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XO 46 Bistro at Salcedo Village, Makati

There is a word that has been running around in the media these past few days. The word is – plunder. Being a person who has no connection with government dealings, plunder seemed to be a distant idea for me. That was until I stumbled on XO46 Bistro.

Having lunch there last Friday allowed me to step back in time when the food you looked forward to came straight out of your Lola’s kitchen. Dining at XO46 Bistro was a pleasant reminder of those idyllic days of Filipino living and culture long before globalization and modernization. Servers dressed in customary Filipino baro’t saya or camisa, welcomed the ladies with the respectful and old-fashioned greeting of “Magandang gabi Señorita”.

Starting out with a drink of Strawberry Salabat to quench my thirst, the server brought to the table the complimentary puto served with sweet or aligue butter. This was a perfect prelude to their Sopa de Mariscos, which upon tasting, immediately had me exclaiming its goodness. And that was just starters.

Being a fan of spicy food, I opted for the Rabo de Toro, which to my obvious delight was of the right spiciness – spicier than the usual but not too hot to annoy you and make you perspire. This went well perfectly with the Aligue at Itlog na Maalat Rice. And, as if that was not enough, the overture on spicy food crossed over to the Bangus Salpicao, which we all agreed was good enough to stand alone as “pulutan”.

So now, the word “plunder” is racing through my mind. Plunder is the active word, being rooted in the fact that if this is what enjoys for a first time visit, there would definitely be more where it came from. That specifically would be the kitchen of XO46 manned by cordon bleu trained Executive Chef, CK Kalaw. CK’s skill is fused with the genius of Sandee Siytangco-Masigan who drew inspiration from both her grandmothers – on paternal and maternal sides: Lola Julia was an outstanding cook, and Lola Paz was a consummate entertainer, a true Doña. Thus, unique and extraordinary dishes like Kare Kareng Crispy Tadyang.

Food, I believe, is not just about a sensory treat for the moment. It is also about memories. For that Friday afternoon last week, the lunch I had transported me back in time to the carefree days of old Makati. This was further emphasized by the unique selection of XO46’s 70s OPM list pleasantly playing in the background. At that time, I felt I was not just a glutton for food but also a glutton for memories.

XO46 is located at G/F Le Grand Condominium 130 Valero St., Salcedo Vill., Makaty City, Makati, Philippines

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