Madison’s Bistro Moderne: the new hotspot for haute cuisine

At first glance, it’s easy to tell that Madison’s Bistro Moderne is everything a high-end establishment should be. It sits at the ground floor of Edsa Shangri-La Manila, high ceilings framed by glass panels and velvet curtains. Upon closer inspection, its menu offers exciting and affordable dining options for the working crowd in the area, hotel guests, and the avid foodie.

Madison Bistro Moderne's main dining area

A spacious dining hall, linen-set tables, and welcoming, comfy chairs, make it an excellent place to meet and hang out.

I was lucky enough to be invited to dine with two other foodies and the lovely person behind an event happening at the resto on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. The chef and manager showed us the ins and outs of the menu(s), and effectively convinced us that Madison’s Bistro is the place to come back to time and again when you’re hankering for something extra special without the extra special price tag.

There’s just so many things that sets the restaurant apart from other places you could choose to dine at, not the least of which is that you’re spoiled for choice. They’re open from 7 am to 2 am, 7 days a week, and they make it a point of changing things up. Throughout the day, they rotate menus, from breakfast to hearty deli sandwiches, to luxe dinner fare, to bar chow.

Which is not to say that you can’t expressly ask for something a couple of hours after the particular menu has been put out of circulation. Take a chance and ask for it, and you might be surprised. However, I do recommend going along with the house recommendations.

One thing that blew me away is that they make their own flavored butters almost daily, as well as their own handmade artisinal breads. Nothing says hearty and homemade like fresh bread, and I love a place that serves you bread gently warmed over even before you order, especially one that serves you flavored butter to go with it.

Fresh bread and butter

Pomegranate butter to your right, and mango butter to your left.

Appetizers range from a soup of the day (P220) to a light mixed green salad (P295) to heavy hitters such as foie gras ballotine (P550). The latter being brioche, duck ham, and caramelized orange.

One of the dishes we were lucky enough to get to try out was the Octupus Carpaccio (P310), a very pretty dish of wafer-thin octopus slices in a tasty dressing served with a heap of fried zuchini chips, in a dressing of mint and vinegar. A line of cherry tomato slices and a smattering of tiny green leaves gives it that added punch of freshness. Surprisingly fresh-tasting and not at all gummy or fishy, this was an eye-opener for me.

Octupus carpaccio

Who thought octupus could be so pretty?

Next up was the speck and goat cheese mousse (P350). It was a neat little package of flavor, one that hinted at the exotic and rustic at the same time with truffle scent and apple mustard chutney. It was one of the clear favorites of the afternoon.

Speck and goat cheese mousse - salty and creamy and just exploding in your mouth with flavor

Speck and goat cheese mousse – salty and creamy and just exploding in your mouth with flavor

While the restaurant does offer beautiful steaks of Angus and Wagyu beef, take time to consider the other main dishes. We sampled four – tricolored ravioli, pistachio-coated black cod fish, potato gnocchi, and confit pork belly, every single one a delight.

The little pockets of pasta were stuffed with cream cheese and a single quail egg, and topped with truffle oil, a beurre noisette and a sprinkling of bacon bits.

Tricolor Ravioli

Ravioli filled with cream cheese, truffle oil, and beurre noisette.

The black cod dish was done how every great fish dish should be done – moist, tender and flaky, but with a nice firm texture and still crispy on the top!

Delicately flaky and with just the right crunch.

Delicately flaky and with just the right crunch.

A meat-lover’s dream on a plate! The generous slab of pork is braised for hours before it’s baked, resulting in a crispy top and a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth hunk of meat underneath.

Confit pork belly

Braised for hours, with tender beans that still offered some resistance to your teeth.

Of course, we can’t forget about dessert. I’m a sucker for panna cotta, and Madison’s Vanilla Panna Cotta with strawberry consomme is something that will haunt me for a while. Blissfully creamy, light, and infused with berry flavor that sends tingles down from your taste buds straight through to the tips of your toes, it’s going to be one of the gold standards every other panna cotta I encounter will be measured up against.

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Panna cotta – a serving good for two!

The second dessert didn’t exactly warm my heart, but the Warm Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fondant with Salt Caramel and Chantilly Cream was a work of art on a plate. I nicked both candied orange sticks with the permission of my dining companions, but there was little else I fell in love with. But that’s just me and my non-passion for peanut butter.

Peanut butter cups with a twist!

Peanut butter cups with a twist!

And when you’re finished dining, you can drop by the deli, where you can purchase everything from pomegranate extract to truffle oil to fine local rum. There’s even a selection of breads and meats made in-house.

Salmon lox and sausages, made to the specifications used in the kitchen.

Salmon lox and sausages, made to the specifications used in the kitchen.

Iberico ham, prosciutto, and other cured meats lie in wait for happy shoppers.

Iberico ham, prosciutto, and other cured meats lie in wait for happy shoppers.

Cheese, glorious cheese!

Cheese, glorious cheese!

And, booze hound that I am, I really have to point out that this is an excellent local brew. Let’s support our local microbrewers, folks!

Captain Jack Sparrow would move to the Philippines just for this, I bet.

Captain Jack Sparrow would move to the Philippines just for this, I bet.

This is head Chef Giovanni Silas, who has spent all his professional life working in different countries. To Madison’s menu, he brings in his dedication to quality ingredients, meticulous preparation, and mouth-watering presentations, making every meal taken here memorable for the amount of care taken to make it.

Head Chef Giovanni Silas

Chef Giovanni personally crafted the dishes on each menu.

Tomorrow, Madison’s Bistro Moderne will be hosting an exclusive, one-time-only, wine pairing event. Chef Giovanni will be putting together a special four-course particularly to showcase their beautiful selection of wines. So grab a ticket, and come hungry. 🙂

Come and experience off-menu items paired with fine wine!

Come and experience off-menu items paired with fine wine!

Spread the word!

    posted on by Little Bunny posted in noms and nibbles, What's hot and happening

    2 Responses to: Madison’s Bistro Moderne: the new hotspot for haute cuisine

    1. Kim Marcelo

      Awesome review and photos, Barbie!!!
      As always…
      Many thanks and cheers!!!

    2. Kristel

      The food there looks delicious! 🙂

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