Thursday, March 7, 2019

Love at First Bite: Lampara Neo-Filipino Bistro

Poblacion has been one of the hottest areas for restaurants these past months. Home of some of the establishments raved by taste makers, taking a stroll in this neighborhood would lead to a gastronomic experience. Such was the case for us last week. And our first stop: Lampara.

Hello, Lampara Neo-Filipino Bistro
Hailed as one of the best restaurants in the area by respected food connoisseurs, it is not surprising to find Lampara packed as soon as Poblacion comes alive. 
Its modest signage may be a bit difficult to see during daytime. But if you are familiar with OTO, you just have cross the other way. 
Lampara sure could pass as a furniture shop with its beautiful tables and chairs. The ambiance is very warm and cozy, apt for catch up session with friends or date night.
There's also an al fresco area for those who wish to smoke. 
Chef RJ Ramos welcomed us and shared that the dishes we were about to try are neo-Filipino. He further modernized classic dishes with less traditional ingredients and techniques yet keeping the familiar flavors spot on. 
First served was a plate of Rice Cups (PHP220). Served in rice cups were two combinations: longganisa, ubod, aligue and bean sprouts, peanuts and tofu with house sinamak on the side. 
I enjoyed the latter more as it had more texture. I might be a bit biased too as I love lumpiang sariwa. 
Ensalada (PHP180) is a delightful plate of frisée (variety of endive leaves) with dry salted egg and eggplant baba ghanoush as base. I love how light and refreshing this dish was and it's definitely a must try for starter.
For big plates, we sampled Tanigue (PHP420) and Pork (PHP380). Both mains come with rice.
Tanigue may seem to be a bit pricey for its serving size but it is worth every penny. Its clean taste complemented by the sweet taste of onions, saltiness of soy and zest of citrus made this dish a winner in my book! Chef RJ's background on French cuisine is also evident here with its fancy presentation. 
My heart skipped a beat after taking a bite of Pork which is a gorgeous plate of golden brown roast pig. Succulent white meat and to die for crunchy skin with thick black vinegar for contrast in flavor and mahu on top... it was nothing short of divine. This is best enjoyed with rice.
To cap our meal, Chef RJ impressed us again with Yema & Tsokolate (PHP220), a picturesque plate of Malagos chocolate, yema and roast barley. I love how the roast barley gave the dessert a more balanced taste and a tinge of earthy notes to make it not overwhelming to the palate. 
Before heading out, we also tried all of Lampara's Signature cocktails namely Pana Kakana Kana (PHP350), Asiong (PHP350), Gasera ni Simoun (PHP380) and Gayuma ni Albano (PHP350). 
Pana Kakana Kana, a mix of gin, cardamom and black pepper was an instant favorite among my friends as it was light, easy to drink and had spunk with the spice from pepper. I love Asiong which I found the sweetest among the drinks. Made with gin, black currant and cinnamon, it had that delightful fruity taste that would make you finish a glass in one go. 
Gasera ni Simoun, a mix of rum and grapefruit, is topped with torched rosemary. Quite aromatic, this drink is for those who want something a bit stronger. 
But if you want something that would give that slight kick with one drink, go for Gayuma ni Albano which is a mix of tequila, guyabano and campari. Let's just say it was my least favorite. 
I wish we could try more but we had to move to our next stop. But I'll surely be back to try Lampara's other dishes!

Lampara is located at 5883 Enriquez Street, Poblacion, Makati City. It is open Mondays to Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.. For reservations, call/message them at +63 917 173 5883.

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

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