Here’s the low-down. I enjoy Chinese food and I enjoy Filipino food. When Black Sheep contacted me asking if I wanted to try out their restaurant, upon reading the proposal, I may have said “yes” out loud- in public.They’re a modern twist to both. You’ve heard of them, I’m sure. I bet you’ve heard about Black Sheep when it was still in the W Building, the same building of Raven. Whether it was for pre-gaming or if it was for dinner to celebrate an occasion, people only said the best things.
So here is a blog post of all the thoughts that ran through my head from the moment I stepped into the restaurant to the moment I left- actually, until present. I still can’t help but dream about the entrees I had. NOTE: EXTREMELY LENGTHY but for foodies like me, that’s a good thing so carry on, forever hungry ones!
First up is the vibe. If you are attracted to hispter places, you’ll surely like this one. It’s along Chino Roces Avenue right next to Tunnl. Trivia: they have the same owners. If you’ve liked Tunnl, it’s vibe, the drinks, the food, well then, Black Sheep is right up your alley. Literally. It’s open in broad daylight as well as at night. You might get a bit lost finding it but you’ll see it’s cool lit-up signs of a black sheep (no surprise there) and letters that spell “Tunnl”. Mainstream is definitely on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to these two establishments. I like it.
Second is the ambiance inside the restaurant. I love the minimalist feel. A grey, black, white and silver theme, concrete walls, black leather (not to mention very comfy) seats and an open kitchen. The restaurant is sufficiently lit (for the kitchen and for your photos) but still dim enough to make way for long conversations (no one likes a bright room to catch up in, right?).
Third is the staff. Oh how I ADMIRE restaurants that encourage their staff to be welcoming, warm and accommodating from start to end. I don’t think that it was solely because we were invited there by the owners. I know a genuine person when I see one and our waiter, Jonas, was the best. He addressed us by our names the entire time (a lot forget mid-way but that’s ok especially when there are a lot of guests), was very polite, very attentive (changed our plates and utensils upon needed and noticed every look we gave that led to an inquiry), very accommodating, very personal (did not ask vague questions na “mema”), very fresh (who doesn’t love a staff member who looks like he just came straight out of an event?) and he liked my outfit (push, sis! You looked even more fab). Chef Patrick, Chef Jonard and Chef Aime were the most patient and most in-depth when it came to introducing their dishes to us. They came out before every entree to give us the background on what that certain one was all about. If you guys come to Black Sheep – which you should-, may I suggest that you commend the chefs personally? Don’t hesitate to ask them either. They would love to explain it to you! You should hear them talk about how the dish came together. To hear them explain with stars in their eyes just makes everything 1000x better. Thanks for throwing in a drink for us as well! You guys were spot on. Whisky Sour is my favorite. You guys are psychic. The drink was flavorful and it had the right amount of alcohol. I don’t like it when bars dilute drinks. Guys. Come on. We can taste the amount of alcohol in it. Don’t try anything smart. (Okay rant over HAHAHA)
Anyway! Fourth is the food. WHERE TO EVEN BEGIN. My goodness. *drool* Can someone please take me back there PRONTO? Needless to say, they printed out the menu for us. I liked that. It made it so much easier for us to keep track of what course we were in and what they called the dishes served. I appreciate quirky things so I was delighted to have read what they decided to call their entrees.
Let me start of with their bread and olive oil mix. Okay so yada, yada. Bread and it’s dip. What is there to say? UHM, A LOT? I look forward to bread and butter, in fact. Whether I’m in a restaurant or on a plane, gimmie my bread and butter/spread/oil ASAP. Believe me when I say I know a good combo and their bread is amaze. I appreciate bread that is slightly crisp on the outside but soft and warm on the inside. They pair it with olive oil and black vinegar (if I’m not mistaken) and that is just how I like it. I honestly forget what was in it or why it was colored black but man was it delicious. I wanted both pieces but Mark was staring at me- you know, carbs. Meh.
