New Restaurant Alert: Terraz Meetings and Bistro at Zuellig, Makati City
Business meetings were never this delectable.
Terraz Meetings and Bistro
3/F Zuellig Building, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City
Tel. No. 625-4831, 625-4832
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) For something as traditional as steak and frites, Terraz’s is a pleasure. The Australian rib-eye, cooked to the customer’s preference, is pushed to the background next to the tall, toasted pyramid of thinner-than-shoestring potatoes that has everyone-even the power-suited businessmen who make up the restaurant’s clientele-transfixed.
Steak and Frites, complete with three dips
Chef Arnold Gozon is one of those chefs who see the kitchen as a playground, doing more to cuisine than adding a different kind of spice or an extra mint leaf in the garnish. He makes a Cousin Itt out of potatoes because he doesn’t like the normal wedges, he infuses beets into pasta to give them a pretty pop of color, he shapes the spring roll like a tostada just because he can.
Spring rolls, two ways
The food at Terraz Meetings and Bistro is difficult to pin down. The menu is decidedly concise, with Asian, Western, Filipino, and a little bit of fusion. Apart from keeping within the eco-friendly standards set by Zuellig, which is certified platinum by the US Green Building Council, "we have to be able to cater to everything our clients want," says Gozon. "Our menu has to be international. The customers are mostly expatriates who work in the building," he adds. The Crispy Asian Spring Roll (P180), though featuring the lively intricacies of Asian cuisine, has the kind of flavor that everyone can appreciate. Sesame slaw rests inside a crispy thin rice pouch while sweet chili dip, which you have to pour onto the crackly vegetable offering in this case, completes the picture.
Roasted Rosemary Chicken (extra risotto, please)
The House-made Pappardelle (P225) is pleasantly light for pasta. The saffron that gives the pappardelle a unique yellow-orange hue hints at the perfumed, sweetish-bitter flavor that only good saffron can make pleasant. A slice of grilled salmon gives it that textural component and a sprig of alfalfa crowns it with an earthy finish. The Steak and "Frites" (P1,250), Chef Gozon’s favorite, is, of course, a toothsome tease to the senses, but another bestseller is the Roasted Rosemary Chicken (P395). A much cheaper option for a taste of Terraz’s culinary potential, the quarter chicken is fragrant, with the wild berry red wine sauce tempering that strong piny pungence. The mushroom risotto underneath is a piece of magic that goes beyond words.
Yes, it is quite possible to come up with a cake this good: Impossible Cake
Brazo de Ube
Desserts are carried over from Terraz’s sister Raintree restaurants (Kabila, Chelsea, etc.), which is to say they’re, as usual, incredible. The Impossible Cake (P195) still impossibly moist and good, the Brazo de Ube still breathtaking. The drinks, always a Raintree specialty, include the Zuellig Zling (P195), London gin, kirsch, lemon-lime, and pineapple; and Watermelon Lambanog (P195), watermelon, Pinoy vodka, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, and cucumber.
Earthy colors are both classy and comforting.
The drinks are perfect against Terraz’s sophisticated backdrop designed by Easy Studio. It’s straightforward, but comfortable-soft leather chairs in green and yellow as well as plush booths that tempt one to kick back if not for the impeccably suited men and women around-perfect for afternoon-long meetings that require a good cocktail to get through. Paintings by Soler Santos mimic the soft curves of the building, tying the venue with the beautiful Zuellig landscape. Behind the restaurant proper, a row of conference rooms promotes that same snazzy air of relaxed confidence.
There’s a "no slippers allowed" policy, but for Chef Gozon’s steak and risotto, we’d gladly wear dress shoes and slick back our hair.