29 Oct2011

La Girolle

by Marketman

I broke several of my own rules with respect to this restaurant visit and this post. First, I generally do NOT visit a new restaurant until at least two months AFTER it has opened. Second, I try not to take photos or do a post based on one visit, unless I feel we tasted a large proportion of the menu offered, or it is a foreign restaurant that I do not plan on returning to soon, and third, I never identify myself to the chef, wanting an experience just like any other diner would likely have. La Girolle was just 2.5 weeks old when we visited, I brought a camera anyway, and the chef has been a reader of marketmanila.com for several years, and used to email me while he was working at several starred restaurants in Paris. So I let the chef know I was there for dinner, and we paid for everything we ate and drank. He never asked me to write about the place, I chose to do so totally on my own. And I only met the chef in person that evening at the restaurant. So let me say this up front, consider this post the equivalent of an amuse bouche, a pre-appetizer as it were, as I suspect the chef has a lot more up his sleeve, and I have only lightly grazed on his repertoire. But I wanted to get the word out there sooner rather than later for folks who may enjoy this type of meal…

Mrs. MM was out of town, and a friend and I decided on a last minute dinner out, but as usual, couldn’t think of a place… until I remembered La Girolle had opened, so I rang them to ask if they could take two for dinner, which they did. We arrived at the Blue Sapphire Building in Fort Bonifacio, were told there was no parking for the restaurant on the premises and we parked at an open lot nearby, just a minute or two walk away. At the lobby of the building, we were met by a staff member of the restaurant, who escorted us to the second floor, through a locked door with fingerprint recognition devices, and down a hallway to the restaurant. To say “hidden” would be kind, but I was anticipating a special treat, so the rigamarole of getting there didn’t bother us much. The restaurant has roughly 30 seats. We were seated at a window table, and after a review of the menus, decided on one La Girolle Tasting menu of 9 courses that we split between two people. And we ordered off the ala carte menu as well.

While waiting for the meal to begin, we quickly took in the surroundings. We (friend and I) both agreed that there was a slight disconnect between the dining room and the menu and price points. It felt like we were in a high rise office building, which did, in fact, look out on a parking lot and a 7-Eleven. The tile floors, lack of ceiling and other hard surfaces were a bit at odds with the fancy french food theme. The bathroom jutted into the dining room, a bit out of place, but perhaps with no other place to put it. Let’s just say the dining room wasn’t the reason to be there. The kitchen, however, in plain sight for most diners, was a thing of BEAUTY… This was obviously a chef’s dream, superbly appointed, large (almost as large as the dining area), equipped with the good stuff, tons of stainless steel, a serious stove, expensive toys, wicked heat lamps (I know, I have been in the market for some and a pair of them cost as much as a motorcycle!), vacuum pack machines, etc. So the capital was poured into the kitchen in a big way… and I love that. But I do wish a little bit more of it was invested in the dining room as well, for the customers’ benefit.

So let’s talk about the food. Up top, a refreshing amuse bouche of soba noodles with a light citrusy dressing garnished with carrots, slivered snow peas and finely diced black olives. Delicious, refreshing, a palate opener and harbinger of good things to come. This was gone in two fork fulls, and I am grateful to the kitchen for accommodating our splitting the tasting menu between two people, as it meant double the plates, plating differently, etc. Oh, and not to mention the amount of cutlery needed, all provided by an efficient and attentive staff. Next up, a tartare of Australian Lamb Loin, which was delicious, and brave for Manila, I would think. More than half of pinoys seem to shun lamb, and let alone raw lamb. But I like lamb and this finely chopped meat, combined with a tomato confit, some rosemary and black olive puree was very nice. Garnished with some onions, deviled quail’s eggs and just sprigs and hints of this and that and you start to appreciate the artistry, training, skill and technique behind all of this… There was serious work on these plates, and so far, so good. The next course was a visual delight, a “Mille-Feuille of Brie and Ricotta Cheese” served with beet root, carrots, apples, caramelized nuts and a gastrique sauce. I must have been talking and not paying attention, but from the photos, I am not sure where the mille-feuille comes into the picture… What is traditionally a puff pastry with stuff between the layers, this seemed like a slab of brie in a sort of terrine like concoction. It was good, and the pairing with the veggies was delicious. But could this have been the La Girolle salad instead? The purslane (greens) suggests this could have been the latter (as I have seen both menus)… hmmm.

