Tuesday, August 30, 2016

First Bite: Birdhouse

I think I have a fairy (food) godfather in the form of Foodgrammer.ph. He got in touch with R and I again to cover yet another event—the media launch of Birdhouse in Uptown Mall. It sure is exciting to be among the first foodies to sample a new restaurant’s dishes. And I can’t help being in my fan mode being surrounded by several social media influencers. 

Hello, Birdhouse!
Before heading to Uptown Mall, I did a quick check of the restaurant and found out that Birdhouse is under Relish Group, the same team that brought Kumori, Wee Nam Kee and Osaka Ohsho to Manila. It sure made my expectation shoot up. 
The new fried chicken player is located at the food hall of Uptown Mall and it would be hard to miss Birdhouse with its very visible signage and adorable scarecrow.
After registering, we immediately took snapshots of the dishes Birdhouse offers while everyone was preoccupied indulging in their fried chicken and sandwiches
And it sure took us a while before heading back to our table and place our orders. 
We went with Barnyard D (two piece chicken, one side, one sauce and crispy chicken skin for PHP255) and Barnyard E (Salted Egg Lava Chicken Sandwich and one side for PHP290). We also got Waffle and Ice Cream with Crispy Chicken Skin (PHP150) and Peach Iced Tea (PHP60).
The iced tea was served prior to us ordering as it was an SOP of the staff to give everyone one. It was refreshing and a great drink to pair with Birdhouse’s offerings. 
It took a while before our orders were served but it was understandable given the crowd. Nonetheless, they still manage to serve ours in less than 15 minutes. 
First served was Barnyard D. We chose mac and cheese for the side and truffle ketchup for our sauce. 
It had a lovely crispy skin and oh so juicy meat. However, the skin was too salty to be enjoyed alone. I didn’t get to finish my share of the plate as another bite could make my kidneys cry. I guess the chicken’s better paired with rice to offset the saltiness. Louie, one of the owners of Birdhouse, mentioned though that it shouldn’t be that salty and took note of our comment and even offered to replace our order which we politely declined. 
The mac and cheese was good but nothing remarkable. Sadly, same goes for the truffle ketchup which had a very faint taste. 
Barnyard E was served a few minutes after the first plate and it sure looked mouthwatering. 
The owners introduced this sandwich’s patty to be hard to prepare as the deboned chicken is stuffed with salted egg yolk and then frozen till ready to be battered and fried. If cooked right, the salted egg stuffing should ooze out of the patty once bitten or sliced open. Unfortunately, ours wasn’t like lava, rather, it was more like a rockslide as the salted egg was chunky than fluid. 
Taste-wise, the chicken skin or breading was as salty as the fried chicken version. I had to remove the skin and indulged in the juicy white meat instead. The salted egg taste wasn’t that strong as well though I enjoyed its grainy texture. 

Halfway through our plates, I signalled for our dessert to be served.
It took about 10 minutes before our hot plate of waffle topped with vanilla ice cream and crispy chicken skin was served. 
I loved the contrast between the soft waffle and crunchy caramelized chicken skin. The vanilla ice cream also created a lovely contrast in terms of temperature. It may sound weird but this was my favorite that night.
I hope that they learn to be more consistent before they open to the public this September 1 (Thursday). If only they lessen the saltiness of the breading and master creating salted egg lava, Birdhouse would be a very promising establishment.

I’ll still give this place another chance. So see you in September, Birdhouse!

Birdhouse is located at Food Hall, 4th Floor, Uptown Mall, 9th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Birdhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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