When in Manila, leave your comfort zone and trade up to the high flavors at The Stock Market Café. You don’t need stock options to dine there, just bring your big appetite and you’re good to go.
Contrary to the frenzied atmosphere that the usual image of a stock market conjures, this particular one exudes a stylish yet homey ambience. Upon entering, the first thing I noticed was the predominantly white and green interiors, with some pineapple-inspired décor that is seen in the restaurant’s wall artworks, table centerpieces, and even the signage. I soon discovered that the restaurant is owned by Del Monte Philippines, which is well-known for its pineapples.
The Stock Market has been around for quite some time but it was just last February 2012 when the Bistro Group Philippines handled its operations. Since then, Chef Jonathan Jota, the Corporate Chef of the Group, incorporated some changes in the menu.
For starters, my dinner companions and I sampled a couple of house specialties. To whet our appetite, we nibbled on some Salmon and Spinach Dip (P395), which came with Tuscany bread, soft pita and fried chips. The dip was served piping hot and the melted cheese made it even more mouthwatering. There was a delightful contrast with the crunch of the chips against the silkiness of the delicious dip. The restaurant didn’t scrimp on the salmon either, as I got some bite-sized chunks of it.
Another enjoyable appetizer was the Almond Chicken Tenders (P375), which are basically fried chicken fingers on skewers. What makes this different from the usual is that the chicken is coated in almond slivers and served on top of a bed of fried vermicelli, fries, and two dipping sauces—the house dip and honey mustard dressing. Anything that comes on a stick is really more fun to eat!
To get in on the health trend we also ordered the Chinois Chicken and Shrimp Salad (P395), which is definitely good for sharing. A big platter of mixed greens was even made more overwhelming with a tower of fried vermicelli and wanton skin. There were pieces of grilled chicken and succulent shrimp along with the vegetables, and it all came with some sesame mango vinaigrette dressing that was light but had a hint of sweetness. The lettuce coupled with the dressing was simply refreshing to eat.
But what really cooled us down were the thirst-quenching beverages that came in vibrant colors. My pick was the Celery and Pineapple Crusher (P120), a healthy shake that predominantly tasted of pineapple. My other companions ordered the Ripe Mango Shake (P140) and the Malunggay Citrus (P120). We slowly enjoyed our drinks as we went on with our dinner feast.
Our entrées arrived after a while and we all shared with each other. The Seared Salmon (P650) looked simply appetizing—the big slice of Norwegian salmon was placed on top of some garlic mashed potatoes and served with some fresh vegetables then drizzled with caper tomato sauce. The fish was flaky and cooked perfectly and it tasted better with a squeeze of lemon. I also liked the mashed potatoes that even had traces of spuds’ skin (you know that it was really made from scratch). As a seafood person, I would give this dish a top grade.
Of course, we couldn’t leave the restaurant without tasting its Country Style Pork Ribs (P475), grilled tender ribs served with steamed white rice, corn kernels, and a special house dip. The glazed meat was juicy and full of flavor, the corn was naturally sweet, and the side salad was fresh nutritious. Plus, the rice made the dish even more filling. Any carnivore would appreciate this very nourishing meal.
Aside from the main course meals, we also got a pasta dish. Their Carbonara(P420) is unlike any other. The vegetable fettuccine was cooked in a cream-based sauce and served with a raw, fresh organic egg yolk. The dish looked too pretty to eat with the yellow yolk carefully placed at the center, the prosciutto arranged like rosettes on the plate and then garnished with cheese shavings. Although its nice presentation was short-lived, the delectable taste of the dish lingered on our palates.
Even if we were feeling full already, we made room for dessert, the Flaming Fruity (P295), an exciting serving of a whole peeled pineapple that is topped with slices of fresh banana and orange, then glazed in butter and rum. In the opposite side of the pan was a scoop of non-fat ice cream with crème anglaise. My taste buds came alive with the different flavors and cool textures. It was definitely a good ending to cap off the meal.
For those who are looking for a place to host an exclusive celebration or corporate event, The Stock Market offers private rooms for any occasion. The room at the ground floor can accommodate up to 12 persons, while the function room at the second floor is big enough for 30 persons.
When in Manila and craving for some good eats, head over to The Stock Market where you can bet that you could get a fine meal.
PROMO ALERT! On September 12, Wednesday, The Stock Market will offer its Country Style Pork Ribs at 50% off! Get this house specialty at half the price for one day only.
The Stock Market
Ground Floor, Bldg. 3, Quadrant 4, Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig City
(02) 856-6300 / (02) 856-2888 local 1898
The Bistro Group on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheBistroGroup
Monday to Thursday and Sunday – 11am to 11pm
Friday and Saturday – 11am to 12 midnight