A new East Meets West fusion restaurant just opened along First St. corner Dona Hemady in QC. It’s called Alter Ego and it’s just a few steps from Robinsons Magnolia. A friend invited me to Alter Ego’s opening last week. Congratulations on the opening, Alter Ego! 🙂
For those driving to Gilmore to buy PC parts, this road should be familiar because it’s one of the few places to park nearby. For those complaining about the limited dining options in Robinsons Magnolia, you now have a new place to check out, too. 🙂
So this is how close Alter Ego is to Robinsons Magnolia. Parking is available on the street (one side parking), but you can also park at Robinsons and then just cross the street to Alter Ego.
The restaurant is the idea of mother and son tandem, Joy Tan and Josh Chua, from the family that owns DEC. The place used to be just Azucar, a neighborhood bakeshop run by baker Joy, but Joy expanded it pursue her dream of having her own restaurant that serves European and Asian dishes for the Filipino palate.
Why is the restaurant named Alter Ego? They explain that “alter ego” means two personalities in one, which is what they are doing with their east-meets-west dishes. Together with her friends, Chef Ronald and Chef Benedict, they developed unique and exciting dishes that I will introduce to you in a bit.
All of Alter Ego’s dishes feature something from the East and something from the West.
Alter Ego Gorgonzola Salad (P320) – creamy and slightly funky from the gorgonzola, but I found it delicious because I like a little gorgonzola, not too much, and this was just right. The raw onions cut the creaminess and the candied walnuts gave some sweet crunch 🙂
French Onion Soup Dumpling (P190) – a French onion soup in gyoza form. Definitely unique! The gyozas are stuffed with meat and caramelized onions, topped with melted cheese. The beef/onion broth is on the side, and you pour it on the gyozas before eating.
Salted Egg Prawn Pasta (P380) – salted egg prawns (East) with pasta (West). I tasted some liquid seasoning in the pasta sauce. It still tastes good for people in general, I guess, but not for people who don’t like that sort of thing. Liquid seasoning is okay for me for home cooking, but for a restaurant, not so much…
Chicken Pandan Paella (P450) – when I first saw this, I thought, why didn’t anyone else think of this? 😀 The paella was also made using Chinese sausage instead of the chorizo de bilbao, and then it was topped with chicken pandan. The dish also comes with 3 sauces on the side – a very good aioli, a sweet soy sauce, and pickled mangoes. The other foodies I were with had this as their favorite.
Chicken Curry Cassoulet (P290) – chicken cassoulet with white beans, but using a curry sauce
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Puree (420) – pork on pork! Pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon, and I liked the pistachio streusel they had with the pork – the sweet pistachios go really well with the pork. The pork was tender and evenly cooked all throughout, of course!
Rib Eye Steak with Hollandaise Sauce (P650) – the beef was tender, and was served with a kaffir-soy hollandaise sauce
Bibimbap Pasta (P320) – this was my favorite dish of the night. Korean bibimbap in pasta form. There’s an option to have it with raw egg, which I opted for. This had creaminess from the raw egg yolk, earthiness from the mushroom, aroma from sesame seeds, and was sweet and slightly spicy from the gochujang sauce.
For dessert, we had the Banana-Coco Pandan Croissant (P180) – coconut cream filling encased in croissant pastry and topped with banana. The croissant pastry was done really well – flaky but structured – and that’s something I noticed even though I am not a big fan of coconut.
I also got to try some of Azucar’s baked goodies and they are good! I highly recommend trying the Chocoholic brownie and the chocomint version of the Chocoholic brownie. The brownies are stick-to-your-teeth FUDGY!!! I also liked the peanut butter bar thing, I forgot to ask what it was. These weren’t on our menu, but Dude4Food sneaked us some. Sssshhhh!!!
Azucar’s baked goodies are also still available at Alter Ego.
This is a nice neighborhood bistro, somewhere you can go to when you don’t want to venture too far out of the Gilmore area. It’s in a quiet place that feels out of the way, but is actually very near bustling establishments.
The food is not the usual fare, and the prices are within expectations. The dishes are inventive, the Chicken Pandan Paella and the Bibimbap Pasta are something I would recommend for friends to try. The concept for the French Onion Soup Dumpling is also sort of mind-blowing, if you think about it. Like, how did they think up these things? 🙂
However, I would highly recommend trying the baked goods because the ones I were able to try were pretty darn good.
Alter Ego European Asian Fusion Bistro
#41 First Street cor Dona Hemady Street, Barangay Valencia, Quezon City
Contact: (02) 622-6109 or (02) 717-8033
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The Barat Queen
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