122 Joya Lofts & Towers, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell, Makati City
Open daily from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) The simple motto of Swiss chef Daniel Humm, "Make it nice!" was the inspiration and guiding words of Made Nice Supper Club when they opened in 2016. Diners trooping to their quiet location in Legazpi Village could expect a culinary experience they wouldn't find anywhere else, with their elevated “homecooked” dishes that surprise as much as they satisfy.
Surviving a year in the ever-changing restaurant industry is no easy feat—Made Nice Supper Club made it to a year and a half. Still, a change of scenery was in order. Now called Made Nice, the restaurant moved to Rockwell Center, introducing new items on the menu. They’ve also extended their opening hours to lunchtime.
The interiors, which project class and elegance, immediately get you in the mood for quality food. "Our food is 'Asian Mediterranean,' which doesn't make any sense," says Jack Flores, who heads the kitchen with Raul Fores. "But it does cover all the bases in our menu. Before you even get past the [appetizers], you can already identify cuisines from three different countries."
The food they make is a reflection of their experiences. Most of their menu items pay homage to dishes they tried in their travels that they became fans of. "We like to say if you lock us up in a room with all the ingredients in the world, [this menu] is what we would come up with," says Fores.
One of these dishes is the Prawn Okonomiyaki (P295), a snack that Flores discovered in Hong Kong. Sliced into four crunchy pieces, this appetizer, with its drizzle of hollandaise and heaping of bonito flakes, bursts with umami.
The Scallop (P435) is also inspired by one of Flores’ travels—specifically a dish he encountered in Japan that had raw scallop with yogurt paper and lemon sauce. Flores’ version does away with the yogurt paper but adds some acids to counter the brine of the scallop. The juices of the yuzu, pomelo slices, and daikon seem to get in each other's way with every mouthful, providing an interesting play of flavors.
Don't let the simple presentation of the Pesto (P395) distract you from how painstaking the preparation behind it is. The pasta, sticky and thick, are made from Italian double-zero flour and local quail eggs that give the noodles their firmness. The pesto is handmade in a mortar and pestle, and a generous sprinkling of cheese gives the pasta lip-smacking savoriness.
The simply named Beef (P985) belies a diverse set of flavors borne from the chefs' many experiments. The Wagyu flank steak, lightly smoked, surprisingly pairs well with sweet-potato gratin and a hollandaise sauce with miso. Dip the meat in the hollandaise for a sweet balance to the beef's smoky flavor, then follow it up with a spoonful of gratin that melts in your mouth.
Some old items have found their way to the new menu, such as the crowd-favorite Octopus (P595). The plating still elicits awe, and the thick tentacle remains as tender as ever. Chili oil and tomatoes spice up the tentacle, with the tuna-based tonnato sauce giving it a multi-dimensional flavor.
The main courses can be overwhelming but indulging in the Tres Leches (P295) for dessert isn't a bad idea. The dish is plain sinful, with layers of sweetness making up the creamy frosting, blanketing a sponge cake beneath that are filled with dulce de leche.
The restaurant is planning to push new menu items and host tasting events in the future, which is something to look forward to. For the present though, their food is guaranteed to make your day a little—there's no other word for it—nicer.
Photos by Marikit Singson