Saturday, February 8, 2020

BOA Kitchen + Socials: A Valentines Tasting Menu

A Valentine's date you won't forget! 

A few days ago, I received a very interesting invite for a sneak peek of an upcoming new concept. Buwan, which BOA Kitchen + Socials is planning to launch some time later this year, is going to be a fine-dining experience offering tasting menus for every special moon event (for example, full moon, new moon, solar/lunar eclipse, etc.). We got a glimpse of what Chef Julius Necor has in store for Buwan through a special Valentine's Day five-course tasting menu, introduced here by BOA's owner, Joey Marcelo.

Dish #1: Mock Chicken Spicy
If they were looking to make a statement, this burger is definitely it. First thing they told us about it is that it's not really chicken. What is it then? It took us a couple of bites before realizing that they fried enoki mushrooms to make it seem like a piece of really crunchy, really juicy chicken chop. What  treat! The flavors really went together, I absolutely enjoyed the brioche with the slighty spicy sambal aioli, pickled cucumber, grilled lettuce for added smokiness, and onions.  

Dish #2: Oyster
For our second course, we were each given fresh oysters with kinilaw na gata granita, fermented tomato, and grilled liempo. Here, you'll find an explosion of flavors and textures.. quite unique honestly. Everything was served cold, down to the liempo. It wasn't bad at all, it was something new to the tongue and I really enjoyed it. The kinilaw na gata granita made use of fermented tomato water to mimic vinegar. Best to eat it all in one bite. 

Dish #3: Coconut
Since Buwan is going to be all about Southeast Asian cuisine, Chef Julius made use of coconut a lot for the tasting menu; I think he incorporated it in four out of the five dishes served. He used flavors that are familiar but with a technique and a lot of creativity. It showed in each one of his dishes, including this one, where he used coconut shavings instead of noodles for the pad thai dish. We probably wouldn't have known it wasn't noodles if they didn't tell us. You don't actually notice the difference much, may added bite lang yung coconut. Mix it all together and douse it with lime. I loved it with the nuts, too. So, So good.

Dish #4: Laksa Risotto
My favorite that evening. I love laksa and risotto and I'm so happy to have found someone daring enough to combine the two. Instead of regular risotto, of course, Chef Julius had to mix it up with adlai. Ang healthy diba. Finished off with grilled shrimp, mushrooms, and cilantro oil. It was pretty filling, no complaints on my part. 

Palate Cleanser
After the fourth dish, they served us a palate cleanser in the form of a rose bandung (but of course, with a twist). This one has just a little bit of condensed milk, a lot of soda water, and the main ingredient, the rose syrup. I'm kind of torn on this one.. it was too light, I think? I would've preferred like a calamansi sorbet or something. I might have enjoyed that more. I did enjoy their Passionfruit Sangria though. I highly recommend ordering that one.

Dish #5: Laing
Can you see how thick that laing sauce is? Chef finished us off with a beautiful chunk of crunchy pork belly with sambal shrimp floss, thick laing sauce, and mustasa. It was so funny because the guys couldn't help but order rice (okay fine, I had a few spoonfuls as well haha) ANG SARAP. I don't even know how to begin explaining this one, so I'll just tell you what I did. I sliced the pork belly, scooped up some of that laing with the sambal floss, and placed it on top of steaming hot rice. Ugh. I hope this is something they eventually add to BOA's menu (I mean, while Buwan isn't open yet). I'd love to come by and have a bigger order of this for lunch or something. 

Cardamom & Rose Cheesecake
What's a full-course dinner without dessert? Here we have the Cardamom & Rose Cheesecake with ginger graham crumbs. I always imagine desserts cold, so when this came and it was just room temp, I was kind of disappointed. It's still a unique item to bring out though. I imagine a cheesecake to have a form, to be shaped like a regular cake, but this was like a plant that has just started to bloom. Kind of like Buwan, actually, since it's still in the works. In fact, they're still looking for a place to rent or a lot to buy around the Mandaluyong / San Juan area, so if you have any ideas, feel free to hit them up. 

So if you're looking to make Valentine's a little more unique this year, surprise your date with this tasting menu experience at BOA Kitchen + Socials located at the Mezzanine floor of ABDC Building, Sct. Rallos cor. Sct. Tuazon, Quezon City.
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