Wednesday, September 6, 2006


4 out of 5 stars

Before I hit the books, I decided to give myself a personal treat by writing more about a restaurant that I'm fond of. I’ve been itching to write on these three other restaurants that are pending review, but I guess I'll just have to restrain myself for now and write on just one pre-midterms.

InteriorsMy foodie friend Elber accompanied me as we hit Pasong Tamo to reacquaint ourselves with one of my favorite Spanish restaurants, Segundo Piso.
This translates to “Second Floor" in English, and is aptly named because it is located right above their deli store called "Terry’s Selection." Most of you have probably heard of this place through countless features in lifestyle programs, magazines and newspapers. They not only serve delicious food, but also house an extensive array of wines.

There is another "Terry's Selection" with an adjoining cafe in the basement of Podium, but being that I'm into eating with all the senses, I'd much rather prefer the branch in Makati. Apart from the fact that Segundo is more spacious, it's wonderfully secluded unlike in Podium where you'd find mallers peering at you through glass walls as you eat your mess sandwich. Speaking of restaurant setting, Terry’s selection’s architecture is cool, clean and modern. They have an “open-air” kitchen so that the food is cooked in front of you. On one side of the kitchen, you have a large plastic colander with homemade potato chips that side their signature sandwiches, along with a huge leg of jamon serrano that they slice only when needed. On the other end of the room, you have sleek wooden wine cellars blending well with the design of the restaurant.

Just like “Blue Bacon and Green Eggs” or “Bianca’s Café and Vinotek” and “Carpaccio Ristorante Italiano” of “Santi’s,” they were shrewd enough to think of putting up a restaurant where they sourced most of their ingredients from their own deli. Not only is it convenient for the owners, but their customers are assured at the same time of the freshness and quality of their meals.

DumplingsWe started with two appetizers: Manchego & Salchichón de Vic Dumplin (320 PhP) and Flamenquín Andaluz (250PhP). The menu describes the dishes better than I possibly can, so I’ll just lift off what they have to say about them. For the dumplings, it’s, “The quintessential Spanish cheese & Vic salami enveloped in crunchy Chinese wrapper.” This was really yummy, with the salami blending well with the milder-tasting cheese. I guess the only minor problem was that it was a little oily, which more often than not occurs when food is fried lower than the ideal temperature. When prepared properly, deep-fried foods absorb less fat and oil. This is because the oil immediately surrounds the food and cooks it from all sides, creating an exterior layer that seals in the food's juices inside, while keeping most of the oil outside. I suspect that in this instance, the chef didn’t wait for the oil to heat up to the right temperature before dropping in the dumplings. Nevertheless, the authentic Spanish ingredients made up for it, and the oiliness could be easily remedied by putting a paper cloth below the dumplings.

Flamenquin AndaluzFlamenquín Andaluz was described as “golden crispy sirloin roll stuffed w/jamón serrano & melted Swiss Raclette.” They were pretty generous with this serving, and the ham (which they carve at the front of the counter for this dish) had just the right amount of smokiness and bite to it. The sirloin and the raclette actually paled a little in comparison to the intensity of the ham. Even Elber was surprised that Raclette could taste that subdued, when it usually has a powerful taste (and odor, to boot!). But we still enjoyed and devoured this appetizer, belatedly taking off the superfluous outer breading just so that we’d have room to finish off our three-course lunch.

Arroz con Gambas al CognacSo far, I’ve never ordered a rice dish here that wasn’t worth raving. The paellas and risottos at Segundo are the epitome of all that’s tasty in this restaurant! I guarantee that once you’ve tried any of them, you’ll come back craving for more of this stuff. For today, we had Arroz con gambas al “Cognac” (490 PhP). I’ve had this dish more than a couple of times, and every time I order it, I enjoy it even more. This is a WINNER in all ways possible! Risotto with lots of cream and thickened with homemade broth is kicked up with a faint taste of brandy…oh, and TRUFFLE OIL! Anything and everything truffle is PERFECT. My apologies go out to Elber, who happened to be allergic to shrimp. We still got this dish though since I was craving for it (thanks, Elber!). This was served in individual giant clam shells, the risotto blended with cheese and shrimp bits, and topped with whole shrimps. Although this dish takes awhile to make (around 15-20 minutes), it’s certainly worth the wait! Oh, and it’s quite filling, too. When I went to Terry’s Selection in Podium with Ghafy another time, we ordered this alone and were quite full already. But since this is an eating spree, we didn’t stop with just appetizers and rice. Of course, we had to have dessert, compliments of Elber’s friend who happened to be the daughter of Segundo owner Juan Carlos di Terry.

Coffee MarquesaIt’s called Coffee Marquesa, which is topped with some roasted coffee beans. Elber was all praises about this dessert, and even before we got it, he described it as a “chewy ice cream.” If you haven’t seen or tasted this yet, that description might seem kind of odd. But when the Marquesa was served to us, this description was actually pretty accurate! The dessert, though difficult to explain, is very easy on the palate. In fact, it’s so scrumptious that I’d go back to Segundo Piso if only for this dessert!

No need to reserve. It’s fun dining! (pun intended)

Terry Selection
Segundo Piso
Bldg. B, Karivin Plaza
2316 Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City
Tel. 729-7906; 729-7907
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Open from 9:30am to 6:24pm, Monday to Saturday
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

other branch:
Terry Selection, The Podium
Lower Ground Level, 18 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
(02) 636-3513
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm


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