Taguig


 

Saw Basilio’s last weekend when I was visiting their neightbor Barcino . I made a mental note to myself that I should visit the place. I’ve visited it twice, first time for a round of drinks and check out the mini plates and the next day to try the lunch menu.

Their menu is themed as contemporary comfort food. Multi-cultural but food we turn to for familiarity. It’s not an extensive menu yet as Basilio’s just did their grand opening last March. The server mentioned that a more comprehensive list would be coming out soon.

The mini-plates :

Crab Ravioli

Crab Ravioli Php 290 – Freshly rolled ravioli pasta with creamy crabmeat served with lemon-butter sauce, tomato salsa and eggplant caviar. Ravioli was chewy and nice. Nice bite from the orange rind included in the sauce.

Popcorn Shrimps

Basilio’s Popcorn shrimp Php 390 – Cajun spiced shrimp in cornmeal crust. Nice presentation, there was real popcorn in a glass! This was a letdown though. The crust wasn’t crispy enough worse!  I could taste the rancidity of used oil! This dish was overpriced and not worth it.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Spicy Wings Php 360 – Buffalo style chicken wings with blue cheese fonduta. Pile on the blue cheese dressing to get the flavor out of the buffalo wings. The wings itself didn’t have much flavor by itself.

During our lunch, we ordered the mains below :

Bread

Complimentary bread – I liked how small and cute they looked. I wanted to pop one right into my mouth….but wait… Aaacckk… the bread was tough as in hard to chew and cold =(.

50 Cloves Chicken

50 clove garlic chicken Php 380 – Roasted half chicken marinated in lots of garlic and herbs, served with tomato rice and giblet gravy. Felt the garlic taste from the first bite. It was just the right amount of garlic and not too overpowering. They could have added more of the herbs though to add complexity to the taste of the chicken.

Pork Ribs

Grilled Pork Ribs Php 420 – Baby Back Pork Ribs with barbeque sauce served with country style mashed potatoes. Shella was right, I didnt notice it immediately but there wasn’t that much meat on the ribs. I thought I just got a thin part of the rib which Marite shared with me but I guess it wasn’t meaty all thoughout. It wasn’t tender too.

Seafood Pasta

Seafood Pasta Php 320 – Fresh seafood with spaghetti in a light olive oil-white wine sauce. I liked this best. I liked the balance of olive oil and white wine. I liked the tidbits of seafood on the pasta. They probably did it to cut costs but it worked for me.

Summary : My first visit trying out Basilio’s mini-plates was a letdown. It’s not good pulutan! The lunch dishes were better but not great. The dishes didn’t have that zing that would make you remember comfort food and want to come back again.

Rating   : Chance Visitor
Food     :  Haven’t ordered something that I would reorder again

Basilio’s
Unit 151 Forbes Wood Height
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Tel : 856 2743

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Aubergine

Hans and Norbert, proprietors of Aubergine had been executive chefs in Shangri-la and Mandarin respectively. They setup Aubergine to be the practicum restaurant of their culinary school, the International School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM).

Wine Cellar

The restaurant itself reminded me of a hotel coffee shop. Big and brightly lit with yellow lights. The center had a wall to ceiling glass-encased wine cellar.

Aubergine Kitchen

From the dining area, one can actually see the entire kitchen through a large glass pane window.  Several ISCAHM students were busy preparing ingredients from their stations.

We opted to share the degustation menu to have a wider sample of what Aubergine has to offer.

Degustation Menu

Seabass mousse with ratatouille

Amuse Bouche – Seabass mousse with ratatouille

Oysters Delight

Oyster Delight… Variation of fresh, baked, fried on mango-papaya salsa, pouched in vinaigrette, sauteed with prosciutto on mascarpone-dates cream and Tempura Oysters, accompanied by garden green’s in Raspberry dressing – The oysters are of good quality. Plump and clean taste to the oysters.

Beef Consomme

Mushroom flavored beef consomme with crepes strudel and vegetable julienne – I didn’t like this. It’s basically strong beef broth with some ground meat in it. The strong beef broth got to overpowering midway and I couldn’t finish the whole bowl.

Duck Foie Gras

Pan seared duck foie gras on celeriac-apple Mousseline and balsamic-port wine reduction – Best dish on our menu. Foie gras is of very good quality. The foie gras was firm and smoothly textured. It just melts in your mouth.

Calamansi Sherbet

Calamansi sherbet – Creative way of serving the sherbet. Dry ice has been placed inside the teacup which was giving out smoke.

Grilled Australian lamb loin

Grilled Australian lamb loin, gratinated with porcini mushrooms on red wine-pommery mustard jus, served with rosemary and truffle infused potato gratin and glazed vegetables – Grilled to medium. The meat was done was just right. The sauce was creamy and complemented the meat.

Dessert

Grand Marnier ice parfait with chocolate-mascarpone fritter and mango jubilee – The Chocolate Mascarpone fritter stood out among this dessert trio. Tasted like tiramisu because of the mascarpone.

Pralines and Macaroons

Coffee or tea

Php 1950+

On the side, we also ordered Watermelon with Brie, Arugula and cherry tomatoes salad.  ( forgot the actual name).  I didn’t think the watermelon complemented with the brie cheese. The flavors clashed between the sweet watery watermelon and the earthy creamy flavors of the brie cheese. The Brie cheese by itself was excellent though. I liked mixing the brie with the arugula salad, cherry tomatoes and candied walnuts.

Watermelon Salad

We also had an order of Shrimp Bisque which is very good. I would recommend this any day over the Beef Consomme.

Shrimp Bisque

Summary : Aubergine is classical fine dining. Perfectly executed dishes, artful plating and very attentive service. It’s just like having a meal in a hotel restaurant.  But as with a  hotel restaurant, the atmosphere is stuffy and formal. I rather have a very well-cooked meal in much much more relaxed surroundings. I had a server pulling my chair for me everytime I stood up!

Rating  : Like It
Food    : Foie Gras

Aubergine
32nd and 5th Building
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Philippines
Tel : 856-9888