Taste Buds: 'Natural' cooking at Blackwood Bistro
|The double-cut pork chop is one of Blackwood Bistro's specialty dishes. Photo by Caroline Howard, ANC
MANILA, Philippines - Located in Taguig City, Blackwood Bistro serves up "natural cooking" inspired by classic French bistros.
Restaurant proprietor and chef Junjun de Ocampo said they make it a point to use less ingredients to maximize the true flavors of a dish.
"Blackwood Bistro is all about natural cuisine. As much as possible, we try to get local ingredients around Metro Manila and prepare the food using traditional European techniques and styles of cooking," he said.
"We make all our soups, stocks and sauces from scratch, so you're really tasting the real flavor of every item on your plate.
"Everybody in the kitchen has been oriented to a different level of passion in not just cooking but [also] in appreciating every ingredient we use."
Blackwood Bistro has been cited by Asia Tatler as one of this year's best restaurants. Next to it is the Pinchos Tapas Bar, which was introduced six months after the restaurant was opened.
"We have a pass-through door right to the bar. We have our wine buffet, an all-night experience," de Ocampo said.
De Ocampo said one of Blackwood Bistro's specialties is the buffalo crab claws, or blue swimmer crabs cooked like buffalo wings.
The crabs are sourced from Bataan, Bicol and Cebu.
|Blackwood Bistro's buffalo crab claws is a different take on a fast food favorite. Photo by Caroline Howard, ANC
"Every guest would order it because of its unique quality and unique preparation," he said.
Another is the double-cut pork chop, which de Ocampo prepared for Taste Buds. The meat is soaked in brine for hours, then seasoned with spices, seared, baked and glazed with a sauce made with wine reduction and the pork's natural juices.
It is served with chilled coleslaw made of red and green cabbage, Fuji apples, and a bit of vinaigrette dressing, and Blackwood Bistro's signature truffle butter wedges for a contrast in temperature.
DOUBLE-CUT PORK CHOP
- 1 tsp rock salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 500 grams pork chop
- Rub pork chop with salt, paprika and pepper. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
- Coat chop lightly with oil and sear on a non-stick pan over medium heat for a minute per side.
- Bake chop in oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Let meat rest for 3 minutes before serving.
- 1 tsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup red cabbage, sliced
- 1/4 cup green cabbage, sliced
- 1/4 Fuji apple, julienned
- In a bowl, whisk in vinegar, honey and olive oil.
- Toss in cabbage and apples.
- Chill and serve with pork chop.
SAUCE FOR PORK CHOP
- 2 tbsp red wine
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- In the same pan where the pork chop was cooked, discard oil and deglaze with red wine. Reduce the liquid to half.
- Add stock and reduce liquid to half.
- Turn off heat. Add butter and mix.
- Pour sauce over pork chop.
- Serve with chilled coleslaw, fried potato wedges, mustard and horseradish.
Blackwood Bistro and Pinchos Tapas Bar are located at 105-106 The Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig City, Philippines. The restaurants are open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. For reservations, call (632) 659-4409 or (63918) 967-1219.
"Taste Buds," a weekly food segment at "[email protected]," airs on Tuesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. It features chefs and talented foodies, their food ventures, house specialties and new introductions to their menu.