Fine dining at Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Diners are even given a sneak peek into the kitchen to see Chef Ariel Manuel and his team in action.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Starters. Tasty dishes to kickstart the meal.

Amuse bouche and freshly baked bread and butter (compliments of the chef).

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Double Espresso Soup (Php295). Tomato and mushroom cream-based soups served in separate espresso shot glasses. Definitely a new way to enjoy soup!

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Romaine Ceasar Salad (Php380). Crispy pancetta and six-minute boiled egg tossed in romaine lettuce with anchovies, lemon and parmesan cheese dressing.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Spinach and Warm Mushroom Salad (Php380). Mushrooms sauteed in smoked bacon on top of spinach leaves and doused with roasted garlic vinaigrette.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Sorbet (compliments of the chef). A citrus sherbet to cleanse the palate.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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!

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

“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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Pan-fried Fillet of Salmon (Php695). A hefty piece of well-seasoned salmon, seared and served caramelized onion, potatoes and bacon butter sauce.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Roasted Duck Breast (Php860). Breast of moulard duck on compressed potatoes.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Seared Scallops and Scampi (Php990). Bechamel-stuffed rigatoni pasta accompany seared scallops and plump shrimp.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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!

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Lemon Meringue Pie with Chocolate Ice Cream (Php295)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Baked Cheesecake with Orange in Spiced Syrup (Php275)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

White Chocolate Creme Brulee with Berry Tartlet (Php240)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Tiramisu Souffle with Vanilla Sauce (Php350)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Declension of Mango and Mascarpone Cheese with Vanilla Frozen Cream and Dulce de Leche Sauce (Php285)

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel, 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, Poblacion

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.

Bistro Manuel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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:

 

Crema & Cream Bistro + Coffee Lab, Tomas Morato

Coffee culture is steadily gaining ground in the metro, with cafes and coffee shops offering high quality and specialty brews. Coffee has evolved from being just another beverage to a social lubricant.

In the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area in QC, for instance, a new coffee establishment has sprung up, ready to elevate the coffee experience of local foodies while paving the way for friends and family to get together over their favorite coffee blends.

Crema & Cream Bistro + Coffee Lab started as a specialty coffee roaster not just supplying aficionados with coffee beans especially roasted to highlight their unique flavors, but also providing training and consultations to budding coffee experts.

Early this year, it opened its flagship store along Timog Avenue where it not only serves its quality brews but also a well-curated menu of dishes that will appeal to the metro’s epicures. It also features an inviting space for coffee lovers to work or hang out in solitude or dine together with like-minded companions.

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Together with my officemates, I ventured out to Crema and Cream to experience it first-hand. Our lunch repast included:

Asian Chicken Salad (Php325). Honey-soy-and-garlic glazed fried chicken cutlets tossed into seasonal greens doused with wasabi mayo dressing and topped with fried wonton, mango, toasted almonds, corn, red radish, pickled red onion, edamame, nori, bonito flakes and toasted sesame seeds.

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Mushroom Trio Toast (Php225). Mushroom jam served over arugula, tomato, feta cheese and topped with a poached egg over a slice of sourdough toast.

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Chicken Waffle (Php325). Fried chicken cutlet served with a rosemary and cheese waffle topped with a fried egg and drizzled with a honey brown butter sauce.

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Sausage and Egg Toast (Php255). Diced sausage and scrambled eggs served with caramelized onions, tomatoes and cheese on sourdough toast.

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Pan-seared Salmon (Php565). Pan-seared salmon fillet served with French beans, cherry tomatoes, diced vegetables, herb pesto mashed potato with lemon butter cream sauce.

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

We also enjoyed some of Crema & Cream’s signature brews together with our meal.  This included:

Hot Chocolate (Php140).

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Mango and Peach Black Tea (Php120).

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Flat White (Php150).

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Cappuccino (Php140).

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

While the viands are not as hearty as we would like our lunch meal to be, the flavors presented are new and exciting.  I wouldn’t mind returning to taste more of Crema & Cream’s offerings.

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema & Cream, Tomas Morato

Crema and Cream Cafe Bistro + Coffee Lab is located at 116-B Timog Avenue corner 11th Jamboree Street, Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays from 8am to 11pm, and Fridays to Saturdays from 8am to 12 midnight. For inquiries or reservations, call +63 2 7130662.

