I’ve never had the pleasure of dining at Lolo Dad’s Cafe in Malate which closed its doors a few years back.
From what I hear from veteran (ehrrm!) foodies and what I’ve gathered online, Lolo Dad’s is known for its fine dining, culinary masterpieces and the awards they merited.
Too bad I didn’t get to experience Lolo Dad’s but there is a silver lining to this predicament: in 2016, Chefs Ariel and Mia Manuel of Lolo Dad’s opened a new restaurant in Poblacion called Bistro Manuel.
It is a quiet establishment, almost hidden being situated away from Poblacion’s more casual (and noisier) bars and restaurants. The place is well-suited for workday lunchouts, intimate dinners for two or elegant family celebrations.
Diners are even given a sneak peek into the kitchen to see Chef Ariel Manuel and his team in action.
Together with my fellow foodies, I recently visited Bistro Manuel where we were welcomed by Chef Ariel himself. We also sampled the resto’s signature dishes which feature many of the old favorites from Lolo Dad’s as well as new creations that showcase the chefs’ mastery of their craft.
Starters. Tasty dishes to kickstart the meal.
Amuse bouche and freshly baked bread and butter (compliments of the chef).
Double Espresso Soup (Php295). Tomato and mushroom cream-based soups served in separate espresso shot glasses. Definitely a new way to enjoy soup!
Romaine Ceasar Salad (Php380). Crispy pancetta and six-minute boiled egg tossed in romaine lettuce with anchovies, lemon and parmesan cheese dressing.
Spinach and Warm Mushroom Salad (Php380). Mushrooms sauteed in smoked bacon on top of spinach leaves and doused with roasted garlic vinaigrette.
Lolo Dad’s Cafe Baked Oysters (Php230 per piece). A real treat to the taste buds, each oyster is accompanied by angel hair pasta under a layer of melted cheese, and accompanied with a cube of foie gras.
Sorbet (compliments of the chef). A citrus sherbet to cleanse the palate.
Mains. Hearty and flavorful viands showcase Chef Ariel’s mastery of European cooking techniques.
Mild Spice Arabbiata (Php550). Penne tossed in tomato base sauce seasoned with basil, garlic and chili flakes. A light dish that portended of great things to come!
Lamb Shawarma Grilled Pizza (Php700). In this pizza with a Mediterranean feel, lamb belly, tomato and onions are placed on a charcoal-grilled thin crust and served with yoghurt and chili dip.
“Only for the Rich” Pizza (Php1,290). One of the resto’s more playful dishes, this dish features many luxurious ingredients that led to its name. Lobster, duck liver, scallops, prosciutto and smoked salmon with carabao’s milk cheese and truffled tomato sauce on top of charcoal-grilled thin crust garnished with edible flowers.
Pan-fried Fillet of Salmon (Php695). A hefty piece of well-seasoned salmon, seared and served caramelized onion, potatoes and bacon butter sauce.
Roasted Duck Breast (Php860). Breast of moulard duck on compressed potatoes.
Seared Scallops and Scampi (Php990). Bechamel-stuffed rigatoni pasta accompany seared scallops and plump shrimp.
Lamb & Lamb with Lamb (Php860). Three ways to enjoy various parts of lamb: roast lamb rump, stewed lamb breast and fried lamb sweetbread with sieved potatoes.
US Rib-Eye Prime Steak (Php2,200). 300 grams of premium steak grilled to medium doneness and served in rendered fat with truffled mashed potatoes and chilled Hollandaise. A carnivore’s dream come true!
Desserts. A delectable selection of decadent confections whipped up by pastry chef Mia Manuel that capped a wonderful meal:
Freshly Baked Apple Tart with Rock Salt and Olive Oil Ice Cream (Php295)
Lemon Meringue Pie with Chocolate Ice Cream (Php295)
Baked Cheesecake with Orange in Spiced Syrup (Php275)
White Chocolate Creme Brulee with Berry Tartlet (Php240)
Tiramisu Souffle with Vanilla Sauce (Php350)
Declension of Mango and Mascarpone Cheese with Vanilla Frozen Cream and Dulce de Leche Sauce (Php285)
Every dish was exquisitely crafted and a feast for the senses. Bistro Manuel is definitely a welcome addition to my list of favorite restos in Poblacion.
Many thanks to Chef Ariel and the staff of Bistro Manuel for the warm welcome and fabulous food and the Jen of Sand Under My Feet for extending the invitation!
Bistro Manuel is located at Second Floor, Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City, open daily from 11am to 2pm and from 6pm to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 88718566, +63 926 7341067 or +63 998 3423566.
Disclosure: Together with fellow foodies, I attended a good tasting held in this establishment wherein the items mentioned above were served to enable us to sample the fare to facilitate an honest review and were not paid for by the participants including myself.
Check out my posts on other fine dining establishments: