Tag Archives: CargoFish

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

CargoFish Brings Authenticity to the Local Fish & Chips Experience

And it all starts with beer battered cod and ‘proper’ British chips.

Personally speaking, I’ve always been a huge fan of this British take-away dish. To my deep fryer-loving palate, few things go together as sublimely as a piece of well-battered, fried fish and a hefty pile of chips. When I was a kid, fish and chips were my go-to order during nearly every family vacation, and I’ve had them every which way with every kind of side and style of local fish you can think of (mahi-mahi, barramundi, whiting, etc.).

I have a fuzzy memory of my mom informing me that in London, fish and chips were traditionally served in a newspaper cone with a touch of malt vinegar, and soon I became completely obsessed with this particular detail in that easy way that a child becomes beholden to a useless piece of trivia. Each fish and chips shop that I subsequently visited I judged secretly based on this sole qualification, and CargoFish, thankfully, did not disappoint.

While it might seem less than hygienic to serve greasy pub grub on a leaky print of Bandila, the fish and chips here are served in a portable, take-out friendly box lined with broadsheet-inspired paper, while a tall bottle of malt vinegar is always within arm’s reach.

Set up in a shipping container parked outside the fourth floor food court of Uptown Bonifacio, CargoFish’s breezy, al fresco dining area reflects the simplicity inherent to the dish’s concept.cargofish-3“We’re not trying to hit a trend,” Matthew Hornsby-Bates, co-owner and chef of CargoFish, says. “There’s a fairness and honesty to fish and chips. People have a kind of loyalty to it back in Britain—which I hope translates to what we’re doing here. Back home everyone has their own fish and chips shop that they go to, and it’s nothing fancy. Just a bunch of guys who prepare the same thing over and over for 12 years.”

While CargoFish makes sure to pay its respects to its beer-battered heritage, the restaurant’s mix and match menu also offers customers the freedom to tailor the dish to their own unique specifications. Orders begin by choosing between a selection of five different kinds of fish (or shrimp), then adding two choices of sides, and a sauce.

“We do offer a suggestion that is the authentic British way: the beer-battered cod with proper chips, mushy peas, chip shop curry sauce, and tartar,” Hornsby-Bates explains. His partner, Mathew Lim, adds, “But we wanted to give our customers a choice, since not all Filipinos might appreciate traditional British flavors. We added sauce options like roasted garlic and honey japaleño, which deliver the stronger flavors that Pinoys love. We also added cargo rice as a side option.”

“There are Brits that are looking for that authentic experience, but also locals who want to try something new, so we took both of those into consideration,” Hornsby-Bates agrees. “The range of sauces caters to the local palate. I actually quite like the lime chili cilantro for its kick. The flavors are a bit more punchy, sweet, and salty.”cargofish-5During our visit, we tried one each of the two chefs’ individual 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. My favorite combination ended up being somewhere between the old and the new: the cod topped with malt vinegar (old habits die hard) and lime chili cilantro sauce, and, of course, their ‘proper’ fried chips. Which begged the question: what exactly is a proper chip?

“You’d be so surprised how many people don’t make British chips anymore,” Hornsby-Bates explains. “They use these processed, already mashed up potatoes. At CargoFish, we buy whole potatoes, chop them up, and fry them through 3 stages. This process gives you that fluffy, crispy, but not too dry chip.”

One last question: is a chip a French fry? “Definitely not!” he laughs. “Fries are thin and American. Chips are fat and British.”

Art by Mags Ocampo

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.