Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bistro Manuel: Bringing back Lolo Dad's Signature Dishes

Lolo Dad's has been one of the most iconic fine dining restaurants in Manila. Tucked inside Malate, this place used to be packed, with most looking forward to the restaurant's signature dishes. And many tears were shed when this well-loved establishment closed its doors in 2014. You'd know too that it was truly missed when people still crave for its delectable foie gras and steak to this day. This is why many were thrilled when the brilliant chefs Ariel Manuel and Mia Ayuyao Manuel decided to make a comeback and opened Bistro Manuel. 

Hello, Bistro Manuel
Bistro Manuel is a contemporary take on Lolo Dad's. With its more modern yet still sophisticated interiors, it serves as a great place for dates or celebrating milestones. 
It retains its concept of chef's table but turned it into a bar counter facing the glass wall separating the kitchen from the dining area. If you enjoy watching the chefs in action, reserve these seats. 
R was a patron of Lolo Dad's and he would always rave about its foie gras. And I could barely contain my excitement when I saw it on the menu of Bistro Manuel. 
We went with Duck Foie Gras (PHP1,000), Lolo Dad's Cafe Baked Oyster with Foie Gras (PHP230/piece), Spinach and Warm Mushroom Salad (PHP380), Double Espresso Soup (PHP295), Baked Fillet of Chilean Seabass (PHP1,520) and U.S. Eye of Rib Eye Prime Steak (PHP2,200). For dessert, we got Declension of Mango and Mascarpone Cheese (PHP275) and Tiramisu Soufflé (PHP320). We also had Dalandan Juice (PHP120) and Orange Juice (PHP180). 
While waiting, we were given some amuse-bouche made with chorizo and creamed salmon. Both were good though I would have loved it more on warm toast for contrast. 
The warm bread was divine with the herbed butter. But try not to go crazy over it as it could easily make you full. 
The first dish served to us were our plates of Duck Foie Gras, plated just like how it was served at Lolo Dad's. 
The poached pear had a lovely nice crunch and sweet taste which made us enjoy the pan-fried foie gras even more. Munching on the greens also gave it a refreshing flavor balancing the rich taste of foie gras.
The Baked Oyster with Foie Gras and angel hair pasta was good too. Though the oyster and foie gras were smaller than expected, the light yet creamy pasta made up for it. 
It was my first time to enjoy warm salad and it was great! Tossed with smoked bacon, mushroom, cherry tomatoes, and roasted garlic vinaigrette, it was one light dish you need to have with your Bistro Manuel meal. I really liked the contrast of textures and flavors.
The quaint presentation of the Double Espresso Soup gave a strong impression. And it made us realize that it was literally soup served in two espresso cups. Both tomato and mushroom soups were thick and creamy. You don't even need to put a dash of salt or pepper for extra taste. And between the two, R and I both liked the mushroom soup more. 
We were given some calamansi sorbet to cleanse the palate before indulging in the main course.
My Chilean Seabass was amazing. It had that slight crunch on the outside yet moist on the inside. The greens it came with were fresh too. The crab fat potatoes were quite new to us and we found it a bit too thick and heavy on the taste buds. We also noticed that the fillet was not equally salted leaving some bites too salty. But having a bite of the greens helps address that.
The 300-gram steak was cooked in its own fat leaving it succulent with a mouthwatering aroma. Topped with bits of crisp rendered steak fat, Chef Ariel calls it his take on sisig. 

We were very full from our meal but we found space for dessert. And we were so glad that we did!
Declension of Mango and Mascarpone Cheese is another Lolo Dad's signature dish. Made with mango bits, mascarpone cheese topped with dulce de leche sauce with vanilla ice cream on the side, it was one tangy dessert great to cap one's meal. I would have liked this more though with more ice cream.
We were told that it takes 15-20 minutes for the Tiramisu Soufflé to be served so we ordered one right away. And it was the most amazing soufflé I've had. Served fresh, the coffee soufflé had this airy texture which went beautifully well with the vanilla sauce. The thick chocolate was also great if you want something with more bite. 
Our drinks were refreshing too. And we loved that the staff kept refilling our glasses with water without asking for it. Such service is always appreciated. 
We came to Bistro Manuel hungry and excited. We left with full tummies and happy taste buds. I can't wait to be back for more! It may not be the same as Lolo Dad's but the Manuels' attention to quality remains. 

Thank you for the great anniversary lunch, Bistro Manuel!

Bistro Manuel is located at Second Floor, Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City. For reservation, contact them at (0926) 734-1067. There are a few parking slots in front of the building but you can also park at A. Venue which is just a block away.

Bistro Manuel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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