April 25, 2012

Naci- Comfort Food and Dessert Bar in Greenhills

I've received a box of cupcakes from Naci before and so my initial impression of this establishment  was a dessert or pastry shop. Then, I learned that they also serve selections of comfort food. Based from the name Naci, I couldn't seem to figure out what kind of cuisine they are serving.

Not until I finally get to dine at Naci located at the 2nd floor of Fox Square Bldg. in Connecticut, Greenhills. 

Naci was named after Nacy Nocom, a restaurateur and father of Naci's general manager, Nadine Nocom.

Nadine happily attended to our questions that night and gave more information about Naci. She briefly introduced the menu and explained that some items were named after their family. We also learned that Naci's menu items were especially created by the renowned Chef Ed Quimson. Need I say more?

Naci was surprisingly big with private function rooms where one can hold events from small parties to big gatherings. 

I love the homey and laid back ambiance of the place. It is a perfect setting for an intimate family dinner or even a casual date with a special someone.

Moving on with Naci' comfort food selections, first to land on our table was Naci's sampler of their best-selling appetizers. 

Naci's Starters Sampler

Chorizo and Brie Puffs (P380)Baked cream puffs filled with spinach, chorizo, brie and banana

This one was one of my favorites. A great twist to the classic cream puffs with everything nice on it. The fusion of flavors from the different fillings played exceptionally well to make this dish a complete hit. 

Junior Crabcakes (P280)Shallow fried sauteed crabmeat served with remoulade and petite greens

The Junior Crabcakes reminded me of the crabcakes we had at Oakroom, only Naci's version had a sharper seafood flavor. 

Beef Taco Springrolls (P210)Crispy spring rolls stuffed with beef taco filling topped with tomato salsa and sour cream

These crispy spring rolls brought nostalgic memories of making home-made tacos at home. 

Buffalo Chicken Wings (P295)- Deep fried marinated chicken wings with buffalo glaze sauce served with bleu cheese dip and celery sticks

How can one resist this juicy glazed buffalo wings? The sauce was very flavorful and although the chicken was quite small, I couldn't ask for more. 

Next to be served were Naci's line of salads. 

Smoked Salmon Salad (P290)mixed greens, tomatoes, fried onion rings tossed in honey lemon dill dressing with smoked salmon  nuts and parmesan shavings

Fried Chicken Macaroni Salad (P250)marinated crispy chicken cutlets topped with macaroni salad garnished with fresh crisp lettuce

Kani Mango Crunch (P200)Layers of assorted greens, kani, ripe mangoes,cucumber, with crispy wonton and vermicelli drizzled with wasabi mayo

My favorite was the Smoked Salmon Salad as it was light, fresh and simple. The Kani Mango Crunch runs second place for it's playful combination of flavors. The crispy wonton and vermicelli gave that extra crunch on every bite. I love everything about this dish except for the wasabi mayo cause I don't eat wasabi. Nevertheless, it's great that the wasabi flavor was very subtle and mild. 

Naci's Pasta, Pizza and Rice Dishes were served next on the table. 

Nadine's Adobo Cannelloni (P300)- Classic flaked adobo rolled in pasta topped with Bechamel laced adobo sauce and creamy mozzarella

Beef Caldereta Lasagna (310)Layers of home-made pasta and beef caldereta filling topped with mozzarella and served with garlic toast

Naci's pasta creations gave a great twist to the classic Filipino dishes Adobo and Caldereta. I personally prefer white sauce over red sauce in my pasta so Nadine's Adobo Cannelloni is an obvious winner for me. 

Peruvian Chicken Rice (P350)Slow cooked baked rice with chunks of chicken, sauteed capsicums and topped with lemon and aioli 

Served in Small paelleras, customers need to allow 45 mins. of cooking time for the Peruvian Chicken Rice. But the wait is definitely worth it as this dish presented flavorful baked sticky rice just like paella with a kick of lemon and spices.

Peking Chicken Pizza (P495)-  Flaked Roast Chicken, Chinese Sausage,  Shitake Mushrooms and cheese in Hoisin Tomtato Sauce

The Peking Chicken Pizza came in a crispy thin crust pizza topped with chicken, chinese sausage, mushrooms and cheese in hoisin tomato sauce. A unique combination and twist of Asian flavors to the usual Italian flavored pizzas.

And now, moving on with Naci's Main Entrees

Nate's Steak and Eggs (P385)A stack of seared beef patties over parsley rice topped with egg and fried onion rings in chunky mushroom gravy

Love the presentation of this dish. A perfect example of comfort food, Nate's Steak and Eggs may not have much going on but it reminds me of  a hearty and comforting breakfast at home. 

Garlic Rosemary Chicken (P420)Rosemary marinated grilled chicken with gravy served with buttered vegetable and mashed potatoes

Another comforting dish was the Garlic Rosemary Chicken which was really tender, succulent and aromatic. The fragrant smell of the rosemary gave this dish a more enjoyable taste and flavor. 

Fox Square Fish Fillet (P360)Pan seared marinated fish fillet topped with fried banana served with crisp potato wedges and lemon butter sauce 

 Bistek Lechon Kawali (P280)Double Fried Crispy Pork Belly and Onion Rings in classic Bistek Sauce served with Garlic Rice

Named after the building where Naci is located, the Fox Square Fish Fillet is a beautifully plated light dish that complemented the fried banana assorted veggies. 

The Bistek Lechon Kawali on the other hand was sinful yet delicious with the crispy double deep fried pork belly. Although it was fried, the meat remained tender and juicy with just the perfect crunch I was looking for.

Chef Ed's Pork Shank (P480)-French cut pork shank braised in onion soup topped with melted cheese and served with petite bread basket

Last but certainly not the least is another pork dish named after Chef Ed himself. Chef Ed's Pork Shank is braised in onion soup to make the meat more tender and flavorful. The melted cheese on top was a perfect touch to add creaminess to the whole dish. 

And of course, we couldn't leave Naci without trying out their sweet selections from the dessert bar.

I got to try some of their cupcake selections before and it feels good to sample Naci cupcakes again.

Naci Patisserie Menu:

My personal favorites are:
Red Velvet- Some red velvet cupcakes are just plainly sweet and I couldn't taste the chocolate flavor. Well, Naci's version have this rich and semi sweet chocolate taste that I'm looking for.

Black and White- A crowd favorite. Vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting that melts in your mouth.

Pistachio- You can actually taste the nutty pistachio flavor from the rich creamy frosting on a base of moist chocolate cupcake.

Cheesecakes- I am a cheesecake lover so Naci's cheesecakes are definitely included on my list.

Naci Comfort Food and Dessert Bar is truly a great place for everyone from the simplest casual date to the grandest family reunion. Can't wait to bring my family here. I'm pretty sure that from Naci's wide range of menu items, each will have their own personal favorite.

As for me, I'm having a hard time deciding which dish is my favorite as everything we've tried was really good and each has its own unique flavor.

Naci Comfort Food and Dessert Bar
2/F Fox Square Building, 53 Connecticut St.,
Greenhills, San Juan
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