LOOP, Creative Dining


LOOP is the restaurant school of the Institute of Culinary Arts and Food Service (ICF).ย  The name is based on the Infinity symbol, which represents “elegant flourish in Calligraphy and fine cuisine”. But I think it got its name from its location in the new FEU Building along Zuellig Loop, Buendia.

The restaurant is great for a first date (as it is very conducive to conversation), or for eating dinner before watching a play at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in RCBC Plaza across it.ย  LOOP is open until 10pm.

The ambiance is a bit intimidating, but it is actually more of a casual, warm place to dine in. We initially thought it was fine dining, but they still let us in even though we were wearing slippers. They have a lot of casual clients from the nearby Columns condo.

Appetizers, Soup, and Salad
| Sandwiches, Pasta, Meat and Poultry, Fish and Seafood | Desserts | Coffee and Tea, Beer and Alcopops, Cocktails, Frozen Cocktails, Mocktails

The menu is simple and, truth be told, nothing in it stood out as very creative.

Complimentary Bread Platter
with Pesto, Butter, Olive Oil and Egyptian Dukkah.

The bread comes from Le Coeur de France. I guess the creative touch here is provided by the dips. First, you have to dip the bread in olive oil and then in the Egyptian dukkah (a mixture of ground nuts and Egyptian spices). After that, it’s up to you if you want to add the standard pesto and butter spreads. Careful, though. If you go overboard, you will already feel full after eating it.

Quesong Puti Phyllo Triangles
(P180 +10% service charge)
. A rich native cheese from carabao milk, wrapped in traditional Greek flaky pastry, served with homemade tomato sauce.

This was executed well. The creamy white cheese-filled phyllo wraps were crispy and served hot. Interestingly, it came with tomato sauce, which is not the usual partner for this type of appetizer.

North African Lamb Stew
(P425 +10% service charge)
. Tender lamb shoulder gently stewed with spices and aromatics, served with a side of couscous tabouleh.

The meat dishes were highly recommended, so we ordered the Lamb Stew. The meat was indeed quite soft, tasty and marinated well with the herbs and spices. The couscous gave it a nice Mediterranean touch, but it would have been perfect with white rice.

The Loop Iced Tea
(P80 +10% service charge)

The iced tea was another recommendation. It was infused with mango and had the right amount of froth on top. It was good but not radically different.

1. LOOP Chocolate Symphony
(P170 +10% service charge)
. Moist Valrhona chocolate cake smeared with natural raspberry coulis and caramel sauce.

2. Pear Frangipane Tart with Blue Cheese Crumble and Ice Cream (P365 +10% service charge). Rich almond paste and tangy pears combine in this classic French tart, topped with blue cheese and ice cream.

They recognized us when we dined in. They were happy we visited, so they gave us complimentary dessert despite our insistence that we pay for it.

The picture above shows a half-serving of the two desserts, served in trio-style. The Chocolate Symphony is nothing extraordinary, but we loved the Blue Cheese-Ice Cream-French tart combination. We love Blue Cheese, so we are a bit biased when it comes to this dessert. ๐Ÿ™‚

It is a bit expensive, though, probably because of the pears soaked in red wine and the blue cheese.

Joey Herrera is currently running the culinary school and is the executive chef of Loop. The school just had two batches this year. On the students’ second year, they will go on OJT in the restaurant.

On a non-food point, I don’t understand why restaurants like having black uniforms for their chefs and servers. It is actually bad luck for the Chinese, and some of the restaurants that had black uniforms closed down already.

Overall, the food is good, the ambiance is unneccesarily formal, and the “creative dining” concept is a bit lost in translation. The menu is not creatively game-changing and what they offer is not even free-style dining. To be honest, I still don’t understand what their “creative dining“means after our experience.

Nevertheless, we will still go there to have quiet but fun conversations with friends and loved ones over good food, or for lunch or dinner meetings since they also have private rooms good for 10 people (without extra charge). Budget P500/head.

Ground Floor, ICF @ FEU
Zuellig Loop, Gil Puyat corner Malugay St., Makati City
Contact: Joey Herrera
Telephone: +632 892-7920
Mobile: +63 927 766 2227
Email: loopcreativedining@yahoo.com
Operating Hours: 10am to 10pm

Driving Directions:
If you are coming from Buendia (going to the Columns), Loop will be on your right. There is a small opening for the parking lot, so you will have to make a u-turn loop to enter it, coming from Buendia. The sign is quite visible along Buendia.

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Disclosure: We are not connected in any way with the owners of the restaurant, but they recognized us when we dined in that night. It was fun meeting Joey Herrera, who personally came over and talked to us. We paid for all the food except for the dessert.

P.S. Thanks to Nancy Lumen Reyes, mother of Joey Herrera, for the tip on Loop!

28 thoughts on “LOOP, Creative Dining

  1. had the chance to eat here last month for my anniversary lunch. i agree that there’s really nothing creative with this one as i was kinda expecting something unique. the food was okay naman, but i think they have limited selection on the menu. i also agree that their iced tea is a good recommendation. ๐Ÿ™‚
    ps : how come they did not serve the same complimentary bread like the one you had above? we were just served with the bread and nothing else – no dip or whatsoever. we even had to ask the waiter to give us a balsamic vinegar.. hmmm, looks like they are not treating their customers equally.

