Friday, March 21, 2014

Pink Panda: Southeast Asian Diner Celebrates Its Grand Opening

I've been to Pink Panda quite a few times now, and it's fast becoming my favorite place to get my Singaporean-Indonesian-Malaysian-Filipino fix. This time around, however, I dropped by Pink Panda a few days ago to celebrate their grand opening! Has it only really been a little over a month?

It was a fun night, with lots of food going around and part-owner Erwan Heussaff carting around a trolley of booze, mixing cocktails for everyone. Fun times!

A few celebrity chefs came out to support the opening, such as the Goose Station's Chef Rob Pengson, and his beautiful wife and owner of Shine Bakery & Café, Sunshine Puey Pengson.

There to support her significant other's latest venture was Anne Curtis, looking super fresh and casual, pretty chuffed at her boyfriend's success. And why wouldn't she be super proud? She has her own modern Renaissance man to call her own!

This was a doubly special night for Chef Siggy Torrente, as it was also her birthday! She had her family come over to celebrate and helped push the little food cart around for most of the night, proudly showing off her Panda Buns! Theselittle babies are filled with their version of bola-bola and tastes really good when paired with the peanut sauce for the satay.

The satay was a huge hit, with guests picking it off the cart left and right. Dip the chicken strips in peanut sauce and enjoy the taste of Malaysia! This is addicting, addicting stuff - all that's missing is the sliced cucumber on the side.

The little bamboo steamer baskets also held Pink Panda's Dimsum and Then Some - Spicy Shrimp Dumplings, Pork Mushroom Siu Mai, Kuchay Shrimp Dumplings, and Pumpkin and Shrimp. Give each one a quick dunk in ponzu sauce before popping them into your waiting gob.

If asado is more your thing, servers were handing out Pork Pockets to each table, too. The little cuapao buns were filled with glazed pork chunks, greens (I want to say, spinach?), and topped with crushed peanuts and sliced chilies for a bit of personality. This stuff was pretty good, if you ask me.

Part-owner Raymond Magdaluyo, restaurateur and the bad boy of the F&B industry dropped by to say hello. Raymond is responsible for putting up some of our favorite restaurants - New Orleans, Chops, and Seafood Island, to name a few. Another part-owner, Stephen Ku, a.k.a. the party engineer, also part-owns Opus, Publiko and Draft, and co-hosts The Cave podcast with Erwan. Go up and say hello, shake their hand or make beso the next time you see them around - they're pretty cool dudes.

We caught a playful Siggy being silly with a serious Erwan, but he would not be distracted while on bartender duty. There were a lot of thirsty guests in the room and the signature non-alcoholic Pink Panty just wasn't going to cut it. Now that's a bartender you want in your corner when things start looking sober.

Not on the menu, but making a guest appearance for tonight was Pink Panda's take on Deviled Eggs. This was like a hybrid between the American cocktail favorite and the Thai's classic Son-in-Law Eggs. This was creamy and crispy all at the same time.

My favorite pika-pika that night was the Bahn Mi Burgers. Made with black Angus beef patties, a red curry sauce, Asian slaw, and a tangy lime dressing, this was juicy and delicious. I am definitely going back for more of these on my next visit.

A lot of beautiful people came by to wish the guys that put up Pink Panda good luck, like The Cave's Marc Nelson! Not that they need it. The hashtag #WhereIsPinkPanda has gotten a lot of people curious about the restaurant and the place is packed almost everyday.

Thank you to everyone who made Pink Panda's grand opening such a success! I made a lot of new friends that night and had an amazing time!

When mucking around Makati, seek out Pink Panda, located at the ground floor of Y2 Residence Hotel, right next to A. Venue. Take a seat and taste the flavors of Southeast Asia with a cheeky twist - Pink Panda styley!

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Pink Panda: Southeast Asian Diner
+63 906 205 3898
G/F Y2 Residence Hotel,
4687 Santiago cor. B. Valdez sts.,
Makati City
Open Daily: 11am - 12mn