I had the rare chance of meeting Executive Chef Bruce Ricketts of Robot. And yes, Ronnie Ricketts is his uncle. Thanks to Team DealDozen for the food tasting invite! This young and talented chef is someone to watch out. After going around the US to work at reputable restaurants, he has created his own identity. Would you believe that he started out as a dishwasher, without any culinary knowledge? Fortunately, he was granted scholarship to a Culinary School. So friends, watch out for Chef Bruce of Robot Restaurant and Lounge.
Since it only operates at night, Robot is merely viewed as a bar. But don’t be fooled because this place serves good, quality food, especially with their new EC Bruce. Flavors are clean and familiar yet complex and amazing. One thing I can say, each course makes you look forward to the next dish; makes you crave for more.
I was busy the whole week and even had a shoot on the day of the dinner. But since I was also present during the first tasting, I was curious of what he had to prepare this time around. (Note that some of the dishes are considered 4 servings.)
We started with the Amuse Bouche of “Salmon Tar Tar. Apples. Celery. Curry Aioli”
This tasted like the typical salmon-cucumber partnership, given a hint of curry for some twist.
First course was the “Crispy Duck Roulade. Mixed Greens. Apples. Truffle Emulsion”
First look was okay, first bite of the crispy duck was okay. The next bite, I did a combination of all the flavors -- WOW! The dish went several notches high! Crispy duck, a play on the classic Duck Confit, went very well with the truffle emulsion. A salad dish well thought of. By this time, I was getting excited. The crispy exterior and moist interior of the duck roulade was very well paired with the light and silky truffle emulsion.
Second Course came, “Shell Fish Risotto. Grilled Prawn. Edamame. Garlic Chips. Cilantro Aioli”
Prawn was seasoned with plain salt and pepper, grilled to perfection. This is an example of “simplicity at its best”. Risotto was flavored with Aligue (Crab Fat). The risotto’s seasoning was perfect and it had the right amount of flavors, thus it gave depth to the dish. What I liked most was that Chef Bruce made it easy for the diner to devour the flavorful dish by slicing the prawns into pieces, and just putting it back in the prawn shell. This was a sign of the chef’s dedication to cooking and to his guest. I believe that being a chef, you must think of how to make the experience of your guest a memorable one. Adding to this, while talking to Chef Bruce, I noticed burn scars on his forearm and some stains on his jacket, another sign of a real chef.
Then the Third Course came, “Pan Roasted Lapu-Lapu. Sauce Romesco. Potatoes Fondant. Olives. Crispy Calami. Nori Salt”
This was a clean and simple dish. The seasonings used were basic flavors like olive oil by itself. In each bite, you get a straight flavor, not a mixture of different tastes. Lapu-Lapu was cooked perfectly, smooth like the potatoes. Sauce Romesco, made of bell peppers, gave it a kick. First time in my life I enjoyed olives because it went very well with the dish. The drizzle of olive oil gave the dish an earthy aroma, and the Crispy Calamari sprinkled with Nori Salt gave its texture.
Intermezzo, “Melon Gazpacho. Robot Salsa. Cilantro Foam”
This was the highlight of my dining experience. After sipping the shot, I tasted something sweet yet savory. The watermelon gave it the needed sweetness, yuzu juice cut through with its acidity and the hint of fresh garlic made it savory. It did an excellent job on cleaning our palate to get ready for the next dish. The garlic in this shot awakened our taste buds and made the group ask for more. We couldn’t get over it, and even after dinner was over, it was still part of our conversation.
Fourth Course, “Grilled Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin. Eggplant. Polenta Puree. Spring Onion. Asparagus. Fennel. Chimichurri. J1 Steak Sauce”
This dish was amazing! Very familiar and at the same time new to me. The Kurobuta pork had the texture of pork on its exterior, and sashimi-like inside. The color of the meat in the middle was dark because of the pork used, and the outer surface was tainted with a quick marinade. Fennel was slow cooked until the natural sugars came out. The J1 Steak Sauce wrapped up this exciting and delicious dish, got its name because of Julie who makes damn good steak sauce.
Our last course was Dessert of the Day, “Mango Cheesecake. Mango Balls. Green Tea Dacquoise Powder. Caramel. Orange Segments”
Pastry Chef Justin ended our meal with a bang by serving us this luscious cheesecake. Creamy yet light and fluffy, this dessert was served with just the right sweetness level. The Green Tea Dacquoise, a kind of meringue, was crushed into almost powdered form and gave texture to the sweet piece. The fresh mangoes intensified the mango flavor of the cheesecake, and the orange segments cut through the richness of the dessert.
One of the best dinners in the recent years. I left Robot that night very very very HAPPY.
More to look forward to is the interior of Robot. Very futuristic and sophisticated with the use of white and silver. The continuous shifting lights give color to the place, while the glass tiles with rocks underneath exude a relaxing and spacious feel. A must see is their mirror tiles mosaic washroom, an ultramodern touch which any girl would appreciate.
Adding to this is their Cocktail Selection, which were concocted by Rod Eslamieh, champion Mixologist from London. More importantly, they don’t use lemon juice in bottle. Instead opted for freshly squeezed ones. Personally, you can’t go wrong with the Lady Gaga creation which was very light and smooth. For chocolate fans, you can try their Chocolate Almond Delight which I also enjoyed.
With all these in store, one can never go wrong with Robot.
Robot Restaurant and Lounge
Tel. No.: 63 2 8128800
7921 Makati Avenue
Makati City, Philippines
Robot is open Tuesday to Saturday 5:00pm – 2:00am and Sundays 5:00pm – 12:00am
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