CHECK IT OUT: Woodfire Bistro at Rockwell, Makati

Pizza, pasta, and so much more!

Woodfire Bistro
G/F Joya Lofts & Towers, Rockwell, Makati City
Tel. No. 511-7484
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Bricks and wood make for a rustic affair to match that smoky aroma

( Woodfire Bistro smells like smoke. A kind of mouthwatering smoke that reminds us of barbecue, grill, roast, and brings about pangs of hunger, even when we’ve just eaten an hour before. The smell comes from the wood-fired brick oven where some of the most delicious pizzas this side of Makati are baking. That’s what Woodfire does (and does well, we feel obligated to mention): pizzas and handmade pasta.



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The pizza dough is chewy and handmade and though each slice precariously bends from the weight of the toppings, it doesn’t give. Mouths water automatically with every slice of the Quattro Formagi (P495). It’s exceptionally gooey, with long cheesy strands that don’t seem intent on detaching from the rest of the pie. Ricotta tries for balance as it subdues a sharp trio of pecorino, gorgonzola, and provolone. The sum is a rich formulation with a shot of biting cheese now and then, preventing it from being overwhelming.


A different kind of richness, meanwhile, is flaunted in the Tutto Carne (P495). Smoked bacon and Italian sausage are tied together beautifully by mozzarella, but what makes this bestseller truly special is the chewy bits of guanciale, bacon made with pig jowl. It’s not for the calorie-conscious, but we’re quite certain that even the most determined dieters would succumb to a bite, at least.



The Tutto Carne is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

As for pasta, each plate features  fresh handmade noodles that are nice, firm, and chewy. The  Black Tagliatelle (P375) displays al dente to perfection. The squid-ink-infused pasta shows off that touch of brine without the embarrassing don’t-eat-this-on-a-date-or-in-public black sauce and complements the overflowing motley of mussels, shrimp, and of course squid. It might come off as a bit "fishy" for those who aren’t fans of that particular flavor but for those who are willing, it’s a delightful dish that doesn’t scrimp on flavor. If not, the Carbonara (P295) is always a consistent crowd-pleaser.



A tangle of squid, mussels, shrimps, and pasta


There are other options, of course, if you’re not up for carbs: the Con Pomodoro (P175) screams fresh with its tangy top note; though not as creamy as one would think, especially with ricotta, chunks of red tomato and whole basil leaves giving it extra dimension in terms of flavor and texture. Woodfire also has an assortment of cold cuts and cheeses to choose from (P395 to P895). Make sure to order this early, like say, lunchtime. The bestselling deli meats, like several other dishes, sell out fast.



Whimsical tiramisu

If it’s true that they save the best for last, the Tiramisu (P225) has got to be the best thing Woodfire has to offer. We don’t know about that-the pizza and pasta are putting up a good fight-but it’s a good ending to this Italian affair. The tiramisu actually arrived late in the menu, conceived two months after opening. Better late than never we guess, but the cliches end there: lady fingers and mascarpone appear marbled into the cake compared to the conventionial layered presentation. It’s thick and structurally sound (none of the layers slide off), with the macarpone melting in your mouth, giving way to the crumb of bread and pique of coffee. Delicious, but we hope they don’t run out. 

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