Fun Fine Dining

by Yvette Marie B. Santiago, MD


The PAO Foodies* travelled virtually to Paris for a culinary adventure at 210° Kitchen + Drinkery.

Its star, Chef William Mahi, is a French Chef who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide and was chef de cuisine of The Tasting Room in City of Dreams Manila.  At 210° Kitchen + Drinkery, he shifted from fine dining to what he calls “fun dining” as he serves his favorite comfort food and drinks in his own restaurant.  He describes, “going to 210° is akin to being invited to a Michelin starred chef’s home on his day off” (https://www.210degrees.ph)
 

The PAO Foodies (from left) Dr. Christine Santos, Dr. Sherman Valero, Dr. Badj Bolinao, the author, and Dr. Pipo Ronque

THE PLACE: Located at Icon Plaza on 25th Street, BGC, the interiors of this casual French restaurant is eclectically decorated with Chef Mahi’s personal touch-- an open kitchen where you can watch his team in action, signboards that show his journey so far, a huge photo of a French musician- his favorite, a replica of a Paris Metro post, and other knickknacks.  The ambience is hip and cozy with good music.

THE FOOD:  Two of us tried the five-course dinner tasting menu while the rest opted for a la carte.  The food, as a whole, was tasty and served artfully with touches of molecular gastronomy.  By Pinoy standards, this is still considered fine dining but compared to an actual Michelin-starred French restaurant, it is more affordable.  The five-course set menu gives the best value for money (1,490 pesos/person) with a choice of 1 out of 2 or 3 dishes per course.  Nevertheless, a lot of the a la carte offerings seemed hard to resist.

The Egg (left photo was grabbed from zomato.com)

The Egg is one of Chef’s signature dishes.  An egg yolk cooked at 48°C is dropped into a bowl of potato mousse as it is served.  It can be ordered as the third course of the tasting menu or a la carte.  Eating it was fun indeed– each bite of the rich & savory soft-boiled yolk is enveloped with a thick and creamy sauce that resembles whipped egg white (but it is potato mousse) and intensified by hints of sweet onion and bits of bacon. It was unlike anything we have tasted and altogether a luxurious experience in every way.

Pipo's five-course set meal:

Ceasar Salad, Onion Soup, The Egg (described above), Tuna (grilled and served with green chili, sauce Gribiche and eggplant), & Tiramisu

Badj’s five-course set meal:
 

Homemade Marinated Salmon (salmon marinated for 36 hours and served with pickles, capers, mushrooms and Parisian sauce), Pumpkin Veloute (cooked sous vide with sweet wine and cumin foam), The Egg (described above), Duck Breast (a half portion of roasted duck breast, served with port wine sauce and a traditional roasted apple, garnished with squash puree and popcorn), and Crème Brulee

Our a la carte selection:

Sherman’s choices: Calorific and delicious! These usual favorites were whimsically plated.

Pan Fried Duck Liver (Soulard foie gras in corn foam and popcorn) and Mushroom Ravioli (cepes, shitake, and button mushrooms ravioli in mushroom cappuccino)

Christine’s choice: Rack of Lamb roasted on dry provencale herbs and served with sauce and a siding of her choice- port wine and sautéed vegetables, respectively. It was a hearty plate of meat that was a tad tough and chewy.  She finished the entire dish nonetheless.

Rack of Lamb

The author’s choices: The Beetroot was a playfully plated, reconstructed (not deconstructed) salad that, in the author’s opinion, is a dish that only a vegetable lover would enjoy. The roasted sweet root is served whole on a bed of salt and black olive soil that flavors it to taste, depending on how much is dipped into it.  The saltiness is balanced by the acidity of raspberry vinaigrette that decorates the dish. Homemade Salmon Rilette was a spread served with 3 bread crisps standing on a bed of roasted sesame seeds (which was just garnish).  The salty salmon spread needed more bread crisps. The grilled Octopus was as artistically flavored as it was plated.  The magical taste was a perfect blend of the flavors of chargrilled excellence, cumin, and pimentos

 

The Beetroot, Homemade Salmon Rilettes, & Octopus

The drinks: This Drinkery lives up to its name with a long list of signature and classic cocktails, a vast selection of hard liquor (read: 3 pages long), and fine choices of Champagne and wine.  

Whiskey Sour & Wines by the glass (White, Rose, Red)

The verdict: We recommend this place for an affordable fancy night out that gives you a taste of Michelin star dining experience.

SPOON ARCHIVES
PAO Foodies SAMBA the night away

*The “PAO foodies” is an unofficial group of eyeMDs who share a common love for food and dining out.  The activities of the group are not compensated by the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology in any way.

** Food photo descriptions were taken from the restaurant’s menu

*** 210° Kitchen + Drinkery also offers a two- or three-course weekday tasting menu at an even more reasonable cost (450 pesos for two courses and 650 pesos for three courses).  That’s worth trying!

 


About The Author

Dr. Yvette Marie Santiago is an Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who has been a part of the eFP editorial staff since 2012 and was editor-in-chief from 2014-2015. Apart from being passionate about anything that has to do with the orbits, she is a shopaholic in denial and an obsessed gastronome with an indomitable wanderlust. She dreams of someday enrolling herself at the International Culinary Center in New York, so that she can learn how to cook all the fine food that she wants.