An Amazing Gem in East Village - Maharlika

Maharlika
111 1st Avenue New York, NY 10003
646.392.7880

A month ago, Will and I went out with our friends to celebrate our friend Victor's birthday. We made reservation at Maharlika and man I was pumped up and so excited to try Maharlika because it's one of the well-known Filipino restaurants in NYC and I've heard their spam fries are to die for. Yes, I said spam fries.

The decor is chic. I really liked the ambiance here. It's dim lit, trendy, laid back, and relaxing. Service is quick and on point, and the food... well it was the best part.

Chiccaron
Our dinner began with a free small plate of Chiccaron (chicken rinds) with a vinegar sauce accompanied by very hot chili's. It was crispy and delicious and everything you would imagine if the Phillipines made an amuse bouche.

Spam Fries
I was told by my colleague that the spam fries at Maharlika were bomb, so I couldn't pass up this opportunity. My friends and I ordered it and loved it! It had a nice crispness and the juices and fat from the spam really enhanced the taste of the fries.

Lumpiang Barquillos
I've had Lumpiang before but wanted to try it again especially at Maharlika. Man, those babies were long! The Lumpiang Barquillos were crispy, crunchy, and yum! It was wrapped with beef, pork, and aromatic vegetables.

Filipino Pride Chicken and Ube Waffle
Will ordered one of Maharlika's famous dishes - Filipino Pride Chicken and Ube Waffle. We've never really had Ube before, but it's basically a purple yam. The waffles were crispy, but soft in the middle. It was delectable with the chive butter. The semi-sweet taste went well with the fried chicken. The chicken skin was crispy and the meat was juicy! This meal also included a sweet syrup which was a good complement. The portion size was huge!

Beef Short Rib Kaldereta
I ordered the Beef Short Rib kaldereta and it was accompanied with fried chorizo, oven roasted baby potatoes, grilled pineapple bathe in the most delicious and hearty tomato and olive puree. The beef short rib was a bit tough and chewy, but the combination of everything made the beef short rib twice as good! I really liked the sauce and it complemented well with the potatoes and beef short rib. 

This dish kind of reminds me of a hearty beef stew, perfect for a chilly Autumn or Winter day. I was quite content with my entree. I thought everything was up to par and rice/noodles was not needed.

Coconut Ice Dessert
Unfortuantely, I forgot the actual name of this dessert, but it is a coconut based dessert. There was no halo halo at Maharlika, but my friend said this is similar to it and we decided to give it a shot. It was light, refreshing, and semi-sweet, but I wasn't too thrilled with it.

So I really liked Maharlika and am glad I finally got around to trying it out. The food was delicious comfort food and I would definitely come back again to try other menu items. Next up, I hope to try Maharlika's sister restaurant - Jeepney and hopefully compare to see which one is better in my book.

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