7:30 - 9:00 PM, October 1, $50 for Dinner

7:30 - 9:00 PM, October 1, $50 for Dinner


Much lauded new kid on the hospitality executive block, restauranteur Nicole Ponseca began her career as an advertising executive for Saatchi & Saatchi Euro RSCG. Working on lifestyle brands including Oil of Olay and Coppertone, it was in her early days when Ponseca realized her underlying passion for Filipino authentic cuisine.

It began with an “A-ha” moment in trying to make client entertainment plans and failing to come up with adequate Filipino Restaurants to reflect her culture. Since that moment, Ponseca moonlighted and worked two very different jobs for a decade to fully understand the restaurant industry. Living two lives: Advertising executive by day and dishwasher-hostess-server-bartender by night. Her goal
was simple: to put Filipino food on the culinary map and make fellow Pinoys proud.

Since Nicole opened Maharlika in 2011 (along-side JEEPNEY Executive Chef Miguel Trinidad and Beverage Director Enzo Lim), the Restaurant Group has made its imprint on New York’s culinary scene as a Filipino trendsetter recognized by critics and top publications and remains a major player in NYC’s dining scene.

Since the opening of Maharlika to the debut of JEEPNEY, Ponseca has been invited to the White House by the Obama administration to represent leaders in the Fil-Am community, became a motivational speaker for young adults in the Filipino American community on top of various speaking engagements including: UniPro, FIND Conference and the Tagalogue (filipino version of vagina monologues). Ponseca has also started the charity event “Evening in Manila”, which focuses on fundraising for charities in the Philippines. With the success of Maharlika Filipino Moderno and the opening of JEEPNEY – Ponseca continues to combine her professional background and cultural values to further push Filipino cuisine to the forefront.

Nicole has been named as #6 in Zagat’s 2014 Restaurant Power Player list.

Nicole Ponseca is a California-native and is a graduate from the University of San Francisco. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her two dogs: Marlon Brando and Rick James.”

Join us for Dinner at Maharlika by Nicole Ponseca.

Co-Curated Event

Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Time: 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Venue: Maharlika, 111 First Avenue @ Seventh Street New York, NY

Maharlika means “Royalty” in Tagalog. Located in the East Village, it proudly features the classic Filipino dishes with its cultural and indigenous flavor influences from Spain, Malaysia, China and America.

Nicole Ponseca, co-owner of Maharlika and Jeepney went from advertising executive to NY restaurateur in 1998. She majored in business administration at USF.  


Maharlika Filipino Moderno opened its doors as a pop-up restaurant in the winter of 2011.  A neighborhood type restaurant, its name means "Royalty" in Tagalog.  The word Maha and Leeka translates to "Noble Work" in Sanskrit.  Some Asian historians argue Maharlika is the original name of the 7,107 islands that comprise the Philippines.  The name was handpicked as an homage to the life, times and food of the Global Pinoy.

With images of 1973 Miss Universe, Jeepney's, family portraits, and a giant wooden fork + spoon displayed prominently, Maharlika is a place where the Philippine's pop culture and everyday life's musings are honored.  The family envisioned a space where Filipino's hospitality and food is a thoughtful showpiece and not an afterthought. The Restaurant, located in downtown Manhattan, is home to local and visiting Pinoys and our friends, who look for comforting and caring Filipino food + service + style.  

Maharlika Filipino Moderno is open for lunch, brunch and dinner Monday through Sunday and reservations are welcome and recommended for brunch and dinner.  The menu is small by the current standard of Philippine restaurants. It features a curated selection of Filipino classic dishes as well as inventive dishes that use 100% percent Philippine ingredients and flavors.  You'll find dishes like Pampangan-style sizzling sisig, Oxtail Kare Kare and our popular Flip'd Fried Chicken and Ube Waffle with macapuno syrup. The menu changes periodically to highlight seasonal ingredients or shine light on a new dish.  Don't forget our award-winning "Paquiao's Punch", our original drink that was voted one of the top cocktails nationwide.  Maybe you fancy a light cocktail--we've got the Lea Salonga, the Hilda Koronel and, of course, the Sharon Cuneta.  The result is a menu that is familiar yet different...hearty but refined...soulful and reserved...proud but not boastful.  

The menu may be enjoyed family style and shared amongst friends.  However, we do suggest western-style dining with a traditional per person selection of an appetizer + entree + dessert.  In the spirit of modern dining, Maharlika proudly has vegetarian, vegan and gluten free offerings.  We also suggest dining with a spoon + fork (thought a knife may be offered upon request).  

Maharlika has garnered much attention on New York’s culinary scene from its initial opening including a glowing review in the New York Times and the award for “Best New Resturant” by Metromix. Maharlika Filipino Moderno has been a pioneer in the food world and is recognized by Timeout NY (best new food), Tasting Table (Top 10 cocktail with Pacquiao Punch), Complex Magazine (Top Restaurant for 2012), (entrepreneurship) and The Huffington Post (Best Cuisine: Nouveau Filipino)  as a major player in the dining scene.  

All of us at Maharlika Filipino Moderno is on a mission to push Filipino food further and further into the vocabulary of our food world.  We want to make Filipino's proud and help foster a community for Philippine pride.  We are convinced that modern Filipino food has a place at the culinary table.  We hope you will join us.  Kain na (let's eat).