Chefs are giving diners more reasons to come back and dine at their restaurants with new, promising dishes.
For over five years now, Your Local has been the go-to joint for people craving Asian fare. The torched salmon donburi and chicken rice continue to lure crowds. Recently, the restaurant added more items to the menu so guests can visit as early as 8 a.m.
“We love breakfast,” says chef Natalia Moran who developed the recipes for the restaurant. “We added delicious breakfast dishes with our Asian twists—new yet comforting food that we can offer our neighborhood.”
There’s glazed pork nasi lemak composed of braised pork belly, coconut rice, sweet and spicy anchovies, fried eggs and peanuts; salmon otak otak made of pan-fried fish cakes with shredded egg; beef rendang eggs benedict with sambal hollandaise; and coconut and chia pancakes with kaya jam and gula melaka.
To round off the meal, they have refreshing beverages such as Purple Coconut made with dragon fruit and coconut milk; and Earl Grey pandan tea.
Your Local: 106 Esteban St., Legazpi Village, Makati; tel. (02) 8823 6206
On the request of Refinery’s regular customers for comforting and heavy breakfast, Thirdy Dolatre, who consults for the cafe restaurant, added Filipino silogs to the mix.
There’s beef belly tapa, thin slices of tender beef short plate in sweet and garlicky marinade served with multigrain rice, fried eggs, atchara and spicy pinakurat. There’s also bacon tocino, a glazed and smoked pork slab with the same sides.
For vegetarians, Dolatre added a grain bowl with stir-fried mushrooms, basil and an assorted veggies on black rice and quinoa. It’s similar to a Mongolian stir-fry, only healthier.
Refinery also expanded its selection of pancakes. There’s lemon cream cheese with whiskey maple syrup, and banana brûlée with whipped butter. For kids, there’s almond Nutella waffle with caramel sauce.
Refinery: G/F Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Greenhills, San Juan; 129 Frabelle Corporate Plaza, Bautista Street, Salcedo Village, Makati; and G/F Joya Lofts and Towers, Joya Drive, Rockwell.
Grill-based restaurant Savage is more than a year old and chef Josh Boutwood said it was time to make changes “to emphasize the maturity of the brand.” He added new dishes. removed some but kept the core items they’re known for.
New in the menu are GenSan tuna tartare with sesame emulsion and fresh wasabi, and vinegar-marinated grilled cucumbers with crab fat cream and dried local heirloom tomatoes.
For vegetarians, there’s roasted eggplant and bell peppers mixed with pickled mustard leaves. It is drizzled with Ajvar, a pepper-based condiment used in the Serbian Balkans.
There’s blueberry-glazed duck breast with miso onion, and Boutwood’s personal favorite, milk-fed veal chops with gremolata, grated pecorino and bone marrow-sunflower seed puree.
For a big party, guests can order the paprika-rosemary-rubbed whole lamb leg, which requires a 48-hour notice. All these pair well with the new sides, like the smashed potatoes with feta, and the grilled corn with onion ash and chive oil.
“Our offerings were limited to a dinner setting and we wanted to be able to cater to a lunch crowd with a set that’s more familiar and comfortable,” says Jack Flores, co-owner of Made Nice in Rockwell. The result: 10 new items in their roster.
Five are fresh pasta dishes like cavatelli in edamame, Parma ham and cream; carbonara made with Parmesan and pecorino and etag; octopus pasta with beef fat; corn agnolotti with truffle; and a lobster pasta made with lobster meat and bisque.
“We want our clientele to enjoy a wider variety of food that they otherwise would only get if they ate in separate restaurants,” says Raul Fores. “If someone wants fried chicken while a friend enjoys his steak, then why not?”
Consequently, two huge boneless pieces of crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside fried chicken with rice and gravy are now available, along with pork tonkatsu with furakake and mustard that’s big enough to be shared by two people; grilled barramundi with mentaiko cream and wilted greens, karaage with citrus glaze and gochujang; and a chocolate tart made with dark chocolate and cream.
Made Nice: G/F Joya Lofts and Towers, Joya Drive, Rockwell.
For chef owner Tina Legarda, home can mean many things—“my mom’s kitchen, dishes I like whipping up on my free time, my lola’s cooking, favorite Filipino flavors, simple ingredients.” And so when she wanted to make Bamba Bistro’s menu a little bit closer to home, she turned to all these for inspiration.
As an ode to her Lola Charito’s dish, she has her family’s pollo con mantequilla or chicken fillets in a pool of butter with a whole roasted garlic bulb.
Legarda also pairs pan-fried scallops and chorizo and stuffs them in a bun with mango marmalade. She also has a butter-basted steak tenderloin with sea urchin and green rice.
For dessert, there’s her mom’s baked mango, a peeled whole ripe mango served warm with vanilla ice cream with a sauce spiked with cinnamon and rum.
“Nothing too fancy, just fun, delicious food that I would be proud to serve and feed my friends and family,” says the chef.
The Test Kitchen has a new location and a more refined look. And this newness extends to the menu.
The heart and soul of the restaurant remain ingredient-focused, relying heavily on the cured meats and fermented food, and seasonality of produce.
But diners can expect a bit more spunk since Josh Boutwood has a bigger space to play in.
They still carry items from the original restaurant, along with new, inspired ones like the nduja and guanciale arancini with dehydrated chive powder; salt-baked tomatoes with smoked bell pepper sauce; and cured tuna loin on squid ink brioche with aioli.
There’s Palawan abalone with shiso, barley and popped sorghum; seabass with fennel and green peas; and 30-day aged Wagyu stripling with horseradish emulsion and sunflower seeds.
For dessert, don’t miss the juniper-infused milk with thinly sliced grapes.
The Test Kitchen: G/F One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati; tel. (+63) 977-2885751