14 Jul2012

Mamou too!!!

by Marketman

It’s been an annual “tradition” that on Mamou’s birthday on July 21st, the restaurant donates an entire day’s worth of revenue to Marketmanila’s Feeding Program for undernourished public school children. That is revenue, not profits. And in the past, the waiters have also voluntarily donated their service charges for the day as well! This is a MAJOR gift. Thus far, Mamou has provided some 20,000+ full meals for the kids, and it is an amazing show of generosity which has consistently funded meals at public schools for the past 4 years straight. Marketman & family, along with donations earlier received from some readers, have kept up feeding programs for 6+ years straight, by now providing approximately 180,000 meals total. To put that in some perspective, that’s approximately 1.5 nutritionally complete meals for every single comment ever posted on the blog! And the total value of meals provided is the equivalent of roughly 3 brand new Ford Escapes! Mamou has been our single biggest donor over the years and we and the kids are truly grateful for this largesse. With their second branch Mamou too! at Rockwell Mall celebrating its first birthday this July 21st, Saturday, the tradition continues and EXPANDS to include donations of all revenue from the original Mamou and now Mamou too! as well! :)

I recently had lunch at Mamou too! and tried some of their new menu items. I arrived before noon, and managed a few shots of the restaurant mostly empty, but it quickly filled up a few minutes later.

The bright punctuations of red paint on the ceiling, fans and even the humongous wooden chandelier outdoors go perfectly with the classic black and white checkerboard tile flooring. This is the first time I have looked at the ceiling of the restaurant and noticed so many different textures and layers, an attempt to deaden some of the sound when the meal service is in full swing… but the din is still very much like an active bistro with lots of good food, a casual ambiance and animated conversation. What I really like about Mamou is that you can either opt for a fabulously OTT steak for dinner, with delicious sidings and a superb bottle of wine… or if you are slumming it, a comforting bowl of sinigang, mami or their classic shredded duck adobo flakes over rice served with egg. One need not spend a fortune to eat very well here. But on their anniversary night, please spend a fortune… for it will all end up providing more meals for kids who really need it most. :)

First up, an appetizer or pulutan named my Malou as “Barcia Strips” — thinly sliced pieces of pork belly marinated and then coated in flour or cornstarch and deep fried. Crisp and chewy at the same time, they are to die for. This is very much “on-trend” with the current fascination for fried bacon and similar dishes, but what this really reminded me of is Martin Picard’s version of “Oreilles de Crisse” or Fried pork rinds (Christ’s ears) in his classic cook book from the restaurant Au Pied de Cochon in Canada. Picard’s version is thinly sliced fatback, not belly, and basically it is deep fried lard. Hahaha, I kid you not. I tried to recreate that dish in Cebu and came close, but you need an electric slicer get thin enough slices of lard to do it right. I have also tried fried pork belly slices at home, but to be honest, why bother when Mamou does all the work and splatter for you! A couple of really cold beers and a dish of these Barcia strips and I would be one seriously happy camper. Seriously. PHP230.

While I had started off promising myself that I would only try new things, I couldn’t resist an order of their mami… a perfect bowl of noodle soup with a hearty broth that has chunks of beef and chicken, and I suspect pork as well with delicious noodles and lots of fried garlic. Excellent mami. Again, I could have a bowl of this and be really quite happy. PHP260.

MM, Mamou too’s Manager (how’s that for cool initials? :), suggested that I try their new chori burger. Made with chorizo meat formed into a patty, it was served on a soft bun with a side of french fries. It was good and we finished all of it, but I must say it was a tinge on the sweet side, possibly from the mayonnaise or perhaps the meat marinade itself. A majority of Filipinos seem to like sweetish chorizo, so maybe I am in the minority on this call. But if you want a mid-afternoon or late-night snack, this might tickle your fancy. Maybe I would have mine with a touch of hot sauce. :)

Finally, we had a plate of kurobuta tonkatsu on a bed of buttered rice. A meaty piece of kurobuta beautifully breaded and fried. Good, but if I were to have kurobuta at Mamou, my favorite way is still their fabulous kurobuta sinigang. It is amazing, and it made it onto the Asian Wall Street Journal, here.

