What’s your favorite paella? The one with chicken and pork? The one with mixed seafood? The one cooked with squid ink? To each his own, they say; it’s a matter of going for something familiar and comforting.
Chef Luis Chikiamco recognizes how familiarity and comfort play an important role in food. So in developing new items on the menu of Discovery Primea’s all-day dining outlet Restaurant Tapenade, he introduces comfort Mediterranean food, which the establishment offers, but with a bit of a twist—a juicy, beefy twist.
The over a month and a half research and development of Chef Luis’ team has brought to the table new signature dishes that have been part of the core menu of Tapenade since Oct. 1.
“[The new items are] still Mediterranean, comfort Mediterranean,” Chef Luis told a group of media during an intimate lunch. “Not really out there, but something different, something familiar and comforting.”
Quite notable addition to the menu is the Wagyu Beef and Mushroom Paella— pan-fried rice topped with luscious strips of premium Wagyu beef. Only a few weeks since its launch, Chef Luis reported it has been enjoying quite a following.
“I think when people see Wagyu on the menu, they are just drawn to it especially if it’s affordable, that’s why we tried something new like that,” shared the executive chef of Discovery Primea.
“And so far,” he said, “it’s one of the most popular items.”
According to Chef Luis, they experimented with a lot of paellas—notwithstanding rigid paella rules (don’t add chorizo, they said)—as well as different ways to cook chicken, which resulted in the Roast Chicken and Chorizo Paella, another new dish on the menu.
The paella dish features crispy roast chicken, chorizo, green beans, and rosemary.
Also part of the new additions are new appetizers such as Mozzarella and Friends, a perfect pairing of mozzarella with basil pesto, black olive tapenade, romesco dip, and fruits mostarda. Prosciutto and Company, on the other hand, is served table side and includes an assortment of cantaloupe melon, fresh mango, and asparagus which complement the slices of prosciutto.
Tapenade also serves the new crowd-favorite Patatas Crunchy with Mojo Dip—crispy potatoes seasoned with lemon salt.
Seafood dishes cooked with flavorful ingredients take center stage in the form of Shrimps en Gambardina, which is Spanish-style tempura served with Guindilla aioli dip; and Prawns Saltimbocca made with garlic, lemon, parsley risoni, and prosciutto crisp.
During the menu development, Chef Luis said they chose from a couple of pasta dishes but landed on new specialties Rigatoni al Sugo, cooked with Italian guanciale, fennel sausage, and smoked bacon with tomato sauce; and Salmon Linguini with dill cream sauce and fresh spinach. The rigatoni pasta is among the recent favorites.
Of the Mediterranean mains, a must-try is the US Pork Milanese, thin pork loin chops delicately topped with soft-boiled egg, black truffle cream, and chives.
In addition to the restaurant’s new menu is the enhanced Salad Bar. The spread features a fine selection of local and imported produce, charcuterie, cheeses, composed salads, and playful sandwiches. It’s available daily during lunch and dinner for P888++ per person.
Restaurant Tapenade is on the ground floor of Discovery Primea in Makati. It is open from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, and 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for dinner.
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