The very first time I ate at Gourdo’s, I had their chicken pate, which came to me frozen. I had to vigorously poke at it with a knife and fork, and spread what I could on the crackers that came with it. Fighting with my food does not constitute a good meal methinks, so it took a long while for me to come back. And I’m glad I did.
The first thing you notice about the place is the wood-fired oven where their pizza is baked. A chef stands by rolling the dough and making the pies, which is then served at table with delightfully charred edges. The four-cheese pizza (P285) we ordered did not disappoint ”“ mozzarella, parmesan, gorgonzola, and aged cheddar singing in symphony accompanied by oregano and tomato as flavor accents.
Gourdo’s is popular for their meats, according to the servers and some of the people I’ve talked to who dine there regularly. One of their bestsellers is the 12-ounce porkchop (P540), a frenched (meat cut partly away so the bone is exposed) chop seared on the grill and finished in the wood-fired oven. Served with a side salad and apple sauce, it arrives glistening on a white plate, scintillating in its appeal. It’s clean and meaty, with taste hints of wood from the oven. The thin layer of fat that surrounds the pork chop, remarkably, tastes healthy. It’s the sort of flavor that makes me think that I can still take on the world mouth-first, with no thoughts of having to work it off on my next 5-k run. Dream on, dreamer.
Another favorite is the Australian rib-eye steak (P610) seasoned with just salt and pepper and paprika. Flame-broiled and medium-cooked, it’s juicy and reminds me why I love being a meat-eater. The side of vegetables that comes with the steak seems to be too much of an afterthought, however.
If you’re willing to wait 30 minutes, there’s the 16 oz. roast prime rib (P1290). Good for a coosome twosome or one hungry she-monster, it’s accompanied with a serving of ”˜spicy, sweet, sautéed mushrooms. Definitely something to come back for.
It’s not on the menu, but ask Chef Chris Bautista if he’ll make a risotto for you. He made one for my sister, and mercy me, after one taste, I wanted to appropriate the dish for myself. Made with Arborio rice cooked just ”˜til al dente, the risotto is moist, coated with the starch that oozes out through gentle cooking. Just enough saffron is used to flavor it delicately, and peeled shrimp added for textural variation.
If you’re not that into meat or are feeling somewhat virtuous, try the Chilean sea bass, grilled calamari, and charred leeks stained with a squid ink vinaigrette. It’s a novel approach and you’ll see that squid ink can do more than just flavor and color paella.
My sister recommended the panna cotta (P190) for dessert with a caveat: “It’s too milky,” she says. On the contrary, I liked it quite a bit. It’s a small serving however, too small to share with the three other people I was with, but next time I will come and order one for myself. The tuile cookies and the side of raspberry sauce is the foil to this dessert, preventing the satiety that comes with rich custards.
Other desserts include the tiramisu (P180), apple tart a la mode (P160), and affogato, vanilla ice cream ”˜drowned’ in Illy espresso (P155). We chose the New York-style cheesecake (P185). It was alright, and that’s all I can say about it, especially if you’ve already read my other posts about my own cheesecake.
While appearances may suggest otherwise, Gourdo’s does brisk business at lunch time, and they were full when we were there on a Friday night at 8:30. There’s outdoor seating for those who choose to dine al fresco.
The Fort Entertainment Complex
Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig, Metro Manila