Tuesday, August 8, 2017



It was 4 pm in Poblacion Makati.   I found myself in this quaint little bistro of a restaurant in Guerrero Street.  I usually pass near  this area  on Burgos St to be exact on my way home to Mandaluyong.

Little did I know there's  a gem of a French Mediterranean restaurant and a quaint boutique hotel just a few steps away from the red light district. You wouldnt think so given the dodgy reputation of  the area.  Burgos St is quite notorious for its bars and dancing girls

Per some of the   blogs  Ive read, the metamorphosis of  Poblacion from rated R to PG ( at least on the food scene) have already began some  years back.. With new restaurants popping up every so often, foodies have taken notice. They are  trooping to the area  for interesting food finds. We all know how formulaic restaurants in malls are nowadays.  They have become  predictable  and boring.  So Poblacion is actually a breath of fresh air in terms  of unique and interesting restaurant concepts.

The place for the Foodie Meet Up is called Element Boutique Hotel.  The Chef Owner is Chef Armand Lafare who is currently in  south east France on business according to his manager , the lovely Alexia who warmly welcomed us. We immediately  felt at ease.

My  first impression of  Element was how rustic and simple  it looked with its heavy wooden chairs and tables. The vibe is minimalist and the bar dominates the room. The restaurant has no walls so it is open from the reception area of the hotel.  The ceiling fans added to the homey and cozy feel.

Here were the food served to us  yesterday during early dinner.

 Fresh Oysters
 Half dozen P390 , one dozen P720  with fresh lemon, shallot and vinegar dip on the side. It was served with butter and  a basket of freshly baked ciabatta bread which they make from scratch. 

Nothing beats the aroma of bread hot off the oven. I can hear my stomach growl to my consternation , But Im not alone hahaha.  All of us just wanted to dive in and enjoy those oysters with the ciabatta . But we have to take pictures first. Ahh such is the life of a  foodie .

Per Alexia, the  oysters were locally sourced in Aklan, from an Englishman  who had been in the business of biodynamic oysters for 3 decades. The oyster were small yet succulent.and were sweet ,  and very fresh . The oysters from France are saltier she added. What an interesting tidbit. 

The creamy oysters paired beautifully with the ciabatta and butter and a glass of   organic white wine which they import from a friend's vineyard all the way from  the Rioja region in Spain!   It was my first time to hear of organic wine and to taste it. I loved that it was sweet and was the perfect complement to the oysters and bread.
The house white wine Infinitus is P190/glass P890/bottle

Crispy French Thin Tarts 
Pissaladiere P290
Caramelized Onions, Anchovies , Olives and Capers

The  crust was puff pastry and it was buttery.  It was a specialty from the Nice region. I loved the  combination of all the elements bringing in the sweet with the caramelized onion and the savory with the capers and olives.  The crust held  its own and was delicious. I cant stop eating it.  This was perfect with my organic rose' wine.

The Social Club Rose' is a light and fruity wine from the Pays d' Oc region located in the South of France. The 10% alcohol volume rose' is a blind of Malbec and  Syrrah grape varieties.

Swiss Gruyere, Onion and Sour cream P370
Again the crust was beautiful, crunchy and delicious. Made with artisanal  cheese, it was a scrumptious dish . This crispy french thin tarts edged out the anchovy-onion-capers combo

Artisan Imported Cheese Platter
Small P490  To share P790

Alexia graciously enumerated for us the  4 types of cheese on the plate.

Cow Milk Cheese
St. Nectaire  which was made in the center of France in the village of St. Nectaire. It  is one of the most well known cheese in France.,\

Brun de Noix has a thin crust washed often with walnut liqueur, Has a nutty taste. It is the mildest of the 4 cheese served

Brillat Savarin  - produced in Normandy north of France it is very soft and creamy reminiscent of camembert

Sheep Milk Cheese
Roquefort  has the strongest flavor among the 4. It is a special kind of blue cheese  produced by a small village in France. It is  quality controlled.
Being a cheese fiend ,  I was transported to cheese heaven.  I can just sit there forever relishing the the differences in taste and texture   of the 4 cheeses   while sipping a   glass of rose' wine  and taking alternative bites of ciabatta, some grapes and nuts....perfect date night with the handsome hubby

Chateau Cap de Fer
Wine from the Bordeaux region with  bordeaux grape varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Perfect paired with light cheeses, steak and chorizo pasta

Tuna Salad P310
Tuna grilled in secret spices with Salad leaves and cherry tomatoes

The greens  and vegetables were biodynamic and locally sourced.  The balsamic vinegar was home made.The tuna  was the perfect protein for the salad. Refreshing.

