Today we check out a new restaurant that’s been making a big buzz recently, and has gathered quite a following on Facebook. The Adobo Connection recently had its soft opening in One Archer’s Place, and we’re here to see if it really lives up to the hype.
- Classic Pork Adobo – P99
- Macaroni Soup – P19
- Adobo Flakes – P49
- Adobo Fried Siopao – P49
Like all eating establishments in One Archer’s, Adobo Connection boasts a spotless and well-designed interior. With seating for a maximum of about 80, they are able to fully maximize their real estate. The furniture consists of mostly wooden chairs and tables, and brick and marble walls, giving the whole restaurant a cozy, suburban feel. It adds a little urban to its design with nice lighting fixtures and a TV running music videos for ambience. All in all, it’s a very nice place to sit and eat for awhile, even with the serpentine lines and massive crowds.
After being impressed by the stunning restaurant design, the next thing I encountered was the food. Being of limited funds, I had to resort to only one full meal, the classic pork adobo, and three small sides.
Classic Pork Adobo is the cornerstone and flagship dish of Adobo Connection, which features two pieces of pork adobo with a cup of white rice. My verdict? Meh. It was a mainstream dish, one that I could find at any other side canteen in the country. Heck, my mom makes a better adobo. It’s not that it was bad, but that it was overly praised by all recounts I had heard.
Next in the lineup was the macaroni soup, which consists of a bowl of chicken broth mixed in with macaroni noodles and chopped vegetables. At P19, I wasn’t expecting much. But for an add-on, it’s not bad. Value-wise, it ranks off the charts, and taste-wise, it was exactly what you would expect from a macaroni soup. It tasted a bit like it came from a can, but at least it came from a brand that I probably like, so I was pleasantly surprised.
Third came the adobo fried siopao. In a phrase, “I wouldn’t recommend it”. The serving size isn’t the problem; each of the three golden orbs of fried dough and adobo are just the right size, which is about three-quarters of the palm of my hand. My issue was with the taste. When I get adobo, I expect something that screams soy and vinegar, which is a nice meaty flavor. Instead, the shell of the siopao is sweet, and the insides taste more like asado, with a sauce reminiscent of the sweet barbecue types. If you’re looking for a fried treat, this fits the bill appearance-wise, but don’t expect to have those expectations met once you bite into it.
The last dish (which arrived after about eight minutes, well above average) that arrived were the adobo flakes. Now if you do ever go to the Adobo Connection for lunch, this is what you should be ordering. Adobo flakes is two cups of adobo fried rice topped with scrambled egg bits and crispy adobo tidbits. It was hands down the best item on my order list, mixing the strong savory taste of the flakes with the subtle sweet-and-sour of the rice. At P49, this is a steal, and should be on your receipts.
If there is something that really stood out in Adobo Connection, it’s the speed of service and price of the food. None of my meals went over P100, but I didn’t feel like there was something missing afterwards. And given how quickly the food gets to you (two to three minutes a dish), you’d still have time to find another place to eat before your break ends!
Adobo Connection has the game down in terms of speed and price. If they can find a way to perfect the taste of everything, then they’d be set for a long run of success.
Restaurant: Even with the crowds, Adobo Connection’s restaurant design allows you to have a comfortable and fun eating experience. Rating for the restaurant: 9/10.
Food: The food at Adobo Connection is good, but it also tastes like something I could make just as easily at home. However, it is served lightning-quick at an affordable price, which at least gives the pedestrian food a speed boost. Rating for the food: 7/10.
Staff: Maybe this is a bit unfair, since this is a soft opening, but the staff at Adobo Connection really made it feel like a soft opening. They seemed rushed, confused, and didn’t really give you that “service-with-a-smile”. “Service-with-a-smile” is really important to me. Rating for the staff: 6/10.
For a restaurant with such a huge fanbase, I think I may have failed to see what all the hype was. I had plenty of ups about this trip, but also plenty of downs to accompany them. Although the restaurant was a very new and welcome experience, the food didn’t match up as much as I would’ve hoped. It was inexpensive and fast, but nothing out of the ordinary, which didn’t do justice to the great interior. Add in a sub-par waitstaff and you get an average score. It’ll be interesting to see how they do when they have their full opening, though, and I’ll make sure I go and see if they can remedy these faults.