How much more macho can a piece of steak get?
Stockton Place is a bit out of the way if you think about how more and more restaurants are closely grouped together in one particular location. However, with a reputation that has foodies talking excitedly and unceasingly about it, I braved the Makati traffic to finally see what all the fuss is about.
The place is quite small, accommodating only 30 people more or less, so it's better to make reservations a few days in advance. It exudes a modern vibe with its black and white theme. You could dine al fresco, but I prefer to be seated inside and avoid the smoke from the cigarettes and passing cars altogether. To the left is a bar with a few selection of wines, while on the right by the far corner is a couple of chalkboards with the whole menu written on it. Not that it was extensive to begin with, but I think it was smart to just focus on a few dishes and execute them well (especially if you're a new restaurant), rather than offering a whole range of comestibles that are all over the place. I hear Chef Celine de los Angeles previously worked at The Goose Station before setting up shop, so I was pretty excited to get a taste of what was in store for us.
We started with the Foie Gras Salad which had generous shavings of foie gras on a bed of mixed greens. Healthy and deadly in one plate, the pickled cocktail onions and peanut puree lent a flavor that successfully broke the otherwise monotonous profile of the dish. As I've stated before, I love almost anything foie gras, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed its buttery consistency, and the way it melts inside your mouth much like a dream slipping away as you wake up.
A slab of pork belly standing on a puddle of cherry pork sauce initially looks like your familiar porcine favorite. Slice through it and you'll feel the difference -- crisp skin gives way to an immensely tender meat, quite the contrast really. Poke the fork through a piece and taste the difference -- soft with a sweet note followed by unctuous fat then finally a slightly salty layer of skin. Cut another piece and this time swipe it across the pommery mashed potatoes and the sweet onion puree for a better explosion of flavors.
At about 800 to 1,200 grams per steak, the USDA Prime Grade Rib Eye is enough to intimidate and arouse a feeling of excitement and anticipation in every diner lucky enough to be within proximity. This manly meat will make you swoon, drool, and recite a whole litany of expletives while dreamily relishing every bite. You'd think with its stocky build, it would be a challenge to slice through the meat, but no, not this one. This handsome beef was very tender, I had a hard time believing it. There was a lot of that savory fat, and each forkful smothered with Bordelaise sauce was punctuated by salt crystals spread sporadically on the steak's surface. The crispy potatoes were actually good, too; pretty similar to that of Wildflour's.
With that very pleasant meal in mind, I look forward to trying their Tomato Soup, Pan Roasted Sirloin Salad, and Chocolate Marquise dessert, which I hear are excellent as well. Currently though, they're only open for dinner and cocktails; can't wait for them to open for brunch. Never mind that we've only tried three dishes. The fact that every dish was stellar puts Stockton Place on my top list of new restaurants for this year. And that steak will definitely haunt me for months to come.
Spot: 227 Salcedo corner Gamboa St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
Contact Nos.: 844.9539 or 0917.856.1419