Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Champetre, A Third Time ♥ ♥


Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, August 21, 2011


Honest-to-Goodness French




“I still think about how good the foie gras and lengua were at Champetre. Yum!”

That is Valerie’s very first facebook message to me after she flew back home to Atlanta.

Valerie is referring to the dinner we had at Marc Aubry’s new French bistro a few days before her month-long Manila vacation ended. Champetre is not much different from Je Suis Gourmand, Aubry’s former venture which stood where the new restaurant now coincidentally stands. It has the same relaxed and homey feel, albeit with brighter and happier colors that bring cheer to every diner.

It was a delight to see that they’ve kept my favorite appetizer in the menu – Duck Foie Gras Terrine with Toasts and Salad, the very same foie gras dish Valerie so raved about. The terrine was all smoothness and creaminess, meatiness and butyraceous-ness. As I watched Val happily spread inch thick and inch thick of the liver on the little melba toasts, I worried about her cholesterol levels and offered to lessen her chance of an early coronary failure by “forcing” myself to have a few yummy pieces. Yes, I am a hero like that.


Duck Foie Gras Terrine with Toasts and Salad


And then there was the herby and buttery Baked Escargots Bourguignon that Tim and Marleen enjoyed between bites of fragrant and crusty garlic bread. Those little suckers tasted really good.


Baked Escargots Bourguignon


Lio and I had the Portobello Mushrooms with Cream and Egg “En Cocotte.” The combination of earthy, eggy and creamy was comfort to our souls. Now if only it had a few drops of truffle oil in it, then that would be the greatest comfort ever.


Portobello Mushrooms with Cream and Egg “En Cocotte”


I loved the Gratinated French Onion Soup that Mel and Chris had. There was a lot of sweetness going on from the caramelized onions plus a lot of gooeyness from the melted mozzarella. Nothing in this world could be more heartwarming than that piping bowl of golden liquid. And Devin, he silently finished his Fish and Prawn Soup with Rouille Sauce and Croutons. Either he was feeling really anti-social that night, or the soup was that good.


Gratinated French Onion Soup


Fish and Prawn Soup with Rouille Sauce and Croutons


Trying to show off my adventurous side, I ordered Rabbit Stewed in White Wine with Bacon and Mushrooms, the chef’s special of the day. Then I spent the rest of the night ogling at other people’s plates in jealousy. My stew was quite tasty, but the rabbit was so tough and dry I swear my jaw grew muscles grinding it. I made a mental note to forever stay faithful to my favorite Champetre dish – Butter Seared US Black Angus Onglet that is extremely flavorful, gamey and chewy in all the good ways.


Rabbit Stewed in White Wine with Bacon and Mushrooms


Butter Seared US Black Angus Onglet with Roasted ShallotsButter Seared US Black Angus Onglet


I ogled at Val and Chris and the Simmered Ox Tongue they were murdering right in front of me. They reminded me of crazed hunters who had just captured their very first kill as they dipped the super tender chunks of meat in braised leeks and ravigote sauce and then chomped hungrily on them.


Simmered Ox Tongue in Braised Leeks and Ravigote Sauce


Then I ogled at the slab of Grilled Rosemary Marinated US Angus Rib Eye. Lio lovingly poured Bearnaise sauce over his perfectly grilled and seasoned steak. He showered it with as much affection as a new father would his firstborn child.


Grilled Rosemary Marinated US Angus Rib Eye


Except for Mel, the self-professed chicken-lover who found her Spring Chicken in Herby Tomato Mushroom Sauce too sour for her taste, everyone else was a happy camper. Devin finished his Baked Pork Cassoulet in no time. He said it was different, but it was rather good. But of course, Devin! Always remember this: Nothing cooked in duck fat can ever taste bad.


Spring Chicken in Herby Tomato Mushroom Sauce


Baked Pork Cassoulet


Marleen wiped out her favorite “Je Suis Gourmand” Seafood Trio of Scallops, Prawns and Sea Bass (yes, you can request for items in the old JSG menu, and Champetre will happily make them for you). I believe the skinny girl with the big appetite was also responsible for wiping out her husband Tim’s plate of Grilled US Scallops with Lyonnaise Potato and Stewed Mushrooms in Peppercorn Sauce.


Seafood Trio of Scallops, Prawns and Sea Bass


Grilled US Scallops with Lyonnaise Potato and Stewed Mushrooms in Peppercorn Sauce


Chris, Devin, Valerie, Lio, Mel, some parts of me, Marleen and Tim


Thank you for dinner, Mr. and Mrs. Uyecio! Smile


Burp. And now we are ready for some dessert.


Champetre (pronounced as “shom-pay-truh”) is located at G/F Net One Center Building,
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines. For reservations, please call 815-8801 to 02.

See my other Champetre posts:
Champetre, Revisited



So what the Manila Bulletin readers do not know is that we really went to get some desserts.


