19 (Sat) August 2017
at Purple Yam
-Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-
Purple Yam is a Filipino restaurant. Same husband-wife owners of the Purple Yam in Brooklyn, New York, preceded by Cendrillon in Manhattan, which had made a small local splash when opened in 1995 for its Filipino fusion menu. Originally from Manila, having left in the mid-1970s to study in the United States, where they eventually fell into the restaurant business, they returned to open Purple Yam in the childhood home of the wife. The kitchen takes great pride in using only/mostly local ingredients, the items on prix fixe menu depending on what the chef finds in the market that day. This locavore philosophy would seem to make perfect sense in a country with countless cultures scattered across 7,000 islands ripe with diverse foodstuffs, yet increasingly impractical as the population of over 108,000,000 migrate to the cities, Manila accounting for 12,800,000 – the most densely populated city in the world at an astounding 43,000 persons per square kilometer. Anyway, the restaurant is open only upon reservation.
Sadly, I lost my photos from the meal that I had taken with my good camera, which is a shame because the presentations were nice. Fortunately, I had one shot from my phone camera that survives.
Overall, the food was quite good. The soup was crisp and tangy, with pristinely fresh shrimp and perfectly undercooked veg. This is what traditional Filipino food could be if it paid more attention to quality ingredients and got back to basics.
However, the portions were pitifully small. Next time, I’ll ask if I can order extra rice on the side.