10.11.2012

Kulinarya: I experienced the difference!

It's been more than two months ago but I can still recall everything as if it was just last night... It was a rainy Monday night then, yet we braved the traffic for this culinary escapade of epic proportions. (I wouldn't miss it for the world since the handful reviews I found online were consistently positive!) With the whole family in tow, we headed to Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati to try this restaurant which was said to be here for the longest time and yet, has to be discovered and raved about by food lovers in the metro.


Owned by the couple Carlos and Chef Patricia Mendoza-Mesina, Kulinarya Kitchen has been around since the Power Plant Mall was established. But a simple Google search reveals little of their presence in the culinary arena of Metro Manila. Perhaps it is a secret best kept by residents of the area. Though in my opinion, it is one foodie destination that should be known to all.


A stroll around Power Plant Mall, one would notice this elegant place and mistake it for something that requires dressing up fine dining, when actually it's just casual dining.


An eclectic mix of striped walls, white plush sofas for dining chairs, black mini chandeliers as light fixtures, an array of large spoon and fork in shades of reds and oranges as an interesting wall piece and a chalkboard for the day's Executive Lunch menu greets the customer in just one sweep of the eyes. Surprisingly pleasant, I must say.


On to the food! Here's a rundown on what we have sampled off that night:


Seafood Salad Maki (P215)
Description: Shrimp and crabstick salad rolled in nori, breaded and deep fried topped with ebiko, drizzled with wasabi vinaigrette, soy-balsamic reduction & mango coulis

I prefer my sushi or maki, the usual way it is served. All the ingredients freshly prepared and their taste, brimming with freshness. I didn't know that they can be fried, so imagine my surprise when we were served this. I was a bit hesitant, knowing that oil can alter a dish significantly. But surprised indeed I was, simply because I liked it! The nori seaweed is crunchy but the Japanese rice and the filling remained soft and really moist and flavorful. Everyone in the group raved about this unique concoction. A definite must-try!



Asian Buffalo Wings (P250)
Description: 6 pieces spiced chicken wings with a touch of Asian spices and honey cooked “Buffalo Style” with vegetable sticks and blue cheese dressing

When I see "buffalo-style" in conjunction with chicken wings, my taste bud readies themselves with that really hot and spicy punch. But Kulinarya's take on the Western style chicken wings lacked that. The heat level is on the mild side and the blue cheese dip further tames the heat while infusing another depth of taste.



White Cheese (P295) 
Description: 12" Grilled Middle Eastern flatbread topped with mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese and local kesong puti

When it comes to pizza, I gravitate towards anything with garlic and seafood. My husband, on the other hand, loves anything meaty and topping-heavy. I expected that when you put cheese on any bread, it's just that -- a cheesy bread. But this pizza reeled me in. Another new for me, as the 4 kinds of cheeses supplied a medley of flavors with varying magnitudes of creaminess. Instantly, I'm a fan!



Fresh Mushroom Soup (P165) 
Description: A creamy soup with deep and earthy flavors

My least favorite. Maybe it's because the cream overpowered the taste of the mushroom? It's just what I have tasted there -- the cream. Not event a hint of mushroom. Perhaps they should downplay the use of cream to bring out the supposed "deep and earthy flavors" of the mushroom in the soup.



Crab and Mango Salad (Solo P220 / Sharing P415) 
Description: Mixed greens, crabstick and mango with mayo, cilantro oil and soy-balsamic

Being a fan of California Maki, the classic combo of crabstick and mango is a sure winner for me. So this salad combination did not come as a surprise. The ingredients though are fresh as it should be. What made this salad stand out? The presentation. It's too good to look at that you won't want the waiter to cut it up and destroy the nifty tree that it looks like. Kudos to Chef Patricia for providing, not just a feast for the stomach, but also for the eyes.



Harvest Salad (Solo P250 / Sharing P475)
Description: Mixed greens, apples, grapes, feta cheese & nuts with Italian & balsamic vinaigrette

I can compare this to the well-known Waldorf Salad; having the same ingredients, except for the addition of grapes and feta cheese and made lighter with the use of vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise. The presentation is another stunner! I can never get enough of their salads.



U.S. Top Blade Steak (P995)
Description: 16oz U.S. top blade steak served with rustic mashed potato, buttered vegetables and red wine sauce

Steak cooked to perfection that it melts in your mouth. Add some of the red wine sauce and authentic mashed potato (I say authentic because the potatoes are quite coarse, a testament that the potatoes were mashed, and that this isn't your instant mashed potato from the box), and I am wanting to go there this instant to order this and devour this myself. That's sooo bad in many levels. One of which is because this platter is good for 4!



Beef Salpicao (P350) 
Description: Beef tenderloin cutlets sautéed in olive oil, garlic and our special sauce. Served with bread or rice.