Next, we had the “Pied de Cochon” or pig’s feet, braised(?), shredded, and breaded and fried. The small log lay on a perfectly square bed of sauce gribiche (eggs, capers, mustard and herbs typically) and served with more minced black olives and again, the deviled eggs. This wasn’t one of our favorites. It would have taken a lot of work to do this, but in the end, it was a bit heavier yet blander than I would have expected, and in a dinner with many highlights, this didn’t stand out. I should mention now that this type of meal is perfect for wine buffs, who can pair this type of menu with half a dozen fantastic wines, but while I like wine a lot, I don’t know it anywhere nearly as well as food and prefer that someone else does the wine pairing… The next dish, above, was a plate of salt-cured torchon of foie gras, served with caramelized fruits and vegetables. This was excellent, and the two fried balls on the foie are actually fried grapes. This was visually arresting, delicious, generously proportioned, and eye-catching. I mentioned to my friend at this point that the chef was good with the fruits and veggies, which the chef later confirmed by saying that he had worked the veggie stations in several of his jobs in France…

The tasting menu was now half done, and we were presented with a small serving of sorbet to cleanse the palette. I have to say, I was getting pretty full at this point and we had the a la carte stuff arriving between these dishes as well… Next on the tasting menu, some grilled tuna stuffed with achovies, served with green vegetables, and an olive emulsion. The dish tasted fine, and was a bit out of the ordinary, but our tuna was cooked all the way through, and I prefer it served rare instead. Once tuna colors all the way through, it gets a bit tough, but again, that’s a personal preference, and maybe most other diners expect their fish cooked through.

The star of the tasting menu had to be this 48-hour sous vide short ribs of beef. Melt in your mouth tender in a way so special you have to think this took some time to achieve. Sous vide is a method of cooking with the ingredient vacuum sealed and submerged in warm water for a length of time. The meat, or whatever, is gently cooked, and loses none of its flavor at all. It’s been very chi-chi for a decade or so, but with outcomes like this one, you can appreciate why its a technique that is beloved by many a chef. Served with stunningly clever bernaise beignets, the bernaise sauce placed inside grapes and fried, perfectly done vegetables and a mouthwatering beef jus, this was by far our favorite dish of the evening. Serve me this a la carte and I will be back for more, again and again. Gejo, if you are out there, are you seeing many of your produce items used in such a spectacular manner? You should be proud. Gej, of Kitchen Herbs Farm supplies some of the greens, veggies and garnishings for the restaurant I understand… This is perhaps a good time to note that the skills required to put out plates like this are WAY BEYOND the ordinary cook. Take the tourne of carrots and other precise classic cuts of the veggies, they are a serious pain in the ass to do, and while most diners may not appreciate that, I did. Tourne-ing a potato or carrot with seven perfectly even sides and more pointed at one end and the other, is not easy. I actually have a tourne knife, but I would have to practice on a thousand carrots and cut my thumb several times if I were to achieve a decent example.

Dessert on the tasting menu included a chocolate pot de creme, of which I could only have one spoon full, I was that “fed up”… And as if mirroring my current poll on chocolate vs. lemon people, the chef sent out a beautiful caramelized lemon tart with a caramelized sugar dome. This was very good, and cements my view that I do indeed prefer lemon to chocolate on most occasions, and would have loved even more lemon custard in this example. The blowtorch used to caramelize the sugar also burned the edges of the pastry.

A couple of (hopefully) constructive observations, if I may. A tasting menu is meant to showcase the vast capabilities of the chef(s) and the kitchen, and to bring diners to great and varied heights of taste, texture, flavor, etc. It’s about small sublime dishes that leave you wanting more. Some chefs, like Thomas Keller, send out 15 course tasting menus and try to never repeat an ingredient or garnish, and that is one end of the spectrum, I agree. At La Girolle, I thought the black olive puree appeared too many times over the course of the tasting menu — on the noodles, the tartare, the pied au cochon and again on a soup below. Olives are quite strongly flavored, so they can overwhelm. If knife skills are paramount in this type of cooking, the nitpicker in me would mention that the diced beets and carrots that appeared in two dishes weren’t of a uniform size, a minor slip-up, precision-wise. I know, I know, this doesn’t really matter to most people, but I thought I should mention it anyway, as the price of the dinner was up there… Finally, caramelized nuts and/or caramelized sugar appeared on four dishes and they worked nicely, but caramel has a tendency to get chewy in the humidity of the tropics, and if that happens, it can take away from the dish, as it did that night. All of this is said in light of the fact that we truly enjoyed the dinner, but are just being very detailed about the quibbles…

