16/F Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Contact: 955-8888, 988-2988, 0917-679-4567; www.discoveryprimea.com
Open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) Discovery Primea’s newest dining destination, Flame, is nestled 16 floors up, offering a fantastic view of the Makati cityscape. With breathtaking interiors and a menu that finds the middle ground between sophisticated and playful, it gives customers a different kind of high.
View from the top
The large "living" chandelier with plants is the first thing you'll notice. Your eyes then sweep through the full bar area with fine wines and liquor, and then to the open kitchen where diners are treated to a front-row view of chefs prepping the food. Flame is an experience for all the senses.
A fantastic start is their Asian Beef Carpaccio (P390). Thin layers of beef are topped with wasabi nuts, Sriracha, and soy vinaigrette. Every forkful is an explosion of flavor, the richness from the multiple sauces amplifying the tender meat. When your taste buds hit the nuts, you get the faintest nudge from wasabi.
Asian Beef Carpaccio
Quezo de Bola & Hamon
Flame's Quezo de Bola & Hamon (P420), on the other hand, summons memories of Christmas. Both homey and festive at the same time, the sharpness of the cheese is eased by the pieces of sweet ham. You'll be mopping up the contents of the plate in no time.
Seafood lover or not, it's almost a crime to skip the Pan-Seared U.S. Scallops (P790), served with a porcini mushroom marmalade and mirin glaze. A real crowd pleaser, this dish is all about nuanced flavors and textures, allowing all the attention to be kept on the seafood.
Pan-Seared U.S. Scallops
Pan-Seared Foie Gras
Follow it up with the Pan-Seared Foie Gras (price upon request). Foie gras always impresses and Flame cooks flawlessly. Pro tip: Toss in some nori tempura if you're looking for a change in texture or the teriyaki eggplant to embellish some sweetness.
Braised U.S. Short Ribs
Then, there are the attention-grabbing Braised U.S. Short Ribs (P890), which melt effortlessly in your mouth. Flame goes against more usual combinations and bolsters their beef with a kick from mustard seeds and a punch from the ginger tamarind sauce. The bold flourishes really highlight the meat.
Pan-Roasted Duck Breast
Anyone who loves duck will fall head over heels for the Pan-Roasted Duck Breast (P1,200). The duck is cooked to a beautiful doneness (read: still juicy), then served on a bed of pumpkin puree. The sweetness from the pumpkin counters the bird's heavy profile, while charred leeks infuse a nice smokiness into the mix, too. The best part? The spiced honey glaze that rounds out all those flavors.
Despite the beef and the foie gras and the duck clamoring for stomach space, Flame also has an extensive dessert menu that you need to leave room for, complete with a cheese section. Instead of taking the easy route with pieces of cheese, nuts, and fruits, Flame has come up with sensational after-meal concoctions. Take the Taleggio (P390), for instance. The aromatic cheese packs tangy and fruity notes, complementing the homemade apricot and cherry mostarda. Wine is in order.
Apple, Apple, Apple!
For a more straightforward dessert, there's the Apple, Apple, Apple! (P320). Caramelized apples are encased in cinnamon puff pastry served with some calvados cream. It's not hard to imagine sitting at a table, admiring the view with a couple of plates of this to accompany you.
Photos by Eugene Constantino