Comfort Food at Solace Wine & Dine in Makati

The word solace according to the English dictionary means "to give comfort to in grief or misfortune." In other words, solace can also be seen as that ever-famous "light at the end of the tunnel." It gives one that glimmer of hope that there will be better days ahead. I mentioned in a few entries back that I've been experiencing gloomy days lately due to my hectic routine. Feeling more exhausted than revitalized nowadays, all I want to do is to stay in bed all day and to do nothing... absolutely nothing.

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I know that plan would probably come after the holidays. Therefore, I am currently finding other ways to get that short moments of relaxation and one of those include going out on dinner dates with Paul. Last Monday, we visited a new restaurant that has just opened along Arnaiz street in Makati. It was my Mom who told me about it and we arrived excited to have a good meal and to unwind. I got to admit, it took me a while to remember the name but after chatting with the owners and learning about their story, I don't think I'll ever forget Solace Wine & Dine.

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The ambiance was bright and modern. I love clean white walls adorned with color coordinated decor. For Solace, it was a good pattern of greens and whites. Initially, I was expecting a restaurant that's dark and has a bar-like feel. Not this one, I guess being located at the lobby of the hotel makes Solace very inviting and perfect for the entire family to hang out and to enjoy a good meal.

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Our meal began with some complimentary Deep-Fried Hofan with Arugula Pesto. Of course, I happily got all the hofan strips covered with pesto. I love the pesto as it really perked up the very bland taste of the hofan noodles. Sadly, I was the only one who was happy with this starter as Paul isn't a fan of pesto so he just tried some noodles and pushed the bowl over to me. My recommendation though is to put the pesto on a separate saucer to be able to have the customers dip the deep-fried noodles into the pesto depending on their desired quantity. If it were up to me, I'd fully coat my noodles with pesto!

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They had a good selection of fruit shakes too! While Paul played safe and chose the Four Seasons (Php. 120), I went for the Rejuvenator (Php. 120) which was a fruit shake made of celery, oranges and apple. I had high hopes for this drink to rejuvenate me but I guess I was just too tired to feel any effect. Anyhow it was a yummy drink and I'll definitely get this again next time. I love that it wasn't too sweet at all.

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We tried the Bread & Cheese Platter (Php. 550) and it was a-ok. The bread were slices of buttered focaccia and I enjoyed having this with a piece of melted camembert. Sadly though, I only love soft cheese so I could only eat so much of the cheddar and other slices of hard cheeses on the platter. How I wish they can give more cheese options and maybe throw in some cold cuts too!

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As for our mains, we had the Pritong Kare Kare (Php. 860) which was highly recommended by the owner. The serving was HUGE! We ate so much already and still had a lot more for take out. This is not your ordinary Kare Kare as they made use of Crispy Pata (deep-fried pork leg) and the rich orange sauce was in a separate bowl and veggies were underneath. I liked it but it was the Kare Kare master a.k.a. Paul who was really happy with it. This is one dish that you couldn't fully enjoy without a cup of rice. I highly recommend this.

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Normally, plain rice goes perfectly well with Kare Kare but since we wanted to try the flavored rice on the menu, we had the Kamameshi Rice (Php. 190). This one got mixed reviews from the two of us. Paul found it too ordinary and the veggies on top could easily turn off a non-veggie eater but as for me, I liked it. Again, the flavor was just right as it had a dominant taste of miso and I simply just pushed the carrots aside and happily had my sticky rice with just the mushrooms and string beans. This is a vegetarian-friendly dish and it's cool that Solace has all these dishes to suit one's food requirement.

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We also had the Surf & Turf Grill (Php. 550). This is one dish that I was very happy about. The ribeye steak was very tender and the shrimps...were so delicious! It was perfectly grilled and brushed with the same arugula pesto found in the complimentary hofan. For me, this one was the most reasonably priced dish that we had that evening. The only drawback was this doesn't come with rice or potatoes so you'll have to order extra but despite that, the Surf & Turf Grill will give you some bang for the buck as you enjoy this delicious steak and prawn combination.

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If only I knew how generous they were with their portions, I would have stopped right just there. But we were both so hungry that evening that we just had to keep on ordering. Our last dish was the Butterflied Prawns with Mango Emulsion (Php. 770). After enjoying the Surf & Turf Grill, this one somehow paled in comparison for me as I just kept on raving about the previous dish. Well, Paul loved this one and said this was his second favorite next to the Kare Kare. It was pretty obvious as I watched him enjoy every single piece of crunchy deep-fried butterfly shrimps topped with sweet mango salsa. The prawns were covered with strips of what I think were hofan noodles and I enjoyed adding more mango salsa on top of the prawns before taking a bite.

Of course, despite feeling like a rolly-polly already, we just gotta have some dessert! The owners were so kind that they prepared these three desserts for us:

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Tequila Rose Panna Cotta (Php. 165)
They love Hello Kitty too which is why there's Hello Kitty saying hi to you as you dig into this creamy dessert. I love this restaurant already! Wish they can add in more Hello Kitty surprise sightings in the future.

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Bibingka Souffle (Php. 155)
This dessert made Paul very very happy! He loves bibingka and this one got his thumbs up as he enjoyed the moist baked bibingka inside a ramekin.

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Durian Brulee (Php. 125)
This is perfect for those who loves durian! I personally enjoyed this one the most as I indulged myself into the creamy durian filling and the thin layer of crunchy sugar covering. I think though they could still do more with the presentation.

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To go with our desserts, we had a glass of Mango Margarita (Php. 130) and a Lychee Martini (Php. 135). We both liked the Lychee Martini more as the taste of alcohol wasn't too strong.

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A fun evening spent bonding with Paul and unwinding after a long busy day at work. I really enjoy being able to discover new places and to tickle my taste buds with new flavors along the way.

Don't feel intimidated by the fact that Solace is located at the lobby of One Greenbelt Hotel. Menu price ranges from Php. 300 - Php. 600 a dish but the serving is good for 3-4 pax. There's free WiFi connection making it a good place to hang out when catching up with friends or spending some me time.

*photo credit: Paul Ang

Solace Wine & Dine is located at One Greenbelt Hotel, 914 Arnaiz Avenue, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City. It's behind New World Hotel and is right across Mercury Drugstore. Call them at +639175384928, +639052294062, +639175357529 for reservations and inquiry. Like them on Facebook too!

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