Birthday dinner means a new restaurant. I remember wanting to eat at Nuvo when I was still in college but couldn’t really tag anyone with me. For a while, I forgot about it and I was just used to passing by that area, almost everyday and have gotten used to Nuvo being just there. And so I saw a good deal at TCAT Philippines (which by the way has excellent customer service), one of the group buying sites (I no longer look at them one by one, this just happen to somehow made it to my Facebook feed). Hehe. Anyway, it was paying Php 650 for a Php 1,000 voucher. Not bad right? I bought quite a few.
Anyway, we are always a bunch when we go out for my birthday dinner, which makes me happy really. I love that my siblings will eat everything and anything, with an occasional comment here and there. If I knew how to cook, they would have made me happy finishing up the dishes I made. Anyway, enough about us. Let me walk you through our experience.
I called up the day before for reservation and we were seated right away when we got there. It was a Tuesday night and there was not a lot of people in the establishment. Truth be told, I don’t think I needed to reserve at all. Anyway, I showed the usher the coupons and we were given the restaurant’s menu. Everything was valid to be ordered except for the prix fixe meal they had (which was not mentioned in the deal, but all is good). While waiting for my other siblings, we started ordering. I noticed there were holes on the tablecloth (or something that resembled to it). I thought, that was not good. The place seemed to be not as sophisticated as I remembered it to be. Add to it that there was a disco ball and live instruments setup in the dining area. I found it tacky and not apt for the restaurant’s image.
We were served some soft rolls and then one by one, the food we ordered came out of the kitchen. It was slightly frustrating that the servers won’t even mention what dish was being served unless asked. At some instances, they themselves didn’t know. Anyway, below were the food:
When I’m with family, ordering a salad is a default. We had their Caesar Salad (Php 295). It was the classic type with good amount of dressing. I liked the bacon bits topping. The serving was probably good for 2.
The Breaded Calamare (Php 330) was served next. It came in this dark breading which was quite soft as opposed to the crunch that I usually look for in calamares. The good thing about it was that the squid were pretty big and the dip tasted good (tasted a lot like tartare). This dish is good to get your appetite going because the serving was quite small.
Another appetizer was the Crab Cake (Php 295). Our order came in one, saucer-size, piece which was a surprise for me. It should have been served in small chunks because the dish ended up dry and I barely tasted the crab in it.
Because my siblings like oysters, we ordered the restaurant’s Rockefeller Oysters (Php 360). It was oysters covered in bread crumbs set on a bed of salt. I fear eating oysters at night so I only had one. It tasted pretty fresh and it was good that my stomach did not act up. I would have preferred oysters baked in cheese but that was not on their menu.
For some meat, we ordered U.S. Prime Rib Eye (Php 1150 – 350g) grilled to medium. The meat had a good chunk of fat but it was nicely grilled. It was tender, moist and had a good meat flavour. Our order came with gravy (mushroom sauce) and a side of fries.
We also ordered the Grilled Pork Chop (php 565) that was tender although slightly dry. It came with a side of apple compote.
For variety, we had the Chilean Sea Bass Special (Php 1045). As to why it was tagged “special”, I forgot to ask. The sea bass was cooked pretty well, it was soft, delicate although I wanted it a little bit creamier. For a hint of tangy taste, there was a butter and lemon sauce served on the side.
For some pasta, we went for the classic and ordered Bolognaise (Php 425). Although this sure had a lot of ground meat mixed with the pasta, I found the dish to be pretty ordinary and I wish the pasta was more al dente than a little bit overcooked.
What tasted good however was the Baked Seafood Rigatoni (Php 490). This was rigatoni topped with baked cheese and seafood including 2 pieces of shrimps, some fish and squid. The cheese was pretty light that it made the seafood flavour in the dish richer.
Just to clean our palate and end our meal, we has the Crème Brûlée (Php 210) but it turned out to be more of a leche flan with ice cream on top that was out of place. It was too tiny and unappetizing in appearance, I was not able to take a photo of it.
I also had the Nuvo Martini (Php 180) which tasted pretty good. The drink had a light citrus flavour that was refreshing.
Overall I would say our dinner was okay but the restaurant can do a little bit of improvement here and there. Coming from an ordinary customer’s perspective, I thought that the server who took our order barely knew how to explain the dishes on the menu. Also, we asked for another round of bread which took a long while to arrive. But on the plus side, our several requests were cordially granted.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt for them to have served a small gesture (birthday cupcake, perhaps?) as they knew it was my birthday. Oh well, ‘til next year!
Nuvo Bar & Grill
G/F Greenbelt 2 Building Greenbelt Drive corner Esperanza Sts.
Ayala Center Makati City
(63 2) 7573699