“We like to call it refined casual,” says a relaxed Elbert Cuenca as he leans on the handsome marble bar lined with taupe faux leather. Gesturing about the well-lit, high-ceilinged space, which seats 40 in the main dining room and 14 in the private, he has plenty more to say about the Metronome experience.
By and large, the Metronome approach, while certainly stylish and pristine with its perfectly pressed white table cloths, comes over as Cuenca puts it, “easy and light.” “It’s a place that gives you a nice, airy feeling.” Case in point: “More often than not, when someone hears the word ‘French,’ they expect it to be serious, formal, fine, heavy…We’re breaking these expectations and giving you something more special,” he says.
Blue leather-bound menus give off a luxe vibe and, according to the Joël Robuchon-trained Chef de Cuisine, Miko Calo, the tightly curated bills of fare within rarely see change but are reprinted as often as product availability dictates. “We hate saying ‘We don’t have it,’” she says, countering, “We are, however, changing a dessert on the tasting menu, but other than that, the partners are married to their favourites.”
The partners Calo is referring to is her Metronome dream team of restaurateur heavyweight Cuenca, the recently retired GM of Makati Shangri-La, Alain Borgers (whose four decades of GM-ship includes opening the Shangri-La Paris whose French restaurant earnt two Michelin stars within six months of operation), and her branding whiz cousin, RJ Galang, who completes the picture.
The fantastic four coming together—and all other elements—according to Calo, fell serendipitously into place. “I clearly remember us signing the incorporation papers at Elbert’s Steakroom the day Robuchon passed,” she recalls with a tinge of sentimental gratitude colouring her tone.