Crema & Cream Cafe Bistro + Coffee Lab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my blog posts on breakfast/brunch joints around the metro:

 

Tempura Overload at Tenya Tempura Tendon, BGC

Considered of the most successful tendon restaurant chains in Japan, Tenya Tempura Tendon opened its doors in the BGC Stopover Pavilion. Its goal, driven by the vision of its founder Mr. Yoshio Iwashita, is to provide diners with high quality yet affordable tendon and tempura.

Tenya prides itself on the quality of its ingredients – such as the sweet succulent tiger prawns, the heart-healthy canola oil, Japanese rice and secret dontare sauce for its tendon – and its methods to produce consistent and tasty tempura such as the specially designed infrared heat technology-powered fryer.

Tempura is one of Japan’s most popular dishes, characterized by seafood, meat and vegetables covered in a light batter then quickly deep-fried to produce tempura’s signature golden-brown hue.

During our family’s recent foray in BGC, we chanced upon this Tenya branch around lunchtime and decided to try it out.

We ordered a Yume Ooedo Set (Php1,295) which consist of 6 black tiger prawn tempura, 6 kani sticks, 3 squid, 3 fish tempura, 2 small kakiage (chopped vegetables and seafood), 3 battered green beans, 3 battered sweet potato, 4 rice and 4 miso soup. Aside from that, we also ordered a 5-piece Salmon Tempura (Php310).

The servings were hearty and the textures and flavors were varied enough that we did not experience umay (roughly translates to flavor-fatigue). The batter was light and adhered well to the fried seafood and veggies. Given that all four of us ate our fill, our orders were affordably priced indeed.

The service staff were friendly and accommodating, quick to assist us with our requests.

My only complaint about the experience was that the store’s airconditioning system was not able to counteract the summer midday heat.

This Tenya Tempura Tendon branch is located at the 2nd floor, BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive cor 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (Tel No: 02 – 512-4776). Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (Tel No: 02 – 833-9682)
  • 4F SM Megamall Bldg. A, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City (Tel No: 02 – 696-5996)
  • Food Street, Ground Floor, SM Southmall, Almanza, Las Piñas City (Tel No: 02 – 984-3872)
  • ASEANA Avenue cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. Paranaque City (Tel No: 02 -370-5924)
  • GF Water Garden, Extension Site, Civic Drive, Festival Supermall Alabang, Muntinlupa (Tel No: 02 – 512-4862)
  • GF North Wing Entertainment Mall, Sunset Ave. cor. Seaside Blvd. SM Mall of Asia Pasay (Tel No: 02 – 810-2784)
  • GF Southpark Bldg. Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City (Tel No: 02 – 821-5797)

For more details on Tenya Tendon and Tempura food offerings, visit Tenya’s website.

Tenya Tempura Tendon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Katsu adventure in Yabu, Ayala Vertis North

Our boss treated the team to a pre-Christmas dinner at Yabu House of Katsu located in the newly opened Ayala Vertis North Mall.

Katsu sets are another of my favorite cuisines, and Yabu is among the few resto chains that offer quality katsus, so I welcomed the opportunity to dine in a new branch.

The place was packed when our group arrived so we had to wait for 5 minutes or so (no biggie!).  The table was a bit of a tight squeeze for our group of 6 but we didn’t mind so much.

The staff were polite and helpful, though a bit overwhelmed with the volume of people that we had trouble calling some of them to request for refills.

Still, we thoroughly enjoyed our orders, which included:

  • Mozarella Katsu Sticks (Php270) as our appetizer
  • 4 orders of Rosu Pork Loin Sets (Php440/180g; Php385/120g; Php350/80g). These consist of thick cuts of juicy pork loin cutlets with some fat trimmings.
  • Menchi Katsu Set (Php385). This consist of spiced minced beef and pork stuffed with cheese.
  • Rosu and Prawn Set (Php530). This consists of pork loin katsu with black tiger prawns also coated in panko.

Our orders included unlimited soup, rice and fruits.

Consistent with my experience in other Yabu branches, the pork katsus were well seasoned and juicy, justifying several requests for rice refills.

Check out my review of another Katsu resto: Katsu Sora.

Yabu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato