Thursday, April 16, 2009

Much Ado About Something

April 16, 2009
Lolo Dad's
President Quirino Avenue
Malate, Manila

Much has been raved about by food critics and bloggers about Lolo Dad's. Finally after years of hearing about it, we were given a chance by fate to actually dine at probably one of the most highly suggested restaurants for food lovers.

Totaling not more than 10 tables, the place was quite small. A converted house perhaps? The kitchen was visible from the dining area and the reason behind this was to showcase the chef's and their talent with food prep and plating. This was nice, a sort of entertainment and something to pass the time as you wait. Don't get me wrong, waiting time was really quick. The dishes came in their proper order. From bread to entrée, everything arrived in time and in their natural progression:

Bread - The bread was kept toasty with warmers before serving which made it really nice and soft upon reaching your table. It was served with whipped herbed butter which was fluffy and sweet. The butter melted right away over the warm bread and buried itself into the air pockets creating a moist and creamy combination.

Soup - Must have the Onion Soup! Lolo Dad's version was different because they used red onions instead. It's harder to make red onions sweeter compared to the white ones so in my opinion, they did a pretty good job. The cheese used was Gruyère instead of the normal Mozzarella which would explain the different aroma it had. This was a different version of a classic which didn't quite blow my mind. Don't get me wrong, it was really good! Maybe it was just because I expected better.

Appetizer - The Seared Duck Foie Gras And Goose Liver Terrine was what we decided to try for our appetizer. This was absolutely a perfect choice! The seared foie gras was to die for. Imagine a crisp exterior glistening with the black vinegar reduction that when sliced, releases a buttery interior. Upon reaching the mouth, the opposite textures of the seared exterior and the delicate interior drives your mind crazy. It is like biting into a soft wafer and then air. It's that good! The buttery texture also was flavorful in itself and doesn't require that much seasoning. Kudos to the chef for the perfectly cooked foie gras. The salad of arugula and liver terrine were also nice accompaniments to the foie gras but I think this dish had us mesmerized by the foie gras alone. They could have served it alone and the dish would still be amazing...

Sorbet - Who ever thought about palette cleansing is a hero in my book! I just love how some restaurants serve sorbet as palette cleansers to get your taste buds ready for the main course. The presentation of the Raspberry And Basil Sorbet served to us was cute. As you can see in the photo, it was served on the inverted cover of a small teapot. Inside the teapot was water and a piece of dry ice which didn't actually keep the sorbet cold but instead added a dimension to the plating. A bit of drama, effective, but drama nonetheless. The sorbet itself was really nice and perfectly flavored - not so sweet and not so tangy.

Main Course - Since we were torn between a course of red meat and/or fish, we decided to get both. Beef Tenderloin and Sea Bass. The tenderloin was nice but it would have been better if they used ribeye instead of the tenderloin. It could have been much more worth it if that was the case. Then again, the fatty ribeye would have overpowered the whole dish and would not leave space for the other accompaniments to be noticed. NAH! Ribeye alone would have been better! :)

The next main course we tried was the Sea Bass Topped With Dungeness Crab Meat. The meal was great and the fish was perfectly cooked. The texture was maintained as buttery and creamy. The crab and mashed potatoes didn't actually complement it though. In my opinion, the lowly crisp was the one who actually gave texture to the dish. The sea bass is moist and creamy, partnering it with another creamy side dish like mashed potatoes would make the whole dish too over-the-top. You can easily get fed up with it and eventually not finish it. The crab added dimension and texture to the dish but it also added a bit of a fishy aftertaste. Good sea bass should NOT taste fishy and trying to complement it with crab or shrimps would destroy the essence of the sea bass in itself. It would have been better if they had paired it with something tangy instead.

Highly overpriced but Lolo Dad's definitely backs-it-up! I tell you, my only regret for this whole experience was not the hole it left in my pocket but the fact that I didn't bring my good camera to take better photos...


arbs said...

panalo lolo dad's castro!!! hahaha!! libre!! =) panalo din duck breast with foie gras....foie gras overload!!! =) sorry naexcite ako sa post mo! =)

oliboy said...

hehehe! kami rin nga e... parang gusto namin kumain ulit! tara? :)

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