By J & C (the tell-it-as-it-is food critics)
Ed’s Note: Food Finds is a review segment by our contributors — Metro Manila-based entrepreneurs, J & C.
Voucher Used: None
Number of Diners: 2 Adults
The décor of the place was very elegant, and yet its atmosphere felt very casual and familiar. We instantly felt cozy. And although the writings on the glass doors and walls suggested this place to be a French-Japanese fusion restaurant, the interior ambience screamed out-and-out French.
What We Ordered:
From the moment we were seated up to the instant when we were just about to take our first bite of these baked puffs, this dish seemed very promising. Apart from it being wonderfully described on the menu as “savory cheese and matcha sesame cheese puffs served straight from the oven”, this starter was also highlighted as one of the place’s specials (particularly written on a small board placed on top of our table and also recommended to us by our server). Judgement time came and these so-called “puffs” suddenly became “flats”. None of the “flats” or rather “puffs” felt light or airy, and their flavors were nothing special. They could have given these out as free appetizers, and they’d still get some complaints, particularly because the pieces were quite greasy making them “non-appetizers”. The only upside was that the dish was served fast, slightly taming our hungry stomachs.
Vegetarian Soba Pasta @ PhP325
You would never think that this dish was vegetarian. The earthy flavors from the shimeji mushrooms together with the fresh tang from the cherry tomatoes and bell peppers awakened our taste buds. It was so delicious that we could literally hear ourselves moaning. From the choice of noodles (al dente and flavorful soba) to the medley of veggies, this dish was very well put together…. almost quite perfect except for the very small serving size. As if trying to compensate for the portion, three pieces of “French” but not really French-good breads and butter were served on the side. Why ruin a flawlessly tasty dish with a blah bread?! They should have just doubled the amount of soba, if they’d really like to scrimp on the more expensive components like the mushrooms.
Japanese Beef Curry Soufflé @ PhP525
This casserole dish was the perfect embodiment of French-Japanese fusion. It was a piping hot stew-like creation whose curry flavor was robust yet at the same time subtle. The beef chunks were very tender and made the curry rice even more hearty and yummy. The soufflé part of the dish, which is the topping, although was light, airy, and very beautiful, felt to us like a mere afterthought. It was unnecessary and quite a bit distracting. It didn’t add any good flavor or texture, but thank goodness it didn’t take anything away either, hence the 5-star rating. Perhaps a perfectly scrambled egg would have made a better topping to this casserole dish.
TIP: Add a few dash of black pepper to bring out the best in this dish.
Valrhona Guanaja 70% Dark Chocolate Souffle with Vanilla Crème Anglaise @ PhP350
This was the other star of the meal. Perfect bitterness, perfect height, perfect crust, perfect center – just perfect! Adding a bit of cream in every bite brought this dessert to the highest level of decadence. We would trade a dozen other 4-star desserts for this little ramekin of “chocolatey” goodness!
Total Damage @ PhP1,512.50 (inclusive of 10% service charge)
The appetizer was a let-down. It was more like a bad open act. We were glad at how our meal progressed though. And because it ended with a very strong dessert, we almost forgot about the sorry open act, until we saw our bill…
The staff members were a little late in receiving us at the entrance. We were already about to find ourselves some seats when somebody greeted us. They made up for it though as the meal continued. We greatly appreciate their effort in informing us the amount of time it would take for them to prepare the soufflés and later even updated us with an ETA.
Value for Money:
If you order right, your money can be well spent on some of the more creative and adventurous dishes. Taking the meal as a whole nevertheless made us feel like we deserve to have gotten a little more than what we did.
Perhaps we’ll try some more of their desserts. We’re also keen on possibly trying their Foie Gras Mac and Cheese, which seemed interesting.
LE PETIT SOUFFLE
Location: 3/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
Contact No.: +63-2-8863056
Hours: Mon-Sun @ 11am-10pm
Let our palates and our pockets be your guide,
J & C