Organic is a loaded word in Manila’s restaurant scene. Around the world it holds the promise of good, sustainable, and ultimately delicious produce. While there are many formidable farms sprouting around the country, it has made less of am impact in restaurants, with people still seeing it more as a trend than something that can be life-changing. Maybe it’s because nowadays, the word is still expected to be synonymous with ‘healthy’, and is still more expensive than accessible.
Only a handful of places and dishes can really do the produce and its accompanying word justice, and the incredibly new Adäam and Yves has the potential to become one of them. It is an ambitious project, but still seems quite grounded in its approach to food. Less than a week old, the bones and foundation have promise, that only an owner like Sean Go can see through. At 25, he is the sole proprietor of the organic bistro, and is incredibly clear-cut with what Adäam and Yves is meant to be. He is strict about organic, and what the focus is: all-day brunch eats, that are straightforward and devoid of pretension.
The name Adäam and Yves symbolizes going back to basics, a cheeky European spin on its biblical counterpart, and the interior reflects just that. The space is bare but thoughtfully so, in the way a Scandinavian bakery would be. Gray walls, high ceilings, an open kitchen partially obscures by a giant wire sculpture resembling an inverted tree. It’s both tasteful and impressive. Same can be said with the food, which Go dreamed up, but is executed by a chef who recently left Amanpulo resorts. Most of it does signify healthy, but is actually quite robust in flavor.
Pink Floyd uses red rice and beets to create a pink arroz caldo that isn’t all about looks—it is creamy and decadent, with chicken breast still plump, and a heady homemade chili-garlic accentuating the silky elements. Tocino and tapa are homemade with organic meats, and rather than being dry and tepid, are well-executed versions of classics. Their Brooklyn Borough, a take on trendy chicken and waffles, eliminates the fried element, but retains all the juiciness and flavor you’d expect. The thighs are plump and just about cooked, and a surprise to eat. Muffins are also far from heavy, which seems to be synonymous with gluten free, but the carrot was moist with a caramelized, crunchy head.
It may be hard to remove the connotations that come with organic in Manila. But Adäam and Yves shows different dimensions to the trend; for example, the wine list is also strictly organic. It shows that you can have fresh produce and ingredients on a daily basis without sacrificing taste, and develop dishes without sticking to what it is prescribed to be. Go is ballsy. But with what he has here, his risks might just pay off.
What do you think about the back-to-basics trend? Are you planning to visit Adäam and Yves soon? Tell us your thoughts with a comment below!
Adäam and Yves
Address: Icon Plaza, 25th St. cor 6th Ave., Taguig, Philippines
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