Friday, February 26, 2016

Green Pastures: Going Green at The Fort

Original. Local. Organic. A culinary philosophy that began with Chef Robby Goco's pioneering branch continues with his newest location at The Fort. The Fort finally turns green with the opening of Green Pastures...

Chef Robby Goco brings the unique and hearty cuisine of Green Pastures with the opening of its third branch at The Fort, serving original, local, and organic dishes. At Green Pastures, all produce, meat, poultry, and fish are sourced from farms, ranches and fisheries guided by principles of sustainability. Chef Robby Goco then weaves the fresh, all-natural flavors of the finest local and organic ingredients with his signature dishes, taking us back to simpler times with his modern take on real food.

A pioneer in innovative and original cuisine using local and organic ingredients, Chef Robby Goco (the same creative culinary force behind Cyma) builds on the success of Green Pastures with the opening of a third branch at The Fort. The rustic and spacious interiors reflects the culinary style of Green Pastures, comforting and uncomplicated... 

...yet bursting with clean, bold and vibrant flavors that can only come from the freshest, all-natural and organic local ingredients. During the restaurant's dry run with selected guests a day before the formal opening, Chef Robby Goco fired up the kitchen serving up a selection of signature dishes and new dishes from the extensive menu.

By late afternoon, guests started to arrive for the dry run at Green Pastures. The friendly staff served their Sagada Coffee, brewed with local organic coffee beans from the north. Rich, bold, and robust with a nutty chocolate hint, and the perfect start to a unique dining experience at Green Pastures.

Green Pastures also offers a line of soothing beverages made from fresh fruits. A pair of refreshing coolers, Hibiscus and Dalandan (L), mildly sweet, are both excellent options. Looking for an all-natural beverage with a flavorful kick? Go for the King's Fool Ginger Ale (R), locally brewed and bottled, with its pleasing sharp notes. 

Then, the first courses were served, a duo of signature salads from Green Pastures. The hearty and colorful Farmhouse Salad (P 430 Small/P 595 Large), a gluten-free salad with shredded kale, chopped romaine, konbu roasted chicken, Mambo goat cheese, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, corn, ripe mangoes, and grape tomatoes with honey mustard dill vinaigrette, perfectly illustrates the culinary philosophy of Green Pastures. The use of fresh, local, and organic ingredients delivers all the rich notes you need in a comforting blend of flavors and textures.

The Terra Natura (P 430 Small/P 595 Large), another vegan dish with quinoa, shredded kale, roasted mushrooms, roasted squash, baked onions, red beets, torn basil, and cashew brittle drizzled in miso sesame dressing, combines both contrasting flavors and textures in a bowl. The fresh and clean flavors are bold and upfront, with the distinct notes of each ingredient blending seamlessly for a delicately balanced finish.

Chef Robby Goco then showcases his creative spin with the playfully inventive Pinoy Egg (P 150), his own take on the classic Scotch Egg, with five-minute free-range duck egg wrapped in housemade longanisa laid on fresh pako, an edible fern, with cherry tomatoes.

As you slice the egg, the rich yolk gently oozes out, evenly spreading its flavors with the other fresh ingredients. The soft duck egg, with its rich yolk, contrasts with the crunchy outer layer and sharp, mildly salty notes of the housemade longanisa, bursting with flavor with every bite.  

Don't forget to try the Charcuterie (P 325 with a choice of two/P 595 Full Plate) at Green Pastures, and we go for the Duck Rillette (P 275), sweet and savory with mango jam and mustard; and Chicken Liver Pate (P 135) topped with roasted beets, and served with toast. The duck rillette plays with contrasting notes, with the sweetness of the mango jam and the sharp bite of the mustard tempering the richness of the duck, while the chicken liver pate is thick and chewy that almost melts in your mouth releasing its rich notes. Other options include the Head Cheese (P 195) served two ways, fried and au naturel; and Pork Pate (P 135) with bacon and cashews.

But Chef Robby Goco had even more surprises up his sleeve with the wittingly named KFC (P 195), or Korean Fried Cauliflower, a vegetarian dish with soy garlic glazed cauliflower and homemade Sriracha mayo. Who knew cauliflower could taste this good, with the natural mild sweetness of the cauliflower kicked up by the soy garlic glaze and the soothing heat from the Sriracha mayo. Definitely a must-try at Green Pastures.

Green Pastures also offers an extensive line of specialty pastas, including this rustic and comforting Cacio Y Pepe (P 395), soft yet firm linguine with Alfonso black pepper and pecorino. The sheer simplicity of the dish can be deceiving, delivering a fresh richness that's so satisfying as you go for another bite.

A trio of burgers were also served that day, starting with the Meat On Meat Classic Cheeseburger (P 650), a hefty and juicy grilled grass-fed beef blend stuffed with 48-hour short rib, draped with homemade cheddar cheese, and topped with fresh lettuce, pickles, onions, and tomatoes. A juicy beef patty stuffed with short rib should satisfy any beef craving, as the homemade cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, pickles, onions, and tomatoes complete the flavors.

The Duck-Fat Fried Chicken Sandwich (P 550), is another flavorful option with a crisp chicken patty topped with Chef Robby Goco's inventive kale-slaw, Halverson pickles, and spicy olio santo on a soft brioche bun, served with thick-cut fries. There is a subtle yet audible crunch with each bite, delivering the juicy flavors of the chicken, the creamy notes of the kale-slaw, the spice of the olio santo and the bite of the pickles for yet another play of contrasting flavors.

And if you enjoy some bacon with your burger, Chef Robby Goco has that covered too with his 80/20 Burger (P 650), a savory blend of 80% grass-fed beef and 20% organic bacon topped with spinach, sous vide farm egg, Bacolod Cacciocavallo cheese bechamel au gratin served with fries. The sharp, mildly salty and smoky notes of the bacon pair well with the juicy beef, adding a distinct layer of flavor capped by the creamy notes of the cheese. Just perfect.

And there's more. Chef Robby Goco reinvents the classic tapsilog with his Tap-Caulisi-Log (P 600), with tender Bandera's Farm true akaushi wagyu beef tapa topped with 142 degree egg on garlic herb cauliflower rice. The cauliflower rice makes this a guilt-free option, using fresh shredded cauliflower cooked in garlic butter instead of rice. And the combo works. Gently tap the 142 degree egg and let the yolk flow to the cauliflower rice, add some fresh tomatoes, and you're set for a classic tapsilog meal that's refreshingly different yet comfortingly familiar. And don't forget to spray some vinegar from the small spray bottle for even more familiar flavors.  

You can't go wrong with fried chicken, but it just gets a whole lot better with Chef Robby Goco's Duck-Fat Fried Chicken (P 400-1 pc/P 650-2pcs), crispy and juicy pro-biotic chicken served with sweet potato fries, honey butter herb de Provence and roasted banana catsup. The delicate notes of the tender and juicy chicken, with its crunchy outer layer, is punctuated by the sweet and smoky notes of the roasted banana catsup. If you want even richer flavors, add a dab of the honey butter herb de Provence. The crisp sweet potato fries complete the dish, giving it a Southern vibe. From starters to salads and hearty main dishes, Chef Robby Goco is definitely on to something here at Green Pastures, bringing back real flavors from fresh, local, and organic ingredients with real food. And it's about time The Fort turned green, with Green Pastures...

Green Pastures is located at the Ground Floor, Net Park, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City or call 277-5592 for reservations and inquiries.

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