Quantcast
Latest Stories

Review

Maple–when bigger doesn’t always mean better

By

MAPLE’S interiors

The ultimate dream of almost any chef is to have that single, out-of-the-way restaurant that’s booked up months in advance and where people travel to rather than stop by. But if common sense and accountants had their way, these restaurants would never exist: They’re high-risk projects whose rewards are vanity and ego and self-fulfillment.

Find a good intersection and get yourself a Jollibee franchise, or better still, a gas station. Remember that the Buko King stand at the corner makes more money than El Bulli ever did.

Treading the cautious middle ground, and ultimately the most profitable, are restaurants to which customers are willing to come back again and again.

Apart from KFC, which powered my brain for lunch and dinner while living abroad, and which still has a strange pull to me, the restaurant where we end up with the family usually turns out to be Pancake House.

I didn’t know that Pancake House had anything to do with Maple when I decided to try the latter after a long time deriding its name. Why would anyone put up a restaurant named Maple, anyway? Are they Canadian? Do we have maple trees in this country?

My wife gently removed my ’70s-era, post-colonial nationalist hat from my head and the soapbox from beneath my feet and reasoned that if Filipinos born and bred could put up Ramen Yushoken or Wee Nam Kee,  there’s no reason why someone so inclined should put up a North American-named and -themed restaurant.

All-day breakfast

Our former colonial masters, after all, left us with a taste for consuming gluttonous amounts of sugar, butter, eggs and meat, which is what one does at Maple. The governing idea behind the place is that one can have breakfast food at any time of the day or night, which is something I thoroughly agree with, because I feel that breakfast is a meal that happens far too early in the day to get up for.

There was a sneaky, roguish, transgressive frisson about having savory country pancakes, eggs Benedict, and prime rib tapa at 5:30 in the afternoon.

SAVORY country pancakes

I can’t fault anything about the prime rib tapa, which is exactly what its name promises: the flavors of tapa without having to chew through overcooked brown wrinkled bits; prime rib that wasn’t just a browned slab of meat but juicy and spicy and served with relish and dip. It’s served with two eggs and a token spoonful or two of rice in case you want to sprinkle it over your protein.

The slab of meat is about as perfect as beef tapa can get. The eggs Bendict arrived as two impeccably poached eggs with smoky bacon and lovely soft pillows of starch, but suffered from the usual problem that yolk on fat on carbs with fried potatoes on the side sat very heavily in one’s stomach even after just a few bites, and there was far too much of it. The country pancakes, unfortunately, were a morass of fluff and grease and creamed butter and sticky, sickly-sweet syrup.

The food was delicious enough when it arrived, but we couldn’t finish any of the dishes and spent a bit of time in a stuporous state, probably when the fat content of our meal traveled upwards and replaced the blood flow to our brains.

Stimulated but not satisfied

Like sodas and junk food, which are carefully engineered to stimulate our senses in a complex manner but not enough to satisfy, one leaves Maple (after coming to one’s senses) feeling completely stuffed but with the weird feeling of not having eaten enough, as if someone else had eaten a large meal and then swapped it into your stomach, leaving you full yet wanting to eat.

But even as the food left me, or at least my stomach, puzzled and dissatisfied, it must be pleasing to at least some people because a branch has opened at Shangri-La Mall and the owners are hiring for yet another in Alabang; and it was buzzing and crowded even at an odd time to be having a meal.

But perhaps that’s what all-day breakfasts are all about: the subversiveness of eating when you want to, and of liberating breakfast food from the confines of breakfast. But ideally, the way to preserve the spirit of breakfast, but make it more so, is not to make it bigger, richer and sweeter, but to bring to it the refinement and discernment that chefs usually bring to a “proper” meal.

Maple makes a valiant attempt but goes overboard with the calories, cholesterol, and the gleaming but deadly syrup they use which is maple-flavored but definitely not maple, which is unfortunate for a restaurant that goes by that name.

Maple, as it turns out, is Pancake House gone extra-large, but unfortunately not extra-good. For the moment I’ll stick with our local branch of the original—and for dinner, I’ll eat a proper meal.

Maple is at the 2/F, San Antonio Plaza, 50 McKinley Road, Makati City; tel. 6216211.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

  • acidicboy

    overrated, absolutely poor service and mediocre food. their fried chicken tastes exactly like that of pancake house’s but they charge more.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. How to enjoy Buntod
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  7. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  8. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Wearing Kate Moss
  • Sail into summer
  • Life lessons from the Ultimate Warrior
  • Young actor profile: Teejay Marquez
  • Win a shopping spree with mom–just post on Instagram!
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
    Marketplace