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LULU is a casual fine dining restaurant with a tandem hip bar called HOOCH. The name Lulu is a carryover from the former Rockwell restaurant of the same name, while Hooch is an alcohol drink term used during the prohibition era.

We’ve already tried Lulu twice and been to Hooch three times. Here are our favorites…

LULU + HOOCH
G/F 125 V Corporate Center, L.P. Leviste, Street Salcedo Village, Makati
Websitehttp://luluresto.com/
FacebookLULU Restaurant
Operating Hours
Monday to Saturday 12.00nn until the last man standing.
Sundays 12.00nn to 10.00pm. 

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LULU MENU: The Tease, Green Cuisine, Stuck in the Middle, Artisan Pasta & Rice Dishes | Off the Hook Seafood, Cuts, Happy Ending 

HOOCH MENU: Hooch Signature Libations, Hooch Classic Cocktails | Local Beers, Local Craft Beers on Tap, Down the Hatch | Hooch Food Menu

Lulu serves continental comfort food, while Hooch serves hand-crafted cocktails.

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The dining area doubles as a gallery of contemporary artists in Manila. 

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I love the current “12 BELOW” photo exhibit from Tom Epperson. It features various subjects from Filipino culture that were frozen in ice using an industrial freezer at a temperature of  -120C. 

Read More: 12 BELOW by Tom Epperson

 

LULU LUNCH
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Cioppino (P250). Classic seafood soup scented with saffron and orange

I liked this light tomato-based soup, with hints of saffron and orange and generous bits of seafood. 

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✮ Seared Tuna Nicoise (P350). LULU twist on the classic caesar. Maple bacon with Grana Padano shavings and a 62-degree sous vide-cooked egg.

We also liked this classic nicoise salad with seared tuna chunks and poached eggs. 

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✮ Golden Crab Cakes with Tinapa Accompanied with Citrus Salad (P290). Sumptuous blue swimmer crab salad, bound lemon mayonnaise, chilled cucumber, Zambales mangoes, and French caviar.

The crab cakes were very soft, with a light batter coating and tangy mayo. 

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Squeeze some lemon juice on the crab cakes for the best experience.

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✮ Gambas (P398). Roasted tiger prawns, spicy tomato fondue.

The shrimps were big and absorbed the chili-tomato flavor well.

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✮ Black Bitch (Stout – P90/Schooner). Local Craft Beers

My partner RJ loved the Black Bitch Stout, a craft beer from Tagaytay served as draft in Hooch.

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✮ Bouillabaisse Seafood Stew (P690). Line caught yellowfin tuna, Manila clams, Chilean sea bass, Norwegian king salmon, tiger prawns, mahi mahi, and New Zealand baby mussels.

Everyone loved the Bouillabaisse because each seafood ingredient tasted great and was sourced from the best parts of the world. The stew was delicate and light with just the right thickness.

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Risotto Nero (P550). Sumptuous squid ink risotto with hand dived scallops and flash fried squid.

I liked the juicy scallops on top of the risotto. We got mixed reactions on the squid ink flavor though. 

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The Ultimate Porkchop (P698). US pork chop on the bone, atsuete-glazed accompanied with LULU atchara.

Marketed as the best pork chop in Manila, this dish uses US pork glazed with a yellow atsuete sauce, with hints of cumin and curry in the veggies. The meat itself was a bit dry because of the thick cut.

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✮ Baked Chilean Sea Bass (P990) with lemon mash and tomato fondue.

The Chilean Sea Bass was also very good–tender, juicy, and not overcooked. Just a bit expensive.

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US Angus Rib Eye (500g – P1,900). Port & wild mushroom gravy with a choice of side: truffled fries or fragrant rice, seasonal vegetables.

We ordered a thick 500g angus rib eye steak, cooked medium rare and topped with onions.  

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Thanks to Lord Ancheta and wife Aksana Kalinich for the Lulu Lunch treat with our Mercato Partners.

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Bomb (P250)

Lulu’s signature dessert–Peanut Butter flavor with Jelly and Chocolate. This was our favorite among the desserts we ordered.

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Butterscotch Apple Crumble (P250)

This was just OK.

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Coconut Creme Brulee (P98)

The taste of the coconut was barely recognizable.

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✮ Chocolate Cake (P240). Frangelico, citrus vodka, cinnamon.

I recommend ordering this signature digestif drink. It’s like drinking liquid chocolate cake!

