Shrimp cakes, sushi, steak and ‘bringhe’–Arya is new dining destination in BGC
Arya Residences Bonifacio Global City is the luxury residential development of ArthaLand, with units measuring 124-591 square meters and priced from P17 million to P25 million.
While the second of two towers was recently completed, the restaurants at the plaza on the ground floor have been open since last year.
The retail tenants were chosen for the originality of their concepts. They were also chosen after having impressed the owners with the quality of their food.
Basil is a Thai restaurant with branches in Quezon City and Pasig. Unlike the two other branches, however, where space is at a premium (there’s hardly any parking at the White Plains branch in QC), the new branch offers ample shared parking and spacious interiors.
Even before being seated at one of the restaurant’s specially designed “fish bone” chairs, one is treated to the sight of polished wood accents and crystal chandeliers.
The food consists of favorites like shrimp cakes with chili sauce, bagoong rice and spicy spareribs, but the presentation helps elevate the experience. Each dish is served on footed silver trays, while the black tablecloths and white dining plates allow the food to stand out.
“The food we serve here is the same, but we wanted the place to have a more ‘modern Thai’ look, hence the crystal chandeliers and floors of poured concrete,” said marketing manager Mikki Montenegro.
The Japanese restaurant Fukudaya has its origins in Tokyo. Two Japanese chefs, Yoichi Yoshimura and Koji Oki, ensure that the food served is authentic. Guests can choose from a selection that includes nigiri sushi, sashimi, tempura and sukiyaki.
They also offer seasonal items like the Japanese fish roe that was served during a recent visit. It was cubed and poached in a delicately flavored liquid. The result was meltingly soft and decadent.
The interiors are stark, all slatted wood, glass and granite slabs. A whimsical touch is the school of metallic, silver and gold koi frozen mid-swim on the main wall.
That afternoon we sampled some of the chefs’ specialties, including Kaisen Kakiage, or mixed tempura (shrimps, squid, scallop, veggies), and their version of Chawan Mushi, or egg custard made luxurious with foie gras and wild duck. The most impressive dish, however, was the Beef Curry Rice that was fork-tender and flavorful.
The first thing one notices at Arroz Ecija are the oversized pendant lamps made of woven straw and blown-up pictures of farmers in their rice fields. The lamps call to mind the winnowing baskets used to sift through rice grains, while the images were taken during a trip to Northern Luzon. Rice is obviously the star in this restaurant.
“We wanted more people to taste the different varieties of rice available in limited quantities,” said Sandee Masigan. She and her husband Andrew source the rice they serve from a farmers’ cooperative in Nueva Ecija. The resto carries eight varieties, including one that has tricolor grains (brown, white and black).
Masigan said it takes a while for Filipino diners to cozy up to harder, nuttier grains, so “we have to devise ways to make it more attractive, more palatable.”
Their signature dish is bringhe, a paella-like rice dish, that comes in portions for one or for four to five. Other dishes include a chorizo sampler (with sausages from Tuguegarao, Alaminos, Baguio and Nueva Ecija), dinengdeng (vegetable stew topped with fried fish), and Masigan’s version of bagnet, the thrice-cooked pork dish served in the Ilocos region.
Carnivores can head straight to Foundry for its selection of steaks cooked to one’s preference. Owner Tom Hines said that while it is first and foremost a steakhouse, it is also a cafe and cocktail lounge.
Foundry has two steak platters: “Around the World” consists of steaks from Australia, Europe (France), Asia (Japan) and the US, while “Head to Toe” has tenderloin, Angus beef cheeks, Wagyu oxtail and Angus lengua.
“By June we plan to open earlier and offer all-day breakfast options, because right now, we’re only open for dinner.”
Two other restaurants set to open are French bistro Lemuria, and Pucela, which will serve traditional Spanish dishes.
Restaurants at Arya Residences are located at McKinley Parkview, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.