From the ala carte menu, we ordered the pumpkin soup, here a half portion of it, served with thinly sliced raw okra (great texture), cheese and the olive puree.

We also had the “Pan Seared Duck Magret a la Dragee” which was perfectly cooked, tender and flavorful, and served with braised red cabbage, chayote (according to the menu, but I don’t recall seeing it anywhere, but saw young soybeans instead) and duck jus.

We also had a Delice au Chocolate with Mascarpone sorbet. This was delicious. We were so full I couldn’t have more than two spoonfuls, but it was so nicely textured, and intensely flavored. I should have brought the rest of it home. :)

The bottom line? I think we only saw a hint of what Chef Ian Padilla and his team are capable of. He mentioned after dinner that he was once vegan/vegetarian and worked the vegetable stations at several restaurants… so I would love to see more of this in future menus. He plans to change his menus every couple of months or so, and I think that over time he will hopefully find his groove, and that of his customers… I love it when folks who are passionate about their craft, open restaurants to share it with us, the folks who will never cook that way. If you enjoy this type of French food, drop by La Girolle and see what Chef Ian has prepared for the day… I believe the lunch and dinner menus differ. They have a private chef’s table right beside the kitchen if you want to experience that. Call in advance for a reservation. The tasting menu was PHP3,000, a three course a la carte menu PHP1,750 + service.

La Girolle
2nd Floor Bleu Sapphire Bldg
30th Street corner 2nd Avenue
Fort Bonifacio
Taguig City, Metro-Manila
632.478.4119

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Philip says:

    Thank you for this review. At least I have another restaurant option for my mother-in-law. My wife loves duck, and I might just take her here for dinner. On that note, can you recommend other restaurants that serve very good duck?

    Oct 30, 2011 | 12:22 am

     
  2. Mart says:

    The food looks amazing! Thanks for the review MM! The tasting menu price is just right in my opinion. I probably would visit each time the menu changed every couple of months.

    The sous vide looks mouth watering and I also like my tuna relatively raw in the center.
    And the burnt edges of the pastry definitely detracts from the esthetic of the whole tart dish. Especially in hi-res pics.

    Oct 30, 2011 | 12:29 am

     
  3. Netoy says:

    wow! P3K for a 9-course tasting menu was not bad! the foods presented together with the plating looked extra-ordinary. hopefully this venture stays afloat. we need more restaurants like this.

    Oct 30, 2011 | 12:30 am

     
  4. ayla says:

    I agree with Mart and Netoy, that’s 3K well spent MM! And looking at these photos make me hungry, their colors are superb, and I will go raid the fridge now.

    Oct 30, 2011 | 12:50 am

     
  5. jtan says:

    The food looks first rate. I’m impressed.

    Recently had the 18 course sampler at Benu in SF. Chef Corey Lee is Thomas Keller trained, former chef at Per Se. 2 Michelin stars.
    Exquisite but I thought the 18 courses went on forever, Thank goodness for the great dinner company. They strictly enforce that the Sampler Dinner has to be for the entire table. No sharing. I can understand rule. I would feel extremely deprived of any course since each was just a single bite, gloriously plated and precious.
    Service was 4 waitstaff for 5 of us so timing each course was en pointe.

    Oct 30, 2011 | 12:55 am

     
  6. Rona Y says:

    Your post reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to ask. . . (related, but not exactly related)

    In the Philippines, I know most restaurants (CFD or FC types) include a service charge. Would you be able to tell me if, in most cases, the service charge really does go to the staff? And if it does, do you usually tip on top of the service charge (and if so, on average, how much?)?

    If the service charge doesn’t go to staff, how much do you usually tip, if at all?

    And if you tip, does the amount differ depending on the restaurant or quality of service (or both?)?

