Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino: An Awakening of Sorts

Monday, July 4, 2011 § 1

Boyfriend and I had the privilege of dining at Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino last Valentines Day. Yes, it was months ago, but I do have notes and doodles about that meal and I could not resist the urge to share them. When we availed of the ala carte brunch buffet for 788/head, we had no idea that we’d be in for such a wonderful gastronomical experience. For me, Bistro Filipino offers one of the best buffets in Manila. Sure, hotel buffets have everything you’d ever want to eat, but in an ala carte buffet such as this one, the food is served to you exactly how the chef envisioned it - plated masterfully, maintaining the integrity of each dish.

We started our journey through Bistro Filipino's menu with their Sinigang Consomme. This made us wish we ordered the Shiitake Mushroom Puree instead because the soup just tasted like a richer and thicker pork sinigang broth. Our salad, however, made up for it's failure. The 3 Kinds of Mango Salad was a delight to the palate! The combination of green, ripe and dried mangoes plus the kesong puti and dijon bagoong vinaigrette gave us the best salad we've ever had. Boyfriend doesn't like salads at all but we were fighting over this like we weren't in a buffet.

There were a lot of appetizer options in the menu, so we couldn’t settle for just a soup and a salad. We also ordered the Ubod Spring Roll, which is basically crispy lumpia with chorizo, prawns and hearts of palm. The presentation is beautiful but what really took this dish home is the spicy sinamak vinegar sorbet. It’s a great twist to a very traditional Filipino dish. Each lumpia cone is a little big but finishing it isn’t really a problem because this is one of their best dishes. Another great appetizer is the Prito Trio, a concoction of crispy fish, shrimps and squid that goes great with their pinakurat soy glaze. This is the perfect pulutan food as it would go really well with beer.

The appetizers were quite filling already but of course, we had to save most of our tummy space for the entrees. We ordered two meat dishes. Their US Angus Beef Karekare was a deconstructed version of one of the most loved Filipino dishes. Sadly, it didn't live up to the hype. The meat was tender and cooked to perfection but the turmeric rice was a bit dry and bland. Also, the grilled eggplant chutney was also a little chewy. The Wagyu Estofado, on the other hand, was a winner! The beef is cooked perfectly, with an almost melt in your mouth texture, and the sauce is seasoned well.

We opted for two kinds of fishes for our second set of entrees. First, we had the Salmon Escabeche. The salmon is cooked really well and the contradicting flavors of sweet and sour created a balanced taste. The crispy salmon skin on top is also a nice bonus to an already great dish. For our final entree, which was actually just an afterthought because we still had some space in our tummies, was the Grilled Tilapia with Mashed Sweet Potatoes. It was the most exquisite and expensive tasting tilapia we've both had! At home, we usually fry or grill tilapia and eat it with tomatoes & bagoong or calamansi & soy sauce. I've never had it this fancy before and to be honest, I enjoyed it more than the salmon.

We ordered several dishes for dessert because the servings were so small (the pictures are actually just half of our desserts). In order from top: Maja Blanca Cheesecake with coconut tuile. Boyfriend loves cheesecakes and I love tuiles so this was a winner for us. Pan de sal bread and butter pudding. One of my favorite desserts here, the pudding was very subtle and the cream was light and not too sweet. The Calamansi Tart was too sour for us. We had a hard time finishing the tiny tart. And lastly, the explosive Yema Experience. If you're a fan of yema, you will love this dessert. It is a pastry filled with yummy homemade yema with vanilla ice cream and a delicious chocolate dipping sauce.

It was an eye-opening lunch for us both. We always hesitate to pay a good amount of money for Filipino food, with the reasoning that we can always ask our moms to cook those dishes for us at home, for free. But because of this meal, I began to see how much our cuisine has progressed throughout the years. Because of this meal, I told boyfriend that I would like for us to eat more at restaurants such as this one (Chef's Table and Cafe Juanita are next on our list!). I highly recommend this restaurant for people (not just couples!) who wants to be blown away by the traditional flavors of Filipino Cuisine. Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino is located at the Ground Floor of Net 2 Building, The Fort.

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§ 1 Response to “Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino: An Awakening of Sorts”

  • Juvy says:

    Wow! this looks yummy! I've tried their Steak-All-You-Can before. I'll try to go back and try their Grilled Tilapia with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Yema Experience. :)

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