Any partying I did, back when I was young, I did at home. Does that suck or what? So, I did make up for a lot of lost time very quickly. For many, working hard is equated with partying hard, though I am not into partying that hard, but its not bad if I go out with friends occasionally. I did love dancing but at my age, I guess sharing the limelight and the dance floor isn't my turf anymore.
It's good that the idea of such restaurants and bar that magically transform into a club or a party venue at night was invented.
One such example is Universe Gastrolounge which replaced the now defunct Opus. Universe is housed on the location of Republiq and Opus Restaurant and Lounge.
We know how Resorts World have been a mecca for bar hoppers and clubbers. So, for the fans of Opus and Republiq, fret not for Universe is now at your service. For both diners and party-goers, Gastrolounge is your respite from the busy world, a dining haven for international cuisines and a party place at the strike of 10 pm.
At the helm of the exquisite gastronomic experience is Chef Fernando Aracama of none other than the Aracama Restaurant and Lounge at The Fort.
The stylish and classic vibe of the old Opus still remains, with the bar still at place. However, the interiors have changed, even the chairs - from the quilted cushion beige long chairs to the studded velvety black mimicked antique chairs.
I love the wall side where my fellow foodies and I were seated. The whole wall was made into a huge blackboard and the menu is written so glaringly.
Aside from an array of unique cocktails, they also serve up health shots. Healthy juices are concocted from a mix of different fresh fruits and veggies. Here I think I had orange, carrot, lemon and pineapple.
They can be a bit naughty when naming some components in the menu, meet one of our antipasto, Black Bikini! Yet, there is nothing too kinky about this deck of French toasts. Layers of bread, Jamon Serrano, cheese, black truffle jam and more toasts can be enjoyed as you wait for your mains.
The beautiful stack of garlicky log croutons dipped in Mixed Mushroom Dip is best complimented with any cocktails and white wine. Three different mushrooms are sauteed and topped with molten cheese. Ahh, good thing I'm just a tone-throw away from RWM and I could just make a quick run here jut for the dip!
Couch potatoes unite with Patatas Bravas! For me, this isn't an advisable starter though. Baby potatoes were deep fried making the skin crispy, served marinara sauce and garlic aioli (which was btw, totally addicting), making your tummy heavy and palate a bit oily. However, this i good paired with the heavy meaty mains.
I never regretted eating a lot of Chicken Cobb Salad here, it was a complete meal all in itself for me, especially with those chunky grilled chicken and fresh veggies that make up the salad, oh not to forget having avocado slices as well. The ranch dressing spiked up with blue cheese is endearing, you could really get that sharpness from the blue cheese, and that meant they don't scrimp on gourmet ingredients.
Patty Melt on the other hand, is a twist in between a white bread sandwich and a burger. A savory beef patty is packed in between toasts and look how the melted cheese beautifully cascades on the beef.
Monte Cristo Benedict, is another tweak on the common American breakfast menu. This time instead of English muffins to hold the poached eggs, a whole sandwich with bacon and cheese filling is used.
Might I say that the menu is very extensive that whatever kind of food you could think of, they have a version of it. Pizza is one party food or meal food that many always search for in many restaurant's' menu and yep, they have their own, the Pizzetas.
We had three different assortment, and It would be stupid to choose from among them, they all were sumptuously unique and it's definitely likened to home-cooking yet in an upscale way.
Above is the Italian Sausage Pizetta. On the homemade thin crust are crumbled Italian sausage, which are very herby, mushroom and mozarella cheese.
BBQ Chicken Pizetta is composed of perfectly grilled chicken barbecue, onions and cheese, glazed with a caramel, barbecue sauce.
Bad Girl isn't that bad at all as a Pizetta. I love how dry and oil less it is. The anchovies and black olives give enough saltiness to the pizza.
The bounty, I bet you can see how it's namesake purely defines the "gastronimity," the food sampled could hardly fit on the long marbled table. And I can't thank enough Aldous of Aldous Ate the World for the invite.
If I said different food categories, you can bet your penny on it, they even have sample items from Japanese cuisine. Who wouldn't go crazy with the Crunchy Caterpillar. If the play of words, would not give you any curiosity, probably a sight of it would. It's a giant Furai with cream cheese and tobiko eel. Furai is a Japanese term for Deep-fried Prawn while kobayaki is a Japanese caviar or fish roe.
I'm not a sushi fan, however the Electric Eel Sushi really caught my interest. You see unagi (freshwater eels) or anago (salt water eels) are exquisite delicacy in Japanese cooking. It's not going to electrify your tongue or your mouth either, because it's cooked and probably prepared Kabayaki style.
Another one that I tried is the Futo Wacky which rolled with tamago, oboro, unagi, kampyo, and finished on top with crunchy tempura salad.
For the main entree, may you find these suggestions substantial.
Above is Cafe Rep's Crispy Bagnet Pork Belly. Ooohhh! I'm in anguish now, for this had been haunting me ever since I laid eyes on it or rather, my palate on it. It's one of the bagnet that I really love, for one, it's not too salty and the crunch on its outer covering is just right as compared to other bagnet out there that is hard as a rock. Inside was soft and seasoned to my tasting.
Barbecued Angus Boneless Beef Riblets is also a must, if you are really in for a heavy hot meal. Whenever I hear Angus, it just gives a good ring to my ears. What more if its barbecued and its soft to the bite beef riblets. Oh and the potato salad that is served with it is just so divine.
My family loves me to the moon and back whenever I would prepare meatloaf or rolled meats, I just hope this would also bring them delight. Universe Meatloaf and Gravy has a different take on the usual meatloaves we've been having. though. Brick-shaped, brownish in color, tender to the pinch of the fork, heavily-laden with a gravy, mashed potato on the side, sauteed verts, hmmm, what else would you ask for in a meat-lovers' plate?
Before you go on hating me with this post (which I'm praying not to), I need to share some pasta dishes which will go great with your mains or as is.
Linguine Vongole will fill your tummy to the brim. Highly recommended as it is oozing with seafood goodness.
Last but definitely not the least on your to order list is the BLT. Yes, I'm talking about pasta here, if you happen to forget. BLT this time stands for Bacon, Linguine and Truffle Cream Sauce. Clever isn't it? My picture above DOES NOT DO JUSTICE to how this will satisfy your pasta craving.
Here we had Trailer Park Monte Cristo. Quite fancy for a dessert name eyh. Nothing fancy in its origin though but still unique. It's peanut butter and jelly sandwich, battered and deep fried.
Next is Banana Foster Sundae. Banana cupcake sitting on a cream and laced around with caramelized bananas and topped with a grateful scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I say the menu really speaks for the restaurant's namesake. The perfect venue for that gastronomic adventure then some partying after!
This is the secret party place tucked inside the gastrolounge.
For Opus and Republiq goers, do you recognize these?
The lounge operates on Mondays to Saturdays, 11:00am onwards while the nightclub runs on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Address: 2F Resorts World Manila
Contact Details: (+63 2) 917 550 8888