Monday, February 4, 2013

Forque Resto Bar

I’m a fan of hole-in-the-wall type of restaurants that may not quite be in the limelight but offer stellar food. One such discovery is the resto-bar called Forque.

Welcome to Forque
Its warm yet bold interiors greeted me as I stepped inside the place. The wooden furnishings and dramatic drapings contrasted well with the bright red walls—it was a good backdrop for a nice lunch or night out.

The restaurant's entrance
Forque's dramatic interiors
Cozy bar area
Since January 2011, the restaurant has been dishing out European comfort food. The first thing I ordered was one of my favorite appetizers, Garlic Beef (P375). The restaurant’s version of Salpicao comes with a siding of garlic bread, which complimented the fork-tender beef chunks that were perfectly seared on the outside and still juicy and pink inside. The sprinkles of garlic and herbs made each meaty bite yummier. I actually finished the whole serving myself.
Garlic Beef
I found out that the owner of the restaurant, Bea Muñoz, is also a chef who trained under a Master Chef in Boca Grande Florida, and this is her first business venture after working in the U.S. for a year as a chef. “I named it Forque because as we all know, in different cuisines around the world—aside from Asian—the most dominant and common utensil is a fork. I always believed in naming a restaurant with something familiar would always have a recall and a feeling of comfort.”
Another appetizer that Chef Bea Muñoz takes pride in is the Angulas Our Way (P475), baby eel served in boiling olive oil that is eaten with bread. Forque is one out of the only five restaurants that serve authentic angulas.
As for the main entrée, one of the bestsellers is the Lamb Chops (P547), which would make carnivores happy. Picture two slices of pan-seared chops served with a siding of potato gratin and French beans… To make the lamb even more flavorful, the plate comes with sauce selections of gravy and mint jelly. Lamb and mint is really a match made in meat heaven!
Lamb Chops
For those who have the luxury of time, another must-try is the Paella that you must order 30 minutes before. Forque serves two variants—Vallenciana (P870) and Negra (P950). The former is the traditional type that is cooked with different meats, seafood and veggies; while the latter is cooked in squid ink. Both are truly tasty, it’s just a matter of preference.
Paella Vallenciana
It’s tempting to eat with gusto at Forque but better save room for dessert, which I think is the best part of any meal. Although there is a limited selection of sweets in this particular restaurant, it is still possible to end the meal on a high note. Go for either the Turones (P120) or the Forque’s Special (P275). The turones is served with latik and pili nuts and can be ordered with a scoop of ice cream to make it even more decadent. On the other hand, the Forque’s Special is highly recommended by the owner-chef. “[It] is my favorite concoction of ice cream—vanilla ice cream served with twice caramelized popcorn.” Dessert fans would surely appreciate this cool specialty that is drizzled with some orange juice and syrup. It’s an unexpected combination that would delight anyone’s palate.

 Forque’s Special
I’m glad that I found this quaint restaurant in the busy Central Business District. Now I know where to go in case I’m craving for European comfort food or some ice cream with popcorn.

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