Friday, June 29, 2018

Inspired Mediterranean Cuisine at Extra Virgin

For one chef's culinary journey, it all began with a bite of cannoli...

...and since then, Chef Marky Buhain has taken his passion for rich and vibrant Mediterranean flavors on a continuing culinary journey of discovery. Join Chef Marky Buhain as he takes you on a culinary tour of Spain, Italy, Southern France, Portugal and Greece with a comforting repertoire of inspired dishes at Extra Virgin.

Located at the ground floor of the new Milano Residences in Century City, Extra Virgin is yet another flavorful addition to the growing culinary landscape of the Poblacion neighborhood. Inside, the bright and spacious interiors are draped in natural light with its impressive high ceiling accentuated by its pristine white walls.

The semi-open kitchen is where all the magic happens at Extra Virgin. What began with robotic engineering and publishing as a career path all changed with that encounter with cannoli abroad. Chef Marky Buhain's life changing moment continues to inspire him with his new endeavor at Extra Virgin as he delicately supervises each dish.

One bite of cannoli during one of Chef Marky's many frequent trips abroad was all it took for a new career path. He knew then what he wanted to do, and robotic engineering and printing were definitely no longer part of the plan. The Mediterranean cuisine at Extra Virgin is guided by an uncompromising philosophy of using only the finest all-natural ingredients for real flavors, with the freshest produce sourced direct from local farmers. And from the restaurant's name, they only use Extra Virgin Olive Oil for their dishes. Trained in both classic French and European cuisine, Chef Marky Buhain's dishes feed both the eyes and palate for a memorable dining experience at Extra Virgin. For starters, Chef Marky Buhain served his wittingly named Kissable Lips (P 330), an elegantly plated dish with overnight marinated salmon, dill, and beetroot served with balsamic reduction and Dijon mustard on the side.

The amusing name of the dish adds an element of fun to the dining experience, and the servers present the dish in dramatic style enclosed in a smoke-filled glass cloche. Once the cloche is lifted, the fragrant smoke rises giving it a subtle layer of flavor. One bite of the delicately marinated salmon lines your palate with its rich and clean flavors.

Extra Virgin's Wrecking Ball (P 240) is Chef Marky Buhain's modern take on the traditional arancini, rustic breaded risotto balls filled with tart and savory ragu and cheese. The play on contrasting textures and flavors complement the other in a seamless blend with each comforting bite.

Chef Marky Buhain's Lip-Smacking Ball (P 260) draws inspiration from another Italian classic with juicy meatballs made with 100% beef simmered in a proprietary secret blend of spices served on a richly flavored sauce of red wine reduction. The bold beefy notes of the meatballs are tempered by the tart sauce for balanced flavors, capped by the creamy layer of cheese. It's your classic meatballs, elevated by Chef Marky Buhain. 

Extra Virgin offers a variety of pasta dishes, including Sicilian Pesto and Vongole, but the Black Truffle Pasta (P 400) is an absolute must-try. If you enjoy the deep, earthy and nutty notes of truffles, this dish is for you. The noodles are perfectly soft yet firm, draped and coated in indulgent black truffle paste tossed with cream for hearty and comforting flavors. The thin shards of Permesan add that delicate sharpness, pairing well with the truffles to complete the dish.

For the main course, Extra Virgin's Countryside Porchetta (P 390) with a thick slab of roast pork belly on cottage potato chips is another masterfully plated dish with its vibrant swirls of balsamic reduction and herbs. Served with a sweet and tart apricot compote and onion confit, it's a dish that captures both the richness and sunny flavors of the Mediterranean.

Roasted for hours, Chef Marky Buhain goes through a series of tedious steps for that perfectly juicy pork and lightly crisp outer layer of crackling. Slicing through the thick slab is easy, announced by an audible crunch. And like all of Chef Marky Buhain's dishes at Extra Virgin, the bold and intense flavors all come together in a delicate balance without overpowering the other. The passion ignited that fateful day by an encounter with cannoli continues to shine at Extra Virgin, recreating the Mediterranean's sunny notes with each savory dish. 

No meal at Extra Virgin is complete without their signature Cannoli (P 290), and why not, it's what started it all for Chef Marky Buhain. The dough tube shells are light and delicately crisp, with the indulgent ricotta filling reminding you to just leave the gun and take the cannoli. The creamy ricotta has that subtle whisper of zesty lemon and citrus notes rounded out by the sweet and nutty pistachios...

...just perfect with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Extra Virgin uses an exclusive local roast, and that's a must-try in itself.

The story of Extra Virgin is an inspiring one, and Chef Marky Buhain's culinary journey promises even more flavorful chapters with his refreshing take on Mediterranean cuisine. Still on soft opening, Extra Virgin is open from 4 pm to 12 midnight, Mondays to Sundays. Enjoy a soothing cup of coffee by the al fresco area and have a chat with Chef Marky and his lovely wife, or better yet, indulge in inspired Mediterranean flavors with a comforting meal. You'll find it all at Poblacion's sunny Mediterranean spot at Extra Virgin... 

Extra Virgin is located at the Ground Floor of Milano Residences, Century City, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati or call 0956-948-2635 and 0921-529-2245 for inquiries and reservations. You can also check out their FB Page at

Dude for Food is now on Facebook and Instagram, check out the FB Page and IG Feed for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got something to share? I'd love to hear from you...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...