A discrete looking sign heralds the way to the upper floor where Wine Bar is located.
The place did not turn out as I expected, it was well lighted with dark tones allover, giving a vibe similar to a gentleman’s club. A large bar is immediately visible as you ascend the stairs as well as a temperature controlled room for their array of wines.
Since we were a group, we got to try a number of dishes ranging from appetizers to dessert.The first dish to arrive was Oysters Rockefeller (P550), eight baked Aklan oysters with spinach, cheese and bacon. The plate did not have the nicest presentation but it knocks the taste out of the park, this is the best oysters rockefeller I have ever had. The oysters were plump while the toppings was creamy and flavorful. I could not get enough of this.
Holy Cow Pizza(P300). I’ve had this before in Cafe 1771, arugula, mozzarella and kesong puti topped pizza that is always delightful. Wine Bar has a different menu but has a number of dishes from Cafe 1771.
Spicy Buffalo Wings (P380). Don’t be fooled by the name, this plate of chicken wings plays for the sweet side of the team with only a slight hint of spice. The sweetness was a hit as by the time we knew it, we were licking the sauce from our fingers and our plates were littered with chicken bones.
Lacquered Salmon (P580). I’m fairly certain this is available in Cafe 177 also. Baked salmon pained with a soy-honey glaze giving it a sort of Japanese inspired taste similar to teriyaki. Pierce the surface of the salmon and it yields soft and juicy meat inside.
Sweet Potato and Pumpkin mash (P150). The mix of two sweet and creamy vegetables was a nice change from the usual potato.
I adored the Lamb Casserole since you can see the time put in to create the dish. Simmering the meat in the sauces not only creates tons of flavor but makes the meat tender. Perfect with a bowl of rice or some of the sweet potato and pumpkin mash.
Winebar Burger (P410) is their signature burger that is topped with gruyere cheese and served with fries, a pickle and bone marrow. We were quite taken aback by the bone marrow but it is served with all their burgers and is meant to be used like mayonnaise on top of the burger. I’m not really a fan of this but still decided on trying it out. I hardly tasted it, as the flavors of the beef and cheese easily eclipsed the bone marrow, maybe an application directly to the meat would yield a more pronounced taste.
Spicy Spaghetti Sardines (P350). I never liked Spanish Sardines and being quite spicy did not help its case. I skipped this after getting a taste but for the others especially Fran loved it.
For the carnivores, Grilled Angus Rib-eye (P1,300) with mushroom gravy or Bearnaise sauce. The steak is a hefty 300grams that will surely satiate even the big appetites out there. Grilled medium for the perfect balance on taste and texture, at least for me.
Dessert or to be more exact desserts ended the delicious meal that night. Among them, I loved the Monroe Bread Pudding (P250) which came highly recommended by the server. The combination of brioche and creamy custard made it unique, add to that the chilly vanilla ice cream and what could go wrong.
I also liked the Rose Noir (P250), a Ferrero Rocher chocolate in cake form, crunchy hazelnut matched with dark chocolate ganache. The Apple Crumble (P185) and the Valhrona mousse (P250) were also quite nice. I was underwhelmed a bit with the Coffee Pie (P225), Cafe 1771’s best selling dessert, I guess I was expecting a stronger coffee taste.
Wine Bar’s attentive service, wonderful atmosphere and delectable food makes the perfect setting for a great meal, just get the right people and you’ve got the makings of an unforgettable experience.
2nd Floor Cafe 1771
El Pueblo Real de Manila
J.Vargas cor. ADB Avenue
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
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