The standees on the tables announced a slew of sandwiches/burgers that had been recently introduced. And though tempted, I did not actually order their new sandwich of sliced roast beef with gravy and a beautiful slice of seared foie gras on top. This looks sinfully delicious. The photo above provided by Mamou, and one day soon, I will have this sandwich. Promise.

So don’t forget, July 21, Saturday is the 5th anniversary of Mamou at Serendra, and the 1st anniversary of Mamou too! at Rockwell Mall. If you want to eat well AND help out severely undernourished public school children, all you have to do is book a table at either Mamou restaurant and they will donate the entire proceeds (net of VAT) to the feeding program. It can’t get easier than that. And Marketman is preparing some Zubuchon chicharon so that each table takes a little packet of freshly made pork rinds home with them as a thank you from the kids you will be helping… Thank you Oye, Malou, Annie and MM of Mamou and Mamou too! for your continued support for the feeding programs… A huge thanks to all of the wonderful staff of Mamou who have also been so incredibly generous over the years.

Please reserve early, each year it seems like the restaurants get more and more packed on their anniversary. Thanks.

Serendra, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Telephone 856-3569
Mobile 0917-8162668

Mamou Too!
Rockwell Mall, Makati City
Telephone 822-6218
Mobile 0917-8062668



  1. chito jaraiz says:

    From Calgary, Alberta, to the generous owner of Mamou and to you, a big THANK YOU for your efforts to feed the poor malnourished children of the Greater Manila area. Many happy returns to Mamou’s proprietor/tress onJuly 21st.

    Jul 15, 2012 | 12:46 am


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  3. Fards says:

    good morning, MM. The pictures are wonderful. Wish I could be there and dine on that date but in spirit na lang. Thank you for their generosity. That is really wonderful. And thank you, MM and Mrs MM for your kind hearts.

    Jul 15, 2012 | 2:36 am

  4. Vanessa says:

    I was at Mamou in Rockwell a few months ago and was told, much to my disappointment, that the Kurobota tonkatsu was no longer being served. I got the impression from the food server that it was off the menu. That happens to be my favourite dish. I am relieved that it is still available. Till the next visit to Mamou.

    Jul 15, 2012 | 5:21 am

  5. besYS says:

    I love, love their Kurobuta Sinigang! Slurp!
    But not a fan of their Chicken – dry.
    They served us the “cold ” rice , I called the attention of the head waiter and changed it.
    Despite some very small food issues – I’ll be back! :-)

    Jul 15, 2012 | 5:28 am

  6. wendy darling says:

    A friend of mine suggested Mamou for those days when all hell breaks loose at the office (which we refer to as a “sinigang and adobo kind of day”).
    But since I’ve been trying to keep a vegetarian diet (meat is reserved for “emergencies”), Mamou wil be reserved for a really serious “adobo and sinigang” incident.

    I promise to make it up to the kids somehow, MM.

    Jul 15, 2012 | 6:55 am

  7. Tricia says:

    A tradition for me as well. Although I missed last year’s because I was out of the country, I’m so going this year!

    Jul 15, 2012 | 10:44 am

  8. Sharon O says:

    A great big thanks and congratulations to Mamou for their generosity and to you MM for your fantastic feeding program. May you all be blessed for all that you do!

    I was wondering how one can make donations or contribute to this program of yours, MM? So many hungry children in the Philippines, I’d love to be able to help out! Cheers,

    Jul 15, 2012 | 7:19 pm

  9. mei kwei says:

    i heard that foie gras is already legally ban in calif. its a good thing, its about time they ban this. its just so frustrating how they force feed the ducks in france. my first intro to foie gras was in culinary school and when i dined at little owl in ny way back when it first opened, after that- no more foie gras for me. the place looks very chic but probably i wont go. i’d rather spend my $$ supporting sustainable organic restaurants- its my choice, i dont blame anyone if they go for foie gras.

