Monday, April 29, 2013

Maple: Taking Classic Comfort Food a Notch Higher

Classic American comfort food and breakfast served all day, can't beat that. And at Maple, you get your favorite comfort food from pancakes to signature main dishes, classic favorites and cool new takes. Think  level up comfort food. Now that's cool.

The newest family restaurant concept from the Pancake House Group, Maple takes classic American comfort food a notch higher with its wide array of dishes that are both comforting and familiar, yet new and different with Maple's unique touch. Using the very best and freshest ingredients, simple comfort food is elevated to a much higher level for one awesome dining experience. Dwight Ashton, Maple's Project Leader, brings the Maple concept to life through its relaxed, casual yet elegant decor all the way to its signature dishes. Currently with nine concepts under the Pancake House Group, including Pancake House, Dencio's, Yellow Cab, Le Coeur de France, Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin' Pepper Steak, Maple is definitely a cool addition to the Pancake House Group's growing portfolio. 

Inside, one is greeted by Maple's friendly and courteous staff. Homey touches from the interior layout to the menu add to the warmth of Maple (check out the Maple story inside the menu, it's a fun read). Perfect for family get togethers, Maple even has a kids' corner with a shelf of story books. Very cool. It's touches like these that add a special warmth to your dining experience at Maple.

Antique bottles of the sweet golden liquid adorn the walls on one side of Maple, giving a warm amber glow and rustic vibe that immediately makes one feel so at home. Recently, I got to sample some of Maple's signature dishes along with other bloggers, and experience first-hand Maple's unique concept and flavors.

Before any meal, Maple serves its very own dinner rolls, with a unique maple glaze. The warm rolls are just perfect with a dab of butter, and the maple glaze adds a rich layer of sweetness that makes you go for another roll. Serving good bread is more often a sign of good things to come, and Maple's signature rolls are a great start. Having worked in the states, Maple's young Executive Chef, Patrick Corpuz, brings back his favorite comfort food from the east coast and southwest, for a diverse menu ranging from breakfast, starters, mains all the way to desserts...and I can stay here all day at Maple.

The feast begins with Maple's signature salad dishes. The Texas Wedge Salad (P 350), features a fresh and crisp iceberg lettuce wedge topped with Pico de Gallo, crumbled blue cheese and bacon bits with a rich and creamy blue cheese dressing.

The rich and creamy blue cheese dressing binds all the components, from the fresh Pico de Gallo and the crunchy bacon bits for a cool combo of flavors and textures. light and refreshing, yet bursting with flavor, it's a cool salad dish to start any meal at Maple.

Then, there is the Maple House Salad (P 375), fresh mesclun and vegetables sprinkled with maple glazed pecans and parmesan flakes with a roasted shallot vinaigrette. The dressing has a subtle note of maple, a hint of Maple's playful and inventive kitchen, consistent with the concept, and story, of Maple.

Next up, another signature Maple starter, Chilean Mussels (P 375), plump and juicy mussels cooked in premium dark beer and saffron sauce, served with crostini. Served steaming hot, the subtle briny aroma is and the presentation is a feast for the senses.

The mussels have a sweet and briny flavor, indicating its freshness. Squeeze a little lemon for an added kick in flavor, and enjoy. The hot cast iron skillet keeps the dish warm. And don't forget to mop up the flavorful broth with the crostini...

Many of maple's signature dishes are inspired by traditional flavors, but one dish offers a unique and flavorful twist. The Spaetzle Jambalaya (P 390), fresh spaetzle pasta with Maple's spicy Jambalaya sauce topped with shrimps and Chilean mussels is a refreshing new take on the usual Jambalaya. Using pasta instead of rice, the dish provides familiar flavors with a new texture, and a cool new dining experience. The spicy Jambalaya sauce gradually builds for a comforting and cooling heat. For those sensitive to spicy food, you can specify the level of heat for your dish.

And comfort food just won't be complete without pancakes. The Maple Buttermilk Pancakes (P 275), a cool stack of three light and fluffy pancakes dusted with powdered sugar, is definitely a must-try. And the secret to Maple's light and fluffy pancakes? Maple prepares its pancakes in almost the same way a souffle is made, meticulous and absolutely made from scratch. Topped with a familiar scoop of whipped butter, the pancakes have a light yet delicate chewy texture that's just great with the house maple syrup. Maple also offers Grade XD pure maple syrup (P 75), with a deeper flavor note. perfect. Maple serves all-day breakfast, including waffles, with eggs, bacon and sausages.

For those looking for a heftier meal, try Maple's Huevos Rancheros (P 340), classic breakfast dish with tortillas, refried beans, grilled chicken and a sunny side-up, topped with cheese and ranchero sauce. Rich, flavorful and filling, it's a great dish to have any time of day.

