Tag Archives: Bon Pho & Roll

food + drinks by Alyssa Castillo

The NBHD Round-up: Where to Take Your Mom This Weekend

Just for the most special woman in your life, here’s a list of date-worthy spots in Makati, Manila, The Fort, Mandaluyong, QC, and Alabang.

Mother’s Day is a big deal—you and I both know it. So in celebration of our mothers, The Neighborhood has taken the liberty to show you around the metro with a list of restaurants you can impress your mom with. After all, she freaking deserves it.

MAKATI: Mudpie Heavenmudpie-3I know, it’s summer, and you (and your mom) are probably on some restrictive diet. But we meant it when we said, “save your next cheat meal for Mudpie Heaven” because these made-from-scratch dishes are just too irresistible to pass up on. How do Bone Marrow Steak Pie, Pepperoni Pizza Dip, and Asian Nachos sound to you? The temptation is real, but so worth it. You can also try their mudpie selection, which is all made with gelato, FYI.

MAKATI: Bon Pho & Rollbon-6This quiet hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese house serves up authentic dishes, fresh and handmade daily. Mr. Thao, the man behind the Bon Banhmi sandwich chain, cooks up homemade classics like the Pho Bon Dac Biet (Bon House Special Pho), the spiced up Bun Thit Nuong (noodles with in-house marinated pork BBQ), and the Cha Gio (fried spring rolls). Don’t forget to top off your celebration with traditional Café Sua—Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk.

MANILA: Café AdriaticoScreen Shot 2017-05-11 at 4.57.07 PMThere are currently four Café Adriatico branches, but the best one to go to is still its founding location in Malate. A classic restaurant that serves up affordable dishes from both Filipino and European cuisines, you can never go wrong with a combo of their Beef Salpicao and a slice of their Sansrival.

THE FORT: CargoFishcargofish-3This is especially perfect for deep fryer-loving palates—like that of our NBHD editor, Sam Potenciano. If you and your mom share a fondness for authentic British fish & chips, try the chef’s recommendations: one order of the cod with chips and slaw salad, mushy peas, and chip shop curry; and another order of salmon, cargo rice, and onion rings, honey jalapeño, and lime chili cilantro sauce. Treat your mom to beer on tap or an icy lemonade at this casual, al-fresco dining setup.

MANDALUYONG + PASIG: Sunnies Café sunnies-1Brunch is always a good idea, especially for bright Sunday mornings and conversations with your mom—who, by the way, should be the star of this weekend. Sounds ultra cliché but if you’re planning to post an Instagram greeting, this is where you need to take it. You can’t go wrong with either the sun-dreched Sunnies Café in Bonifacio High Street or the millennial-pink walls of their Megamall branch. Cute milkshakes are optional but highly recommended.

QC: Provenciano


Provenciano serves elevated Filipino cuisine to go with its posh Spanish colonial interiors. It’s also a great option for bigger family gatherings because their servings were made to share. Among the must-haves are their Adobong PusitLaing, and (my personal recommendation) the Kare-Kare with the insane peanut sauce. You know it’s a power mom-approved setting when ladies like VP Leni Robredo are well-known customers.

ALABANG: Another Storyas-6Another Story’s jump-across-styles food menu is only one of the reasons you need to book a reservation this weekend. Try their French Onion Gratinée, Vongole Manila Clams, and All Meat Platter—which is a complete meal in itself with roast pork belly, beef brisket, roast chicken, and corn gratin. It seems that the possibilities are endless here—much like its quirky and eccentric interiors that will give your mom a peek inside the Mad Hatter’s mind.

Mudpie Heaven photo by Shanne Lauron.
Bon Pho & Roll, Sunnies Café photos by Ralph Mendoza.
Café Adriatico photo courtesy of @nielgq from Instagram.
Provenciano photo courtesy of @abettinnacarlos from Instagram.
Another Story photo by Erwin Canlas.

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Alyssa Castillo
Alyssa Castillo is a freelance writer and is concurrently Rogue Media's Editorial Assistant for The NBHD. She reads for fun, writes for a living, and wastes too much time entertaining the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Find her on Instagram as @alyssakcastillo.
food + drinks by Sam Potenciano

The Low-Key Most Authentic Bowl of Pho in Manila

After years of serving traditional bánh mi, this Vietnamese hole in the wall is ready pho more.

If for whatever reason you have somehow made it out as far as Mayapis street deep within Makati, then chances are that it was for a bite of Bon Banhmi’s traditional Vietnamese sandwiches. This busy, bright yellow hole in the wall has been serving up paté slathered bread with barbecue meats and pickled vegetables to its loyal customers for the past few years, but has recently opened up a brand new extension—right on the site where its main kitchen used to stand.bon-6

Directly beside the original shop, Bon Pho & Roll made its quiet debut just a few weeks ago. Mr. Thao, the Vietnamese owner of the shop, relates that the decision to finally open up a second restaurant came from the constant appeals of his customers. “After 3 years of Bon Banhmi, our customers would keep asking us about pho,” he explains, “Because they would be bored of the options from other Vietnamese restaurants. Many Filipinos would travel to Vietnam, try the food, then look for it when they came back locally, but they couldn’t find those same flavors.”

bonThe local Vietnamese chains, it seemed, lacked the authenticity of flavors that these tourists had so fallen in love with to begin with. “That is why Bon Pho & Roll’s slogan is ‘Home away from home with pho’,” Mr. Thao continues, placing emphasis on his wife’s traditional pho-making techniques. His wife’s family, which has had more than 20 years of experience in the food industry back home in Vietnam, directly influenced the dishes that appear on the menu today. Cooking at home, Mr. Thao explains, is the norm for most families back home, and the recipes that they selected for Bon Pho & Roll have been passed down from generation to generation.

From the handmade noodles in their Pho Bon Dac Biet (Bon House Special Pho) to the in-house marinated pork in my personal fave, the Bun Thit Nuong (Noodles with Pork BBQ), the herbs and spices present within each dish come together to create flavors that are familiar yet surprising with every bite.

bon“We make everything,” Mr. Thao reiterates, “From the noodles, to the bread to the meat. It’s all homemade fresh daily.” This emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients is another reason why Mr. Thao’s food businesses have continued to attract as many loyal customers as they have in such a short span of time. While his first business, Bon Banhmi, now includes branches all over the metro from Salcedo Street in Makati to Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa, he is in no rush to franchise Bon Pho & Roll just yet, preferring to keep its in-house specialties and techniques closer to home for just a while longer.

Over sips of slow-dripped Café Sua (Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk) and already staring longingly at the last few bites of Cha Gio (Fried Spring Rolls) that I’d set aside for last, I find myself scheduling another out of the way trip to Mayapis in the near future.

Photography by Ralph Mendoza

Sam Potenciano
Sam Potenciano
Sam is the digital editor of L’Officiel Manila. Formerly the founding editor of The Neighborhood and the editor-in-chief of Candy magazine, she is also a columnist for The Philippine Star's Young Star section. Follow her on Instagram at @sampotenciano.