I have a been a bit busy with an upcoming shoot for one of my clients, Haagen-Dazs, but still no excuse why I haven’t been posting recipes here the past couple of weeks. I still have a few recipes that I’ve been meaning to post, but I’m taking a break from the work kitchen and so here I am to share my latest restaurant discovery! I enjoy eating out every once in a while just to check out the latest trends in food, what’s good-what’s not, and at the same time find inspiration for my own styling and recipes. Last week I finally got the chance to try out Phat Wong– casual dining and Asian-inspired menu by, none other than, Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad’s. I have never tried the food at Lolo Dad’s, but being one of the top fine-dining restos in the metro, I was pretty confident that Phat Wong is not that far behind.
Located at the LRI Bldg. at Nicanor Garcia St. in Makati, the place is decorated with several paintings (also for sale) by different artists hanging on the walls and bright intricate lamps adorned the ceilings. They have an open kitchen where you can see the chefs prepare and plate your food, always a plus for me to see what’s going on behind the scenes. The menu is simple and straightforward, around 3 entries per category ranging from appetizers, salads, noodles, oriental sandwiches, house specialties, and desserts. It’s a mix of Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese with interesting combinations such as “Pinoy Duck Mami” and “The Oriental Burger” (Ground U.S. Sirloin on Pandesal with White Cheese, Mushrooms, Bean Sprouts and Crispy Onions) There were no photos on the menu, but the descriptions already tickled my taste buds I wished I was a bottomless pit that day so I can try them all in one sitting. But I wasn’t, so our menu of choice for the day were:
Deep Fried Shiitake Mushroom Roll (Php 170). These are so crunchy and I really love mushrooms, so I’m already a big fan of this simple appetizer.
Shrimps, Pomelo and Young Coconut, in Coconut Milk and Lime Dressing (P270) Definitely a crowd-pleaser from presentation to that perfect freshness of young coconut meat. It had a very subtle coconut milk and cilantro/lime dressing. The fresh coconut bowl is a first for me but a great twist to a somewhat common dish. I love this salad but I thought they can have more dressing on the side for people who want more tang to their salad.
Grilled Baby Back Ribs Tocino with Garlic and Vinegar Sauce (P325) This is the best Tocino ever! The ribs were perfectly cooked, soft, juicy, and not at all greasy. The flavor was just right, subtly sweet and set-off perfectly by the garlic vinegar sauce. The house specialty was Hainanese Chicken but I have no regrets I picked this for our main course. I never thought something so simple as Tocino can be made into something so delicious and filling.
And Desserts of Baked Meringue on Mango and Bananas with Pandan Cream. This is the perfect dessert for me, creamy and sweet and fresh and cool. Need I say more?
and another Tapioca dessert with Coconut Cream. I’m not a big fan of tapioca, so I give this dessert an okay recommendation. I wish they had something like Creme Brulee with an Asian twist or a flan…Hmm something I can hint to Chef Marge next time I bring my friends to the resto 🙂 Chef Marge Villena is the sous chef who was very sweet to come and sit with us after our meal, and share about her long kitchen experience working with Chef Ariel all the way back when she started at Lolo Dad’s.
Servings were big enough to share for two, and by the end of our lunch I was already so full. Prices are very reasonable considering the quality of food they serve. I’m definitely coming back with some foodie friends in tow.