Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Gustatory adventurers from the Anvil Business Club (Association of Young Filipino-Chinese Entrepreneurs) pampered their palettes with genuine French cuisine at Le Jardin, one of the newly-opened fine dining delights at the W Building in The Fort, Bonifacio Global Center.

Le Jardin's young, charming and beaut
eous French Brand Manager, Claire Tinel, lent a warm welcome to the café's first-time patrons, signalling an auspicious evening ahead.

Indeed, the homespun setting at the eatery's penthouse in one of the snazziest towers at The Fort is a long way from the spotlit, beech-wood minimalism of chic contemporary dining. Le Jardin's handful of tables are scattered between a tropical garden (complete with garden ambiance and an industrial high ceiling look designed by Randall Lao of daLAOa) and an intimate dining room lined with wine racks and family snapshots provided the perfect setting for what was to be a unique dining experience — but that's all part of the appeal.

Members were treated to generous servings of cold appetizers, beginning with "Thon a la chutney de mangue" (Tuna with onion mango chutney), "Coquilles St. Jacques a la vanille" (Raw scallops with vanilla); warm appetizers, such as "Foie gras poele, creme de pomme et brioche" (Seared foie gras, apple cream and brioche), "Tartare de homard" (Lobster Tartare); a choice of several main courses like "Fillet de saumon sauce au vin blanc," "Magret de canard," "Cherveuil de veau," and "Ravioli de poisson, truffes, sauce au vin." The hearty meal capped it with a selection of delicious desserts, as "Mousse au chocolat," "Profiterole," "Dessert de Gils," "Tarte Tatin," "Foundant au chocolat," and "Créme bruleé."

Head Chef Jonas Ng took time out from his busy schedule to orient the lucky diners with the art behind French cuisine, explaining in great detail how the mouth-watering dishes were meticulously prepared under carefully orchestrated conditions. Trained at the world-famous Art Institute of Vancouver-Dubrulle International Culinary Arts in Vancouver, Canada, Chef Jonas has indeed mastered the art of his craft, if only the quality of the evening's exquisite selection were to be judged. This French joint seems to be a rare find in Metro Manila — a restaurant that isn't just trying to offer haute cuisine — but actually succeeds. The dishes are delicate and beautifully arranged, and the flavors perfect. The servings initially appear small, but are actually quite enough especially when combined with their variety of in-house housemilk cheeses that invariably arrive in six different flavors (i.e. naturé, truffle, ash, scallion, rosemary and black pepper, red peppercorn) — you leave feeling neither hungry nor stuffed silly.

Le Jardin is a penthouse garden-themed French restaurant by celebrated French Chef Gils Brault, famous for his top-rated Trois Gourmands restaurant in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. It's popular for serving classic dishes cooked the traditional French way, and for making their own breads, cheeses, and desserts.

Chef Hasset Go of MedChef, together with Chef Jonas Ng of Mango Tree and Huat Pot fame, trained and worked as apprentices under Chef Gils Brault in Vietnam for 6 months. Working with owner-partners James Ng, Peter Mangasing, and Mike Tayag, they opened one of the most romantic and successful French restaurants ever to hit the culinary scene in this bustling Metropolis.

After the satisfying dinner, we can certainly put our own stamp of approval by saying, "Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage" ("Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey")!

No comments:

Post a Comment