G.U.S. NITPICKS!! (v. 12)
As Yogi Berra would say, it was deja vu all over again.
My fresh-as-a-daisy-looking kumare, G., and i were scouting for a suitable resto for our belated Christmas get-together. . .in Malate. . .again. [Refer to our previous lunch at Palatofino Restaurante, under the June 2006 archives]
The problem with Malate, i think, is that the really nice, classy restos in the area, such as Mamma, Fidel, Blue Frog, Portico 1771, etc. have all packed up and closed down; the area is becoming more like a giant outdoor beer garden, catering to the hordes of Korean and Japanese tourists staying at the cheap pensionnes nearby.
Anyway, enough of the social commentary for now. G. and i decided to eat at Sala, which has been around for nearly ten years, and which both of us have (incredibly) not eaten in before. This resto has a reputation for great (and i must say, expensive) food and impeccable service.
It was definitely a slow Saturday lunch crowd for this venerable resto, as we were the only patrons during the duration of our meal.
The menu was quite limited. Let me see, one soup, one salad, a few appetizers and a slightly wider range of entrees and desserts, and that's it.
For starters, G. and i decided to share the Chicken liver ravioli with sage butter. Quite flavourful indeed! In fact, yours truly blurted out, "S**t, ang sarap!!" Believe me, it melts in your mouth!
For entrees, i ordered the Saffron, dill and roast tomato risotto, while G. selected the Lapu-lapu with capellini alla puttanesca. My risotto was again, quite flavourful and aromatic, while G.'s fish had just the right amount of crispiness and taste. Our only complaint was that the portions could be a little bigger.
For dessert (yes!), we had some difficulty choosing, as the Lavender praline ice cream, cardamom panna cotta with raspberry compote, and rhubarb creme brulee all looked so tempting! We finally settled on the latter, which turned out pretty okay. The rhubarb makes it different from your typical CB.
While the food lives up to its lofty reputation, i'm sad to say that Sala's interiors show their age badly. The floor tiles and walls look pretty grimy, and need a good scrubbing.
But then again, maybe not.
According to the staff, Sala will close its doors by July, and re-open at the new Greenbelt 5 development in Makati later this year.
One small (backward) step for Malate, one giant leap for Makati.
(Sala is located along Julio Nakpil St., Malate, Manila)
P.S. Thanks to fresh-faced G. for the pics above, taken with her new Samsung cellphone.