• Paul Jean

For a taste of authentic Filipino cuisine, visit ASAP Mabuhay Bar and Grill. As soon as possible! “J

Located on Halifax’s famous Pizza corner lane, is a cutely placed spot saturated with an authentic Filipino cultural ambience. The owners being a kind elderly couple welcomed me with a warm smile and casual conversation. Immediately what is noticed is the buffet style setup for customers to serve themselves. “Just grab a plate and fill it up” is what the lady told me. What separated the buffet from the dining room was a narrow flight of 3-4 steps that led into a spacious room littered with white tables and worn wooden chairs. The array of delicacies consisted of rice noodles, yam pancakes, dumplings, ice-cream, some stir fried vegetables and meats, fried rice, and even a salad bar for vegetarians! Being the famished student I was, I filled my plate with everything in the buffet to ensure a fair shot was given for each food. I was especially interested in the yam pancakes since it was my first encounter and boy was I surprised. The interior was moist while the exterior was crispy and packed a crunch. While I was enjoying my food, I took in some of the décor of the restaurant. It was simple yet had aspects that were certainly unique. Filipino cultural paintings showing fishermen and scroll tapestries with fascinating embroidery were placed along the walls. Artificial plants also stood in corners adding a green and refreshing look to the place. Aroma wise, a consistent draft of delicious aromas wafted out the kitchen as food was constantly being cooked to refill the buffet section. The food was delicious and I refilled my plate 2-3 more times before I was sated.

The service was excellent as well, with what appeared to be the owners daughter judging from the very family like interactions between the owners and the young lady working as the waitress. She checked on me once or twice asking if I needed anything to drink or if I was interested in desserts. I kindly accepted as the dessert that day was mango ice-cream, one of my absolute favorites. Meanwhile, the owners chatted me up asking what school I went to, and how I found the restaurant. Even with all the other customers they always found time to make me feel welcome and at home. While paying for my meal they offered a student discount and said they looked forward to me returning.

Overall it was a wonderful visit, my only complaint would be the hours of operation where they open at around 10am- 3pm, a hard set of hours to work my time around. For lots of food at a good price, with excellent service, go to ASAP Mabuhay bar and grill!