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Monday, June 27, 2016

When someone mentions the restaurant FIREPLACE , usually it would be synonymous to an intimate gathering like a birthday or an anniversary. Thankfully, the FIREPLACE in NEW WORLD MANILA BAY is now more welcoming as they roll out a menu to cater to every occasion one could think of. It could be someone's important day or just a lovely dinner for two. For sure, this is a welcomed transformation.
 As you enter the restaurant you are guided to your seat. I suggest you go for a couch or a booth as it is very cozy and perfect for any night. Walking towards your table, you can't help but admire the brass lodge feel of the place and the huge fire oven right at the center. The New Executive Chef, James Williams, has a lot in store for the discerning patrons of this restaurant. This promise of delicious surprise is one that he definitely delivers.    
 To whet the appetite, PORCINI MUSHROOM BRIOCHE was served along with bacon fat. Don't ask and wonder why. Just try and you would understand. That is what the brioche did for me. One dip and one bite equates to something soft and delicious. Never mind the calories, just do it.
To get the night rolling, a glass or two of any cocktail would be perfect. Their bar is equipped to offer you any drinks you may want as they have an impressive repertoire. Furthermore, the FIREPLACE is now carrying craft beer that local brewers created. More flavors, perfect for food pairing. 
To prepare our tummies, two contrasting soups were served first. The lobster bisque is a little different as it was infused with cognac and was served with salt cod brandade beignet. Unfortunately, it was a bit too salty for me that two spoonful were enough. On the other hand, I was impressed with the Cream of Corn Soup. Served with uni, crispy chicken skin and basil oil, one try and the sweetness of the corn came out. There was even a play on texture because of the crunchiness and the buttery feel of the chicken skin and the uni. I liked it. 
 Being a cheese lover, I was happy when they served TOMATO and BURRATA. Something similar to a caprese salad, fresh tomatoes were used alongside the burrata. Then, the balsamic sorbet was there for that zing taste. Simple yet tasty.
A very presentable dish would be THE FIREPLACE'S SIGNATURE BEEF TARTARE. Served with some flare, the beef tartare has smoked garlic aioli and confit egg yolk. I enjoyed the play on flavors from the beef and the garlic.
 Just a tease, Confit belly pork along with seared scallops were placed on a sampling plate. The moist scallops were mouthwatering but the belly pork was incredible. Tender meat and crunchy skin on top.
 For chicken lovers, the SPRING CHICKEN would be your bet. Accompanied by creamed corn, I thought it was similar to duck confit. The moist meat was lovely but the skin stands out. It had the right crunchiness and texture that one would definitely love.
 Seafood enthusiast would enjoy the SMOKED SALMON. The fish melts in your mouth. The smokiness was definitely there. The Squid ink mayonnaise was a nice touch on the side.
 The FIREPLACE'S SIGNATURE BURGER is a must try. Stuffed with foie gras, onion jam, and truffle mayonnaise, one bite and you are hooked. Topped with quail egg, the burger is cooked perfectly. The delicious and butter center transcends understanding. Bottom line is, you have to try this for you to believe me. Don't get me started on those hand cut parmesan fries. They were wiped out in an instant. 
Transitioning to the main course, the IFUGAO RICE was served. Almost risotto like, this puffed black rice is served with octopus and calamari on top. It is a little creamy and would go well with any mains.
 Speaking of mains, I liked how you could instantly make your steak SURFABLE. Meaning to say, you could order seafood on the side. More than grilled prawns, scallops and fried calamari, go for the BABY LOBSTERS. Grilled, these soft babies are a nice treat.
 The BEEF CHEEK is a welcomed change in pace. Marinated in Asian Spices served with pumpkin puree, bok choi and chili jam. The meat was tender and having a little spicy twist would be perfect for Asian food lovers.
 For someone that can't decide, you would be happy to know that The FIREPLACE offers a tasting plate of three different steaks. In this particular dish, I was able to try the hanging tender, ribeye and the flatiron steak. My personal choice would be the ribeye. I liked the mouth feel and the tenderness of the meat.
  The night's piece de resistance would be the TOMAHAWK. This amazingly long steak has a marble score of 5. Topped with cafe de Paris butter and foie gras, you can't help but wonder if you are going to kick the bucket right there and then because of the overload of fatty goodness. For good measure, the chef also included bone marrow, just in case you're not satisfied with the delicious yet deadly topping. This is a straight foward attempt at making your taste buds jump for joy. The meat is amazingly soft and the flavors were well absorbed. It can't get anymore better than this piece of serious meat!
 Desserts at the Fireplace are also well thought off. The Passion fruit brulee is accompanied by a chocolate ganache. For something lighter, the Vanilla Panna cotta could do the trick. 
 My top pick though would be the LEMON CANDY with CALAMANSI, YUZU and Thyme Sponge cake. At first look, you would wonder why half a lemon is presented to you. Upon closer inspection it is actually a candy shell that has a creamy inner part. You crack this candy open, scoop a bit of that liquid and place it on your slice of sponge cake. Divine.
The FIREPLACE in NEW WORLD MANILA BAY seems to acknowledge that they need to go with the times. The inclusion of different dishes to their new menu opens up their market. More than just a steakhouse, Fireplace is now steering towards greater heights.

1588 Pedro Gill cor MH Del Pilar,
Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
+632 2526888

Opens at dinner time.

Disclaimer: was invited to this event. wrote this based on my experience.
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Written by Lovely

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