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We celebrated Valentine’s with our creative entrepreneur friends in the new restaurant of Chef Alain Raye of La Regalade Manila fame. There were mixed reviews when it opened towards the end of last year so we dined with optimistic caution.

Q&A stands for Question & Answers for the culinarily curious or Quality & Attention for the ones looking for Michelin-star taste and service in Manila. The 1 Michelin-starred Chef Alain Raye fell in love with a Filipina during his La Regalade days, and now he is permanently based here with the love of his life.

Is it now worth going to Q&A Kitchen in Makati? Here’s what we think…

 

Q&A kitchen & bar
Unit 2D, Second Floor, ACCM Building, 102 San Agustin Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Operating Hours:  Kitchen: Monday to Saturday
Lunch: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Bar: 5:00 pm til late
Closed Sunday
Mobile: +63 917 859-5678
Landline: +632 624-4388
Instagram@QandAKitchen
Websitehttp://qandakitchen.com/

Related Blog Post: Chef Alain Raye’s La Regalade in Manila!

First Things First

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Q&A is located on the 2nd floor along the back streets of San Augustin St. in Salcedo beside Wow Cow near the H.V. de la Costa end.

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It has a modern European restaurant vibe with lots of breathing space between tables and an open view of the culinary team in the kitchen.

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Q&A Menu: Happy | Healthy | Handmade | Oven and Grill | Today’s Specials | Cheeses & Desserts

They make their bread and pasta in-house, and this dictates the theme of the authentic European menu.

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Drinks Menu: Champagne and Sparkling Wine | White and Rose Wine | Cocktails 1 | Cocktails 2 | Spirits | Spirits, Single Malts | Beers | Non-Alcoholic Beverages | Water

The bar was nice but empty throughout the eve of Valentine’s Day.

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Sourdough bread pieces with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip are served while you wait for your order.

 

First Course

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Duck and fontina cheese croquettes (₱645) with raisin verjus

Voted as the best starter dish of the night with actual pieces of duck (no extender or flour) balled with fontina cheese and wrapped in bread crumbs.

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Roasted Marrow Bone (₱375) toasted bread soaked in chicken broth, anchovies, lemon and parsley with shallots and mustard microgreens in vinaigrette

Bone marrow never tasted this good. We promised to just take one small scoop each but ended up savoring a few more scoops.

Best to eat right away. You’ll love contrasting buttery and bread textures with mustard microgreens to cut through the fatty flavor in every bite.

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Chicken Liver Mousse (₱375) caramelized onions compote and toasted ciabatta

Pink-fresh smooth liver mousse spread over toasted bread, a nice sweet contrast with the caramelized onions.

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Roasted peppers, capers, anchovies vinaigrette, and toasted ciabatta (₱375)

Simple slices of bell peppers best eaten with the bread and a bit of liver mousse.

 

Wine Program

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When our friend Tina suggested to meet on the eve of V-day, I thought at first nobody would show up, but it turned out to be a memorable Valentine’s date with complete attendance.

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False Bay Whole Bunch (₱425/glass, ₱2,295/bottle)  Cinsault Mourvedre (vivino rating 3.3)

The wines were interestingly different, and they let us taste them before we settled for the Mourvedre Rose handpicked by the Chef to pair well with his food.

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Alhabra Vinos Mediterraneos 2016  (₱755/glass, ₱3,795/bottle) Envinate Castilla, Spain (vivino rating 3.8)

The Alhabra garnacha Spanish red needed to breathe a bit, and you could taste the gripping tannins with a dry after taste best to pair with the meats.

 

Main Dishes

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Pan Seared Coated Jasmine Rice Powder Sea Bass (₱1,085) brown butter, garum, mandarin slices and hazelnuts

Voted as the best main dish of the night—with fresh sea bass and a unique flavor combination of brown butter, garum (fermented fish sauce) and mandarin sauce that provided acidity. So good!

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Squid Ink Maltaglioti (₱785) with grilled octopus

The pulpo was tender, not overcooked with a good chewy bite. We had mixed reactions on the flat triangle pasta with one person commenting it looked and felt like leather because it was cooked al dente and the pasta got stuck together.

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Duck Leg Confit (₱1,795)

This was too salty and a bit overcooked. I felt like we got upsold with the most expensive dish which did not taste great at all.

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19hr braised then grilled kurobuta pork belly (₱595) pici, dijon mustard sauce and garlic

Best value for your money. Even if you are eating pure belly fat, it melts in your mouth with the thick hand-rolled pici pasta which is the closest thing to rice (if you like it to pieces).

 

Desserts

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Olive Oil Ice Cream in crushed black pepper sandwiches (₱495) shaved pecorino, blackberries, oregano sprigs drizzled with extra virgin olive oil

The Olive Oil ice cream was a disappointment because it came in highly recommended. We couldn’t figure out if it was too olive oil-y in terms of taste or if there was no olive oil at all.

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Chocolate and Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches (₱395) toffee, coffee jelly and syrup

This was the winning ice cream sandwich—best to share and slice it in one-bite pieces with a bit of the jelly, syrup and toffee.

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Cheeses (₱450 for one, ₱550 for two, ₱650 for three) with raw honey, walnuts, grapes and toasted ciabatta

Like the French, you can enjoy your dessert with cheese and more wine.

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Macaron (₱95 per piece)

The macaron was an upsell that was not worth it, but it was cute since it was Valentines Day.

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Butterscotch and Maldon Sea Salt Budino (₱225) caramel and cream sauce

My personal favorite was the budino, an Italian pudding with a buttery smooth mousse texture and a perfect combination of butterscotch and maldon sea salt to cut through the umay.

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The complimentary handmade dark chocolate truffles were a good bitter chocolate ending to the meal.

 

Final Thoughts

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We loved our Valentine’s group date at Q&A and all of us agreed it was worth it. You just need to pick the right dishes when you go.

The Duck and Fontina Cheese Croquettes, Pan Seared Coated Jasmine Rice Powder Sea Bass, 19hr braised then grilled kurobuta pork belly and Butterscotch and Maldon Sea Salt Budino are highly recommended. You’ll love the house-made pasta dishes and breads. (There are no rice options in the menu). Budget about 2,500/head for a 3-course meal with wine.

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Congratulations to Chef Alain Raye for a successful Manila comeback and for the opening of the new Q&A Kitchen + Bar in Makati!

Q&A kitchen & bar
Unit 2D, Second Floor, ACCM Building, 102 San Agustin Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Operating Hours:  Kitchen: Monday to Saturday
Lunch: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Dinner: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Bar: 5:00 pm til late
Closed Sunday
Mobile: +63 917 859-5678
Landline: +632 624-4388
Instagram@QandAKitchen
Websitehttp://qandakitchen.com/

Related Blog Post: Chef Alain Raye’s La Regalade in Manila!

 

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We paid for our meal.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. Make sure to check your bill; we ordered 1 bottle of Alhabra for the group, and upon checking the receipt now, we found out they inserted an extra 1 glass of Alhabra in the bill. There is a scam in restaurants where some service people insert a seemingly innocent extra dish or glass for those group dinners where you don’t bother to check the itemized list. Always double check the items in the bill. Erratum: I have to apologize for this comment. We doubled checked and the bill was correct because there was an extra glass order. 

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