Comfort in CommunEATy | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The most beautiful day in the universe is over, but it seems like it will take a few more days for Filipino pageant fans to get over our recent loss in the Miss Universe tilt.

Maxine Medina failed to get the crown (we rooted for you, girl), and the bitter sting of defeat is still in the air days after the competition. We can’t help but turn to our favorite comfort food to ease the pain.

It’s too early in the year to ditch our #BalikAlindog resolutions—we know—but this is an emergency. Good thing we found the perfect place where we can eat away our feelings: CommunEATy in Quezon City.

We might not have a back-to-back win, but with back-to-back orders of nachos, tumblers of ice cream shakes and sticks and sticks of our favorite chicken isaw, who wouldn’t walk away feeling like a winner?

Barrel Smoker
Specialty: Smoked meat
Budget: starts P165 (meals)

We’ve never seen chicken barbecue like this before. Roasted in a ranch-like sauce, the Alabama White Barbecue Chicken (P185) is juicy, with a sweet and peppery taste. This is the second Barrel Smoker branch we’ve visited but sadly their turmeric rice is still bland. (Honestly, they may as well call it colored plain rice.)

Specialty: Cebu lechon
Budget: Starts P120 (meals), P200 1/4 kilo lechon belly
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Fans of this fiesta favorite will appreciate the crispy skin and tender meat of the Boneless Cebu Lechon Belly. You can pick between the classic recipe and the spicy option, which is in our opinion the perfect beer chow. It’s not exactly the Cebu lechon that our tastebuds remember (it was a little salty, too), but at least this one doesn’t require a plane ticket down south.

Specialty: Street food, exotic pulutan
Budget: starts P135 (per plated order); P35 or P50 (per stick, depending on the kind of grilled street food)
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No longer do we have to hit the streets when we get a hankering for fishballs, chicken isaw and tukneneng, because Ex/O has these and more. Their grilled treats are all well-marinated, boasting an umami flavor that further boosts the different innards’ tastes and textures. All the kinds of street balls you could think of—from squidballs to tukneneng—are included in an order of Jag Balls (P155). There are a couple of pork siomai thrown in there, too. The highlight of our Ex/O experience, however, is the Special Fried Itik, quite pricey at P295. But trust us, every crispy bite of this deep-fried black duck is worth every peso. It surprisingly has a flaky texture, and with its toasted flavor, there’s no need for any additional seasoning.

Happy Seoul
Specialty: Korean
Budget: starts at P130
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As self-confessed K-drama fans, we always crave for kogi (meat) and kimchi. Happy Seoul’s Chadolbagi Gui (P220) has a generous amount of US prime beef strip loin coated in a thick, rich soy-garlic sauce, and is even served with homemade kimchi on the side. Their take on the Japchae (P180) has a garlicky twist. Thin glass noodles are tossed with fried tofu, julienned veggies and toasted sesame seeds. After a few bites, we could already hear Kim Bok-joo saying “Swaaag.”

It’s A Good Fryday
Specialty: Wings, fish tenders, fries
Budget: starts P70
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For people who can’t live without their beef, why not try the Country Fried Steak (P180). Two, thin, boneless slabs of well-done meat are deep fried in a peppery Southern-style batter and served with rice. Their juicy and flavorful chicken wings are also a bang for your buck at P170 per six pieces and P330 per 12. We love the Sriracha (spicy and nutty without the tanginess of the original buffalo recipe), Soy-Garlic (burnt sweetness of the caramelized glaze) and Salted Egg (creamy, salty goodness) versions.

Specialty: Gourmet hotdogs
Budget: starts at P150
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The Cheese ‘Y Mac Dog (P150) is a novel idea, but not an unwelcome one. A homemade sausage flavored with herbs and spices is topped with creamy mac and cheese and served in a fluffy steamed hotdog bun, with sauerkraut on the side. Your sausage options include smoked herbed chicken and smoked curried pork. Also, keep your eyes on your fries—the Potato Poutine (P120) isn’t something you’d want to share. It has thick cuts of fresh potatoes that are drowned in a melted medley of cheese and gravy with bits of their signature sausage. (It would’ve been perfect if it were bacon instead.)

Specialty: Persian
Budget: starts P119 (meals)

Contrary to its name, Kebomb lacked the explosion of spices expected in Middle-Eastern cuisine. Despite offering hefty servings of well-cooked meat in their Chelo Kebab (P165), Shawarma (P145) and Keema Rice (P119)—which we appreciate, really—the dishes seem a little too tentative in their seasoning.

