Why the name Alter Ego? From their About page, it’s because the mélange of flavors comes from the east and the west. We were surprised to find that it’s located on a street a few steps away only from Robinsons Magnolia. It was almost like a revelation and I guess not many people have already figured this out.
As with Kokoro Japanese Grindz, we booked a reservation here via Eatigo hence getting a good deal of discount from our bill. So, with “two personalities coexisting in a single self,” does their concept of having an alter ego actually work? This restaurant offers familiar and recognizable dishes catered to modern palates, but with new and exciting twists. There’s a different spin that could be put on with each dish, and the possibilities seem limitless!
Review of Alter Ego (New Manila, Quezon City)
Alter Ego Fusion Restaurant has a calm and quiet ambiance. It’s the kind of place where you can kick back for hours, chat nonstop with friends, or work with your laptop on. It’s a laid-back place where you can enjoy your meal with no rush. Since it’s like “a hidden gem in New Manila,” we were the only customers when we came in so I had a great chance to take pictures of all parts of the restaurant.
Overall, the theme and interior design looked elegant and decent. There’s a front part featuring Azucar products proudly displayed at a chiller, and the justify and right wings where customers are to be seated. Outside, there’s an al fresco area, complete with a colorful wall mural, for a youthful vibe.
The food at Alter Ego strikes a difficult sweet spot; there were both hits and misses.
It was raining that day, so we thought soups would be a good start. We got Seafood Ravioli Laksa (PhP 220) and also shared a warm bowl of Pumpkin Soup Souffle (PhP 205). The presentations were simple, and the flavor profiles were so subtle. I didn’t like them as much as I expected from the descriptions on the menu.
As compared to the traditional laksa I relish, this one with seafood coconut broth was bland for my liking. The ravioli in the soup didn’t come out fresh but rather frozen then heated, far from the kind that would create a good sensation.
With a cheese souffle on top, the pumpkin soup wasn’t favored too much either. The egg white was fluffy like a cloud and just as light, but the soup itself had a weak stock with a little taste of seasoning and didn’t taste anything special.
Okay, so we didn’t have a strong start at Alter Ego. Following the soup dishes was a comfort Filipino dish given a twist by preparing it sous vide for six hours. Nicely plated, the twice-cooked pork belly (PhP 340) was probably the best thing we had here. The grilled pork belly perfectly went together with the ratatouille and the buttered basil rice. It had a good amount of fat and meat, and the flavor was quite sweet. The veggies in the mix livened it up, and we liked it.
Lastly, we got Devil’s Curry (PhP 230). It’s a fun course but not so much a “can’t-miss” entree. Cooked with Portuguese-Malay curry sauce, southeast Asian chili, herbs, and spices spiked with vinegar, the seared chicken dish was interesting and last meal-worthy. The bold spice and warm notes of curry brought depth and interest to an otherwise basic curry. I loved that the chicken was tender and the sauce was a little thick, which complemented the steamed white rice well.
Price for Value:
Alter Ego in Hemady, Quezon City provided us some enjoyable dishes and some not-so-impressive ones. Nevertheless, this casual restaurant featuring balanced Eastern-Western fusion dishes deserve some attention. Choose main courses well for a boss-impressing lunch or a lingering wine-fueled dinner. Since it’s quite empty at peak mealtime, there’s more opportunities to book the place for an event. It’s a nice neighborhood hot spot where diners can leave with a novel experience. Without the 30% discount from Eatigo though, prices would seem more expensive considering the value.