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Tapenade's Mediterranean menu gets revamped.

It's been open for a year and a half but Tapenade, the Mediterranean restaurant at Discovery Primea in Makati, has just launched a menu with two dozen new items.

'We've actually been coming out with new dishes regularly but, this time, we wanted to do a full revamp,' general manager David Pardo de Ayala said.

'Filipinos love to pick from each other's plates, so we've come up with dishes made for sharing.'

Everything-from appetizers such as the fried chorizo (Chistorra Frita) and Chicken Wings alla Diavola (spicy wings with a mint yogurt dip) to mains such as the Goat Cheese Ravioli and the Baby Back Ribs-is good for two to three.

We liked the spicy wings that were more nuanced and less messy, unlike buffalo wings that are usually served dripping with sauce. We could imagine ordering this starter with a cup of hot steamed rice and a Coke Zero with lots of ice.

Pardo de Ayala is attuned to what diners like, as he is also a chef. He regularly makes suggestions to executive chef Luis Chikiamco on what can be improved and how to go about it.

Pardo de Ayala is Colombian, but is thoroughly familiar with Mediterranean flavors. The new menu has a mix of traditional flavors from Italy, Spain and France. There are pizzas with charred and bubbly crusts and a trio of new pasta dishes.

Familiar flavors

Pardo de Ayala is particularly excited about the Linguine with Spanish Chorizo and Roasted Bell Peppers. 'This is one dish that features familiar flavors in an original way, which is what all good chefs aspire to,' he said.

Chikiamco's favorite dish on the new menu is the Roasted Chicken. 'I usually don't like the breast part because it tends to be dry and flavorless, but this one is moist and tasty.'

The chicken at Tapenade is roasted on a bed of vegetables. After the chicken has been roasting for a while, the breast is covered with a bit of foil that creates steam, keeping the meat moist.

If you prefer seafood, there is Seafood Arroz Caldoso, a soupy Spanish rice dish flavored with saffron and shellfish, and topped with shrimp, snapper and clams. It's a one-dish meal, again ideal for sharing.

For dessert, there are new items like Bittersweet Chocolate Tartufo, Italian Cannoli, Moist Orange and Almond Cake, and Butterscotch Budino. The last is sweet and salty and served with crisp, sesame cookies. Eaten together, it's a delicious combination of flavors and textures, and an altogether nice way to end the meal.

Tapenade is at Discovery Primea. Call 9558888 or 9882988.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Oct 6, 2016
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