Wednesday, December 17, 2014

First bite at Backyard

Place: Nice, solid, and cool decor: car plates, pipes, and buckets for light fixtures and ladders to decorate the bar. The wooden dining tables were spacious, and the chairs and couches were comfortable. And the washroom! One of the prettiest we've seen.

Food: The restaurant boasts of the "farm-to-table" concept, meaning the ingredients are fresh and sourced locally. The food was generally delicious, but not great enough to be unforgettable. Nothing tasted bad, but the tastes we sensed were not unfamiliar to us; we could think of other restaurants that can offer the same things.

Our first dish, the Tinapa and Quinoa Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing (Php 255): salad greens, alfalfa, pickled red onions, cherry tomatoes, salted eggs, tinapa flakes, and quinoa. It was a dish with a good play of textures. The fresh vegetables were crisp. The tomatoes were juicy. The quinoa was soft. This dish also had manifold flavors. The dressing had a good marriage of sweetness and acidity. The tinapa flakes added the right amount of saltiness. The salted eggs though were a letdown. They were too salty and not of good quality.

Next, we had some pasta. We ordered the Nose to Tail Fettuccine (Php 275). Fresh, handmade al dente pasta that's smothered with a delicious tomato-cream sauce, sprinkled with some basil, and dappled with lots of meat (beef brisket, ox tripe, pork cheek, and chicken liver). It's a carnivore's pasta! The meat components were all cooked perfectly. The brisket and tripe were tender, really tender. The flavor of this dish was punctuated, making each bite satisfying.

Next on our table, the Ciabatta with Whipped Bone Marrow and Pulled Pork (Php 255). Yummy bread topped with caramelized onions, whipped bone marrow (bulalo), and little pieces of pork. Yet another meat lover's delight. Each bite was teeming with a balanced (not too salty, not overpowering) meaty flavor. There were also hints of sweetness that complemented the taste of the pork.

Lastly, dessert. We had the Kitkat Brownie (Php 185). Moist, chocolate brownie, with hidden Kitkat pieces, served with mantecado (vanilla laced with nutmeg and cinnamon) ice cream. The ice cream was delicious. It wasn't too sweet. It was creamy and of high quality. The brownie was not bad. It had ample chocolate flavor. It had good integrity. We just wished it was warmer.

Price: Considering taste, serving size, quality, and presentation, we found the food just a tad overpriced. The bill included a 10% service charge.

Service: Our waiters were attentive and nice. They were also knowledgeable about the food they served.

Backyard: Kitchen+Brew is at the U.P. Town Center, Quezon City.  

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