    I know what my family does in the Philippines, but they’re ex-pats who are used to tipping 15-20%, so they’re experience may be different from a “local” person’s experience.

    I’d love it if you did an entire write-up on tipping! Or maybe there already is one. . . I will check!

    Oct 30, 2011 | 3:01 am

     
  7. KC says:

    WOW! I know where I’m going next time I’m in the Philippines!

    Marketman, your excellent commentary continues to confirm my opinion that they need you on Food Network…

    Oct 30, 2011 | 3:56 am

     
  8. Marketman says:

    KC, I generally don’t do well in front of a video camera… :) Rona, in Cebu, most restaurants don’t include a service charge. In Manila, many do, and I know at least some of them split the service charge to all the crew, but others deduct other “fees” before splitting it. I generally tip 10-20%, depending on the restaurant, the type of meal, and the quality of service. Many times, I feel 10% is adequate, but when I find service is quite attentive, and food prices are modest, I often go up to 20%, particularly if I plan on returning again and again. Since we have now run 2-3 locations/restaurants for 4 months or so, I think I can speak on behalf of the staff. Most filipinos are HORRIBLE tippers. Horrible. It’s really a national shame. At Zubuchon, we don’t charge a service charge, as that is the competitive landscape, but we receive many kudos for our service in general, that is designed to exceed expectations for a place that charges just PHP250 per diner on average. ALL tips left by customers, and I repeat ALL or 100%, is divided amongst the wait and kitchen and commissary crew. At this stage, I figure the average tip left by diners is roughly 1.5-2.0%!! Which I feel is outrageous, and possibly a sign that service in most establishments is horrific and clients, for the most part, don’t care. We have discussed adding a 5% service charge with a note that says something like this “If you feel the service extended to your party was not worthy of a 5% service charge, we will be happy to reverse the charge if you ask” but we are still debating this. Personally, I tip heavily, mostly because I know the job of serving is not an easy one. Again, at our restaurants, we pay far better than the competitors and provide full benefits earlier than others, so our staff are already ahead… but it would be nice to see them earn more if they provide good service. At hotels, I know most of them split the service charge, but only to permanent employees, with contractuals getting very little or squat. On a positive note, we have had some clients so happy with the service, and rather surprised by their bills, that they have left upwards of 25% in tips. And trust me, the staff remember them fondly, and will, I assume, apply the true meaning of a tip “To Insure Promptness” and throw in all the other good stuff with that. Again, I reiterate, diners should learn to tip more for good service, as it can only be a positive cycle. :)

    Philip, we actually don’t eat out that much, so I am not the best person for a restaurant recommendation. But there is a new French restaurant at the Mandarin that I would have to guess MUST do a proper duck dish…

    Oct 30, 2011 | 11:11 am

     
  9. Pinki says:

    Yes, MM you are right….Filipinos are horrible tippers. When I go out with Filipino friends I almost add a bit more as I know they will not tip the proper amount which is 15%. If the service is bad I tend to leave 10% and if the service is really good and high end restaurant I would leave 20%.

    And here in Edmonton, they do not have service charge and the tips 100% are pooled and shared among the staff. My son is in the restaurant business.

    I was recently in a restaurant and between appetizer and entree, we were served champagne sorbet to cleane the palate. And at the end of the meal 4 white chocolate truffles.

    Oct 30, 2011 | 12:45 pm

     
  10. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Very impressive..almost remind me of Top chef competition food and plating , we will travel back home in May & planning to stay a few days in Makati, will love to dine at La Girolle.My hubby and I dine out a lot,we tip appropriately,most of the time 20%.Most of the time here ,when 8 or more diners,they have 15% service charge,we still to leave a little extra for the server.Sad to say , i agree with you how horrible tippers “we” are,of course not everyone..sometimes it results bad service..because they know what they are going to get!! I am in awe when we go home on the wait staff are inattentive..here, American they work it .Most Asian Restaurant are the same, they lack in good services too.

    Oct 30, 2011 | 2:27 pm

     
  11. millet says:

    very impressive! thanks for the review, MM. everything looks good. i’m a lemon person too, although chocolate is also right up on the list. i think the sugar dome was made independent of the torching of the edges of the tart.

