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When I saw its signboard outside, and as I stepped inside the dining area, I told myself, perhaps this is just one of the expensive eateries in the emirate.

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I was wrong.

A glance at Mang Dencio’s Restaurant’s menu, I found different platters of affordable grilled chicken, seafood, and a couple of desserts.

 

People fond of eating fish bellies, the restaurant’s delicately flavored Belly Salmon Soup, which costs AED 25, has a touch of comforting recipe.

Mang Dencio’s Popcorn Dynamite Shrimp, meanwhile, is basically deep fried shrimp and tossed in a creamy sauce. This perfect jolly bite starter is only AED 25. Its plating maybe simple, but they are oh-so-addictive.

For as low as AED 10, customers can have Mang Dencio’s Honey Lime Salad. The salad comes with fresh and crunchy red cabbage and carrots, among others.

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Its Sizzling Chinese Chicken, meanwhile, reminded me of my late grandmother. I always loved her endless delectable chicken dishes. It tasted so good that I had to lick the plate every time I had it. Yes, I was not supposed to do that, well I was just a kid. Anyway, this certain Mang Dencio’s chicken recipe is out of this world, you have to try, it’s only AED 25.

 

The Calamari Cajun Breading, which I call all-time crowd pleaser, will only cost you AED 18 to munch on. The calamari are tender and not chewy at all. The breading is delicate and crisp. Probably one of their best appetizers to get.

For groups, Mang Dencio also offers its Smokehouse Buffalo Fight (boodle fight) which is good for up to five persons. It is a big pile of food – an array of mouthwatering grilled baked tahong, crabs, shrimp, crispy cajun ribs, chargrilled barbeque stick, among others – put altogether in a big wooden tray and served in the middle of the table. What’s good in this boodle fight is that it comes with unlimited rice and two one-liter drinks.

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And of course, a treat on a hot summer day, the restaurant offers delightful drinks. For only AED 7, you can choose from the variety of drinks to quench your thirst and soothe your soul. Mang Dencio’s has Lemon and Basil Iced Tea, Green Apple Cooler, Cucumber Lime Iced Tea, Calamansi Iced Tea, Watermelon Cooler and, of course, the local Filipino beverage Black Gulaman.

If you are looking to beat the summer heat with a nice and cold brew, you have to try them all.

Nothing here quite resembles your usual restaurant and I am surprised to learn that the new set up of Mang Dencio’s Restaurant was just made on July 9.

According to Joan Untivero, owner of Mang Dencio’s, she and her husband Dennis started the business by just simply selling quick food, or the so-called “catering.” They eventually ventured to start a small carinderia in the very same building where Mang Dencio’s is located at Shop 1 and 3 of the Engineers Bldg. (opposite Al Jafiliya Park) in Al Satwa, Dubai.

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And since people are always looking for something more and new, the couple decided to expand the carinderia into a restaurant.

“. . . kailangan nating i-cater yung trip ng ating mga kabayan, ‘di ba mahilig tayo sa food trip,” she said noting that their concept is ‘pang-masa’ and affordable prices for every food they serve.

Aside from the new set of dishes, Untivero said they still offer food from their old menu, including Kare-kare, Menudo, Pinapaitan, Bopis, and Caldereta, among others. One order of each dish costs only AED 12, while the half order costs only AED 7.

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She also stressed that their grilled dishes are properly marinated for 24 hours.

“. . . then we cook [them] in the charcoal, hindi sa oven,” said Untivero.

“We don’t compromise the quality of the food in terms of ingredients, in terms of the quality ng mga products from the suppliers . . . We choose the best as much as possible,” she added.

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