I have tons of great memories of the Peninsula Manila’s Old Manila. A restaurant where we spent many a special occasion during my growing up years. The last time I was there was more than 3 years ago when chef’s from The Sailor Club in Australia came over to do a tasting menu. Since then, they’ve undergone a facelift as well as hand the kitchen to Chef Bertrand Charles from France.
The new look of the interiors has an art deco meets retro feel with geometric patters and classy black touches all around.
Irene and I had a preview dinner of Chef Charles’ new menu available stating April.
We started our dinner with an amuse bouche of truffled egg and bread stick.
The first dish was Pan seared Foi Gras with yellow fin tuna, caramelized apples, pickled ginger and toasted almonds. This is Chef Bertrands’ signature dish which he created when he was 19 and is served at everyone of of his restaurants since. The play of textures and different flavors work in harmony with the ginger cutting the richness of the foie and the almonds providing some texture and nuttiness and the soft and silky tuna rounding out everything. The perfectly seared piece of foie gras is so good that Irene enjoy it too and see always passes foie gras over to me. Best way to eat this is to make sure all the components are in every bite.
Next dish was a Wagyu Beef and Mushroom Consomme. There’s a bit of fanfare with broth being heated table side and infused with an assortment of herbs. Once the show is done, the server will pour the hot soup onto the bowl.
I suggest you mix the paste like mushroom in the center into the clear broth, makes it earthier. There are also other mushrooms added plus cubes of torched wagyu to break the woodsy taste.
Next dish was Pan Seared Bretagne Turbot. Turbot is a flat fish from France that has firm white flesh and great fish flavor. This is one piece of fish that will make you forget your fascination with sea bass or salmon. The only drawback is the cost because it’s specially imported from France and arrives chilled and not frozen which adds so much to the taste.
Last main dish was very a classic French ‘Vendee’ Piegeon. This is very different from the roasted pigeon in Chinese restaurants, pan fried with a rich beetroot sauce and cubes of ratte potato and beetroot plus fresh hazelnuts.
We finished with dessert called simply Lemon, little did we know what a surprise it was. A piece of lemon with a side of lemon vodka sorbet.
Surprise, surprise, the lemon is not the actual fruit but created using chocolate completed with grooves you can see and feel like an actual lemon. Crack it open and a deconstructed lemon curd is released. I loved the deconstructed curd and the chocolates but I felt the sorbet had too much alcohol.
The second dessert is called Chocolate is a creation using local ingredients. Malagos chocoalte, pinipig, nata de coco and carabao milk ice cream are all used. Playful, visual delight and most important of all, tastes wonderful.
Head on over to Old Manila and experience the new French menu by Chef Charles Bertrand starting April 1, 2016.
Old ManilaThe Peninsula Manila Ayala cor. Makati Ave.
Contact No.: (632) 887-2888 ext 6694 (Restaurant Reservations)
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