More often than not, a lot of new restaurants sprout within the metropolis and are still counting. The challenge now, is how to keep up with the food lovers momentum and how these new food joints keep up their existence in this industry. They came, some of them made it big, while others served their last meal.
The clamor for sumptuous home-cooked meal and addressing the growing need for a place where people can relax, enjoy and eat at anytime of the day that is fast, affordable, unique, and delicious are the deciding factors why partners Bernard Banares, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and Randy Ortiz – yes, he is the RANDY ORTIZ, one of the icons and well-rounded fashion designer here and abroad, for men and women clothing, put up Chef Bernard.Com – a well-lighted place illuminating with fusion of arts and food, to the delight of the customers visiting for the first time.
Opened last September 2012, Randy partnered with Chef Bernard, who was his colleague and his former model. When asked why diving in the restaurant business, Randy somehow believed that it was his “going back to his roots.” We were surprised when the famous fashion icon revealed to us during our dinner at Chef Bernard.Com, that he graduated with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management back in college, before stepping in the limelight of the fashion industry.
Like Randy, Bernard, wasn’t just a professional model, he does to love home-cooking during his long time residency in Pasadena, California. Bernard showcased his home-made dishes to Pinoy households. His tart has a tremendous following in a Hollywood Thai restaurant.
To sum it all up, both personalities loves food and cooking flavorful dishes. They are also both an Ilonggo. And when you know that a person is an Ilonggo, you know they’re one of the sweetest and nicest person to be with. I am just so fascinated with the way they speak. You’ll know a person is an Ilonggo by the way they speak in a very soft and sweet way of voice. You many not even know if they’re getting angry at all during a conversation.
Before we go to the food, let us excite you first of what you’re about to see inside Chef Bernard.Com. Some of the partner’s painter friends contributed framed works hanged within the restaurant. A gallery within artisans and contemporary interior design. Randy is proud to bring out the best of Filipino arts and the restaurant’s fixtures, which are by the way, are sourced in the Philippines.
Pancit Molo also known as Pork Dumpling Soup, is a well-seasoned lean ground pork wrapped in Chef Bernard‘s home made wanton wrapper perfectly passes our discerning taste bud. I felt and tasted the creaminess of the soup, well-flavored, not too salty, and very meaty. I was wondering if Chef added milk on the soup but definitely, it was the stock that brings out the flavor of their Pancit Molo. By the way, Pancit Molo is a well-known Ilonggo dish named after the Molo town in Iloilo.
While we savor the last sip from our soup, Randy shared that Chef Bernard shops for his own ingredients in the supermarket for their restaurant. “Chef Bernard is a hands-on when it comes to our business. I’m more of a supporter and I want Chef Bernard.Com be known with great foods and not myself as the fashion designer who owns a restaurant,” says Randy.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
As appetizer, the Vietnamese Spring Rolls by Chef Bernard had already gotten our tummy well-served. You can either get a big bite of this dish as the flaked Adobo filling, rice vermicelli, basil, mint, and lettuce or simply slice it a bit before rolling it into the mouth, whatever your choice are. The Vietnamese Spring Rolls by Chef Bernard is paired with peanut hoi sin sauce and Quinoa. Quinoa what?
According to Chef Bernard, Quinoa is the latest craze in America when it comes to healthy dieting. As we researched this interesting dietary food, we’ve found out that Quinoa has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. So it’s a good source of protein. Also a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus, Quinoa is high in magnesium, iron, and calcium.
Quinoa (pronounced as “Qin-wah“) is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds and a fine substitute for to white rice. Let’s see who else will explore this ‘new’ found edible in the market.
The Main Course
The main course prepared for us by Chef Bernard were Filipino delicacies, all of which are part of Filipino traditions.
Literally cooked in shrimp paste, Pork Binagoongan, is an authentic Filipino recipe. Diced or chopped pork belly sautéed and cooked with shrimp paste, a common ingredient well-loved by Filipinos, typically garnished with tomatoes and sliced green chilies For Chef Bernard.Com, their Pork Binagoongan is cooked in different style and with a twist. Chunk of pork belly, rendered and cooked slowly in shrimp paste purée and garnished (or cooked) with grilled eggplant. The flavor is more of a Thai and Chinese influence with a touch of Filipino sweet concoction – that’s how Pinoys love their food.
Though there’s one thing that I couldn’t let it pass that evening without me asking Chef Bernard of the slight burned after-taste of their Pork Binagoongan. Chef Bernard affirmed what I just noticed and explained that the burned taste was due to the scraping of all the cooked sauce from the dish and letting it sipped into the finished product. He said that this makes their Pork Binagoongan more unique. Burned or not, this Pork Binagoongan by Chef Bernard is a must-have in your plate.
The next entrée would be the Seafood Kare-Kare, that was perfectly cooked in a very flavorful peanut sauce. You know what makes a good Kare-Kare? Aside from the shrimp paste side dish, it’s the right amount of peanut sauce that makes Kare-Kare a runway winner. Mixed with mussels, shrimp, fish, crab meat, and squids, Chef Bernard’s Seafood Kare-Kare was (is) excellent. Normally, you have to pair it with shrimp paste for the dish to come-out more seasoned and taste better. This didn’t happen on my first try with Chef Bernard’s. Their Seafood Kare-Kare was so good that I forgot to use the shrimp paste in my plate. I only remember the poor shrimp paste after the meal. You got us there, Chef Bernard!
Baked Stuffed Chicken with cheese, vegetables, and sausages
What can I say about this entrée? One word. Mmm!
The Baked Stuffed Chicken is like embotido and while it was filling my mouth, I could hardly wait for the Christmas season to come. The experience while you bite in the flavored baked stuff chicken is like a holiday already. It will surely remind you of festivals happening right at the moment you partake this chicken dish. Delicious!
Not quite finished yet because there is more. We (me and my fellow foodies) were served of right off the fridge Chocolate Raspberry Mousse. Randy told us that this dessert was left in the fridge for long hours before it was served in our table.
Perfect as Randy mentioned it. The long hours spent in the cooler made the Chocolate Raspberry Mousse with more satisfactions. The right average of thickness of the chocolate and the soft texture of the whipped cream on top, blended very well with the raspberry flavor as it was mixed altogether. Here’s a tip. Start digging in at the bottom with your spoon and slowly scrape it up until you reach the whipped cream base before you put a spoonful in your mouth. That is how you’ll enjoy Chef Bernard’s Chocolate Raspberry Mousse.
Lastly, for more health inclusion for this wonderful dinner, we had Lemon Grass Ice Tea for refreshment. Lemon Grass Ice Tea has a natural blend of lemon-grass, mint, and simple sugar.
JUAN TRAVELER RECOMMENDS!
If you were to pass by along Aguirre Street in Legaspi Village, Makati City, don’t forget to drop by Chef Bernard.Com. It’s exact address is at Unit A, Greenbelt Radissons Building. Aguirre Street is just at the back of Asian Institute of Management (AIM) college.
For comfort and bonding moments, Chef Bernard.Com is a good place while enjoying delectable Asian and Filipino fusion cuisines. Price is affordable starting at Php 120 for appetizers and Php 240, for the entrée . They’re also open for private/business functions and any type of occasions. For reservations call 751-9415 loc. 222, 0922-8707227, and 0922-8707228. Open from Mondays-Saturdays 10am-10pm with extended hours on weekends.