If you read the blog often enough, you’ll know I’m not big on rice. My carb of choice is bread, yet at times, good bread can be hard to find or very expensive in this city. I can wax poetic about my affairs with focaccia, baguettes, brioche, and ciabatta, but my favorite of the lot is the humble yet versatile sourdough. Chewy on the outside, yet fluffy and soft on the inside, this type of bread absorbs sauces (and holds them in) like a sponge, is great with dipping sauces, compliments soups nicely, and makes the perfect burger buns.
Sourdough bread – and all the dishes that can be made with the versatile bun – is a specialty of the new One Way Restaurant, which also promises classic French fare, good wine, and lots, and lots of bread. This is definitely my kind of restaurant!
One Way Restaurant takes its name from the street sign right outside the place along Salcedo street, which also happens to be what Makati is infamous for – the one way sign! It’s true when they say you really have to memorize the one way streets, as the Makati traffic enforcers (MAPSA) always seem to be lurking right around the bend. Nowadays, we have Waze to guide us, so they don’t hang out in dark street corners as much anymore.
You will probably be welcomed in by, Joseph Assad, one of the owners (if he happens to be in the country) who also happens to be the Consul of Lebanon. You would think someone who held that position would be stern, stiff, and cold, but dear Jojo is quite the opposite. He was warm, affable, and very talkative for most of the night, sharing his passion for food as we swapped tattoo stories.
With Joseph being of Lebanese heritage, it comes as no surprise that you can order Middle Eastern favorites at the primarily French restaurant. The Mediterranean Platter is a starter that pays homage to everything I love about the region – generous portions of hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh, and a black bean dip I didn’t pay any attention to. This is some of the best hummus I’ve ever had in Metro Manila! It was just the right consistency with a little bit of citrus, a little bit of olive oil, and just a touch of heat.
Since the restaurant is pretty new, a lag in service is to be expected, with everyone still trying to find their feet. While waiting for our other starters to arrive, we were served chunks of sourdough bread with a side of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping sauce. The bread was warm and and soft, with a chewy texture that sucked up as much liquid as it could with each dunk. This was some really good stuff – I wanted to shove a few rolls in my bag to take home.
The soup is served in – you guessed it – sourdough bread bowls, and all that flavor seeped into the bread, with the crust holding everything in. The deliriously rich and creamy Lobster Bisque (Php 160) wasn’t on the menu, so you may have to ask your server if its available. Another classic is the French Onion Soup (Php 140), which I wished tad a little more cheese, looking for the strings of heated Provolone and Emmenthal to stick to my spoon. And then you have me, picking off the sides of my bowl, trying to stop myself from finishing off the whole thing. It took a lot of willpower for me not to resist when they took my beautiful bowl away.
Pamplona (P250), a pomodoro-style pasta that also uses spicy Spanish chorizo. For the price, we found the portions to be quite generous. Jericho couldn’t even finish it off and took most of it home with him.
The Chef’s Pâté Platter is also not on the menu and is something quite French, with chicken pâté and pork terrine, with a dollop of cranberry jam and pickled beetroot, shallots, and little baby gherkins, with a side of melba toast and pumpernickel that they also make in-house.
One Way’s 12-inch sourdough pizzas are popular on the menu:
My personal favorite is the simple yet satisfying Pamplona (Php 470), topped with jamon serrano, Spanish spicy chorizo, arugula, and cherry tomatoes with a light lemon dressing. This was like tapas on sourdough bread and was spicy, bitter, and salty all at the same time. Marvelous.
The Mediterranean (Php 560) has a very interesting mix of goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, capsicum, capers, and hot salami, which makes for an intense combination of salty, briny, and spicy.
Joseph recommended the Carbonara (Php 470), simply because there hasn’t been one made quite in this way – and it was his favorite. It was nice, but I found the combination of mushroom, bacon, and cream sauce to be quite bland in comparison to the last two I had tried.
If you’re looking for something light with no trace of sourdough, the simple Cobbler Cole Fillet (Php 310) is a nice option on the menu. The fish is pan-fried with lemon butter and served with a tomato salsa and fresh mushrooms with a sweet corn risotto on the side. The meat was light and flaky, and a touch of lemon just brought the whole dish to life.
Sticking to the sourdough theme, the Roquefort Burger (Php 370) is a simple quarter pounder covered with Blue cheese and served on a sourdough bun. The trick to enjoy this sandwich to the fullest extent is to squish the bun down onto the patty so the bread has no choice but to take in all that cheese and juice, giving you a lot of flavor with every bite.
And as Joseph would be happy to have me point out, the fries are something different. They were crispy, crispy, crispy on the outside yet soft and fluffy on the inside. Enjoy this with ketchup or One Way’s special mustard that Joseph’s wife, Vicky, wife makes herself. That stuff is hot and addicting, she should seriously consider bottling that up and selling it at the deli.
Another popular choice is the Classic American Burger (Php 420). This quarter pounder was very hard to say no to, served with cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and crispy, crispy rashers of bacon. There was a whole lot of crunchin’ going on from our side of the room when we tucked into this monstrosity.
If you want to impress your date, end your night at One Way with the Signature Dessert Crêpes (Php 180), as they flambé table side. Seriously, there’s a fire show going on every 15 minutes when the place is packed, you’d think you were in Boracay.
The Crêpe Limone, put together with lemon, castor sugar, and Cointreau, was sour and tangy, with just enough sweetness to make you go in for another bite. And then another. And another.
The delicate French Crêpe Suzette, served with fresh orange slices and doused with Grand Marnier, was just what one needed to cleanse the palate after going through all that tomato sauce and cheese.
Another dessert that’s popular on the menu is One Way’s Crème Brûlée (Php 150). What I thought would be your usual vanilla panna cotta was actually a ginger custard, which took me by surprise. I was pretty chuffed with this and managed to practically lick the ramekin clean.
A big thank you to the guys at One Way for having us for dinner! I had a marvelous time and I think my friends can say the same. I am definitely going back for more of the hummus, and try more of their classic French dishes like the coq au vin, lamb chops, and duck confit.
One Way Restaurant is located at 206 Salcedo cor. Benavidez Street, Legaspi Village, Makati and is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries or to make a reservation, please call +63 2 869 8958 or +63 906 557 2588.