With its black and glass façade and interiors, you’d expect Sala Bistro to have a cold, ultra modern feel. Surprisingly, Sala Bistro has a warm and cozy air. At lunch, sunlight streams in through tall windows, and gives a refreshing view of the Greenbelt gardens. At night, well-placed white lights cast shadows and give the place an intimate atmosphere.
The menu for lunch and dinner is more or less the same, except that the lunch menu features sandwiches, while the dinner menu has some bar chow. For both lunch and dinner though, the list of main courses is surprisingly short- there are a little more than ten main dishes. For the appetizers, there are only two kinds of soup – Spiced Red Lentil and Bacon (P280) and Tomato, Basil and Bread (P280), although there are a number of salads. The more interesting of them are Grilled Squid, crispy chorizo, roast tomato and cannellini bean salad (P440) and Salmon fishcake, green pea cream and tomato salsa (P390).
For a light lunch, Sala Bistro offers sandwiches, all served on sourdough. Bread and meat is expertly combined in Paprika roasted chicken, tarragon mayo, leaves and alfalfa sprouts on sourdough (P520), and in Roast beef sandwich with leaves, tomato, cucumber, mustard and horseradish sour cream on sourdough (P520).
Slow roast beef brisket with cauliflower cheese
For the entrées, the Slow roast beef brisket with cauliflower cheese (P620) has very tasty and tender meat. If you’re not a fan of vegetables, the siding will change your mind. The cauliflower is smothered in yummy cheese that’s both sweet and salty. Be warned though- the cheese is really hot, so wait for around ten minutes before digging in.
Home made Angus beef burger with Gruyère, onion relish and chips
The Home made Angus beef burger with Gruyère, onion relish and chips (P560) features a juicy meat patty, although I found the bun a bit too thick that it overwhelmed the beef. Eat it with only one side of the bun and you can better appreciate the succulent beef.
Roast chicken, leek and bacon pot pie with chips and green salad
The Roast chicken, leek and bacon pot pie with chips and green salad (P620) looks good, and tastes even better. The chicken is served in a creamy sauce, with a smattering of leeks, carrots, green peas and herbs. It tastes somewhat like chicken pastel (pie), only richer and more artfully presented. The hard, dry bread on top of the chicken doesn’t really add much to the dish though, so it’s best to just put it aside.
Surprisingly, Sala Bistro has more desserts than main entrees. The Valrhona chocolate tart with vanilla seed ice cream (P290) is impeccably presented – a scoop of light yellow vanilla ice cream sits atop a triangle of Valrhona dark chocolate.
Valrhona chocolate tart with vanilla seed ice cream
The Valrhona is not too sweet and works well with the vanilla flavor. Unlike other desserts, which are so sugary that you feel like sharing it with other people, you would want to finish this devilish treat by yourself.
Passion fruit and banana crème brulee
The Passion fruit and banana crème brulee (P290) is wonderfully executed, with the top of the crème brulee perfectly burned and crunchy. The sour passion fruit taste is a tad overwhelming though that the banana taste somehow gets lost.
The ambiance is really worth coming back for at Sala Bistro. It’s an ideal place for catching up with friends over lunch or for a rendezvous after a long day. After all, when you come to think of it, great vibes may be just as elusive as an excellent dish.
Sala Bistro is located at the Ground Floor, Garden Side, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City. It is open for lunch from 11:30 am to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Phone: 729-7500. For reservations, please call 729-4888.