Before the year ends, City of Dreams Manila announces the reopening of The Tasting Room in the first quarter of 2018 with a new chef who had worked with Michelin-starred restaurants across France and in the UK. Now on soft-opening, the restaurant offers a delectable four- and six-course degustacion menus with wine pairing options by the chef Frederic Thevenet.
Relocated at the ground floor of Crown Towers, guests are welcomed to an elegant high-ceilinged dining hall bathed in warm neutral hues.
The staff helmed by the restaurant manager, Stephen Moroney, is more than happy to walk you to your table and go through the restaurant’s delectable menu.
Thevenet’s creations exude a fresh contemporary take on haute French cuisine with Asian influences, cleverly using the season’s best produce from abroad including France and Australia, and of course, the Philippines.
“I will try to change how guests think and feel about haute cuisine as I reawaken their taste buds to the natural flavors of the produce in each delightful dish through artistic flair and modern techniques. Through my dishes, I seek to evoke emotions of fond memories and new experiences,” says Thevenet.
The indulgent six-course menu is a feast for the senses starting off with the zesty sea bass carpaccio topped with red and black radish. On the side are the artichoke cream and cucumber jelly, and the perfectly cooked veal tongue in lovely vinaigrette.
The light appetiser is complemented by a pour of the citrusy 2013 Pouilly-Fumé, Pascal Jolivet.
Landing on the table next is the porcini and king prawns ravioli swimming in a rich and flavourful green curry sauce with endives, and coconut—a seamless marriage of European and Asian influences in one plate. The 2013 Pinot Grigio, Cantina Tramin, Alto Adige helps balance all the spice and textures happening in every bite.
Plump pieces of locally sourced lobster follow. The bisque with ginger, and espelette pepper just seals the deal, and so is a glass of the 2012 Gewurztraminer, Domaine Mittnacht.
Flown in from France is the pollock, a line-caught cod from the North Atlantic served with choucroute (pickled cabbage), smoked bacon, tofu, and juniper berries. Clean on the palate, the dish is complemented by the 2013 Meursault, Louis Jadot.
As if these are not enough, be prepared for a modest slice of Cape Grim grass-fed beef tenderloin (medium rare recommended) sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and comes with a side of sautéed spinach, potato gnocchi, and beetroot sauce. The medium-bodied 2010 Médoc, Chateau Potensac strike a perfect balance.
They say save the best for last, and such is the case at The Tasting Room’s dessert department. The Chocolate Success and lychee veloute is, as the name implies, a success—a macaron poured with sinful chocolate sauce with a Champagne-infused lychee veloute on the side. Divine. Cap it with the 2013 Jurancon, Clos Lapeyre.
With the plethora of flavours and textures going on, it is but wise to have tea after. The Tasting Room prides itself in serving the freshest infusions (straight from the pot, done tableside) of either mint, thyme, rosemary, sage, or your preferred combination.
“In The Tasting Room’s bespoke dining experience, we will take guests on a culinary journey of the senses and introduce a newfound appreciation of each dish paired with complementing beverage or wine,” shares Moroney. Indeed, The Tasting Room provides diners a sense of warmth, cosy, comfortable and elegant dining environment. Guests should look forward to an impressive gastronomic feast in the bustling metropolis.
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