No Borders Comfort Food at James & Daughters

February 14, 2022 Phantasm Darkstar 1 Comment(s)

Because of the pandemic, I have yearned to travel again as I miss eating food from different places and cultures. Thank goodness, I have learned about James & Daughters. They serve comfort food from around the globe that you'll surely enjoy. 
The dishes from James & Daughters are made from scratch using local produce, without using any preservatives, but with lots of love. The story of James & Daughters speaks of the unique bond that one creates through food, warmth, comfort, and most of all, love. They are a family of foodies who love to travel, headed by their patriarch, James, while his son, Jonas, runs the kitchen.
Sharing with you are the dishes that I've tried:

The Kropeck or Prawn Crackers is a complimentary dish that they offer. It's crispy and flavorful, and is best paired with Sinamak (spiced vinegar). It's quite addicting.  

Let's start with the small plates. The Smoked Beef Ssam (Seoul & Pasig) is cured and hot-smoked beef then grilled to finish. Served with house-made kimchi and lettuce. It's like a leveled-up samgyupsal. The beef is tender and is best eaten when you wrap it in their fresh lettuce, added with some kimchi.  

Twice Fried French Beans (Taipei). Twice fried haricot verts, ground pork, preserved vegetables, and chili. This reminds me of the Taiwanese stir-fried string beans with a bit of a twist. It tastes so much better than it looks, I promise you. Non-veggie eaters would appreciate vegetables with this. It's savory with a hint of sweetness and a mix of textures that make it so interesting.

Tuna Kilawin (General Santos). Sashimi-grade GenSan yellowfin tuna in local coconut vinegar, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Served with crispy wheat chips. I would say that this is the best kilawin that I've had. If you love sashimi, you'll appreciate the freshness of their tuna. I also love the balance between the coconut vinegar and coconut milk. The wheat chips are quite similar to the shing-a-ling. 

For the large plates, I've tried the Crispy Roast Pork Belly (Cebu). It's pugon-roasted, herb-stuffed pork belly, with Bicol express sauce, fermented mustard leaves, and sinamak. I love the crispiness of the skin; the pork is tender with a good amount of fat. 

BBQ Lemongrass Chicken (Bangkok). Half chicken marinated and grilled on charcoal. Served with green mango salad. It's juicy and flavorful. The serving is also huge, you may want to order extra rice. 

Pork Belly in Salted Fish Stew (Manila). Mom's Kiam Hee Lo Ba. The family-favorite braised pork belly and salted fish stew served with boiled egg and steamed greens. This is one of their popular dishes. It's my first time to try the kiam hee lo ba and I am blown away. Imagine having tender and fatty pork adobo goodness, but it's magically infused with salted fish. It's surprisingly a good combination. 

Moving on with the noodles, I've tried the Char Kway Teow (Singapore). House-made rice noodles, stir-fried with prawns, clams, mussels, eggs, and bean sprouts. Char Kway Teow is one of my favorite noodle dishes, but only few restaurants serve it here in Manila. I'm so glad that they have it here at James & Daughters. The noodles are hand-made every day; that's why they could only accept ten orders of this delectable dish per day. The quality of the noodles are really good--it doesn't break too easily. There's a generous amount of seafood per serving, and the savory-sweet sauce is good. 

Hokkien Mee (San Juan). Mom's old-school prawn, pork, and shiitake mushroom noodles except better because they made the la mian noodles. This is my favorite noodle dish from James & Daughters. It's rich in flavor, and I just love the ingredients. It's nicely done and perfectly stir-fried. Just delicious. I've also tried their Pad See Iw and it's also good, but I was not able to take a good photo.

For the soup, the Go Khong (Five Treasure Soup)(San Juan) is James & Daughter's version of the traditional Chinese dish. It's made with native chicken, pork feet, pork stomach, pork tendon, and sea cucumber in glutinous soup. This is a favorite among my friends; and is the definition of "comfort food." Having this dish feels close to home. When I had a fever after getting my booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine, this is what that I also ate. It's homey, comforting, and delicious. 

For dessert, a must-try is the Suman a la Hasset (Manila). A favorite of the late Chef Hasset Go, who is a good friend of Chef Jonas Ng. It's made with glutinous rice, vanilla custard, purple yam, and coconut glaze. I love the different textures of this dish--from the slightly chewy suman, the soft leche flan and ice cream, and the crunch from the nuts. 

Dessert Gils (Ho Chi Minh). Berry sorbet, vanilla bean ice cream, nougatine, meringue, and coulis. This is my favorite pick among their desserts. I'm usually quite picky when it comes to dessert with berries because some could be too sour for my taste. This dish, however, was perfect for my palate. I love the mix of sweet and citrus flavors; and the light, icy texture of the sorbet mixed with creamy ice cream. 
Special Menu

This March 2022, James & Daughters is partnering with Chef Gus Sibayan, where they will feature his fragrant Focaccia and tasty pâté. I was lucky enough to try this and I'd say it's appetizing. 

For their drinks, I opted to go straight to alcohol. Their Sangria is very refreshing. The fruit and wine is well-balanced. Very nice sweetness; yet if you drink fast, you'll still get tipsy.

Their must-try is the Thai MILF Tea. Yes, Chef Jonas called it MILF Tea because it's meant for titas who would like to drink during meetings and pretend that it's just milk tea. It's Thai milk tea with a shot of tequila. I like this a lot because I could still taste and feel the texture of the black tea--it's not too milky, and the taste of alcohol is very subtle. 
Home Recovery Meals

James & Daughters also has home recovery meals which you can send to your friends or order for yourself. I had their Steamed tilapia with lucky sauce and rice. The home recovery meals are served with pickled vegetables and fruit. This is very helpful especially when you're feeling sick and unable to prepare your meal. The dishes are healthful and well-balanced. 
The Menu
James & Daughters is located at:
Ground Floor Estancia Mall East Wing, Capitol Commons,
Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Mobile: 0917 134 6625
Facebook: James & Daughters
Instagram: @jamesanddaughters

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