The Luxe : Lacking in Lusso

By Divasoria on 22 June, 2009

Dining at Lusso
from top left, clockwise
Strawberry Trifle, Luxe Mac and Cheese, Lusso Burger and Asiago Fries
The idea of luxury and excess is considered vulgar during these times of financial turmoil. Conspicuous consumption that was the norm just a few years ago is now taboo. So how do we now indulge in our favorite past times without feeling guilty or offending other people?

Lusso, Margarita Fores’ new restaurant concept in Greenbelt 5 which also means “luxe” in Italian, is what she likes to tout as luxury with a conscience. The place invokes Old World opulence with its ornate Murano Chandelier from the old Manila Peninsula mixed with mid-century furniture our grandparents had during their heyday. This somewhat yin-yang theme carries through their food selection which is rich and opulent yet their prices are far from intimidating.

The menu is chockfull of what we can call “comfort food”, diner-style selections of burgers, French fries, macaroni and cheese, and shepherd’s pies but done with luxurious touches. We zeroed in on four things that stood out in the menu.

We started off with Asiago Fries with Truffle-Infused Salt (P195). Huge potato wedges hand-cut with the skin on, the appetizer is served in an elegant white ensemble topped with a mild asiago. Hearty but lacks punch, the French fries, although topped with high quality cheese and fancy salt, were forgettable and needed more flavor. In fact, we had to ask for an extra serving of the truffle-infused salt.

Next came the much-publicized Demi-Pound Lusso Burger (P595)–US Angus Beef with foie gras topped with prosecco onions and served with a cambozola broth. Being self-confessed burger and foie gras junkies, the thought of melding our two favorites was almost too perfect. I asked for the burger to be cooked medium but it came very red. The foie gras core, though, melted away into oblivion and was hardly a factor in the experience. Cambozola broth was a mystery. Confused as to whether it was a burger topping or a dip for the fries, the idea, although seemingly ingenious, was lost in translation. Of note is the bread, crusty to the bite but soft and chewy inside. I can just imagine the bread to be perfect with freshly churned French butter.

My companion ordered the Macaroni and Cheese with Pancetta and Three Cheeses (P365). A staple for young Americans and budget-conscious college students, this dish is THE comfort food. Expecting a dish that conjured childhood memories, Lusso’s version was milky, mild and tempered. The pancetta was only present in between bites.

We ended the meal with the Strawberry Trifle (P250) which is sadly another blase affair. Made with what seems to be just ordinary whipped cream, traditional English trifles are made of rich pudding and very tasty pound cake. Lusso’s trifle was similar to our crème de fruta. No visions of English country houses and jodhpurs here.

What saved our night was the bubbly and lively conversation. Lusso is a place where one hopes to be beamed into a world of affluence and mirth only to be brought straight back to reality.

Much thanks to Grace Velasco of Divasoria

G/F Greenbelt 5
Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City, Metro Manila
Telephone: (02) 756 5893

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Post a comment
  • JUNE 25, 2009 7:42 AM

    Anonymous said...

    i like this review.

  • JUNE 26, 2009 10:43 AM

    gourmandtales said...

    interesting comments.. now am having second thoughts in trying the burger...

  • APRIL 3, 2010 12:54 PM

    Anonymous said...

    I suggest you go back because its amazing!

  • OCTOBER 22, 2010 4:38 PM

    Benny said...

    This was the perfect, PERFECT review of Lusso's burgers. There was so much hype out there, its misleading. If you're searching for that rich foie gras-beef burger taste, you're out of luck. The foie taste is non existent, and the burger meat taste is only mediocre. Its a ok burger, nothing more.

    I really wanted to like the burger, but was disappointed.

  • OCTOBER 31, 2010 6:03 AM

    Anonymous said...

    agree with the review. burger was just ok. the entrecote was poor, especially considering the cost. mac and cheese was not so good. overpriced for what it is, there are other places with much better value. the only thing that was great was the view of the gardens.


  • JANUARY 18, 2011 1:28 AM

    Alexa said...

    I love love Lusso. I suggest you ask them to put the foie gras on the side instead of it being incorporated in the burger. Better to distribute the foie gras manually than trying your luck getting a bite with foie gras. Much more enjoyable this way. YUM.

  • SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 8:18 AM

    a taste of new england « divasoria said...

    [...] visits to lusso were lackluster, to say the least, so i was pleasantly surprised to discover a more diverse and [...]

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