Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Q&A Kitchen & Bar

Flatlay by @boyeatworldph

Low key and almost nondescript,  this new resto in Makati's CBD  is yet to be discovered by foodies.

First of all in Makati where almost every other street is one way, this  exciting find can  be reached by an elaborate  nay circuitous route via waze. Actually it was just at the corner of  HV de la Costa but  because of the one way roads.....  well,  you get the picture

At any rate , I reached the venue with a lot of minutes to spare.  I saw the tea place first called FIFTEA and then I saw the Q&A sign. Sought some assistance from the helpful FIFTEA ladies and was told to go upstairs to the second floor via a black steel staircase.

A minimalist  Q&A wall greeted me with a huge black door which I was hesitant to push open. After all I was a few minutes early. But then the door gave due to the bit of pressure I applied on it and I was relieved the restaurant  was  ready at 11 am  for its first batch of customers  after all.

I was directed by the server to a faux grey and glass wall which was actually a sliding door and was immediately welcomed by Zomato's Donna and Miguel, another foodie and finally  by  Ms. Joyce Orena (Restaurant Manager). 

The restaurant is divided into two - the inner section houses the dining area affording the customer their own  space. Per Ms. Joy it can seat around 32 people. The other half  has the bar  and is almost equal in size with the dining area but can  accomodate around 20 people.

You have a total  area of 200 sq meters   dominated by a huge  kitchen on one side and a fully-stacked bar on the other side.

The whole space was engineered so that there is an efficient cooling and exhaust system that keeps the air fresh constantly .   You and your date will still smell as fresh as the moment you came in , after you leave the restaurant.

Q&A gave off an  exclusive vibe  and yes it did  look intimidating.  A huge picture window is to your left which was the only source of natural daylight. The focal point of the space is the huge aquarium-like kitchen which drew the eyes. The lighting is dim and intimate which  prompted me to ask Ms. Joyce if  Q&A is a fine dining place.

Cozy and Casual

Happy to note that  Q&A is cozy and casual. No dress code which was a relief. You can come as you are minus the flip flops of course haha.

All the while we were there,  the combination of  the smell of fresh pine from the Christmas wreaths which decorated the grey tables  , the Christmas playlist  mostly Bubble singing Christmas songs ,  the cool temperature  and the bountiful spread of delicious fare from Q&A made me feel the Christmas spirit  acutely. Yes  Christmas is indeed just around the corner and I have not even begun any Christmas shopping yet huhu

Q&A ?

Asked the obvious question, Ms. Joyce summed it up in one word - curiosity.  They are all about letting the kitchen do the talking and exploring new ways to make us foodies or those who love to eat,  happy.   

The Food?

With Michelin Star Chef Alain Raye at its helm,  everything is #handmade #madefromscratch #handpicked #inseason and #fresh.

Here are their special offerings...

Flatlay by @boyeatworldph

Christmas Menu P1750 + +

Choice of one per course


Duck Croquettes
Per Ms. Joyce, this is their take on the duck confit. I loved how the  duck and the cheese came together well to form these balls of deliciousness


Oyster and Seabass Tartare
Three serving pieces of  this treat is not enough. I would have preferred to have  a whole oyster instead of the  minced ones with seabass. But that's not to say this dish  was not delicious. In fact it just whetted my appetite for more.


Artisan cured meats 
I tried everything from the prosciutto, salami, mortadella, pancetta and copa. Also noted per Ms. Joyce that even their pickles were made from scratch. Home made calabrian chili butter was my favorite among the condiments and so was the grainy  mustard which Chef Alain was proud to say was also made by hand.

Handmade Pasta
"Made Today, Gone Today"

Foie Gras Ravioli
I love foie gras! Unfortunately, missed this dish. Oh well gives me more reason to return with the handsome hubby for a date haha


Bucatini, almonds pesto and green chillies
Instead of  pine nuts, they used almonds. The green chillies gave the sauce a bit of a kick. The pasta was al dente and reminiscent of the Japanese udon because of its thickness.


Lemon farfalle and braised lamb shoulder

I tasted the tang from the lemon which cut through the "meatiness" of the braised lamb shoulder


Roasted Duck with fruits
Im really not a fan of meat with fruits so... 
The dish looked grand though and festive.


