Food

Your Local Is Taking Over the Breakfast Scene

What happens when your favorite breakfast goes Asian?
IMAGE SASHA LIM UY
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What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? Is it the intoxicating sensation of bacon on a hot pan? The excruciating need for coffee? The urge to go back to sleep for another 10 minutes? How about glazed pork nasi lemak? Or Earl Grey pandan tea?

Your Local, the Legazpi Village restaurant whose torched salmon donburi impressed even the scrupulous palates of Condé Nast folk, is letting you dream about—and, more important—wake up to a different kind of breakfast.

The kitchen of the much-lauded restaurant is now helmed by chef Natalia Moran, whose resume includes beloved Tagaytay haunt Chateau Hestia, as well as Boracay-based Sunny Side Group. She manages to put together Your Local’s signature modern pan-Asian flair into early-morning favorites.

Think smoked salmon and eggs in a squid-ink bun or coconut milk spiked with dragon fruit.

The Salmon Otak Otak adopts the Your Local habit of putting so many things on a plate that you’re not sure where to start—let alone how to take a photo. The highlight is the pan-fried salmon cake wrapped in a banana leaf. It’s supported by sticky ginger rice, soft fried eggs, and a tangy orange sauce in a tiny onion bowl. It works best if you take a little bit of everything (except the leaf) in one bite.

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Photo by SASHA LIM UY.

There are waffles that make you feel good and then there are the Feel Good Waffles, which are fluffy griddled squares with whipped pandan butter and shrimp paste fried chicken. It’s a fun little deviation from a classic. Chef Nat does this well with Your Local’s breakfast menu, rewriting the usual and giving it new points of interest. There was never anything wrong with a traditional eggs Benedict but there’s something right about her Beef Rendang Eggs Benedict, where coconut-y beef finds a new role with 64-degree eggs, pickled cucumbers, and sambal hollandaise on a stage of buttered sourdough.

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Photo by SASHA LIM UY.
Photo by SASHA LIM UY.
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“It wasn’t so difficult to use Asian flavors for breakfast as there are prominent and well-known [Southeast Asian] flavors that we, Filipinos, are familiar with and can relate to,” the chef tells Esquire, adding how she incorporated tropical ingredients like pandan, gula melaka, kaya jam, sambal into breakfast bestsellers.

These ideas work best in the Coconut Gula Melaka Pancakes, a tropical breakfast that can put you in a beach kind of mood. The fluffy coconut and chia pancakes make perfect sense with the sweet kaya jam and even sweeter local mangoes. A plate just isn't enough. 

Photo by SASHA LIM UY.
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The torched salmon donburi is a tough habit to shake off, but we might just find a new favorite in these pancakes.

106 Esteban, Legazpi Village, Makati.

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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