I am not a dead-on carnivore who salivates in the presence of rib-eye steak and the rest of its fine relatives, the tenderloin, the filet mignon, the porterhouse, the sirloin, or the New York strip. The Wagyu however, is a different story :D There's something about lamb that excites me more. It's probably the bold and distinctive taste in lamb that easily satisfies my adventurous taste buds. Yet, over the years, I have gained a certain appreciation for steak especially when I was exposed to restaurants that gave ample respect to the glorious cut of beef. Preserving the integrity of the beef is delivered throughout the process of storing and preparing the steak (brought to room temperature), dousing just the right amount of olive oil, lightly salting the steak, preheating the pan, not overturning the meat, testing its doneness, and resting the steak to lock in its juices (resting also helps the meat achieve a full flavor). Truly, this respect has been served in several restaurants in the region like Melo's, Antonio's, Elbert's Steakroom, Myron's Place, and a humble home kitchen, Mamou.
Since 2008, Mamou has been serving up comforting and home-inspired fares with delicate touches of gourmet in each dish. A typical Roast Pork and Chicken is citrus-rubbed and paired with red rice or a simple Bolognese is intensified with Batac Longganisa instead of everyday ground beef. Malou Fores is (sister-in-law of Margarita Fores, renowned owner of Cibo) the brains behind Blue Kitchen and her new pride, Mamou. The restaurant carries a homey, Spanish ambiance but slightly modernized with bold red and black interiors. The open kitchen by the side adds a casual feel to the place giving diners a unique, sensory experience for the sight and the smell.
Vani (my food-loving bestfriend) and I were famished. Thank God for the complimentary starter, a bread basket with a side of butter that instantly whet my appetite instead of making me feel full. It was a great mix of white and wheat rolls that were hot, dense and crusty. I enjoyed the wheat variant more for its well-rounded and slightly sweet flavor.
However, our tummies grumbled for the steak which has been the talk of the foodie community for quite some time already. We have been warned. A 20-minute wait for the rib eye was to be expected as said on the menu. This better be worth it.. and it was indeed.
|USDA Prime Grade Angus Ribeye (P 1,680)|
Single - approx. 400 gms / 14 oz
Just by looking at the dish, you know you're in for a treat. The plate was tilted to let the steak's glistening oil slide down one side. Each bite was sublime! We couldn't help but moan in delight. The huge piece of meat was cooked to medium and cut for convenience. The steak was grilled to tender perfection and encrusted in a light sprinkling of top-grade sea salt and pepper. The seasonings enhanced the natural flavor of the steak. It was prepared straightforward without the need of any fancy or complicated marinades to accent it. Rib eyes are known to posses a high amount of fat marbling, making this meat juicy, tender, and flavorful. I have yet to try Mamou's dry-aged rib eye. A lot of people swear by it! What may seem like heart attack on a plate to some, was definitely heaven for me.
The single, 400-gram steak comes with a choice of two sidings. We had ours with creamed spinach and baked mashed potatoes. The creamed spinach resembled the taste of a laing specifically gabi leaves, sans the spiciness and the coconut milk. It wasn't as rich and creamy as I expected it to be. As for the mashed potatoes, it was quite forgettable. Good thing the steak was delicious enough to compensate for the mediocre side dishes.
|Lorenzo's Truffle Cream (P 335.00)|
Whoever Lorenzo is, or whoever was behind this dish... certainly, you are doing the Lord's work! This has got to be part of my top 5 pasta dishes. It's already my second time to devour this dish and it never fails to comfort my cravings. There are days when Vani and I, were in school and would literally scream to each other, "I want Mamou's Truffle Pasta!!!". It's that addictive. The al dente spaghetti is thickened by rich truffle cream and punctuated by sharp Grana Padano. I've tasted several truffle oil infused pastas that usually boasts the overpowering flavor of the truffle. Mamou's however, is subtly doused with the oil giving it an exquisite and simple yet, unforgettable taste that one would surely comeback for. As usual, the plate was swiped clean of its goodness. A plateful of YUM I tell you!
|Key Lime Pie with 'Schlagsahne' (P 145.00)|
The Florida classic, Key Lime Pie. This was my first time to try a key lime pie and if all key lime pies tasted this heavenly, then my all-time favorite apple pie dessert will easily be overshadowed. Accompanied by a siding of Schlag (just a fancy term for thickened, homemade whipped cream), the pie filling was a pleasant combination of light, refreshing, creamy, and zesty. Each component of the dessert melted wonderfully in the mouth. The crust nicely sweetened the tangy citrus filling. Its the kind of pie where you'd have to fight for each forkful. We had to have 2 orders of this dessert! It was that gooood. It's the perfect way to end one's satiation from fully-loaded meal.
Our wallets were grieving, but our tummies were genuinely happy. If you want to experience unpretentious, no-frills food that's true to it's home-cooking reputation, then Mamou might satisfy you just enough.
I finally found a home away from home in Serendra. :)
Serendra, Fort Bonifacio
Serendra, Fort Bonifacio