What I like about Lilac St. in Marikina: new restaurants keep opening every few weeks or so. What I dislike about Lilac St. in Marikina: new restaurants keep opening every few weeks or so! Hahaha! I feel like I’m preparing for a food marathon!!! Anyway, one of the newest dining places along Lilac is Mandi’s Grill Grub (MGG), and they really mean it – every dish they offer is grilled to perfection, be it pork, beef, chicken, and even fish.
For our appetizer, we tried the Sisig Surprise – a pleasant surprise! Each small serving is visually appealing already because of the very creamy mashed potatoes that envelope a wonderful surprise: LEAN and grilled sisig! Lean, as in it has no fat, so that’s less guilt! The milky smoothness of the mashed potatoes complements the meaty goodness of the sisig. This appetizer is so good, it could very well be a main dish!
If you want more meat, then go for their version of the American rib, which is a meaty slab that is at least half a foot long! It’s almost like liempo, but much softer, making it a lot easier to slice and enjoy! No need for a knife! Each serving also comes with MGG’s fried rice, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes.
MGG is also not afraid to experiment, so they came up with a grilled version of the Filipino classic, pork adobo! I thought the pork slices were going to be dry, but no!!! The vinegar-soy sauce marinade very much permeated the meat, making it a highly flavorful dish! There is a separate container for the adobo sauce, but there’s a good chance you won’t need it for the meat anymore (mix it in your rice instead!). Moreover, the adobo meat is topped with freshly ground garlic (peelings and all) and chives, while the plain rice is topped with a sunny side up egg. Sarap!
Another Filipino classic that MGG offers is tapsilog, with of course, grilled beef tapa. Like the adobo, the flavor of the beef is not compromised as it already has a vinegar-y taste that’s perfect for tapa! Each beef piece strictly follows a precise measurement, allowing diners to easily eat the thinly sliced meat. This dish comes with scrambled egg, MGG’s salsa, and fried rice.
Finally, we also tried two blue marlin dishes: the pinaputok na blue marlin belly and grilled blue marlin. The former is wrapped in aluminum foil and upon popping it, you’ll be greeted by a very delicious smell! It has a very generous amount of MGG’s secret sauce, which can be a substitute for soup.
I enjoyed eating the pinaputok even without rice, but for me, the real star is the grilled blue marlin. It’s simply good. Nothing fancy about it, just a buttery glaze, crushed garlic, and chives. It’s thick, huge, and good for sharing, but I know that I could eat an order all by myself haha! It’s so delectable that I forgot to take a picture of it (even the pinaputok)! My stomach is growling as I type this – I want to go back to Mandi’s ASAP! Oh, and it comes with chili-garlic sauce and calamansi for a spicier and tangier gastronomic experience!
Mandi’s Grill Grub is located at the ground floor of #73 Bent II (same building as Nail Cottage, Cupcake Bites, and Breakfast Brothers), Lilac St. SSS Village, Concepcion Dos, Marikina. It’s a cozy place with American accent pieces like superhero tin signs, old school Kellogs tin cans, and vintage soda signage. It has two dining areas, the smoking section and an air-conditioned one. They will soon be offering pan-fried dishes to cater to those who want quickly served meals. They are open from 10 am to 10 pm on weekdays, and 7 am to 10 pm on weekends. It is now one of my favorite dining places along Lilac Street!!! 🙂