It was a Friday, and my good friend Jaye invited me to this nice, cozy bar in Legazpi Village, Makati offering excellent Japanese food. She called it ‘Sugi without the price tag.’
Now, God only knows my social calendar is brimming full for the rest of the week and one good way I can drag my heels to a place without hesitation is…. if I haven’t tried it or eaten there before! 🙂 So off we met in Red Dot and I was surprised that the bar was packed full of people that night. Here’s a photo of the interiors without the crowd….
It turns out Red Dot is the Balcony Bar of yore, quite an institution in Carlos Palanca St. The place has literally been there for the last two decades or so! It decided to do a renaming/makeover recently because owner Anne San Diego decided to come home to the Philippines for good. Anne is an American-educated chef who earned her feathers in prestigious establishments like the Ritz-Carlton. Which explains the great food we had in Red Dot.
For starters, we had the Salmon Carpaccio (P380) which I couldn’t have enough of. Irresistible shavings of parmesan cheese and arugula were placed on top of fresh salmon, then slathered with a delicious Kikkoman soy glaze to remind us that we were still in a Japanese bistro and not Italy 🙂
The Spicy Tuna Salad (P285) was love! Deftly-shaped tuna tartare was put on top of crispy rice for an added crunch, then drizzled with sriracha mayo sauce. If you love your greens, this salad is a must-try when you’re in Red Dot.
Jaye had the Torikatsu (breaded chicken) bento at P285 and you possibly can’t go wrong with this. At such reasonable pricing, it was more than decent.
….. while I had the Salmon Teriyaki Bento (P380) since I love this fish. The Red Dot version was perfectly executed. It went with French beans, potato salad and this uber-yummy passionfruit panna cotta which melted in my mouth. Sugi without the price tag indeed. LOL.
I was also salivating at Red Dot’s other items in the menu like the assorted maki, tempura and kushiyaki (Japanese street food) but I was already full from what we ate. Definitely going back next time.
For the loyal former customers of Balcony bar, Red Dot has retained popular bar chow offerings like calamares and the garlic longganisa sisig. They are now served alongside traditional izakaya dishes like tebasaki (chicken wings), tori karaage and saikoro (tender beef cubes). Red Dot Happy Hour on local beers is from 5pm to 9pm and there’s a dizzying array of expertly-mixed cocktails in the line-up too.
Jaye, proprietor Anne (middle) and me. It was nice hanging out with you girls… see you one of these Fridays again 😉
Red Dot Japanese Bistro
110 Carlos Palanca St.
Legazpi Village, Makati City
Tel. no. 818 1551
For the menu and updates: