Walking into Mulberry Door feels like entering a friend’s home. An enormous wooden door welcomes you to the smell of home-cooked meals as your eyes dart toward the spacious living area where years of endless chatter may have take place. You take a seat at the comfortable, luxe modern charis and meet Quitin Cu-Unjieng, co-owner and son of Trish Panlilio, the brains behind NawwTy’s Kitchen catering, from which Mulberry Door sprang successfully from.
Mulberry Door’s warm interiors
“Maybe five, six years ago, [my mother] really got into cooking, trying to make her own recipes and basically playing around in the kitchen,” he narrates. This was direct result of entertaining guests who visited their house, often Trish’s friends and that of her sons (Luca, Matteo and Quintin). Growing up, the family has been into different food and cuisines, and would habitually make it a point to get together over food. “There would always be numerous people in the house that she’d have to feed!” says Quitin.
“Mulberry Door serves luxe comfort food, low-key gourmet dishes that are a combination of everything we’re familiar with and enjoy, but elevated in abundance, complexity and pleasantly original twists.” Their family traditions and individual personalities are very apparent in the dishes. “I like a bit of weirdness in the food,” says Quintin with a smile. “I like to try different things. Teo’s more the traditionalist, but we always add one more thing to make it twisted!”
Couscous & Zucchini with Honey Vinaigrette & Pistachios
Take the Couscous & Zucchini with Honey Vinaigrette & Pistachios (P320), a light, zesty salad that packs a flavor and texture punch—perfect for those days when you want something light yet satisfying. On the other side of the spectrum is Matteo’s Lamb Burger (P550), which features a lamb patty, emmental and gruyere cheeses, and is served with a taro chips instead of french fries. Robust and filling, this can be easily paired with a nice red, a beer or even ice-filled soda. Another favorite is the Apple & Q-Rizo Salpicao (P390), named after Quintin. The popular beef dish is minced and served with apples and crostinis—another perfect appetizer or or pulutan, depending on the occassion. The Vongole Spaghettini (P340), meanwhile takes the classic seafood pasta and adds a tangy tomato sauce and fire-roasted cherry tomatoes. This is another dish that could be elegantly plated or served on a picnic table.
A lot of items on their menu originated from NawwTy’s Kitchen, as well as client favorites, which further cements reason to dine in this restaurant. The sinful Crab Fat with Chicharon Crumbles Paella (P590) is one such dish. The rice is heavily coated in sinful aligue, topped with perfectly seasoned liempo bits, tender pieces of cooked squash and heaps of deadly chicharon. “We’ve known that the food has a pretty decent track record. So it was just a matter of thinking what other types of dishes we can add to the menu that we kind of experiment with,” says Quintin.
With such recipes up Trish Panlilio’s sleeve, we could only imagine how it would be like to have lunch at their home. Although we may never get the chance to do so, enjoying a meal at Mulberry Door certainly comes close.