You’ve probably heard of Starbucks’ secret menu,and no, it doesn’t consist of holiday drinks which only pop up whenever it’s sticker-collecting season. The secret menu is every caffeine lover’s dream translated to life–extravagant, mind-blowing, and endless in possibilities like the Ferrero Rocher and Butterbeer frappuccino.
Aside from bestsellers, secret menu items fascinate customers, as if it is a secret handshake among regular diners. Some local restaurants also have their own tricks up their sleeves, and we’ll be dishing out five off-menu items that you might want to discover for yourself.
#1 Champetre’s Foie Gras Duo (P990)
Foie gras and foie gras terrine can now be enjoyed as one with Champetre’s Foie Gras Duo—an off-menu dish specially made by Chef Marc Aubry. This French restaurant takes pride in its cozy, countryside cooking so aficionados of the dish can be assured of an authentic dining experience. All other menu items are served IN hearty and substantial portions.
Champetre. G/F Net One Center Building, 26th St. cor. 3rd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. (02) 815 8801. Open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
#2 ABV Cocktail and Absinthe Bar’s “Bible”
Reminiscent of a secret 1920s lounge, the ABV Cocktail and Absinthe Bar (ABV meaning Alcohol By Volume) is a hideaway located behind a wooden door within Lazy Bastard. The place is so secret that you need a password to enter its premises. (Pro tip: The password changes every so often, but they put it up on their website.)
And within this secret spot comes more secrets—the “Bible,” a compilation of some of the most clandestine drinks available in Manila. It’s said that this menu contains special drinks that their seasoned bartenders can whip up for you, and since it’s shrouded in mystery (they didn’t tell us what was written in it), you’ll just have to drop by and see what this menu’s all about.
ABV Cocktail and Absinthe Bar. B/F, 22 Jupiter Corner Galaxy Street, Bel-Air, Makati City. (02) 832 5330. Open from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, visit their website and Facebook page.
#3 Sweet Ecstasy’s Steamed Burger (P205)
Sweet Ecstasy is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant known for good ol’ burgers and lip-smacking side dishes and milkshakes. While their cheeseburgers are considered their bestsellers, “purists” (as the restaurant owners like to refer to them) opt for the Steamburger—an off-menu item that’s all beef, cheese, and onions in between two brioche buns on the griddle. Nothing quite spectacular about it, but thejuicy, steam-cooked beef patty is enough for some customers to keep coming back to it as often as their cheeseburgers.
The Steamburger still remains a secret menu item since the owners feel it will give their usual customers the feeling of “ownership” with the exchange of “insider” information.
Sweet Ecstasy. 10 Jupiter cor. Asteroid Street, Bel-Air, Makati City. +63 906 346 7989. Open from 11 a.m. to 12 m.n. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
#4 Ramen Yushoken’s Shoyu Maze Soba (P370)
A twist on the typical ramen is Ramen Yushoken’s Shoyu Maze Soba. This off-menu dish is served as a dry dish of al dente noodles, bean sprouts, chopped cabbage, minced chasu, green onions, and chopped pork back. As if the ingredients and colors aren’t enough, it is generously topped with a deep orange-colored egg yolk.
Ramen Yushoken. Molito Commercial Complex, Madrigal Ave., Alabang, Muntinlupa City. (02) 808 7424. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.For more information, visit their Facebook page.
#5 Ukokkei Ramen Ron’s Tantanmen Ramen (P390)
Diners have dubbed Ukkokei Ramen Ron’s Tantanmen Ramen as “the ramen nazi.” Not only is the item secret but it is only served after 6 p.m. daily, and is limited to just 20 bowls a night. Some say it is the closest replica of genuine ramen from Japan. The dish hasa creamy broth that is not too overwhelming, and seeps into every ingredient, including the egg.
Ukokkei Ramen Ron. Tuscany, Upper Mckinley Road, McKinley Hill, Taguig City. +63 939 473 7105. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.For more information, visit their website.