Monday, May 23, 2016

First Bite: Grind Bistro

As a sucker for trying out new places and dishes, I digitally dragged with me K and J to try this new restaurant called Grind Bistro. 

Hello, Grind Bistro
The place was pretty empty on its first day of operation. The only group there was... just my bosses and their friends. Yeah. That's how I roll. 

The dimly lit restaurant shouts sophisticated and a not so friendly price tag on its dishes. True enough, when I checked the menu, you could easily spend over a thousand by ordering a couple of dishes. The steaks alone range around PHP1,600 to PHP2,200. 
While waiting, I had a chat with Thea, the restaurant manager and she told me more about Grind Bistro and recommended some dishes. She mentioned that the name of the restaurant is called Grind because they grind their own beef for the burgers. Also, their chef, Mr. Carl Steven used to be the executive chef of Hyatt hence the impeccable dishes. That small talk made my expectations shoot up! 
K arrived a couple of minutes after my talk with Thea and we decided to order Poke Nachos (PHP495) while waiting for J who was having an intense battle with traffic.
The nachos were served after a short while and we did our best not to touch it till J arrives. And we succeeded. 
Complimentary bread was served a couple minutes before J arrived. Yes, it was served after our nachos. I guess they might have thought we were just there to sit and drink free water hence the reluctance to give us a wait snack. 
The nachos were delightful! The chips which were sweet potato, taro and wonton were all crisp and added texture to the pico de gallo, ahi tuna, local chevre and wasabi tobiko. 
I truly enjoyed the play of flavors and texture. It was a mix of sweet and salty flavors, crunchy and smooth textures. All went well together. 
The complimentary breads were great too! Soft and fluffy, it went so well with the salted and unsalted butter. 

We were so busy talking about food, work and traffic that we totally forgot to order other dishes. We placed our order for Grind Burger (PHP495) and Wedge Salad with Crispy Pork Belly (PHP390) after realizing that we were running out of nachos. 

Thankfully, service was quick and our salad was served before we finished our nachos.
I was expecting the salad to be served on a bowl but it was plated differently. True to its name, the lettuce was cut wedge-like and was topped with a generous dollop of bleu cheese. There were lovely cherry tomatoes and four strips of pork belly on the side. 
The rather salty (ranch?) sauce and soft and delectable pork belly was well complemented by the tangy cheese and tomatoes.  It was actually a great dish but quite overpriced for its serving size. 

The recommended burger was served last and we got the "not your ordinary" fries as its side dish. 
The burger was indeed flavorful and meaty. The patty was succulent and tender. But it was ordinary. It was just at par with 8Cuts and The Burger Project. In short, I could have gotten the same kind of burger elsewhere at half the price. 
The fries, which the server said to be different and was validated by the restaurant manager was ordinary too. It was just your usual deep fried real potato. (Side story: I asked the manager why their fries are special and she told me that it is because they use real potatoes and that they cut it in-house. It made me think... isn't it that most restaurants, or at least the ones I frequent, do the same thing?)

Oh, and the fries were actually overfried to the point of being translucent as it was too oily. 

While waiting for our bill, we had a chance to chat with Mr. Carl and he told us more about the two other Grind branches (SM Aura and SM North Edsa) which will have different concepts as to match the mall goers' preferences. The one in Aura will have more sharing platters and a more feminine vibe while the one in North Edsa will focus more on burgers and shakes creating a more casual ambiance.

We were also given a complimentary Chocolate Mousse (PHP350) to thank us for our visit. 
The chocolate mousse which was malagos dark chocolate topped with fresh whipped cream with hazelnut tuile and brittle as base was a nice treat. It was chocolatey but not too sweet making it a good way to cap the night. My only problem with scooped chocolate mousse is that my brain tells me that I'm enjoying lukewarm ice cream. 😑

Overall, it was a pricey meal but I'd go back for more Poke Nachos

Grind Bistro is located at Net Park, 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Grind Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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