Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Mid-Year Celebration at Restaurant LU

The Schmuzter fambam and I found ourselves at LU|LU for our mid-year celebration. Wow, has it already been 6 months since we started our social media marketing baby? To celebrate the growing success of the company, the Empress of Schmuze treated all of us out to a night on the town with dinner at the ever-popular Restaurant LU.

The brainchild of English Chef Tom Hines, the restaurant has a nice modern yet casual feel to it. It's tucked away at the ground floor of Joya Tower in Rockwell, away from the busy Power Plant Mall. If you're lucky, you might even catch Ruffa Gutierrez there having dinner, as it's one of her favorite hangout spots in the city. Who can blame her? The food is great!

Chef Tom can usually be found hanging out and attending to his customers at LU|LU, chatting them up or surprising them with dessert on the house (provided the occasion calls for it, of course). He takes a classical approach to his cooking - there's no need for deconstruction, fusion, or any of that crap - it's all about good food where the ingredients speaks for itself. That and I hope I see mince pie on his dessert menu when December rolls around!

Our celebration started with The Whole Shebang (P798), - a smorgasbord of appetizers that consisted of Argentinian Empanadas, Zucchini Blossom Tempura, Roasted Garlic Gambas, Golden Smoked Fish & Crab Cakes, Hummus Beiruti, Roasted Eggplant, and Salade Olivier.

I especially loved the Zucchini Blossom Tempura, which was something totally different and unexpected. The Zucchini Blossoms were light and airy, the batter gave it a bit of a body, and the tomato salsa that you dipped it in just gave it a nice sweet tang.

I didn't get to taste the Chicken Liver Parfait with Melba Toast (P258) - the platter was quite clean before it got to me - but I was told that is was really, really good. This was at the other end of the table, so I got some else to take the picture. Sorry.

Another Schmuzer favorite was LULU's Quesos Fundidos (P295) - LU|LU's sensational 4-Cheese dip served with homemade flat bread  You can choose between three kinds of dips: Chorizo, Wild Mushroom, or Artichoke & Spinach.

The Quesos Fundidos was gooey, a tad oily, and absolutely delicious! The mozzarella made the cheese really stringy, so you'd get a big dollop of it, plop it in the middle of your flat bread, and then roll it up nice and tight like a little baby before taking a bite.

We were served LULU's Roasted Squash Soup served with Melba Toast (P210) next, which was dairy-free (read: no cream base). After a generous helping of freshly cracked pepper, the mild flavor of the squash came to life. Sopping it up with the Melba toast helped a lot, too. It was a pretty generous serving of soup.

I have to say that LULU also serves some of the best cocktails in Makati. Most of us ordered their signature LUjito - LULU's take on the mojito. The Empress of Schmuze's came with a stick of sugar cane, but they ran out after a while, so I got the ordinary straw. Phooey.

I had the Tuna, Arugula & Rosini (P650) for my main course - seared Yellofin tuna with a Chinois dressing that came with a generous amount of Arugula and Rosini pasta.

The tuna was executed perfectly, seared nicely all over with a well-seasoned crust, but a deep pink when cut open, with very little effort.

The Schmuze Operator and the Incredible Schmuze had Tumeric Lemon Poulet with Pickled Grapefruit (P550) - char-grilled tumeric and lemon rubbed chicken with an atcharra of pomelo and cucumber with Jasmine rice on the side.

The rest of the team took Tom's recommendation and went for the Lamb Bolognese (P398) - slow-cooked lamb bolognese with preserved lemon and penne pasta. I tried a little bit, but the tuna still won out in my opinion.

We all ended our dinner with Coconut Crème Brûlée. I'm more of a chocolate whore myself, but the crème brûlée was once again executed to perfection - you really can't complain.

We all had a great time at Restaurant LU and will probably be back for more of Tom's mouth-watering food when I find myself mucking around Makati. Thank you, Tom and the Empress of Schmuze, for the wonderful three-turned-four-course meal!

The team is slowly growing, not only have we put up a company - we're created a little family, too. Cheers to getting through half of the year with Schmuzter, and to greater success in the near future!

Schmuze on!

Restaurant LU
+63 2 403 3991
G/F Joya South Tower, Joya Drive,
Rockwell, Makati City
Monday - Thursday: 11am - 3pm, 5pm - 11pm
Friday - Sunday: 11am - 3pm, 5pm - 12am