Manila Grill Asian Fusion, the First Restaurant to Disappoint Us 100%

“Food to the Philipino is history. It is also bond, culture, and identity. ~ Doreen Fernandez

Lumpias – Photo by Constant Kone

We love food! I mean, who doesn’t? Especially if it’s a local family-owned and operated restaurant. I look forward to enjoying the meal and sharing with my followers our experience and recommendations. Not all restaurants have a 100% excellent rating, there is always something that we dislike, either in the service or the meal itself. But never have we encountered a restaurant that had 100% unsatisfactory reviews until today.

We ordered from Manila Grill Asian Fusion on 7868 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy Kissimmee, FL 34747. This restaurant first caught my attention when I read they had lumpia on their menu. I first tried Łumpia years ago made by a family member’s ex-wife, Josie, who is from the Philippines. They were amazing, as well as all her Philippine cuisine. That was many years ago, and the couple has since divorced. Therefore, when I saw the Manila Grill Asian Fusion restaurant close by, we had to try it. The images on their website looked scrumptious. However, we did not intend to be in for such a big surprise.

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Our order was for Pork BBQ Skewer, Lechon Pork, Lumpia Egg Rolls (pork and shrimp), Crispy Crab Wontons, Gyoza, Kare-Kare, Coconut Shrimp Taco, and Thai Fried Rice. We spent close to $160 worth of food for today. Not that it was that much food, but the menu is expensive. To my surprise, it was the first time we did not save any leftovers. Not because we ate it all. I wish that were the case. Unfortunately, the taste was so poor that we did not eat more than bites to taste each of the plates and trashed the rest.

What was poor about it? It was bland. Everything was bland, with no flavor, no seasoning, not even a bit of salt! The pork BBQ skewers were small pieces of tasteless pork. It seemed as if they were unseasoned pork smothered in BBQ sauce. Nothing compared to the Puerto Rican restaurant’s pork skewers, which are big chunks, well-seasoned and juicy.

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My husband was excited about the Lechon Pork, but the excitement dwindled once we had a taste of the flavorless pork, though crunchy, seemed to be who knows how many days old and re-fried.

Lechon Pork – image by HHV

The lumpia, which I love so much, was nowhere close to what Josie’s were. They were flavorless and not even the sauce helped. The wontons were not any better and the sauce also lacked in taste.

I love dumplings. Therefore, the Gyoza, which is a Japanese-style pan-fried dumpling, sounded good to me. Unfortunately, it was nothing like the ones you get in the Chinese restaurant. I know Manila Grill Asian Fusion is Philippine and Japanese, but I did not think the flavors varied so much.

Kare Kare caught our attention on the menu. It is a beef and vegetable stew, which, according to their menu, is cooked in a peanut-based sauce. The sauce was okay, but the beef was bland as if they cooked it separately and then dumped it in the sauce.

Kare Kare – image by Ruben S.

Our disappointment grew with the Coconut Shrimp Taco. It had more of a mango taste than coconut, nothing to brag about or reorder. Let’s not forget about the Thai Fried Rice. Maybe some salt or seasoning would have helped. It was as bland as it could be and sticky at that.

Honestly, it was the most unpleasant experience we have ever had, and will never order from them again – especially for a ticket of about $160. This is just our opinion, so like I always say, don’t take my word for it because you might like it. If you try it, let me know. Maybe today’s kitchen staff and/or chef were not in the mood to cook. You might even convince us to give them another chance because, as of now, we don’t intend to.