Blackwood Bistro

Blackwood Bistro


Buffalo Crab Claws, Tomato Caprese Salad, Crab Cakes Benedict, Pan-Fried Chicken and Chocolate for the Curious

I never thought this kind food existed outside of my fantasy.

Buffalo Crab Claws

When I learned about it, you can bet that I dashed to the only place known to serve it.

Blackwood Bistro found at the Venice Piazza in McKinley Hill is a place I'd likely skip if I were to choose my restaurant based on physical features alone. Though it has this quiet and cozy appeal, it gives me this impression of a gentleman's bar. And a gentleman, I'm not. The gray walls, burgundy seats, mahogany beams, banal shelves, and drab abstract paintings all suggest that this is no place for the color-loving, casual me.

Blackwood Bistro
Chef Jun jun de Ocampo proudly talks about Blackwood Bistro's unique Buffalo Crab Claws as well as the other sought-after items in this all-natural restaurant in McKinley Hill.

But in a stark contrast to its simple design, is a food program that features items far from boring. This was what hooked me. Heading their curious menu is the Buffalo Crab Claws-- the very item that called my attention to this place.

This heavy platter, bed to 12 de-shelled crab pincers basted with buffalo wing sauce, is priced at P395. Pretty steep for an appetizer, you may say, but if split among three to four people, it would equate to "healthier" portioning and a friendlier price.

The combo of the crab's sweet-briny flavor and the buffalo wings' tart and spice isn't that complex to imagine. In fact, it isn't really as magical as how the sauce works for chicken wings (or as how I imagined it in my dreams). But for people like me, who could and would eat anything with Anchor Bar's original buffalo recipe, eating it with crab meat is no less gratifying. Basted with buffalo sauce, this often ritzy ingredient gets a comfort food vibe. Unlike the chicken meat though in which buffalo flavors run deep, the crab's isn't as permeable to the sauce. So take advantage of the extra sauce that comes with the pincers. Double dip, if you can.

People usually seek out Blackwood for the Buffalo Crab Claws but they aren't aware that this resto also houses one of the best burgers in town. How can something truffle scented not be, anyway?

Smoked Bacon Burger

Blackwood Bistro's Smoked Bacon Burger (P350) can be described as a straightforward, juicy burger. Order this dish and you'll be treated into a wondrous olfactory and gustatory party. To smell the combined aromas of beef, bacon fat, pepper, melted Swiss cheese, plus the earthy, addicting smell of truffle essence in one dish alone makes it already worth the price.

It impresses even further (and more importantly) with its taste. It doesn't promote unique flavors or some things new to the palate. The truffle essence added is only meant to add depth, make it richer. But still, the dish arrests your palate with its meaty, smoky patty. It exemplifies what a quality burger is like.

Another thing you should order in Blackwood Bistro is their Tomato Caprese (P250). Now I'm not a fan of ordering salads in restaurants-- probably because it's rare that I find them special enough to deserve their prices-- but this salad right here gets my recommendation.

Tomato Caprese

If I were to spend P250 for a salad, I would not spend it on tossed greens I can cut up and mix at home. I'd spend it on a salad like the Caprese where in four thick mozarella slices lie regally atop four different kinds of freshly prepped tomatoes: classic, sundried, pesto, and cherry. The complementary flavors of the slightly salty cheese and slightly sour tomatoes are perfect meal starters or even meal enders.

Let the Strawberry Fields dessert sampler refresh your palate at the end of your meal.

I've long learned my lesson not to judge restos by their exteriors. Blackwood Bistro again reminded me of that lesson. If I hadn't known better, I would have missed out on the chance to taste buffaloed crabs or that truffled burger which haunts me 'til now. Who would have thought that a quiet, conservative restaurant like Blackwood houses such innovative dishes? Who knows? Maybe not long from now, they'd be able to come up with yet another dish I only thought possible in my fantasies? Chocolate encrusted bacon, perhaps?

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