MANILA -- With breathtaking views of Rockwell and the Bonifacio Global City, Flame Restaurant on Discovery Primea’s 16th floor promises a wonderful culinary experience.
With the kitchen headed by Asian flavors-obsessed and French-trained chef Luis Chikiamco, the food is sure to be different and exciting as seen in Flame's limited special Christmas power lunch menu.
But before lunch, be sure to sample Discovery Primea’s house breads, which, in my opinion, are a notch higher by being wonderfully crusty, paired with special farm-to-table butter, and doused with extra virgin olive oil infused with peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, and garlic.
The appetizers that I tried were the Roasted Chestnut Velouté and the Vietnamese Shrimp Salad.
The Roasted Chestnut Velouté comes in two parts – a bowl of greens, candied ginger and orange, mascarpone mousse, and sweet Christmas ham, and a small pitcher filled with hot velouté. The wait staff slowly pours in the rich, creamy chestnut velouté melting the mousse and enveloping the rest of the ingredients. The slightly sweet thick soup that just goes well with the fruitiness of the candied components as well as the sweetness of the ham.
I personally don’t like shrimp, but I finished the Vietnamese Shrimp Salad. Described by Chikiamco as a “deconstructed hakaw,” this appetizer was not shy about baring its ingredients – sliced bamboo shoots, generous amount of shrimp, and herbs – on top of rice paper. Do not ignore the rice paper at the bottom. I recommend slicing bits of the rice paper as it adds a nice chewy bit when getting that perfect bit of shrimp with bamboo.
Among the entrees served were the pan-roasted barramundi fillet and Josper-grilled bistro steak.
Barramundi is not commonly served here. The pan-fried fish is placed on a bed of spinach and water chestnuts and paired with masala-coconut curry and basil oil. The sauces contrast each other as one is spicy hot, and the other is cooling to the taste buds. It was nice to alternate sauces with each bites as I seemed to be eating two different dishes.
The steak may be more properly called roast brisket. Chikiamco looked to Japan for inspiration to complete this dish. Beef is roasted for four hours and set on top of a slab pepper and corn risotto. The beef goes well the rich creamy risotto. It was just sheer joy having the beef’s fatty parts melt together with the peppery risotto.
Dessert is an optional, though highly recommended, third course. Chikiamco’s Baked Alaska loaded with berry and pistachio ice cream is a fitting ending to lunch paired with a hearty cup of tea or coffee.
The Christmas power lunch offering is just a peek into the creativity of Flame’s menu. It’s not just lunch but an invitation to come back and check out what else Chikiamco has cooked up for Flame’s returning guests.
The Christmas Power Lunch is only available until December 31. The two-course set is priced at P880++ while the three-course set is P980++.