Made Nice Sup­per Club

Made Nice Sup­per Club proves that youth is not al­ways wasted on the young.

Yummy (Philippines) - - Contents - RE­VIEW BY JA­CLYN CLE­MENTE-KOPPE

Your hus­band is just fin­ish­ing his beer at the bar across the room,” says the smil­ing young man who greets me at the door. He is in a t-shirt, along with ev­ery­one I spy work­ing in the kitchen. Based on ap­pear­ance, it’s hard to judge who is in charge— ev­ery­one looks to be well un­der 30, but then Made Nice Sup­per Club seems to be in the habit of dis­prov­ing all pre­con­ceived no­tions.

With Scan­di­na­vian de­sign touches here and there, Made Nice does not have the look and feel of a tra­di­tional sup­per club as our par­ents knew it. It does have a cer­tain pol­ish de­spite the bare con­crete walls and nat­u­ral wood; it is an in­tan­gi­ble thing I can­not quite put a fin­ger on. Then I re­al­ize that it has noth­ing to do with the light­ing (which is spot on) or the china (which is hand­made pot­tery). It’s the food here— straight­for­ward, un­clut­tered, and well ex­e­cuted— that com­mands my un­di­vided at­ten­tion.

The menu is not con­strained to a cer­tain cui­sine, al­low­ing the chefs—hus­band and wife Jack and Gab­bie Flores, and Raulito Fores who makes the fresh pasta—to fo­cus on their strengths rather than ad­here to a par­tic­u­lar style. For in­stance, their much talked-about oc­to­pus starter can eas­ily be in­spired by the Span­ish pulpo a la Gal­lega, and yet it is very much its own. Its ori­gin seems ir­rel­e­vant, es­pe­cially since the flesh is so ten­der and sweet, with the gar­licky sauce giv­ing it just the right punch of fla­vor. A slim piece of bread is sim­ply toasted and topped with seared foie gras and ac­com­pa­nied by a sweet orange glaze, be­cause that’s re­ally all foie gras needs.

The same re­straint is ap­plied to the main cour­ses. The Tagli­olini—fresh and al dente—is given a sim­ple tomato sauce, which can be amped up with some guan­ciale. But what should be a main­stay on Made Nice’s ever-evolv­ing menu is their duck— two gen­er­ous slices of roasted, glis­ten­ing skin en­cap­su­lat­ing juicy, pink meat; it is ac­com­pa­nied by foie gras torteli and a sim­ple jus.

While Jack’s sa­vory dishes tend to be stream­lined, Gab­bie right­fully in­dulges guests with her whim­si­cal desserts. Her Milk Cho­co­late is com­posed of chunks of dense cho­co­late cake rem­i­nis­cent of cho­co­late crin­kles, topped with a rich dulce de leche sauce and crowned with malt ice cream. While that takes you back to your child­hood, the Fig of­fers a more grown-up al­ter­na­tive with its notes of strong Gor­gonzola.

Made Nice Sup­per Club might have cap­tured the me­dia’s at­ten­tion thanks to its young lineup of New York-ed­u­cated tal­ents, but this is not merely a crew of mil­len­ni­als ea­ger to prove a point. El­e­gant food, precise ser­vice, and a clear sense of self make this Legazpi Vil­lage restau­rant the real deal.

Oc­to­pus Foie Gras

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