Saturday, June 15, 2024

Holy Smokes, Burnt Bean Fires Up the Culinary Scene at The Podium

The creative mavericks behind the now legendary Holy Smokes BBQ brings their signature flavors touched by wood-fired smoke to Ortigas with the opening of Burnt Bean at The Podium. And where there's smoke, you can bet there's a whole lot of flavor... 

The bustling Ortigas commercial and business district welcomes the smoking hot Burnt Bean at The Podium as its newest dining hotspot. The all-day bistro with its wood-fired dishes is all set to fire up the busy district's culinary scene with its modern and inventive take on comforting dishes romanced by flame and smoke for a distinctive and bold play on savory flavors. Ready to get smoked by an array of savory creations? 

Located at the Fifth Level of The Podium, the newest entry to the shifting and continuously evolving culinary landscape of Ortigas gets a fiery addition with Burnt Bean and its unique take on flavors enhanced by wood-fired smoke. It's a signature style that's tedious, tricky and intricate to prep but the flavorful depth it adds to the different dishes at Burnt Bean makes it all worthwhile. And right off the bat, this is what sets Burnt Bean apart from the usual dining options at The Podium

And it's an inspiring story as well that began in 2016 when the founders mastered the art of "low and slow" grilling, roasting and smoking a wide variety of meats and seafood with their innovative concept Holy Smokes BBQ. Fast forward to 2024 and the group opens its second location for Burnt Bean at the heart of the Ortigas commercial and business district staying true to its original concept with its lavish repertoire of wood-fired and smoked specialties. At its newest location at The Podium, Burnt Bean will be offering new dishes exclusive to the Ortigas branch. If you loved their creative renditions infused with wood-fired smoke, be prepared for another masterful approach to even more inspired flavors in that distinct Burnt Bean style at The Podium. From its popular Potato Pave to Wood-Fired Pancakes, Burnt Bean is all set to torch your appetites with its impressive selection of dishes. 

But first, some refreshing libations. At the exclusive media launch, Burnt Bean served some thirst-quenching monkey business mixed with Monkey Shoulder Premium Blended Malt Scotch Whisky...

...and the Hendrick's G & T with cucumber. Burnt Bean offers an impressive line-up of cocktails from classics like the Negroni, Red and White Sangrias and Chandon Garden Spritz to their very own handcrafted creations like the Summer Time with gin, vermouth and pistachio; Rosy Cheeks with tequila, orange, watermelon and basil and the Spicy Guava Margarita. Burnt Bean offers a full bar selection from beers to bourbon, whisky, gin, vodka, tequila and wine for that refreshing tipple before, during or after a hearty wood-fired feast. 

The first set of appetizers were then served, starting with their popular Potato Pave (P 440). The intricate starter is a masterfully executed showpiece with paper-thin slices of potatoes delicately stacked, layered and compressed gently crisped in the wood-fired oven and laid on creamy bacon foam and Parmesan. Each bite just melts in your mouth with the crisped edges adding a delectable play on textures elegantly finished by the light yet flavorful bacon foam and subtle sharpness of Parmesan. It's one dish that deserves all the buzz on the net, and rightly so. A blend of hearty cuisine with exquisite culinary technique is on full display at The Podium's newest dining destination. Burnt Bean serves only thirty of the Potato Pave allocation per day, so put this on the top of your order list. 

The Compressed Watermelon Salad (P 450) with honeydew, garden-fresh arugula, basil and Feta cheese dressed in Chili Honey Vinaigrette is another showstopper with complex layers of contrasting flavorful richness. Indulgently rich bursting with vibrant yet clean notes, the distinct flavors from the different ingredients combine in a refined and seamless weave. The mildly sweet and nutty Chili Honey Vinaigrette ties everything together with just a whisper of comforting heat. The compressed watermelon component is another example of Burnt Bean's complex approach to flavors taking days to properly prep. One bite and an intense burst of sweetness adds even more layers of richness to the dish. 

Inspired by Thai flavors, the Thai Shrimp Balls (P 560) with tom yum bisque, coconut foam and herbs paints another colorful palette of bold and unrestrained flavors capped by delicately crisp textures and finished by the succulent briny sweetness of shrimps. The tom yum bisque provides the flavorful base without overpowering the other ingredients while the silky smooth coconut cream and fresh herbs completes the lavish play on flavors. 

