Sunday, February 24, 2008

BISTRO FILIPINO

2.5 out of 5 stars

Bistro Filipino is a restaurant that infuses Philippine cuisine with fine dining sensibilities. More often than not, Philippine restaurants are casual grilleries or are cafeteria-like. But Chef Laudico’s baby is able to transform Philippine cuisine into even finer dining, with the fancy interiors, high-end ingredients and impeccable service.

This restaurant has a unique and novel concept, and I’m sure there was a lot of thought put into the brainstorming of Bistro Filipino. Regrettably, it wasn’t the idea, but the dishes that didn’t fly with us.

Pao had the Binagoongan Crispy Pork (348 PhP). Described as, “Boneless crispy pork with creamy bagoong sauce served with grilled onions, tomatoes and asparagus with garlic tumeric rice,” it looked much nicer than it tasted. As seen in the picture, it was presented very nicely, with the pork and asparagus placed at a nice height, the sauce swirled around the pork and vegetables in a clean manner. I would definitely pay for the way the dished looked. But Pao commented on how he didn’t like the way the bagoong mixed with the rest of the ingredients of the dish. And he wasn’t alone.

Binagoongan Crispy Pork

I had the Mushroom Sautee with Crispy Pigeon Salad (298 PhP). Described as “Crispy adobo pigeon served on warm alugbati and kamote greens tossed in balsamic adobo vinaigrette on garlic mushrooms,” it looked better on paper than on plate. Presentation was messy, with parsley sprinkled haphazardly all over the dish. The mushroom sautee of what seemed like oyster mushrooms flanked the four corners of the square-sided plate. The wilted vegetables was the base for the pigeon that lay on the center. I found the vegetables too oily, and the pigeon wasn’t crispy at all. I didn’t like the way they combined the adobo sauce to the vinaigrette, and it tasted too salty and heavy for a salad. I only finished the mushrooms on the side, as salad itself was too heavy and oily to finish. (I forgot to take a picture of my salad, sorry.)

Julia got the Adobo Overload with Seared Foie Gras (748 PhP). The menu says that it’s, “seared foie gras on steamed chicken adobo, sticky rice in banana leaf, topped with pork adobo flakes and adobong kangkong.” As you can see from the picture, the dish looks a little scattered. My friend Bern, got this dish before and hated how they “butchered” the foie gras with the adobo. When I tasted this, I found the adobo overpowering. I didn’t eat the foie gras, but it could be easily inferred that foie gras would be overshadowed by the adobo sauce. Not my favorite dish.
Adobo Overload with Seared Foie Gras

Enzo said that he got a chicken dish that was actually good. Goes to show the hit-or-miss factor of this resto. To be fair, we also got another appetizer that was delicious. It’s called Sisig Basket (228 PhP) where it’s “spicy pork sisig in mini crisy rice baskets with quail’s egg and chicharon.” Its presentation was fun, where the tiny rice baskets with the sisig and chicharon was served in shotglass. Around six of these shotglasses were put on a metal stand with rotating arms. The vinegar was placed on the top of the metal stand. So you eat it in a step-by-step manner, or at least, that’s how we did it. Get the vinegar and place it on the rice baskets. After you eat the rice basket (in one gulp), shoot it down with the quail egg. Or you can also place the quail egg on top of the basket, but then that’d be messy. To make things short, we enjoyed eating as well as the eating process of this dish.

Sisig Basket

Pao and I also chose to get dessert. Every time we see molten chocolate lava cake or any of its variations, we always choose to get it because we’re such suckers for that type of dessert. Nothing beats gooey, rich chocolate with a moist but firm crust. Whether it be in fancy places like Aubergine or Lemuria, or cozy and simple places like Angel’s Kitchen, Fleur de Lys or even Delifrance, we’re always sure of getting our fill of lava cake. So no surprise there when we chose Molten Chocolate (198 PhP) described as “Belgian molten chocolate cake with carabao vanilla ice cream center.”

Much to our dismay, they served us with a deflated chocolate cake, even if it did take 15 minutes to make. The waiters were very apologetic about it, and I guess they didn’t want to return it back in the kitchen cos they’d have to pay for it. Being that they were very nice about it, we let this mistake go, and ate it anyway. The strawberry sauce that surrounded the dessert was delicious, though I didn’t taste much of that carabao ice cream filling that it touted to have. The cake was still good even if it collapsed, but I found it too little. Pao and I probably finished this with 3 scoopfuls each.

deflated Molten Chocolate

This is one of those restos that you’d try at least once for the novelty of it. But I wouldn’t do a second visit unless they revamp the taste of some of the dishes. The concept of blending Philippine taste with complicated cooking techniques is wonderful, but the execution isn‘t completely there yet. Hopefully, they’ll take this constructive advice and be able to elevate Philippine dishes to new heights…..successfully.

click menu to magnify
appetizers.salads.soups.






meat. seafood. dessert.






Chef Laudico's Bistro Filipino, The Fort
Bistro Filipino, Net One Building, The Fort
Taguig City, Metro Manila
(02) 856-0634

*Be sure to reserve before dining.

11 comments:

Hiro said...

that was a sad chocolate cake

Today, Manila. Tomorrow, the world! said...

hiro: Yup, it definitely was sad....and finished in a few spoonfuls cos it was flat :(

aznpoptart said...

i interviewed chef lau recently. i actually liked bistro but then i have heard some horror stories. i just found the waiters to be really slow.

graey eats said...

aznpoptart: Really, for a newspaper/magazine? I read your blog and you write so well that I assume you must do it professionally.

The service is slow, but unlike you, I still not too fond of Bistro, unfortunately. I've gone back with different sets of friends several times, and still don't find the price commensurate for the taste of the food.

aznpoptart said...

magazine. it'll be the last story for awhile though. i just accepted an offer for a marketing position in this new publishing company. etiquette will not permit me to contribute elsewhere. hehe. no complaints though because the money is much better and i get to write in my new blog about american idol, mariah carey, etc... which is way more fun!! haha. :D

whiffandasip said...

I must agree. Bistro Filipino is a hit or miss. I was raving about their sinigang on my very first visit. But sadly, it didn't taste as good on our second try =( The prices just don't justify the taste of food being served.
Very good concept though. I hope things still improve. This is the type of Fil resto I would be eager to introduce to visitors as long as dishes are improved.

graey eats said...

whiffandasip: TRUE! it is a hit or miss! Like you, I appreciate the fact that Laudico is trying to upscale the Filipino cuisine, much like Celadon in NY City. Even if only for that reason, I hope he's ablt to improve Bistro Filipino.

Anonymous said...

HAHA! I hate Bistro Filipino too after having a really bad anniversary dinner there. It's all mostly hype. I tried the adobo foie gras too. Bleh.

Anonymous said...

the food was great as well as the place but the waiters were really slow......

graey eats said...

anonymous December 28, 2008 : That's what a bunch of my other friends said. Maybe it only gets better when Laudico's around.

anonymous January 1, 2009 : Well, at least you had a better experience than some of us :)

Kirstz said...

I always want to eat foods in a Filipino restaurants and this one is really interesting. I am craving for those foods and I like them all especially sisig (hmmmm). I know now how to cook it. Anyway, thanks for sharing it. It my pleasure.^_^

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