AUTHOR’S NOTE: While I do not take back what I have said about the food, I would like to cite this instance of Namanama’s staff botching up an order.
I ordered a Asian Grilled Chicken with Laksa Rice last July 19, 2018 – but did not get my order on time. A lot of other diners got their dishes before me, and they arrived after I did! It was only after I approached the counter that I found out: the staff gave my order to another customer who ordered a different dish. Twenty minutes wasted, just because their bumbling crew did not take my order immediately. Now THAT is incompetence!
VERY, VERY DISRESPECTFUL!
Timestamp: 19 July 2018, 2:18 pm.
Eastwood City was first built in 1997, but it was around Christmas of 2004 when me and my family first visited this place. It was no surprise then that I knew the place like the back of my hand when I worked there from 2012 to 2013, and from 2016 until now. Before I begin however, let me put on my cowboy hat and do a Kuya Kim Atienza spiel by sharing some random trivia about this ubiquitous cyber park:
- Before the car parks were built, Eastwood City’s first parking space was located at the area where the MDC100 and One Eastwood Avenue buildings now stand.
- The tower between Eastwood Avenue and Orchard Road was once open to the public; visitors could even climb up and see the entirety of Eastwood City from that vantage point. Nowadays, it’s closed off to people – especially call center agents who loiter around the place during their smoke break.
- A computer rental shop used to occupy the third floor of Eastwood Cybermall during its heyday. Now, this space is divided between Inasal Joe (still open) and the former Pan De Manila.
Let me start my review, now that I have mentioned Eastwood Cybermall. In all honesty, I was only acquainted with Namanama at around the time of my first foray into the workforce. I remember writing in an old triptych of mine from 2014, when I featured their Taiwanese Chicken Chop Rice:
I’ve seen a lot of reviews about Namanama and they’re all favorable, and I can attest to that. It was a “to-dine-at” place on paydays, and this joint at the third floor has been witness to a team lunch or two.
Namanama isn’t the place if one is looking for sophistication. Chairs and tables are laid out for a no-frills dining experience. A mirror is situated on one side, making the space look bigger. The other side of the wall used to have a blown-up picture of a couple eating, but this has since been painted over. Some of their tables have spilled over to the mall area due to the limited space, but this accommodates the rush of employees that crowd the third floor of Eastwood Cybermall during the lunch hours. The most admirable thing about Namanama, however, is its longevity. A lot of other restaurants in the same level have sprouted and folded up, but Namanama is still there tucked in its corner. It faces competition in the form of Sinigang Express, Aysee, Slice ‘N Dice, and The Wicked Waffle as of this typing.
Dining at Namanama back then was only limited to team lunches and paydays when I first worked. However, I eventually discovered that Namanama is one of the more affordable lunch joint for most of Eastwood City’s denizens. Dishes here usually cost around P120 to P150, but come in huge servings. And take note: Namanama has something for everyone! Those looking for something vegan can have the Tofu and Shiitake Rice Bowl. Fans of Thai cuisine will love the Thai Bagoong Rice topped with green mango slivers. Noodle lovers will find the Shrimp Laksa worth trying out. A word of warning, though: I do not suggest dining here around the critical lunch hours of 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (for the day shift; 11:00 pm to 1:00 am for the night shift) as you might experience slow service due to the amount of diners. (You might be wondering why I didn’t include Zuppa Café here; it’s because the Namanama name is more familiar to patrons.)
The restaurant isn’t all just praises, however. I have two main gripes about Namanama. First, some of their items are unavailable for a considerable period of time – yet their menu doesn’t reflect it. It’s only after I ask about the dish that they inform me that my order is unavailable, which is disappointing. Apparently, the staff claims that their commissary has not delivered the necessary ingredients, but for months on end?! The Eastwood Cybermall branch has a lot of diners and they don’t offer the full menu? Second, the place has a tendency to attract annoying flies that hover around. Maybe investing in either citronella candles or a vaporizer and citronella essential oil can alleviate the problem, perhaps?
That’s it for my latest entry. Until the next review, bon appetit.
3/F Eastwood Cybermall
Eastwood City, Bagumbayan,
Libis, Quezon City 1110