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Friday, September 18, 2015

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I found myself in unfamiliar territory. I heard of good things about the area. From new foodie establishments to hipster barbecue places. So I took the plunge and I arrived at ALCHEMY.

Poblacion, Makati has been historically known as the red light district. Recently, efforts has been made to make this place a little more adventurous in terms of food and drinks. One of the restaurants that I can attribute that is ALCHEMY BISTRO BAR.
Alchemy has a weird vibe when you enter. Outside, it seems all good. A normal restaurant. One step in, and you are greeted by gargoyles and test tubes. That's ALCHEMY.
It has an outdoor area that houses a brick oven for pizza, a bar and band area on the first floor and an open air area on the second floor. Perfect for late night chillings. 
Drinks are exceptionally good. Not too sweet nor are they that expensive. I could see myself going back for a drink or two while watching a band play. 
One must definitely try their TEST TUBE SHOOTERS. This is quite a deal. Vodka, triple sec and a lot more. Just take the plunge and down it all!
IF that is just too wild for you, they also have craft beer. Like these babies that were sourced all the way from the south. 
Chef Tina greeted us and prepared a scrumptious meal. She actually studied in Le Cordon Bleu Paris and returned to try out the local food scene. I couldn't for the life of me know what I was in for. Good thing I only had a light breakfast. 

To start the meal, CROQUETTAS (265Php) were served. Deep fried balls that has cheese, jamon, chives. The smoked paprika dip jives well with the balls. Perfect bar chow. 
Another dip idea is the ARTICHOKE SPINACH DIP (295Php). No need for additional description as each spoonful of spinach artichoke makes each bite creamy and deadly.

The BAKED OYSTERS (350Php). These oysters from Aklan are just the BOMB! Each one is covered with spinach, hollandaise sauce and gruyere cheese. The oysters are huge and are fresh. One look and I was thinking that it might be too heavy. I was quite surprise that it wasn't. The toppings were light and gave off that cheesy neutral flavor. I loved it. 

A crowd favorite is the MUSSEL FRITES "MARINIERE" (390Php). Black Chillean Mussels with Garlic Wine, Broth, Tarragon and house made fries.
I couldn't for the life of me decide if I were to choose between the cheesy oysters or these amazing mussels. The pure genius and simplicity of the sauce is amazing. The garlic wine worked well with the broth and tarragon that made it a must try. I was actually tempted to ask for pasta so that I could just drop the whole thing in it to get the juices. Alas, I didn't. I used the fita bread from the spinach artichoke dip to soak up the sauce and add a little of the dip on top. Flavors burst into my mouth with each bite. This is definitely WOW. 

Since they have a brick oven pizza, they made good use of it and served the SALAMI PICCANTE (460 Php). Their pizza are thin crust. The cheese though is oozing with sex appeal that I enjoyed each bite. 

A tease, the SURF and TURF SKEWERS (260Php) were placed in front of me. Steak and shrimp on a skewer is just great but having it with cognac and peppercorn sauce is amazing. The cognac wasn't overpowering as what you would think but it gave a different feel to the sauce. 

We were so happy that we were able to eat GNOCCHI (190Php). Gnocchi is a pasta dish that is made by mixing potatoes with dough. This one was served with gorgonzola and some crunchy pancetta to liven it up. I would have liked it to have a little bit more of a bite. 

IF you are into burgers, you would love the CHEF'S BURGER (460Php). This huge wagyu beef burger can definitely enter my tummy any time of the day. The smokey bacon added a delicious layer of fat. The caramelized onions gave it a sweeter taste. While the bbq sauce on the side is just right for it. 

For mains, we were served a ton of simple dishes. 

Started with the COQ AU VIN (450Php). This marinated chicken is cooked in red wine. Lardon, along with the mushrooms and pearl onions balances the taste.  

Fish lovers would enjoy the PANNED SEARED SALMON (465Php). Simple. You can taste the sea with each bite. The salmon was fresh and definitely cooked to perfection. Not overly seasoned. Just the way I like it. 

One of the best main dishes though would have to be the SLOW BRAISED- LAMB SHANK (775Php). New Zealand LambShank, Mediterranean Couscous. Sultanas. Pine Nuts. Mint. Carrots. Fresh Beans.
This baby right here has been cooking for hours upon hours. No need for knives as one swoosh of the fork and off goes the meat from the bone. The couscous alone would make you shun away normal rice as it was perfectly cooked and the broth used is all home made. No cubes or msg in any of the dishes here at ALCHEMY. 
This dish alone made the trip to Makati worth it. 

In case you don't want to share, the BOEUF BOURGUIGNON (580Php)is the perfect all around dish. US Certified Angus Beef was marinated in red wine and cognac. Lardon all around the the carrots and onions. Having pasta on the side makes this dish whole. I didn't want to share this but alas, I had to because my eatmates were staring at me. 

To end the long and delicious meal, dessert was presented. 
A warm molten CHOCOLATE CAKE (240Php) was peeping hot. This belgian chocolate cake was moist and has a gooey center. YUMMY!
A classic dessert that is just plain good is the CREME BRULEE (210Php) A sugar coated top burnt to make it crystalize. The underneath vanilla flavored cream is just there to savor the ending of a long and delicious meal. 

The place darkens up a bit at night as a band performs. Thank you very much Chef Tina for having us.

You may say that POBLACION is a red light district but restaurant like this is definitely a gem in the rough. Great French Cuisine and amazing food from ALCHEMY is just a standout. Surprisingly, the prices are affordable given the quality and the quantity of each dish. Knowing that she prepares and takes care of the dishes from market to kitchen, CHEF TINA makes this establishment a must try when in the area. 
Other than that, having a well stocked bar and a great bar list is just as well alluring.

Cor Polaris St., Durban St.,
Barangay Poblacion, Makati City
Metro Manila.

Disclaimer: Was invited to try out this restaurant. Wrote this based on my experience.

P.S. Thank you so much @yocatgirl for gracing us with a quick visit. I for one can definitely say that I am happy to meet IG friends and followers anytime. So if ever you do see me, please tap me on the back. I would love to have a small chat with you. Don't worry I don't bite and I sooooo love talking about food. Cheers.
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  1. I would love to go back and give their food another try. :) I'd definitely get the salmon and the burger. The ambiance at night seems so different from daytime. Dancing with other guests sounds like a great idea as well.

  2. Yeah Roch.. it was nice that we went during the afternoon that we were able to check out what is it like at night too. CHeers dear