Whenever I see the French word "atelier," The first thing that comes to mind is design. Webster dictionary defines it as an artist's or designer's studio or workroom. So, it did intrigued me when I first heard of this French bistro.
At first, I thought it's all about French cuisine flare and a resto interior that has a boutique-feel to it.
Then came the time that I'd finally had a feel and taste of this talked-about bistro in Burgos Circle, which happens to have earned two Michelin star.
Chef Akrame Benallal, the French chef who happens to start Atelier Vivanda is only in his mid-thirties, has two branches in France and one in Hong Kong, his fourth is now here in Manila. I've read that he treats his "food like a fashion collection." Probably that's why he used the word "atelier" in his front doors.
But what he boasts off is how he would put his own style to his creations. His own spin of family favorites, and special touches on even gourmet food.
To say the least, Atelier Vivanda Manila is one of the most exciting and appealing must-visit resto in Burgos Circle. But don't be intimidated of it's look, what's chic is in the menu.
The wooden floor, the modern table and chair ensembles, the gray-painted walls, they're all in my book you know. Above all, the, the light is free to just brighten up every dining corners.
Don't forget to say "Hi" to their gorgeous, best employee- the hand-cranked, antique meat slicer.
Look how efficient he works! Those meat were certainly enticing.
AVM is famed for their thinly-sliced Smoked Beef that has been aged for 50 Days and it's P 980 for every 100g. It's surprising that for a meat aged this long, it still is tender and moist, with that perfect hint of smokiness
To begin my detailed dining experience, might I say, though this is a bit lavish for me, this is one of those dining feat, you'll never ever regret. When I say, it's worth it, it's an understatement.
So better save up and bring your loved ones here, they'll love you even more.
Your meals will begin with a complimentary bag of rustic freshly-baked breads, served on brown paper bags, that's so cute.
FYI, do not forget to dip those breads on their official EVOO, it's pepper-infused and so fragrant even on the palate. You can also buy a bottle there.
Cauliflower Soup / Smoked Haddock / ParmesanCheese
They have designed different sets of menu for the kind of meals you are craving for. You can have their SPECIAL LUNCH for P 950.
Pumpkin Soup / Fried Shallots / Candied Walnuts /
Cauliflower Soup / Smoked Haddock / Parmesan
Grilled Rack of Lamb
Yellow Fin Tuna
POMME DE TERRE
Mixed Green Salad
Coffee or Tea w/ Walnut Financier
Vanilla Crème Brûlée (P350)
Chocolate Pot / Praline (P350)
You can choose from two kinds of soup, this, Pumpkin Soup, with fried shallots, candied walnuts and pumpkin chips, or the Cauliflower Soup.
This is how your lunch special should look, in a nutshell - Duck Confit, Mixed Green Salad, Atelier Vivanda's signature Pommes Dauphines (P 165), potato balls that's crusty on the outside and mushy inside or the Pommes Darphin (P 265), baked layers of potatoes served like a pastry bar.
Sauteed Potatoes and Mashed Potato
If you're not into the gamey ducks then perhaps you might want to have some Grilled Rack of Lambs.
For the non-meat-eaters, you can still enjoy this resto with Yellow Fin Tuna. Freshly-cut Yellow-fin Tuna Ceviche.
Do end your meal with Creme Brulee.
But a meal at Atelier Vivanda wouldn't be really exceptional if you haven't had their Les Produits D' Exception.
USDA Prime Bone-In Tomahawk 850 g. (P 5,900).
Truth be told, that I'm not into meat-eating per se, however, with just one look at this Tomahawk Steak made me weak inside and my suppressed meat-eater inside just screamed, next, I found myself getting second helpings of this succulent and lightly flavored beef. This huge portion can be shared by two to three persons.
Aside from the list of potato dishes you may eat with your steaks, you can also have Gratin Dauphinois (P225). Layers upon layers of sliced potatoes were flavored with garlic and cheese, then baked.
Black Angus Hampe (P795) is another meaty dish you need to savor. Again, the succulence and the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of black Angus seemed to be a signature in this alley.
If ever you can't make it on a scheduled lunch or dinner, you can still indulge over at their HAPPY HOUR which happens daily starting from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.
This bowl of MUSSELLS P 465 is great with their breads. Locally resourced mussels are cooked in White Wine, onion, garlic and parsley.
If you think they only have steaks and potatoes, then you haven't really known Chef Akrame (silent 'e'), I was actually surprised to see BURGER SLIDERS P 695) in this menu. Look how cute these mini brioche buns slid with Foie Gras , blue cheese , caramelized onions and served generously with potato chips.
This simple dish will also stun you with its tangy and gingery side notes. TUNA TARTARE (P 275). Unique in its own, fresh tuna meat is chopped and mixed with soy ginger, sesame, chili and cilantro.
If these plump Tiger shrimps won't woe you over, I don't know what else. These GAMBAS (P 475), floating in clarified butter and topped with garlic chips is stunning and goes well with a glass of wine of your choice.
Who can say "No" to this - TRUFFLE FRIES (P 245). French fries drizzled with espelette and truffle oil and made even more luxurious with dashes of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
All these and so much more are just some of Chef Akrame's take on casual French dining. Simple, delightful and just clean to look at. All sleek and perfect for a clean slate.
Bon appetit mon Amour!
Address: U-A8 Forbes Town Center,
Forbes Town Road,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City