Wednesday, May 22, 2013

La Dolce Vita Day: Atelier 317 + TWG

What glee!  It was the day before Mother's Day, without any plans, it was a bliss indeed  that an opportunity was opened to have a date with a dear friend.  My  best-friend since college had been asking me if we can have lunch or something and do some catching-up.   I have been trying to fix my schedules for I have been thinking of the same thing.  I can't bring to mind when the last time was when we went out.  As Tricia said, it was just like yesterday.  I guess we were all that busy.  She with handling a school and textbook business and me with these - blogging.  Not to mention the countless hats we need to wear at home being a mom and all.

I have these vouchers from Deal Grocer which was initially for me and Bhogs, but he needed to stay at work and finish an important job.  I called my friend in jiffy and made sure to spare this day for the sake of friendship.  Flushed with excitement, I jumped on a cab to Atelier 317 to meet my friend and her glamorous daughter, Sophie.
As I flung open the door, my eyes roamed the room.  It was already 1 pm but Atelier 317 seemed to be full. The denim blue walls with framed artworks, different chair types with marbled tables and white crisp curtains, invibed a cozy, shabby-chic atmosphere.  At at the back of the room, full of diners, I saw my friend waving at me, and I said finally...lunch beckoned...
With chit-chats here and there...
 First off was this bowl of garlicky goodness of Molo Soup.  I have been telling my fatty kid inside me that there is something gourmet in this soup pretending to be Molo.  The aroma was garlic-infused and the unctuous taste, like that of a high-quality seared liver, hhmm something like foie gras.  This rich buttery soup has all that beefy goodness as well -  from ground beef, it also has mushrooms and of course strips of molo.  Two bowls were delivered on our table, I finished the other one, without realizing it was for Sophie...Let me tell you, the soup was just comforting...Sorry about that Sophie.
Sophie had this scrumptious Truffle Mushroom Lasagna which goes with a side bowl of salad.  So kind of the girl to have given me part of it, for me to taste or judge.  She said it was ok, while finishing the dish.  But for me, there is nothing quite the taste of truffles.  It's expensive yet delicate and very gourmet.  I would love to come back and have this again.
On our deal vouchers, the dish that are for choice are Balsamic Beef Adobo Flakes with Portobello Mushroom and Croque Madame (take note-with a twist).  Each dish is covered under one voucher with free-flowing coffee.  On a deeper thought, even with the discount from the deal, it's still priced unreasonably.

Each choice happened to have a P 440 on the price tag, with a bad coffee and disappointing service.   Okay, not minding the price of each dish at least we could have been attended to properly.  I guess they needed more wait-staff on days like this and on weekends, but wait, I thought the restaurant runs on a reservation only basis, so with that they could have assumed the number of diners coming in.   Again, no walk-ins are entertained, so be sure to call for a reservation not to waste your time and gasoline.   Hope this is not about using a deal voucher, let's just say it was one hectic Saturday.
They however have the right to brag about their food.  After all it is Chef Stephanie Zubiri's priced creation, after being trained at Le Cordon Bleu. 
Going back to the food we had, Tricia had the finest time savoring the bowl of Balsamic Beef Adobo Flakes with Portobello Mushroom which was topped with a sunny side fried egg.  The soft beef strips are made with US Black Angus Short Rib cooked with balsamic reduction sauce.   As promised in the deal it has a few crispy shallots on top, which I thought would be served separately.  Nonetheless, it was all good and thought of in a bit of  healthy manner using red rice sinangag, according to my friend.
She didn't have the coffee by the way, and when I asked the wait-staff if we could replace it with a glass of iced tea, he said it was not suggested on the deal.  But how can a free-flowing of what they said to be a good coffee kind compare to a glass of iced tea?  Sigh.
When I saw my French-sounding sandwich, I said this is gorgeous, near picture-perfect.  But upon examining, my bread were over-toasted and hard.  Sought as a Parisian cafe staple, croque madame or croque monsieur-without the fried egg on top, has Farmer's ham in between two toasts with thin gruyere and gouda slices melted on top of the sandwich.   Not that stellar though, I could have had better at home, just that it doesn't come with the Zubiri's classy ambiance.
Seeing the place busy with the chef running to and fro to assist the staff, we decided to have coffee and desserts somewhere else, since the mother and daughter tandem needed to shop for a gift for Tricia's mom.
Atelier 317 is aptly considered a hidden spot known only to A-list foodies but is so near to Rockwell.  They do have a map on their website for your reference.

Next stop TWG at the Powerplant Mall at Rockwell.

Instead of coffee we had teas.  My friend had ginger-based hot tea to help her with her sniffles.
TWG is known for a myriad of tea-infused food, and their macaroons seemed to be most notable on this.
 On the first tier are madelines and above it are three of my macaron choices.  According to Sophie, nothing can still come close to Laduree, which she had tried at Paris, France.
 To learn more of their menu, you can read up on it at one of my post:
 Will get back on you though on the kind of iced tea that I had here at their Powerplant Mall branch.  So invigorating and relaxing.

All in all, it was an indulgent day with my friend and her daughter, after rounds of good food and conversations about motherhood and careers.  At least I was able to spend a day living La Dolce Vita (the sweet life in Italian), even for just a day!

Atelier 317

Address:   Palm Rock Building, 6060 Palma cor Osias Street,
Poblacion, Makati, MM

(from Rockwell drive turn right on Palma after Ateneo and BDO)
 Open Monday to Friday 11am to 11pm (last call 10pm) and Saturday 9am to 11pm and Sunday 9am to 4pm

For more information and reservations:

call 02-358-0987 or text 0917-830-8393
email: or


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