rice cake in the other dish to complement the creamy ice cream.

Manggo Suman

This dessert showcases the sweet Guimaras mango semifreddo, fried panutsa rice cake, meringe and latik with fish sauce. Honestly, the only thing I liked about this was the fried rice cake which I mixed with the coconut ice cream.

Last Thoughts

Honestly, this is one of the more enjoyable restaurants we’ve had. The place was a little bit hidden, but once found, a pleasure to visit. The interior itself was a tad more casual than all the other fine dining places we’ve been to, but we found the price to be reasonable, the service to be stellar, and the menu perfectly curated for both locals and foreigners alike. The bill was reasonable for what we got:

I highly recommend Hapag for less price conscious diners who want a terrific meal with an interesting twist. While it’s far away from the posh BGC, Hapag is undeniably better in terms of almost everything, that it’s worth the car trip just to try it out.

I’m glad that hubby took me out on such a nice date. Especially as we are nearing our 6th year anniversary, it would be great for us to have date night once in awhile. Hapag is a great place for a once in a while celebration of togetherness, and I thank the Hapag MNL team for making our evening a special one.

Hapag MNL

#201 Katipunan Extension, Project 4, Quezon City

Tel: +63 947 560 1853

About Tina in Manila

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