Refinery has new coffee, loose teas, and a killer Bacon French Toast
There are fresh things on the menu that will make your tummy happy.
G/F Joya Lofts and Towers, Joya Drive, Rockwell, Makati City
Open daily from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) When tasked with adding new items to the menu, Refinery's chef Hatch Bogedon used his limitations to power his creativity. "The kitchen is tiny!" he exclaims, his braces gleaming. "So, I just had to work with what I already have, using equipment that is already there."
Notice the new items on the shelves?
Their popular brunch menu and stellar coffee line-up had people flocking to this eatery on a quiet street in Rockwell. In the evenings, Refinery turns into a buzzing watering hole where early millennials gather to blow off steam. Regulars love their poached eggs and grilled cheese, but co-owner Bernice Tenchavez admits it's time for an update. "We have been serving our new dishes for a couple of months now. But, since we have a new supplier for our coffee and loose teas, we decided to just introduce them all together."
One of the new items is the third wave cafe's 2AM Coffee ("You'll be awake until 2 a.m.," Bernice kids), which is the fragrant stuff that dribbles out of their espresso machine these days. What catches our eye, though, is the Guatemala la Maravilla from their selection of Single Origin beans, which Bernice recommends to be extracted using the Chemex (P200) method. Aside from the pageantry of its tableside service, the coffee itself captivates with its bold and complex flavors of "bright sugarcane and matcha."
Mint Iced Tea
If tea is more your, well, cup of tea (sorry, we can't help ourselves), Refinery also serves up a fine selection of loose leaves steeped in nifty contraptions. Watch as their Jasmine Pearls (P180) unfurl in hot water, then you transfer the infusion into your cup not by pouring but by placing the bottom of the pot over the cup. Press down, and out comes the fragrant tea minus the spillage. Genius.
But it's the new additions that pique our interests. Yes, there is that Roasted Vegetable Benedict (P260) and the Bacon and Egg Croissant (P265), which are good and relatively light starts to the day, but what will have us Uber-ing to Rockwell is the Bacon French Toast (P335), battered and butter-fried brioche cuddling melted mozzarella, cheddar, and maple smoked bacon. Unlike other French toasts that are swimming in syrup, the sweetness of this one is nuanced, coming from both the bacon and the generous cup of vanilla cream it comes with.
Bacon French Toast
Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese
For those who want flavor without the pork (yes, they walk among us), Chef Hatch has added some smoked salmon dishes to your options. The Smoked Salmon Grilled Cheese (P475) is pleasantly salty, with a side of chunky tomato soup for added tang. For your carb fix, the Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta (P395) delivers both decadence and comfort.
Tenchavez proudly announced that they make their own chili con carne, and it has found its home in both the Chili Cheese Skillet Wedges (P250) and their Chili Burger (P410). Refinery's version of chili fries is wild and rich, allowing the thick potato wedges to luxuriate in the chili and cheese mixture. As for the burger, it is composed of premium Kitayama beef patty on a brioche bun, served with slaw and potato wedges. On its own, this is already looking good. But, with some good chili on-hand, we don't see why they shouldn't pile it on that bad boy.
Chili Cheese Skillet Wedges
Refinery has also proven to be the kranky PMS-er's sanctuary, thanks to their over-the-top desserts like the S'mores (P285), which used to be a special but is now on the regular menu (for these -ber months, at least) due to popular demand. Large enough for a family of five, this campfire-side dessert of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows is placed on a skillet and baked until brown and gooey. The toasted crust is mocha-colored perfection; inside, it is hot and sticky and glorious. They say it's for sharing, but of course that is optional.
We were still fantasizing about that vanilla cream, and so we were glad it found its way into the Banana Turnover (P270). Chef Hatch calls it a dressed-up turon ("Hello, we're in Rockwell!"), but we believe it's much more than a rehashed Filipino snack. With its crackly pastry, heavenly vanilla cream, and caramelized bananas, it's more like the love child of a Kumori Krone and a banana foster.
When the sun begins to set, Refinery takes on its fun, sexy persona and serves up some crafty, grown-up libations. Try their bubbly cocktail, the French Lavander 75 (P280), if you're feeling demure and feminine. For something a bit stiffer, the Seagrams Sweet Tea Vodka (P180) should do the trick. Craft Beer guru Jim Araneta also supplies them with small-batch beers coming from everywhere from the U.S. to Japan. But, really you don't need to wait until happy hour for this. Refinery imposes no rules. "If we serve coffee at 11 p.m., why can we not serve alcohol in the morning?" Bernice rhetorics. We totally and unequivocally agree.
Photos by Jericho San Miguel