MANILA -- Nic’s is one of those restaurants that seem out of reach. From the outside, the cosmopolitan décor looks like something more at home in Manhattan or Paris, but a look at the menu reveals comfort food at decent prices. Indeed, the set lunch is priced at only P149 for a plate of pasta or lunch portions of its toppings.
This seemingly high concept restaurant came from humble beginnings.
“Nic’s started back in 2001 as a commissary by my mom. She supplied different wholesale items -- pastries breads, cake, things like that -- to different cafes throughout Metro Manila. We used to also supply like hospitals," recalled Nicole Ann Go Thorp.
"It started very small, small scale and then eventually grew to supplying more chains and then also moving on to retail eventually. We started first having a branch in San Juan, and then moved on to UP Town Center and now in Makati.”
For snacks, the packaged items are available to order in Nic’s. The parmesan crisps, in particular, are nice cheesy snacks. Paired with the Seven Herb Cheese, Parmesan Pimiento Melt, or Bangus Tomato Basil dips which can be bought in jars, these can be very addicting to nibble on.
Thorp described Nic's food as European Filipino comfort food. The menu is a mix of pizzas, pastas and rice meals. The new branch across Glorietta in Park Terraces is a comfortable place to eat and meet away from the hustle and bustle of the mall. It is an accessible location for meetings throughout the day or a place to unwind for wine and cocktails in the evening.
Here's what you can order
If you’re in the restaurant early, the French Toast Stacks are a nice brunch option to go with a cup of coffee.
A not-so-common option is the Bagel with Salmon and Cream Cheese. The bagel, as with all the cakes and breads in the restaurant, is made by Nic’s commissary.
For lunch, Nic’s French Onion Soup is nice and thick, properly prepared with the sweetness of slowly stewed onions and cheese with croutons.
For anchovy lovers, the dressing on Nic’s Caesar’s Salad is loaded with anchovies. With the breaded chicken strips option, this can be a full meal in itself.
Nic’s has an affinity for seafood. This entrée reminds one of clam chowder but with mussels in heavy cream.
More seafood can be savored in the Seafood Medley Pasta which has a pesto base and topped with clams, mussels, and shrimp.
For the health conscious, the Bangustek is a bangus filet cooked bistek-style with soy, calamansi and onions on a bed of brown rice.
Nic’s flatbread crust has a nice crunch that just complements any topping. Nice to see a square pizza that covers the whole tray so you actually get good value for money with this. The blue cheese and arugula are not for everybody, but Nic’s has friendlier variants like the Meat Lover’s Pizza.
For meat eaters, Nic’s hasn’t forgotten you. This platter of Tomato Barbecue Sauce Ribs on top of mashed potatoes can feed two hungry people.
With its history of baked goods, Nic’s definitely has earned its dessert cred. Nic’s Yema Cake has been on several best desserts list and is available at the restaurant.
Another cake to try is the nice and chunky peach cobbler with meringue bits.
At night, Nic’s has respectable bar options in terms of drinks and cocktails. In the picture is the margarita, pina colada, espresso martini, and lemon cocktail.
Nic’s is located at UP Town Center in Quezon City and Park Terraces in Makati. Opening hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.