Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Champagne Room ♥ ♥ ♥




Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, October 9, 2011


Champagne Room

I’ve never really been the loud, rough and noisy type of girl. But as I step into the pretty dining area of the revamped Champagne Room, I suddenly feel the need to lower down my voice, bat my lashes, and whisper like how the English ladies do at an afternoon tea party.




I feel so feminine, so delicate, so prim and proper. Maybe it is the pale yellows, the crystal palm trees, or the dainty floral prints… I really don’t know.

But for the first time in many, many years, I feel like a true lady.

And the true lady orders some dinner instead of afternoon tea.


IMG_4310 Breads with liver pate and French butter


We start the fete with Burgundy Snails baked in their own shell with herb-shallot butter. Each escargot is an explosion of herby and garlicky goodness.


IMG_4325 Burgundy Snails


The Pan-fried Goose Liver and Apple Mille-Feuille on Cider Syrup is silky, buttery and fatty. It is meat that wants to become butter. It is all you ever want in foie gras. And the apples, sweet and tangy, soft and crunchy, are excitingly delicious it’s like there’s a party going on in my mouth.


IMG_4320 Pan-fried Goose Liver and Apple Mille-Feuille


For our entrees, the Roasted Rack of Lamb crusted in mixed spices on savory eggplant confit, rosemary-shallot sauce, gratin potato is tasty and gamey the way I like it, although just a tad overcooked. I want my meat medium rare; they give it to me medium well. I know I should have batted my eyelashes and whispered to the chef, but when a true lady is truly starving, she truly does not have the patience to wait.


IMG_4332Roasted Rack of Lamb


We also order the healthier and more womanish Oven-baked Chilean Sea Bass on mushroom-potato ragout, lobster-tomato-herb vinaigrette. The fish is seasoned well and cooked to a perfect doneness.


IMG_4336Oven-baked Chilean Sea Bass


And a true lady must practice strict discipline and self-control and not let herself go wild when the gentlemen’s prime ribs are being carved tableside only an arm’s length away.




Some gentlemen attack the slabs of Prime Rib immediately.




Some have them quickly grilled at high heat on each side to bring out the beautiful flavors. The huge cuts of meat are tender, beefy, juicy, tasty. And they smell like the most amazing thing in the universe.



Next time I’ll order like a gentleman.


We end the sumptuous meal with Banana Flambé which our server prepares by the table. The bananas are soft and delicious and swimming in a butter-sugar-rum sauce that is very, very sweet. I wish there was coconut ice cream to cut through the sweetness.


IMG_4355 Banana Flambé


The Crepes Suzette cooked in orange-lemon butter sauce, flamed in Cointreau and served with vanilla ice cream doesn’t look like much, but we know not to judge a book by its cover. And this dessert is a wonderful book. The crepes are soft and thin, the sauce sweet and tangy, and the vanilla ice cream gives an exciting hot-cold contrast.


IMG_4351Crepes Suzette


And as if that is not yet indulgent enough, our server brings out the petit fours. It is such a delight to know that Champagne Room understands that a true lady can never have enough chocolates.


IMG_4341 Petit Fours


The ladies of the night, Mom and moi


The Champagne Room is located at the Ground floor of Manila’s grand dame, The Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila. For reservations, you may call (02)527-0011 or visit www.manila-hotel.com.ph. The restaurant is open daily for lunch at 12nn to 3pm and dinner at 7pm to 11pm.

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