Whistlestop Restaurant opened in 1977 with a very casual ambiance. The original owners closed it down in 2005, but good thing that businessman Lex Ledesma and restaurateur Dennis Gan of the famed Oyster Boy Group, decided to re-open Whistlestop Restaurant.
Entering the restaurant is walking back in another time and space. It’s a hub for travelers, akin to a chic train that travels from one city to the next.
As for the food, Whistlestop offers Filipino comfort food, Asian dishes and American fare. Hainanese Chicken is simple and unpretentious. According to Chef Joseph Batoy” Proponggo, they tweaked this Singaporean dish to the Filipino palate. The moist chicken was resting on a bed of white rice and cucumber slices, garnished with a stalk of petchay and accompanied by a soup and choices of three sauces – where the soy-based was my preference.
Mixed Saté (another Asian dish, a version of barbecue dishes) is served with Bagoong Rice, has four sticks of Saté – beef, pork, chicken and shrimp. The best sauce for this is peanut sauce made up of ground peanuts, curry powder, some spices and coconut milk.
The star of this dining experience for me is the Crispy Pancit. I have been to a number of establishments and often, I get disappointed whenever I order crispy noodles. Much to my delight that Whistlestop is offering the kind of crispy noodles that I want at a fraction of a cost from other Chinese restaurants. Chef Batoy prides that they use egg noodles and the other ingredients are quite simple such as slices of carrots, bell peppers, halved button mushrooms, cabbage, Chinese petchay and topped with hard-boiled egg wedges then slathered with a thick, rich sauce.
While there is still space in your expanding tummy, why not punctuate this enjoyable journey with a delicious ending of this Chocolate Cake.
Just writing this makes me want to rush to their restaurant located at Jupiter Street in Makati City.
Photos captured by Mike Caballes
Pie Rivera is a food columnist of Republic of 7107 Island Travel Magazine. For subscriptions to the magazine, you may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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