Then, Maple's heavy-hitters arrived. The Rib Eye Steak (P 1,680 USDA Angus Prime Grade, P 1,050 USDA Angus) topped with blue cheese herbed butter and served on herbed potatoes and haricot verts. Additional sauces like a red wine demiglace and a flavorful chimichurri were also served.

Perfectly grilled to medium rare, just the way I like it, one of the best steaks I've tried. With just the herbed butter,  a little salt and nothing else, this beautiful slab of meat is pure beef bliss. The perfectly marbled meat and the juicy pink center gives the steak so much flavor, you really don't need anything else. In between, you can add a little chimichurri to reign in the richness. This one's a winner. Seriously good.

Then, Maple's Drippin' Baby Back Ribs (P 850) arrived, slow roasted baby back ribs basted with Maple's very own barbecue sauce, served with snow peas, cheesy baked potato and corn on the cob.Fork tender and fall-off-the-bone goodness, a full meal in itself and great for sharing.

And there's more. Maple's Fish Tacos (P 450) came next, and comes with a choice of wheat or flout tortillas with a blackened tender white fish fillet, Napa cabbage slaw, Pico de Gallo, queso fresco and chipotle aioli. A classic comfort food favorite, Maple's version is a perfect combo of flavors and textures. The fresh and crisp veggies and the rich sauce combine for a hearty and comforting dish. Another winner.

Then, there's Maple's cool take on a traditional Filipino breakfast favorite. The Prime Rib Tapa (P 520), marinated prime rib served with garlic rice, two eggs, tomato-onion salsa and atchara. Tender prime rib and garlic rice, classic comfort with a local flavor. And I can have this all day too...

For those looking for something light, there's Maple's Salmon Catch (P 550). You can have your tender salmon fillet pan-seared, grilled or blackened, your choice, served on vegetables and orzo pasta. Elegantly plated, premium and fresh ingredients once again make this dish.

And for dessert, Maple continues to amaze and impress. Maple's Apple Pie with streusel topping (P 240), a light and buttery pastry crust filled with a delicious combo of Granny Smith and red Washington apples tossed in maple, and  topped with sweet and crunchy streusel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A classic dessert, comforting in every bite, just perfect to cap a meal at Maple. And there's more...

Maple's Bourbon Bread Pudding (P 220), served with peaches and bourbon creme anglaise or a la mode, another comfort food classic, and a personal favorite.

Served on a hot skillet, the dish is another delicious blend of flavors and textures, with the peaches adding a nice tart contrast to the rich and sweet bread pudding. A must have and not to be missed at Maple.

And again, you can't not have some of Maple's specialty pancakes, like the Blueberry and Cream Cheese Pancake Tower (P 450), a stack of six buttermilk pancakes with alternating layers of preserved blueberries and rich cream cheese topped with blueberry compote. Add a drizzle of sweet maple, perfect.

To complete one's sweet ending, indulge yourself with Maple's Chocolate Milk Shake (P 175), a cool blend with six, that's right, six scoops of chocolate ice cream...

...or the Maple Iced Coffee (P 165). Check out the cool chocolate streaks, there's definitely an artist in Maple's kitchen. An impressive range of classic American comfort food, from old favorites to refreshing new takes, Maple is definitely a worth a second visit. And a third... 

An awesome weekend lunch with some real cool people, dining at Maple is like coming home. Great food, good times.

Special thanks to Pia Trojillo, Maketing Supervisor; Patrick Corpuz, Executive Chef; and Katrina Monedero, Social Media Coordinator, Pancake House Group for a cool lunch at Maple. 

Maple is located at the Lower Ground Floor of the new East Wing at Shangri-La Plaza, Shaw Boulevard corner Edsa, Mandaluyong or call 725-6283 for inquiries. You can also visit Maple at the second floor of the San Antonio Plaza Arcade at 50 Mckinley Road, Forbes Park, Makati or call 621-6211 for more details. 

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  1. Replies
    1. hey mich, great food from starters to mains, all the way to dessert! You should try this place!

  2. can't believe i missed all these great food here :( That baby back ribs..oh my.. looks sooo good!! :)

    1. hey Berylle, everything was great, classic comfort food! And the ribs were something else, definitely worth a second visit!

  3. oh my gooseneck, these look scrumptious! steaks and pancakes---they make me happy!:p
    will check out the makati branch soon.

    1. Hi Luna, classic comfort food, definitely worth a try!

  4. The pancake tower with blueberry drippings is calling my full name at this wee hour!

    1. Hi Joy, the pancake tower was awesome, you should try it! Thanks for stopping by, Joy!


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