Saturday, February 20, 2010


3.5 out of 5 stars

Heard about this in other blogs, so I wanted to drag my friends to this new dive which opened either early this year or last year. There was much expectation from this restaurant, since an apple doesn't fall far from the proverbial tree, the tree being his father Juan Carlos di Terry who owned the popular "Terry's Selection." With everyone meeting up after-office hours, we were famished and looking forward to an authentic Moroccan experience.

The interior wouldn’t necessarily hint of its culinary origin, what with the hanging industrial lamps, whitewashed walls and sleek colorful furniture. But is certainly looked cool and hip, a great backdrop for fashionable people visiting Rockwell to dine in. Meanwhile, the menu was flirty and playful, with headings that were obviously leading innuendos. Some like it (drinks) "steamy" (hot), "dirty" (cocktails) or "complex" (wines). Or how about starting with a "tease" (appetizer) from "my green mind" (salads), where there's always "time to spoon" (soups) when you're "smack in the middle" of a situation" (sandwiches)? It follows with pasta, meat and seafood, wrapping up with dessert as a "happy ending."

My friend started with LU’s homemade paprika fries (140 PhP) as a tease, while I shared a single hummus beirouty (120 PhP) with another friend. The fries were pretty average, the fries being paired off with a citrus-mayo dip. To be honest, I preferred the cayenne fries of Good Burger, where the wedge fries had more meat to it and the flavor had more zing and spice. They also used the same side-order in LU’s naughty fish and chips (325 PhP) and Mexican steak frites (675 PhP). As for the hummus, its presentation in a clay pot was remarkable, and tasted really good considering that they didn’t skimp on the quality of the ingredients. The chickpeas were blended well with the tahini, with a splash of rich olive oil and black olives, chopped parsley, paprika and a chili fruit as garnish. But the unleavened bread that a friend commented tasted like hostia was sorely lacking, as if you had no choice but to order another side of it just to finish the hummus. It wasn’t even pleasant to re-order since the bread tasted quite raw and powdery, but we did anyway since it ran out before half of the hummus was even consumed.
LU’s homemade paprika fries (140 PhP)

hummus beirouty (120 PhP)

Good thing we ordered us some "dirty" drinks, cheekily named "diabLU" (280 PhP). A merry mix of lemon, mint and gin, it tasted fruity, masking the treacherous gin which was actually quite a lot in the drink. By the time I slurped this down, my face was heating up a bit. My only side comment was that our drinks looked like this:

But when i checked other pictures of it, it was supposed to look like this.
I think our drinks were sitting out a tad long before it was served to us. Tsk, tsk.

At least one of our companions loved his Lu’s Ultimate pork chop (520 PhP), because not everyone was too pleased with theirs. The chop was slathered with tangy orange-achuete sauce, paired with sweet potato mash and caramelized onions. It’s actually pickled onions, though in the Mexican steak frites order, they say it’s caramelized, since we had the same side order.
Lu’s Ultimate pork chop (520 PhP)

Another friend got the poached white flounder on lemon risotto (475 PhP). She enjoyed the fish thoroughly, but only toyed with her risotto, leaving a big portions untouched. She found it too wet, and didn’t agree with the way it was cooked.
poached white flounder on lemon risotto (475 PhP)

LU’s naughty fish and chips (325 PhP) was ordered by my last friend, who complained of how little it was from the get-go. It was basically 8 pieces of the same homemade paprika fries and 3 small fish sticks, with tartar and honey mustard sauce. She wasn’t blown away with it, and probably finished it in less than 10 minutes because there wasn’t much to eat with.
LU’s naughty fish and chips (325 PhP)

My Mexican steak frites (675 PhP) probably looked the most impressive, as written, the arrachera hanger steak, caramelized onions and melted cheese placed in a huge wooden block. It also contained a salad, the same paprika fries and onion rings as the starch sidings. Garnering much ooohs and aaahs from my tablemates, I didn’t feel as awestruck once I dug into it. The two steak pieces were thin and miniscule, one containing the melted cheese. They were only generous with the salad, which had a tasty vinaigrette. Even fries and onion rings were spread out so that it looked more than it seemed.
Mexican steak frites (675 PhP)

I surely spent more than a grand, while the others spent roughly a grand, but most of us still weren’t full. We ended up ordering more food in Reserve, while the others we met up with were in the middle of their nth tequila shots. Apart from the discrepancy of the price and amount of food, the service was slow and inattentive. No one minded us when we were calling out to the waiters (we drank our cocktails and ate our starters outside), two of us having to go inside and walking up to the waiters on separate occasions. We had to ask for water, because they didn’t provide us with any, and we had to call them to refill our glasses. Our entrees were at least half an hour wait, even longer for some of us. It could have been an off or busy day, but my companions said they wouldn’t be revisiting the place anytime soon. I might try this place again with another set of friends, giving benefit of the doubt that it might just be too busy at a Friday night. Hopefully, it will be a better visit since the mix of ingredients and the rich flavors of some dishes seemed promising.

Menu. Click to magnify.

LU Restaurant, Rockwell
G/F Joya Bldg., Joya Drive, Rockwell
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 403-3991
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm


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