Even with the recent restaurant boom, you’ll still be hard-pressed to find an Australian restaurant in the city. However, you’ll spot one in the sequestered commercial area of Arya Residences in BGC. At Martin Place Social, the café vibe is comfortable and laid-back, very much like the dishes it serves. At night, the place turns into a lounge where you can bond with friends over handcrafted drinks (and occasionally, live music).
Martin Place Social puts forth a unique concept: the restaurant exists as a training ground for the students of the Ausphin International Institute, the culinary and hospitality school situated above the outlet. Each of the chefs working in the kitchen have a unique specialisation, and they work together to build a menu that perfectly encapsulates the fusion quality that Australian cuisine is known for.
At the helm of the culinary side is the chef Philip Golding, who serves as both chef de patron of the restaurant and culinary director of Ausphin. According to him, the direction of Martin Place Social follows that of the seasonal produce. As such, the menu is constantly evolving, and it regularly features special dishes that correspond with the offerings of the season. For now, the menu features a good mix of Aussie favourites for brunch and mains.
For our tasting, we start with the grilled Secret Fish Taco. The pan-grilled barramundi provides a mellow balance to the flavourful Asian slaw and secret sauces. Up next is the handmade spinach and mushroom tortellini in tomato sauce, which is just one of the many special dishes that you can order even though they’re not on the regular menu (subject to availability). At Martin Place Social, the chefs hand-make as many ingredients as possible to suit the menu.
For the main dish, the grilled lamb shoulder with mashed potatoes did not disappoint. The lamb was cooked in sous vide for 24 hours before hitting the grill, and the payoff is a juicy and completely tender piece of heaven. For dessert, Macy’s cheesecake with strawberry and raspberry coulis is a good bet. What’s unique about this is instead of using the usual graham cracker, the chef opted for a Filipino favourite, Fita crackers, for its crust.
On the bar side, the selections also vary on a regular basis with the bartender keeping the number of choices limited to six. You can also ask the bar for a custom cocktail, and they’ll make it for you if they have all the ingredients. Standouts are the Good Night Kiss, a sweet concoction that’s perfect with light bites, and the Café Fredo, a coffee and vodka combo that pairs well with dessert.
Upstairs, Martin Place Social hosts special and private dining events as well as workshops and masterclasses led by its roster of chefs.
Martin Place Social, Retail 4 The Plaza Arya Residences, BGC, McKinley Parkway, Corner 8th Ave, Taguig City +632.245.8491
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