Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stella Wood Fired Bistro's Modern Yet Rustic Menu

Ever since I heard that Dapne O.  loves coming back to Stella's Wood Fired Bistro, I've been finding ways to visit Raintree Restaurants's sweetheart.  Not only does her daughter has the same name, but regular guests revered the dishes served here. After reading her blog about their family's dining experience here, I died!  But I didn't quite get lucky as more and more of my time were delegated to chores and other invites.  Now how do you call something worse than dying?

I can't express enough how excited I was when I finally was able to visit Stella and found it's sister bar Rocket Room on it's side. The stars finally conspired and blessed me to try their spectacular menu, yes, that's how my friends describe their menu. 

So, upon getting to the door of Stella's, I was drawn to a row of vintage "plantsa," now known as flat irons.  I've been coveting to have one and they seemed to bring throwback memories of the time when the country was having huge shortage in electricity, where our nanny would borrow one from he neighbor just for us to have crease-free uniforms for school.

These old flat irons seemed to break the lights coming from behind the tufted leather chairs lined in one of the side of the venue, giving some contrast to the lightly glazed wood wall.  These interiors speak boldly of how the whole theme of the bistro's offerings - rustic with a modern edge.

I love how the mix n' match of the chairs and the tables, breaking stiff tradition, giving the resto that homey and relaxed  vibe.  No wonder family's would pop in here more often, making it a family-friendly establishment.

At the center of the resto is a round table decorated with the day's dessert offering.  Baked-goodies are shown off on silver cake stands covered with dome glass.  I actually gazed at the place for minutes and weird thoughts just filled my mind, such us - what if I nab one of them and bring it home, I'll be the luckiest person if I get to go home without a scratch, yikes!

Well the reason why I was here was to check out the newly revamped menu of Stella. They somehow was able to bring in family favorites from the West Coast with inventive tweaks, all in the wits of Raintree's Executive Chef, Kalel Chan.  The menu was inspired from a mix of Mediterranean and South American culinary but taking it a notch level by cooking in a wood fired ovens.


My late lunch/early dinner began with a refreshment, perfect after walking in the afternoon heat of BGC.  I got Cha Cha Chia, as I've been missing this superfood -chia for months now. It's a glass of lime soda enhanced with summery flavor of passionfruit syrup, loads of mint leaves and a heaping of chia seeds, don't be fooled by how it looks, it may seem to resemble Mojito from a far but it definitely is not toxic, it's actually healthy. May I say that this is the best replacement for 7 up and Mountain Dew.

Another new beverage on the menu is the Cococabana.  A mix of mango and coconut in one sipping, my tablemate's drink.

As I was prepping to fire up my taste buds, a log of wood was placed before me and a bowl of pastry+soup was placed on top of it.  Is it too much to ask for a classic soup? Well , here at Stella  your onion soup is cooked in the wood-fired oven. 

The play of styling the dishes are funky and riveting, the staff said " here is your Rustic Tuscan Onion."  I was gonna say "I didn't order a pot pie," had he not said the name of the dish.  To date, this is by far the best onion soup I had even without the pastel put on top but nevertheless I love it. The sweetness that comes from caramelizing the onions and gently sweating it with the herbs rendered a flavorful broth that is so comforting.

I was finishing the bowl all by myself when The Korean Crispy Wings was then served.  The sizable chicken wings cut in two was flavored with gochujang, battered up and deep fried .  Surprisingly. the spiciness was well-balanced thus I ended up grubbing one wing after the other.  My kids will sure like thius ast's crispy on the outside yet ender inside. 

I read a lot of good words about their pizzas, hand-rolled and wood fired of course. It was a dream come true and I was served  with Stella's Margherita.  Hmm, did they read my mind, how come they knew that 's always my top choice for a me-time pizza.  You see in my family, it's all about meaty, cheesy and sickening oily pizza, but my kind of pizza is the sexy, healthy, rustic, simple yet bursting with deliciousness, in this case, chees and garlic. 

What's to love about wood fired ovens? Ever wonder why classic Italian pizzas are flavorful and has that soft yet chewy crust and the toppings are perfectly melded into the crust?  It's the Italian 's traditional way of cooking the pizza with wood-fired ovens.  Take note that the  smoke flavor imparted by the wood also adds an extra flavor dimension that is impossible to recreate in a standard oven.

The pizza and pasta list was so creatively designed, it's going to be hard to choose.  My pasta plate is Homemade Chorizo and Garlic Spaghetti.  Let me also add that Stella cures and smokes their own bacon and other meat.  So expect a quality chorizo mixed in the tomato-based sauce binding very pasta. The lovely addition  of the toasted garlic and baby arugula strewn around the plate makes me remember my mom, who probably by now is sitting on the garden outside their home in Milan sipping espresso. 

Another must-have when you visit here is the Cauliflower Rice with Peas and Toasted Cashews. This is perfect for those on a diet, this is also gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly. 

Now prepare the kid in you as you order One Big Meatball and Eggyolk.  A plate consists of a huge meatball placed on the center over a mesh of Pomodora and molten Mornay.  The meatball bigger than my knuckle has a poached egg on the top.  It's like eating meatball spag without the spaghetti, hehe.  I'm not into beefy dishes so I'm not that moved with this dish, however if you're a fan of meatballs this is definitely for you.  Though formed big, the ground beef was cooked evenly to the inside with a few burnt beef outside.  Make sure to smother every fork slice with the red and white sauce.  Mornay is a milky sauce with gruyere cheese, btw.

Ice Cream is P 75 per scoop, I had Dark chocolate, Bubble Gum, avocado

Sweet Endings, the perfect category to call their dessert is love!  Kids w and kids at heart will go gaga over the unique  flavors of ice creams they have- Vanilla thyme, Mantecado, Avocado, Bubble gum, Dark Chocolate. 

On this rectangular plate hidden is the Warm Chocolate Raspberry Cake. Served  warm and velvety, it sits behind a pile of salty and sweet fish sauce crumble over  a glazing of hazelnut mousse.  What's more is that the cake is ornated with  coconut tulle, a thin crisped coconut wafer.  This plate is a wacky mix of texture, flavor and aroma, I was truly raving about the fish sauce crumble, I thought they made a mistake printing the menu when I saw fish sauce on it, you know PATIS!  I guess that's the new best thing next to salted caramel.  You have to taste it yourself and tell me and join me in saying Chef Kalel and his team of RnD's are brilliant.

The namesake is  right off the bat!  It was a "stella-r" meal I had. Thanks Mela! I like the new look of the menu and the new dishes as well, the extensive menu is something I'll keep coming back for.

Stella Wood fired Bistro

Address:  Ground Floor Level,
                Bonifacio High Street Central,
                Bonifacio, Global City, Taguig,
facebook www.facebook.com/stella.rocketroom
twitter @stellarocket 


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