Saturday, November 4, 2023

The Exotic and Vibrant Flavors from the Deep South Goes Up North with the Opening of Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine at the New Gateway 2 Mall in Araneta City

The rich, diverse and colorful tapestry of flavors of our local culinary heritage are elegantly unraveled with the distinct notes of Zambasulta cuisine from the deep south. And no, you don't even have to fly down south. You'll find authentic Southern Mindanaoan dishes right here up north of the metro at Palm Grill in the new Gateway Mall 2 of Araneta City...

Miguel Cabel Moreno shares the flavors of his roots with a lavish array of hearty dishes from Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Taw-Tawi at the newest location of Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine. Now on its 6th year, the newest branch up north at Gateway 2 Mall in the heart of Araneta City is a testament to Miguel's commitment and vision to preserve his family's culinary traditions showcased in a wide selection of comforting flavors. His goal? To share Southern Mindanaoan cuisine with the world. From Tiyula Itum and Beef Kurma to the classic Specialty Pianggang Manok, Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine takes you on an epic flavorful journey to the south without leaving the metro. 

Fast emerging as the newest shopping and dining destination up north, the cityscape of the revitalized commercial and business district of Araneta City is transformed by a number of impressive modern developments redefining its storied history. Enriched by its nostalgic past, Araneta City keeps pace with the changing times with the addition of Gateway 2 Mall as the hub of the city's vibrant shopping and dining scene. 

Inside the new Gateway 2 Mall, local and regional flavors take the spotlight at Palengque with its varied selection of Filipino produce and restaurants. The novel concept stitches together a colorful culinary fabric reflecting the rich diversity of local culinary traditions in one place. One of the many featured restaurants including chef-driven establishments at Palengque is Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine

At the recent opening of Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine in Palengque, guests were treated to a southern tradition with fresh-brewed Sulu coffee. Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine's very own Sūg offers a selection of specialty coffee straight from Sulu including Kahawa Itum (P 85) or black coffee, Kahawa Malimu (P 90) or sweetened coffee, Mestizo (P 110) or Kahawa Itum with cream and Sweet Mestizo (P 115) with cream and sugar. 

Then, the distinct sounds of the deep south resonated in the wide open space of Palengque to signal the start of the festivities with a dazzling performance...

...followed by a dramatic reveal of Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine's newest branch. 

Miguel Cabel Moreno along with his partners, distinguished guests and family formally opened the newest branch of Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine at Palengue, weaving its own unique flavors to the growing restaurant scene of Araneta City.  

The vibrant hues and style reflects the southern roots of Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine in a more contemporary and modern expression with its geometric shapes on the walls and wooden poles at the ceiling inspired by the vinta and indigenous Badjao sea dwelling communities. 

From its first branch on Tomas Morato to its second at Gateway 2 Mall in Araneta City, Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine's own journey expands spinning new flavorful stories to reach a wider market (for more on Palm Grill, see my posts High Five: Celebrating Five Years of Authentic Zambasulta Cuisine from the Deep South at Palm Grill from last year, Green Chicken and Good Vibes: Discover Mindanaoan Flavors at Palm Grill on my very first visit back in 2017 and It's a Green Christmas with Palm Grill's Signature Green Chicken... from six years ago). 

Miguel's own journey began with the simple idea of preserving and offering his family's culinary tradition. Today, Palm Grill is synonymous with the authentic flavors from the deep south. 

Miguel Cabel Moreno then teased the palate with Palm Grill's sumptuous buffet spread of authentic Southern Mindanaoan dishes...

...for a sumptuous culinary journey down south. Steeped in tradition, Miguel described each of the dishes from his childhood using cherished family recipes served at Palm Grill. And what a feast...

Your flavorful journey of discovery begins with a generous serving of Turmeric Rice (P 80 Cup/P 280 Platter) simmered in coconut milk and infused with turmeric. And get an extra serving to soak up all the wonderful sauces from the different savory dishes. You can also try the Bubuk (P 80 Cup/P 280 Platter ) with dried fish, coconut meat, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper.

The culinary influences from southern neighbors becomes the dominant theme alongside indigenous traditions for a distinct cuisine unique and different from the usual fare of the north. The varied flavors of Mindanao draws much of its flavor profiles from the rich spice blends of Malay influences woven with Spanish and local indigenous cultures such as Badjao, Maranao and Tausug. The result is a complex tapestry of bold even exotic flavors like the mildly spicy Sizzling Sambal Squid bringing together the fresh briny sweetness of succulent squid with the soothing heat of sambal. The freshness of the squid comes through with its clean and delicate notes followed by the savory and spicy punch of the sambal for that complex yet balanced finish pairing well the Turmeric Rice.