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✮ Dark and Stormy (c. 1860 Bermuda – P275). Bermuda’s poem in a glass. Originally mixed with Gosling’s Rum. Bacardi Black Rum, Ginger Beer, Lime.

My personal cocktail favorite. I loved the predominant taste of ginger beer and lime, with a black rum kick.  

Note: All drinks are sold half-off during the happy hours of 12nn to 6pm, Monday to Friday!

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Aloha Tom (P275). A devilishly delicious tiki drink that will make you crave for more! Bacardi Rum, Pink Guava, Orange Juice, Lemon Grass Syrup.

For something exotic and a good conversation piece, order this guava-based juice with rum. 

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Congrats to Chef Tom Hines, Dixie Marinas, Lord Ancheta, and Chandra for the great Lulu + Hooch tandem resto concept! 🙂

 

LULU DINNER

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At night, the glass windows, high ceiling with artworks on the walls, and white linen tables provide an elegant backdrop to your date.

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Quesos Fundidos (P350). Four cheese fondue: gruyere, fontina, cheddar, parmesan.

The cheese fondue is a good starter, especially if you’re having it with wine.

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We had a nice 2005 Zifar red wine from Ribera del Duero, Spain.

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✮ Mac N’ Truffled 5-Cheese (P450) + Tiger Prawns (P140). A LULU favorite: mac n’ our blend of five cheese scented with truffles.

We loved this ultimate gourmet Mac & Cheese with truffle and 5 kinds of cheese. And there’s an option to add tiger prawns.

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Lamb Shank 12 (P690). 12-hour sous vide tender lamb shank scented with rosemary and marjoram, with bejeweled couscous.

The lamb was very tender from the sous vide process and was a good match with the couscous.

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Seared Big Eye Tuna Risoni (P650)Furikake crust, kalamata olives and tomatoes, risoni pasta.

The seared tuna with umami Japanese spice was still juicy. Best with a squeeze of lemon.

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HOOCH transforms into a happening place at night because of the British bartender, the expat crowd, and awesome cocktail drinks. 

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Check out this image of the frozen Manny Pacquiao T-shirt by Tom Epperson, part of his 12 BELOW series.

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I like the hip bar vibe of Hooch.

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Hoochside LN2 (P350). The trendiest drink in town. Served upside-down. Stolichnaya Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, Sour Apple.

A cocktail drink frozen with liquid nitrogen. 🙂 It’s nice, but the novelty wears off easily.

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Ye’ Old Fashioned (c. 1806 – Kentucky – P450). A truly pleasurable drink for drinkers. They say this is the oldest cocktail ever recorded. Yes, we make it the proper way! Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Sugar Cube, Bitters, And a Lot of Love.

A nice, classic cocktail of bourbon and bitters with a big ice cube in the middle to keep it cold without diluting the drink.

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I like this new cocktail concoction of vodka, green apple, egg white, and yogurt. It’s light and frothy with an alcoholic kick.

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Thank you to the Eat Out Manila team, who first introduced me to Lulu and Hooch. 🙂

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Conceptually, Hooch overpowers Lulu. While Hooch is young and hip, Lulu is more old-school. Together though, the concepts are very strong. You get to enjoy both good food and good alcoholic drinks in a nice, elegant setting. 

I like Hooch’s vibe at night, but the 12nn-6pm happy hour is the better proposition. Start with my favorite cocktail Dark and Stormy. You should easily get hooked into ordering more cocktail drinks after that.

I love the seafood dishes at Lulu. The chef has a very good source and really knows how to cook the seafood right. I recommend the Seared Tuna NicoiseGolden Crab Cakes, and Gambas for appetizers. Then order the Bouillabaisse Seafood Stew and Baked Chilean Sea Bass for your main course. 

The meats are OK; you can get better ones at other restaurants. The desserts are just OK too. It’s better to spend on the digestif cocktails like the Chocolate Cake or Hoochside LN2.

Budget about P1,000/head.

LULU + HOOCH
G/F 125 V Corporate Center, L.P. Leviste, Street Salcedo Village, Makati
Websitehttp://luluresto.com/
Facebook: LULU Restaurant + Hooch
Operating Hours
Monday to Saturday 12.00nn until the last man standing.
Sundays 12.00nn to 10.00pm. 

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosures: Our meals were courtesy of our foodie friends. I wrote this article with my own biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.  

P.S. Hooch should be a great hangout for you and your foodie friends this Christmas Season. 🙂

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