The last time I was at Restaurant Tapenade was back in April of this year. So, when I got another invitation to try Chef Luis Chikiamco’s new dishes, I just had to say yes and block it off on my calendar.
I’ve known Chef Luis for over a year now and have been able to sample his dishes a good number of times already. Every single time, I was left impressed. Chef Luis’ cooking is always on point and visually beautiful, making it perfect not just for a hungry tummy but for one’s Instagram feed, too!
During our recent visit to Restaurant Tapenade, Chef Luis shared his newest additions on their menu focusing on the most familiar flavors of the Mediterranean – Spanish, French and Italian. And with Discovery Primea General Manager David Pardo de Ayala (who himself is also an accomplished chef for almost two decades) serving you, how can one’s dinner go wrong.
Upon arrival, I was given my favorite signature welcome drink, Calamansi Soda with Ginger Ale.
So many delicious reasons to visit Restaurant Tapenade
To start off an amazing dinner, several Tapas y Antipasti were brought out. Selections like the Chistorra Frita, Setas con Jamon, Fritto Misto and Chicken Wings “Alla Diavola”. I couldn’t choose which one I liked most because each dish is delightfully different and very flavorful.
1st dish: Chistorra Frita
Fried Spanish sausage bites served with homemade ciabatta.
2nd dish: Setas con Jamon
Platter of different kinds of mushrooms – portobello, shiitake and button with generous smoked prosciutto on top.
3rd dish: Fritto Misto
Crispy fried squid, shrimp and snapper with lemon-garlic mayo dip. Seafood lovers will definitely rejoice!
4th dish: Chicken Wings “Alla Diavola”
These chicken wings were spicy good! The mint yogurt worked perfectly with the wings, helping temper the heat a bit.
Up next, some pasta and pizza.
5th dish: Crab Meat Lasagna
This dish was a revelation! I initially ignored it but eventually got drawn in when I saw how creamy it was! The tanginess from the fresh tomatoes went well with the light bechamel sauce. Chef Luis definitely did not scrimp on the crab meat!
6th dish: Homemade Pimenton Linguine
Spanish chorizo, roasted bell peppers, garlic and fresh thyme. This dish packs tons of flavor.
7th dish: Double Smoked Bacon, Goat Cheese & Scallion Ravioli with black olive tapenade and butter sauce
The combination of these ingredients were superb! Absolutely noteworthy.
8th dish: Piccante Dolce
Spicy salami, provolone cheese and honey. This pizza plays on the pleasant contrasting flavors of sweet and salty.
9th dish: Truffle & Sage
Generous layers of fontina cheese & mozzarella, crema tartufata and Italian sausage. It has nice crusty edges and a deliciously moist center. This is one helluva pizza!
10th dish: Vongole All’Oreganata
Fresh clams and garlic are always winners in my book. That’s why this pizza creation made my heart skip a beat! The addition of fresh oregano and mozzarella just made this dish extra lovely.
Mind you… we have not gotten to the mains yet! It’s like a degustacion but in huge portions! Hahaha!
Get ready for the mains cause here they come!
11th dish: Seafood “Arroz Caldoso”
If you love rice, this dish will make your day! Chef Luis loaded this broth dish with shrimp, snapper and clams in saffron-shellfish essence to make it flavorful with a mix of amazing texture. A heart warming broth dish perfect for a rainy day or if you just want something really comforting.
12th dish: Tapenade’s Whole Roasted Free-Range Chicken
This beautifully roasted chicken actually reminded me of Christmas. When thinking of what to order for your family when dining at Restaurant Tapenade, include this on your list. It’s tasty, juicy and very aromatic. Even the accompaniments that came with it were absolutely delicious.
13th dish: US Baby Back Ribs
The sweet and spicy glaze captures the flavors of the Calabrian cuisine that originated from southern Italy. The meat is so soft and bursting with flavors. The scallion risotto was the perfect pair to this protein heavyweight.
Of course, a dinner this extravagant should be capped off with a heavenly dessert. But knowing Chef Luis, one dessert will never be enough. 4 desserts perhaps?
Bittersweet Chocolate Tartufo
Moist Orange & Almond Cake
And my favorite dessert for the evening…
This salted caramel pudding was like a piece of heaven in a cup!
I love how Chef Luis excites guests and patrons of Restaurant Tapenade by regularly adding delightful additions to the menu and trying out new spins on old favorites. Each dish that Chef Luis and his team prepares always has its own distinct character making it stand out. They are all unique in a way that each dish cannot eclipse the other. You did it again, chef!
Looking forward to more gastronomic revelations at Restaurant Tapenade in the future!
Restaurant Tapenade is at the G/F
of Discovery Primea
6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City,
T: +63 2 955-8888