New Restaurant Alert: Green Pastures at Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City
Cyma’s Robby Goco has a new project and it’s about going organic!
4/F East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong City
Tel. No. 654-3219
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) After a string of successful restaurants, including Charlie's Grind & Grill and Achiote, acclaimed chef Robby Goco recently opened the doors to another one. And like the others that preceded it, Green Pastures is proving to be yet another crowd favorite.
It took a long time for Chef Robby to complete this project, but it was worth the wait.
Green Pastures is his latest pet project and it took six long years for his culinary concept to finally materialize. "After I built CYMA, I felt too restrained. I couldn't play with ingredients that are not available in the Greek pantry," confesses Robby. "Little by little, I conceptualized Green Pastures. It was supposed to be a pure organic salad bar but I knew that I would not be hitting the average check I was aiming for with just that so I decided to play around with all organic stuff. I drew up the menu about four years ago but none of the ingredients I needed were available here in the Philippines then." It may have taken quite some time for him to gather what his dishes required, but the wait surely paid off as it guaranteed a great selection of high quality ingredients from all over the country-from pako from Taal and honey from Batangas to cashews from Antipolo and Akaushi beef from Tagaytay.
Welcoming saloon-style doors.
August 30 finally saw the culmination of all his hardwork and yearslong research, as evidenced by food that's "straightforward, thoughtfully composed, locally sourced, organically focused and globally artistic." The menu reads like the credits of an all-star Filipino film, with an ensemble that includes Malagos for its goat's cheese, Katipunan Ale used in the Flounder Fish and Chips batter, and Don Papa Rum for the glaze of the Roasted Pineapple dessert. Another commercial supplier that's part of Chef Rob's cast of characters is Dinelli Gourmet, whose bacon is thrown in the Farmhouse Salad (P550) along with shredded kale, chopped romaine lettuce, konbu roast chicken, goat cheese, hard-boiled eggs, corn, avocado, and sliced grape tomatoes, all tossed in a honey mustard and dill vinaigrette. Given its multiple ingredients and variety in flavors and textures, one would assume it to be quite heavy and complex, but it is not. This signature salad is light and has not one item overpowering the others. Making full use of his lineup of fresh veg, Robby has pulled out all the stops in crafting salads that can stand on their own as a meal.
Cacio e Pepe
"We're committed to serving local, sustainable organic produce, which is the core of our restaurant. No pesticides or fertilizers, no can opener. The only ingredient that we import is our extra virgin olive oil, which is organic and from Greece," he says. "People perceive organic as flavorless and boring. The challenge for myself is how to make these ingredients taste really, really good." Well if his roster of pasta dishes is any indication of how he did, then he undeniably succeeded in addressing the challenge. The Cacio e Pepe (P355), a traditional Roman dish literally translated as "cheese and pepper" is a testament that the simplest of things, when done right, can turn out to be the best. It takes just five ingredients-black pepper, pecorino, parmegiano, fresh linguine, and evoo-to prepare and enjoy one utterly divine dish. A heavier alternative would be the Lamb Ragu (P525) with fresh tagliatelle and topped with a crown of ricotta. The soft pasta is wonderfully drenched in a rich and robust sauce that's mixed with fork-tender lamb chunks, making it a dish tailor made for indulgence; much like the hearty Braised Oxtail (P525) where the sight of fall-off-the-bone meat sitting on a bed of creamy polenta is enough to send you to a place of guilt-free comfort.
A lot of Green Pastures' items are homemade, like the passato used for the All'amatriciana, the charcuterie such as the pork pate and duck rillette, the cheddar, ricotta and stracciatella cheeses, sweet and spicy ketchup, and even their buffalo butter. He uses Ilocos kelp to attain umami flavor in his brine and broths, and duck eggs in place of the run-of-the-mill chicken like his Pinoy Eggs (P125), where a five-minute free-range egg is encased in a globe of homemade longganisa. The honey and honeycomb used in his desserts have a transparent hue since the bees get their nectar from rambutan, lanzones, and citrus fruits. And his drinks list includes a range of sake since it pairs well with organic food, as he realized upon food tasting. Robby Goco simply has got everything figured out, and he’s got all the bases covered.