SITUATED right in the heart of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Bonifacio High Street is becoming more and more popular as a dining destination to go to and a new gimmick place to be at. There are just so many restaurants and bars to choose from that even if you’re at Bonifacio High Street every day, you won’t run out of new places to dine at and gimmick places to try with friends and colleagues. Adding to its charm are sprawling open spaces and gardens, so you don’t feel ‘suffocated’ by a concrete jungle. The restaurants and bars also offer different cuisines and dining concepts so you get a different vibe when you visit each of them.
You can even go food-tripping with family or friends.
Just recently, Bonifacio High Street presented its newest and most exciting dining concepts by hosting the Bonifacio High Street Food Crawl, as curated by food blogger Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and hosted by Mercato Centrale’s co-founder and organizer RJ Ledesma. It involved six new dining concepts — The Wholesome Table, Village Tavern, Cue Modern Barbecue, Tampopo, Kimukatsu and Wolf & Fox GastroPub — so at a rate of two to three dishes per restaurant and with six restaurants involved, by the time the Food Crawl was over, everyone was almost ready to literally crawl home.
THE WHOLESOME TABLE
A dining concept put together by health advocate Bianca Elizalde and businessman-restaurateur husband Juan Elizalde, this new restaurant advocates healthy eating and takes great pains in making eating healthy more appealing even to the younger generation, who generally simply go for what they like to eat, be it healthy or not. It does this by using natural and organic ingredients sourced from local farmers who do things right in their respective farms. Its meats come from happy cows that have been allowed to graze on fields and eat grass, pigs that had space to wiggle around, and chicken that got to forage on the earth.
The food at The Wholesome Table — which make use of ingredients that are antibiotic free, nitrate free, unprocessed, raw, fresh, organic, cold-pressed and superfood — espouse the farm-to-table concept. It is comfort food that allows diners to go back to basics, to familiar and comforting dishes that they grew up with but made more healthy. It’s good, light and healthy food without sacrificing taste.
For the Bonifacio High Street Food Crawl, The Wholesome Table offered the Enlightened Bowl (Php320), a salad platter of brown rice, nori, mixed seeds, lettuce, cucumber, pickled onion and avocado in ginger dressing, topped with fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms and pea sprouts; Organic Mushroom Fritters (Php320), breaded balls made with mushrooms; The Barcelona Pizza (Php690), a Spanish-inspired pizza with tomato sauce, turkey chorizo, shiitake mushrooms, roasted garlic, fresh mozzarella and Grana Padano; and Wholesome Mojito (Php120), a non-alcoholic drink combining Spirulina, Chlorella, honey and mint).
Village Tavern at Bonifacio High Street Central is the first branch of Village Tavern outside of the United States. It originates from North Carolina, with a Filipina as corporate executive chef, and offers classic American food with elevated twists, using only the finest ingredients and freshest produce to create delicious and inventive American dishes.
Some of its most popular dishes are indulgent selections on the menu, such as Roasted Bone Marrow with Sourdough Beer Bread (Php350), which is best eaten by scooping the bone marrow paste on toasted bread slices, like a pate, then topping with parsley and taking a bite; Flank Steak (Php595), prepared using Certified Angus Beef or CAB; and Black Pizza (Php475), with squid ink incorporated into the dough to give it a dark, charcoal-like hue. Really interesting!
CUE MODERN BARBECUE
Cue Modern Barbecue, also located at Bonifacio High Street Central, redefines the concept of barbecue with its “long, low fire and slow cooking process” of preparing food. The Moment Group of Restaurants’ first venture in 2012, it has a menu made up of heirloom recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, using homemade rubs, marinades and sauces on top quality meats and other ingredients.
Cue serves gourmet burgers, such as Cue Burger (a 6oz. house blend, rib eye patty, with mozzarella and smoked Provolone cheeses, chorizo slices, arugula with a slap of red wine barbecue sauce on butter grilled buns), The Wine & Coffee Burger (which is served with a unique spicy coffee mayonnaise) and The All-Lamb Burger (which is made with 100% New Zealand lamb patty).