Meat Kris
Specialty: Burgers
Budget: starts at P99
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We couldn’t believe it when they told us that this celebrity-owned burger joint is offering 100-percent Angus beef patties. And unless you get a stack of five patties for your burger (which you can), each order at Meat Kris wouldn’t go over P200. The Cheese Bernal is not your ordinary cheeseburger. Crazy cheap at P159, the huge burger is served in a sesame bun, has Meat Kris’ signature beef patty, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and mayo and is topped with four kinds of cheeses—fried mozzarella, gouda, cheddar and cheese sauce. The fried mozzarella is so thick it looked like a hash brown! Your favorite Jollibee burger steak meal also now has tough competition. The two-piece Burger Steak with Mushrooms (P129) has chunky, juicy patties whose prominent mixed-herb taste complements the creamy mushroom gravy. This will be the go-to option for those who can’t survive without rice.

Specialty: Mexican
Budget: starts P120

This is one of the best nachos we’ve ever tasted. At P195, the meat in this appetizer isn’t just your ordinary topping. It is marinated in lime and chimichurri, which gives a refreshing flavor to the familiar Mexican delight. The nachos are served with a generous amount of nacho cheese, diced tomatoes and onions, sliced jalapeños and beans. You can even choose between carne asada and pollo for your meat.

Specialty: Milkshakes and desserts
Budget: starts P100 (specialty desserts), ice cream per scoop starts P40

Don’t let the name fool you. Everything that SALT offers are, as its acronym spells out, “Sweet And Luscious Treats.”

We absolutely loved the French Toasted Banana Nutella Bread (P150), a sort of different take on a brownie a la mode. A slice of banana-Nutella bread is served with creamy salted caramel ice cream and generously drizzled with caramel sauce, topped with pili-nut praline.

Sumptuous chunks of dark chocolate chiffon sit at the bottom of the Dark Chocolate Parfait (P150). Dark chocolate ice cream fills up the mason jar and is loaded with cookies, wafers and pretzels in between scoops but this overload of chocolate is not at all cloying, while the Strawberry Shortcake Freakshake (P180) is a smooth ice-cream blend topped with sweet treats of all sorts of textures.

Specialty: Japanese
Budget: starts P135

For those craving Japanese rice meals, check out Takoraisu, which offers the famous Okinawan dish takoraisu. Their version comes in a variety of meat options, from beef teriyaki to spicy maguro.

One delightful surprise in their menu is their Kani Salad (P150). We don’t usually eat salads when we want Japanese food but this version is a great meal starter. It has crispy, thinly shredded cabbage, crabsticks, strips of cucumber and carrots, mayo, roe and peach chunks (instead of the usual mango).

Tokyo Tempura
Specialty: Japanese tempura
Budget: starts at P45

No wonder they are keen to offer unlimited tempura (P199 for unlimited tempura; P85/9 pieces)—because you can’t get enough of the succulent and fresh-tasting shrimp bites with a batter that is light and crispy. However, this super sulit unlimited shrimp goodness isn’t always available, so may the odds be in your favor. Another must-try is the Crazy Tempura (P100). Five pieces of fat shrimp tempura are coated in a special sauce, topped with shredded nori and bonito flakes, and drizzled with Japanese mayo.

The Sinful Bucket
Specialty: All-day breakfast, pasta, sandwiches
Budget: starts P130 (meals)
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The Italian Meatball Sub (P205) will make your inner Joey Tribianni giddy. Three huge balls of Italian beef are topped with marinara sauce and torched cheddar and mozzarella cheese. The parmesan-dusted skinny fries on the side is definitely worth the extra carbs, too. Then imagine a sweet-sour, crispy lechon kawali. This is essentially the Crunchy Adobong Puti (P160). Served with fried egg and rice topped with toasted garlic bits, the serving was sort of on the small side.

CommunEATy Bar
Specialty: Beer and other alcoholic drinks
Budget: starts P50 (per bottle)

You have your pick of local beers (both craft and popular brands) and international brews in the upstairs bar. Bottles of hard liquor are also available. For those who prefer nonalcoholic drinks, there’s a juice kiosk on the first floor. We highly recommend the lychee and Kool-Aid flavors (P50 per glass).

CommunEATy is open 4 p.m.-midnight on Sunday-Thursday, and 4 p.m.-2 a.m.
on Friday and Saturday. Check it out at No. 120 Don A. Roces Ave.,
Diliman, Quezon City. Visit

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