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Breakfast is never over at Ovo

By Spanky Hizon Enriquez Published Feb 23, 2020 12:29 am Updated Oct 15, 2020 2:51 am

One of the country’s most talented chefs creates a whole menu centered on eggs. Game on!

The  award-winning, gregarious and athletic chef behind Locavore, Mikel Zaguirre, is back in his element, doing what he does best: turning tradition on its head, and giving familiar dishes his own unique spin.

When I first met him years ago, Locavore was brand new, drawing lines and causing traffic jams on Brixton in Pasig. He was still very much in what I now call his “Roux Stage” then, fresh off his stint in one of the country’s top French restaurants.

Even then, he was in the process of defining his signature style: applying the strictest culinary techniques to that most informal, most rustic of cuisines—Filipino. And he accomplished it with such a great deal of panache, that several of Locavore’s dishes have “inspired’…. okay, let’s be honest, have been copied by many other restaurants since.

Brunch all day at Ovo.  Photos by Gabby Cantero 

Chef Kel’s has successfully opened a slew of restaurants since, but I have to say, his latest just may be his greatest since his first.

I’m biased, of course. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day. For me, what makes any breakfast special, and what makes every breakfast essential, is eggs. Symbols of fertility, renewal, birth and all that since ancient times. It’s simply just the best part of the meal—scrambled, fried, soft-boiled—eggs in all their exciting forms.

To have a restaurant dedicated to and celebrating eggs in all their  glory? And available as the central, integral part of an all-day brunch from 11 a.m. to 11p.m.? I am so in!

More so because I don’t have to wake up early to enjoy it… unless, of course, I’m staying at the Y2 Hotel in Poblacion, where Ovo is located, and where it also serves breakfast to the hotel’s guests from 6 to 10 a.m. That’s enough reason for me to book a staycation at Y2.

Chef Mikel Zaguirre’s creation
Ovo at Y2 Hotel in Poblacion

The star, so far, since Chef Kel’s creativity will undoubtedly result in even more specials on the Ovo menu? The Foie with Devilled Eggs. They’re simple enough: exquisitely prepared devilled eggs, but topped with decadent slabs of Foie Gras. I admit, some would consider them evil temptations, but I confess, some sins can be justified. Such as the deceptively generically named “Longsilog”: it’s a composition of Vigan Longaniza garlic rice, dotted with Spanish Chorizos and Chorizong Macau, and the requisite gorgeously fried organic egg.

And then there’s the similarly plain-sounding but astounding “Chicken and Waffles”: an ensaymada sourdough waffle. Let me repeat that: Ensaymada Sourdough Waffle. Served with not the usual fried chicken, but with a crunchy, cheesy Chicken a la Kiev. The whole production, topped with a cured yolk, buttercream cheese, and a sprinkle of sweet syrup. Worth waking up for. Or not. As I said, the brunch specials are, after all, available all day, every day.

Chicken and waffle

One more thing: late in the evenings, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. there are bespoke cocktails, baby! Ovo becomes a lounge for libidinous libations, because, why not? The bartender is also an award-winner who’s represented our country in competitions abroad, including, most recently, in London. Cheers, Allius Abrazado!

If you’ve been doing the math, you’ll surely have noted that as of now, Ovo is open 20 hours a day. Soon, it’ll be open for a full 24/7. From dawn ‘til dusk and all the debauchery in between. It’s never over at Ovo.