Clinton Palanca’s Review of Champetre

We only get one local paper at home, the Philippine Daily Inquirer. That’s down from several a few years ago. It’s just to make sure we aren’t completely cut out of local print news in case something serious takes place. So I was flipping through yesterday’s newspaper and came across this restaurant review of Champetre (formerly Je Suis Gourmand) by Clinton Palanca. I read the whole article and smiled… well done. I crave good, informative, personal, descriptive, objective restaurant reviews like this one. I haven’t even tried the restaurant for myself but I am inclined to do so because of the review. I hope Mr. Palanca writes more regular restaurant reviews, because I think I would read all of them. :)


14 Responses

  1. I also read the same review on and was so intrigued that I had to google for a menu (they have one on Hehe, I actually get a lot of breaking news from twitter on my phone, although more international than local news.

  2. Nice review — one that I actually enjoyed reading! Which is saying a lot because I usually give restaurant reviews a wide berth. Personally, I like Champetre and I’m glad Chef Marc Aubry is back in the kitchen. The veal cheeks is one of my favorites!

  3. Wow. Thanks for this, MM! Didn’t know Clinton is back to writing. I love the way he writes, fiction and nonfiction. Did you get to try his restaurant in Katipunan years and years ago, MM? It was pretty good, too. That guy is so talented!

  4. A great relief to know that they finally found a stylish and credible restaurant critic. Some of their restaurants reviews in the past have been truly indigestible and frightful.

  5. Footloose, unfortunately, he only submits a piece here and there. I would love it if he did a weekly column… He’s written for the glossies as well, and it’s always an interesting read…

  6. He is, afterall a Palanca and it would be a shame if someone with that family name doesn’t write well :-)

  7. I used to love reading Clinton Palanca’s columns. I forget what newspaper he wrote for, but it was probably the Inquirer. Years ago when I visited Manila, my friend Manolo gave me a copy of Clinton’s book, The Mad Tea Party. (Manolo and Clinton are good friends, I guess.) The book is a collection of newspaper columns and other essays. A lot of the prose is overly wordy, but overall it’s a funny book. Nice to keep on the nightstand, so you can read an essay a night right before bed.

  8. Interesting review. I enjoyed the writing more though..hehe. We need more good local writers nowadays. It’s about 10 years ago that we stopped buying newspapers since anyway, news are available online. Also, the writing has gone bad through the years. Same with most magazines. Prefer online articles and blogs.

  9. What a coincidence. I just remembered a favorite dish from Clinton Palanca’s Prospero’s on Katipunan Ave–Seared Tuna with Onion Marmalade and Mashed Potatoes. Wondering if Clinton would be up for sharing this recipe on your website…It was very, very good.

  10. I haven’t been reading the Inquirer that much lately, but do remember Clinton Palanca writing a regular feature for them way back when. That, and I never did get to try eating at Prospero’s while it was still open.

  11. So happy to hear that they have reopened. I’ve had a few meals at Gourmand before it closed. It’s always been good. Love their Baked bone marrow which you spread on small crackers or toast (Bad for my cholesterol but so heavenly!). Hope they still serve it…. Will go back and try the new menu.

  12. What a coincidence — I just had dinner at Champetre last week for the first time. I was dismayed when Je Suis Gourmand closed, because I had my favorites there; so I was very happy to know that Marc Aubry’s back in the same location, with a similar menu. He makes the BEST foie gras terrine I’ve ever had. When I first had it years ago, I all but swooned! It’s so rich and creamy that I get the same pleasure from it as I do from dessert; coming from me, that’s saying a lot! ;-) The Butter-Seared Onglet is also terrific. Like Clinton Palanca, I’ve so far been less than impressed with the desserts I’ve tried (including the seasonal and much-raved about Chestnut Souffle), but I’m very open to taste the other items. I hear the Mango Mille Feuille and Dark Chocolate Mousse are good, and I look forward to finding out for myself when I return, probably later this week! :-D

  13. Oh, and speaking of French food, in case you haven’t tried it yet, MM (whether in its current location or the original Makati branch), you MUST go to Brasserie CiCou! The savory dishes are very well-done (the eggs cocotte, onglet and boudin noir tatin are a few favorites), but it’s the Kouign Amann that Cyrille Soenen is famous for. It’s absolutely swoon-worthy; the most decadent, flaky, buttery, sugary treat you could imagine. There are people who develop such an obsession for it that they will brave Greenhills traffic just to get their “fix!”

  14. I recall Clinton Palanca used to write a restaurant review for either the Inquirer or the Star in the 90’s, then he was yanked off. There was some gossip as to the reason for his silence.
    I also remember having a really fantastic cup of hot chocolate at his cafe somewhere in the Greenbelt area. It had Grand Marnier in it, a decadent afternoon treat.



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