#FoodTrip: Much To Explore At BGC (Part 1)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Everything new and hip seems to sprout up at Bonifacio Global City, an ever-expanding urban playground for shoppers and diners of all whimsies. While it is really exciting to have literally hundreds of wonderful options, it can also get downright overwhelming!
On today’s Food Trip, I would like to narrow things down for you and take you to a fairly new corner of this sprawling entertainment mecca – Bonifacio High Street Central (BHSC). BHSC is the patch of restaurants and stores between 5th and 7th Avenues with a beautiful fountain in the middle that lights up at night.
As is the case with the whole of Bonifacio High Street, lots of people like to come out and just hang in this area which is well and good but there is also a burgeoning restaurant scene here that you must check out. Take my hand and let’s get our eat on!
From modern Spanish fare all the way to drinks: Beso Cucina Vinoteka
Beso is just one of the many delicious endeavors of rockin’ health nut chef Carlo Miguel. Thankfully, Chef Carlo’s super lean approach to his personal diet is not reflected in the food offered here – old and new Spanish favorites with a modern feel in all its indulgent glory.
Beso turns up the sophistication and robust flavors in their version of the classic gambas with whole prawns that are sautéed in chorizo, garlic, white wine and parsley.
Paella is a must on any Spanish food trip but the prospect of having to devour a large paellera’s worth can be daunting. Here, the paella is good for 2-3 diners and this particular one is loaded with pork, chorizo, bacon, prawns, mussels, clams and squid. It is also a lot more wet than what you might be used to – to better coat every grain of rice with even more flavor!
The grilled US Angus ribeye is cooked simply to bring out solely the flavor of no-frills beef and served hot on a sizzling plate with mustard butter and a side of potatoes ala pobre, it’s sure to satiate your deepest carnivorous desires.
Natillas is a Spanish custard. Beso’s dulce de leche version is completely delicious and dangerous and must not be avoided at all costs.
If your meal stretches out to drinks then you’re in luck – Beso has a well-stocked bar and it is one of very few establishments I know of that serves Blue Moon beer.
Phone: 621-2554 Mobile: 0917-8195831
All-time Filipino faves with a secret recipe touch: Elias
How renowned Chef Florabel Co-Yatco, who’s never had formal training as a chef, juggles nine (nine!) restaurants I will never know but I’m glad she’s still at it with her newest baby, Elias.
With an extensive menu full of amusing dishes named with a touch of Noli Me Tangere, Elias is a good choice whether you’re casually dining with loved ones or aiming to impress.
The hugely popular Bistek Pelaez elevates the humble bistek Tagalog with the use of tender US Angus beef. The soy calamansi sauce might taste familiar but only for a short while – Elias’ version really pushes the envelope on the acidity.
Filipinos do love their tempura but nobody serves it up like this – fresh prawns with laing! If that isn’t decadent enough for you, go ahead and give it a generous dunking in the crab fat sauce or sticky ginger soy sauce.
Morcon turns any dining experience into a celebration. Elias keeps the beef roulade classic and hearty with sausage, vegetables and egg with a generous amount of tasty tomato sauce.
Celebrating with a big group? Not a problem with Elias’ seafood and barbecue platters!
For more on Chef Florabel and her restaurants, check out http://www.chefflorabel.ph/
Phone: 621-3195 Mobile: 0917-8178290
Modern-fusion Italian, from Boracay to BHSC: Aria
Aria is a familiar destination for anyone who has searched for a fine dining experience in Boracay. It is practically an institution on the island, now on its 10th year of serving up delicious Italian-Mediterranean fare made with the freshest ingredients.
Two years ago, Aria made its way to Manila to be more accessible to fans and it made sure to bring with it the bright and beachy al-fresco feel of its Boracay branch. Aria means “airy” after all.
It is no wonder this is a bestseller! Sweet watermelon, peppery arugula, salty feta, creamy pine nuts and tangy balsamic vinaigrette all come together for a salad that ticks all the boxes.
This may look simple but it’s a powerhouse of flavors drawn from a tomato cream sauce, bacon, emmental cheese and brandy. Have as is or how about as a side to this main dish:
Aria boasts of a wood fire oven that busts out perfectly baked thin crust pizzas. Topping choices abound and a good place to start is the Quattro stagioni which combines four of the most popular pizzas – Aria (Parma ham), Boscaiola (ham and mushroom), Napoli (anchovies) and Frutti di mare (seafood).
Ever been in Boracay without touching a cocktail? Me neither. Aria has a unique selection of cocktails made special just for them by Barmansmix.
Make sure to check in with Aria every month! Chef Francesco churns out different monthly specials to keep things exciting. This month, it’s Sicilian pesto and chocolate affogato among other tasty creations.
Phone: 8670000 Mobile: 0917-564-2678
Twitter and Instagram: @AriaCucina
First Thing In The Morning with Sam and Gibb on Magic 89.9, Monday to Thursday, 6am to 9am.