Maharlika, the restaurant that sparked Filipino food movement in New York, closes

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 13 2019 12:22 PM | Updated as of Dec 13 2019 01:00 PM

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NEW YORK — For eight years, this restaurant impressed customers in New York with its modern take on Filipino cuisine.

Unfortunately, Maharlika Filipino Moderno — which helped jumpstart a new era of Filipino food movement in the East Coast — has served its last silog, eggs Imelda, and bibingka.

Maharlika founder Nicole Ponseca told "Balitang America" that this move is an effort to streamline her restaurant operations while she pursues other endeavors.

Jeepney, Ponseca's other restaurant, remains open. Still, news of Maharlika's closure was a shock for many customers.

"It's sad that it's closing. But it did start a movement and I can't wait to see where it goes," said regular customer Theresa Bocalan.

Maharlika not only served the East Village neighborhood's craving for new flavors – it also helped change the conversation on Filipino food.

Regular customers believe Maharlika became the new gold standard for Filipino cuisine.

"People started noticing Filipino food. It's written in different articles, and [it even got the attention of] Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern," said Maharlika regular Annette Almazan.

And while Maharlika has closed its doors, the Filipino movement that it helped spark in New York will live on.

Read more on Balitang America.