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We're Open: Manila Resto, a taste of the Philippines in Downtown Oshkosh

Lechon Kawali and  Pancit Sotanghon
Posted at 10:54 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 18:38:40-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — It’s no secret that many in the restaurant business have been hit hard during the pandemic.

But as things have begun to reopen across the country and in Wisconsin, Manila Resto, a Filipino restaurant in Downtown Oshkosh is continuing to stay busy.

Manila Resto, Filipino Restaurant in Downtown Oshkosh

“Business has been alright it hasn’t been like great, but with the support we’ve had from the community we’re still able to be here today,” said Marlo Ambas, Manila Resto owner.

Over the last year, he said they’ve had to implement new things to adapt to the pandemic.

“We want to be here for a very long time and we made the necessary changes we thought we needed to do to keep things moving,” Ambas said.

One of the things they started was providing take home sushi kits which he say has been a great success.

The owner says what's so great about this is that it's a one stop shop for ingredients.

See below for more information on the sushi kits.

This past year they also implemented a new delivery service done by the restaurant exclusively and not by a third party food service.

The restaurant offers authentic Filipino cuisine with a modern twist, along with other Asian dishes.
According to the restaurant, Filipino cuisine is a melting pot of influences— Indigenous, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, and American influences.

"Growing up in the area I thought what does Oshkosh have that it already doesn’t. I wanted to come up with this idea to create a space where we could share Filipino food, Filipino culture, Filipino hospitality," Ambas said.

The recipes are authentic and some he's had in his family for a very long time.

"It’s recipes are mainly from my mother’s side of the family and my cousin Nino is our head chef here,” Ambas said.

Here are some of the authentic dishes they serve.

Lechon Kawali and  Pancit Sotanghon
Lechon Kawali and Pancit Sotanghon
Chicken Adobo
Chicken Adobo

Manila Resto also offers different types of authentic Filipino dessert.

Here are a few: halo halo and turon.

Halo halo is shaved ice layered with candied tropical fruit, coconut and more, topped with vanilla ice cream, ube and leche flan

Halo Halo

Finally, turon are sweet Asian bananas crisped in a spring roll wrapper, served with vanilla ice cream and shaved chocolate.

Turon

“There’s a fairly big Filipino community here. We’re throughout the area. There’s a local organization here where we have members. They’ve been a big support,” Ambas said.