Good food can be hard to find. But with Relik, it’s worth searching for. The Fort’s newest restaurant, Relik is the kind of place you either stumble upon with luck or track down with a GPS navigation device. But it’s this low-key approach, from facade to food, that makes Relik such a worthwhile discovery.
Last January 26 (Thursday), I received an invitation from When In Manila and Vince Golangco for Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge’s Media Launch. Relik is located on the 2nd floor of Commercenter Building, 31st Ave. corner 4th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. You’ll find the Commercenter Bldg. right behind HSBC – this is the 2nd bus stop area from Ayala (East Route). It is also very near St. Lukes Medical Center.
Inside, diners are led to plush leather sofas under warmly lit lamps. Vintage touches like an old radio, typewriter and refurbished turntable-turned DJ booth add sentimental charm, making first-time customers feel instantly at home. In fact, almost everything about the place is comforting, especially the food.
“Modern tapas” is the term that Australian-trained Chef Benjo Tuason uses to describe Relik’s signature dishes. “We’re not strictly Spanish cuisine. It’s really honest and good food, cooked with a lot of love,” he says. “I believe that the produce should speak for itself. I like simple, clean flavors cooked with passion. It’s very important to respect the products you use and to cook with a lot of care because it will reflect on the dish.”
Among those he recommends trying would be the Baked Brie with Honey Glazed Jamon Serrano and Tomato Salsa, the Chorizo and Fries (thick potato wedges mixed with Spanish chorizos and topped off with a fried egg), the Potato Bomba (ham and cheese croquettes with aioli), the Davao Blue Cheese with Spicy Paprika Sausage Tortilla and of course, their signature tapas that include the Spicy Gambas, Beef Salpicao and Lamb Meatballs. Apart from the tapas, he also suggests trying the main dishes. Two of those that should not be missed would be the 350 gram USDA Certified Angus Beef steak and the Relik Paella, which needs to be ordered a day in advance.
Relik is also the perfect place to have lunch. Hearty lunch sets that are easy on the pocket are available. Each set includes soup, salad and one main course. A typical lunch set would consist of Roasted Pumpkin soup with Crème Fraiche, Caesar Salad and Lengua. Other days, one can expect some French Onion Soup with Manchego Crouton, a Garden Salad and for the main course, Chicken Parmigiana with Sweet Potato Fries. The set lunches vary regularly so there’s always something new and exciting to try out during the week. Various desserts like the Vanilla and Amaretto Panacotta with berry compote or homemade cakes are also available for the sweet-toothed.
I recommend you try their Baked Australian Brie, Paella and Gambas with a Kick. And oh, they also serve Pandan Water. :)
The restaurant’s “modern vintage” theme is apparent in the mix of urban and retro designs. A quick look at the walls shows vintage items from which include wooden tennis rackets, a vinyl records and framed images from the 50s and 60s. Relik also has a private non-smoking room that’s perfect for executive lunches or meetings. This room can be rented out for events and parties.
Relik is open for lunch from Monday to Friday, 11:30 pm to 2:30 pm, then for dinner and cocktails from Monday to Sunday, 5:30 pm onwards. Call 0917-5298333 or 0917-6248251 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Mondays to Saturdays for bookings and reservations. Ample parking is available in the building.