The Howard is a historic and elegant event space located in the heart of Oshkosh. The building, built in 1927, hosts private and community events. On Thursday and Friday evenings, the basement of the venue opens up to the public for bowling, craft beverages, and...
My husband and I ventured out to dinner at Manila Resto on a Friday evening. We were seated right next to the window on Algoma Street. On my left was the warm colorful atmosphere of the restaurant. On my right, the architecture and characters of Oshkosh.
To start the night off right we both ordered a cocktail. My husband ordered a classic brandy old fashioned. I decided on the month’s specialty cocktail, the piña mojito. When the drinks arrived, we both took our first sips and we were very pleased. My husband loved how the spice in the brandy stood up to the sweeter elements in the drink. As for the piña mojito, it was refreshing, slightly sweet, and oh so tasty with a light fizz. It was the perfect blend of sweet pineapple, clean cucumber, and bright mint. The first few sips prepared our palates for the rest of the meal.
Our first dish was the sisig fries. It was a beautiful mound of French fries, pork, onions, ranch, sriracha, and a fried golden egg right on top. The crisp fries and onions, the salt and fat from the pork, the creaminess of the ranch, and the tangy spice from the sriracha blended perfectly to form this decadent first course. The egg yolk added that extra richness to push the dish over the edge. I’m sorry Canada, but your poutine has nothing on this Oshkosh Fillipino culinary concoction!
As we slowly slid into fatty, salty, nirvana, live jazz began to play in the background. We looked around the once quiet restaurant to see a beautifully diverse group of people. There was a large family ranging from great grandma all the way down to a few months old babe. Next to them were two couples out on a double date. Across from them, a young family of four, and across from them a group of young adults. So many different stages of life gathered to listen to good music and eat great food.
After a few minutes of enjoying the music and cocktails, our main courses arrived. The first dish we tried was the crispy pata, which is a gorgeous marinated pork shank with crispy skin surrounding the tender flavorful meat beneath. The crispy pata came with two sauces, soy garlic-vinegar and lechon sauce. We each went back and forth between the two, one savory and tangy and one rich and creamy. The pork was served alongside some scrumptious fried rice. The second dish was the pancit sotanghon. The noodles in this dish were light and translucent, topped with fresh vegetables and shrimp. It was just sweet enough and was a good addition to the savory pork dish. My husband and I shared the two meals and, when we were finished, there was still plenty to take home.
As the music flowed and our drinks shrunk, we knew the evening would have to come to an end…but not before dessert! For dessert we ordered turon. Four perfectly fried banana-filled spring rolls sat atop a bowl of vanilla ice cream dusted with chocolate shavings. The spring rolls were crisp and savory and the banana filling was soft and sweet. Hints of cinnamon and a delicate bitterness in the chocolate shavings balanced out the sweetness.
Manila Resto knows how to take elements of sweet and salty, old and new, unexpected and familiar, and make them into something everyone can enjoy. They combine flavors and ingredients in such a way that all the elements of each dish shine. This is not only true of the food but of the welcoming atmosphere they curate. We had a wonderful night at Manila Resto. We felt pushed out of our comfort zone yet right at home all at the same time. Manila Resto integrates the culture, food, and ambiance for a truly unique experience.
Call (920) 230-1082 to place an order for delivery or curbside pick up.