Aruga Cafe, the in house restaurant of Aruga Rockwell, a serviced apartment. Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara of Mesclun recently took over the outlet and she fashioned a menu made up of old favorites and added some new items to keep it fresh. Guests staying in Aruga take their breakfast at Aruga Cafe with a concise buffet spread that features a cook upon order egg menu with different executions from around the world. Aruga Cafe is open to the public, so it’s a great place just across the street to shy away from the bustle of Rockwell Mall.
The foyer serves as an extension dining area during their busiest time, breakfast. Some clients have requested that their food be served in the foyer during other dining moments owing to the big windows bringing in lots of light.
Mushroom and Spinach Empanaditas (P345). This new creation takes elements of Chef’s Katrina’s mushroom duxelle and adds spinach, garlic, onions and cream then encases it in a buttery pastry. A very good shareable starter with lots of earthy flavors.
French Onion Soup (P270). A classic execution with clear beef broth, caramelized onions, croutons then gratineed with Emmental and Gruyere cheeses.Every sip will bring back a bit of nostalgia when many restaurants had this on the menu. For me the best part are the gooey cheese stuck on the side of lion headed bowl.
A duo of flatbreads, Shrimp and Anchovies Flammekueche (P375) and Parma Ham Flammekeuche (P395). Thin dough baked to a perfect crisp, lathered with home made creme fraiche with onions and select toppings. I’m still torn over which one I prefer as both are equally good for different reasons. The shrimps and anchovies reminds me of Shakey’s Friday Special while the parma ham is smoky and salty. Both variants have arugula’s slightly bitter flavor keep it from being too cloying. I’ve had Mesclun’s flammekueche a number of times but this was the best in terms of crispness and flavor.
Sisig Spaghetti (P295). One of the most memorable dishes from the Mesclun kitchen. Spaghetti tossed in light cream sauce with pork sisig and topped with crushed chicharon and spiciness to your preference. Squeeze some calamansi to heighten the flavor and slurp the noodles with a little complementary crunch from the chicharon.
Guava Pork Adobo (P385). I’ve had guava as a souring agent in sinigang but never in an adobo. It’s genius, guava brings fruity, sweet and sour flavors all rolled into one ingredient, which gives Mesclun’s adobo a tasty new twist. Served with rice pilaf and assorted pickles.
The Wagyu Rump Steak (P1,795). 300grams of perfectly cooked steak, the rump makes it affordable but with a lot of beefy flavor that I enjoy in a steak. Served with chimichurri and demi glaced mustard horseradish gravy and mashed potatoes. The sauces were just extra for me as the meat is well seasoned to let the beef shine.
Ube Cheesecake (P340). Light and fluffy Japanese style ube cheesecake with a layer of whipped cream.
Aruga Cafe by MesclunGround Floor, Aruga by Rockwell
Waterfront Drive, Rockwell, Makati
Contact No.: (632) 230-6770, (63917) 702-3896
Operating Hours: 6am to 10pm daily