Unhurried afternoons are rare, especially if you only have a one-hour window to get away from the desk and savor a meal.
If you do get that rare chance to have a leisurely lunch by yourself or with your friends during a work day, make the most of it and maybe do it somewhere not too far from your workplace, so that you won’t have to hurry back after a full meal.
If you’re in Makati, Tapenade at Discovery Primea along Ayala Avenue could just be the ideal getaway from the cold, fluorescent lights of the office. Granted hotel restaurants have an unspoken reputation for being stuffy (and expensive), this stuffiness is almost easily dispelled by the stunning mural by Alfred Galvez and the top-notch service.
Of course, there’s the food, too.
Opened in 2015, the restaurant known for its Mediterranean food has revamped its menu to include new dishes infused with Mediterranean flavors.
Fristo Misto (P440)
If you can spare a few extra minutes for lunch, some appetizers would be a good way to start things off. The new menu has Fristo Misto, which is squid, shrimp and snapper, tossed in a light batter, and served with lemon-garlic mayonnaise; and Chistorra Frita (P290) or smoky chorizo served with grilled homemade ciabatta bread.
Piccante Dolce (P520)
In case you’re with friends or can take on an entire pizza, go for pizza. The Piccante Dolce has slices of spicy salami on top of provolone cheese and drizzled with honey for contrast. The crust is chewy and burnt in the right places, and the provolone cheese makes a long string once you bite off the pizza. The Cacio e Pepe (Pecorino and parmigiano with black and pink peppercorns) and Tartuffata (Black truffle cream, free-range egg and cured meat) might be good to try during another visit, too.
Crabmeat Lasagna (P590)
Homemade Pimenton Linguine (P420)
The Crabmeat Lasagna was a jawdropper when brought to the table. It has that nicely burnt cheese crust on top, which is probably the best thing about lasagna. What’s underneath it, though, is a lot less overwhelming. A dash of spice or some texture between the layers of lasagna, shellfish bisque and bechamel would definitely make a difference.
Ribs with salad and risotto
Now, ribs seem a little out of place in a Mediterranean menu, but this version served with grilled corn and scallion risotto and glazed with a sweet, spicy Italian Calabrian sauce – generally tomatoes, fennel and chili flakes – makes it different from your regular ribs.
Arroz Caldoso (P590)
Arroz Caldoso might be more up your alley if you find ribs too filling. Perfectly cooked squid, snapper and clams are tossed in rice infused with saffron and shell fish broth.
Orange and Almond Cake with Chocolate Glaze (P260)
Bittersweet Chocolate Tartufo (P320)
Dessert wise, Tapenade has clearly made an effort to make decadent and more original choices. The Bittersweet Chocolate Tartufo is dark chocolate cake with crispy bread and olive oil gelato, which is light, creamy and sweet and makes you want another scoop.
Butterscotch Budino (P280)
The Butterscotch Budino, which is caramel pudding with light whipped cream, is a just tad bit sweet; but that seems unavoidable when you’re dealing with butterscotch. Dip the sesame cookie into the pudding or order a shot of espresso to balance out the sweetness and keep yourself wide awake for the rest of the work day.
Weekends, though, are still the best time to drop by the restaurant.
Indulge in the selections from the extensive new menu or the Salad Room, which is hardly a boring, all-salad bonanza, but Tapenade‘s answer to healtier indulgences of cheeses, cured meat, different types of crusty bread and unlimited oysters, will require you to take your time and enjoy the unhurried hours the weekend has to offer.
6749 Ayala Ave, Makati City, Metro Manila