Amado Fores whips up the winning combination of steaks, fries and rice in new resto

Steak & Fries in Central Square BGC was created by Forés, who used to sneak in steamed rice when he would eat in New York steakhouses. 

Every now and then, a new steakhouse opens its doors in Manila. Few, however, are met with much excitement. Among these few is Steak & Frice.

The shiny new steakhouse in Central Square BGC opened to much fanfare in December as it rests on solid foundation. Its owner Amado Forés, for starters, is armed with an impressive resumé—and pedigree. 

Steak & Frice at Central Square BGC is the newest restaurant of restaurateur Amado Forés.

To the uninitiated, Amado is the owner of hit restaurants A Mano and Ramen Ron, and is the only son of celebrated chef Margarita Forés. If that alone doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will.

So when my family and I were invited to have dinner there, I immediately said “Yes!”

It all started with a memory

Steak & Frice is inspired by Amado’s childhood memories sneaking in rice into New York steakhouses.

Restaurants, as with many things, start with an idea or an inspiration. Steak & Frice started with a memory, one that dates back many years ago.

Amado fondly remembers his family sneaking steamed rice into the renowned Peter Luger steakhouse in New York when he was younger.

Every Pinoy who has gone abroad, especially for an extended period of time, has done this and would perhaps look back on the memories with nostalgia and a good laugh.

Because as any Filipino knows, any dish is always better with rice—steak included. 

That memory of steak and rice dinners in New York stayed and saw Amado open his third restaurant in its honor.

Now, we have Steak & Frice. 

Not your usual steakhouse

The restaurant has a chic, welcoming interior.

Amado’s concept of Steak & Frice is one that evolves beyond the cookie-cutter concept of the steakhouse, disrupting expectations with a fresh approach. 

“Many steakhouses follow the same format. A steakhouse should be about jazz music, leather booths, Bordeaux, single malts, and an atmosphere where business is done and deals are celebrated. It is this idea of the steakhouse that I want to play around with,” Amado said.

After he explained the concept for Steak & Frice, many of his early collaborators described it as “campy.”  I’m not so sure about Steak & Frice being campy, though, but what I felt walking into the restaurant was a sense of warm welcome.

“It started as an idea in my brain but now I am starting to believe that the campiness can be endearing and will be a welcome change.”

Steakhouses can be highbrow and intimidating but not Steak & Frice. It was my first time but it felt as if I were a regular. 

The staff were friendly and accommodating and the interiors chic but cozy and inviting.

Sean Dix, the restaurant’s Hong Kong-based designer, has been designing contemporary furniture, iconic luxury spaces, and bespoke high-end residential spaces for over 25 years.

Worth noting is the restaurant’s designer, Hong Kong-based Sean Dix, who, according to Amado, has designed every restaurant that he considers a Hong Kong classic. 

Dix has been designing contemporary furniture, iconic luxury spaces, and bespoke high-end residential spaces for over 25 years. His latest commissions see his studio taking on projects in Hong Kong, Manila, Shenzhen, Southern California, Ho Chi Minh City, Sardinia, Paris, London, and Bangkok.

“Sean has lived in the Philippines. He has a history with the Philippines. Sean and his team get it—how Filipinos live, dine, and appreciate the dining experience,” added Amado.

Going beyond steaks

During our visit, we tried some of Steak & Frice’s bestsellers starting with their Typhoon Shelter Salt and Pepper Calamari (P450), which was easily one of the most memorable dishes that night. Garlicky and peppery, a drizzle of lemon elevates the flavors further.

Then we had their Parmesan Soup (P450) which, though a tad too rich for me, prepared our palate for the next dish.

It would be foolish not to have pasta in a Forés-owned restaurant which has it on its menu. We had an order of Pappardelle with Pink Sauce (P470) which was unlike any other pasta dish I tasted before. 

Pappardelle with Pink Sauce

The noodles were fresh and sublime, but it was the sauce that caught my attention. A blend of what seems to be marinara and alfredo, it hits the right balance between the acidity of the tomatoes and the richness of the cream. I’ll definitely order it again the next time I visit.

Then of course we had the star of the show—Steak and Frice. They offer three kinds of steak: US Ribeye (P3650/400 grams), S&F Striploin (P3550/350 grams, and Chateaubriand (P3950/290 grams).

We had the S&F Striploin which was a bit on the leaner side but with just the right amount of fat to give it a deep beefy umami.

As in any good ol’ steakhouse we were asked for the doneness of our steak and we had it medium rare for one half and well done the other.

I’m pleased to report that even the well done half of the steak was still tender and moist inside. It was the medium rare, though, which we recommend. The crusty exterior paves the way for a flavorful and juicy meat inside. 

Every order comes with frice, of course! The steak rice was so good I was thankful it comes with a (free) second helping along with the fries. 

Grilled Salmon

We also had the Grilled Salmon (P1,100) which comes with french fries and seafood rice. I must say that the salmon impressed me—cooked to just the right flakiness and juiciness. 

To cap off our dinner on a sweet note, we had Triple Chocolate Cake and Marshmallow Fluff (P390), which was the perfect end to a wonderful steak dinner—not too sweet but still velvety, rich, and chocolatey.

See you next week!

Amado wants Steak & Frice to be an every day dining place.

Dinner didn’t end there, however. As we made our way out of the restaurant, I was surprised when I was told, “See you next week!”

It was only later when I learned that it was more than just a gimmick to bring a smile to diners. 

“At Steak & Frice, we like saying ‘See you next week’ with a wink and smile. It’s not because we believe that our guests will be back next week. That would be presumptuous,” Amado explained.

“It’s more of a commitment on our end to always aspire to provide an experience so unique, and so comforting that you will want to come back, again and again,” he added.

Amado wants Steak & Frice to be more than just a once-a-year thing. “We’re not just for special occasions. We are an every day dining place. A typical Steak & Frice guest is a regular. Everyone, for every occasion, is welcome,” he said.

And that’s how it felt—I felt like a regular. So, I guess I’ll see you next week, Steak and Frice!

Steak & Frice is located at the G/F Central Square, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. For reservations contact: 0917-125-8188 or drop them a message on Instagram.

Associate Editor

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