Monday, April 23, 2018

Savor the Flavors of the Mediterranean Summer with Tapenade's All-New Menu

The sunny flavors of the Mediterranean shines bright on this side of the Tapenade.

From France to Spain, Italy and Greece, Turkey and Morocco, Tapenade at Discovery Primea celebrates the rich flavors of the famed region with all-new menu by Executive Chef Luis J. Chikiamco just in time for summer. 

The new menu features a comprehensive line-up of rich and authentic Mediterranean cuisine from starters to pizza and pasta, hearty risotto dishes, savory mains and indulgent desserts to tempt your palate taking you far away from the metro to the sunny Mediterranean. And just like my first time at Tapenade, the new menu promises another memorable dining experience at Discovery Primea (for more on my earlier posts on Tapenade, check out Serious Beef. At Restaurant Tapenade on their signature steaks, Mediterranean Flavors: A Late Sunday Lunch at Tapenade on their best-selling Lamb Chops, Mama Mia! Mom's Day Lunch at Tapenade on their previous Mother's Day offering, Discover Mediterranean Flavors at Discovery Primea's Tapenade on my first time at the hotel's restaurant, and Fresh: The Salad Room at Discovery Primea's Tapenade on one of my favorite features of the restaurant). Read on for a sneak peek at Tapenade's new menu...

Start with Tapenade's hearty and comforting Patatas Bravas (P 240), crispy potato wedges drizzled with spicy salt and served with creamy paprika mayo, great with a cold beer or cocktail or as a side to your main dish. Soft with a lightly crisp outer layer, the spicy salt and paprika mayo lays on rich flavors with every bite. 

The Almejas con Chorizo (P 390) with fresh and plump clams braised in white wine with Spanish chorizo and fresh herbs is an inspired take on classic Spanish tapas. The briny sweetness of the fresh clams are complemented by the bold notes of the chorizo for vibrant flavors. Don't forget to dip your bread in that rich white wine sauce infused with the flavors of the clams, chorizo, garlic and herbs. 

The Croquetas de Pollo y Trufa (P 240), a tasty starter of roast chicken, ham, and black truffle croquettes offer rich yet delicate flavors with the black truffle adding depth to the dish. Late afternoons with a cocktail or as a flavorful side with dinner, it's a light yet filling starter that's perfect any time of day at Tapenade. 

The Calamares a la Plancha (P 290) is a personal favorite, and another tasty starter with flash-seared squid in garlic, Spanish sherry vinegar, and Aceite Virgen Extra. Searing squid can be delicate, and getting that perfect texture can be a hit or miss kind of thing. But the squid is perfectly seared, with the squid remaining tender and juicy draped in the rich olive oil and sherry sauce. Mop up the sauce with some crusty bread for a burst of flavor. 

The Gambas a la Brava (P 490) with succulent shrimps sauteed with garlic, brandy and spicy Spanish paprika sauce is a mildly sweet take on the traditional Spanish favorite, with just a hint of soothing heat for balanced flavors. Each bite of the succulent shrimp is announced by a fresh snap delivering a briny sweetness followed by the garlic and brandy-laced sauce for deep flavors that linger long after that first bite. The cherry tomatoes and bell peppers complete the dish with tart and sweet notes.

The Grilled Pulpo Con Patatas (P 390) with tender-grilled octopus and roasted potatoes served with Spanish paprika vinaigrette is another masterfully executed dish at Tapenade. The octopus is done right, remaining fork-tender with its briny notes capped by subtle smoky hints from the grill. Perfect.

Craving for more seafood? The Fritto Misto (P 450), a flavorful medley of crispy deep-fried squid, shrimp and snapper served with lemon garlic mayo, should satisfy any craving. And just who doesn't like fried seafood drizzled with lemon? The light and crisp batter and fresh seafood combine for clean and pure flavors capped by the creamy lemon garlic mayo. And serving it on paper is a cool touch.

