We build casual restaurants in Manila with thoughtful design.
2013: We had absolutely no right to open a ramen house. We had no experience, no Japanese cooks, no reputation. So we had a problem on our hands: who would buy noodles from a fake ass ramen joint, when just twenty minutes away, the same thing costs the same amount of money from a real Japanese chef?
We thought that maybe, just maybe, if we approached this with a sense of humor and self-awareness, people would give us a chance. So in 2013, we built Wrong Ramen with a self-deprecating spirit that celebrated our lack of experience and authenticity in a field that prized purity.
Location: Burgos Circle, BGC, Taguig City
2014: We love fried chicken. But how do you make one that stands out when you have Jollibee’s watchful eye in every corner?
Taking inspiration from Japan’s liberal use of the irrationally-feared MSG in both processed and natural forms: dashi, mushroom powder, furikake, miso, and more, we developed our own flavors through an exhaustive science project. If we could extract all these intense flavors, concentrate them, and infuse them in fried chicken, wouldn’t that be incredible?
After a few months of experimentation, Bad Bird was born.
Locations: SM Megamall / Serendra, BGC / Robinson’s Manila / SM Fairview / UP Town Center / Hole in the Wall, Century Mall
2015: Coming of from the massive success of Bad Bird, we wanted to do another fried chicken project. This time around, we did fried chicken sandwiches.
However, at that time, we had wanted to make Chinese food. Since we couldn’t decide, we just threw in some potstickers and noodles in the menu of a sandwich shop. In short: Fowlbread is weird as hell.
Today Fowlbread is widely considered the best fried chicken sandwich in Manila.
Location: BGC High Street, Taguig
2018: Despite being just a couple of hours away, Manila and Bangkok’s taste preferences couldn’t be more different. Locals in Manila generally find strong spices repulsive. You would never find curries, spicy food, and fragrant aromatics such as lemongrass in a Filipino gathering.
Consequently, you won’t find plenty of quality Thai restaurants in Manila. Besides the wonderful but inaccessible People’s Palace, there’s not a lot of options because not enough people seek it out.
In Flower Boy, we wanted to create a gateway, and help locals approach Thai food in a non-intimidating way. We developed the menu so it sounds familiar, including local elements in certain areas, but the primary flavors still resemble the streets of Bangkok.
Location: The Grid, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Makati