It’s rare when we encounter restaurants that are named after the street it’s on. 13 Ubay St. is one of them, and it’s probably one of the last places I’d be interested in after hearing its name. It just doesn’t ring a bell! But upon reading several great reviews and seeing mouthwatering photos of its food online, this place got us drooling. 13 Ubay St. apparently is a fantastic casual restaurant in Sta. Mesa Heights, Banawe that serves Filipino comfort food that’s good for sharing with your family, loved ones, and friends.
Review of 13 Ubay St. Comfort Dining (Quezon City)
While there are several reasons to visit a restaurant for the dishes alone, there are some restaurants that seduce diners with the ambiance and decors as well. 13 Ubay St. Comfort Dining is one of them. Historically, this Filipino restaurant in Banawe was revamped from a living space. It looked airy and massive, and the energy in the dining room was palpable.
Various artwork acquired from the owner’s travels filled the surroundings, making the place feel special and more personal without being pretentious. With mounted colorful masks, the most memorable and eye-catching section has to be the staircase wall. Further back, the design highlight features hanging plants and lights which bring a pop of color. Overall, the wide areas, carefully curated antics, pieces of furniture, and playful, feisty colors set a celebratory mood for large gatherings and family dining.
Set on the same floor as 13 Ubay St., Elias Wicked Ales and Spirits is as one of the newest craft breweries in Metro Manila. The bar counter presents an alluring sight with five huge stainless steel kegs for brewing beer. It’s a good thing that guests can also order cool refreshments and beverages such as local craft beer with interesting flavors from Elias while enjoying Filipino food from 13 Ubay St.’s menu.
To start off dinner, we had the Roasted Tomato Soup (PhP 100) which was rich and creamy with a mouth-coating texture. Its subtle sweetness mellowed the acidity of tomatoes, for a hearty soup that feels like a meal on its own. Cooked with cucumber salsa, sliced baguette, and herb oil, it can be a great accompaniment to any salad or grilled cheese.
Who doesn’t love the combination of bacon and fried eggs for breakfast? Inspired by this classic combo, the Bacon Pizza (PhP 250) consisted of homemade thin crust pizza with Lolo Joe’s Bacon, tomato sauce, cheese, and fried egg. It tasted as good as it looked, bending the conception of what pizza can be. Pizza purists though may cast a skeptical eye and may not find it compelling. If you’re the type who prefer to stick to traditional pizza toppings and ingredients, skip this.
Aligue Pasta (PhP 220) or crab fat-infused pasta came out as penne in aligue sauce and grilled shrimps. It’s not an evolved taste from palabok we’re familiar with, but sadly it lacked in the pronounced taste of aligue.
It’s funny that among all those we ordered, I expected the least from the 3-Hour Belly (PhP 380). In fact, I didn’t want to get it in the first place. It was only my husband who insisted of adding it to our list. In the end, this slow roasted pork belly served with red vinegar turned out to be the star of our meal. 🙂 The pork belly yielded beautiful, succulent, moist and tender flesh with light crisp crackling, perfect with rice.
When it comes to Filipino comfort food, rice bowls reign supreme. Instead of plain white rice, we opted for 13 Ubay Street’s Fried Rice (PhP 250, platter) that opened up to a pretty tasty situation. Sauteed with shimeji mushrooms, egg, ground pork, and green onions, this rice platter was fulfilling. Once you start diving into it, you’d want more.
The Beef Pares (PhP 390) was served with homemade chili garlic oil. Stewed in pares sauce, the beef brisket had a good balance between fat and lean. The meat broke apart with ease but still showed off its chewiness. In terms of taste, it was not overwhelmingly salty with a touch of sweet.
We’re no strangers to the joy of eating salted egg dishes (chips, pasta, pizza, rice, etc.), so when we found Salted Egg Ice Cream (PhP 80, 1 scoop) on the menu, we felt ecstatic to try it at once. And good god, the flavor was on point; it tasted really like salted egg and it wasn’t too weird. Rather, it was sweet, salty and creamy and would pass for a normal dessert.
Another treat that’s easy to fall in love with was their Tablea Mousse (PhP 140) topped with whipped cream. It had a smooth, soft, and delicate texture that complements the mellow sweetness and the slightly bittersweet chocolate flavor. If I were to choose between the salted egg ice cream and this one though, I’d pick the former three times over. Yup, it was that good! 🙂
Elias offers craft beers (on tap), Belgian beers, American beers, and UK cider. Since we can’t decide which among the ciders to try, we thought it was safe to get the Flight of 4 Tasters (PhP 280). The staff gave us the freedom to choose four flavors from those available, and we ended up with: hanep guyabano, astig mango, solid dalandan, and ridiculous amber. My husband described them all simply as “masarap.” 😛
Price for Value:
People seem to love 13 Ubay St. and I can say that I do as well. It’s a gem in an unassuming location, an excellent restaurant choice when you want to savor Filipino comfort food with the entire family or your big barkada without breaking the bank. Try and hit the local craft beer and a number of house recommended dishes while you’re there. Go for signatures if you’re coming in for the first time, or try other dishes that seem interesting on paper. Delicious and well-prepared meals await!