Food

You'll Never Get Enough of the Thrice-Cooked French Fries from Pompoms

Steam, fry, and fry again.
IMAGE Kai Huang
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Comfort food for many Filipinos have one striking similarity. Melted cheddar cheese, oozing egg yolks, sweet luscious mangoes, buttery grilled corn on the cob, and crispy french fries. They’re all colored a sunny yellow. Even the two fast food giants in the country use the color in most of their collaterals. Anything yellow that the eye sees easily appeals to the appetite. 


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Which is why Pompoms is a haven for comfort. This little happy factory, decked in yellow, of course, peddles the most delightful golden yellow french fries. The concept was given life by couple Carmela and Julien Agosta and Erwan Heussaff, who all grew up enjoying this style of fries. Charles Paw of the Tasteless Restaurant Group also came on board to lend his entrepreneurial expertise. Together, the team opened the first Pompoms branch in busy Robinsons Manila.        

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The fries are unlike any other in the market. It all starts with the potatoes they use. “We get fresh jumbo potatoes and they’re all local. We really want to push the produce we have here in the Philippines,” shares Carmela. “And using them is actually easy to sustain. It helps that we have the same temperature all year round.” The potatoes arrive in the shop like they were just plucked out of the earth. Still being covered with dirt helps the potatoes retain their moisture during transport and the whole cooking process.  

“We tried to follow the whole European way of cooking fries,” adds Carmela. That means a tested and timed step-by-step method that results in uber crisp fries with a smooth, creamy interior. The potatoes are cleaned, with ther skins left on, manually cut, and cooked thrice.

“First it’s steamed, which actually gives it its nice creamy texture. Then it’s fried for the first time, then frozen. Straight from the freezer, it’s fried fast for the second time. The oil is super hot so it gives you the shell when it’s double fried,” explains Julien. Pompoms also uses a mixture of beef tallow and oils to ensure that perfectly fried result. 

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The Pompoms menu is teeming with options, options, options. The fries come in paper cones of three different sizes (Ballin’ is the only way to go!). And while they are delicious on their own, the available powders and sauces are sure to offer extra oomph. The classics—cheese, smokey BBQ, sour cream, and onion—are good picks, but it’s the furikakae seaweed that packs a punch.

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As for the sauces, the garlic aioli, green velvet, and K-pop are top picks, but we highly suggest pairing your fries with the Pom-pinakurat. The best part? You won’t taste these flavors anywhere else. “Everything is made here. Everything you will taste here, it’s only here,” says Julien. 

If you’re hankering for something heartier, go for the crafted fries that come with special toppings. There’s the Fried Chicken Poutine, Pompoms’ version of the Canadian favorite made with chicken skin, gravy, and cheese. For BBQ lovers, the Pulled Pork Fries, generously loaded with tender pork and fried onions, won’t disappoint. The surefire winner though is the hot-cold combo of fries and classic vanilla soft serve. Yes, that ice cream serves as a dip, too!

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Pompoms was designed to be a refuge for merriment, from the menu to the interiors to the branding designed by Serious Studio. Even their little hedgehog logo will elicit more than a couple of giggles. The name Pompoms is taken from the French pommes frites but it might as well be derived from the shiny, shimmering accessories of cheerleaders. Yes, these fries are that cheery! 

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G/F Robinsons Place Manila, Adriatico Sreet., Ermita, Manila

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Idge Mendiola
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