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Food and Leisure

From Aklan oysters to craft cocktails: Oyster bar opens in Bonifacio Global City

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
From Aklan oysters to craft cocktails: Oyster bar opens in Bonifacio Global City
Drink and dessert options at Salt & Ice
Released, Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — The Uptown area of Bonifacio Global City has always been a go-to place for people seeking to unwind after a long day, whether to have a swig of drinks or to meet up with friends.

One of the newest spots along Uptown Parade is Salt & Ice, which brings together the sea and merrymaking as if customers are on a cruise they set themselves.

The pride of Salt & Ice are their oysters flown straight from Aklan, each of them fresh-shucked with either vinegar or Sriracha sauce on the side.

The resto-bar's operations manager Abigael Quila-lan told Philstar.com in an exclusive interview that they tried oysters from Bicol and Pangasinan, but Aklan oysters stood out because of their size and salty taste that reminded them of the ocean.

Staying true to its voyage-like menu, the oyster preparations are influenced by Asian and European dishes. Their Japanese-inspired Oyster Tempura comes with wasabi mayo and Ponzu sauce. Those who love cheese on everything may find their Oyster Mornay appealing with its mozarella topping and Napolitana sauce. The Oyster Kilpatrick is baked with bacon and Worcestershire sauce. 

Apart from the oysters, Salt & Ice also takes pride in their classic and signature cocktails, which Quila-lan had a hand in creating to ensure variety and reflected the many countries customers could "visit."

Related: Oktoberfest-ready: Must-try craft beers at October Fiesta 2022

Many of the signature cockatils will entice those with a sweet tooth like the tequila-based Aurora (inspired by the Northern Lights), whiskey-based She's A Bliss akin to Malaysia because of hibiscus, the absinthe-based Kiss Kiss inspired from France, and the bourbon and peanut butter Nought Rusty (a twist on the Rusty Nail).

Classical cocktails on the menu include the Negroni, Whisky Sour, Daiquiri, Moscow Mule, and Old Basil Smash, though Quila-lan said other cocktails can be made upon request at the bar.

Quila-lan also told Philstar.com how the cocktails can be paired well with Salt & Ice's food, like Filipino-inspired 36th Street (where the resto-bar is found) with the Oyster Bacon and Cheese since the drink's macadamia mixes with the creaminess of the cheese.

Other pairings Quila-lan suggested were the Japan-inspired Rogue Waves with their Chicken Satay or Sea Urchin Pasta, the Nought Rusty with the Oyster Spinach & Malunggay, and the 1.5kg Australian Tomahawk steak with any classic cocktails.

Desserts on the rise

Quila-lan said Salt & Ice is still growing and will be seeing new additions in the coming months. These include their dessert offerings which currently include their Ferrero Rocher Sundae and Chocolate Souffle.

Helping expand the dessert menu is Chef Miko Aspiras, who was recently announced as the new Executie Pastry Chef of Visum Ventures,  the company which handles Salt & Ice.

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At an intimate event held at Salt & Ice, Aspiras said he is currently focusing on new concepts like an ice cream-gelato bar, but he is expected to refresh the dessert brands of Visum's menus.

"[I feel] more mature, relaxed, experienced... [that I can make] experienced desserts, if there are such things," Aspiras said, explaining that he knows his style better when it comes to the creative process and wants to give what he wants.

Aspiras added that he hopes to develop the cafe culture of the Philippines, which he feels is forced at the moment. He is confident, however, the country is ready for it and looks forward to more sweet concepts.

The chef will be working will people familiar with his work, and one of the first partnerships he made for new desserts was with Filipino chocolate company Auro.

These dessert dishes include the Calamansi Cake with Auro White Chocolate Glaze, a classic Black Forest with Auro Dark Chocolate Mousse, and Vegemite Butterscotch with Auro Milk or Dark Chocolate Pralines.

In addition to expanding Salt & Ice's dessert menu, Aspiras will be looking to create a champagne breakfast option for the restaurant, making it an even better dine-and-drink choice in the Bonifacio Global City area.

RELATED: Destileria Limtuaco, Karabella collaborate for alcoholic gelato

BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY

COCKTAILS

OYSTER BAR

UPTOWN

UPTOWN PARADE

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