WOODEN SPOON is the Filipino restaurant of Chef Sandy Daza, the heir apparent of the legendary Nora Daza who created the Filipino Food Cookbook bible for newly married couples and for Filipinos living abroad. The resto is named after the signature wooden spoon he used in his cooking shows.
Thanks to Pinoy chefs like Sandy Daza, Filipino food in Manila is getting better. 🙂
We finally had the chance to try the restos in the Katipunan area. 🙂 Here’s our Wooden Spoon experience…
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Tip: The restroom is quite small and could get dirty easily with the volume of people. Avoid sitting at the table near the bathroom (red door on the far right end).
Note: The kitchen area is on the second floor, and the kitchen staff can be quite noisy during peak hours. Try to sit near the window as much as possible.
I love Wooden Spoon’s menu because it seems personal and showcases the favorite Filipino dishes of the chef. It is curated very well and even has mini-blog posts explaining the story behind each dish.
★ Crab Pancit (P145 + service charge). This was a popular appetizer we served at our restaurant Aux Iles Philippine in Paris, France. Two star Michelin Chef Jacques Marniere of Au Pactole in the same district, brainstormed this recipe with my mother Nora Daza. This starter is a rich, creamy concoction laid on a bed of light crispy noodles. (Fold the sauce with the noodles as soon as it is served.)
An interesting starter that’s refreshingly unique in the Filipino dining scene here in Manila. It’s like crispy kropek pancit with egg-like sauce that’s good to share and perfect for our boys.
Although, be careful about eating too much of the crab cream sauce because it can give you an upset stomach.
★ Kare Kare (P255 + service charge). I love the original version made with oxtail. But I find it has too much fat and hardly any meat. Since I believe that the life of this dish is in the sauce anyway, I use a leaner cut of beef and cook it until tender and gelatinous. It is accompanied [by] our homemade bagoong. It will surely make you forget your name after the first bite.
This is one of the best Kare Kare dishes I’ve ever tasted in Manila! 🙂 I love the soft lean meat, authentic kare kare sauce, and the awesome bagoong. The shrimp paste is not to sweet, not too salty, has a little bit of crunch and complements the sauce well. The presentation is straight to the point and the dish is nicely priced at less than P300. How can you beat that?
Baked Chicken (P185 + service charge). This is a dish I learned to make from someone I met at a prayer group. One can easily get inspired with potlucks! It is an example of a simple home cooked meal that will certainly get praises.
We wanted to order the baked chicken because we thought it would be healthier than the fried chicken. Unfortunately, it was too creamy and oily. This was one of the dishes that we had to take out.
★ Stuffed Pechay (P155 + service charge). This dish came straight out of my imagination. The combination of flavors is unique. It is pechay stuffed with tinapa (smoked fish) and simmered in a mildly spicy coconut sauce. Malinamnam!
A delicious concept that reminds me of laing (but using pechay instead of gabi leaves) with smoked fish and formed like lumpia rolls. I personally love the combination. 🙂
Pan Grilled Tuna Belly (P245 + service charge). I was first introduced to this dish many years ago at a food stall beside the Cuneta Astrodome. This unassuming place was one of the many few lined up along a busy street of eateries and an endless procession of jeepneys. I’ve recreated this dish for you to try. It’s a juicy tuna belly that is pan grilled and accompanied by a flavorful Pinoy salad of chopped sibuyas, kamatis, itlog na maalat, sour manggang hilaw and our homemade bagoong! (Make sure you order extra rice at mapapakain ka dito.) Healthy naman!
The fish was a bit hard (maybe it was not defrosted well or they need to improve the source of their Tuna Belly). We did enjoy the ensalada with their yummy bagoong, though.
A lot of foodies raved about Wooden Spoon’s Filipino desserts. We loved the creamy coconut custard with the crunchy texture of the pinipig. Sarap!
★ Sago Cake (P65 + service charge). There will always be room in your tummy for this light dessert of little sagos or saglets as I like to call them. It has a delicate dressing of palm sugar and is sprinkled with crispy pinipig (rice puffs). It’s the great way to clean off your [palate]!
Simple yet perfect! This dessert is a great way to end a Filipino meal. 🙂 It’s like taho without the soya, full of sago and arnibal sauce with pinipig sprinkles.
Indeed, this is a good Filipino resto amidst the fastfood-franchised strip of Katipunan Avenue. You can confidently bring balikbayans here, and even foodie families looking for a different twist to enjoying Filipino Food. We love their crab pancit, kare kare, stuffed pechay and sago cake. 🙂
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WOODEN SPOON by Sandy Daza
A unique Filipino restaurant, serving a variety of Chef Sandy’s favorite recipes.
#329 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines
(In front of Ateneo de Manila University)
Telephone: +632 426-0044
Facebook: Wooden Spoon
Blog: a blog by SANDY DAZA
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10.30am to 9.30pm
Parking is adequately available in front and near the restaurant.
Note: Cash Basis Only
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Full Disclosure: I wrote this blog post myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company mentioned in this post or any organization promoting it. As a policy, I don’t accept advertising from food and travel places we feature in the blog. We paid for our meals.
P.S. Tip: Since the resto is quite small, better go early — like 11am if you are having lunch, or 6pm for dinner — if you don’t want to wait for the second seating.)