The full restaurant menu is made up of soups and salads, grilled items, pastas, The Chopping Board selections, and desserts; while the Porch menu for outdoor dining offers bar chows such as Campfire-style Skillet of Queso Fundido (Php190), white cheddar, chorizo, cilantro, red tomatoes and flour tortillas; and Hot Pork Belly Tips (Php245), with Dijon honey and Bourbon charsiu and charsiu barbecue dips.
As for cocktail drinks, two of the most interesting ones are Bonifacio Sour (Php225), Buffalo Trace Bourbon, egg white, lemon, calamansi and red wine float, served short; and Sweet Sour Picnic (Php225), fresh watermelon, cardamom, Sauza Tequila Gold, agave, fernet branca on the rocks).
A casual and comfortable Japanese dining place, Tampopo is a Japanese tonkatsu and ramen restaurant that landed on Philippine shores by way of Singapore. In a survey conducted by HungryGoWhere.com, it was voted by 421 diners to have the best ramen in Singapore.
The restaurant was put up by a Japanese who settled in Singapore and specializes in two of the hottest Japanese dishes the world is going crazy about in recent months — Ramen and Tonkatsu.
For its ramen offerings, Tampopo serves both Kyushu and Hokkaido style ramens. Tampopo’s Deluxe Black Pig Shabu Ramen (Php460) offers an extremely flavorful soup that has been boiled for 48 hours to produce an almost melting texture on the pork and Kyushu ramen noodles.
The pork that Tampopo uses for its ramen offerings is imported Kurobuta, or black pig, which is as premium to pork as Wagyu is to beef. The Tonkatsu, such as the premium Pork Loin Yanagawa Set (Php370 for Premium Pork, and Php570 for Black Pig), is breaded using breadcrumbs imported from Japan and utilizes a unique frying technique that cooks the meat in 100% vegetable oil heated up to the exact temperature and time. It is cooked with sauce and egg like Katsudon and is served with Tampopo’s version of Miso Soup called Tonjeru.
When it comes to Kimukatsu, this Japanese restaurant also specializes in Tonkatsu. It has the most famous pork cutlet in Japan which is so good that the restaurant has opened multiple stores in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Sendai and other cities.
The restaurant is very proud of its crispy battered 25-layered Tonkatsu that originates from the Shibuya district of Japan. Yes, 25 layers! The pork is prepared fast in a cold area to achieve the thin layers of pork with fillings that come in between. Besides having a 25-layered Tonkatsu, Kimukatsu’s pork cutlets come in seven flavors — Cheese, Garlic, Yuzu Pepper (Japanese lime and chili), Black Pepper, Original/Plain, Negi Shio, and Lime Shiso (Japanese sour plum) — with the ingredients incorporated into the pork layers.
No one makes Tonkatsu like this. To savor all seven Tonkatsu variants, diners can order the 7-flavor Kimukatsu Set (Php2,400) that comes with rice, with dips available at the table for diners to enjoy.
WOLF & FOX GASTROPUB
Wolf & Fox GastroPub is an English style pub owned by restaurateurs Marvin Agustin, Ricky Laudico and Raymond Magdaluyo. It is named after two fictional characters, Mr. Wolf, the sophisticated and traditional, and Mr. Fox, the quirky and creative character. Wolf & Fox believes that people can be divided into the two characters based on their personality traits, and so the gastropub offers two types of menus that have been designed to cater to the Mr. Wolf and Mr. Fox people. They are aptly called the Wolf Menu, which offers more traditional English pub fares; and the Fox Menu, which makes more creative dishes available to diners.
So, how about Bangers and Mash (Php34, homemade Cumberland sausage with skin-on mash and caramelized onion gravy; and/or Traditional Fish and Chips (Php35, beer-battered sole fillet, served with skin-on fries, tartare sauce and malt vinegar?
Wolf & Fox offers great European dishes during the day. These are also available in the evening, although the place itself transforms into an entirely different ‘animal’ at night, becoming a fun and exciting hangout place for a drink or two with great European bites with friends after office hours.