(SPOT.ph) If you didn’t already know, here at SPOT.ph, we love food. You need it to live, but we find that there are some dishes that go well past the virtue of necessity. While others content themselves with a deep fryer and the usual salt and pepper, there are some who make-or at least try to make-an art out of it, with delicious displays and even yummier flavors. We believe those that go above and beyond their duty deserve necessary recognition. So here are our top picks among the dishes we ate throughout October.
This list is not ranked.
Lung Hin’s Sauteed Beef and Foie Gras
Marco Polo’s signature Chinese restaurant knows how to upgrade Chinese cuisine. From the place that gave us gold-speckled shrimp dumplings comes the classic beef (P680) boosted with slivers of heavenly, deep-fried foie gras. It’s the epitome of balance with softness, chewiness, and crunch. Generous leaves of bokchoy round out the richness from the proteins.
Lung Hin is at 44/F Marco Polo Manila, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas, Pasig City.
Mecha Uma’s Omakase
Just how do we pick from Chef Bruce Rickett’s 10-piece culinary showcase? Mecha Uma is best enjoyed as a tasting menu for you to realize the thought process that goes behind each dish. From potato breads with oysters and uni to cochinillo with squid ink and pig’s blood, this omakase is an hour-long experience that takes your palate on a sensorial adventure.
Mecha Uma is at RCBC Savings Bank Corporate Tower, 25th Street corner 26th, Bonifacio Global City.
Locavore’s Boneless Pork Belly
You think you know pork belly (P550), but the folks at Locavore know how to keep your taste buds alert. Instead of the usual stuffed roll of pork, Chef Kel Zaguirre brines it overnight, cooks it confit for another five hours, roasts it quickly, then fries it. The sliced layers of crispy skin, melting strings of fat, and tender meat rest on a puddle of sauce made with the same herbs typically used to flavor Cebu lechon.
Locavore is at 10 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Marufuku’s Kaki Motoyaki
The first mouthful is the test for any dish. Do you want a second or do you push the plate away? But how about a dish that’s literally just a spoonful? Marufuku has an entire menu of new dishes, but it’s this nibble of a dish that really sets the pace for this Japanese restaurant. An enormous Hiroshima oyster is grilled, painted lightly with miso-tinged mayonnaise, then placed on a soup spoon sitting on a bed of salt. It’s simple, natural, but absolutely delicious. Marufuku proves that one bite is enough to create an impression.
Marufuku is at G/F Crescent Building, San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City.
Chelsea Kitchen’s Hot Tapa French Dip
If comfort food could have a face, Chef Kalel Chan’s latest sandwich would be a major contender. Instead of serving tapa with rice, Chelsea Kitchen stuffs a freshly made baguette with so much of the beloved cured meat that they spill over the sides. It comes with thicker-than-usual French onion soup for you to coat it in that slightly spicy sweetness. Totally yum!
Chelsea Kitchen is at G/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
8 Cuts’ Bleu
8 Cuts has a new branch in Serendra, but old habits die hard. One of their signature items, Bleu, is an old reliable we just can’t stop ordering. It’s one of their messier burgers, and we love how all the juices and oils leak out only to be absorbed by the super soft brioche bun. The Steak Cut Blend patty (sirloin and chuck) is meaty enough to be brightened by the sweetness of caramelized onions and the fresh lollo rossa greens. Crispy leeks break that can-be overwhelming taste of blue cheese. This one just hits all the proportions perfectly.
8 Cuts Burger Blends has branches in UP Town Center, Quezon City; SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City; Trinoma, Quezon City; Rockwell, Makati City; and Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.
Locavore’s Lapu-Lapu Kinilaw
Yup, we had to pick two. Chef Mikel Zaguirre took his liberties with his ceviche (P220). Nearly a third of the menu is made up of this tarty seafood dish and he uses everything from tuna to tanigue to shrimp. It’s a little bit on the raw side, making the blend of spices and ingredients all the more crucial to make the protein taste absolutely right. The Lapu-Lapu, with pomelo bits, shallots, and bell peppers, has a more sweetish side that makes each forkful extra delightful. The best part of the kinilaw is that it’s only the beginning to Chef Mikel’s more complex dishes: pancit Luglog and turon are Frenched up to maximize flavor and presentation.
Locavore is at 10 Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
Tuan Tuan’s Curry with US Premium Beef Ribs
Is it the strips of the tenderest beef? The sneaky cubes of potatoes? Or really just that bright yellow-green mixture of perfect, teasing heat? We’re going for the last one. Tuan Tuan uses the award-winning recipe of Mui Garden from Vancouver, and their version of this Asian classic is widely appealing: hot enough to matter but tame enough to please anybody. The best part is that when you have some curry left over, you can get an extra side dish (the Ox Tongue, perhaps?) and stretch your meal. Now, pass the rice!
Tuan Tuan is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.
Indulgence by Irene’s Calamansi Cheesecake
Already recognized for her luscious cheesecakes, Irene Co adds another stellar variation to her list: the sharp flavor of calamansi cuts through the richness of her incredibly luscious cheesecake. It’s a wonderful and most welcome break to her Ube and Queso de Bola cheesecakes.
For orders, contact Indulgence by Irene at 0922-830-3900, 0917-622-5800.
Wildflour's Strawberry Shortcake
We love their chocolate cake, but this fluffy sponge cake slathered in light vanilla-flavored cream, punctuated with chunks of real strawberries is like biting into a sweet, indulgent cloud. At P195, one huge slice is a steal great for sharing, but we're pretty sure you'd be able to finish one all on your own.
Wildflour is at Bonifacio Global City and The Podium