Getting to know Breakfast over a Brew-Kus meal...
I received an invitation from Breakfast Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Alexis Cuizon to a casual afternoon snack at Brew-Kus. I usually graciously decline invitations from restaurants because one, I'm shy (just kidding, well, half kidding), and two, I normally avoid talking with the owner and/or chef lest I feel obligated to say something unnecessarily nice about the food or the place. Since it was a magazine that invited me and not the restaurant itself, I figured that would still grant me the freedom to write my exact thoughts about the experience. Not that getting freebies would deter anyone to be subjective about a product or service, but just to simply avoid any misconceptions or misunderstandings, it's better that I pay for my meal or another party other than the restaurant itself pays for it. And so I accepted. Besides, it would be fun meeting the people behind the new culinary magazine and the other food bloggers as well.
I was the first food blogger to arrive at Brew-Kus though the staff of Breakfast Magazine was already there to warmly welcome me to the place. I was surprised to see that their core team was composed of fresh graduates who ventured into this publication business right out of college. They offered me an advance copy of the magazine's second issue and I browsed through it while we waited for the others. I noticed the clean layout and the uncluttered articles that invite the readers to really delve into the stories and the recipes shared. Despite their youth, or perhaps because of it, it was really admirable how much their team has accomplished with the magazine in such a short period of time.
Brew-Kus is actually a twist on the portmanteau of brew and cuisine. The cafe was spacious and homey with a lounge area for those who want to relax over a cup of coffee or tea, a casual dining area for the hungry patrons, and a fine dining one further inside for those who want a more intimate experience. They are planning to relaunch the place after a few more renovations both of the cafe and the menu. I will be indicating the prices here but please bear in mind that it may have changed since. After a brief introduction from the owner and the chef about how they wanted to serve really good comfort food without the hefty price tag, the series of dishes was served.
I love ravioli hence the fascination for the Crisp Mushroom Ravioli (P180). Six warped golden brown saucers hid a wealth of diced shiitake mushrooms in between discs. Plated in a triangular formation, a gentle nibble causes it to break and out oozes a bit of cream cheese. I smother it with a little tomato sauce dotted with pesto, which lent more varying flavors to this multi-textural appetizer.
I also enjoyed the Grilled Veg and Mozzarella (P250), an open-faced sandwich I would not think of getting myself. Slices of eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms all basted with light pesto sauce apparent in the greenish portions of the flatbread(?) are blanketed with a layer of melted mozzarella cheese, all contributing to a saporous meatless dish.
Not all restaurants spawn out one good dish after another so I was surprised to like the Shrimply Loaded (P250) as well. Maybe it was part due to the fact that all the dishes presented were indeed their best sellers -- those that they plan to retain on the menu. A generous amount of luscious shrimps sauteed in garlic and asparagus, and drowned in a flavorsome blend of cream and parmesan almost overflows; the fresh lettuce the only one trying to hold back the bright yellow and orange ingredients. Its delightful sapid taste along with the coleslaw on the side reminds me of my favorite Shrimp Supreme dish at Conti's, complete with the side dish of macaroni salad. The flavor profile is different but the contentment is the same. And with that I am extremely pleased.
A beautiful scent preceded the dish. When the asymmetrical bowl of Wild Mushroom Pasta (P250) was laid upon the table, I immediately got excited. A heap of linguine slathered with white cream sauce and the sporadic diced shiitake and button mushrooms peeking through some noodles were topped with slivers of prosciutto and grounded herbs, and drizzled with white truffle oil. A sequence of bites can be a bit overbearing but the sharp saltiness of the prosciutto cuts through the all the cream, balancing the dish out and making it the highlight of my meal.
Chef Sheilla did a little demo on how to prepare the batter for the fish. While she pointed out the ingredients used, she didn't disclose the amount of each, understandably of course. The Beer-Battered Fish and Chips were crispy and the batter really thin and light; the fish meat itself was not astounding albeit when dipped into that accompanying herbed dressing brightens up the taste buds.
They call their version of milk tea or bubble tea, tea latte. Among the available variants, I chose my favorite Wintermelon Tea Latte. Adding my staple coconut jelly, this refreshing drink had a smooth, clean flavor with a sweet undertone, perfectly suiting my taste. Despite the lack of cream cheese or milk cream on top, it still tasted great and landed on my favorite milk tea list. Actually, I think the lack of it better suits downing a meal.
Spot: G/F 139 Corporate Center Valero St. Salcedo Village, Makati City
Contact No.: 856.7656