Cebuanos and foodies who have basked in the Cebu culinary explosion will attest to the fame of Golden Cowrie. Back in 2015, when my family and I was finally able to visit Cebu, and had a taste of their vibrant culinary scene, Golden Cowrie is that one resto we missed trying out. It was the only regret I had after coming home from a three-day vacation, spent at Bluewater Maribago and Crimson Resort and Spa. Since then, I've been meaning to go back together with my hankering for Cebu lechons.
Finally, after that much aspiration, I saw their sign up in S Maison, when they were still preparing for its opening. What joy!
From it's confining entrance from inside the mall, you will be amazed by the commanding sight of the Manila Bay. As the sky light floods the resto giving it an airy and comfortable feeling, and wait till the sundown as its beauty truly beckons.
The design of the store is simple, no fancy colorful chairs, yet exudes class, and I love the signature basket hang-lights, tell so much of its origin.
It's best to spend an al freso dining at night, specially during the weekends as SM hosts fireworks which is displayed at the bay area.
There are some splashes of cool colors in some areas too.
My first ever visit to Golden Cowrie, at their S Maison branch is such a glorious one. An answered prayer perhaps or just one of my wishes coming true.
I began with a savoring of Pinaupong Manok (Php 570). This really caught my fancy as this brings back culinary memories from my father's own cooking back when we would celebrate simple family gatherings with his version of Pinaupong Manok, it's just a whole chicken rubbed with salt and grilled upward with the chicken made to sit up.
Cowrie's version is also a whole chicken cooked cooked in salt, mallorca and other spices. It's steamed and with skin browned by bathing with heated oil. This process makes this less oily but with meat flavored thoroughly .
I was also able to sunk my teeth into a couple of Crispig's Ears (Php 185). This dish is deep fried pigs ears seasoned with sweet, salty, sour and spicy seasoning and served with soy-vinegar dip.
Like most of the dishes served that are for sharing, this needed loads of rice.
They also have pasta and pancit dishes.
As I've heard, they like innovating their dishes over the years, some heirloom and well-loved Visayan dishes were given new twists that even millennials can actually be enticed by them.
Like this seemingly simple pasta in tomato sauce, but it's more than that, it's actually made more flavorful with aligue or crab fat.
Miki Aligue ( Php 205), is a plate of fresh Miki noodles sauteed in crab meat and made subtle with crumbs of kesong puti.
Another pancit I'm truly grateful to have tried is the Miki Negra (Php 205). It's a pretty but devouring it wasn't tough at all, especially when your hungry and have been expecting some sort of fancy squid ink something.
Miki Negra is not a product of some molecular gastronomy or a trendy black-colored food, squid tinta (ink) has long been used traditionally not only to color but primarily to add flavor. Squid fats and keso make this dish even more interesting. Surprisingly this dish isn't too salty as expected.
Making my dining experience more of a walk down the memory lane is the dish called Pocherong Katag (Php 685).
Pochero is familiar Visayan dish, but they made it different in the sense that the meat sliced off from the bone and made into slightly spicy soup served with baked bone marrow with toasted bread and onion jam on the side, at first I thought it was a deconstructed Bulalo, beef soup.
Lastly, here is where you can also get the best tasting Cebu lechon belly. Cebuanos are famous for their lechon right, so it's just fitting that Golden Cowrie pay homage to that love and bring it here to Manila. Notice the browning of the whole belly, giving that crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside feel. And yep no need for gravy as it is already seasoned well up to the inside.
Desserts are equally sumptuous as Visayan delicacies were given new light from the preparation to the plating.
Another thing quite noticeable are the plates and glasses they use, most are asymmetric giving the dishes that spunk in the execution making each dishes Instagrammable.
A feast can never be complete without Halo-Halo so get em here.
Ube Halaya served in this ballooned puffed pastry and served with ice cream on top.
Lastly, have more than one kind of taho, oh wait let me paraphrase it, cold taho. They have regular taho and chocolate variety. Look how cute they are served with on chilled tin buckets with ice. Nothing can be more creative than that and I must say I love the consistency and the texture of their taho, curdling was perfect just be careful how many syrup you put in it, as the syrup is well sugary.
I would definitely go back with my family and yes, I would certainly suggest this to friends, not only that my parents hailed from the Visayan region, Golden Cowrie is worth the visit in the South and even though it is located inside the opulent S Maison at the Conrad Hotel prices are very reasonable.
Golden Cowrie Filipino Kitchen
Address: Level 2, S Maison, Conrad Manila,
Seaside Boulevard Corner Coral Way,
Pasay City, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
Contact Details: 02 8057649