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Noodle Depot at Little Manila

A couple of weekends back, Mark and I, together with some media and bloggers from the Filipino community here in Dubai, were gathered to sample the offerings of Little Manila's newest brand—Noodle Depot.

Noodle Depot offers Pinoy favorite snacks and quick meals from Beef Mami and Palabok, to Arroz Caldo and Beef Pares, plus so much more!

Noodle Depot at Little Manila

We got to sample some of them and here are my top picks:

Tokwa't Baka

A typical Filipino appetizer made of beef strips and deep-fried tofu. Noodle Depot's version has generous beef and tofu in a mixture of soy sauce, beef broth, vinegar; topped with chopped white onions, scallions, and red chili peppers. This is one of my favorites from the bunch! Vegetarians need not fret as it can also be ordered sans the beef for only AED 12.

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Tokwa't Baka - AED 18

Lumpiang Sariwa

Lumpiang Sariwa (fresh spring roll) is a famous Filipino dish made of sautéed vegetables encased in egg wrapper, with sweet peanut sauce and peanuts and garlic toppings. The vegetable medley usually includes carrots, cabbage, and green beans; just like Noodle Depot's version, but it can also contain jicama or coconut pulp. Minced pork is also usually included for an added flavor, but with Noodle Depot, it has chicken bits.

This one tasted very close to my dad's version, maybe that's why I fell in love with it on my first spoonful. If there's one miss though, that would be the wrapper being a bit too tick.

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Lumpiang Sariwa - AED 12

Pancit Palabok

Among the dishes presented to us that day, this never really caught my attention. I'm not a fan of palabok in general, so having Noodle Depot's Pancit Palabok as one of my top picks also got me by surprise.

Thin rice noodles are covered with bright colored orange shrimp-flavored thick sauce, and then topped with chopped green onions, fried garlic, hard-boiled eggs, tofu, and crispy chicken skin! I surprisingly loved this one. It didn't have tinapa flakes, maybe that's why I liked it. :p

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Pancit Palabok - AED 17

Strawberry Cheesecake

Another new offering is the cheesecake from Little Manila's Bread Shop. It comes in strawberry and blueberry flavors, but I love the former more. Mark who's a sucker for cheesecakes love them both! Where in Dubai can you get a slice of rich velvety cheesecake with strawberry goodness at AED 15? Only at Bread Shop in Little Manila! Yes, it's a perfect cheesecake fix without hurting the budget.

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Strawberry Cheesecake - AED 15 per slice (whole cake for AED 100)

Another personal favorite also from Bread Shop is the Ensaymada. It has been their product since Little Manila was launched. An adaptation of the the Majorcan pastry product Ensaïmada de Mallorca, the Philippine Ensaymada is a soft, sweet bread smothered with a mixture of sugar and butter icing and generously topped with shredded cheese.

I have this favorite ensaymada from a well-known cake & pastry shop in the Philippines and I haven't tried any other ensaymada that's at par with what they offer. Bread Shop's version is the closest to it! Fell in love with it when I first got to try it and since then, I always make sure not to leave Little Manila without these cheesy goodness!

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Cheese Ensaymada - AED 2 per piece

The rest of the new offerings consisted of Arroz Caldo, Goto, Chicken Lomi, Beef Mami, and Beef Pares.

Beef Mami

A type of beef noodle soup of Filipino-Chinese origin, Beef Mami is simply tender beef brisket and egg noodles, boiled eggs, and other vegetable toppings (usually cabbage), which are soaked in a hot and flavorful beef stock and then topped with a generous serving of toasted garlic and spring onions.

Noodle Depot's version had thicker noodles than the ones that used to have and though the authentic beef mami taste was there and the beef chunks were tender, I found the broth a tad too salty. I think they also need to brush up on the presentation as this looked the least appetizing among the rest of the dishes that day.

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Beef Mami - AED 18

Chicken Lomi

The Chicken Lomi was good, but it's not something that I'd crave for. I love the generous serving of chicken strips, chicken balls, and shrimps though. :)

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Chicken Lomi - AED 18

Beef Pares

Beef Pares is simply braised beef paired with rice. Noodle Depot's version seemed to be more of a beef bulalo flavored with star anise. It was soupy rather than saucy, which is what beef pares should be. It is also paired fried rice instead, which was delicious on its own, making its taste stand out more than the beef itself.

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Beef Pares - AED 18

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Beef Pares - AED 18

Arroz Caldo and Goto

Both has the same rice porridge base, the only distinction is the toppings. Noodle Depot's Arroz Caldo had chicken pieces, while the Goto included beef tripe and egg. I would have loved them both and they would have been a perfect pair with the Tokwa't Baka if it wasn't too gingery. The ginger was overpowering. This is also just a personal preference, but rice porridge that's bright yellow in color is just not my cup of tea.

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Arroz Caldo - AED 14

Noodle Depot at Little Manila
Goto - AED 15
At less than AED 20 for a dish that's generous in serving, you'll definitely get to satisfy your Pinoy food cravings with Noodle Depot's newest offerings without having to spend too much.

The authentic Filipino taste of each dish was tweaked a bit to also cater to the international palates, that's why some of the dishes' taste deviated from how the authentic taste should be. I still commend Little Manila and its chef for the bold move though, as I myself would really want the international market to come to love the Filipino food. :)

Have you tried Noodle Depot's newest offerings yet? What's your favorite? Share it in the comments section below. I'd love to know! :)

LITTLE MANILALittle Manila Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
K6 Building, Next To West Zone Supermarket
Al Muraqqabat, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 2999315

We were invited to try the new offerings at Little Manila and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all opinions are my own.

All photos were taken with an iPhone 6S Plus.


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