Lulu Restaurant used to call Rockwell home but transferred to their current location in Salcedo Village and added a bar beside it called Hooch. The restaurant is helmed by Chef Tom Hines, a Briton who has been in the Philippines for 5 years already and is quite acclimated as he even knows a number of Filipino phrases. Chef Tom serves a mix of the classics that he injects with his own twists together with other eclectic items from vegetarian to his own creations.
We started our night with drinks at Hooch. A great looking bar with high ceilings that has a Prohibition era feel to it. They add a little touch of whimsy by showing The Three Stooges on the TV.
Beautifully crafted drinks by their team of bartenders. Each drink takes a while to concoct as they meticulously do step after step. Irene tried the Old Fashioned but replaced the whisky with tequila, her preferred alcohol. Cocktail prices start from P275 to P450 per glass.
While everyone were getting their cocktails, I had a glass of Holgate IPA from the tap. I had wanted the Road Trip, my favorite craft beer but it wasn’t available that night.
We paired our drinks with Argentinian Hand Chopped Empanada (P295), Pulled Pomegranate Duck Pao (P320) and Lobster and Crab Pao (P350). Each one was delicious and you could actually have your fill of food right there at Hooch. My favorite was the duck pao with its strong sweet and savory flavors.
After drinks we moved next door (connected by a glass door on the side) to LuLu for a proper dinner.
Lulu Restaurant shares the same high ceiling as Hooch but the decor is brighter and more pleasing to the eye. They’ve retained the beautiful red chairs from their previous location and added art pieces on the walls.
The open kitchen is right beside the dining area, where you can see Chef Tom Hines and his team do their magic. You can go up and look at their calculated chaos as they whip up dish after dish.
Our first dish was the Seared Scallop in Carrot and Pumpkin Puree with Citrus Seafoam. This dish is playfully plated with different hues of color to contrast with the black and whites. The carrot and pumpkin puree combination seems to come straight out of a baby recipe list but it played well with the citrus foam and the sweet flavors of the sea from the scallops.
Seared Tuna Niciose (P350). Tuna cubes lightly seared to retain the juicy pink center paired with fresh greens and a citrus vinaigrette.
Citrus Glazed Mahi-Mahi (P550) served on a bed of creamy lemon and pea risotto. I admire LuLu’s use of line caught mahi-mahi, which is environmentally friendly. The fish was cooked just right with flaky and juicy meat which was complemented by the delectable risotto.
The first three dishes were light and tasty and I quite enjoyed the use of citrus in each one.
Seafood Shepherd’s Pie (P450). This is from Hooch’s food menu but is a new twist on a classic dish. Mashed potatoes and cheese cover assorted seafood and baked to get a crusty and gooey top. A lighter version that is suitable for those that avoid meat.
Lamb Shank 12 (P650). A large piece of lamb shank that’s been sous vide for 12 hours with marjoram and rosemary added for aroma and flavor. The meat was fork tender with a savory gravy added more flavor. Served with a side of bejeweled couscous.
Our final dish was the Rump of Wagyu Steak (P795). Simply seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked to a medium to let the flavors of the beef shine.
Dessert was the trio of Butterscotch Apple Crumble (P250), Peanut Butter and Jelly Bomb (P250), and Lemon Glazed Yogurt Cheesecake (P250).
I’m glad Lulu Restaurant and Chef Tom Hines has found a new home that’s better and more visible. The food is still as good as before but now you have the option of having great drinks to pair with them.
Lulu Restaurant and Hooch BarG/F 125 V Corporate Center LP Leviste Street, Salcedo Village Makati City, Philippines Contact No.: (632) 403-4376 Operating Hours: M-F 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 12am S-Sun 5pm to 12am
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