Lunch at Flame Restaurant

IT WAS a meal made for champs.

We were served with a 7-course lunch, a taste of what Discovery Primea's Flame Restaurant will be serving for the quick, on-the-go (and personally, what I think is the most important) part of the day.

"Not everyone has time to linger over lunch," general manager David de Ayala said. "So we have a quicker cooking time and somewhat more relaxed menu entries for lunch."

Although each dish that was given to us was only plated in a tasting proportion, the serving was already so hefty and could well be compared to the regular amount served in most restaurants. Just imagine how filling the full servings are!

Flame Restaurant is located at the 5-star hotel's 16th floor–mesmerizing its customers with a panoramic view of the Manila concrete jungle–and it brands itself to serve modern European cuisine with an even more modern Asian twist.

"Mastery of flavour associations is a very important part of cuisine and here in Flame we give much importance to cooking techniques as well, to elevate the flavours and to add contemporary to the cuisine," De Ayala shared.

Its general manager also calls the Flame experience "deformalized dining," as the price points of the dishes in the restaurant "substantially costs less money than any 5-star hotel."

Although it offers competitive prices with its hotel rivals, we have to admit that the bill is way out of one’s daily budget, but a gourmet meal for two seems reasonable for P1,500-P4,000.

It is also the perfect place to treat and congratulate yourself (when you feel a little bit more generous to your hardworking self) for surviving a hectic week, acing a proposal or sealing a deal.

May it be a mini feat of the week or a date that calls for a grand celebration, Flame can be the place to head to either for lunch or dinner.

Here’s what we had that day:


We started with the Salmon Tartare–fresh Scottish salmon mixed with red onion that sat on a crisp sesame biscuit. It was light and a bit tangy, and the crunch of the biscuit balanced the equation. It was a simple quick bite that plays with your taste buds with its variation of textures.

Next up was the Sourdough Ciabatta that was served with farm-to-table butter from Bukidnon. Discovery Primea is quite proud of the bread it produces, and shared that a lot of its customers compliment and bring home most of their baked goods.

And this Ciabatta was a good testament to that. It was baked to perfection–a thin outer crust enveloped a soft and moist center.

The Porthole is an infusing vessel used to create flavored oils, marinades and cocktails. Interestingly, its design was inspired by the window of submarines. For this meal, it was lemon-infused olive oil that was concocted from this vessel. It was poured over the fresh Bukidnon butter (yes, fat on fat) to add to its creamy, demi-salted smooth texture a subtle citrus taste, making it even more decadent.

Chilled Seafood Salad had julienned carrots and beets, arugula and lettuce as its greens, compressed watermelon, and various seafood tossed in a ginger vinaigrette.


The Pork Belly Doughnuts were the most intriguing and creative dish that was served to us that day. It took inspiration from the traditional deep-fried fish and chips coated in beer batter. Here, they experimented with balls of beer-braised liempo dipped in just the right amount of doughnut mixture.

It wasn't air-filled nor oily and each bite comes with a crunch. Although the meat, when eaten alone, tastes really salty and desperately needs the doughnut taste and texture to save it.

The dish comes with a butterscotch miso sauce, which I pointed out had a similar taste to the sauce that often comes with lechon, minus the sourness (they eventually associated it with Mang Tomas). The earthy caramel-based sauce was made savory by the miso and added more flair to the doughnuts. 

"That’s what the Filipino palette likes: Flavoured combinations that are not too monotonous, there are a lot of things playing," Chef Luis shared.

The Paella Meatballs were rolled rice balls that is mixed with Spanish chorizo, ground pork and Manchego cheese. It was a bit dry and overly toasted on the outside and sits on a chilli tomato-based bisque that pulled it all together.


The Chilli Lobster Pasta is another take to your good ol' creamy seafood marinara, adding in the kick of Sriracha with a bit of a nutty taste. Its spiciness was appetizing and threw off most of the nauseating seafood smell.

The dish was also served with pieces of fresh baby lobsters that were reminiscent of the taste of prawn (we all thought it was shrimp until we were told otherwise). The baby lobster was soft, chewy and juicy, livening the dish even more. The pasta also came with a lobster's head filled with indulgent fat that added a savory element when mixed to the sauce.

Steak is always something I look forward to. The US Beef Tenderloin Mignonettes that were served to us were grilled til it was medium rare, just right for the meat to be juicy and tender. It came with a bed of julienned Tagaytay tomatoes that gave it the occassional zing and fresh taste, as well as baby potatoes with crisp skins that were tossed with japanese mixed spices or toragashi.

It was topped with toasted spice vinaigrette which was aromatic and tangy. Although this already packed the meat with much complimentary flavor, Flame ofers nine different kinds of mustard to go with your steaks. The serving was enough to give each flavored handmade mustard a taste, but I still prefer the toasted vinaigrette above all else.


The best part of any meal is undoubtedly the dessert. Make sure you leave space for this must-try Black Pepper Panna Cotta because of its interesting combination of vanilla and pepper.

We were told that the two ingredients are often mixed together to intensify its natural flavors. The panna cotta itself can star in its own show without a supporting cast. It was smooth, rich and creamy vanilla with an added a spice and grainy texture from the grounded pepper.

Compared to cinnamon which lends recipes a barky liquorice taste, pepper gives a bite that makes the dessert's sweetness more pronounced.

The dessert also had all possible food textures present in one plate. It had crispy elements in the form of caramelized apples, or the sugar that topped the dessert that can be seen with flecks of red apple skin, and the cinnamon puffs which sounds like pastry but are actually the mini meringues floating on thin slices of sour strawberries.


Having a good-ass lunch will leave you with the tendency of wanting to slip into an afternoon siesta, but sometimes (or most of the time) there's still work to deal with after this midday meal. Get a boost from Flame's caffeinated drinks before you head back to the office and it will definitely keep you up til the time you beat your deadline. 

I got their Iced Americano and its glucose syrup was served separately, this gives a lot of freedom to the drinker when it comes to their sugar level. I usually like my coffee black, but their brew was on the upperhand of the dark roasted meter that I ended up putting the whole flask of sweetener in! It had a refreshingly strong blend and it managed to keep me up til the next morning!

"This is the lunch menu to broker that deal," De Ayala told us as we wiped our dessert plates clean. "This is the new venue to do business."

And with their menu of power lunch dishes, I couldn't agree more. 

Flame Restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30-2:30 p.m. and dinner from 6:00-10:00 p.m. For reservations call Discovery Primea at 9558888 loc. 71610.

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