Photography by Karlo Cadang
The Empire State of Mind has definitely had an effect on Brothers Mikko and James Santos. Their love for the city brought them on many countless trips to Brooklyn, the Upper East Side, and NYC’s many nooks and crannies over the years. And now, their adventures have finally come full circle with Borough. They did it through the stomach, as they believe that New York is the melting pot of various cuisines. “In New York, you can find any kind of food. Be it Japanese, Italian, etc,” says Mikko.
Named after the 5 boroughs of New York, the diner represents their love for the food all around the state. The duo wanted to create something tasteful that embodies their take on New York comfort food. Keeping their meals as authentic as can be, they chose true blue New Yorker, Chef Cuit Kaufman, to be their executive chef. Truly, their menu reflects the fond memories they have of the place. One instance was when Mikko randomly poured sparkling water into his cup of coffee just because he likes how it tastes. Later on, he discovered that it was actually the norm in the state and it even had a name – the Manhattan Special.
Another classic that you will see on the menu is the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. Rarely will you find a table that doesn’t have this dish on it. Trust us, let the flavors and the textures do the talking. Guaranteed, this combo will have you under a spell you don’t ever want to be broken.
Although this one is originally from another state, the California Tuna Burger still captures the diversity of New York. It contains a hefty tuna patty with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, and nori seaweed all sandwiched between homemade brioche buns. Served with fries on the side, this dish has got a pleasant surprise for those who dare to try it.
The theme will never be complete without the Buffalo Chicken Wings. Originally from Buffalo, New York, this classic hot and spicy dish has made its way into the heart of every New Yorker. Dip it in Real Blue Cheese to complete the experience.
To entice younger diners (or those who are still kids at heart), they also have the Homemade Cookie Crisps served with a cold bottle of milk which will remind you of the cereals you had during breakfast while waiting for the school bus to arrive.
No matter how full you get, there will always be space for dessert. Borough BGC has a mouthwatering lineup of around 20 different cakes to satisfy your sweet tooth, whatever the mood. A couple of cakes that are included in the rotation are the Pumpkin Pie and the Hummingbird. Both of which are common around New York.
The brothers are known as “the guys with the New York-themed restaurants” for a reason. Other than Borough, they are the masterminds behind a number of NY-inspired establishments around Metro Manila. Their higher-end restaurant inspired by a street in New York is called Bowery. Then they also have Nolita (North of Little Italy) which specializes in New York pizza. If you’re a fan of The Big Apple, you better watch out for the surprises the duo have in store.
Borough BGC is located at U/G, C2, Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Ave, Taguig City.