I’ve always been a pancake girl through no fault of my own. We just didn’t order or make waffles while I was growing up. Then I was told that waffles were basically pancakes in a fancy shape. The only time I started ordering waffles was when I slept over at my cousin’s house, and her mom made us an amazing breakfast the next morning. From that point on, I developed a huge respect for waffles and a longing to find delicious waffle places in the metro. In comes the invitation to try out Pegi Waffles from M—full disclosure, he works there—and Zomato, and so I have another one to add to my list.
The ambitious ‘writer’ part of me is always on the lookout for that secret place to hang out/read a book/write a novel. (It’s more of a high school fantasy I had of becoming a writer at the same time I was hooked on the Harry Potter series, thus making it sound like something JK Rowling would do.) Pegi Waffles is basically that place, but with a mix of my kikay (girly), beauty blogger self thrown in. It has a casual tea party, not stuffy high-tea, ambiance with its Instagram-friendly interiors and well-lit dining area. This same comfy interior paves the way for a hearty meal ahead.
Despite the name that denotes breakfast or dessert, Pegi Waffles offers much more than that. It is a legit lunch or dinner place with its varied selection of savory menu items. Choose from pasta, rice meals, or savory waffles, all of which having that homemade, comfort food flavor going on. The serving size of each dish is big enough to be filling for one, but I’d recommend sharing to keep the umay (tired palate) at bay.
Here’s the feast we partook in:
Fresh flavors! The shrimp and tomatoes complement the spinach-flavored fettucine noodles to a T. This dish includes wheat waffle slices instead of the usual garlic bread accompaniment. Overall, the impression of the fresh ingredients is the one that sticks, and you won’t feel guilty because they kept it light.
Cheese-lovers will appreciate the Fried Puff Cheese Ravioli for not skimping out on the cheese filling. The tomato salsa is in perfect sync, flavor-wise. Just make sure to eat this piping hot in order to get the soft, gooey goodness that contrasts with the crispiness of the fried ravioli shell.
Another light-tasting dish, the Spinach Ravioli is a popular pick that contains the richness of the cream cheese filling balanced by the freshness of the tomato sauce. It has the same pasta dough as the fettucine, but I didn’t notice the firmness of the noodles. The focus, for me, was on the tasty filling.
Another one for the cheese-lovers, the Salmon Lasagna features creamy white sauce with a smoked salmon taste. The pasta was on the softer side, but not a huge deal-breaker. This is a sizable dish that I’d recommend be shared between two people. They didn’t skimp out on the salmon, so the price is fair.
I’m personally an Eggs Benedict fan, because of my love for eggs and Hollandaise sauce. This dish is rich and indulgent, though I wish the egg yolk could have been more gooey. As it turns out, the soft-cooked egg topped with Hollandaise sauce makes a trip to the salamander (gratinating machine), so it causes the egg yolk to cook further and get firm. I hope they find a way to keep the yolk liquid.
If you’re looking for something with a kick, the Hungarian sausage provides bite after spicy bite of attitude. The honey-mustard dressing tempers the spicy with its sweetness. If you’re not used to savory waffles, don’t imagine this to be a strangely sweet dish as the waffles used aren’t sweetened. You’ll get the interplay of sweet and spicy primarily from the sausage and the dressing.
The rice meals are well-balanced plates with its portion sizes of protein to carb to veggie. With bite-sized cuts of beef and lots of garlic, the Beef Salpicao has that classic Pinoy flavor for those want to stay “close to home” with their lunch or dinner selection.
I like a lot of meat on my plate, so I found the size of the Chicken Cordon Bleu to be proportioned with the rice. Thankfully, the chicken wasn’t dry and there was a fair amount of sauce. That’s the biggest turn-off to Cordon Bleu or Chicken a la Kiev for me, dryness.
While the cookie butter didn’t scream its presence, its pairing with bananas added texture to the dessert. Even if it were a peanut butter and banana waffle, I’d still enjoy the combination.
For those who want something sweet but not at carnival food proportions, the Salted Caramel Waffle has the nice caramel aroma without getting too salty or too sweet. Don’t let looks deceive you. It doesn’t feel like you’re eating the world’s supply of sugar.
I’ve tried scones before, and I got the impression that they were stale and unappetizing. This is a completely different story, since the scones are part of a complete set with jam/marmalade and clotted cream. Furthermore, the scones were warm and crumbly and the clotted cream, addictive. The cream tastes like whipped butter, and aaaah, what an indulgence! In fact, two from our table bought plastic jars of clotted cream to take home (PHP 160).
Pegi’s Classic is your standard Belgian waffle a la mode with chocolate sauce. It’s one of the simplest ways to take their waffles, but it’s also the kind of dessert you’ll immediately associate with comfort food. If you’re the type to take joy in the warmth of the waffle melting the ice cream, look no further.
The favorite in our table, who doesn’t find the shiny chocolate topping on the Choco Almond Waffle tempting? It’s a deliciously oozy treat that isn’t complicated with so many toppings, yet that’s what makes it so great. Don’t mess with good quality chocolate. As evidenced in this dessert, less is more.
For a place that is known for the waffles, the meals are of a high-quality, homemade sort that takes its flavors from fresh ingredients rather than artificial flavoring. It’s like your posh Tita’s (aunt’s) cooking, and that’s why it has comfort food written all over it. The only negative I can think of is the small parking space, an inconvenience that can be felt most during functions and peak hours.
Verdict: I still see Pegi Waffles as the place to get a waffle fix from, but the savory food is done well enough that you can actually enjoy a meal before the dessert without feeling that they made a lunch/dinner menu just for the sake of having a complete menu. Each dish we had felt well-thought of and suited to the Belgian/Western theme, with quality taking center stage. In that regard, I feel the prices are justified.
I would recommend this to friends who want a casual place with a relaxed ambiance for them to catch up or to those who just want to sit in an idle cafe to dig into a treat in peace and quiet.
*I was invited to this PR event. While I got to dine free-of-charge, opinions expressed here are entirely my own.