Thursday, February 18, 2016

First Bite: Soil Modern Dining

The words “softopening” attracts me like a fly to light and the thought of being one of thefirst ones to sample a new restaurant’s offerings delights me… a lot. And just like any typical night, I browsed through the looloo app and a review caught my attention. Soil Modern Dining, a new player in Molito is on its soft opening. It was just perfect as I was going to visit my aunt who lives in Alabang that weekend and R was game to head there for early dinner. Yay!

Hello, Soil Modern Dining.
We were greeted by nice modern, industrial interiors and I was instantly charmed by its simple yet beautiful table setting. 
Since we got there a tad too early (Soil resume operations at 6PM for dinner service), we decided to just wait outside and enjoy the cool breeze. We headed back after 20 minutes and took the bar seats, right across the open kitchen.
We ordered Bone Marrow Escargot Spread with Lemon Brioche and Onions (PHP180) for appetizer, Tea Smoked Salmon with Potato Gnocchi, Atchara and Orange (PHP335) and Pan Seared Duck with Fresh Pasta, Foie Gras and Mangoes (PHP400) for mains and Basil Lemonade with Blueberries (PHP80) and Warm Tarragon Tea with Star Anise Syrup (PHP80) for drinks.
While waiting for our meals, we were given complementary malunggay bread with seaweed butter. It was served warm and it sure hit the spot. I loved the softness of the bread and the lovely crunch of the crust. I also fell in love with the subtle salty taste of the butter. It was great!

I was still savoring the delightful bread and spread when our appetizer arrived.
I loved the wooden serving plate where the bone marrow was placed. It added a bit of warmth (aesthetically) to the food.
I scrapped a bit of bone marrow, sprinkled a bit of salt and spread it on a piece of bread and it tasted… oily. The taste of the bone marrow escargot was very weak and it was overpowered by the buttered bread. I then realized that this dish is best to be enjoyed without the bread or have a bite of it after getting a taste of the bone marrow escargot. Without the bread, it was actually a tasty dish. It was still oily but it had a nice light taste perfect for an appetizer.

My Tea Smoked Salmon was served next and it was a lovely sight.
The salmon was cooked just right. It wasn’t overly cooked hence leaving the rather small slab of salmon very fresh and moist. It was like enjoying salmon aburi! I also enjoyed the potato gnocchi which was so soft and slightly seasoned to give more flavor to the dish.
The unique atchara (made with some wild greens instead of shredded papaya relish) gave a nice sweet taste and the salted egg cream added a bit of saltiness. It was a great balance of flavors and definitely a must order dish.

While munching on the last pieces of salmon, I saw R’s dish being plated and I was surprised with the very thick fresh pasta they twirled around the plate.
Served hot, the dish had a very inviting aroma. I first took a bite of the duck confit and it was very sweet and overwhelming for my palate. I instantly took a huge chunk of the very firm pasta with foie gras purée to offset the taste. Yes, it’s purée. Kind of makes a foie gras lover sad right? It’s not even thick enough to be considered pâté. At least it did balance the sweet taste of the topping.
The pan seared duck was slightly tough and a bit bland. I’m not sure if it’s intentional and the reason why the duck confit having a very strong flavor but I wished it was seasoned a bit more and softer. I loved the texture of the mushrooms though. But I will not order this one again.
For our drinks, mine had a strong basil taste and a sharp tart from the blueberries.
I didn’t get to taste R’s warm tea but he said that it was good and soothing.
Overall, it was a good meal. I will definitely be back for more salmon.

Pro Tip(s): Do not visit the place with an empty stomach as serving size is not that big. Also, get the bar seats so that you get to see the action.

Soil Modern Dining is located at Unit 16, Molito Lifestyle Building, Madrigal Avenue corner Alabang Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Contact them at 802 27 92 for inquiries or reservation. 

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

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