Our search for good lobster rolls in Manila is over. We found them in the kitchen of Lawrence Cua and Iya Jimenez, the husband-and-wife team behind Bun Appetit.
They first tasted seafood rolls in New York during a vacation. “They were so good and we never really got over the whole experience,” Iya said.
But back in Manila, they couldn’t fulfill their craving. They tried different restaurants but were left unsatisfied.
“There were very few and mostly had too much mayo and other fillers,” Iya said.
The two decided to make their own, first for their own consumption and eventually with plans to sell them. They spent five months sourcing ingredients, doing taste tests and perfecting their recipes.
“We want to share how, in our opinion, seafood rolls should be,” Iya said.
And what they should be is absolutely delicious. Bun Appetit serves Maine-style seafood rolls—the lobster, crab or shrimp is tossed with mayo instead of drenched with butter (that’s Connecticut-style). The couple use New England-style buns made for them by a friend; they butter these buns and fill them with your choice of fresh cooked seafood—shrimp (P295), crab (P395) or lobster (P495).
Lawrence and Iya are very light-handed with the mayo, making sure that, in each roll, the true star is the seafood.
We were lucky to be Bun Appetit’s first customers and we’re instant fans.
They also offer grilled corn (P100) and garlic noodles (P100).
Saturdays are Bun Appetit days for Lawrence and Iya who are working on getting into weekend markets. They both have day jobs—Lawrence is a marketing manager at BDO Rewards and Iya a brand marketing manager at Havaianas—and they make the sandwiches themselves so they offer only pickup (from their home in Parañaque) and delivery (to Makati City, BGC, Parañaque and Alabang) on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Orders (a minimum of three rolls, any combination of flavors) must be placed at least three days in advance. If you like to order on a weekday, you may still contact Bun Appetit to see if they can work out the schedule.
Call Bun Appetit at tel. nos. 0917-8650492 or 0947-8908010. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @bun_appetit on Instagram.