When news got out that the 2-Michelin-starred chef Akrame Benallal was going to open an Atelier Vivanda Manila branch, people kinda lost their calm. It’s not everyday when we get a chance to try a restaurant helmed by a Michelin starred chef in Manila, let alone a Michelin starred restaurant in the country. We’ve got a long way to go but I’m proud to say that our culinary scene has come a long way. People’s tastes and eating preferences have also been changing drastically these past few years. It’s quite amazing, really.
Atelier Vivanda has location all over the world– from Paris, to Hong Kong, Baku and finally Manila. The Manila branch has the most stunning interiors, with and abundance of natural light. Photographers’ and bloggers’ hearts flutter when they hear the word “natural light”. The restaurant interiors itself has an upscale yet comfortable vibe. But it’s not too fancy to the point of making patrons feel intimidated.
As for the food, here’s what we had:
The restaurant’s crown jewel is its Holstein Beef, dry aged for 50 days and shipped all the way from Paris.
For appetizers, make sure to try the sliced smoked beef aged for 50 days. The meat looks raw but it’s smoked and melts in the mouth. Delicious!
We also tried the porterhouse steak and USDA Prime Bone-In Tomahawk. These are the type of steak you have when you feel like treating yourself to a lavish meal. I felt like I was having a party in my mouth with each piece of steak that I had!
As for the sides, do make sure to try the pommes dauphin and pommes darphine. The dauphin was crunchy on the outside and fluffy on this inside. What an absolute treat. Best paired with their in house ketchup! I also loved the classic potato gratin (unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a photo because everyone had already attacked it. Oops!)
Aside from these yummy offerings, Atelier Vivanda offers a weekday lunch special where you can choose one soup, one main, and one side dish for only P950.
Here are the choices for the soups: Cauliflower Soup with Smoked Haddock and Parmesan Cheese or Pumpkin Soup topped with Fried Shallots, Crisp Pumpkin Chips and Candied Walnuts
I wasn’t able to take a photo of the pumpkin soup but I personally prefer the Cauliflower soup because it’s a bit more unusual to pumpkin soup. It was delicious and comforting, like a warm hug!
Here are the choices for the mains: Duck Confit with Side Salad or Grilled Rack of Lamb or Yellowfin Tuna. I would personally go for the rack of lamb because it has the most value for money in my opinion. Of course, I’m a huge fan of lamb too!
As for the sides, you can choose between mashed potatoes, sautéed potatoes or mixed green salad.
Finally, for those who want to get together with friends over a drink, Atelier Vivanda now serves happy hour specials!
Here are the choices:
Truffle Fries, Mussles, Gambas, Tuna Tartare, Burger Sliders.
Overall, Atelier Vivanda has something for you for any event or occasion. If you want to treat yourself to a well-deserved weekday lunch, you can go for their lunch sets. For something casual and chill, go for their happy hour specials. And ifyou want to indulge yourself, you can go for their steaks! It’s not everyday we have a Michelin-starred chef open a restaurant in Manila. Make sure to take advantage of it! ;)