Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Love at First Bite: FOO'D by Davide Oldani

Foodee Global Concepts is at it again in bringing new brands that elevate local dining experience. This time around, they introduced to the market FOO'D by Michelin-starred chef Davide Oldani. 

Hello, FOO'D
I was greeted by a very simple looking dark door with a minimalistic restaurant signage. The exterior alone exuded understated elegance. Stepping inside further reinforced the restaurant's sophisticated ambiance with its dark hued interiors and yellow lighting. 
I was greeted by Foodee Global Concepts' Eric Dee who gave me a quick tour of the restaurant and shared with me the overall concept of FOO'D. 
Eric mentioned that FOO'D remains consistent with Chef Davide Oldani's passion to provide affordable luxury food with Italian inspiration. True enough, its full course meals are indeed affordable at PHP800 for a 3-course and PHP1,200 for a 4-course meal. They also offer some upgrades for antipasto, primo, secondo and dolce at reasonable prices ranging from PHP150 to PHP550. And with his immense popularity in Madrid and a wait list of over 18 months, I was really giddy to try Chef Oldani's signature dishes.
Going back to interiors, FOO'D also has a private dining area (enclosed by a well decorated open shelf and tinted glass, with one serving as a sliding door) where diners enjoy an exclusive section of the open kitchen. There are also designated staff to wait that area. The (semi) enclosed area could accommodate around 20-30 diners at a time. 
While choosing between three and four course meals, I was greeted by Ariane, the awesome marketing head of Foodee Global Concepts. She noticed that I was alone and decided to keep me company throughout the evening. She also helped me choose my antipasto, primo, secondo and dolce. Yes, I ended up choosing a 4-course meal because I spotted risotto as one of the upgrades there which is not available in the relatively lighter course meal. 
As I wait for my appetizer, we were given some bread and breadsticks to munch on. Ariane pointed out that these were prepared in house. I took a few bites of the bread and breadsticks and both had light flavors making it nice wait snacks. 

Soon, our antipasto arrived. I chose Chef Davide Oldani's signature Cippola Caramelatta, a caramelized onion topped with a 24 months aged Grana Padano gelato and Grana Padano hot cream. 
I was very impressed with how Chef Davide Oldani turned a usual ingredient for additional flavor or garnish as the highlight of this dish. I loved the contrast of flavors between the sweet caramelized onion (which requires two days to be prepared), on a sweetened puff crust and the slightly tangy aged Grana Padano cheese. The combination of hot and cold also made my tastebuds jump with glee. I never thought that onions could taste this good!  
I ordered Milanese D'O (+PHP200) as my primo after hearing that this is again another signature dish of Chef Davide Oldani. 

This simple bowl of risotto is a combination of carnaroli (instead of the usual arborio) and saffron. I was actually expecting a dish with a bit more ingredients and was surprised with the simplicity of this dish. Described as a more Italian risotto compared to the highly recommended Riso Marsala, this dish had the characteristic tangy taste Italian cuisine is known for. And it was love at first bite for me! 
It was the comfort dish I would love to have during a cold rainy day to warm me up. I loved that the carnaroli wasn't mushy or seemingly pre-chewed like how other restaurants serve it. Here, you could still see the mid-sized grains intact. Its slight tangy flavor tickled my tastebuds and made it yearn for more. I also liked that the serving size of this course was generous. I was starting to feel full halfway through this dish hence deciding just to finish half of it to give room for the main course and dessert. However, because it was just too good, I ended up finishing my bowl of risotto
My main dish was served soon after and I was surprised that it didn’t look like your usual ribs. It was not swimming in BBQ sauce. Instead, it had porcini sauce, liquorice and topped with muscovado sugar. 
The Iberico pork rib was very tender and packed with flavor. It didn’t even need to be covered by sauce for it to be enjoyed. I also liked the crispy sides of the rib which reminded me of the classic liempo which I love. The muscovado sugar also added texture to the dish. 
Ariane made me try her Beef All’Olio (+PHP480) which was really good as well. The wagyu beef cheek was very succulent. 
I didn’t even have to exert any effort in chewing it. The bordelaise sauce gave the wagyu a beautiful sweet flavor and it was well complemented by the trout caviar and asparagus.
I was excited for dessert as Ariane kept on telling me how impressed she was with FOO’D’s Lemon Curd

When it was served, I thought that the lemon curd covered with small dehydrated meringue was paired with some vegetable. Well, the green looking bell pepper is indeed a vegetable, but it is lettuce gelato. Yes, you read it right, lettuce gelato
I’ve never had lettuce in ice cream form and it sure was interesting. It didn’t made me utter wow on my first bite but when I combined the lemon curd, cacao crumble, meringue with the peculiar gelato, magic happened. It was a harmonious play of different textures and flavors, balancing each other while at the same time letting each flavor shine. I also love the tanginess of the lemon curd which made it refreshing and the perfect treat to end a superb dinner. 
Will I go back? Definitely! But I might stick with a 3-course meal as I was so full after this one.

FOO’D by Davide Oldani is located at Shangri-La at the Fort, 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

FOO'D Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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