We had an awesome dining experience in Cafe Naya at The Palace Pool Club in Uptown BGC two weeks ago. My club hopping days are definitely over and it’s elating to find out that one can dine decently in a party place and not just get ‘wasted’ on the dance floor (or in this case…the pool!)
The personalities behind the newly-opened Cafe Naya (which includes foodpreneur Erwann Heusaff) said they specialize in ‘Coastal Cuisine.’ Pescetarians should rejoice because there are a lot of fish and seafood choices in the menu, although there are items to delight carnivores as well.
Of the appetizers, everyone’s favorite was the Uni & Ricotta (P295 an order). A brioche bun was sliced and generously spread with the white cheese, then topped with delicious uni & fried kale. It was magical, to say the least…
The fried oysters – crowned with salted egg tartare – were good.
The Warm Camembert (P395) was more photogenic than tasty. Which surprised me since this dish also had apple chutney and crispy bacon. Anything wrong with my tongue? In any case, this was my least fave among the starters.
I preferred the Tuna Crudo (P385) on a bed of harissa aioli & fried capers.
The Spicy Tako & Scallop Rolls were one of the few Japanese-inspired dishes in the Mediterranean-ruled menu. It consists of chopped octopus and shrimp tempura mixed in sriracha mayo.
The evening was just beginning and I was full already. Still, gotta find room for the star of the hour which was the the 24-hour Shortribs (P1198). If you have to splurge on dining out at The Palace Pool Club, make it this one. The beef, cooked in the style of sous-vide, was juicy, tender and flavorful. It comes with a side of bokchoy greens, tomatoes and potato mash.
The pasta of Pulled Duck Confit (P498) was another winner. There’s something about the roasted duck that put this dish to another level, and more so because it also has mushroom, arugula and ‘foie mousse.’
The other diners in our press group loved the Grilled Chicken Flatbread (P297). This reminds me of a thin pizza, only that it’s a bit crispier. The crust was wonderfully spread with romesco sauce (achieved by blending roasted peppers + almonds), then topped with chicken slices, tomatoes, herbs and pickled garlic.
The big chunk of Blue Marlin (P476) had romesco sauce as well, along with grilled asparagus, chorizo bits and cashew. For a fish lover like me, this was delightful.
Yoghurt Panna Cotta for dessert, made more exciting with caramelized pineapple in the jar.
So happy with the meal that I and Kevin of Travelife magazine had to have a photo op with Cafe Naya’s head chef Mikko Reyes (middle) who is responsible for the playful & creative menu. He’s also with the Hungry Hound and Niner Ichi Nana bar, also in BGC.
Can’t believe we ate all of this!
Looking forward to visiting with my kids. Cafe Naya is one area of The Palace Pool Club where under-18s are accepted, and at night, one can feel the energy of the partygoers through the glass wall.
Cafe Naya at The Palace
9th Ave. corner 32nd St.
Uptown Fort Bonifacio
Operating hours: 11 am till late
To reserve: call +63917 550 9999