An Afternoon of Food and Art At Ricco Renzo Caffe and Galleries

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

When I'm shooting with Mike, food is not a luxury but a necessity. We never run out of food, whatever peg the shoot may be. I guess that when Mike dragged me to his food shoot a while ago, I could not say no. As per our conversation yesterday:

Mike: I'll see you tomorrow.
Bambi: Okay, me say yes to food.
Mike: No late.
Bambi: Sure sure.
I woke up to his SMS telling me to be there at 9:30 a.m., which was practically in 2 hours. I begged and promised to be there before lunchtime since I needed to finish some errands. So it was a hop, kick, sommersault, backflip to the place. I'm familiar with the gallery, having been there before at an event, so it was easy to find it. I'm always in the Jupiter-Reposo area since Mike lives near there. Plus, I like the location. Not too busy yet easily reachable and far away from the traffic of CBD.

Yep, I got there with this guy busy at work:

Yep, that's real food he's shooting. To prove it, I was about to lunge to it at the scent of parmesan cheese had he not whacked my head for me to come to my senses. He introduced me to the chef, Jonas Ng, who gave me an overview of the cafe. Plus chatted up with him a bit with our food preferences.

The resto is actually a quaint cafe with a very relaxed atmosphere. the interiors were very homey and not intimidating. Oh, and free WiFi too, for those with the Internet glued at the hip.

Being an artist drew me to the paintings (the ones displayed are acrylics on canvas). It was mentioned too that the place is also an art gallery, where different artists feature their works. There's also a second floor, which we were toured and this featured works of various artists. We were able to catch an art class going on and I was able to chat with two of the students as they went on with their works. Okay, art and food? Bambi is starting to like this place now.

And so on to the food. I was recommended the appetizer, the Buffalo Chicken Fillet (Php 190.00). This is their bestseller, and they use chicken thigh fillet so you don't get the mess with the wings, bones, and sauce. Spicy? Yes. Good? DEFINITELY!

Mike and I took a toss with two dishes. He chose the Fifteen-Spice Chicken Fillet (Php280.00):

So yes, that's fifteen spices rubbed onto thigh fillet (fillet meaning no bones. YAY!) with pasta pomodoro and succotash. I did get a slice of this, skin and all and it practically melted in my mouth. This was really good, not too spicy but I sure like the kick. Plus okay, that's chicken, pasta, tomatoes, and a side salad. Pretty healthy too. The serving is good enough for two, since it's quite big, but for large appetites like the both of us, one is enough. Suprisingly, I was able to finish my dish (everyone got surprised that this tiny girl eats like a worker)
Tuna Steak (Php 320.00) is one huge slab of grilled premium tuna loin steak. When Mike was shooting it, I thought it was meat or chicken until he said it was fish. It was served with caper sauce that had a bit tart and cream base and spaghetti aglio olio (olive oil + garlic) and wilted greens. There were also two slices of lemon on the side that I squeezed onto the steak. The tuna was flaky, melt-in-the-mouth, and didn't smell or leave any fishy-like flavor.
Another important point I found out was that, this restaurant has very high standards with its meals, keeping them constant all the time. Plus, the staff are aware of any food allergies (they ask the customer first). Once they find out if someone has a food allergy, they take the necessary precautions, such as assigning someone for that person, and that staff washes his or her hands and works in an isolated area in the kitchen to prevent food contamination.

Is this a place where I'll dine again? I'll definitely have this place in mind next time. Parking is relatively easy in this place, and I like the quietness of the atmosphere. Food good? Yes. Also affordable.
Ricco Renzo Caffe and Galleries is found at the G/F LRI Design Plaza 210 Nicanor Garcia St., (formerly Reposo) Bel Air II Makati City Philippines.
(Photo Credits: Food photos by Michael Yu of Mantra Photography)