Chef Ariel Manuel, multi awarded chef of Lolo Dad’s fame, is back and cooking at Bistro Manuel in Poblacion, Makati. I’ve missed his cooking owing to a hiatus from the culinary world after the lot where Lolo Dad’s was located was sold. There’s a similar feel to the place with the white table cloths and classic furniture but there a more relaxed ambiance.
People who enjoy watching chefs work will be in for a treat. Lolo Dad’s used to have an open kitchen with a table beside it but Bistro Manuel one ups that with this huge showcase.
Diners looking for classic Lolo Dad’s dishes will not be disappointed as Chef Ariel has included them in the menu together with a host of new creations. Expect to see the oyster with foie gras, the cappuccino soup duo, and the duck confit as well as many other favorites.
We started our lunch with a trio of complimentary amuse bouche, all were little bite sized pieces of different flavors.
All About Duck (P780). The plate just screams indulgence, a large piece of pan fried foie gras sits on top of a liquor soaked raisin French toast then topped with a duck egg yolk. On the side are sliced duck breast with some greens and pine nuts. This was our dining mates order and they happily devoured it to oohs and aahs.
Irene had the Shrimp Bisque with Hazelnuts (P270). Thick stock with shrimps, hazelnuts and a drizzle with hazelnut oil. the hazelnuts adds a unique texture not usually experienced in umami filled bisque and the oil adds a balancing nuttiness. There’s also a couple of pieces of fried shrimps instead of minute pieces mixed into the broth. You’ll have a better idea of it elements because the broth is poured table side.
My choice for appetizer was the simply named Crabs (P560). A trio of mud crab cakes, soft shell crab fritter and blue crab salad. I love crabs but abhor using my hands to eat them so this was perfect for me. 3 different approaches to crabs, each with its own unique flavor and texture made for an interesting mix and match eating.
Caramel Crusted Duck Breast (P780). My choice for main course had 3 thick pieces of perfectly cooked duck breast with shredded duck confit roesti potatoes on the side. I went quack quack after eating this excellent dish with no shortage of flavor. The roesti on the side is interspersed with generous amount of shredded duck meat, I would guess almost a quarter of the whole thing. I candy coating added a touch of sweetness that my palate thoroughly enjoyed.
Irene went for Lamb and Lamb with Lamb (P780). 3 cuts of lamb cooked 3 different ways, each one shows off the kitchens prowess an attention to detail. Sliced roasted lamb rump, stewed lamb breast and lamb sweet bread fritters. The roasted rump is very familiar so the ones that steal the show are the tender lamb breast and the easy to enjoy sweetbread fritters. The sweetbread are light and introduces one to lamb offal that they would otherwise shy away from.
Bistro Manuel is one of the best openings of 2016 for me. Chef Ariel keeps on doing what he does best while other restaurant openings have focused on doing trendy things.
I’ve attached a map to Bistro Manuel below. It’s located on the 2nd floor of Six Axis Building, just across A Venue in the Poblacion food hub.
Bistro Manuel2/F Six Axis Center
4347 B. Valdez St., Poblacion, Makati City
Contact No.: (632) 871-8566, (63926) 734-1067
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