After a few more bites, Burnt Bean serves a pleasantly unexpected flavor package with the Wood-Fired Lasagna (P 650). The creative presentation is a visual cue on the flavors and textures of the dish with its delicately stacked layers of pasta with crisp edges over a rich and thick Pomodoro sauce and smooth Parmesan foam. Beautifully plated, the Wood-Fired Lasagna has to be one of the more inventive renditions of the classic pasta staple reimagined at Burnt Bean

The savory smoked Angus Beef layered between the sheets of pasta delivers robust smoky notes to the dish giving it depth and a flavorful beefy punch. To properly experience the flavors, make sure to have a generous amount of the Pomodoro and Parmesan foam with each spoonful and just sit back after a bite as the flavors come together on your palate. 

The Wood-Fired Grilled Pompano (P 920) brings the Burnt Bean brand of distinct flavors to seafood for another masterfully executed entrée. The delicate notes of the fresh wood-fired grilled whole pompano are elevated with a flavorful cast of pesto, dill and lemon butter sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes and capers. The fresh and clean flavors of the fish comes through followed by the sweet, mildly tart and nutty hints from the rest of the cast for a complex yet balanced finish. The wood-fired finish from the grill brings another flavor element into play to complete the dish. 

One more pasta dish brings delicately nuanced notes with its refreshingly subtle hints of sweetness teasing the palate once more at Burnt Bean. The Corn Agnolotti (P 680) with roasted corn, goat cheese, tarragon, roasted cherry tomatoes and basil oil on rich chicken butter sauce brings rustic, hearty and comforting notes to the table. Each subtle note is complemented by the other, perfectly finished by the chicken butter sauce. 

Then, Burnt Bean showcases its mastery of the wood-fired grill perfected through the years with a duo of savory dishes. The 48-Hour Beef Ribs (P 2,950) with USDA Angus, creamy cauliflower purée and rich beef bone jus topped with crisp fried enoki mushrooms perfectly captures the brand's "touched by wood-fired smoke" concept. The bold flavors of the USDA Angus beef punches through draping the palate with a lingering savory richness but it's the blend of flavors from the cauliflower purée and beef bone jus that completes the dish. The crisp enoki mushrooms bring not only flavor but a layer of texture to the dish. 

Burnt Bean knows their meats with a mastery of the wood-fired oven. And it's dishes like this that sets Burnt Bean apart from the rest. 

Burnt Bean shared it's own take on the timeless and classic entrecote with the Steak and Fries (P 1,650) with tender Hanger Steak and Skinny Fries slathered in Sauce Entrecote. Burnt Bean gets creative with the Sauce Entrecote by adding a secret ingredient that brings an earthy richness to the indulgent sauce. The Entrecote Sauce defines this dish, but the Hanger Steak packs the punch. 

Like the 48-Hour Beef Ribs, the dish is best enjoyed with all the components together with the Hanger Steak, Skinny Fries and Sauce Entrecote in one bite. 

All the dishes served so far presented a sneak glimpse at the brand's unique style and flavor profile. Consistent with the original concept, Burnt Bean remains focused on its wood-fired theme that began with grilled and smoked meats and continued as an all-day bistro at its newest location in The Podium. And for dessert, Burnt Bean shared their Wood-Fired Pancakes with Vanilla Gelato (P 620) with spiced apples and whipped browned butter from their Brunch menu. 

Served in a cast iron skillet, the cake-like texture of the pancake is given the Burnt Bean touch with its light and delicate crispness on the edges. The soft and moist pancake brings nostalgic flavors bannered by the spiced apples and perfectly finished by the whipped browned butter and Parmesan shavings. As an afternoon snack or mid-morning brunch, the Wood-Fired Pancake with its subtle smoky hints may be just what you need to start or end your day. 

Pair your dessert with the equally indulgent Crème Brûlée Latte (P 200) with its torched caramelized top over creamy coffee. Burnt Bean has an extensive coffee selection, simply ask your server for a full rundown or their favorite brews.  

Burnt Bean flexes its unrestrained creativity with other imaginative brews like the Manuka Honey Latte (P 220 Hot/P 240 Cold) with the deep hints of honey adding a flavorful depth with each soothing sip...

...and the playfully inventive Coconut Latik (P 180 Hot/P 200 Cold) with its pronounced nutty hints teasing the palate. Coffee and latik really does pair well for another flavorful surprise from Burnt Bean

It's always refreshing to see new restaurants expanding their network of branches. And it's also impressive to see restaurants remaining focused on their original concept for that relevant differentiation in an extremely competitive market. Burnt Bean does that, but they prefer their dishes do all the talking. And from the preview of their signature dishes at The Podium, Burnt Bean is definitely on its way to lighting up the culinary scene at Ortigas. Hot and smokin', Burnt Bean is your newest dining hotspot at The Podium

Burnt Bean is located at the Fifth Level of The Podium, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. You can also visit their FB Page and IG Feed at and for more information and updates or call 0916 642 6938 for inquiries. 

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