https://flic.kr/p/27JJ8ve Is it a speakeasy, is it a lounge, is it a restaurant? To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to define The Red Piano, and the concept behind TRP is something that’s hard to describe. It’s like a hodgepodge of ideas that came together to make something that is totally unique and, at the same time, a little familiar. This also reflects in the establishment’s menu where you’ll find a myriad of dishes from all over the globe like Southern US, Spain and Italy. It’s a surprisingly eclectic approach to a restaurant that pretty much delivers. https://flic.kr/p/24YXSDb The Red Piano can be found on the bottom floor of Arya Plaza in BGC, Metro Manila. It’s off the beaten path, away from the busier parts of BGC, which is perfect if you are looking for a more laid-back casual dining experience. The interior, with a modest dining area and bar on the first floor, looks small at first glance. The main dining area and lounge are located on the second level where guests can dine while enjoying live entertainment. The Red Piano G/F The Plaza, Arya Residences, McKinley Pkwy, Taguig, Metro Manila Hours: Monday 11:30am–11pm Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am–12am Sunday 11:30am–10pm Phone: 0906 059 0411 Facebook: @theredpianorestolounge Instagram: The Red Piano RestoLounge Carlo Llave came up with the idea of TRP after a drinking session with his close friends. They wondered what it would be like to have a place of their own where they could hang out, have a few drinks and listen to music they love. Well traveled, Carlo is always on the lookout for good food, and the menu he has concocted are all takes on his favorite dishes from around the world. What To Order One Big Cracklin (₱195) Probably the largest chicharron we’ve ever tried. Salted and seasoned with vinegar powder. This is a perfect beer snack. San Fran Clam Chowder (₱550) The Red Piano’s signature dish and one of our favorites. The chowder is packed full of smoky flavor, and the sourdough bread bowl which is made from a specially cultured yeast rounded off the creamy dish quite nicely. It’s not every day that you run into a good chowder (especially in the PHL). I was surprised how good and authentic tasting The Red Pianos version was. Must Try! Under The Sea (₱495) Bar Chow made up of an assortment of crispy fish, squid, and shrimp. Spaghetti alla Carbonara (₱365) Classic Carbonara made with egg, pepper, and guanciale. Noodles were cooked perfectly and the flavor was spot on though it did seem a bit too eggy. What makes this special is they use the original recipe using pork jowls imported from Europe. Must Try! Spaghetti alla Frutti di Mare (₱420) This was the best of the pasta dishes we tried. Once again the noodles were cooked perfectly; the tomato sauce, nice and light; and the clams, sweet and fresh. If you love seafood pasta, you’ll definitely enjoy TRP’s version. Carne y Mariscos Paella (₱1,490) The Paella really stood out and we rather enjoyed it. Simple and basic, it was as authentic as they come—made with bomba rice that was even slightly burned at the bottom to give it a nice crunch. Cut the rich, earthy smoked paprika flavor with a squeeze of fresh lemon and enjoy. (Great for sharing.) Paella Negra (₱1,385) The clams really stood out here. You could actually taste how sweet and fresh they were, a nice contrast to the brininess of the dish. Pair with a nice white wine. Boeuf Bourguignon (₱1,100) A standard fare in French cuisine, Boeuf Bourguignon/Beef Burgandy is a type of stew regarded by many chefs as one of the best beef dishes there is. It’s a dish that requires finesse as much as it does time. Typically, beef neck or beef shoulder is slowly braised for 2 hours in a Red Burgandy wine, beef broth and a bouquet garni. The dish is finished with mushrooms, baby carrots, and pearl onions. We loved everything about this—the richness of the stew, the fork-tender beef, even the pairing with a risotto (a nice touch). A pretty decent and delicious Boeuf Bourguignon. Osso Bucco (₱1,500) Nice and tender veal that’s slow cooked to perfection. This modern take on Osso Bucco uses a tomato-based sauce made with Pinot Grigio and a nice and zesty gremolata which really brightens up the entire dish. The angel hair pasta works brilliantly with the dish despite Osso Bucco being typically served with mashed potatoes or polenta. Cheese Burger (₱450) Char-grilled Choice Sirloin on a brioche bun with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato. A straight to the point burger that’s delicious, perfect for the kids and great for a quick bite. Vanilla Ice Cream w/ Australian Honeycomb (₱300) The honeycomb is completely edible and adds a nice waxy texture to the ice cream which we enjoyed. The honey adds a hint of floral undertones that goes well with the vanilla. Sans Rival (₱350) Carlos’ wife takes care of all the desserts for the restaurant and she does a very good job. The Sans Rival was made perfectly light and crispy; and the buttercream was just right, not too sweet and not too rich. Must try! Serious Chocolate (₱420) Four layers of rich and sweet chocolate cake, perfect for chocolate lovers. Final ThoughtsThe Red Piano as a concept might be a bit confusing for first-timers and its lounge atmosphere might not appeal to the younger crowds. However, if you’re looking for a laid-back environment with live (piano) music, you’ll like it here. The upper level is chill and intimate, with a Retro 1960s jazz club vibe that adds to its allure. Where The Red Piano really excels though, is in the kitchen. The pricing is a bit high, but with the quality of food you’re getting, it’s well worth it. It’s not every day you get the chance to dine in a piano lounge with great food and great music. It’s something a bit different for 2018 that everyone can enjoy. Don’t forget to miss their signature San Fran Clam Chowder and Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Order the Carne y Mariscos Paella for sharing, the Boeuf Bourguignon or the Osso Bucco for your mains. Expect to pay around ₱1,000-1,500 per head. Congratulations Carlo and the awesome crew at The Red Piano! The Red Piano G/F The Plaza, Arya Residences, McKinley Pkwy, Taguig, Metro Manila Hours: Monday 11:30am–11pm Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am–12am Sunday 11:30am–10pm Phone: +63 906 059 0411 Facebook: @theredpianorestolounge Instagram: The Red Piano RestoLounge Live an Awesome Life, SEAN NOLAN Our Awesome Planet Disclosure: I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. P.S. There’s free basement with validated ticket or valet parking option at Arya Residences.