Before you get the title all wrong, it’s not because you’ll get mad at Goto Monster, but probably get mad at yourself for not knowing how awesome this place is and the food they have here!
Goto Monster was established by an amazing artist, Jean Hill, with a high standard in regards to how her lugaw should be. She was thriving as a graphic artist but wanted her own restaurant in 2008, hence the inception of Goto Monster. All that is in the menu is a personal recipe of hers, crafted and perfected with the best ingredients she could get in the market.
Goto Monster reminded me of my old college days wherein my best friends and I talk mostly about our researches and whatever topic we may have over bowls of lugaw and goto. We would go about our days and how we see ourselves in the future, and looking back, I could say we are happy with where each of us are, so far; so goto will always have a special place in my heart.
Anyway, enough with the drama as we are here to talk about this not-a-ghetto place to get your goto at.
It was already late at night when we started and we’re almost out of energy; but when we got a sip of Goto Monster’s Fresh Slushies, we felt recharged once again.
Pineapple Mint Slush (Php 95) is obviously a blend of pineapple and mint that will make you feel energized in no time. Squeeze in the calamnsi and stir it to give the drink a more kick of minty fresh spice.
For a stronger kick, you can have the Salabat Ginger and Turmeric Slush (Php 95). I feel like I was a singer drinking her secret potion to have a beautiful voice, but it’s cold and I’m not a singer so…
Moving on, Banana Slush (Php 95), a sweet, fruity drink that is not in their menu as this is a part of their Fruits in Season series where they add different variants of slushie in regards to what the season is.
Now, this place isn’t called Goto Monster without their signature dish, the goto. Goto Monster actually has a variety of toppings you can choose from, but each bowl comes with fresh turmeric ginger, tinapa flakes, fried garlic, and salted egg for that extra umami flavor.
First on our list of Special Lugaw Toppings is Goto Monster’s Chicharon Bulaklak (Php 95). The deep fried ruffled fat is a popular Filipino appetizer that goes really well with the goto as it adds an extra crisp to the meal.
Next is Goto Beef Tripe (Php 95). The beef tripe was tender and easy to chew and adds subtle flavoring that goes really well with the other ingredients that is in the goto, too.
Followed by what almost everyone is raving for, the Pork Bagnet (Php 95). Pork Bagnet is one of the most delectable Filipino delicacies so we have high standards with this and well, it didn’t disappoint, no doubt. The crispy pork belly tasted so good with the whole goto and so now we know why people love this variant so much.
For Goto Monster’s Altanghapsilog dishes, we got to try two – Porkbagnetsilog and Sisigsilog. Each Altanghapsilog dish comes with rice, egg, and mustasa salad so each is a meal that could make you full.
The Porkbagnetsilog (Php 175) is perfect for pork bagnet fans as Goto Monster is generous with the serving of their deep fried pork bagnet. You’ll go crazy how crispy and tasty the meat is.
While their Sisigsilog (Php 175) comes with another Filipino trademark dish wich is Sisig. It’s crispy, chewy meat has just the right spice that we surely enjoyed, together with bits of onion for added crunch.
If those dishes don’t make you full, or if it does, but you want more, Goto Monster also offers Side Orders, and what we got to try were Tokwa + Bagnet and Fresh Spring Rolls.
The Tokwa + Bagnet (Php 120) combo is a must try. Dip it in any sauce you want for added flavor, as Goto Monster have a lot of sauce or condiments you can choose from – soy sauce, vinegar, bagoong, spicy hot tinapa. Name it and Goto Monster probably has it.
For the Fresh Spring Rolls (Php 175), you can choose between three variants as they offer bagnet, and if you’re going for a healthier option you can choose whether to get it with mushrooms or eggplant. The Fresh Spring Rolls also come with three sauce – coriander pesto, chili sauce, and peanut sauce – which the owner recommends you don’t dip in but rather put it on the rolls.
And of course, this experience won’t be complete without any dessert. This time, though, it’s not just some “any dessert” because we have tried four kinds of Goto Monster’s Special Waffles Ala Mode. These waffles are no ordinary waffles are they are not only made from scratch, but also inspired from Filipino delicacies – Puto Bumbong Special, Champorado Special, Banana Chocnut Special, and Bibingka Special.
Puto Bumbong Special Waffle (Php 200) is made of two layers of purple waffles, topped with Goto Monster’s own ube halaya ice cream pop, sprinkled with bukayo, Nagaraya nuts, muscovado sugar, and drizzled with melted butter. All the sweetness mixed with a bit of saltiness and crunchiness from the Nagaraya nuts reminds me of when I was a child opening presents on Christmas eve while lights are twinkling in the background.
This next dish is an unexpected turn of events as this Filipino delicacy is usually served hot, but for Goto Monster’s Champorado Special Waffles (Pho 200), it’s all cold and chewy. It’s two layers of dark chocolate waffles topped with Goto Monster’s yummy vanilla ice cream pop, sprinkled with rice crispies and dilis, and drizzled with more dark chocolate syrup. You think it would taste weird with the combination of ice cream pop and dilis, but you’ll be surprised how great the combination actually is. It’s like the perfect pairing of the sweetness from the champorado, crunchiness and saltiness from the dilis and rice crispies. Now, you might think this one is just sweetness overload, but it’s not because Goto Monster used their own recipe of dark chocolate which is actually more of a bittersweet taste, so you won’t get tired of having it.
Banana Chocnut Special Waffles (Php 200) is the perfect solution for your sweet cravings with two layers of waffles topped with Goto Monster’s leche flan ice cream pop, sprinkled with some chocnut crunch, and drizzled with banana puree. As a lover of sweets, I’d go hands down for this variant of Goto Monster’s special waffle ala mode.
We also got to try Goto Monster’s Bibingka Special Waffles (Php 200). It’s two layers of green bibingka waffles, topped with Goto Monster’s ube halaya ice cream pop, with bukayo and salted egg, and drizzled with salted caramel syrup. This one is definitely a different take on both waffles and bibingka, but it’s like the perfect marriage of the two. Plus, who would’ve thought ube halaya ice cream and salted egg were a perfect match? Only Goto Monster and probably all the people who have tried this delicacy already!
And to top it all off, Goto Monster’s Ice Cream Pops (Php 60) are definitely a must try! Much like all their dishes, their ice cream pops are also made from scratch and has a wide variety you can choose from, from fruity flavors to chocolatey ones to of course, Filipino delicacy ones!
This was such a superb way to end our tiring day. I like how Goto Monster gives our typical Pinoy dishes a fresh new way such as putting salted egg in their goto, rather than using the usual hard boiled egg; which excites us more of what taste would it be like, because let’s face it, even by just looking at the food, the taste somehow registers in our mind right away; it’s as if it plays in our head already, teasing us to taste it as it doesn’t just look delicious, it tastes delicious as well.
Also, Goto Monster encourages their customers to create their own taste and flavor by using the condiments and ingredients available – soy sauce, vinegar, spicy hot tinapa, bagoong, siling labuyo, calamansi, and the likes.
Goto Monster’s menu is continuously growing as what they do is when they perfected an item, they try to craft new ones and add it on their list, so be sure to drop by at Cor., Pablo Ocampo Se. Ext., La Paz, Makati, 1203 Metro Manila, as there’s so much more to try!