I've been to Tapenade quite a number of times now. Usually if I wait out the traffic I get a thing or two at Discovery Primea's Gilarmi lounge and do events here. It's cozy and tucked away from the usually restaurants in Makati so there are less crowds. I like that part because the last thing anyone wants is a noisy neighbor.
For years now, Tapenade has been serving top of the notch Spanish-Euro dishes this side of town. I like their Octopus, pizzas and famous garden buffet for lunch and dinner. They just launched new items in the menu to revamp their classics, and accompany what existing hit items they already have. They did come in a good time.
The Best Salad Bar
Before we go to the new items on the menu, I saw a revamped Salad Bar from Tapenade. Before, it only carried the usual fresh leafy vegetables and whatnot, but earlier I got a glimpse of their cheese, anti pasto (cured meats), prepared salads, breads, creams and jams, sliders, Vietnamese rolls, Shrimp and Mussels for the lunch crowd. This is quite extensive when I last saw this place a couple months ago.
New Items on the Menu
Inspired by Mediterranean flavors, Tapenade prepared for us their new exciting dishes. You could see how much it is a mix of French, Greek and Italian. I personally loved the Rigatoni and Paella (which you should order when you dine).
Mozzarella and Friends was so soft and fresh, put a little dab of Basil Pesto, Black Olive Tapenade (love the strong flavor), Romesco Dip and Fruit Mostarda (a mix), and you'll be glad to have lived in this lifetime. These are part of anti pastis and yes, they're quite amazing.
Prosciutto and Company had a roving slicing machine with it. It will be done table side and is quite fancy. Impress your guests and savor the slivers of thinly sliced pork air dried and salt cured for a reason. It's not guilt free, but worth every eye closing moment you have it.
The Shrimps en Gabardina was like a Spanish Tempura. It was crunchy and good on the outside, fresh and soft on the inside. They have a Guindilla aioli dip with this, it had a strong garlic kick and everyone raved about it!
Baked, Smashed and Deep Fried, this is Patatas Crunchy with Mojo Dip. It's a Basil based sauce you put on top of the spuds, pretty good in my books as a starter.
This Rigatoni Al Sugo was inspired by their hit pizza flavor. It's got prosciutto chopped and sweat down so you get that smoky tomatoey profile in the sauce. I loved it the moment I laid my eyes on it, haha!
Two things that are made of dreams, my favorite is the Wagyu Beef and Mushroom Paella had a mix of crunchy rice morsels, made intense with the black pepper aioli and super soft medium rare slices of the best meat in town, plus the other one called Roast Chicken and Chorizo Paella had its spices permeate with the short grain rice. Ahh the heavens must be rejoicing over these!
The Red Snapper Fillet on the other hand was packed with tomato flavors. It was like a canvas, painted with Italian and Amalfi coast inspirations, perfect for a date night and white wine.
Last but not the least, a trio of desserts arrived on our table. My personal choice was the Strawberry Creme Brulee Cake (made with white chocolate custard, strawberries, champagne sugar crystals) which was so light, airy and creamy. It reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake, which I absolutely love. The other ones like the Chocolate Tart (made of choco truffle, olivo fleur de sel, raspberry kisses) was light with the mousse and not too sweet (just the way I like it). The Almond Caramel Bar (made of dacquoise, sesame nougat, amaretti crunch) was textured and chunky, if you're a fan of those long pyramid chocolates made commercially, this is a better version of it. I quite enjoyed myself while we dined with new people, new social media acquaintances, and old friends from Primea. I'd be missing a lot if I didn't try it out!
Tapenade is open from 6-10:30am for breakfast, 11:30am-2:30pm for lunch and 6:30pm - 10:30pm for dinner. Call for reservations via +63279558888. Pretty good dishes in a perfect spot, how can you not have that?!