Tapenade also offers a trifecta of comforting pasta dishes, like the Homemade Tagliatelle al Funghi (P 420) with nutty portobello, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms for a triple dose of nutty and earthy notes...

...the Linguine Al Nero (P 480) with homemade squid ink pasta topped with garlic baby shrimps, Chilean mussels, fresh snapper, plump clams, cherry tomatoes and basil, a personal favorite...

...and the Spaghetti Alle Vongole (P 420) with fresh clams, garlic, lemon, and white wine sauce, each one delivering fresh and bold flavors for a comforting meal made with the finest ingredients at Tapenade. From the soft yet firm noodles all the way to the various ingredients, the fresh flavors just come together perfectly.

A pair of hearty risotto dishes is also included in the new menu, with the Arroz Con Pato (P 720), a savory Portuguese duck rice with chorizo, olives, and crispy duck "chicharron" offering both flavor and texture...

...and the Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto (P 440) with tart cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, each with its own distinct flavor. From the deep savory richness of the Arroz Con Pato to the intense and sharp notes of the Roasted Tomato and Mozzarella Risotto, diners can enjoy even more tasty options at Tapenade.

The ovens at Tapenade are all fired up for the new pizza offerings, like the Balsamic and Goat Cheese Pizza (P 520) with balsamic-glazed pearl onions, Davao goat cheese and parsley with creamy and sharp flavors on a rustic crust...

...and the Tartuffata (P 690) with Italian guanciale, black truffle cream and free-range egg for rich flavors. If you enjoy pineapples with your pizza, Tapenade's new Pizza Alla Chef Beam (P 560) with smoked prosciutto, pickled jalapenos and roasted pineapple should do the trick. The new pizza offerings are simple yet tasty without being too complicated. It's this approach that makes you appreciate the flavors of the pizza even more. Sweet and savory, nutty and creamy, and rich and sharp, take your pick. 

The ovens are not the only ones fired up at Tapenade, but the grills too. Tapenade has long been known for its premium steaks, and the Porcini Ribeye (P 3,800) clearly validates this with an elegantly plated dish of perfectly grilled steak with a juicy pink center topped with arugula and Parmigiano Reggiano drizzled with a tart balsamic glaze.  

And with steak this good, you really don't need any sauce at all. The beefy notes come through with each bite followed by subtle smoky hints from the grill complemented by the mildly spicy fresh arugula and sharpness of the Parmigiano Reggiano. One more slice? Absolutely.

And there's more. The Lamb Chops Scottadita (P 620) served with rosemary, honey, and mint with a refreshing side salad is another favorite at Tapenade.

Perfectly grilled, the flavors are pure and clean without the overwhelming gamey notes capped by smoky hints. Tender and juicy, it's an absolute must-try at Tapenade.

The Pan-Roasted Snapper Fillet (P 590) with Sicilian sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and crispy chickpeas is another favorite I sampled during a recent staycation at Discovery Primea (for more on my staycation, see my earlier post, Rediscovering the Weekend Vibe at Discovery Primea). The freshness of the snapper and the tartness of the sun-dried tomatoes pair well together for classic Mediterranean flavors.

For dessert, cap your Mediterranean feast at Tapenade with the indulgent Sesame Crema Catalana (P 290), a velvety smooth tahini custard with caramelized sugar crust and sesame cookies...

...the elegantly plated Mascarpone Custard Pie (P 290) with caramelized oranges and vanilla ice cream...

...the Turkish Baklava (P 260) with chopped pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and aromatic spices wrapped in thin and crisp phyllo pastry, another personal favorite...

...and Tapenade's modern take on the classic Tiramisu (P 280) with sweet Italian mascapone, espresso ladyfingers, ameretti cookie and chocolate shards. And that's just part of the all-new menu at Tapenade. Things are definitely looking good, right here in this sunny spot of the Mediterranean in the middle of Tapenade.

Tapenade is located at the ground level of Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City or call (632) 955-8888 for inquiries and reservations.

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