Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Haven of Comfort Food at Speakeasy Makati

The newest place to fulfill your comfort food cravings - and swing back a few choice cocktails while you're at it - is at Chef Mike Santos' Speakeasy in Makati. As the Head Chef and part-owner of the restobar, Mike trained under Chef Cyrille Soenen of Brasserie Cicou, before putting up his own place, putting an elegant spin on some of the classic comforts we all know and love.

Being a total fan girl for Anglo-American comfort food (i.e. lots of bread, lots of cheese, lot of potatoes), I was excited to check this place out with some of my other foodie friends one hot afternoon.

The new restaurant-cum-bar is located at the equally new Alphaland building next to The Columns and right across from the Makati Firestation. It can be found in the corner, next to the CBTL Bar although can, at times, confused for that as they share the same color scheme. Best to visit it soon and make the most of the parking while its free!

We started our lunch with plates of Gambas (P260) - generous servings of big shrimp, chorizo, and zucchini are sautéed with garlic in white wine, olive oil, and spices and served with slices of buttered bread. You can order the original, mildly spiced gambas, or the extra hot spicy version that comes with red chilis.

Having had way too much of the extra hot gambas, I cooled off my singed tongue with a refreshing Ginger Ale Soda (P80). I expected it to be a Canada Dry, but was surprised to discover it was their own brew. They make their own sodas and they come in flavors like cherry, peach, and hyacinth.

I absolutely loved the Speakeasy Gnocchi (P260), and had quite a lot of this, too. Fluffy pillows of potato-based pasta were blanketed in a creamy truffle sauce with just a hint of citrus. This complimented the gambas nicely, actually.

A lot of my friends took to the Truffle Mac & Cheese (P375) more. A classic American comfort food, the macaroni is tossed in a cheese cream sauce with pieces of bacon and truffle oil. There was a lot of truffle oil going on that afternoon. It left me heady and swimming in images of gnocchi and truffled mashed potato for the rest of the day. Good stuff.

Sometime in between brunch, we also had shots of Blood Shot (P 300) - a shot of premium tequila paired with a classic Mexican Sangrita chaser of tomato juice and a sweet and sour mix, with a spicy ending.

Jericho especially liked the Montecristo (P295), a very simple concept taken to a whole new level with a super soft white loaf soaked in homemade batter, pan-seared in butter and filled with farmer's ham and Gruyere cheese.

With most of the sandwiches, you can choose your Sides (P80) to go with it or order extra: mashed potato, side salad, fresh cut fries, potato skins, buttered vegetables, creamed spinach. I loved the potato skins as they had a nice crispness, letting out a loud crunch with each bite. Another must try is the mashed potato infused with, what else, more truffle oil!

If you're craving for something meatier, there's the Speakeasy Burger (P520) - an all-beef patty with arugula, lettuce, a thick slice of onion and tomato, and Gruyere cheese, finished off with a sunny-side organic egg. This was a mouthful, and the burger was very moist, and perfectly done.

The Speakeasy's take on the Croque Madame (P315) had farmer's ham and Gruyere cheese topped with a sunny-side up organic egg before being gratinated with more Gruyere on soft white bread. This was exceptionally creamy, and although I found it delicious, I couldn't finish all of it no matter how hard I tried.

For dessert, we had the Speakeasy Napoleon (P180), a puff pastry with pastry filled with cream and strawberry cream sauce. I found this very Cicou-esque. Not too sweet, I could probably polish one off by myself if left to my own devices.

I liked the Spiced Banana and Nutella Crepe (P180), and did manage to finish most of it off. Filled with cinnamon banana slices, candies walnuts, and some sort of spice (cayenne perhaps?), is gently folded into a paper-thin crepe and finished off with a generous drizzle of Nutella.

Overall, you will definitely see me back here for the gnocchi, the gambas, and the spiced Nutella crepe! It's really nice to have a comfort food joint that serves exceptionally good eats and some pretty banging cocktails that are easy on the pocket. Thank you to Head Chef Mike Santos, partner Dondi Chiongbian, and mixologist Alyona Vinogradova-Jeffery for such a great time!

When mucking around Makati in search of comfort food and amazing cocktails, check out Speakeasy! My only gripe is that they need a bigger space, since once the Makati crowd hears about this the place is going to be packed!

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Speakeasy Makati
+63 917 499-EASY (3279)
G/F Alphaland Makati Place,
Open: Monday to Friday 11am - 2am; Saturday 5pm to 2am