What to expect from Mr. & Mrs. B

Chef Pauline Benedicto-Malilin takes charge of another family restaurant, the newly-opened Mr. & Mrs. B restaurant

Restaurant openings are tricky. There is always that “birthing pains” that come along with it. Service will be challenged, so will food taste and its quality. It’s a make or break affair with the first group of diners. We all know how word of mouth can spread like wildfire. Diners can be unforgiving at times.

I went to a couple of restaurant openings last year. One served a dish that came out too salty (no knife-wielding chef bursted from the kitchen) and in the other a soup dish that lacked the authentic provincial flavour it was pushing for (the chef admitted to the kitchen’s lapse). Slips are expected of a new restaurant. Even with weeks of kitchen and service crews training, opening night, and days after, will be challenging.

In the case of Mr. & Mrs. B, food was perfect. It was like the restaurant had been in business for months. I will credit it to the owner’s expertise of running restaurants since the mid-80’s. Under the umbrella of the mother company are Patok Sa Manok, Golden Brown and Rekado. The three has become top of mind when it comes to delicious Pinoy food. Its new sister goes continental it its cuisine.

I was in Mr. & Mrs. B for two consecutive days. Day 1, a simulated dinner service the day before the official opening, Day 2, the opening day.

The food was a knockout on Day 1. From appetizer to the main course, the chefs selected dishes to highlight. Each had a distinct flavour profile that can elicit oohs and aahs. All made a good, lasting impression.

Would it be the same on Day 2?

Unlike any restaurant by-invitation opening party, wherein guests are treated to a set meal, Mr. & Mrs. B offered a la carte service. I ordered the dishes I fell in love with on Day 1 and picked a few more I haven’t tried.

Consistent. In food quality, plating and flavor what was served was as fabulous as Day 1. Yes, I put another star on Mr. & Mrs. B’s toque.

Here’s a peek of the new restaurant’s food that can break anyone’s diet.

Bone Marrow Butter. Start with a sinful indulgence. To enjoy this fully, the chef says to follow the ritual of spreading the bone marrow butter on the slice of ciabatta crostini, sprinkle it with Himalayan salt, add the herb salad and squeeze lemon on it. 

Tuna Carpaccio. Forget kinilaw, MMB’s Tuna Carpaccio will put the ‘wow’ on tuna. The flavor of the thinly sliced fresh tuna is enriched with the dressing of olive oil, lemon, garlic, basil-capers dressing, sweet pickles and arugula. To make it more exciting, chili is added.

Cheese & Onion Soup and Cream of Mushroom Soup. Follow it up with a bowl of rich, thick Cream of Mushroom Soup or the Cheese and Onion Soup. The warm and tasty liquid serves as the kick-off of an exciting meal ahead.

MMB Grilled Salad. If MMB Salad is a song, then it is a chartbuster! The greens are grilled then generously showered with eggplant puree, smoke fish aioli, parmesan and cured egg yolk.

Shrimp Puttanesca. For a taste of Italy, try this. You’ll love the balance of saltiness and sourness of the the ingredients.

400-gram-bone-in MMB Grilled Pork Chop. For the main course, start with a heavy hitter—all 400 grams of it! The MMB Grilled Pork Chop will look like your favorite T-Bone steak because the thick pork slab is served bone-in. It is braised with black garlic oil and rests on onion gravy.

Grilled Tuna Belly. For something that swims , the smoky flavor of the Grilled Tuna Belly is further enriched with a thick dressing of sesame aioli and eggplant-parmesan puree.

Roasted Half Herb-Chicken. With every bite of the perfectly-cooked Roasted Half Herb-Chicken the rich flavor of the herbs burst in your mouth. The garlic-wine cream sauce makes the dish more delectable.

MMB has the ideal complement to your meal—the oh-so-good Grilled Corn that will spark images of Bali in your mind, and the MMB Special Rice, which is prepared with turmeric, dried safflower, kaffir lime, lemongrass, garlic and shallots.

Sous vide Duck. For a more indulgent meal, have the Sous Vide Duck. This is a heavenly dish. The pink, tender juicy slices of duck breast is achieved by cooking it for hours in the right temperature. It is served with thin slices of orange and pear wedges.

Now, let’s get down to business — of the sweetest kind. The desserts are just as exciting as the savories, if not more delightful. Each is baked with the right amount of sweetness (that ordering a second one won’t be sinful. in fact, the first will egg you to get another) and good enough to share (if you’re not a dessert “monster”).

Calamansi Cheesecake. After one bite, I bet you want to break down the ingredients of this dessert. Go ahead, please. This will make the dining experience more interesting. What’s the crust made of? What’s that distinct flavor in the cheesecake? How does the topping tie the flavors of all the layers together?

Sesame Seed Cheesecake. You love sesame seeds? How about green tea? You will have both in one heavenly serving of this. The contrasting flavors of bitter and sweet will play in your mouth. 

On a final note, you should try the coffee!

Mr. & Mrs. B is located at the back of Patok Sa Manok restaurant in Lanang.