Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tourné by Chef Sandralyn, Revisited ♥ ♥


tourne by chef sandralyn


Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, July 24, 2011

(More photos here)


In a Homey White Space

We painted the restaurant red.

Tourné’s white walls, white chairs, white tablecloths, its bright and peaceful immaculate space, we invaded it with our happy-Chinese-birthday redness and loud, chaotic presence. Just like that, we turned Chef Sandralyn’s two-month-old shabby chic restaurant into a Chinatown marketplace. Oh happy, happy times!








The wait staff didn’t seem to mind at all, they stood in the sidelines watching us as if we were some sort of Cirque du Soleil production, and the chefs in the open kitchen were busy cooking up a storm. In between mingling and chitchatting, we peeked in the theater of a kitchen and watched the hustle and bustle as the team prepared our “slow and honest” dinner. That is Tourné’s advocacy.  All ingredients used are locally grown, and everything (yes, even the ketchup!) is made from scratch.


DSC_7699Open kitchen


Our set menu


For my dad’s birthday, Chef Sandralyn created a special set menu that contained all her favorite dishes, plus a noodle course I specially requested her to throw in so my dad can live long enough to see me get married and bear chubby babies. (Chef Sandra, please make that one very loooooooong noodle!) To warm up our hungry Sunday bellies, we slurped on Kalabasa Puree cooked with sweet onions and topped with whipped ginger cream and chives.
The pumpkin soup, which I wish were sweeter, was not as heavy as I expected, so I guiltlessly plopped in two servings of grilled foccacia (one stolen from a cousin who is mortal enemies with carbs), and I let them melt slowly in the bowl of golden mush. Next came the refreshing California-inspired Salad tossed with strawberries, toasted pinipig, carrot and jicama strips, with everything lightly coated in sweet, fruity vinaigrette. This salad left me wanting more food.


Freshly brewed iced tea


Kalabasa Puree Soup


California-Inspired Salad


Now the spaghetti for the loooooooong-life dish wasn’t as long as I wanted, but because the sauce was delicious, I closed one eye and forgave the chef. Turned out this delicious sauce was made from dulong sautéed in olive oil with black olives and kamias. There was a sweetness and saltiness to it that kept the pasta dish interesting until the very last strand. My only complaint is that the noodles were overdone, but I guess the oldies in our group appreciated the softness.


Dulong Pasta


And then, the Chicken. I must admit I had my doubts about the bird. When I first tried it during another dinner with friends, I wondered how on earth the dry and tough chicken breast could be the chef’s favorite.  Yes, I remembered liking the tasty breast skin, but sadly, other than that, I liked nothing else. “It is not dry and tough. It is free range,” explained Chef Sandralyn.  Oh well, at least I know that even if I do not exercise, the chicken I consumed had led a very healthy lifestyle. So I decided to give the bird another chance, on the condition that Chef Sandra promises to serve us leg and thigh parts only.


Spiced Chicken with Baby Bok Choy


And it was the best decision I made all week. Marinated in tarragon and orange vinaigrette then roasted to perfection, the tender, juicy and very, very tasty Spiced Chicken turned out to be everyone’s favorite. The beauty was served resting lazily atop a bed of baby bok choy and orange-infused rice. Word of warning though, Tourné changes its menu every two weeks, so if you do not see this on the list, please, don’t be shy and request for it. Strongly insist you want thighs over boobs.


Pineapple Cloud


For the finale, we had the sweetest Ormoc pineapple bits sandwiched between two layers of soft and moist pound cake, smothered generously with the daintiest Chantilly cream. I fell in love with it the very first bite and realized I haven’t felt this way about pineapples in a very long time. I promise you will taste a little bit of heaven in this cake. No wonder Chef Sandra named it Pineapple Cloud.

All 35 of us came with hungry stomachs and left with big, smiling bellies. Tourné did a good job feeding us well.

Everyone was happy.

Dad was happy.

And so I was the happiest.


DSC_7820The birthday boy


DSC_7839The birthday cakes (clockwise from top left): Pandan Cake from Auntie Pacita,
Dulcelin Mango Torte from Mrs. Sy, Cheesecake, etc. Blueberry Cheesecake from the Estinars, Cukay’s Chocolate Cake and Costa Brava Ube Cake from Frances


The birthday giveaways: A set of monkey bath cream (because my dad is a monkey)
+ seahorse bath cream + bath scrubbie (thank you, Kim!)


The family: Dad, Jr, Mom, Me, Jamie, Kim
Mrs. Sy, John, Cherry, Auntie Babie


DSC_7801The Tourné family. Thank you, guys! Smile


Tourné is located at Unit 5 & 6, The Fort Strip, 7th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For reservations, please call 555-0267 or email

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