Bait’s: Where to Catch The Finest Seafood in the Metro
Just seated inconspicuously on the side of a rather nondescript street is one of those hidden gems in Makati, a cleverly concealed hole-in-the-wall with only its bright red signage that glares the words “The Red Light” as its giveaway, as well as a flock of people outside as they chatter and wait for this garage-turned-kitchen space that can seat an intimate group of twelve indoors.
Once ushered inside, we see Chef Joseph Margate behind the open kitchen with a focused yet calm demeanor, methodically arranging the food to be served on the plates with careful precision. He’s obviously done this before, what with the title of Executive Chef at Boston’s Liberty Hotel as one of the titles in his impressive resume that spans ten years’ worth of culinary experience.
The sight of fresh seafood served on the dishes were a sight to see; this is, after all, a menu tasting for Bait’s, an upcoming seafood restaurant that describes itself as “market-driven”, in line with Chef Joseph’s California-inspired philosophy. Bait’s is another addition to the growing number of restaurants under the Mothership F&B Group, the same group behind well-known hideouts such as Hatch 22, Pink Panda, and Crisp on 28th to name a few. Seafood, such as the red snapper and mussels from their list of offerings are sourced locally, bringing the country’s finest catch from sea to table.
Take a look at some of the dishes that we tried:
Tilapia with Turmeric, California Couscous and Nuoc Cham
The fish is tender, and overall the dish is very well seasoned; the turmeric provides a good mint contrast.
Fresh Pasta Bottarga with Broccoli and Bread Crumbs
I would describe this dish as something closer to a deconstructed ravioli in terms of texture. The pasta is light and delicate, with subtle flavors provided by the broccoli and bottarga.
Mussel Chowder with Apples, Potatoes, Chives
This dish was a good way to balance out the different flavors that we tried, serving as a sort of breather in between dishes. It has the right amount of sweetness, thanks to the apples.
Grilled Prawns, with White Beans, Parsley and Chicken Skin
Overall, the dish is seasoned well, with the prawns being cooked just right. It also has good contrast of texture from the beans and chicken skin, the latter of which is crispy like a thin chicharon.