Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Brunch-ing Manila: Sala Bistro
Another hangover-free Saturday morning and I was excited about brunch. My date- Cookie Goddess- and I were headed to Sala Bistro to try their famous champagne brunch menu.
I remember reading about brunch at Sala even before they moved to Makati from Malate. Restaurant owner and Chef Colin McKay actually opened Sala Bistro so that there would be a cozier and more relaxed venue for this particular weekend activity.
Not that the bistro is less sleek and classy than its fine dining cousin- Sala Bistro’s interiors ooze contemporary elegance with a moderate laidback edge. Floor to ceiling windows usher in the warm late morning sun, reflecting colorful rays of light through the curtain-like glass chandeliers.
Cookie Goddess and I order our two courses each which is required by the brunch menu (one main course and one pudding) along with unlimited pours of Australian sparkling wine, on its own or mixed with orange juice, peach juice or Cassis. The juices were great, but Cookie Goddess and I agreed that the modified Kir Royale was the way to go.
Cookie Goddess ordered the Two Poached Eggs on toasted ciabatta topped with prosciutto and hollandaise. This is finished under the grill to lightly toast the top, just like the classic Eggs Benedict. I had a bite of this and I must admit I could have had at least five more. The eggs were perfectly poached- light, creamy, almost ethereal. The prosciutto was sliced paper thin and added just enough saltiness to the dish. A bit lighter than the rich, gooey Eggs Benedict that I’m more used to, but I liked its clean flavors.
Craving for something a bit heavier, I opted for the Bistro Minute Steak- Pan-seared Australian Beef Fillet on toasted sourdough with spiced tomato chutney and onion rings. This dish could have been a success if not for the fact that it was difficult to eat- the beef was borderline-rubbery, the toasted sourdough a bit hard. Unfortunate, since the chutney was bursting with exotic flavors and the onion rings were the best I have ever had. Both my and Cookie Goddess’ dishes were accompanied with the most delectable potato hash.
For “dessert”, Cookie Goddess picked the Ricotta and Banana Pancakes with Maple Syrup. Again, this dish was simply delicious: The pancakes were fluffy but rich, and the bananas were perfectly caramelized.
I had the Rum and Raisin Bread and Butter Pudding, an instant favorite. Having gotten used to the bread puddings simmering in hotel buffet tables, I have almost forgotten how really good bread pudding tastes like. Sala Bistros version delivers in every point- the pudding is warmed through and comforting, with calorific flavors of milk and butter; the sauce perfectly complimentary, thick and distinctly laced with rum and cinnamon; raisin ice cream is velvety and has just the right touch of sweetness…Truly a champion dessert in my book.
A full meal and three to four glasses (each) of bubbly cocktails later, Cookie Goddess and I ambled towards her car and drove to nearby Rockwell. I misunderstood my sister Foxychef’s instructions and it landed us in my parents’ place, both of us laughing drunkenly at my stupidity, while everyone else watched in amusement (or was it disgust?). We attempted to sober up with some iced cappuccinos at Cibo while snacking on spinach dip and potato chips.
I think I should do this more often.
G/F Greenbelt 3