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Trailblazing Filipino Restaurant Maharlika Has Closed After Nine Years

The East Village gastropub was a pioneer of modern Filipino fare in New York City

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The yellow exterior of Maharlika Google Maps

Maharlika has closed after nine years in the East Village. The playful restaurant was a pioneer in New York city for modern Filipino fare; a sign on the door announced its closure, without providing a reason why, EV Grieve reports.

Owners Nicole Ponseca and Miguel Trinidad opened this permanent location of Maharlika in 2011 after starting it as a brunch pop-up. Over the years, it rose to one of the top Filipino restaurants in the city, known for dishes that combined elements of American fare with Filipino cuisine, such as ube (purple yam) waffles with fried chicken or eggs Benedict with spam and calamansi hollandaise. Maharlika became known as a standout for brunch in the neighborhood, as well as for its kamayan feast, which served a tabletop of Filipino dishes for groups to eat with their hands. Ponseca says they’re closing Maharlika to “streamline operations.”

The gastropub also spawned Jeepney, the team’s even more popular restaurant nearby, and some of Maharlika’s most popular dishes will now move onto Jeepney’s menu, including the chicken and waffles and sisig, a sizzling pork dish. Maharlika will also live on as a catering operation, a business that grew over the years with weddings and events. Ponseca and Trinidad have become renowned for their Filipino fare, writing a cookbook that was nominated as a James Beard Awards finalist and named an Eater best.

Update: December 11, 2019, 2:29 p.m.: This article was updated to include comments from Ponseca.


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