My dreams are made of their seared-to-perfection scallops and tomato tart which is regal in its simplicity and brilliance. Plato once said: At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet. Well, I say: Who cares about love? At the taste of this dish, everyone becomes a gourmet critique.
My baby sister celebrated her 20-nth birthday yesterday. I say 20-nth, because in my mind, she will never grow old. She will always be that charming, sometimes annoying little kiddo who squishes my nose and asks for me to hold my breath for thirty minutes. When I look at her, I feel like she was my practice-mothering specimen. Before I got (civilly) married, and before everyone moved in (because of Sanji). we used to be the only ones who stay at our uncle’s house in Bicutan. She was in college and I was already working. Because of her, I learned to cook real food — it started with scrambled eggs and variations of it (with crabsticks, with mushrooms, with sliced up siomai, etc), and then with chicken (grilled, pan-fried, breaded, etc), and then fish (with mushrooms, with oysters sauce, in a shabu-shabu). I learned to look out for a body that is other than my own. I worry when she hasn’t come home after 9 PM and sometimes I scold her for not cleaning up after herself. She basically tested my patience, cooking skills, me-me-ing skills (where you tap someone’s butt to lull them to sleep), and well, my love for family. And I thank her for that. If not for her, I would still be this girl who doesn’t know how to cook anything but hotdogs and fried egg.
Okay, now that I have let out all the mush from this ate‘s heart, let me get back to… yep, her birthday. We celebrated it at Stockton Place. Apparently, baby sister has acquired a taste for gourmet food. And it’s the best thing that happened to all our tummies that day!
As with all multi-course meals, we started our food-venture with soup. We ordered one of each soup: Butternut Squash, Creamy Wild Mushroom, and Tomato. Yep, that picture above is not some art from an exhibit. The colors of the soups were so wonderful! The Tomato Soup, I found too tangy. And I’m sorry for saying this, or even comparing the two, but Yellow Cab’s tomato soup tastes better, creamier and more balanced. The Mushroom Soup, on the other hand, has an off smell — kind of like lola’s baul. But it’s not to say that it has an icky taste — it’s good, especially the prosciutto crisps. I like the Butternut Squash soup the best because it has that right amount of sweet and savory, and then the hazelnut surprises you with a tiny kick.
They had four selections of salads, and we opt to choose just two, since the men accompanying us weren’t much fans of greens. Of the two, I preferred the Pear Rocket Salad because of the balance between the bitters, the sweetness of the candied walnuts, and the saltiness of the blue cheese. Though I would always order salmon in any restaurant, the Smoked King Salmon kind of threw me off with the bitterness of the greens, without any sweetness to balance it out. Maybe next time, I’ll try the Caprese Salad or the Pan Roasted Sirloin Salad (Meat! As a salad!).
Ahhh, here comes heaven! We only ordered four out of their seven entree options, and we split them among the six of us. Just a quick note though, their servings are not exactly big, BUT, they sure pack on flavor and taste. I started off with the Caramelized Portobello Mushroom Tart with ricotta cheese and truffled asparagus — I didn’t know that you could make fungi into a tart! Same with the wild mushroom soup, this dish has a bit of an off-smell, because of the mushrooms. I find it at its most delicious when I smother the tart with the asparagus puree. After the tart, I wanted to transition into meat, but by something lighter — I took one-sixth of the Sole, poached with lemon butter beurre blance sauce on a bed of sauteed vegetables. The texture of it is like of cream dory, but the way they cooked it — it felt to me like it was butter! Looking back on the dish, though, I didn’t notice any vegetables but the crunchy string potatoes. I’m not complaining, though — the crispiness of the potatoes (if they were really potatoes he he) complements the buttery texture of the fish. The Poached Chicken with truffle mushroom duxelle, truffled mash potatoes, and crisp chicken skin, was my husband’s favorite, mainly because he was in awe at how crispy, yet light the chicken skin was. Another favorite of my husband, and of my younger sister’s boyfriend (and maybe, everyone in the table, too), is the Crispy Pork Belly with cherry pork sauce, onion puree and pommery mash potatoes. I didn’t know that crispy pork can be this delicate — so delicate, that we didn’t need a knife to cut the pieces apart. My favorite dish of the night was the Seared Scallops with lime crème fraiche, roasted peppers and a caramelized tomato tart (on cover photo). I didn’t know that scallops could be that easy in the palate and that tomato could be as sweet and wonderful as that! Well, I know that technically, tomatoes are fruit, but by gosh, such a wonderful fruit it is, especially when put into a tart like that. Everything in the plate goes very well together and eating the dish literally feels like a dream!
All in all, the experience at Stockton Place is pleasurable — the food is delicious, the service is great, plus the look and feel of the place is — I’m not sure if this is really possible — homey AND elegant. I would go back, but maybe on special occasions like anniversaries or work promotions, because the price range is not of your everyday dinner/lunch type.
227 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village, Makati
For reservations: Call or text +63.917.856.1419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Reservations office is open from 12:30pm–10:00pm, Monday through Sunday