It has been quite a year for the comfort food industry. My last few work adventures have had me going in and out of restaurants that tell tales of carbohydrates and gastronomy, putting me in food comas that would make me run to the gym the following day. Still, the “threat” of a carb overload is never enough to stop me from walking through the doors of comfort food establishments assigned to me because there is always another interesting story to be told.
SF (San Francisco) Bistro Located at Tuscany, McKinley Hill
“This concept began with Rue Bourbon, which was inspired by the New Orleans vibe,” shares Pearl Perlada, Marketing Director of SF (San Francisco) Bistro. “However, we did want to try something new, so the idea of bringing the San Francisco vibe to Manila came about. The goal was to bring in a refreshing place where people would just want to relax and have some good food and drinks.”
As San Francisco is a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, SF Bistro's menu presents an array of mouth-watering dishes to suit every preference. Their main courses are filling and hearty, while their drinks are unique and very refreshing.
“Our specialties are our pastas and sandwiches,” Pearl says proudly. “Most of our ingredients are locally sourced, which ensures the freshness and the quality of our dishes.”
To start, we had the Mushroom Duo Rockefeller (P240) and the Salmon Cakes (P270). The Mushroom Duo Rockefeller is an excellent starter taken with bread. Portobello and button mushrooms are mixed together with spinach and cheese to create a comforting fusion of flavour. The salmon cakes are crisp and fresh, and best consumed while still warm from the pan.
Mushroom Duo Rockefeller
Partaking of the main dishes was the pinnacle of the carb festival. We were served everything from pasta to sandwiches, which was more than enough to tide us over. The 3 Cheese Lasagna (P195) boasts of layers of mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar baked into flat pasta. This is such a basic dish, but the execution of its sheer simplicity ranks it high in my books. The Mushroom Truffle Pasta (P210), a mix of Portobello and button mushrooms in truffle cream, is truffle pasta at its finest and most affordable.
3 Cheese Lasagna
Mushroom Truffle Pasta
We were also able to try the Boston Pork Steak (P295), a slab of pork served with mushroom gravy and mixed vegetables. I found this dish to be very flavourful, especially if one chooses to sample the meat closest to the bone. The Shrimp Lombard (P270) ended up as a personal favourite of mine. The shrimp is sautéed in Cajun sauce, giving it a bit of a zing that takes away from the monotony of the cream.
Boston Pork Steak
We rounded out the barrage of savoury dishes with some light desserts. The Mango Panacotta (P95) is sweet, delicate and perfect after a hearty meal, while the Chocolate Smores (P115) is addictive and exciting—we just couldn’t get enough.
SF Bistro is also capable of boasting of its drink offerings. The Fresh Orange and Fresh Cucumber juices are healthy and refreshing ways to quench one’s thirst. The real magic, of course, lies in their alcoholic drink offerings. Under the Bridge (P190) is a good mix of sweet and sour with just a hint of a kick. Rosemary Royal (P190), a bold red-coloured drink, is reflective of the alluring taste of its spice. Finally, the Hazelnuttini (P175) brings on all the pleasantries imaginable with its subtle, dessert-like sweetness.
Under the Bridge
San Franciso Bistro, with its woodsy interiors, green leafy wall, and brightly coloured bar stools, is a true testament of the San Francisco culture. First and foremost, it’s a fusion of many elements and variables. But more importantly, the restaurant gives off a fun, casual vibe that goes well with its affordable array of comfort food, making you want to feel at home and stay.