Proprietors: Carolina Santiago-Macasaet and Paul Macasaet
C-41 Westgate Filinvest
Alabang, Muntinlupa City
7713945 and 7712288
Several years ago before the Internet and when people only had four tv stations to watch, my aunt had a suitor who took her to a steak restaurant … Along with my younge sister who told us they had steak a la pobre. Needless to say the would-be-suitor would never become my uncle but it did leave a image if this particular fine dining restaurant where one ordered steak a la pobre,t-bone steak or otherwise. As the years progressed one heard of steak places like Melos, where my parents would go to enjoy their Angus steak. and Melo s was also believed to be o eof the favorite restaurants of Joseph Estrada, whose fame in enjoying good food was only exceeded by his reputation for the other fine things in life.
Then one day this conversation happened.
“Are you free this Sunday?”
“Probaby … Why ?”
“The owners of Melo s would like to have an intimate dinner with bloggers”
“Ok see you this sunday at Westgate, Alabang”
I live on the opposite side of the Metro. Still this was the restaurant my parents and Erap went to. And it was a Sunday. And there was the Skyway.
So I joined My friend and fellow Blogger Karen, and we went to Alabang.
As it turned our friend did not show up. Car problems or something similar to that prevented him from joining us.
GOING TO ALABANG ON A SUNDAY
It was a Sunday and the trip to Alabang was pleasant. One you enter Alabang though it seems like one is entering a different planet. It was physically a flat commercial and residential place far from the hills and mountains of Quezon City. And although it looked nice it was not as colorful,and diverse as Manila, San Juan,Makati, Quezon City, and the rest of Metro Manila. Then again i was born, raised in the Northern part of Metro Manila, and I have a biased in favor of where I grew up.
We arrived at Wesgate Filinvest.
The steak house was located at the center of Westgate Filinvest. It was quiet and clean place, somewhat cleaner than clean. The restaurant had a very discreet appearance compared to its neighbors. There was neon sign that simply said Melos. Inside the restaurant had classy look to it. Like it was something from 1960s brought back and fused with the creature comfort of the present time. Since, it was seven in the evening, the restaurant’s patrons were already being served by waiters.
The waiters were quite attentive to the dinners. Almost silently moving back and effort bringing each dish and constantly inquiring politely if their assistance would be needed. the place was quiet without being devoid of sound. It was a place to have an intimate dinner and conversation.
The dinner that was served was a set of old favorites and new popular dishes , part of the Chef’s Special. It was a carnival of gastronomic delights with Wagyu As its theme. The banquet was overwhelming and one had to adapt a sampling of each food, enjoying the flavor and savoriness of each dish rather than just filling one’s stomach. A food strategy used in when eating a Chinese Lauriat and eat-all-you-can buffets.we had dinner with Carolina Santiago-Macasaet and her husband Paul Macasaet.
Here is list of dishes that were served.
APPETIZERS & STARTERS
Crostini with Pate
Foie Gras Balsamico
Waldorf Salad with Duck Breast
Creamy Truffle Pasta Farfalle with Mushroom
Tenderloin Wagyu Foie Gras.
Rib Eye Wagyu (Grade 6 – P225 per oz.).
The price is P1,930 for 4oz. and P3,700 for 8oz. Grade 8 Wagyu for both.
Red Velvet Cake
As the dishes were being served: As dinner progressed, the conversation went to several things – the story of the restaurant; the art and science of Angus and Wagyu Beef; anecdotes and tales accumulated through the years. .The father of Carolina, Carmelo Santiago, had just come back from the United States and started a Steak House that served certified Angus Beef. And at that time the steak had to brought in small amounts and by plane often hand carried by friends, family, and strangers who were going to the Philippines. One can imagine the coordination and the effort taken to bring the certified angus steak to the Philippines. But it seems to have been worth it. Now Melos is managed by Carmelo and his four daughters Cristina, Carmina, Camille, and Carolina. The Alabang Branch we went to is managed by Carolina and her husband Paul.
As i said it was a gastronomic carnival of wagyu And Wagyu itself us said to be the best beef in the world -also the most costliest – from expensive to very very expensive, one mentioned a 150 grams would coat around 50 US Dollars. And no surprise the beef itself a product of Japan’s history. An edict of the Shogun which prohibited the eating animals like the cow; the climate and geographic conditions ; and the natural breeding and rearing techniques brought about the Wagyu, which incidentally means Japanese Cow.
WHY IS WAGYU EXPENSIVE ?
Well because of the conditions surrounding the breeding of Wagyu, It has intense marbling and a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. This makes the meat haveca naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness.
But as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. One can say you need not have the usual serrated steak knife or the steak seems to melt in your mouth. It does happen but you have to taste it fir yourself.
There are only two officially recognized source of Wagyu in the world – Japan and Australia. And Melos sources their Wagyu from Australia.
WHEN AT MELO’S
Melos is an excellent steak house. Their longevity and resiliency is a testament to this. The service itself is excellent and they do aim to please. What is worth going to this steak house for me is the Wagyu steak – the ribeye. Priced at around 1500 or so the steak is served with a set of dishes, including but not limited to the Wagyu Rice and the Wagyu Fat Trimmings. This is though is a deadly dish maybe as deadly as Fugu because of its richness. Best to eat it once a year. Something to be eaten on very very very special occasions.