Burgers have been around for centuries, and they’ve gone through some pretty crazy transformations since they were invented. It seems everything has been done to elevate the humble cheeseburger to something much more than it actually is, from stacking beef patties until they’re sky high to adding indulgent, luxury toppings.
But places like Sweet Ecstasy are here to remind us that food can be delightful if only restaurants pay careful attention to the smallest details. Serving standard American diner delights like burgers, fried chicken wings, onion rings, and milkshakes, this humble restaurant reminds us that honest, down-to-earth food still wins if prepared flawlessly.
True to its casual, minimalist nature, there’s hardly any decor in their Katipunan branch. Tables and chairs are functional but not fancy, and the only accent pieces are these fun, spunky posters glued on a bright red wall. It’s best to visit on weekends, when there are less noisy college kids bustling about, so you can have a quiet, peaceful meal with your friends.
No visit to Sweet Ecstasy is complete without trying out their signature Cheeseburger. From the first look, it’s pretty obvious that this is a no-frills, straightforward burger with nothing out-of-the-box added.
When you take a bite at this burger, you’ll notice that the star isn’t just the meat–everything works well together in order to create the perfect bite. The buttery brioche buns, the pure beef patty, the crunchy iceberg lettuce, the sweet onions, the fresh slice of tomato, and especially the house’s secret sweet and slightly tangy Ecstasy Sauce, are all there to make this burger extraordinary. The buns, with their buttery and dense nature, make a lasting impression.
If there’s one thing I didn’t find impressive about the usual Cheeseburger, it’s that I didn’t taste much of the meat amidst all the other ingredients present. That said, The Double is the perfect solution. This one has two stacks of beef and cheese, giving you a heavier, meatier, and overall more satisfying dining experience. I suggest you try this only after you’ve had the usual Cheeseburger, because if you’re already satisfied with one patty, there’s really no need for two, given the hefty price tag.
Despite being an off-the-menu item, The Steamed Burger is almost as famous as its superstar Cheeseburger cousin. That’s because food bloggers and Instagrammers can’t stay mum about this one-of-a-kind burger that’s steamed before being grilled. Unlike the cheeseburger, which has lettuce, tomatoes, and the signature ecstasy sauce, this is a far more minimalist burger with just the buns, the onions, the beef patty, and a mustard dressing.
While this has a cult following, I personally prefer the flavor contrasts that exist in the usual cheeseburger. This one felt a little flat for me because of the sparse ingredients present. Then again, if you don’t like veggies on your food, this can be just right for you.
Just when you think the burgers are great, the sides steal the show, like this thick, crispy, hand-cut potato fries. If you want your fries on the more crispy side, this is for you.
Being a Chicken Wing purist, nothing stops me from going for the traditional Buffalo Chicken Wings. Each large piece of wing is coated evenly with the hot and tangy hot sauce, just the way we wing lovers like ’em. This is served with a small tub of garlic aioli for a more flavorful kick.
Aside from the usual Buffalo wings, the Sriracha-Lime and Honey Barbecue wings are highly recommended. I understand other people’s criticism that the wings are so big that the sauce can’t cut away all to the bone, but I think if you bite each piece strategically, you can make sure you get a little bit of the wing and a little bit of the meat every time.
The biggest surprise of the day were the Onion Rings. While these may look like the typical and run-of-the-mill kind, they’re far more flavorful than the onion rings I’ve tasted from other restaurants. The batter is light and crispy, letting the sweet flavor of the white onions shine through. I’m still wondering how they managed to make the onion taste so sweet and prominent throughout each ring.
Overall Verdict: Sweet Ecstasy offers simple, understated food but delivers big flavors. While all the fried and oily food may leave you overwhelmed at the end of the meal, the pleasure definitely overcomes the guilt. After all, we all need some expertly prepared comfort food to make us smile once in a while.
Sweet Ecstasy has branches in #10 Jupiter St. Makati / 2F Regis Center, Katipunan Ave / 2F Uptown Parade, BGC.