I dread fancy restaurants, as in I absolutely dread them because of so many things. One, I have to dress up beyond my usual polo shirt, jeans, and sneakers (aka my teaching attire); two, the price is always way, way, way beyond my budget or what I take home each month; and lastly, I don’t know if those small portions can fit my appetite, which leads us back to number 2. But, last Friday, despite the hectic and nearly 2 hour travel to Makati because of Christmas traffic, Tricia and I met up in 12/10 in Guijo Street, Makati to enjoy another round of Japanese fusion cuisine.
With the lights down low, I finally stepped of my Uber after nearly 2 hours inside it, I spotted Tricia and her sister busy downing a cocktail while perusing the menu. In my tired state, I left them to their own devices and asked them to order anything. To be honest I was absolutely tired and I really didn’t want to think about anything but to see good food plopped right in front of me.
Little did I know that 12/10 wasn’t going to be my ordinary fancy shmancy restaurant, had I done my research ahead of time I would have known that this would be an experience in degustation. I had no idea what that meant until I searched for it just now. For the uncultured in all of us, it’s the sampling of small portions of dishes that heighten our palate from one dish to the next. In a nutshell, in my tired state I would be eating those really small sized dishes I would see on the covers of Bon Appetit or in haute cuisine shows like Chef’s Table. I was unprepared for the experience.
I was unprepared for the small servings or the the pacing of the experience. Having been so used to group and family-sized smorgasbord meals, 12/10 had me pacing myself, chilling out and waiting for one morsel of rich, tender, succulent, creamy dish after the other. All rules of wolfing down food were thrown out of the window, this was certainly not a marathon, this was tea time with the queen. And tea time I did, savoring each dish, taking note of the flavors and chewing carefully, maximizing each and every dish to the very last morsel.
Out of all the dishes we had the salmon kushiyaki was by far the best. Three pieces of salmon on a skewer, drizzled with caviar, truffle sauce, and corn flakes. Yes, corn flakes, your average everyday breakfast cereal straddles each piece of salmon taunting your imagination, wondering how such a thing could heighten the flavors of such a dish. Appearances aside, 12/10’s salmon was unbelievably creamy and light, flavorful and, umami. The savoriness of the salmon, along with all the trimmings had my heart stop beating while my tongue enjoyed the symphony and the concerto of flavors. This was the absolute showstopper and no wonder everyone orders it every time they drop by.
Despite nearly two hours on the road, my degustation apprehension, the small servings, everything turned out well. The low light set the mood perfectly, the good and quality service and their careful attention to every aspect of our meal was just great. However, all this attention and quality comes at a hefty price, be ready to prepare about Php. 1,000 to have a really heavy meal.
7635 Guijo Street
Open Mondays to Saturday, 5-11pm
Visit their Facebook page here