Second was their FOIE LONG BAO. Okay, homies. Hold up. THIS ONE WAS WAY TOO BOMB FOR ANYTHING. NO. SERIOUSLY. I love Foie (you see my snaps) and I love Xiao Long Bao (remember my HK snaps?) and MAN THIS WAS ONE GENIUS IDEA. It has foie gras, xiaoxing broth, plum and peanuts in it. You don’t bite it in half. They come in their respective spoons so just like any Xiao Long Bao, eat it as a whole. I suggest you tilt your spoon up cos no way do I want you to waste the sauce. One order has 2 servings. I’d want more, you’d want more but let us remember that too much foie might give you a stomach ache so if I were you, move on to another dish.
For example, their AKLAN OYSTER DUO. One wants the classic oyster and one prefers it fried. BAM! One order of this and you get both. The one of the right (see photo) has chorizo on top, btw. I liked the classic one and Mark liked the fried so good thing this has both. You get to try them or switch with your date! One extra thing I must commend is the plating. I appreciate presentation. This was my favorite plating. The classic oyster with chorizo was put on top of small pebbles. Remember that Black Sheep is part Chinese food? It reminded me so much of the oriental vibe and it was just so IG worthy. Restaurants that go the extra mile get a gold star. Chef Jonard, props.
Next up, third on the menu they printed out for us is the TWO-NA. I bet you thought of that joke you used to tell in kindergarten. “What do you call a fish that is halved into two? TU-NA!” Omg. Ya. You’re right- moving on. HAHA. Well, Black Sheep took that up a notch and gave us two servings of spicy tuna, chicken liver, ma lai gao and grapes mixed up for us to try. Chef Patrick explained that as a kid, he loved chicken spread so he decided to mix it up a bit and combine it with several other ingredients to add a modern twist. Soooo good. Mark hates anything creamy and anything that resembles mayo but he finished his way faster than me and wanted my other slice. Um, no. Ain’t sharing you none. HAHA
The fourth and the fifth on the menu arrived together as our main course. The HMMBA (pronounced as “hummba”- ya I know. I almost spelled it out when I asked a question. Good thing they got to pronouncing it first. LOL. Interesting though, isn’t it?) consists of iberico pork loin, anise jus and burnt onion. The meat was just so excellently prepared- very tender and juicy despite it’s cooking and the sauce was the right amount of tasty. Excellent decision to have served them together because the HMMBA really does complement their UNICORN dish. (Another point for their creativity!). Letting you guys know that despite Mark super judging me for all the carbs I already have eaten at this point, I couldn’t care any less. The Unicorn is ginger rice with uni, corn sofrito and kamote to top it. Think of Hainanese rice that was tasty until the last grain. You know how rice topping orders are only good until the “ulam” finishes? Not this one. Each rice bit was flavorful and every bite palatable. I dream of it until this very day. I finished an entire bowl. Nevermind the calories, nevermind the carbohydrates! No regrets. Not one. YOU MUST GET THE UNICORN. YOU MUST.
Last but definitely not the least is the dessert. Anyone who has ever dined with me knows that no matter how full I already am, I always have space for dessert. It’s like Chef Amie knew my favorite. The TEA TIME dish had chamomile panna cotta, wild honey and lemon in it. It’s presented like the Filipino dessert taho, scooped per layer then flavored with syrup and sago. If you’re looking for a refreshing plate to ease your tastebuds but leave you feeling just the way you want to, then look no further. It’s of a generous serving, too!
Black Sheep all in all is a 10/10 for me. Thank you so much for having Mark and me here! We are definitely coming back. In fact, I wanted to go back the next night but we had errands to run. I told my parents all about it and even they want to try it out. They love foie as wall so just the start of my story already got their eyes gleaming. Adding in the fact that the foie was in Xio Long Bao form was the go signal that my family was sure to try it out. Happy to let you guys know that they’re open even on Sundays for lunch!
I hope you guys enjoyed this super long post. When it comes to my interests, I can just go on and on about them. Plus, at least you guys get a complete guide from me, diba? Go head there and let me know what you guys think!