    Oct 30, 2011 | 2:51 pm

     
  12. Marketman says:

    millet, yes, domes are made on overturned cups or bowls separately. But the “bruleed” crust on the tart is torched with the flames, and it is there that the crust is burned, I think…

    Oct 30, 2011 | 2:55 pm

     
  13. MP says:

    Hi MM. I think your site may have been hacked again. I couldn’t access your site for 2 days, was redirected to some silly site! The other day, my laptop crashed soonafter I was redirected to another site so I had to get it fixed! I used hubby’s laptop to check your site again and had the same problem (although his didn’t crash). All is well now but I suspect something fishy is going on…

    In any case, I think 3k for the tasting menu and close to 2k for ala carte at La Girolle is not so bad (based on your comments and the pictures!)! I would gladly pay more for attentive service and excellent food. My hubby and I love to try new places when we are home to this is a must try in Manila (after our Zubuchon adventure in Cebu, of course)!

    And as for the tipping, it is really disappointing that we don’t tip people that serve us (or not well enough). I always make it a point to tip well (particulalry if service was good) but hubby goes over the top most times, not hesitating to tip handsomely especially when were are attended to by someone who he thinks is the same age as the kids!

    Off topic: Wisdom Tooth, I replied to your query on the paprika. If still interested, please check MM’s Thanksgiving Appetizer blog…

    Oct 30, 2011 | 5:23 pm

     
  14. millet says:

    thanks, MM. sorry, off topic…for bettq. i emailed you last week but am not sure if you got it. my email add is millety@yahoo.com

    Oct 30, 2011 | 8:20 pm

     
  15. franz says:

    i was actually part of the first few employees. i quit before it really started. =D

    Oct 30, 2011 | 10:42 pm

     
  16. Ted says:

    My wife and I always have an argument on tipping. When i’m paying the bill, I double the sales tax and add more to the nearest $ (normally tax is 8-9.5% in bay area) which to me is 16-20% tip from the food cost not including the sales tax. My wife always tip 15% of the total cost. Now if they add a service charge (normally 15%) for a party of more than 5, i would add another 5-10% depending on the real service they provide. My wife says, once there is a service charge, tip is no longer required. Which one is right?

    BettyQ musta na?

    Oct 31, 2011 | 12:03 am

     
  17. lucadong says:

    lousy tippers – they are among us. some really think that tipping IS charity
    (common refrain: mabuti nga nagbigay pa ng tip eh).

    Oct 31, 2011 | 12:08 am

     
  18. gezel says:

    I am so used to my hubby that tips is mandatory, that when in the Philippines, i tip over the 10% charge, and always my nieces are protesting that i tip too much but the faces of the wait staff looking at the tip is priceless, we even tip taxi drivers there, maybe it will be seen in the Philippines as being a show off but it’s the norm here.

    Oct 31, 2011 | 12:09 am

     
  19. atbnorway says:

    Lovely photos, MM! Btw, my family and I were in Paris this weekend and we passed by Les Papilles on our way back to the underground parking in Soufflot. Unfortunately, dinner service was over so we were not able to eat there.

    Oct 31, 2011 | 6:27 am

     
  20. Wisdom tooth says:

    MP, yes I got your reply just now. Thanks to you and Betty q. I will copy and paste your recommendations and send it to my son.
    Bettyq, are truffles bought fresh or dried? Anong difference in your usage and how do you hydrate kung dried or kailangan bang i-hydrate??? Salamat…

    Oct 31, 2011 | 7:27 am

     
  21. Alex says:

    I ate here shortly after they opened. I am glad you had a good experience. I wish my friends and I had the same. For what we paid, the quality was all right but generally a let down. I guess it is best to give them a couple of weeks more of practice. Our salad seemed over-dressed or the greens were not too fresh, the sous vide pork chop was a bit sad. I like the squash soup though. The creme brulle was curdled rather than smooth. The chocolate pot tasted like ovaltine. I think he scrimped on the chocolate here. The lemon tart could do with more lemon. Over-all, I was a bit disappointed.

    I must commend that the choice of flatware and China was excellent. Their location is pretty hard to find. They should have some visible signage outside.

    Oct 31, 2011 | 3:51 pm

     
  22. akosistella says:

    Hi MM. I emailed you re: La Girolle. Hope you could take a look. Thanks!