  2. on the uniform part, maybe black is the logical choice especially if they want to hide stains & spills? and maybe the restaurateurs feel black looks more formal/crisp?

  3. Hi Anton, thanks for this info–never heard of the place before this. btw, I have a small giveaway on my blog, The Assumption Cookbook, Pearl Edition. Check it out naman! Marivic ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Anton has this thing for black uniforms, he always comments on them when he goes to a resto with staff wearing black:)
    I personally like black uniforms. I don’t believe in feng shui. Chealsea is still open and they have black uniforms are well.

  5. I had fun cooking for you guys!! Thanks for visiting. I totally agree that the menu should be creativER.. We just had to play it safe at first, and not push the envelope too much. Just nudge it a little.. We do some off menu stuff though that you can see on LOOP’s FB fanpage ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m happy to say that the 2011 menu will unload a cavalcade of new dishes, more creativity (hehe), more LOCAL SUSTAINABLE produce and seafood, and more fun for everyone and peace on earth.
    *Camille.. I’m sorry you didn’t get the pesto and dukkah.. I slipped the two saucers secretly onto Anton’s bread service so they could get a taste.. We usually serve bread, and the tables are furnished with Infused olive oil and Salt from Zambales, which I personally prefer over butter. We also like to serve different “Amuse bouche”s whenever we can.. I even share with guests whatever “Food pasalubong” i get, like the mien khum i gave to our guests last week, and the mini-keg of lowenbrau i opened last night. I hope you can come back to try our other dishes!

  6. i also love black!
    i see nothing wrong with chefs wearing dark uniforms unless you’re superstitious. in fact, i think it’s elegant.
    will try to check this resto on my days off on last week of december.
    thanks, anton for sharing.

  7. no worries Mr. Joey Herrera. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was kinda nainggit lng cos i was not able to taste the dip that comes with the complimentary bread. hehe! ๐Ÿ™‚ i’d definitely go back here to try the new dishes. thanks!

  8. so I went to Serendra yesterday and guess what I saw…. Chelsea waiters are now wearing white! Hahahaha!!!
    Im posting it now before somebody else tries to correct me:)

  9. About the black uniforms: agree with onlysecond that it may all be about stains and spills. And like Christina I also have no issues with the color…I’m neither Chinese nor superstitious. Restaurants come and go. Those who may have closed down are either too expensive, have forgettable menus or bad service to sustain a loyal following.

  10. “LOOP is the restaurant school of the Institute of Culinary Arts and Food Service (ICF). The name is based on the Infinity symbol, which represents “elegant flourish in Calligraphy and fine cuisine”. But I think it got its name from its location in the new FEU Building along Zuellig Loop, Buendia.”
    Correct! When I took over the restaurant, It was already called such. But I wanted the name to mean something more to the restaurant than just an address.. I developed the concept of “LOOP”
    LOOP as an infinite cycle- both in developing dishes and in our drive for sustainable cuisine
    LOOP as an artistic flourish- humble ingredients are given character and value
    LOOP as a return path- going back to simple (but creative, thank you Anton) cuisine, good service
    We are always striving to make our dining experience positively memorable.
    *IMPORTANT NOTE: Someone has been posting negative things masquerading as me on a local forum, mentioning Anton’s blog on Loop. I assure you, that isn’t me.

  11. Can’t hardly wait to try Loop especially the North African Lamb Stew and couscous. Family, friends and co-workers are excited, too! Hope there’ll be more seafood ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Of course I am connected with Loop and proud of it — my husband being with their Marketing Team. Love your own! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I personally enjoyed my experience at Loop. I love how Chef Joey frequently checked if our group was okay; it made us feel right at home. Sayang lang walang porkchops that time. ๐Ÿ™ Nevertheless, that’s one reason for me to go back! I’m already planning to treat my family there soon (hopefully after Valentine’s Day) since I’m sure my dad’s going to enjoy Loop’s menu. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kudos to Chef Joey and his team for always striving to do better in every dish they serve!

  14. I humbly disagree. We try our best to serve honest, unpretentious food at reasonable prices. Simple ingredients, treated with respect and cooked with sincerity. We would love to convince you of our dedication to good food.

  15. Tried the Loop at last. I’m so not impressed. Enough with the Marketing brouahaha. Tell your husband to improve their cuisine first.

  16. I understand the chefs philosophy in using simple ingredients but the food is just no good here. Menu lacked imagination and (creativity), good flavor and was executed in amateur fashion… service was the best as it was friendly but unknowledgeable. the dukkah was the best dish of the night but the bread was nasty… our group has black listed loop as one of the dreaded places to eat in manila.

  17. disagree all you want. honest, unpretentious food at reasonable prices is the easiest thing to cook and you still cant do it exceptionally well… sorry pare, you need to get outta the kitchen

  18. Some friends said this place was good and that they knew the chef. Food was awful, place was empty, service was so so lang… hope this helps

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