Whistlestop is Back! Open 24/7 since 1977

By

After closing shop in 2005, Whistlestop is back to reclaim its 24 by 7 Comfort Food dominance and proclaim its culinary heritage since 1977.

For Gen X-ers like me, Whistlestop was like a second home, especially if you found yourself hungry at 1 in the morning. A lot of people cried when Tina Serna decided to migrate to the US and eventually shut down all the operations of Whistlestop in Manila. For 4 years, we were left at the mercy of 24×7 restos like Northpark chains (which I stopped going to) and more recently, 24×7 Jollibee and McDonalds chains (which cater to the call center crowds).

The memory of Whistlestop is like the memory of Ninoy Aquino — only those who are 25 years old and above can remember them. Both of their stories invoke nostalgia and we need to tell those stories for the new generation to experience them.

 

Armed with the promise to bring back Whistlestop to its glory days, Lex Ledesma (of Nami Boracay fame) and Dennis Gan (of Oyster Boy Fame), reopened the first branch of Whistlestop along Jupiter Street last Chinese New Year. They recruited back 3 of the original chefs of Whistlestop — one with 24 years, one with 14 years, and the last one with 11 years of experience cooking for Whistlestop. They are now the head chefs, with each one leading an 8-hour shift in Whistlestop.

They opened with a one-page menu list versus the original 8-page menu. On each table, there is a survey sheet, where you can request for your favorite dish if it is not included in the opening menu. If they get 5 independent requests for a dish, they will include it in the new menu. The most requested ones are the steamboat soup and the pork/chicken sates.

I was used to the “cowboy ambiance” of the former Whistlestop. This new branch is intended to be a train station stop in London (where the restaurant got its name), with an old world and nostalgic feel. Old bottles of softdrinks and milk are used as table centerpieces and accents in the PX store.

Monggo Soup with Chicharon (P195 + 10%SC).

My mom remarked that this monggo soup is just like the soup we cooked at home. Most of the food at Whistlestop are familiar and bring up nostalgic images of your childhood. Usually, they are on the oily side and border on the unhealthy end of the spectrum.

Goto Arroz Caldo (P110 + 10%SC).

We love this Arroz Caldo stall in SM Makati called Jose Goto. We would not be surprised if they just ordered take-out from that stall and served it in Whistlestop. This is what I like about Whistlestop — the food is familiar and yummy, without any pretensions.

Morning Heavyweight Corned Beef (P160 + 10%SC).

This should be called Morning Heavyweight Hashbrown because I can’t even taste the corned beef. I can’t remember what we used to order for breakfast in Whistlestop…

Chinese Broccoli with Oyster (P135 + 10%SC).

Even with this healthy attempt to serve vegetables, you can see the broccoli swimming in oil. But it is yummy, I’m not complaining…

After a drinking session, you would need the oil in your stomach to prevent a hangover in the morning. (This is a good justification to tell yourself…)

Hainanese Chicken Rice (P195 + 10%SC).

Absolutely yummy! I like the rice with the moist taste of the chicken broth, together with the chicken and a dash of soy sauce, ginger sauce and super hot sauce. In fact, we ordered two of these.

The serving size in Whistlestop is good for one person. It would feel bitin if you tried to enjoy the dishes in a family-sharing style.

Nasi Goreng (P165 + 10%SC).

This is more like the Bagoong Rice that we are familiar with. I’m not sure why it is called Nasi Goreng.

The Whistlestop PX Store was the first 24-hour convenience store in the Philippines in the ’70s. There is a mini-PX store inside the present restaurant to commemorate this heritage.

The dessert line of Whistlestop is boring (and not part of the original menu), so Aidan and I just feasted on the Curly Tops, Chocnut and gelatin available in the mini-PX store for free.

Whistlestop 24×7 Since 1977
28 Jupiter St. (Between Fiamma and Starbucks)
Telephone number: 8961989.

Note: It is easy to miss it because the signage is a bit hidden and the lighting is a bit dim. Just keep your eyes peeled for its easier-to-spot neighbors.

 

 

 

 Live an Awesome Life,

Anton

 


34 thoughts on “Whistlestop is Back! Open 24/7 since 1977

  1. I loved their Rendan Daging (Beef Rendan), Singaporean Noodles and of course the Hainanese Chicken, which used to be seved on bed of cucubers on a raised silver dish. I also enjoyed going to their PX store for my latest stash of Bop and Tiger Beat Magazines. Oh so 80s!!! Hehehe!

  2. I loved their Rendan Daging (Beef Rendan), Singaporean Noodles and of course the Hainanese Chicken, which used to be seved on bed of cucubers on a raised silver dish. I also enjoyed going to their PX store for my latest stash of Bop and Tiger Beat Magazines. Oh so 80s!!! Hehehe!

  3. seriously they’re back?? i love WhistleStop, i was so sad when they closed down. they had a branch in Alabang, BF and Shangri-La. our favorite dish was their Blue Marlin belly, it was the best. is it still on the menu? i loved their sauce. i wish they would open up a branch in the South soon. i’m over 25, that explains the fond memories of the place. 🙂

  4. Woohoo! I love Whistlestop! My friends and I have a lot of after-party memories at their former Jupiter branch, not to mention cellphone pics of those unfortunate enough to fall asleep right on the table. Their Arroz Caldo was my favorite dish to order there…:-)

  5. I will be ordering my childhood favorite… the Chicken Curry with Garlic Rice. 5 Times to be exact to qualify it’s return to the menu 😀

  6. I was trying to recall why Whistlestop seems to be familiar to me…I remember now! I used to work in the building in front of it and at lunch time when my boss is feeling generous, we would have lunch at Whistlestop, I love the cowboy theme coz back then theme restaurants are not that many. Though, I do not recall that they are open 24/7…Hmmm, seems that I ought to drop by and see for myself to remember more of my Makati days…Thanks for posting this info 🙂

  7. hello anton~~ well, i just want to tell your site is really helpful…~~ well i already visitid some of the restaurant that you blog here.. 😀 i used it in my work..im working in a korean magazine…i already featured pepper lunch & galileo enotica…because of you..and i met all of them.:)
    thats all!! keep it up~~ 😀

  8. Do they still have their chicken adobo sa gata? I first discovered that dish when I was living in Kamagong with a friend, and the chix adobo sa gata was our comfort food everytime we’d get holed in dahil grabe yung baha sa area namin during typhoon season.

  9. wow anton! this is great news… i was just thinking about whistlestop the other day… the one in Jupiter is where we bonded with my new officemates way back in’02.
    when we transferred to SMPC, we frequent the branch in Shang after work where we would feast on crispy pata + rice & red horse at 6 in the morning (after shift).
    and the Libis branch for weekend or a night cap.

  10. Our fave is Tom Yam goong, the Thai special Soup. Shrimps soup with spicy herbs. Love the Comeback of Whistlestop.How many branch are they operating? Where?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *