New Restaurant Alert: M Bistro at Eastwood Mall, Quezon City
Chef Katrina Kuhn Alcantara has added another baby to her Mesclun franchise.
G/F Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City
Tel. No. 900-0503
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Mesclun is a restaurant you can't quite put a finger on. It's not Filipino, it's not Japanese, it's not classic American, either. There are pizzas, rice plates, and sandwiches, as well as dishes like Sisig Spaghetti and Yakuza Chicken. Chef Katrina Kuhn Alcantara is French-trained, but her restaurants are a reflection of her own style, which is to say, mesclun or "mixed." Her dishes are spunky-just like her.
The habit-forming Andre’s Poke
The Escargot flaunt a beautiful balance of garlicky and salty tones.
M Bistro is the third of her Mesclun franchise, and, with its tighter space and brighter ambiance, the most casual of the three. Bread is one of her fortes, all freshly baked in house. Trust anything with bread on the menu, particularly the Andre's Poke (P345). Fresh tuna ceviche comes with soy sesame dressing and sriracha mayonnaise, delighting you with nutty saltiness before that tickle of heat. The accompanying crostinis work well to emphasize the flavor, but try to dab some of the complimentary roll as well. The soft-on-soft texture, with the crisp lining of the bread, is a different experience. A touch more exotic is the plate of Escargot (P345), swimming in garlic-parsley butter. You'll be dipping your bread into the melted butter long after the snails have gone.
Four Cheese Pizza
Wild Ulang Thermidor (P795)
From the complexity of the poke to the comfort of a good pizza, or two, in this case. Chef Katrina uses a sourdough crust to give her traditional combinations an edge. Mesclun cultivates the yeast and bakes the dough in a brick oven, painting a layer of smokiness to mask some of that sourness. The Anchovies (P295) pizza flaunts a milder profile that impressively manages to balances out the saltiness with tomato sauce, mozzarella, capers, and basil. The Four Cheese (P345) is a much more intense blend of goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Fontina, and mozzarella. Cream sauce adds richness to an already luscious affair.
Guava Pork Adobo
We love the choice of seashell pasta with the clams.
Pastas are in modest portions, which makes Mesclun such an ideal date place. The Clam Vodka (P395) comes highly recommended, with heavy flavors from the tomato cream sauce and a generous serving of Manila clams. Another must-try is the Guava Pork Adobo (P345), which, for a popular dish Filipinos that have on their table often, gives us something new to look forward to.
Think of it as an upscale nilagang corned beef-only much, much better.
Mesclun's piece de resistance is the House Cured Corned Beef (P595), which Chef Katrina swears by. Chunks of tender corned beef wade over a cooking broth with potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. There's enough of that savory stock to provide a variety in the profile, but the Pommery mustard gives it a delectable bite. It comes with a side of rice pilaf so you can come to the restaurant, order this solitary dish, and leave feeling mollified.
A chorus of gelati
Flourless chocolate cake, with the scoop of ice cream giving it a creamy finish
As with the other restaurants that Chef Katrina handles (Chuck's Deli, the now-defunct Culliere), dessert is always something to be excited about. Her gelati are like velvet, with flavors like Bailey's, Chocolate, Avocado, and more. Or, you can just hit two birds with one stone and order the flourless chocolate cake a la mode. The cake is compact, but surprisingly light and smooth, with the scoop of ice cream giving off that cool hit. Oh yes, we'll have the cake, and eat it, of course.