Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila introduces a new restaurant in its growing collection of dining destinations: Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar.Emphasizing premium quality meat sourced from sustainable farms, Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar is a steakhouse that mingles grit and grace. Grit refers to the grain and grass-fed signature beef, cocktail mixes that complement the suave masculinity of the interior design, balanced with the graceful curves of the chevron flooring, interior accents and dish accompaniments. The retro-classic interiors of Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar, designed by New York-based firm AvroKo Hospitality Group, evokes a nostalgic feel of a 1960s uptown Manhattan residential aesthetic that celebrates the art of wood and metal craftsmanship in its art and detail.
The energy is palpable as soon as one steps into the restaurant, framed by an arresting entryway with a decorative light fixture composed of 100 individually-crafted and layered metal calipers shaped like bull horns. The textured wood and glass panels mirror an oversized tool chest that sits behind the host stand, showcasing metal-working tools all hand-dipped in green handles.
The interiors then lead to the bar area, boasting details of a mid-century New Yorker residence featuring an extensive selection of spirits and libations with over 90 brands of American whiskey, as well as Scottish, Japanese and Taiwanese whisky, 30 brands of gin, 12 signature cocktails, including house-aged barrels of house-mixed boulevardier and Martinez, 22 brands of rum, 18 brands of tequila and mezcal, as well as selected brandy, wine and beer. An adjacent library archway is filled with hardbound, embossed books, lending a gentlemen’s club vibe to the area.
Set apart from the main dining area, the bar has a vibrant design aesthetic that shows a gritty yet chic feel at the same time. Hand-applied off-white Venetian plaster walls are accented with brass trim. Custom plush upholstery balance the burnished metal, white Carrera marble, black Marquina stone and grey slate on countertops and panels, as well as wood flooring.
The main dining room features four different sections which can seat up to 92 guests at a time. A semi private dining room which can seat eight guests is also available for intimate gatherings. The chevron-patterned Carrera marble flooring extends at the center; a focal point in the restaurant interiors. The chevron tiles are inspired by the masculinity and craftsmanship indicative of the Art Deco period, while the hand-laid floral mosaic flooring sourced from Italian marble in the cove dining sections counterbalances the masculine chevron flooring, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship required for these pieces. The dining room is framed by six over-scaled glass display cases that feature antique wood and brass clamps, anchored by a central display of 100 hand-forged brass plumb bobs. Other materials used in the restaurant interiors include brushed brass, hand-rubbed stained and smoked oak wall panels, black and grey slate and custom wood flooring.
“When designing Raging Bull Chophouse and Bar, we channeled the original retro-classic steakhouse, but infused it with mid-century residential Manhattan style and modern luxury,” said William Harris, AvroKo principal. “Careful attention was paid to bespoke details such as the whimsical caliper-inspired light feature and vintage metal and wood carving tool display at the entry to the restaurant. The restaurant and bar feature ebony-stained wood walls and hand applied ecru Venetian plaster, black and white marble with wood inset flooring, antique brass trim details, and intricate divider screens that create intimate zones within the space.”
In conceiving the look of one of Shangri-La at the Fort’s signature restaurants, AvroKo’s team wanted to give the venue its own identity to ensure its ability to be both part of the hotel as well as a standalone dining destination that has a timeless and inviting appeal. The design firm’s Bangkok office handled the Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar, and is the first restaurant the group has designed in the Philippines.
What’s the Beef?
Diners can enjoy a wide selection of grain and grass-fed dry-aged beef, premium grilled items from the Josper grill, fresh seafood, and gourmet comfort food, created by chef de cuisine Nathan Griffin. Here are some of his signature dishes: Caesar Salad, Tiger Prawn Cocktail, On the bone – Tomahawk 1.1 kg, The Chopping Block, Candy Floss Pavlova and Granny Smith Apple Cobbler.
Nathan Griffin: Chef de Cuisine
An English native, Chef Nathan believes in using only the freshest and finest produce in all his seasonal creations. He started his culinary career in 2000 and has worked at a number of culinary institutes in the United Kingdom, where he was highly influenced by the great chefs he met at several well-established restaurants and was able to hone his culinary expertise through their guidance. Before being appointed as chef de cuisine of the Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar, Griffin was in charge of Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney’s signature restaurant, Altitude.
Ulysse Jouanneaud: Head Mixologist
Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar’s diverse drinks and cocktail experience is the brainchild of head mixologist Ulysse Jouanneaud. Hailing from France, Ulysse started his career as a bartender in Paris, where he learned the basics of bartending in 2007. After two years, he decided to move overseas for a new challenge, which led him to Sydney where he learned different techniques, such as molecular mixology, Tiki culture and retro cocktails. In 2011, he moved to Abu Dhabi and joined Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi as bar supervisor. Having embraced the environment and culture of Shangri-La, he’s not only furthered his skills but also grew with the hotel group’s family. A year later, Ulysse was promoted to assistant manager in the eclectic cocktail bar, Pearls & Caviar. Being passionate with mixology and the bar culture, Ulysse is now the head mixologist of Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila looking after the hotel’s beverage and bar operations.
Raging Bull’s Signature Cocktails:
- Dirty Blue Blazer – Raging Bull Barrel Proof Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Homemade Cassia syrup, Dirty bitters, Orange bitters
- Monkey Business – Monkey Shoulder Pure Malt, Griotte Cherry juice, Homemade rosemary syrup, Whiskey barrel bitters
- Maple & Bacon Manhattan – Bacon Fat Wash Bulleit Bourbon, Cocchi Storico Vermouth, Maple syrup, Smokey Bitters
- House Barrel Aged Boulevardier – Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Cocchi Storico Vermouth, Campari bitter, Gin barrel orange bitters
- Bonifacio Penicillin – Elijah Craig Bourbon, Fresh Calamansi, Homemade ginger Jam, House Szechuan honey, Egg white
- Buffalo vs. Cock – Buffalo Trace bourbon, Fighting Cock bourbon, Fresh Lemon Juice, Homemade Buttered Corn Syrup, Egg white, Gunpowder bitters