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Chef's Lab Potions and Kitchen Test Food

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Chef's Lab, Chef Bruce Lim's third restaurant, is located in Burgos Circle. It focuses more on new kitchen test recipes and offers test tube shots with different love potions and a relatively affordable basic menu that still focuses on modern Filipino cuisine.

We decided to try out the new creations at Chef's Lab. Here's our experience...

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The first floor dining area is a bit small, but we like it because of the sofa chairs.

Here's a closer look at the Chef's Lab Menu and Chef's Lab Test Kitchen Soft Launch Menu.

The menu is a mixture of various dishes from Chef's Table, Hyphy's and the Chef's new Test Kitchen creations.

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The second floor, which has Chef Bruce's personal pictures adorning the walls, is better for bigger groups. Reserve the group tables near the window.

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Octopus Carpaccio with Lato (P288 +10% service charge).

Here is an interesting salad -- fresh lato with soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and thin, raw slices of crunchy Octopus tentacle.  This is really good, especially if you're looking for something different, healthy and a little more adventurous.

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It's Complicated (P188 +10% service charge) with 12 test tube shots, love potion and friendship potions. 

There are three different potions that act as chasers after each vodka shot:

  • Love Potion, which is a combination of Cranberry + Apple Juice;
  • Sex Potion, made of Tomato Juice, Chili Extract, and Orange Juice; and
  • Friendship Potion--the best of the lot--with Grape Juice + Triplesec.

You can order 8 vodka test tube shots (P155), which comes with one potion, or 12 test tube shots (P188) with 2 potions, or 18 test tube shots with all the three potions  (Love, Sex, Friendship Potions) called Perfect Match.

If you order the 12 test tube shots, you'll get interestingly-named potion combinations:

  • It's Complicated (Love + Friendship)
  • Friends with Benefits (Sex + Friendship)
  • Couple (Love + Sex)

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The vodka used is Antonov (which is awful); I suggest you request Stolichnaya (just pay an additional P56).

Also, each test tube has a gummy worm inside, which clings to the tube and won't come out if you want to eat it with the vodka shot. Tip: Ask them to serve it on the side instead.

I recommend the Friendship potion combination, then the Love potion. (I have not tried the Sex Potion yet because the description does not sound yummy.)

(Tip: Women get unlimited shots for free on Wednesdays and Thursdays anytime of the day)

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Creamy Tinola Soup (P188 +10% service charge).

This gelatinous soup tastes like arroz caldo without the rice--but with hints of tinola. Sarap!

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Seafood Cioppino (P488 +10% service charge).

This is like a seafood bouillabaisse that uses tomato instead. It has 4 pieces of shrimps, crab, clams, and mussels. We loved the tomato soup itself; it was not too sour, not too sweet. They need to improve on the quality of the mussels, though.

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Buko Panna Cotta (P158 +10% Service Charge).

Although the Buko Panna Cotta was good, we did not find the rest of their desserts interesting enough. They might want to test new dessert concepts here in the resto. 

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Overall, we liked the vodka shots concept and the chef's new recipes. Some of the dish names in the menu need to sound more exciting though (ex. the Pork Adobo--but when it arrives, it's a nicely stacked serving of Pork Baby Back ribs).

The ambiance is a bit boring for its "laboratory" concept and the place does look expensive from the outside. Most of the eating crowd or families would probably still go for Uncle Cheffy's in Burgos Circle, but Chef's Lab could attract the younger, more adventurous crowd looking for something different.

CHEF's LAB by Chef Bruce Lim
Unit F Bellagio, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City
Telephone: +632 846-7073
Mobile: +63 922 844-9518
Operating Hours: 11am to 2pm, 5pm to 11pm
Facebook: Chef's Table with Chef Bruce Lim
Twitter@chefbrucelim

 

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Full Disclosure: We paid for our meals. Chef Bruce Lim is a friend but we are not connected with the restaurant and any organization promoting it.

P.S. We love Chef's Table, but Hyphy's + Lupang Hinirang are getting mixed reviews. What do you think of the Chef's Lab concept?

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Interesting take with the laboratory idea. Very similar to the bar in Greenbelt, Elements:

http://www.lynne-enroute.com/2011/12/12/elements-gastrolounge-greenbelt-3-makati-city-philippines/

The food is the one that differentiates themself, though. admittedly, this one seems to have more clout given it's Chef Bruce. The other one is more bar chows :D

And yes, Antonov vodka tastes like gasoline. :P

Thanks for the link on Elements, We'll check this out too :)

On Antonov yes, lasang gasolina and not sure why Chef Bruce used it.

I've been reading not so good reviews about Chef Bruce's restaurants mostly Hyphy's and just curious why he opened another one.I think he needs to rethink some of his recipes and maybe his cooks/chefs are not well trained giving him a bad reputation.

I do not know about this..I live close but the restaurant never intrigued me. Even with the vodka shots..I can make that myself. I never enjoyed Bruce Lims restaurants. Macky Olanadays right instead of opening a new restaurant he should have focused on the 2 existing rest. Revamp some of the dishes, and train his chefs more.

Same with the laudicos, they seem to forget that fresh ingredients and the chef's TASTE level, not fanciful redesigns of well known dishes make a good restaurant

I think Chef Bruce Lim and his food are overrated. We ate in Chef's Table and it was awful. Worst filipino food ever and to make matter worse, it was so expensive! The creamy tinola above doesn't look appetizing at all.

Food average at best and I was tempted to throw some food plates on the floor. Very expensive. Very overrated as he seems to rely on his "celebrity chef" status. I'm not going back ever. I predict this resto will not last a year.

all hype, no flavor. the opposite of comfort food.

speaking from personal experience, i don't recommend this place. spend your hard earned money elsewhere. this is one place pretending to be a good resto but is actually below average. got the steak as it was "recommended" and a "specialty" on the menu, there was no spice rub as mentioned, the spiced butter tasted burnt and they don't know how to serve steak doneness. ordered medium and got rare. the thick porkchop was sour, if it was intended, it didn't taste great. got only 2 crab cake pieces, tasted mediocre and you'll eat mostly extenders. like i said, take your hard earned money elsewhere. otherwise, you have been warned. caveat emptor!

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