Celebrate Asian Flavors With A Twist At Flame, Discovery Primea
A little over a month ago, I wrote and raved about the dinner menu of Chef Luis Chikiamco at Flame, Discovery Primea, and mentioned that a lunch menu, radically different from the dinner options existed. Finally got to try some of the dishes off the lunch menu, and true to form, they're a wonderful, modern retelling of Asian flavors—dishes that have something familiar and comfortable about them, yet given sparks of originality and adventure by adding a twist or unexpected ingredient here and there. The ‘plus’ factor here is that in the daytime, you also get an exhilarating view when dining at this 16th floor aerie—on one side, it’s a great view of the Salcedo Village skyline and Mandaluyong, and on the other, you’re looking over Ayala Avenue and eastwards to Manila.
For our first course, we had the Chilean Sea Bass Spring Rolls—Vermicelli, carrot, mint, baby greens and a peanut-based Dip, that made this dish Vietnamese-inspired but using a dip that had more to do with Indonesian flavours, and it worked! The Green Pea Velouté with Corn Flan and Black Pepper Grissini was a soup made from heaven, and I would even suggest Chef do a cold version of this.
Chilean Sea Bass Spring Rolls
Green Pea Velouté with Corn Flan and Black Pepper Grissini
For our mains, we had the Char Kway Teow—bay scallops, baby shrimp, Chinese sausage, mussels, sweet soy and rice noodles. This one came highly recommended, and I completely understood why. There’s a unique section of lunch bowls and sandwiches; and I opted for the Wagyu Bistro Steak and Egg, with Kimchi rice, mushrooms, spinach and bean sprouts. This one was a meal unto itself, a bowl that I would go back for time and again, if not for the other dishes that also caught my attention. Among those vying for my attention on the next day trip to Flame, would be the Chili Lobster Spaghetti, and the Asian mushroom salad. And under the pork section, I spied an Iberian Secreto Pinoy BBQ that had me very curious!
Char Kway Teow, Flame-style
Wagyu Bistro Steak and Egg
We shared a dessert, and it was the Yema Cake, with Quezo de Bola ‘air’, Condensada Cremaux, and Vanilla Ice Cream. Light, yet fulfilling. And if you want to try Tapenade’s fabled Manchego Cheesecake, one can opt to skip dessert at Flame and head down for dessert.
There’s a spirit of inventiveness at play in Chef Luis’ menu; and while unique, they still fall on the side of Asian comfort food. How he manages to strike that balance and sustain it, is part of the ‘magic’ emanating from the Flame kitchen. I hear there may even be drastic changes come July/August in both the lunch and dinner menu, so don’t wait to sample for yourself the culinary wizardry.
Photos by Philip Cu-Unjieng
Lead image from @discoveryprimea