Blogger and restaurateur Erwan Heussaff has certainly been busy over the last year, bringing Manila’s fun-loving diners a cache of openings that have included The Hungry Hound, Niner Ichi Nana, and Hatch 22. Now, the ebullient foodie is taking us on a whistlestop tour of Southeast Asia with trendy new comfort diner Pink Panda. The dark, modern, and urban interiors dominate the vibe, but closer inspection soon reveals whimsical little touches of pink, like flamingo statuettes and indulgently frothy, candy-floss pink cocktails (such as the Slanted Sour made with whisky, lemon juice, ginger syrup, egg whites and soda).
Chef Siggy Torrentechef has whipped together some of the most iconic dishes from all over SE Asia, like Vietnamese rice paper rolls stuffed with a trio of wild mushrooms, spiced pork, grilled shrimp and pickled jicama; a colourful Singaporean dim sum mix of kuchay and spicy shrimp dumplings, and pork-mushroom siu mai with a chilli-garlic ponzu sauce; plus Puncak chargrilled chicken satay with a Thai papaya relish. Finally, desserts are Filipino-inspired and characteristically sweet: Panda Balls are black-and-white sesame-coated buchi filled with peanut butter-jelly and dark chocolate, while Mix Mix is a modern take on the halo-halo, a leche flan layered with pandan jelly, sago, nata de coco, and dotted with mung beans and pinipig crisps. Masarap!
4687 Santiago St / Makati / +63 917 839 0714 / 11am-midnight daily / pinkpandadiner.com