August 23, 2012

Lolo Dad's Cafe Tasting Menu- Quirino Ave, Malate

Lolo Dad's Cafe is a house-turned-restaurant tucked in the corner of Quirino Ave, Malate. Owned by the Ayuyao family and helmed by renowned Chef Ariel Manuel, an architecture graduate who found his love and passion for cooking, the fine dining restaurant instantly became a shrine for happy foodies and couples. 

Lolo Dad's Cafe is definitely on the top list of classic date places for couples in the Metro. Everyone wants to bring their loved ones here to celebrate a special occasion at least once in their life. But every time we talk about Lolo Dad's Cafe, the first thing that comes into our mind is the hefty price  tag associated with it. Agree?

Lolo Dad's Cafe understands this sentiment, and so they came up with a modest portion for their menu. General Manager Ding Ayuyao explained that most people, as much as possible, wants to try everything on the menu. But with their regular portions, it would be hard not to get full after the second course. With this, they also came up with the tasting menu which includes a little bit of everything from the chef's creations. 

Lolo Dad's Tasting Menu changes depending on the seasonality of ingredients. This is to ensure that every dish is prepared with great quality coupled with the freshest ingredients they could find. 

For this season, here is the tasting menu for Lolo Dad's Cafe which we were fortunate to try out.

We were served with complimentary warm bread paired with some herbed butter while they prepared our starters in the open kitchen.

These were really delicious bread freshly baked everyday. I love the soft and chewy texture of the dinner rolls complemented by the creamy taste of the butter spread. I wanted more but managed to control myself from eating more than 2 pieces.

Sweet Chili Glazed Lobster Tail with Tuna Nicoise Sesame Salad in Kaffir Lime Vinaigrette

The tasting menu started with a salad that illustrates an architectural plate of texture, height and vibrant colors. 

Aside from the lobster tail and tuna, it also consists of fresh greens, quail egg, olives, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, beans and cheese drizzled with kafir lime vinaigrette. 

I love the play of flavors and texture as I finish the plate. It was definitely the most beautiful salad I've had especially made with the finest and premium quality ingredients. 

Espresso of Two Pea Soup with Truffled Cilantro

For our soup, we were served with an espresso shot of creamed green and chick pea soup with truffle scented Cilantro foam. It was paired with a thin and crisp crouton topped with chorizo slices that greatly complemented the soup.

I can't get enough of the two pea soup, but since it was served in an espresso shot glass, it left me wanting for more.

Sauteed Fresh Chanterelles in Cilantro Short Grain Rice

Who couldn't say no to this seared duck foie gras lying delicately atop the creamy mushroom risotto?

The foie gras was perfectly seared with dark brown edges and soft and creamy texture. Taste was very rich with mild liver flavor that melts on the tongue. Trying it out with the risotto and black vinegar jus was like a melting butter bursting with exquisite and decadent flavors inside the mouth.

Calamansi Sorbet

Finally, the classic Calamansi Sorbet of Lolo Dad's that I've been looking forward to try. A small scoop of the sorbet was served on the cover of a teapot made of clay. The ideal palate cleanser was refreshingly sweet and tangy at the same time cleaning away the tastes from the previous courses. Though serving was exceptionally small, it did a great job in readying our palate for the main dishes. How I wish there was a lot more serving of this sorbet inside the teapot. It would be great if they decided to fill the teapot with this. Don't you think?

The Tasting menu includes a choice between Halibut with Scallops or Lamb with U.S Chuck Flap Steak.

Fillet of Halibut with Sauteed Scallops

After the sorbet, we felt our palate cleansed and refreshed for the main dishes of the night. We were ready to dig in on The Fillet of Halibut with Sauteed Scallop and side dishes of potato mochi croquette and Asian vegetables.

For couples trying out Lolo Dad's tasting menu, this seems to be the choice for women who want something light and savory. Serving may not seem to be as big as those in other restaurants but great things come in small packages right? The whole dish was rich in flavors and surprisingly, I got full after finishing the plate.

U.S. Chuck Flap Steak and Charsiue of Lamb Rib 

This dish is for hungry meat eaters who can have the best of both worlds. The rack of Charsiue Lamb Rib with U.S Chuck Flap Steak served medium-well was both tender and succulent with juice oozing out slice after slice. The charsiue sauce gave a nice balance of flavor to the lamb giving its gamey nature subtlety and lightness.

Like the Fillet of Halibut, it comes with a potato mochi croquette atop a creamy truffled mashed potato. I must say this is the best tasting mashed potatoes I've tried. The croquette was crunchy on the outside while having a soft, creamy and melting texture inside. You could also taste the evident flavor of truffle in the mashed potatoes making it more aromatic and appetizing.

Mandarin Orange Frozen Timbale

A frozen dessert of mandarin orange with Thai Basil-Raisin Jam Deep Fried Praline and Rose Syrup is something unique for me. It's not common in having basil for dessert but Lolo Dad's pulled this creation perfectly well. The frozen timbale was sweet and fruity while the praline ball was like a molten cake oozing with spiced-chocolate. It needs a little while to appreciate the Thai Basil-Rasin but I assure you that it gets better and better along the way.

Other people might say that eating in Lolo Dad's Cafe is very expensive and that you'd still feel hungry after. We also thought so at first, but after our experience here, it proved that dining in Lolo Dad's not only would make you feel full after the meal but would also make you satisfied with the quality of food and superb service they offer. It truly is a great place to bring that special someone and a perfect setting to create great memories together.

Lolo Dad's Tasting Menu is priced at P2,500+ 10% service charge

Lolo Dad's Cafe
899 President Quirino Avenue,
cor. Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila
Tel Num: 5222941;  5267151;  5242295