Dinners at the Fort always, always end up with gelato and macarons at Bar Dolci


Happy campers

Friday, August 19, 2011

jin loves to eat at home, August 8-15, 2011


My little friend TVBuddy is feeling lonely today


So I feed him an uni sushi.
Because there is nothing in this world a Japanese treat couldn’t fix.




August 8, 12:52pm

Sweet beans, boiled spinach, buttered mushrooms, braised fish fillet


August 9, 11:30am

Peach, pear, papaya, mango, red and white cherries, kiwi, red dragon fruit


August 10, 12:53pm

Braised pork, tong ho vegetables, green onion pancake, shredded hearts of palm, mushroom

Red dragon fruit, longan, pear, kiwi, red and white cherries


August 11, 12:33pm

Pan fried salmon, salmon fried rice, broccoli and mushrooms

Red dragon fruit, kiwi, guava, pear, pomelo, melon


August 12, 12:22pm

Dry chicken tinola, cabbage, bokchoy, tong ho vegetables, mushrooms, fish

Red and white dragon fruit, pear, guava, kiwi, pomelo


August 13, 8:34am

Whole wheat spaghetti with shrimps tossed in olive oil and lots of garlic

Pomelo, kiwi, guava, red dragon fruit


August 14, 10:38am

White and red dragon fruit, kiwi, guava, pear, pomelo


August 15, 1:40pm

Beef tapa, green beans and portobello, aligue rice topped with scrambled egg strips

Red and white dragon fruit, guava, pomelo, banana

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cerveseria ♥ ♥


cerveseria greenbelt


I think Cerveseria looks gothic-ish kinda cool. The dark interiors, wood carvings and drippy white chandeliers give me the feeling that I am in a very dangerous, very exciting place. That suddenly a very handsome and sexy Count Dracula will appear from nowhere and stand right in front of me, his eyes boring into mine, looking deep into my soul, and then slowly, slowly he’ll bring down his gaze to that soft, sweet spot on my neck…


cerveseria greenbelt


I jolt back to reality with the sound of my mom’s voice, “This place looks like a haunted house! Is it even clean in here???”


Plates and utensils are kept in this space under the table. I think it’s brilliant.
Mom thinks it’s unsanitary.


So she soaks our utensils in hot water. She’s OC like that.


Warm bread with olive oil and salt – very soft and tasty


Mixed Mushrooms – shitake and shimeji mushrooms sautéed with lots of garlic
and a hint of vinegar. Love the twist.


Paella Cerveseria – yummy with generous servings of bacon, chorizo, chicken, shrimps,
squid and soft shell crab. Probably the only paella I’ve tried that has more toppings than rice.


Cochinillo 1/6 – the server tells us this size is good for 4. What? 4 dwarves?!?
We refuse to wait another 40 minutes for additional order of the roasted suckling pig
so we just make do with the little meat. And the meat turns out to be dry and tough,
plus it’s starting to have that funky pork smell. Quite a disappointment at P980.


Canonigo – and the dessert saves the meal. Fluffy meringue covered in custard sauce
and caramel. Every spoonful is a spoonful of love.


Jamie, Me, Dad and Mom.


Cerveseria: G/F, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Tel: +632-757-4791

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Barcino at Rockwell ♥


barcino rockwell


It is Sunday again and Mamou Too is full. Again.

So we pick a random restaurant in the mall and this time it’s Barcino.


Paperless menu!!! Yay! Manila is finally catching up with the times.
While Celadon uses iPad, and Upper House uses iPod, Barcino uses Samsung Galaxy
and Galaxy Tab. Woot!


Complimentary bread and very watery tomato stuff


Gambas al Ajillo – the shrimps are cooked perfectly, succulent and juicy.
Love the crispy garlic bits.


Empanada Vegetal – stuffed with spinach, feta cheese,
caramelized onions and red bell peppers. Nothing fantastic.


Croquetas Pollo y Jamon – skin is thick, potato is heavy,
and I don’t taste no chicken or Jamon Serrano.


Sobrassada de Mallorca – Spanish sausage with Manchego cheese on toast. Yum.


Shitake con Jamon – grilled shitake mushrooms and Jamon Serrano.
Tasty stuff.


Wanting to get a paella but cannot decide which kind, I ask our waitress if the Negra is any good.

Waitress: Yes, Ma’am, masarap po. Pero mangingitim ang ipin at bibig nyo. (Yes, Ma’am, it’s delicious. But your teeth and lips will turn black)

Toink. Confused smile


Paella Negra – TOO MUCH MAYO!!!


And indeed she is right.

I call a server to our table and point to my now black teeth and lips.

Jin: Naku, pano na, matatanggal ba to?


Errr… Err…
Love the server’s uniform! Rolling on the floor laughing


Dad, Mom, Me, Jamie and Benjie


Barcino Rockwell: Shop 143, R1 Level, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Drive corner Estrella Street, Makati City, Philippines. Tel: +632-846 9423

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