Eggslut's Alvin Cailan to Open Full-Service Filipino Restaurant in NYC This Summer
Amboy was previously only available in the city through delivery and occasional pop-ups.
In 2017, chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut fame (and the man behind Blue Apron's Bob's Burgers meal kits) started offering dishes from his Los Angeles Filipino takeout restaurant, Amboy, via UberEats in New York City. Diners could order from a full limited-time menu, which included an Ambrosia Bowl, rice bowls, and roasted chicken marinated in lemongrass, sofrito, and annatto. The move, along with scattered pop-ups, was a soft launch to what Cailan called “his dream”—opening a Filipino restaurant in New York. And now, Grubstreet reports that that dream is finally coming to fruition, with Amboy set to open as a permanent restaurant in Nolita this summer.
Los Angeles’s Amboy is now closed, so the New York location will carry on its legacy; however, instead of operating through a takeout window, it will be a full-service, sit-down operation. There aren’t many details available about the menu yet, but Cailan told Grubstreet that he’s working on dishes like lobster pancit and kare-kare (a stew made with oxtail and peanut butter sauce), as well as a version of crispy pata that replaces pork knuckle with Hudson Valley duck. Whether staples from the L.A. Amboy will migrate over remains to be seen—here’s to hoping that famous crispy pork belly makes it to New York.
While we’ve still got a few months before Amboy opens its doors, you can always head over to The Usual in the meantime—also in Nolita, and Cailan’s first New York restaurant, which opened last summer. The concept is “American comfort food by immigrants,” so you’ll find riffs on comfort foods like grilled bacon with Szechuan chili and sesame oil, and fried chicken with Cajun herbs and spices, served with house-made ranch dressing and a blueberry corn muffin on the menu. If you're an East Coaster, consider it an opportunity to familiarize yourself with Cailan’s cooking, if you haven't tried it yet (or, just a chance to load up on all that fried chicken.)