Almost like the northern kare-kare, the savory Beef Kurma (P 380) is a hearty dish with fork-tender beef cooked with thick curry, coconut milk, peanuts and rich blend of spices. Simmered for hours, the contrasting flavors combine for a nutty and deep richness warming the palate with its flavorful notes. And just like curry or kare-kare, it's a dish that rightfully demands a heaping serving of rice on the side. Let the rice absorb the sauce for that flavorful burst of goodness. 

The dish that built Palm Grill's reputation on authenticity is the Specialty Pianggang Manok (P 390 Duo or Half Chicken/P 760 League or Whole Chicken), a traditional Tausug delicacy. Cooked in coconut milk and a blend of burnt coconut, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, onions, salt and pepper called pamapa, the Specialty Pianggang Manok offers multiple layers of comforting flavors complementing the delicate notes of the chicken. 

The coconut milk adds a savory and indulgent richness to the tender and juicy chicken, followed by the subtle sharpness of the turmeric, ginger and lemongrass rounded out by just a whisper of smoky sweetness from the burnt coconut. The burnt coconut not only gives this dish its distinctive color but a unique flavor as well. The coconut milk and pamapa blend brings a delicate richness to the dish, draping the palate with subtle and nuanced notes. Extra rice? Absolutely. 

The Tiyula Itum (P 540) is a rich beef broth with intense notes from burnt coconut giving it a smoky sweetness adding depth with each satisfying sip. The tender chunks of beef completes the dish with its bold beefy flavors. The use of burnt coconut in many Southern Mindanaoan dishes reflects both the land and bountiful produce expressed in savory culinary traditions like the Tiyula Itum

A serving of Turmeric Rice, Sizzling Sambal Squid, Beef Kurma and Specialty Chicken Pianggang Manok along with a bowl of Tiyula Itum is Southern Mindanao on a plate at Palm Grill. From spicy to a subtle sweetness and hints of smokiness, the rich and savory notes unveils a colorful layer in the diverse culinary heritage of the archipelago. 

Food they say transports you to a different place. For Miguel Cabel Moreno, it's a nostalgic celebration of comforting flavors that have defined him, his family and his roots. Authenticity is more than just sticking to time-honored traditions. It's about honesty, sincerity and keeping it real. And that's what you'll find at Palm Grill

At Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine, you'll find even more culinary gems on the menu including vegetable sides like the Kaliya Puso (P 395). The dish made with thinly shredded strips of banana heart or blossom and cooked in coconut milk pairs so well with rice...

...while the Ensaladang Talong (P 220) with mashed eggplant delivers a delectable sweetness perfectly tempered by the sour hints of vinegar. Both side dishes complement the savory mains on the menu of Palm Grill

One more must-try main dish at Palm Grill is the Belachan Manok (P 280) with tender and juicy grilled chicken breast marinated in turmeric, lemon juice and lemon zest slathered in rich belachan or shrimp paste sauce. The delectable briny notes of the belachan just highlights the flavors of the chicken with its hints of turmeric and lemon. 

Discover authentic Southern Mindanaoan cuisine yourself at Palm Grill, and you don't have to go far. Now open at Palengque in the new Gateway 2 Mall of Araneta City, Palm Grill takes you down the deep south with their repertoire of authentic dishes.

One more cup of freshly brewed Sulu coffee from the Sūg line of Palm Grill completes the Southern Mindanaoan dining experience. 

The innovative one-stop shop concept for everything Filipino at Palengque brings a unique layer to your shopping and dining experience at the new Gateway 2 Mall in Araneta City. With restaurants like Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine, your rediscovery of local flavors becomes a memorable and flavorful journey covering the full tapestry of the local culinary heritage. 

As Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine marks its sixth year in the local restaurant scene, Miguel Cabel Moreno is ready for another chapter in his own journey showcasing his beloved flavors from the south. And the north gets a taste at its newest location in the new Gateway 2 Mall of Araneta City

Palm Grill Authentic Southern Mindanaoan Cuisine is located at the Upper Ground B Level of Gateway 2 Mall, Araneta City, Quezon City. You can also visit their FB Page at for more information and updates. 

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