    Jul 15, 2012 | 10:28 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    mei kwei, after recently seeing a segment of Anthony Bourdain where he featured the owner of D’Artagnan and actually showed how the ducks are “force fed” for seconds per day, I am even more convinced that the “brouhaha” over foie gras is, for the most part, less than informed on the part of most diners who have opinions about it. Foie was banned in California and in some other states, and in some cases, the bans removed if I am not mistaken, after legislators toured responsible farms such as D’Artagnan’s in New Jersey. Personally, I love foie gras and will continue to eat it. I don’t eat shark’s fin, bird’s nest, or any other knowlingly endangered foods… but veal and foie? definitely…

    I am a carnivore, so I understand I am taking the life of animals who will provide some of my food. I understand that. Folks who think that chickens, beef, and many other more typically farm raised animals are far more ethical eaters than those who also eat foie are probably in for a rude awakening with respect to reality… the manner in which chicken is raised, and at one point blinded to prevent them from fighting with each other in crowded pens, and then the manner in which they are slaughtered all brings up sensitive issues… I agree if we could all eat humanely raised, organic produce that would be the best option… but to do that realistically, we would have to cull more than half or more of the world’s human population (maybe not a bad idea if it didn’t seem so anti-human) to have enough space and volume of organic food for everyone to enjoy…

    And while plants and fruits don’t have brains per se, as we are used to thinking of brains, I would also argue that it must be a darned bitch to be a live leaf or fruit, or recently picked from the plant, and to be gnawed on and ground up between one’s teeth and swallowed into a pit of acids. If lettuce leaves could scream, eating a nice salad might not be as guilt free an experience if we could hear them in pain… :)

    Jul 15, 2012 | 10:43 pm

  11. Isagarch says:

    Unfortunately, I work every weekend but I did share it on my Facebook page! Eat on!!

    Jul 15, 2012 | 10:45 pm

  12. natie says:

    As a flag-waving carnivore, again I say:” Would that you could live on the fragerance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.
    But since you must kill to eat, and rob the young of its mother’s milk to quench your thirst, let it then be an act of worship..” Gibran

    The day I get medically-restricted from red meat and foie would be a very, very sad day..

    Jul 16, 2012 | 5:25 am

  13. Grace says:

    May I know how you choose the beneficiaries? I know of 3 public schools that need financial assistance for their feeding programs. Can they apply to become beneficiaries?

    Jul 16, 2012 | 10:14 am

  14. Marketman says:

    Grace, we have worked with the same schools, one in Taguig, and one in Cebu for the past 5-7 years. We trust the programs put in place, monitor the feeding closely, and are confident that all of the money donated ends up in food provided. These two schools receive funding for an entire year usually, so that the program is consistently applied throughout the year. For a program of say 120 kids, fed three times a week (a full meal, not a snack), one can figure on say PHP8,000 per week, for say 40 weeks, or PHP320,000 for the entire year. I suspect costs are rising thought and maybe PHP400,000 is a more accurate figure for a feeding program of that size… We are not looking for additional beneficiaries at this point.

    Jul 16, 2012 | 11:01 am

  15. MP says:

    I admire people that are guided by and stick to their principles in deciding what food to partake. However, I would rather force-feed ducks than let marginalized kids go to school hungry. Sure, we must protect animals and try to be as humane as possible but we must also be realistic and reasonable. I’d save one child over 10 ducks.. Some animal-lovers will hate me for this (and probably nominate me for a fish pan award) but that’s just me and I’ll probably use the fish pan to fry some foie gras..

    MM, I will try to rebook my flight back to Manila on an earlier date just so I could have a “meaningful” + yummy meal at one of my favorite restaurants!

    Thank you very, very much Mamou (and MM and family of course) for caring for the kids.

    Jul 16, 2012 | 12:37 pm

  16. JE says:

    Whenever we eat at Mamou, it’s always a significant occasion, and as such we always end up eating steak or some other main dish. We haven’t really experimented with ordering some of the other lighter fare, as it seems a waste to not go for the heavy stuff on our visits. The stuff you featured here might just be ripe for trial.

    Those Barcia strips are killer, though. Crisp and tasty, with the right amount of salty and sweet.

    Jul 16, 2012 | 2:47 pm

  17. Irene says:

    MM, I won’t be able to eat at Mamou this weekend but I’d like to give what I would’ve spent on a meal to your feeding program.

    Jul 17, 2012 | 10:54 am


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