For the longest time, I miserably could not find the Maginhawa St. joint, only to later discover the Z Compound on Malingap St. Interestingly, these street names have more in common aside from virtues and syllables—do guess—and intersect at the Bayan Tel building, which is a favorite family landmark.
It is also a 5-second walk away from Pino, which is another friendly landmark. But of course, you can’t miss that bellowing yellow “Z” sign!
On a rainy Thursday night, the Z Compound was packed mainly with college students and yuppies. It’s a free-for-all place, a bit tough to find seats during peak hours—though you’ll be surprised to see the 2nd floor veranda on some restaurants.
The Backyard Reservoir is somewhere in the core of the compound and looks artfully decorated yet still bearing that laid-back and outdoorsy guise.
It manages its slight menu in a chalkboard—but despite the seemingly short list—decisions are still hard to make with the deliriously pleasant sounding pizza and sandwich names! The iced tea looks awesome too–and tastes, fruity!
Appetizers are the usual fried fares, but who can say no to mozzarella sticks?
The sticks are firm and packed with cheese, whilst the Curly Fries are reminiscent of the twister fries that everyone just loves. Careful not to eat too much or you’ll miss out on the main meals!
There are a handful of pizza names though the El Pago (homemade sausage) and Three Cheese Pesto stand out.
The El Pago lends a meaty touch to the thin crust. The Three Cheese Pesto has the right balance of herb and cheese atop the crust—even cold it tastes awesome.
The Sandwiches are crafted generously, the meat almost pouring out of the wheat bread (for the Pastrami and Ham, Egg & Cheese). Of course we could do with sidings, but with curly fries on the menu, this has been addressed.
The Tuna Melt is just freely pouring out with tuna, it is a perfectly balanced (and healthy) meal on its own. The meaty variants are just as chunky and heftily prepared.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for utensils to wolf down these gigantic beasts of bread!
Pasta selections come in three: La Onioni, Marinara and Pesto Tuyo.
Whilst the Marinara can do a bit more with the sauce, the Pesto Tuyo is a sure winner. With the usual seafood twist to my favorite pesto, this pasta dish brings out comfort food to the fusion level.
Hungry diners can finish a bowl—but with the price range of the Backyard Reservoir, come on, do share. That’s the Backyard rule—and you still get change, for dessert.
* This fun field trip to the Z Compound was organized by #TeamAldous 🙂