    Oct 31, 2011 | 4:41 pm

     
  23. Lava Bien says:

    Yup, I definitely agree with you on how HORRIBLE a tipper Filipinos are. I was in the restaurant business for at least 12 years here in the Bay Area and most waitstaff don’t want to wait on Filipinos if they could help it. The more demanding, the worse the tipping. I tried to explain it to some friends, some get and some don’t.
    I flatly told them if you can’t afford to tip then don’t eat out!

    Oct 31, 2011 | 4:48 pm

     
  24. satomi says:

    MM, is Ian Padilla related to the showbiz Padilla’s?

    Oct 31, 2011 | 11:22 pm

     
  25. sister says:

    Loiks great, he must have gotten an “A” for plating. Maybe the pureed olives looks like caviar.

    As for tipping, Filipinos may be the worst tippers in the world. It’s as if they don’t care about the help. It may be helpful to simply put a service charge of 15% on the bill. 20% is pretty standard gratuity in better restaurants now.

    Nov 1, 2011 | 12:33 am

     
  26. ian says:

    Dear MM,
    Thankyou for your post and your insights… we at La Girolle will always strive to improve ourselves in our food and our service always. Our entire team is very passionate in what we do and we will always try to be the best not only to our guest but to ourselves as well. Thank you.

    Nov 1, 2011 | 10:25 am

     
  27. ianpads@hotmail.com says:

    Dear MM
    thankyou for your honest and insightful post. We at La Girolle will always strive to be the best in what we do. Rest assured our team is very passionate and we will always try to give our best to our customers. Thank you.

    Nov 1, 2011 | 10:30 am

     
  28. Rona Y says:

    Thanks for the reply! Tipping is always difficult when travelling, as most “outsiders” are never sure whether to tip at all much less how much! That’s why I loved living in Japan–no tipping necessary or wanted!

    The 1.5-2% tip is shockingly low, but not really that surprising. When I think of some of my relatives who have never lived abroad (and are filthy rich), they don’t even pay their staff (house staff or farm workers) adequately, so they would certainly not give much of a tip to a stranger. My relatives who have lived abroad tend to overtip (and pay their workers much more than average) as they are more likely to recognize (and feel guilty about) the enormous inequality between socioeconomic classes in the Philippines.

    BTW, off-topic again but my thoughts above reminded me. . . if you are ever in the mood for some light reading, try “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. When my mother read it, she would squeal with laughter and then cringe with shame because she could make parallels between the “white” characters in the book and her own family. Some of the situations are very similar to situations that happen in the Philippines every day (between house staff and employers)–right down to the employers requiring staff to use separate toilets outside the house!

    (another aside–I noticed in my OP I wrote “they’re” instead of “their” somewhere. How embarrassing! I surely know the difference between the two–I blame poor editing on my part!)

    Nov 1, 2011 | 10:33 am

     
  29. Tracy says:

    Ooh! MM should make a post on tipping! I personally don’t like the practice, I don’t really understand it: restaurants/hairdressers/cabs/etc are in the service industry so why am I giving you extra for the service that is required? I nominally worked in retail, and when I went above and over what was expected of me, I didn’t get anything extra… and isn’t physical retail all about the personal service that online doesn’t have?

    Also, there’s no real norm in the Philippines. I don’t think people typically tip here (is it an Asian thing?) but they know that being a service staff is hard and feel bad especially having a big indulgent meal. And because of the Filipino diaspora, Filipinos bring back very varied tipping habits from their host countries that just muddles the situation. Also, even though I think I have pretty decent arithmetic skills, sometimes I get flustered with the math. :)

    But I do tip; I make sure service charge and my tip equals 15% of the meal (and honestly, I’ve never been to a restaurant where more was appropriate, possibly just because of my bad restaurant selections, possibly because of the general state of service Manila restaurants have).

    Regarding service charge at Zubuchon, consider this possibility from economics Professor Dan Hamermesh: http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/08/04/innovations-in-restaurant-tipping-just-do-the-math-for-us/

    Nov 1, 2011 | 10:52 pm

     
  30. ami says:

    Speaking of tipping, we sometimes use our teambuilding budget for lunch or dinners. In order to reimburse it to the company, we need to ask for an original receipt from the restaurant. One time we (around 10 people) had lunch at a popular restaurant chain and when it was time to pay for the bill, our manager left P20 for tip. However, when she was talking to the waitstaff, she asked them to include in the original receipt the P20 that she left as a tip. I was appalled that she reimbursed to the company her measly P20 tip.

