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Bite Contemporary Cuisine: Considering a big bite…

This is a somewhat nondescript place – that is, from the outside, it looks like a so-so resto. Inside, though, it doesn’t look all that bad. Better yet, there are chows worth recommending. This makes this venue a good alternative to the usual destinations in Makati City.

Bite galoreI used to live at San Antonio Village (SAV) in Makati City.  That is, back when it was still under-developed – e.g. think of that time when the informal settlers still lived along Mayapis Street, right beside the PNR railway (i.e. mga bahay sa riles, or houses by the train rails); when Vice President Jejomar Binay was still Mayor of Makati City (he has properties in SAV); when the village’s only public high school only had one building (it now has two); and when those condos not everywhere in the area did not yet exist.

It should, therefore, go without saying that I was a bit surprised when – after not heading to the area for a while – I discovered its many new offerings, from the deli to the steak houses to the cheap bars (I’m thinking of you Central) to The Collective

And then there’s Bite Contemporary Cuisine, which supposedly grew out of a “desire to make it easy and affordable to eat delicious, healthy and sustainable food.”

This is a somewhat nondescript place – that is, from the outside, it looks like a so-so resto.  Inside, though, it doesn’t look all that bad – the white walls highlighting the more-than-okay interiors, with friendly (and not that bad looking) staff always on the move to serve (with ready smiles). This isn’t exactly pretentious though; since, even if it serves a middle- to upper middle class clientele, under-dressing isn’t an issue (e.g. I’ve seen people grab something to eat there while still wearing late afternoon jogging outfits; just as I’ve been to the place repeatedly – albeit not planned – just wearing singlets).

But the ambiance can only go so far if the food isn’t good; which begs the question: how is the food in this place?

As it’s a not so-so resto (as mentioned earlier), it’s priced akin to the venues in Greenbelt 3 in Makati City (thereby serving as a good option for those in the area, but who couldn’t be bothered going to Greenbelt anymore).  And there are chows worth recommending.

For starters, try: Shrimp Pork Noodle Rolls (P195), their version of spring rolls, with Iligan “way kurat” vinegar for dip; Tokwa’t Bagnet (P275), Ilocano bagnet and gluten free tofu with soy “tuba” for dip; and Cajun Crab and Corn Croquetas (P275), kamote chips and garlic lemon aioli remoulade.  Light is the word that comes to mind; but when just hanging out (while waiting for someone, perhaps?), these more than suffice.

For those wanting to (properly) eat, consider the soups: Kuhol Chowder (P175) is basically Bicolano escargot chowder, otherwise known as “susu”; and Crawfish in Pineapple Sinigang (P295) is the typical sinigang using “ulang”. Noticeably, the chef gave “regular” fares his/her own twists. And yes… these twists work.

Tried mains include: Laing Bicol Syuffed Fish Fillet (P350), comprised of seared John dory with coco milk and ginger; Pork Belly Begukan (P375), which is sinuglaw style warm ensalada with garlic bagoong; Kaldereta Pot Pie (P399), which is the Filipino favorite, cooked in puff pastry; and Seafood Salpicado (P295), comprised of button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, mussels, prawns and fish fillet.  Again, the fusion is apparent.  Note that even if the waiters may say that the servings are hefty, they really aren’t (especially for those with big appetites)…

The mains go with Jasmine rice (P55) or brown rice (P75), highlighting what a companion once said as “the perfect exemplification that this place isn’t for everyone, considering that a kilo of rice could cost less than P40”.

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A pizza worth considering is Pinoy Pissaladerie (P275), with tapa, tocino, longganisa, salted egg and kesong puti.  Pasta worth trying include: Fusilli con Ragu (P250), which is beef Bolognese and queso de bola; and Longganisa Aglio Olio (P250), with baked garlic chips, pesto and olive oil.

An unforgettable drink is the Watermelon Silken Tofu (P145; they also have a lychee version), which is a good re-configuration of the usual shake with the tofu touch.  For the less adventurous, stick with the beer (from P95) or softdrinks (P75) or wines (from P150 per glass/P700 per bottle) and cocktails (P200)…

In the olden SAV, this place may not have fitted – this could be said to be… pretention.  But in the re-incarnated version of SAV, this is indeed a good addition, as it offers those interested an option.

But, heck, don’t just take my word for it; head there to see for yourself…

Bite Contemporary Cuisine is located at 7427-B Glory Building, Yakal Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City. Follow them on Twitter @BiteBistro11, Instagram at BiteBistro, or email bitecontemporarycuisine@gmail.com.

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