Grilled  Vegetable Salad
Aubergine, Zucchini, Red Pepper
 Parmesan and Salad Greens P280

I love salad so I quite enjoyed this dish. I would have wanted to taste another type of dressing but balsamic vinegraite was delicious anyway so this was fine.  This was the perfect foil for the richness of the pastas and the sinful rib steak served to us.

Organic Egg Pasta- Homemade Tagliatelle

Scallops, Clams  & Saffron Sauce P520

One of my favorite dishes of the night. The made-from-scratch tagliatelle was al dente and perfect.The saffron sauce was beautiful. The scallops and clams were succulent. The presentation looked like a yellow mess but  that was part of its charm . It has no pretensions, The dish looked home made  and super delicieux .

Chorizo & Piperade P490

Another one of my favorites. I just adore their home made pasta.  Piperade per wikipedia is a typical Basque dish prepared with onion, green peppers and tomatoes sauteed and flavored with red Espelette pepper. The chorizo  and the piperade were absolutely gorgeous. Paired it with rose' wine ... perfect!

The Chorizo and Piperade  pasta is on the botttom right

Rouille de Seiche P480
Seiche meaning cuttle fish in French
This is an heirloom dish from Chef Armand's family.
Cooked in saffron  sauce and a little kick of chili,
Served with Rice

The cuttle fish was tender. The sauce had layers upon layers of  flavor. So good. I love this dish!

Beef Rib Steak served with herbed butter,
Tian Provencal and  Pommes Dauphines
500g to 700g piece , P1,380

The presentation was drool-worthy. The smell of the roasted beef was unbelievable. The beef is sourced locally and is aged at Element by their Chef

 Maybe I just got the chewy parts, you know that slice with the cartilage.  My slice was chewy and tough albeit juicy.  I was expecting it to  be melt-in-your-mouth tender.  I sort of had an inkling when I tried to slice a piece.  You had to exert a bit of an effort to cut into it. It was cooked medium rare which was perfect. It is a  thick slab of meat though so maybe that's why.

An order of  this steak comes with a serving of  "Tian Provencal" and Pommes Dauphines ".
"Tian provencale"  per Collins dictionary  is sliced vegetables in this case tomatoes baked in an earthenware dish.

"Pommes Dauphine"  per wikipedia are crisp potato puffs made by mixing mashed potato  with savory choux pastry. Choux pastry are the ones you find in cream puffs.

Unfortunately, I was not able to taste this dish.  Oh well it does give me a reason to come back though , yes!


Chocolate Profiteroles P280
Apple "Tarte Fine" P280
Calamansi Posset P230

Per Wikipedia , a posset was an ancient Greek fermented drink made of  oil, wine, cheese , old grain. The Calamansi Posset of  Element's  was refreshing on the palate.  This was a perfect ending to all the rich food we enjoyed  during dinner.

Profiterole   a cream puff or choux ala creme is filled Fremch choux pastry ball with a typically sweet and  moist filling of whipped cream, custard, pastry cream or ice cream. It was wonderful for us that Element chose ice cream instead of custard to fill their profiteroles with. Yum!

Tarte Fine per google is puff pastry. Apple Tarte Fine is my top choice among the three desserts. I love the contrast of  the crispy texture and tartness of slice of apples atop the puff pastry with home made caramel  against the creamy saccharine ice cream.

Bottom : Calamansi Posset , Top Apple Tartin with a scoop of vanilla icecream. Right most : Profiteroles
Alexia, Domestic Diva, Indian Pwinces, hindiakosiken, pigoutsundays, the resurrecionofkevin, biyaherow, ishmeets world, abeventures, eboydonato,foodxtravel

Summary :

Organic. Artisanal. Healthy.

Happy to have found a restaurant that has all these elements.   I hope their tribe increase.

Definitely coming back with the family.

Element Restaurant
Ground floor Element Boutique Hotel
4950 Guerrero Street Barangay Poblacion
Makati City

022469072, 615

Pigoutsundays Rating; 4.5/5

Element Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato