Opening Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 1:00 A.M. (Monday – Sunday)
Telephone: (02) 946-5335
Whew, we haven't done a food review in a while, have we? In lieu of the Lenten season, we decided to put those off during the last few days. And now we're back!
Today, we'll review Chaplin, which serves dishes with a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean sensibility. Currently, the place is in "soft opening" mode, with the expectation that it will fully launch this coming April. With that in mind, and because of other reasons we'll discuss in a bit, let's take a glimpse at what they have to offer.
If Chaplin is a person, then "he'd" be the kind of guy who's simple yet stylish. Between the skillful use of bright hues, and the comfy chairs scattered throughout the place, Chaplin feels like a cross between a cozy coffee shop and a modern restaurant.
Overall, Chaplin is the perfect summer hideaway. The open design lets you enjoy the sights outside, without the pain that comes with enduring the heat. Meanwhile, the laidback atmosphere helps you relax and stay for at least one round of cool meals, which we'll talk about in the next section.
To sample their cuisine, we ordered one Chaplin Burger (w/ fries), one Chaplin Tea and one Chocolate Souffle with Ice Cream.
All in all, the burger was okay. There were more vegetables than meat — which was probably the point, considering what kind of restaurant Chaplin is — and it makes for a well-rounded meal. But we don't see it winning any "Best Burger" awards anytime soon.
As for the Chocolate Souffle (Php240), we were told it's a good one too.
To top it all off, we had the Chaplin Tea (Php160).
According to the menu, it's a warm beverage made of honey, ginger, cinnamon, orange juice and mint. All these ingredients are known to sooth your nerves, so if you're having a stressful day, order one cup of this. (By the way, you can use the cinnamon stick to stir and sip the beverage for maximum effect.)
Unfortunately, we weren't able to try their other well-known dishes like the shakshouka (poached eggs in a tomato-based sauce). Despite our reservations, though, we still recommend giving this place a visit, because good food isn't the only thing they have to offer.
We have no complaints about their service whatsoever. Being early visitors, we were offered the most comfortable seats in the house.
Also, the staff were prompt and friendly all throughout. They went out of their way to tell us more about our orders, and would ask us every now and then if we needed something. Clearly, they have the "excellent customer service" part down.
If there's one restaurant you should absolutely check out this summer, it's Chaplin. Their offerings are not only unique (at least, as far as Manila restaurant fare is concerned), but also complement the season perfectly. Who doesn't want a cool Mediterranean dish in this country's sweltering heat?
Based on what we've sampled, we can say that the prices were worth it. (Your mileage may vary on that, of course.) They offer healthy dishes for the most part, but they're unafraid to offer options for those who prefer more traditional cuisine. Plus, the staff deserves all the kudos for doing their best to put customers at ease. At the risk of sounding like curmudgeons, we're going to say that it's rare to see that level of service nowadays.
On the whole, Chaplin is for anyone who straddles the line between "I want to try something new" and "I prefer cuisine I'm familiar with." We're happy that this restaurant exists, and we have high hopes that they'll continue to meet and exceed expectations. If you've been here before, or if you plan to visit Chaplin, let's extend the discussion in the comments!