Double Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich 

Note that ice cream was handmade . Yes ice cream by hand by Chef Alain. They do not have an ice cream machine. Talk about getting back to the basic. Did I mention that this dessert was to die for?


Limoncello Tiramisu

A different take on the tiramisu we are familiar with, this version was a little bitter from the limoncello.. It was interesting and different but I would still prefer the classic tiramisu with the espresso bitterness balanced by the cocoa powder

Christmas Menu P1350 + +

Choice of one per course


Chicken liver mousse and caramelized onions compote
That freshly baked ciabatta , the silky pinkish mouse went so well together. But what made it perfect was the addition of the caramelized onions compote.

Trivia : Did you know that freshly made chicken liver mousse should be pinkish in color ? Per Ms. Joyce (Q&A Manager) , if  the color of the liver mousse is brown , it simply means it had oxidized and therefore not really fresh.  


Q & A Kitchen-style meat balls
Fat balls of meaty goodness swimming in the simmered-for-hours rich, red tomato sauce.

Caponata Siciliana

One among a few favorites which stood out for me. That salty eggplant paired well with the crunchy ciabatta and  simple home made ricotta

Handmade Pasta
Organic Flour and eggs  only

Tagliatelle Carbonara
That tagliatelle was al dente despite absorbing all that luscious carbonara sauce which was made  Italian Style from scratch also by the way


Fiorentini, pancetta, tomatoes and spicy pickled peppers
Another winner in my book. Pasta was al dente and the sauce was made scrumptious by the pancetta. There was a bit of a kick from the spicy pickled peppers which made the dish more interesting. It was reminiscent of arrabiata



Braised lamb neck with potato gnocchi, cream and Parmigianno Reggiano


Farfalle chorizo and broccoli


Butterscoth budino, caramel sauce and Maldon sea salt

Make sure you order this.  "Budino" is the Italian word for pudding or  custard. This was one spectacular budino made more fantastic with the addition of the Maldon sea salt...yum!


Lemon curd ice cream sandwich
Note that this ice cream is made by hand. Texture was unbelievable - silky and creamy. It was like cheesecake ice cream .  It had cherry compote on the side which we were told by Ms. Joyce were marinated in prossecco with a little salt. Then it was garnished with grilled fennel with extra virgin oil. You are supposed to taste everything together  so you have all the flavor profile

Lunch Specials 

Flatlay by @boyeatworldph

Q&A Panini + Salad  P275
A complete meal in itself, this is a steal. Filling and delicious. I will not be able to finish this all by myself. The home made bread alone is value for money

Bucatini and meatballs + ricotta tortellini chicken soup P375

"Bucatini , also known as perciatelli,  is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center... (Wiki). This pasta reminded me of the Japanese udon because of  how thick the pasta was. 

Handmade Pasta Specials
Organic flour and eggs

Fiorentini, pancetta, tomatoes and homemade spicy pickled peppers


Penne Pesto


Tagliatelle Carbonara


Red beet gnocchi, goat cheese and pancetta
Q&A's gnocchi are pillowy and fluffy. I  did not like gnocchi before. Chef Alain's version made me rethink my mindset. I love both this red beet gnocchi and the previous mushroom variant

P295 each pasta order


A Michelin Star Chef,  handmade from the sauce to the pasta to the bread,  meticulous attention to detail, very good price point (see above),  located right smack in the middle of quiet  part of CBD...what's not to love.

Better reserve a table now  while it is still new and unknown . There is something about being the first one among your friends to discover a jewel of a dining place somewhere in the quiet side of CBD.

See you there :)
Fan-girling with  Michelin Star French Chef Alain Raye

@ni_manang_bidang @ownerlotsamandaluyong @alfredsilveriopineda @anjcolumna @chinoyfoodie @boyeatworldph @jogpen Donna Aquino, Trisha Garcia, Ms. Joyce Orena, Charlz Chua, Marionne Sabado, Miguel @mlvf11

Q&A Kitchen is located at ACCM Building 102 San Agustin Street Salcedo Village Makati

Q&A Kitchen + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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