It was the first week of January 2017 and my friends and I wanted something a bit special for lunch. Since we were in Pasig, we thought of going to Capitol Commons where, as of this writing, quite a number of good restaurants have already opened. When we saw Florabel at Estancia Mall, we didn’t go any further in our resto hunting. We’ve heard so much about it so…this was it!
Address: Ground Floor, Estancia Mall, W Capitol Dr, Pasig, 1552 Metro Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: Open daily from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/florabel.ph
Contact Numbers: +63 2 6373220 , +63 2 6387527
Located at the ground floor of Estancia Mall strategically occupying that corner space along West Capitol Drive in Capitol Commons, Florabel is hard to miss although its facade is quite unassuming. Inside, I would call its interiors as Bohemian with strong touches of art nouveau as seen from the stunning sculptures and bas relief on its walls and bar.
I also loved the bentwood chairs. Now let’s get down to business…
While going through their glossy menu, we already knew that we were in for a lavish gustatory adventure. The food shots were already tempting the reader’s palate. Menu at the last part of our review.
So, we surrendered to the temptation and ordered some of their most irresistible dishes. For appetizers…
Prawns and Vermicelli Wrapped in Rice Paper with Peanut Hoisin Dip – PHP 250.00
With a lot of Asian influence, the roll’s flavor comes “alive” when dipped in its rich peanut and hoisin sauce. I would’ve wanted the prawns to be a little undercooked, the type that just turned “orange” so that it is both tender and still had that soft “crunch”. Nonetheless, it was bien!
Sauteed Baby Squid with Housemade Chorizo – PHP 350.00
This one we all loved because the baby squids were cooked in such a way that it almost melted in our mouths. The strong flavor of their housemade chorizo was the squid’s perfect partner. Don’t be deceived by that big red chili. The dish is NOT spicy. Although, it would’ve been more delectable if the chili was crushed…which is what I did for the portion on my plate. Ha..ha..! Don’t worry about the squid soaked in oil…they used olive oil.
Crispy Lechon Kawali – PHP 375.00
I really thought it was expensive for its price but when I sank my teeth into it…I said “no, the price is just right”. When I saw this dish on the menu, it didn’t look like the lechon kawali I knew and this challenged me, that’s why I ordered it. It was cut into “dice”-sized portions with the skin sliced away from the meat. So very different! So very innovative – and this, to me, had a purpose. The skin…oh my jeeeez…after years of not eating pork skin (for health purposes), my tongue told me to “eat it!”. So I did. I’m very obedient when it comes to things like this (LOL!). The skin was as brittle and as crispy as can be. The texture was almost similar to “Lay’s Potato Chips” but the taste is like “chicharon” which is loved by Pinoys. Because it had a small cut, the meat was able to easily absorb whatever magic spice they added while cooking. Two thumbs up for this dish.
Housemade Goose Liver Pate – PHP 595.00
I love foie gras…The picture in the menu told me “Order me! Order me!” I’m not hard to deal with, so I said “OK! OK!” So, what can I say? Deeeeelicious! It was served on a granite cutting board with some blueberry chutney on the side but I preferred to have it “as is” because I want the unadulterated flavor of the pate. I loved it. After all those cocktails and dinners from the hotels I have worked in the last 30 years, I still crave for foie gras. Now for the main course…
Braised U.S. Angus Beef Short Ribs with Figs – PHP 750.00 (Additional Foie Gras is PHP 275.00)
We wanted the additional Foie Gras because we are Foie Gras addicts (lol!). The Foie Gras was placed on top of this big chunk of Angus beef which sat on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. It was garnished with baby tomatoes, figs (for a hint of sweetness), French beans and shallots on a bed of gravy that had a very delicate flavor. This is understandable because you don’t want to cover the amazing flavor of the Angus beef. First to disappear into our mouths was the Foie Gras. This time it had a different flavor because it was cooked and it just melted on our tongues. I have this habit of making it stay on my tongue and just let it stay there for a few precious moments. Then, when I sliced this beautiful piece of meat, it was almost like cutting a sponge. Yes, it was that tender. Chef Florabel Yatco has mastered the art of preparing this dish in such a way that no other ingredient will overpower the flavor of the Angus beef. They just complemented it, not even to enhance it. The beef was cooked to perfection and the aroma just filled the air. Winner!!
Barbecued Baby Back Ribs – PHP 875.00
Barbecued ribs are all over the city. Restaurants have perfected their respective barbecue sauce and almost all are really good. Same with Florabel. However, it is the quality of the meat and how it falls off the bone which sets the winner apart and Florabel is an absolute winner. It had buttery, creamed corn and twice baked potatoes smothered with cheese – as in generously smothered with cheese. Another winner!! …and now for dessert…
Frozen Brazo de Mercedes – PHP 225.00
We didn’t have space anymore in our tummies for dessert but we just couldn’t leave Florabel without sampling its array of sweets. We were intrigued by their “frozen” Brazo de Mercedes so we ordered one and just share it amongst ourselves because we were really on a “full tank” situation already. It was OK.
As a tradition here in Eat’s a Small World, we also review the most intimate area of the restaurant. Here are some shots of their restroom:
Florabel has probably one of the most gorgeous and well-kept restrooms in town. We hope they keep it that way.
So, shall we recommend Florabel to you? Is it value for money?
– After all those dreamy dishes we raved about, of course we do recommend Florabel.
– The prices are quite high so some people say that Florabel is overrated. For us, it is not. We still consider it as “value for money” simply because the ingredients used were of high caliber – the best. The ambiance is elegant, stunning and is perfect for very special occasions.
– The service was good. Not excellent, but good. Servers were not as articulate befitting such a restaurant but they were good.
– Yes, to celebrate special occasions and for those times when we want to treat ourselves with food made of superb ingredients, Florabel is IT!
This review is the opinion of the author based on actual experience. The establishment may have changed in terms of prices, decor, service, food preparation, food presentation or ownership AFTER the posting of this review. Furthermore, this review is not meant to influence the reader’s decision. Thank you.