For Chef Patrick Go, every dish is a story. Every ingredient tells a tale. Every chef, a storyteller.
As the new executive chef of Black Sheep, Chef Patrick has his share of challenges when it comes to carrying the torch of the original Black Sheep of Bonifacio Global City. After a brief hiatus, Black Sheep is back and has moved to Makati, stronger than ever, and boasting a simpler and more accessible menu featuring Filipino-Chinese flavors with a modern gourmet twist.
“This is the food I love, the flavors I grew up with,” Chef Patrick tells Expat “I came from a family of foodies. So, at a young age, I was already [exposed to different types of cuisine] and culture.”
His love affair with food was casual at first—enjoying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen once in a while—until he realized working in the corporate world wasn’t for him. Chef Patrick came from a family of bankers, but when he decided to pursue his culinary degree, his family supported him all the way. This strong familial support system is perhaps one of the reasons why he is so inspired to pay tribute to his family’s Chinese ancestry while embracing their Philippine home.
“Chinese food is so diverse, there is a certain way that all these flavors go really well together,” he said. “Filipino food is so robust, very flavorful, yet very comforting. So why not combine the two?”
Robust flavors of home and the exotic flavors of China? Count us in.
Despite being only a few months old, Black Sheep already has sure win bestsellers from their carefully curated menu. And believe me when I say Black Sheep’s flavor combinations are as surprising as they are delicious—a deliciously rebellious treat from the usual Filipino-Chinese fare we’re used to eating.
What to have
For starters, try their signature Foie Long Bao. It’s Black Sheep’s twist to the traditional xiao long bao, stuffed with perfectly seasoned foie gras and warm xiaoxing broth, then sprinkled with crushed peanut for texture, plum slivers for that kick of acidity, and topped with delicate cilantro blossoms. Luxury is served.
Next, try the Two-Na—a snack and an appetizer in one. This is the perfect way to whet your appetite because it’s a spicy tuna and chicken liver mixture on top of crispy ma lai gao (sort of like a fried mantao), then topped with sliced grapes and microgreens (which they foraged from around the area.
Yes, you read that right—foraged). The spicy kick is just right that you can still enjoy the slight sweetness from the tuna and the saltiness from the chicken liver. The grapes add a vibrant tanginess that somewhat cleanses the palate, making you long for more.
“A lot of our microgreens are taken—with permission—from our neighboring buildings,” Chef Patrick shared with a grin. “So, if you see pancit-pancitan [water clover] on your dish, that means it was freshly harvested from our neighbor’s plant box.” And washed well, of course.
The next dish will awaken the culinary daredevil in you. What do you get when you mix fresh uni (sea urchin) from Pangasinan with crispy and flavorful pork face a la sisig? A taste of heaven in a bao. This is Pig on a Pillow, with the pillow being the fluffy bao. The delicate, creamy, slightly sweet uni perfectly compliments the fiery sisig flavors of the pork. Truly a match made in heaven.
For the main course, treat yourself to a unique take on Chinese fried rice. A Chinese folktale inspired Chef Patrick to create the dish called the “Sheep Jumps Over The Wall,” his take on the classic soup called Buddha Jumps Over The Wall. Currently, it has 23 ingredients working harmoniously together for that perfect balance of flavors in every earthen bowl (and I say “currently” because the Chef is always working to improve their offers). Served over torched grass, the smokiness adds a new flavor spectrum to this lavish rice dish. It has chicken, beef tenderloin, scallops, eggs, bone marrow, foie gras, and a lot of goodness. Definitely a must-try when you go to BlackSheep. And by the way, this dish is good for sharing, but no one’s going to take it against you if you finish it all on your own.
And for a lipsmacking end to the perfect meal, why not have tea for dessert? Tea Time is Chef Patrick’s twist on panna cotta. Infused with chamomile tea, the chamomile panna cotta is served with wild honey from Palawan, refreshing lemon granita, and topped with pink Cadena de Amor blossoms.
One meal isn’t enough to know the fullness of Black Sheep’s offers, but it is enough to know that Chef Patrick’s attention to detail is as extensive as his flavor profile. And for once, a Black Sheep is good news to us all.
Black Sheep is open Tuesday to Sunday, 12 nn to 2 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. They are located at 2230 UPRC1 Building, Chino Roces Avenue, Makati. For inquiries and reservations, call (0927) 783-7083 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow them on Instagram (@blacksheepmnl) and Like them on Facebook.
By CHING DEE