We had the pleasant surprise of being able to try out the Black Box menu of Lolo Dad’s for our visit. The MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge is all about

“Teams being given a Black Box filled with mystery ingredients including prime Australian beef, sheepmeat or goatmeat, seafood, spices, fruit and vegetables as well as dairy products and stocks. The teams are given one hour to devise a 4-course menu using all of the ingredients. The meal is prepared the following evening and is judged by a panel of international chefs at a gala dinner. Points are awarded for taste, skill, creativity and artistic merit. ”

The fourth round of the black box challenged has Lolo Dad’s emerging as the overall winner from 9 team. Lolo Dad’s will be representing the Philippines in the Global Black Box Challenge in Dubai this month!!!

Their winning menu :

 Compressed seafood

Compressed seafoods, Fish mousse and Salmon citrus jelly, Micro greens and herb panini

 Seafood broth

Poached lobster and Prawn dumpling, mushrooms and saffron broth

 Roasted Pigeon

Seared duck liver and Roasted pigeon breast with Lavender scented waffle



 Rack of Lamb

Oven-roasted rack of lamb

 Goat\'s cheese

Gratinated goat cheese with honey, Chev’s cheese bar and Tomato marmalade

 White chocolate brulee

Poached white chocolate brulee praline, Macadamia nut meringue tart and Strawberry ice cream

 Chocolate miniatures

Miniature of chocolates


Php 2,800.00 + 10% charge

Lolo Dad’s skill and technique is very much apparent with the Black Box menu. The Compressed Seafood and Fish Mousse were excellent. So much seafood flavors bursting from a small dish. The Seared Duck Liver and Roasted Pigeon Breast was another standout. Each single piece of ingredient on the plate down to the blueberries, mandarin orange and waffle brought together a medley of tastes that just worked. Same goes for the Goat’s Cheese and Chev’s Cheese Bar. Each ingredient complementing each other.  The Rack of Lamb didn’t disappoint, perfectly medium-cooked.

Chef Ariel was not in the kitchen on our night’s visit. He was off in a culinary competition and because of this I think, the kitchen was sadly a bit heavy on the salt on our night’s visit. Our Seafood Broth, Rack of Lamb sauce and Foie Gras appetizer sauce were all a bit salty. Flavors are there, but just with more salt that night which can easily be fixed.

 Lolo Dad\'s

Summary : Lolo Dad’s is not cheap but it is one of those places I would visit again and again. Excellent food that’s not boring. It’s not your traditional steak and potatoes place. The food in Lolo Dad’s explores and plays with ingredients. I also love the ambience, cozy and intimate with just a few tables. And for those who enjoy their wine, corkage is free so bring a good bottle. As said, a good bottle of wine will always enhance the flavors of the food and at Lolo Dad’s you can.

* The Black Box menu is still being offered so try to visit Lolo Dad’s if you can.

Rating : Love it
Food   : A lot… for the mainstays, the rack of lamb.

Lolo Dad’s Cafe
899 Pres. Quirino Ave.
cnr Leonguinto St. Malate
Tel : 522 2941
Closed on Monday lunch and Sunday