Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Solace Wine and Dine at One Greenbelt Hotel

New Date Place Alert: Solace Wine & Dine

by Marian Joy Hernandez
 Pritong kare-kare? Lamb with blue cheese mashed potato? Durian brulee? What are you and where have you been all my life? Read Solace Wine & Dine’s menu and swoon with me because this is it, boys and girls, a restaurant that finally understands complex cravings only the hearty eater can fully comprehend. 

Bring a date because it’s a shame not to share this comfort food haven, with a location that is accessible, yet far from the crowd of nearby malls. Exuding the ambiance of a quaint but modern restaurant, Solace Wine & Dine can be found on the ground floor of the newly opened One Greenbelt Hotel along Arnaiz Road in Makati. It’s casual chic on the outside, but definitely friendly inside.

 “We don’t want people to be intimidated just because we’re located in a hotel,” shares co-owner Dempsey Uy. He shares restaurant ownership with his siblings, Eunice and Christine Uy.  “We just want to serve comfort food,” he explains, when asked about the general theme of their menu. I fluff a pillow, take a seat on one of the couches and survey the interior of the place—there’s a television set affixed on one of the walls, the over-all lighting is a blunt white, the tables are adorned with a small potted plastic plant. I immediately feel comfortable; there’s nothing intimidating here at all.
Arugula Pesto
We’re served the complimentary Arugula Pesto as we wait for our orders. It’s like the crispy shrimp cracker kropek, but this one’s curly and dressed up with a blend of pesto and arugula dressing.
Kimchi Soup
“Do you like spicy food?” asks Dempsey. It sounded more like a challenge than a question. I don’t hesitate to say yes. After all, I put chili powder on everything. We were presented the Kimchi Soup (P280), which has tofu and pork belly chunks. Those who don’t like kimchi can ease into it with this soup, because its sourness tempers the spiciness a bit. If your lethargic day needs a boost, try this. It’ll probably help stuffy noses, too.
Pritong Kare-Kare
After whetting our appetite, we were ready for the obvious star of the menu: the Pritong Kare-Kare (P860). It is essentially an entire crispy pata (pork leg), served on a bed of greens and accompanied with a cup of peanut sauce and bagoong (fermented fish paste). The beautiful masterpiece seems to be good for two; three if there’s another dish to be shared. I break a piece of the crispy skin, fork some vegetables to my plate and then slather a spoonful of peanut sauce to the Bagoong Rice (P65) on my plate—I savor every crunchy, salty bite. Ah, glorious, indeed.

Bagoong Rice
Like the brave carnivores we are, we decided to try the Rib-Eye Kebab with Rosemary Yogurt (P530), as well. An order consists of two big skewers of tender beef and grilled vegetables. The meat seems to be medium well, perfectly complementing the creaminess of the yogurt. I brought some of this dish home, heated it and had it for brunch the morning after—it was still tender and flavorful, like it never came from the fridge. 
Rib-Eye Kebab with Rosemary Yogurt
Despite my liking for red meat, I also have a love affair with chicken. So, imagine my ecstasy when I tasted the Chicken Abalone (P510) for the first time. Soft, fall-off-the-bone chicken meat embraced by a yellowish creamy sauce that tastes a lot like truffle oil—it was love and lust. To my surprise, the mystery sauce doesn’t have a drop of truffle oil at all. It’s the flavor of abalone I’m tasting; a kind of mollusk akin to a snail. I don’t know how they did it, but I’m coming back for this dish.
Chicken Abalone
We also tried two other kinds of rice: Aligue Rice (P65), and Kamameshi Rice (P190). The Aligue Rice is a bit dry, but had the right amount of aligue (crab roe) flavor in it. I imagine seafood dishes are best paired for this. The Kamameshi Rice is served on a bowl, instead of the traditional iron pot it is usually served in. It won the taste buds of everyone with its smoky taste.
Aligue Rice
Kamameshi Rice
Those who shy away from rice may go for pasta, instead.  The Shrimp Penne (P485) is a curious combination of pasta, tiger prawn and peach salad. It oddly works, as the sweetness and softness of the peach complemented the al dente pasta. It’s a treat for pesco-vegetarians.
Shrimp Penne
As for vegans and vegetarians, the restaurant will start serving vegetarian dishes this month, so there’s definitely something for everyone.
Another thing I love about Solace Wine & Dine is their fruit shake selection. They use real fruits, no powder alternatives at all. For our lunch, we tried three of them.
The Stress Fix
The Stress Fix (P125), a refreshing blend of mango, melon and papaya. Chock full of vitamin C, I imagine this perfect after a tiring day at work.
Popeye’s Drink
Popeye’s Drink (P120), which has banana, carrots, mango, papaya and, of course, spinach. It tastes delicious, with the banana being the most prominent flavor and the spinach providing a healthy dose of antioxidants.
The Rejuvenator
The Rejuvenator (P120), a blend of carrots, apple, oranges and celery. Its surface flavor is the celery; while the other fruits combine to make it a light, refreshing drink.
For dessert, we just had to try the Durian Brulee (P125) to challenge me, since I am not the biggest durian fan. A small taste got me hooked, and before I know it, I was licking the second spoon clean. Creamy and soft like custard, the durian flavor is spectacular with the hint of caramel glaze.
Durian Brulee
I take comfort in the fact that Solace Wine & Dine now exists, with their myriad of dishes satisfying cravings and inspiring declarations of love. They may be new to the game, but they surely know how to woo the hearty eater’s heart. I reckon, I’m going to be in a relationship with this one for a long time.
Establishment Info
Solace Wine & Dine
P200 - P499


  1. this is one of the best dining places in makati. a way to also appreciate wine is order from

  2. There's so many good restaurants around makati. They also provide Budget Hotels in Makati. Most of them are really affordable.


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