This June, the Fort is a war zone when it comes to new restaurants. Army, navy and air forces are all engaged to slug it out.
If we include Lobster Station at the Fort Strip (see blog here), then since March, there are four new places in the Fort that either specializes or highlights seafood on their menu.
G/F., Uptown Parade, 36th Street and 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Hook is an offshoot of Todd English's restaurant in SM Aura mall, which also owns Pound the burger restaurant on Bonifacio High Street. The design of Hook is similar to that of Pound, and you can find the same metal mug used in Pound here. The restaurant offers many local seafood, including raw oysters from Aklan. If you do not know what to order, try their platters, which comes in cooked (P1,500 - P2,500) and raw (P1,500 to P3,500) versions, each good for two to three persons.
CargoFish Fish and Chips
4/F., Uptown Mall, 36th Street and 9th Avenue, BGC, Taguig City Phone:(02) 218 1086
Cargo Fish is a modern fish and chips bar located in a quiet corner on the 4th floor of Uptown Mall. It has a choice of 6 beer-battered fish, with prices starting at P165 per order.
210° Kitchen + Drinkery
G/F, Icon Plaza, 25th Street cor. 6th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Its interior design does not look like it, but 210° Kitchen + Drinkery serves fine-dining European food. Its starter includes poached eggs at P280 per order, and its seafood offerings have sea bream (P1,300) and cod (P1,280), both imported from the Atlantic Ocean.
Land War : Battle of the Burgers
Boutique Burger Kitchen
Fort Entertainment Complex, BGC, Taguig City. Phone: 0917 893 4913
BKK occupies the same location as what used to be Draft Gastropub. It serves artesan burgers designed by Chef Carlo Miguel, who also owns Black Olive Cerveceria, a Italian-Mediterranean restaurant in Capitol Commons. We tried their classic cheeseburger (P280) and found that the patty had good meat flavor, but the seasoning was on the salty side. Texturewise, the patty is quite smooth, there was no graininess. Some people like smooth patties, other prefer coarse-cut patties. We would give their burgers 3.5 stars out of 5. Next time, we may try the same burger in steak style. We liked their bun because it was firmer than the usual burger buns. We were told it was Hokkaido milk bun.
Raging Bull Burgers
G/F Shangri la at the Fort, 30th Street, BGC, the Fort, Taguig City. Tel. (02) 8200888.
This burger joint first opened on May 29, 2017. It has a small menu, and prices are very competitive for the area. The basic burger, Kick Ass, costs P225. It has a thick patty, large slices of pickled cucumber, tomato, cheese and lettuce. We tried that and the Mighty Beast (P275), which has bacon in addition to the standard ingredients. The meat patty is coarse cut and pretty thick, and grilled in open fire. Both burgers were quite juicy when we sank our teeth into them. Unlike other burgers, the cheese they used was quite light and did not get in the way of the taste of the meat. One can taste the charred meat flavor easily. The seating is quite basic, just wooden chairs. It is good burger at a pocket friendly price.
In the central BGC area, we would go to either Pound or Raging Bull Burgers if we crave for a high quality burger. If we take into account seating comfort, Pound is a bit ahead of Raging Bull Burgers.
Fight for Air Domination : War of the Wings
There is only one new comer, but it is kicking up a storm.
Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings
2/F, Crossroads, 32nd Street, BGC, Taguig City
While Frankie's opened a counter in SM Aura quite a while ago, this restaurant at Crossroads has been opened for about three months, and on a Saturday lunch time, it is fully packed. It sells wings at P349 per dozen. Apart from wings, the restaurant's menu has other western comfort food served in decent portion at an affordable price. For example, pastas are about P200 per order, a plate of nachos is only P120, and beer is cheap. For P280 you get 6 local beers.
The success of Frankie's has lit up the fighting spirit of its neighouring restaurant, Balkan, which is a restaurant that serves central European food. Balkan now offers buffalo wings at P339 per dozen, and no service charge.
We tried both shops, and found that, wing-wise, both are as good in terms of size and taste. Frankie's Hickory BBQ sauce wings had a lot more sauce than Balkan's, but Balkan's wings are as tasty, and their free dipping enhanced the flavor of the wings. Balkan's wings come with a good portion of french fries. In terms of value, even though Frankie's drumettes were bigger than Balkan's, Balkan's has equally good flavor and good fries, at lower price. But Frankie's is way more popular than Balkan's because its interior is more casual and its other food items are more wallet-friendly. But if you want a quiet place to have good wings when Frankie's gets too crowded, Balkan's would be a good alternative.
The wing on top and those in box are buffalo wings from Balkan's. The wing with darker and more sauce is Frankie's Hockory BBQ wing.
Other new restaurants
2nd floor, Uptown Mall, 36th Street, 9th Avenue, BGC, Taguig City. Tel. (02) 946 7374.
We have a separate article on this Japanese restaurant that specializes in deep fried food served in skewers.
Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen
G/F., Uptown Parade, 36th Street and 9th Avenue, BGC, Taguig City Phone: 09171522924
Bawai's is a branch of a very successful Vietnamese restaurant that started in White Plains, Quezon City. Judging from the reviews of the restaurant in a popular restaurant website, the restaurant has nice interior, but service and food quality have room to be improved. We will check it out soon to see if the restaurant has fixed its problems.
8 Forbestown Mall, Forbestown Road, BGC, Taguig City. Phone: 0917 998 7474
Mulberry Door is owned by Trish Panlilio of nawwTy's Kitchen, who is also the organizer of The Gourmand Market that has been held outside the Central Square mall at Bonifacio High Street several times in the past. It serves upscale comfort food like lamb burger with taro chips (P550), Porcini Penne (P340), and is known for its elegant table settings.
Farewell to the casualties of restaurant wars. You fought a good fight.
The Farm was opened at Forbeswood Heights about two years ago. They served tasty burgers made from local and imported organic beef. This branch's last day was April 30.
Arrozeria at Central Bonifacio High Street.
This Spanish restaurant lasted more than one year at a hidden corner of BHS.
Earth Kitchen at Central Bonifacio High Street.
It is tough going even if your food is healthier than the regular restaurant. This restaurant that sourced its ingredients from local farms has followed the fate of another healthy food place in BGC. Clean Plate at Serendra closed a few months earlier.
The Perfect Pint at Crossroads.
This restaurant had good food, and a wide selection of beer. They now have a branch in Greenbelt.