Sunday, November 27, 2016

Stories and Inspirations: Progressive and Innovative Culinary Expressions at Black Sheep.

Modern and contemporary, yet at the very core of each dish is an homage to traditional and comforting flavors, recreated in a fresh new way to re-excite the palate...

...and Black Sheep does exactly that, opening your palate with fresh, new and surprising flavor experiences. It's this inventive culinary approach that makes dining at Black Sheep so different, and memorable. And the stories and inspirations behind each dish add yet another layer weaving a seamless blend in a chain of experiences at Black Sheep. It's progressive Filipino-Chinese cuisine, elevated...

Black Sheep takes its uniquely innovative culinary style to Chino Roces Avenue under the helm of young chef Patrick Go (R), engaging diners with new dishes that not only satisfies the palate, but nourishes the senses with its keen and meticulous attention to the minutest details. It is, after all, all in the details. 

The interiors are stark and modern with a cool urban industrial vibe highlighted by an open kitchen, the perfect setting for Chef Patrick Go's creative dishes. Chef Patrick Go draws inspiration from the comforting and familiar, dishes that he grew up with, recreating them in a refreshing new way, making Black Sheep a must-try culinary destination.

The complimentary starter at Black Sheep sets the tone for your dining experience, with their Burnt Rice Husk Brioche served with Black Vinegar and Sesame Oil. The soft buttery dough infused with husk ash combine for mildly sweet and earthy notes, capped by the sharp notes of the black vinegar and sesame oil dip. And that's just for starters...

Chef Patrick Go and his culinary team then prepare the next courses at the open kitchen. Like a perfectly choreographed performance, Chef Patrick Go prepares each dish in a seamless and well-coordinated manner, like precision clockwork. And from the table, one gets a glimpse of the action, adding to your dining experience.   

Chef Patrick Go's fresh and colorful Crispy Aklan Oysters with Betel Leaf, Spiced Honey and Cilantro (P 290 for three/P 450 for five), offers diners a taste of the finest local ingredients. The plump oysters are lightly coated in batter and delicately fried, drizzled with honey and topped with fresh cilantro. The fresh flavors of the oysters are complimented by the subtle minty notes of the betel leaf and cilantro, perfectly finished by the sweet and nutty notes of the spiced honey. Black Sheep also offers fresh oysters with mandarin orange, lap cheong, and sansho.

For Chef Patrick Go, each dish has a story. The wittingly named Two-Na (P 290), with fresh and spicy tuna, sweet grapes, chicken liver and ma lai gao, is then served next. The fond childhood memories of Chef Patrick Go's mother preparing tuna and chicken liver sandwiches is the inspiration behind this innovative dish. The fresh and clean notes of the spicy tuna with its briny sweetness contrasts with the chicken liver, adding both depth and richness with every bite, punctuated by the grapes for a complex blend of flavors. The traditional ma lai gao, a type of Chinese bun, completes the dish. The bun is dehydrated and toasted to a light crispness for a layer of texture.

The Smoked Brisket with Smoked Potato, Szechuan Kimchi, and Black Garlic (P 540) offer bold and intense flavors, with premium beef smoked for hours for rich and savory notes. The fork-tender beef releases its juicy flavors with a whisper of smoky hints adding even more flavor, pairing well with the smoked potato, smooth and creamy in texture infused with just the right touch of smokiness. The sharp and spicy Szechuan kimchi tempers the richness of the beef, preparing your palate for yet another bite.

The Duck Breast with Lychee, Orange Kamote, and Crispy Kangkong on Taro (P 490) combines the savory richness of duck with the sweetness of lychee for another tasty dish that's light yet full of flavor. It's the play of complex and contrasting notes and textures that make each dish special, combining the freshest ingredients in a harmonious blend.

And where else can you find Sheep Jumps Over the Wall (P 590), an impressive and indulgent fried rice with not twenty, but twenty-three ingredients, except at Black Sheep. The richness of the fried rice is inspired by the classic Buddha Jumps Over the Wall, a traditional Fujian shark's fin soup loaded with a variety of ingredients and takes days to prepare. Chef Patrick Go does the same to fried rice, adding twenty-three ingredients including Wagyu tenderloin, bone marrow, onions, herbs, chicken floss, foie gras, dried scallops, tuna, and even Black Sheep's own homemade MSG prepared with dried seafood for a uniquely satisfying yet comforting fried rice dish. To complete the presentation, the bowl is laid on aromatic dried hay, torched to release a smoky and fragrant aroma for another sensory experience.

Lose yourself and go Into The Woods by Black Sheep (P 330), with dark chocolate, green tea, nougat, and almonds to cap a memorable feast. It's Chef Patrick Go's homage to that popular local chocolate bar, Cloud 9, a childhood favorite from countless carefree summers of the past. The nougat and the dark chocolate does bring you back, triggering fond memories for a fitting end to a memorable dining experience at Black Sheep. And you can enjoy these unique dishes with Black Sheep's Express Set Menu with 5 courses (P 950), the Full Set Menu with 8 courses (P 1,700), or go ala carte. Stories and inspirations, it's what makes Chef Patrick Go's culinary expressions at Black Sheep resonate with a comforting warmth, reflecting a journey filled with flavors recreated and rediscovered.

For more on Black Sheep, check out an excellent article by Sasha Dy-Prieto for Town and Country featuring my photos here.

Black Sheep is located at 2230 UPRC1 Building, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City or call +632-744-1569 or +63927-788-7038 for reservations and inquiries. You can also visit their website at

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