Before a review of the Best of 2016, Chow Buzz opts to start the year with a preview to how delicious January 2017 is looking to be, with the opening of these 4 new concepts by some of the country’s best chefs, all in one month.
LA CHINESCA by Chef Bruce Ricketts
Chef Bruce Ricketts of Sensei Sushi and Mecha Uma fame, finally pays homage to his Mexican culinary roots, the cuisine closest to his heart, at his soon-to-open Mexican playground, La Chinesca.
Originally, scheduled to open late last year, its opening got pushed back, after the chef ended-up extending his vacation at the latter part of 2016 that included a R&D visit to Mexico, where he also surprised his long time girlfriend with a marriage proposal on top of Hierve el Agua.
Chow Buzz was fortunate enough to catch two of La Chinesca’s random pop-ups last year, and thinks Chef Bruce makes the best ‘legit’ Mexican tacos in town, and can’t wait to head South to visit once the Mexican cantina finally opens its doors to the dining public on a more regular basis.
The restaurant is currently already conducting trial sessions with friends, and is eyeing a January opening date. Follow La Chinesca on Instagram @LaChinesca for the latest updates and to know when it’s open or not.
La Chinesca is located at 248C Aguirre St., BF Homes Paranaque, beside Amalia’s Spanish Restaurant, and near Chef Bruce’s 1st solo venture, Sensei Sushi.
210⁰ KITCHEN + DRINKERY by Chef William Mahi
Now on its soft opening stage is 210⁰ Kitchen + Drinkery, the debut solo venture of William Mahi, the former executive chef of the Tasting Room at the City of Dreams Manila
At 210⁰, watch the young and super-talented, French chef make a 180⁰ turn, as he shifts from Fine Dining to Fun Dining.
During its soft-opening phase, 210⁰ will only be open for dinner service, and will serve a four-course set menu that will include some of the highlights of its upcoming ala carte menu.
Expect dishes like French-style rotisserie chicken, steak tartare, onion soup and tarte tatin, the type of comforting food that most Michelin star chefs, like Mahi, enjoys eating themselves, on their days off.
210⁰ KITCHEN & DRINKERY is located at Unit 1D, Ground Floor, ICON Plaza, 25th Street corner 6th Avenue, BGC Taguig. Soft Opening Hours (by reservation only): Monday to Saturday 6pm to 10pm. Reservation Numbers: +63-995-015.2192 or +632-958-5305.
THE TEST KITCHEN by Josh Boutwood
Unknown to many, Chef Josh’s previous culinary work experiences, included working in Scandinavia doing various “stage” or apprenticeships in some of the top kitchens in Europe, which included Restaurant Trio and Noma. At 23, he moved back to Manila and ended-up, spontaneously opening his own fine dining restaurant in Boracay called Restaurant Alchemy in 2010, before he was offered to join the Bistro Group in 2012.
Now at 30, the Fil-Brit Chef Josh Boutwood, currently the Corporate Executive Chef of the Bistro Group of restaurants is scheduled to unveil the Bistro Group’s first Fine Dining concept that they named, The Test Kitchen on Thursday, January 12, 2017.
The Test Kitchen is designed to be a casual, fine dining restaurant featuring a choice of a six-course (Php1,800) or eight-course (Php2,200) degustation menu, served in a communal seating set-up, composed of two tables with a total seating capacity of 18 to 20 pax, an ideal stage to finally showcase the culinary prowess of Chef Josh Boutwood.
There will be no fixed menus available as the chef promises to serve a different menu everyday.
The Test Kitchen, opening on Thursday, January 12, is by reservations and open for dinner service only. Address: 9780 Kamagong St., San Antonio Village, Makati. For reservations, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
HIBANA by Chef Mark Tan
Opening on Monday, January 16 is Hibana, the New Japanese Restaurant Concept of Chef Mark Tan, which is named after the Japanese term for spark. As its name implies, the restaurant will focus on dishes cooked on a robata, or Japanese charcoal grill. But, at will also be serving other popular Japanese fare, like sushi, sashimi and katsu.
This will be Chef Mark Tan’s third restaurant after his critically-acclaimed Studio Kitchen and Allium.
In Allium, Chef Mark already showed his love for everything Japanese, early on with tasting menus filled with his many well-executed, Japanese-inspired signature dishes. Those missing Chef Mark’s style of fine-cooking, will be happy to take note that a smaller, 12 seater, studio-like area, called Sutajio, is slated to open in mid-2017 within the Hibana premises. This space will serve as Chef Mark’s culinary playground, where he can provide 12 fortunate guests, three times a week, a taste of his gastronomic masterpieces.
Hibana is located on the ground floor of the Grand Midori Building on Bolanos Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City (occupying the former Allium spot). It will initially open for lunch service only on Monday, January 16, till further notice. For inquiries, call (+632) 519-1088 for reservations or inquiries.