We went to Lanai by Fresh Start – it’s an awesome open air restaurant that evokes the feeling of a house’s lanai area.
First things first: What’s a Lanai? A lanai is a roofed space that is open and typically serves as an outdoor extension of the living room.
Lanai by is located behind May’s Garden and Fresh Start. It is a restaurant that was envisioned by the owners to showcase the products of their organic farm. Since the owner also is a part of the slow food movement and the Ark of Taste, the restaurant showcases herbs, plants and special ingredients found locally in Negros Occidental and the Philippines.
The interior of Lanai is simple and uses a lot of white and wood accents to give a relaxing feel. There are several palm plants in the interior which creates a tropical atmosphere.
The centerpiece and main attraction area in Lanai is the bar. It’s a fantastic space where you can watch your drinks being made. It’s the only one of its kind in Bacolod with the gorgeous minimalist industrial design which is a marriage of black painted metal and wood. The counter is made from massive slabs of hardwood tree trunks.
Lanai by Fresh Start’s bar has a great “natural organic” look. It looks like a herbalist or wizards shop with the many glass jars filled with dried plants, fruits and bark. Very interesting and eye catching! Definitely a conversation starter with your guests.
On the counter are these eye-catching bottles of craft Gin and Vodka from local producers in the Philippines. The drinks and cocktails of Lanai were created by chef, Kalel Demetrio who uses local herbs, plants and alcohol to create spectacular drinks!
Lanai by Fresh Start uses locally made in the Philippines liquors to make their cocktails. These are the award winning Kanto Vodka (Salted Caramel!) and Agimat Vodka, which is made from Bacolod Sugarcane and distilled in Malay Aklan. The Agimat Gin is made from ylang ylang flowers and Philippine indigenous fruit such as the Biasong wild citrus, pink pomelo, dalandan and yutukon – a type of wild ginger!
One of Lanai by Fresh Start’s bestsellers that you must try when you visit is a very unique non alcoholic drink. This drink can be enjoyed by all ages. It’s their organic root beer soda. This is made with a plant – the rootbeer plant and it looks like a smoothie.
How does it taste? Well it doesnt have the concentrated rootbeer taste of commerical soda but it is nice and refreshing. Give it a try! The look may not be appealing to those who don’t like vegetables, but it doesn’t taste like vegetables at all. It’s quite nice.
After the drinks it was time to explore the menu of Lanai by Fresh Start.
We started with Lanai’s appetizers – we picked their camote chips served with a Chorizo dip made with Negros Chorizo, Kale, Garlic yogurt, local cheese and camote chips.
This is a savory appetizer that and goes very well with Lanai’s cocktails and drinks.
For our main dish we tried Lanai by Fresh Start’s Beef Kansi A la pobre. It’s chunks of beef braised in a kansi sauce and served with brown rice topped with a garlic olive oil confit. I found the serving size of beef to be a bit small.. maybe a little more beef would make this a little heartier.
The batuan sauce makes this dish a little sourish and savory akin to one of the Philippines popular soup dish, sinigang.
The next dish on Lanai by Fresh Start’s menu that we tried was their grilled pork belly with muscovado guava sauce and sweet camote mash. It’s a pretty dish and it comes with a small side of salad.
For dessert we had a very interesting Criollo Tablea Cake from Lanai by Fresh Start. It came with a side of, carabao milk dulce de leche and a pineapple compote. It also came with a sprinkling of edible flowers. Designed by Chef Gab Melocoton, this showcases the creativity of the food created by the Slow food movement.
Lanai is open from 11 a. m. to 8 p. m. on Mondays to Thursdays, and from 11 a. m. to 9 p. m. on Fridays to Sundays.
Lanai by Fresh Start phone number: 0917 881 1341
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LanaibyFreshStart
The Bacolod Food Hunters did not accept any freebies, incentives or money for this article. We paid for our own food. We practice ethical blogging.