Words by Matthew Mendiola
Photos by Ian Esteves
There aren’t a lot of restaurants in the metro that specialize in Australian cuisine, at least not like Martin Place Social does it. Located at the Arya Plaza in Bonifacio Global City, Martin Place Social is the perfect marriage of luxurious and laid-back. Outside, you have velvet booth seating and a Moet & Chandon champagne bar. As you enter, you are greeted by the jazzy sounds of coffee house music and a courteous waiter who leads you to stylish lounge seats. The glass surroundings allow you to view the plaza from the comfort of your seat, all as you breathe in the delightful smells that waft from the kitchen.
A decorative vertical garden lines the restaurant’s wall, with the words “EAT. DRINK. INSPIRE” lit atop the faux plants
Just as the restaurant’s name suggests, Martin Place Social gives off that soirée vibe. CEO Ms. Rachel explained that the restaurant’s goal is for their customers to have a dining experience to remember which, of course, begins with the food. While their food selection is mainly Aussie-centric, they offer viands inspired by other cuisines. We spent a day at the restaurant to taste some of their breakfast, dinner, and dessert items.
MPS Benny (Price: P560)
Among their breakfast items I’d say that, hands down, their eggs benedict is one of the best I’ve ever had. To get the eggs perfectly fluffy, they would slow-cook them sous-vide, a process in which they submerge the eggs in a hot water bath. And instead of the typical Canadian bacon or ham, their version of the eggs benedict consists of generous cuts of salmon.
To add a unique taste to their bennies, they added cuts of avocado, which worked well with the creamy hollandaise sauce. With so much good stuff on top, you could barely see the sourdough toast underneath. Everything is then lightly drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette, as a finishing touch to an incredibly filling breakfast item.
Shakshuka (Price: P450)
Another breakfast item I would recommend is their version of the shakshuka, a spicy Middle Eastern tomato stew with baked eggs served on a hot iron skillet. The spice doesn’t kick in until after a few bites, but the sweet tomatoes and the strong flavor of the feta cheese balances the spice out. This dish will definitely fire up your morning!
D’ Best Pavlova Pancakes (Price: P450)
Of course, you couldn’t leave Martin Place Social without having tried D’ Best Pavlova Pancakes. One thing they pride themselves in is that they only use the freshest ingredients. For their pancakes, they top them with a heap of freshly cut kiwis, dragonfruit, mangoes, and strawberries. Some chantilly cream, a dash of mango coulis, and you have a breakfast item that’s just as sweet as dessert.
Secret Fish Taco (Price: P320)
One of their best-sellers is their secret fish tacos. They’re called “secret” because the fish varies depending on what the fish of the day is, and of course, the special sauce is, well…a secret. For ours, we had barramundi fish tacos. The tangy Asian slaw gave the tacos a Thai-esque flavor, fusing together the tastes of different cuisines in a familiar comfort food.
Aussie Beef Short Ribs (Price: P560)
For the mains, we had their Aussie Beef short ribs and their Garlic Prawn Tomato Pasta. The short ribs were Korean-inspired; bulgogi glazed and served with steamy kimchi rice on the side. It is truly a dish where West meets East, one that you wouldn’t expect to find in an Australian restaurant.
Garlic Prawn Tomato Pasta (Price: 740)
The tomato pasta was light and simple. At Martin Place, they make their pastas from scratch. We even got to watch as Chef Patrick laboriously kneaded dough to demonstrate how they prepare the noodles. Their pastas are nothing short of labors of love.
Macy’s Cheesecake (Price: P280)
Their best dessert, in my opinion, is Macy’s cheesecake, named after the chef who created it. The cake was creamy, firm, and thick—just how a good cheesecake should be. Macy’s cheesecake is topped with a strawberry and raspberry coulis, and it makes use of a Fita cracker crust instead of the usual graham cracker, which adds to the uniqueness of the dessert.
Dark Chocolate Brownie (Price: P220)
We also had dark chocolate brownies, which they made more decadent by adding salted caramel, chantilly cream, and berry compote. We also had the classic crème brûlée, which they made more interesting by adding orange zest.
Citron Creme Brulee (Price: P230)
Good food isn’t the only thing special about Martin Place Social. Like what Ms. Rachel said, Martin Place is all about the experience. Together with the Ausphin International Institute, Martin’s Place offers master classes open to professional chefs and all food enthusiasts.
We were lucky enough to have been able to attend their Saturday barista class, in which we learned how to brew coffee and draw latte art To my surprise, my first attempt at etching was pretty good. My rosetta…not so much. They also offer baking classes, where teams compete with each other to create a dessert that is up to par with culinary director Chef Philip’s standards.
I wish my latte art looked as nice as these!
Martin Place Social removes all pretensions and exclusivities when it comes to food. They aren’t just in the business of serving food; they are in the business of honing local talent and appreciation in the culinary arts.
Eat. Drink. Inspire. That’s what it’s all about after all.
Martin Place Social
The Plaza, Arya Residences, McKinkey Parkway, 8th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City