Farm-to-table cuisine — that’s the latest culinary buzzphrase that’s being bandied about more often these days, giving emphasis to a chef’s use of only locally sourced and organic (preferably), seasonal ingredients. And it’s the positioning that Chef Robby Goco has taken for his restaurant Green Pastures. “Locally sourced” is, of course, a matter of perspective, especially if you subscribe to Thomas Keller’s point of view. Be that as it may, all I really wanted was to try something new and different, dishes that would surprise me and amuse my bouche, so to speak.
And these did.
Cauliflower as a substitute for rice? Who’da thunk it? Pretty good, too! We kicked off the meal with Korean Fried Cauliflower with its punchy sauce. That’s a pretty exciting way to eat your veggies. I especially enjoyed the cecina (pronounced che-china), which are thin pancakes made from chickpeas or garbanzos. Thin yet fluffy and flavorful. We paired that with zesty guacamole and with garlicky marinated mushrooms. Their “monthly special” salads are well put together with organic, in-season ingredients and vibrant. We had the June Salad (because we went in the month of June, duh) which was wonderfully fresh and satisfying. But each month offers its own seasonal surprise. You may opt for the Salad Bar, if you prefer to mix your own ingredients. We tried the Short-Rib Kimchee Fried Cauliflower Rice. Yes, cauliflower as the faux rice, but you wouldn’t think it. It’s just that I don’t understand the description “48-hour grass-fed short ribs” — whut, the ribs were fed with grass for 48 hours??? Never mind — that’s just my writer’s nitpickiness. To continue… the pastas are superb! What we had were hardly what you’d call “healthy” — we had beef marrow and lamb and chorizo in our pasta orders. Not sure how “locally sourced” their parmigiano reggiano and lamb are supposed to be but they’re too delicious for me to quibble. Especially the Shank and Marrow Bolognese with tagliatelle pasta noodles. Lusciously toe-curling in its richness and flavor. However, the burgers were a disappointment for me — kinda dry and unflavorful. Still, overall, dining here was a gratifying food adventure. Farm-to-table or farm-to-fork or organic fare is only as good as the way they are prepared and served. At Green Pastures, my bouche was positively amused!
The Green Pastures restaurant we tried is on the ground floor of Net Park Building on Fifth Avenue, BGC, Taguig (facing the Fort Strip). The space inside feels a bit cramped, though — it’s best to reserve a table. Call 277-5592. And it’s a loooong walk outside the building to the loo as it’s on the other side between CBTL’s 26th Street Bistro and Wildflour. But definitely worth a venture… or adventure.