    Nov 2, 2011 | 9:10 am

     
  31. joey says:

    Wow! This looks amazing! Must make a note to check out this restaurant…

    Nov 2, 2011 | 1:21 pm

     
  32. Junb says:

    Will definitely try this when I’m in Manila

    Nov 2, 2011 | 9:52 pm

     
  33. Irene says:

    Beautiful prep work. Reminds of the NYT article where Jacques Pepin says that ‘a great cook is first a great technician.’

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/dining/jacques-pepin-demonstrates-cooking-techniques.html?_r=1&smid=fb-nytimes&WT.mc_id=DI-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-TTW-102011-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

    If I was happy with my meal, I tack on a decent tip of around 10% (on top of anything already added), if not then I aim at 10% + change total. Local wait staff are generally paid pretty poorly as it is.

    Nov 3, 2011 | 7:06 pm

     
  34. meekerz says:

    Isn’t tipping generally a Western (US) practice? I’ve been chased by a waitress who thought I (my group) didn’t leave a tip in San Francisco.

    I’ve also been chased by a waitress in China… who hurriedly gave me back the money I left on the table. She insisted that tipping was not necessary, and that if we were indeed happy with the food or service, we would come back another time.

    I agree with Rona Y, I would love an entire post on tipping! And not just restaurant tipping… tho I am curious if most people still leave tips when there’s already a 8-10% service charge. I never know how much to tip hairdressers (one who puts on the cape/apron thing, another to shampoo, another to cut hair, then sometimes another one who blow dries!); watcher car boys who never bothered watching the car, but runs to you when they see you exiting the establishment you’ve been in; and now that it’s nearing Christmas, all those envelopes from messengers I’ve never seen, but have supposedly been delivering me my bills all through the year.

    Nov 3, 2011 | 9:30 pm

     
  35. jon says:

    I’ve never really understood why tips should be a percentage of your bill. Why should you pay more if you order steak than if you ordered a salad? Isn’t it encouraging waiters to discriminate against diners who order cheaper items?

    I really admire the japanese, they consider it offensive if you pay them a tip for doing their job well. Now that is taking pride in your work. Too bad not all nationalities are like that.

    Nov 12, 2011 | 1:17 pm

     
  36. David says:

    It’s really unfair to say that Filipino are bad tippers. It seems that we benchmark ourselves to the Americans, who are by the way, the biggest tippers in the world. Most asian countries do not generally tip and even in some cultures like Japan look down on the practice (maybe they find it demeaning). Europeans disdain adding service charge to their bill and is really up to the customers to give or not. Here in the philippines, most restaurants add 10% service charge in the bill, so whatever you give after is additional tip.

    I have lived in the Bay Area and what irks me is having to give formula tip of two times sales tax or 20% for bad or mediocre service. Unlike the philippines where tips (and bribes) are appreciated, the american servers usually show no sign of gratitude, it’s like tips are their unalienable right. Hence, they run after you outside the restaurant if you don’t leave enough tip.

    My advise is the old adage, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. But never ever think that the world is Rome.

    Dec 4, 2011 | 5:11 pm

     
  37. methodio magnaye says:

    3000 pesos for food is too much. I understand the chefs skill and expertise into the dishes but imported foie gras, frozen lamb from australia, frozen shortribs, frozen steaks. frozen salmon, chilean seabass? list goes on. its time we do more source food locally. we have the best produce anywhere handsdown

    Feb 7, 2012 | 1:23 pm

     
  38. devndevn says:

    I just had their 5 course lunch menu yesterday and it was amazing. Ive never had food done like this before and I will definitely have to be back to sample their other dishes. yes, the dinning area does remind you of a hotel business center, but in my opinion it did not matter because the chef is a genius. The food was special, not merely served up for you to consume, but meticulously prepared for you to savor and enjoy. 2 thumbs and 2 toes up.

    Jun 21, 2012 | 9:51 am

     
 

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