[OTKB] – Olive Tree Kitchen & Bar recently released a new tasting menu, a degustation that I think better showcase their creativity and gusto in whipping up a well thought off set of dishes that made me want to go back to place again and again. It was the first time that I’ve been to the place since their soft opening. The ambiance improved, more tasteful design pieces, a huge improvement to the more bare look of the place before. As for the food they’re serving, they started also started offering some chef specials that’s adventurous and definitely more interesting.
Start the feast with a trio of foie gras popsicle, caponata macaron, and an eel-apple galette. A gradation of flavors and textures, with each course driven by three main ingredients as base.
Foie gras popsicle bursting with flavor creamy, melt-in-your-mouth base that’s marinated in black beer and port, then you hit the cover of amaretto almonds and it gives you that extra layer of earthy flavor and that nice tinge of crunch to the bite. Then there’s this nice sweet glaze of pineapple and marsala to cap it off and tone down all that richness. On the other side of the trio is a galette of eel and apple, with the piece of eel lightly smoked, it emits this delicate flavor finished with a galette of aged parmagiano regiano, potato and apple and then you dip it in that dollop of horseraddish and granny smith bavarian cream to give to top it off with some creamy goodness.
Though I’m partial to unagi and foie gras, it’s the Caponata Macaron that really impressed me, a nice chewy macaron base flavored with pink salt and dehydrated black olives, the base makes for this nice kick of saltiness and then you hit the filling of black olive and ricotta caponata and a beetroot gel center giving that nice contrast of sweet and saltiness all encased with this gorgeous piece of macaron.
We also got some items from their ala carte menu to go with the degustation, and of course I had to go with something that I really enjoyed the last time I was there, the bacon bruschetta!
Bruschetta topped with hickory smoked pumpkin puree, pancetta, and bacon marmelatta and lardo! Oh that savory goodness of cured pork back fat, fatty flavorful bliss that’s finished this light mustard dressing. The saying goes, everything is better with bacon and this is no exception. A nice combination of flavors and texture, salty fatty goodness from the pancetta, bacon, and lardo and the sweet relief of the pumpkin bits and jam.
Coffee Cured Salmon, textures of carrots, ikura
Easily my favorite of the night, this third course of Coffee Cured Salmon, Textures of Carrots, and Ikura. A delicate piece of fish, fatty and exuding of this nice flavor and aroma after being cured with coffee. Topped with some salmon roe then you eat it with the different other ingredients to give that nice contrast in texture and a nice tinge of crunch to the bite. A melange of many things that somehow just works perfectly together. I think this particular item should be on their regular menu, definitely a stroke of genius.
Then we moved on to a rather more filling course of pizzas and pasta. Apple and Gorgonzola Pizza with an apple sauce base and topped with crumbles of gorgonzola and marsala braised red cabbage and red onions, some candied walnuts and dates and is finished with a balsamic reduction. A nice contrast of flavor, the sweet and savory all in a light pizza dough. We also tried their Honey, Truffle and Egg Pizza a homage to beloved breakfast ingredients in pizza form. Apple cider and honey glazed proved to pair quite well with the aged parmigiano and bacon fat crema topped with egg, rosemary, some mustard and finished with truffle oil making it ever so inviting. That irresistible earthy aroma then you get a bite and you’re treated with a roller coaster ride of flavors, sweet and savory and then you finish it with that gorgeous piece of egg, that creamy golden yolk goodness giving you utter bliss. Truly a rave-worthy breakfast pizza creation.
A must-try of their pastas is the Sopranos Sunday Gravy, it’s just straight-up awesome comfort food. Meatballs that are succulent cooked medium the gradation from the slightly caramelized edges to the delicate center was just fantastic. Light noodles cooked beautifully, enveloped by a rich sauce base. Then you hit this meaty concoction of ox tail and tripe, bone marrow, sweet breads, and fennel sausage ragu. Then there’s the angus meat balls done medium, the gradation of the doneness of the meat is something that I really, really like.
Pork Trotter, Chicken and Porcini Mousse, Garden Pickles
Sinfully indulgent treat of Pork trotter varying in texture, really soft, almost gelatinous fatty meat to fork tender meaty bits covered with this flavorful sauce. A product of slowly braised pork trotters stuffed with porcini mushrooms and chicken mousse. The dish is served with a Callabrian Calliflower Puree, chicken skin hash and some greens for some texture.
Hanging Tender Bistecca – hanger steaks sous vide that makes for a more tender texture of the meat and have a more bold flavor. It seemed lightly seared / grilled on the side to achieve that nice toasted, caramelization along the edges. Then you hit the meat that’s perfectly medium rare. Then you hit it with the side of a very rich sauce of Mexican chili sauce and bone marrow jus. Then there’s the side of potato puree and some mushroom textures.
Chicken dishes that are brined for 24 hours in an attempt to make the meat infinitely more flavorful. Chicken Diavolo of roasted chicken with a spicy peperoncini coating a nice bit of hit with every bite with mashed potato and cabbage slaw and sesame dressing. The other one’s called Sunday Roast, a traditional roasted chicken served with their version of mountain rice; fried rice with black, brown, and white grains with toasted nuts and dates sitting in this rich and flavorful butter jus.
Finally a sweet ending to one glorius feast, a perfect way to cap the degustation, their Chocolate Terrain. A variety of chocolate textures from various preparations; gateau, cake pop, brownie, mousse, rock and soil, meringue shards, and shavings using a variety of chocolates making an ultimate dessert that would give utter bliss to any chocolate lover and anyone with a sweet tooth. This dreamy chocolate dessert is truly rave-worthy, an ultimate dessert fix of pure chocolate goodness.
Their tasting menu is priced at P1900 for a six course meal, which I think is very reasonable for the kind of food that you’re getting. Kudos to the chefs of OTKB for whipping up such tasting menu with much creativity and gusto.