Here's What You Should Order at the First Meat Plus Cafe in Manila

There's more to the restaurant than steak!

PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Born in Subic, Meat Plus Café used to be a tiny steakhouse and toy shop that catered to weekend travelers. Twenty-five years later, Subic has kept its status as a weekend getaway destination, and Meat Plus Café has grown into a 300-seater grill place serving road trippers in need of a pit stop. Their Clark branch came second a couple of years after, and in July, their Metro Manila branch opened at SM Mall of Asia, serving both regulars and new diners who haven't had the chance to go all the way to Subic or Clark to try their steak.

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PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

For second-generation restaurateurs Patrick Tanjanco and Chef Chiloy Santos of Meat Plus Café, you don't have to go bankrupt to get a five-star steak. And with almost three decades of experience, it's safe to say they actually know what they're talking about.

PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
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You can choose which cut of steak you want from the freezer.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

"When eating steak, you want to get that piece of meat with lots of marbling as it's also what gives the beef its flavor and tenderness," shares Tanjanco. "And here, you can choose the one that has a decent amount of it." That's the beauty of dining at Meat Plus Café-from the frozen fridge that greets you when you enter their newest branch, you can choose the cut, the size, and the way you want it cooked.

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If you like your steak well-marbled, get the Ribeye.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
The Porterhouse is a bigger cut of beef for hungry folks.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
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It's almost impossible to not get into the whole great steak debate when talking about what the best cut is and how to cook them. You can't go wrong with these two highly prized cuts: Ribeye and Porterhouse. Ribeye cuts tend to be well-marbled and tender as this part of the cow is closer to the head and neck, which gets less exercise than the rest of the body. If that is a little too fatty for you, the Porterhouse is on the opposite spectrum-this portion has lower fat content but is cut in a bigger portion compared to the Ribeye.

The Oven Roasted Beef Belly comes smothered in a peppery house gravy.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
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The Meat Plus Burger is a classic with a beef patty and crisp veggies.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

With a wide variety of cuts available, just looking at the two-door fridge can feel a little intimidating. That's why Meat Plus Café has curated some Combo Meals to make it easier for guests to order. According to Chef Chiloy, the Oven Roasted Beef Belly (P365) is a crowd favorite with its tender meat and crispy, charred edges. Served with soup and your choice between Java or plain rice, the beef belly is best smothered all over with their peppery house gravy. Their no-frill burgers are also easy to love but if a single patty burger seems too boring for you, you can double it up with their Meat Plus Burger & Fries (P295).

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The Spaghetti with Meatballs will remind you of children's birthday parties.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

While we'd get it if you head for the steak first, their Spaghetti with Meatballs (P205) deserves the spotlight, too. Made with Filipino-style spaghetti sauce and an honestly astounding number of meatballs, this party plate will remind you of the spaghetti your mom cooked for you and your friends for your seventh birthday party at school.

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The Grilled Salmon Steak is buttery and flaky.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Seafood lovers need not fret as there's also something for them on the menu. The Grilled Salmon Steak (P395) could become your new favorite seafood meal, with fish that's buttery, juicy, and crispy. You can tell the cooks know how and when to flip it by heart because of the perfect sear marks on the skinless side of the salmon.

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The Homemade Apple Pie is a slice of comfort
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
You can also choose between a gooey Chocolate Cake...
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...or a rich Cheesecake.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
The Pleasure Mountain is a colossal sundae with all the fixins.
PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel
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End your meal with the comforting flavors of apples and cinnamon by ordering their Homemade Apple Pie (P165). A longstanding family recipe, it does have that homey quality-just like what your tita would bake for your family reunions. Other options for desserts are the Chocolate Cake (P155), Cheesecake (P195), and this colossal piece of dessert almost impossible to finish on your own: Pleasure Mountain (P425). If you do take it as a challenge, you'll probably find yourself getting brain freeze every five minutes trying to finish it before everything melts.

While spending a little extra on excellent food is something we're willing to do, Meat Plus combines big, high-quality steak with prices that won't burn a hole through your pocket-and that's always a plus.

Photos by Jericho San Miguel

This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Yummy.ph editors.

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