Chef Colin Mackay of SALA Bistro and People's Palace fame has good reasons to be all smiles these days. Blackbird Restaurant in the pre-war Nielson Tower of the former Manila International Airport across Manila Pen is creating a buzz.
The former Control Tower is looking real smart with its new modern decor. Hardly any curtains nor blinds to shut out the outside view. Dinner here is as refreshing as fine dining amidst one of the few landscaped parks in Makati.
And try to imagine the tarmac somewhere here and the runways spanning Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Avenue. The transfer of the international airport to Parañaque led to the development of Makati's CBD but for this pre-World War II structure as a reminder of its place in aviation history.
From the Entrance Lobby Bar, one can engage in people-watching or simply watch the traffic sans the noise while nursing a drink. The chairs and sofa are comfortable. The service, more comforting.
We chose a table in the main hall, though it was tempting to dine at the upper floor or go al fresco. I like that tables were set apart, not crowded at all. And that the sounds of chatter from the next table are subdued by fine acoustics.
The prawn scotch eggs and crab cakes are good antipasti. The soft shell crab had to wait for the next visit. We likewise enjoyed the mushroom soup and seafood bisque. Delish!
Unfortunately, I failed to take photos of the soups and twice-cooked beef short ribs. When I remembered to take photos, only the mushroom lasagna and desserts remain :-(
On my second visit, we had the same antipasti and pomelo salads, but likewise tried the salmon pie, burger, nasi goreng and seafood linguini. For desserts, we enjoyed the apple tart and a shortcake. Also loved their Vittoria coffee.
The Baked Alaska and Brownie Sundae are alright, but not the kind I'd dream about. No worries. I'd be back to try other dessert choices next time. Btw, for 6 of us dining here, the bill was quite reasonable.
I do think, however, that for the price we pay for meals here, Blackbird should get rid of the paper over the table linens. Looks like they have them on during lunch hours and off come dinner time. Yet prices remain same either time of day.
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