Wikipedia says that the word “borough” refers to “a fortified settlement or a self-governing township”. Hence, places with suffixes “-bury” , “-bourg”,“-burgh” and the like (as in Luxembourg, Hamburg, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Pillsbury[?]) usually means that they were once fortified settlements during the medieval period.

But looking from the outside, there’s nothing quite medieval about the Borough, save for the traffic. It’s located inside the Podium mall along ADB Avenue in Ortigas, so, it’s better to go here when it’s not rush hour. Anyway, you’d get your much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life inside its walls. Choose your adventure: enter through the mall, or through the “back door”.

No drawbridges here.

This New York inspired diner claims to serve comfort foods 24/7, but for us, the place is comfort itself. Cool ambience, soothing background music, soft lighting and friendly folks frequent here. The high ceiling provides ample air circulation, too. Though we would be interested to see this place during the peak drinking hours when smokers and non-smokers have to co-exist under one roof but probably on different floors.

We chose a spot with a couch just across the bar on the ground floor. After much thought, we picked Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup for appetizer, Sole Amandine and Cheese Injected Portobello Pita Pocket for main entrées, Borough Iced Tea and Arnold Palmer for drinks, and of course, Mom’s Milk and Cookies for dessert.

Learning from the world’s most favorite cookie, the best way to enjoy the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup is to twist, lick and dunk it. Or you can just skip the licking part. Let the crunchy toast absorb the soup well then bite into the chewy melted cheese. Marvel at how well it combines with the rich texture and the tangy flavor of the tomato soup. Definitely a recommended starter.

When we think of it, this one tastes too good for a starter.

Our main courses, Sole Amandine and Cheese-Injected Portbello Pita Pocket are both very lean choices and yet very different in terms of its appeal. Borough’s version of the Sole Amandine, is more of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get entree with it’s simple yet very classy plating. It’s flavors are rather subtle; just a hint of saltiness from the capers and a little of that sourness from the lemon juice makes it perfect for people with discerning taste.  On the other hand, the Cheese-Injected Portobello Pita Pocket, especially when paired with their signature Borough chips, can easily pass as a legitimate grease bomb. It oozes with melted Monterey Jack cheese and its Portobello mushroom may yet prove tastier and more savory than most meat sandwiches. But worry not, it’s very light on the tummy and is as guilt-free as it is sinfully scrumptious.

Sole Amandine

Cheese-Injected Portobello Pita Pocket

The dessert was something else entirely. Borough’s famous Mom’s Milk and Cookies was our main reason for coming here in the first place and it did not let us down. One bite of these moist confections drenched in fresh milk and suddenly we were kids again. And the best part, there was much to go around for each serving contains 12 pieces of cookies. Wish it had more milk, though.

Which one’s the world’s most favorite cookie now?

Now, good food doesn’t come cheap. Here at the Borough, a three-course meal may cost P600-P1000+ per person. We were able to trim down our bill by splitting the appetizer into two servings. We’ve seen highly positive reviews from other sources so it’s likely that whatever you order from the menu will be worth your buck.

As for us, there’s plenty more tasty reasons why we’d like to come back to the Borough. Too bad it can’t be sooner.