22 years is a very long time for any restaurant to be around especially now that restaurants sprout one year and close shop the next.
Hunter’s could be commended for longevity alone if it weren’t for the wonderful food it offers. Tucked in a rather non-descript part of Mile Long in Makati, Hunter’s carries on a tradition of exotic fare that harkens back to a time when game animals such as wild boar and deer were still plentiful and un-politically correct to serve.
What’s the secret ingredient for Hunter’s? The good food, for sure. Another is the impossible-to-not-like presence of its affable owner, Mila Fitz, who regales guests with stories that trace the history of the place back when most of Makati was still grassland.
Lagalog said: The Salmon Belly (misu sinigang) was just heavenly. The soup base was so thick and layered with the flavors of real tamarind and ginger plus stocked with vegetables and salmon meat that it can be eaten as a main meal.
Ironwulf said: I don’t eat much sinigang but I really enjoyed this one. Unlike other sinigangs I’ve tasted this one as you said is flavor rich and thick that I really enjoyed. The salmon also tasted good not being too malansa (strong fishy taste).
Lagalog said: We wanted a reprise order of ostrich meat but since it wasn’t available, Lamb Chops was the next exotic fare we wanted to try. I’m normally wary of ordering it because if not properly prepared, lamb meat can taste sort of fishy. But they were so flavorful and tender, generously drenched with olive oil and rosemary, that I was tempted to ignore the mint dip that came with it. The Chicken Cordon Bleu was okay but the lamb chops made the trip all worth it.
Ironwulf said: I really wanted to taste that Ostrich Tapa since I enjoyed the Ostrich Sisig I had last time. But I guess this is seasonal or dependent on the supply of Ostrich meat. The Lamb Chops surely made up for it. Aside from the tender meat, I love putting the olive oil and rosemary sauce to my rice. The spices were just flavorful. I also like that mint dip. Aside from adding a minty flavor to the mint it could stand alone on its own and can even be spread on bread. A perfect compliment to the lamb chops.
I like chicken dishes but the Cordon Bleu is just okay. I only like the crispy outer crust but the meat is just satisfactory.
Lagalog said: The Hunter’s Delight (pandan jello topped with carabao milk ice cream) was a visual treat but since Ironwulf wolfed it down, I have to pass judgment next time. But the Walnut Pie was a real treat, not overly sweet and really nutty to the last morsel. Really went well with brewed coffee sweetened with coconut sugar.
Ironwulf said: The Hunter’s Delight is just right for that dessert’s name. The ice cream was made from cow’s milk. The pandan jello was home-made with unflavored jello and when prepared, the pandan was then added. Mixed with layers of buko strips below, it’s a true delight, not being too sweet with the texture of the jello and the buko mixing in your palate. The Walnut Pie is another must as you described.
THE DINING EXPERIENCE
Lagalog said: The space can be tight (Hunter’s has downsized several times in recent years) but overall, intimate, homey and relaxed. The different decorative mementos – from hunting spears to deer horns – collected over the years add to the dining experience. To cater to the budget lunch crowd, Hunter’s offer inexpensive meals but to really experience the place, order the more expensive house specials.
Ironwulf said: I really like this low-key restaurant that surprisingly lasted for 22 years. It may not have the extravagant space of larger upscale restaurants but its miniscule scale makes the experience warmer and more intimate. Mila is accommodating and can talk for hours if you let her but this personal touch from the owner and the place also make old patrons who have been gone here for years to keep going back to this place. It’s not only about the excellent food but also the ambiance.
Ground floor, Mile Long Bldg., Amorsolo cor. Rufino, Makati City • Tel. 892-5166 • Open: Mon – Sat, 11am-2.30pm and 5pm-9.30pm