Carnivores celebrate! Another dish that is bursting with flavors and oh-so tender. A version that is a take-off from what my brother and I are used to. This one tastes like it has tomatoes (maybe that's what the special sauce is) and garlic chips peppered this dish. Do not order this with the top steak, for this dish can't shine alongside that one. Its humble presence though belies its taste. Try it for yourself!



Grilled Asian Salmon (P395) 
Description: with stir-fried vegetables drizzled with oyster sauce glaze and lemon butter sauce

I love salmon, but again, I love it when it's with garlic and cheese (I don't know what's with that pairing, but it's so lovely when paired with seafood!). And I have always had salmon, baked. Grilling salmon gives it that new taste profile of smokiness. The glaze and sauce accompaniment are too little though.



Gamberi Pasta (Solo P250 / Sharing P460) 
Description: The original! Shrimps in spicy gambas sauce on herb pasta

Who would have known that gambas as pasta sauce would work? Amazing! So deliciously shrimp-y and rich, I was left wanting for more. *sigh* If only there were more space in my stomach that night. But thanks to Kulinarya's hefty servings, I can only sample this for a spoonful or two.



Suman Latik Fritters and Mango Flambé (P180) 
Description: Crispy coated rice cake and flambéed fresh mangoes drizzled with sweet coco jam and served with vanilla ice cream.

Aaah. Dessert. There's always room for dessert. Especially when they are a modern twist to classic fares that we have. Take this dessert for example. Suman and mangoes are usual pairings that our fellowmen enjoy but Kulinarya had upped the notch, injecting sophistication by flambéing the pair and introducing coco jam and vanilla ice cream. Such sweet decadence!



Choco Lava Cake (P160) 
Description: A rich flourless chocolate cake with a molten truffle core. Served with vanilla ice cream and strawberry compote

Chocolate + vanilla + strawberry. Another tried and tested trifecta. This time, it's the lava cake a la mode that was enhanced by the addition of strawberry compote. Beautiful contrasts of flavors given by the hot & quite bitter chocolate lava cake, sweet & cold vanilla ice cream and the fruity tartness of strawberry.



Buco Pandan Panacotta (P135) 
Description: A Filipino dessert with an Italian twist! Layered with pandan gelatine and shredded young coconut drizzled with sweet cream

I didn't know it was possible. But in life, you'd encounter something that would do a paradigm shift in your preferences. Such was the case with my husband and this Buco Pandan Panacotta. Hubby swore to me several times in the past that he would never like buco pandan. He didn't find it appalling, it just simply doesn't appeal to him. Until he met Kulinarya's Buco Pandan Panacotta. I have to commend him though, for trying out something before he even dismissed that he didn't like it. But boy, one teaspoon of this panacotta is enough to make him a convert! Hallelujah! It's that good. The silken panacotta, runny and sweet buco with the fragrant pandan -- you should not leave Kulinarya without ordering this one! Hubby has a disclaimer though: he still doesn't like buco pandan in other forms. Just this one. ;)
 

Going over everything we have tasted that night can be tiring! Haha. I can't believe our group sampled (and relished!) every bit of those dish. But who am I to complain when every dish that was served that night was stellar in their own unique way, taste-wise and presentation-wise. Even the service is impeccable, as the waiters were very attentive to our needs -- even slicing off the salad for us! Overall, it was a very pleasant dining experience. I can see ourselves going back there, but with another set of people whom we will turn into instant fans, I'm sure. Kulinarya indeed offered something new, something different. I can really say that with Kulinarya, "I experienced the difference!"





Kulinarya Kitchen
P1 Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati City
898-1738 / 898-1864


Operating Hours | Mon-Thu: 11:00 am-9:00 pm | Fri:11:00 am-10:00 pm | Sat: 10:00 am-10:00 pm | Sun:10:00 am-9:00 pm
Website | http://www.kulinaryakitchen.com/
Facebook | http://www.facebook.com/KulinaryaKitchen
Twitter | http://twitter.com/kulinaryaglobal

6 comments:

Kathy Ngo said...

It's actually FM, not RM hehe. Yep, had to post na bago mawala yung essence e. Thanks for stopping by.

As for Kulinarya, I'll try this out soon!

Vanenie said...

So sorry! My bad. Yup, try Kulinarya! Sarap talaga, promise :)

Kero said...

doorl! I love crab mango salald and the chco lava cake presentation is exquisite!

Vance Madrid said...

The food looks delicious & they seem to have a large serving. Plus with the mention of something as posh as comfy seats plus the fact that it's at Power Plant, it is reasonably priced. Will try this soon!

Berylle Kaye Hong said...

I wanna try the lava cake and wings! Prices are quite reasonable too :)

Lyn | Oh Beautiful Madness said...

The prices aren't bad too.

Thanks for sharing! :)

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