Thursday, August 6, 2015

First Bite: Le Jardin

I love it when I get random messages or invites especially when food is involved.

Two weeks ago, my former colleague M messaged me to ask if I was free the following day for food tasting at Le Jardin. Since Le Jardin is one of the restaurants I wanted to visit, I quickly replied YES! Who am I to turn down free food anyway?

Hello, Le Jardin.
I’ve read about this fancy French restaurant befores. I planned to have brunch here one time with a few friends but it never happened. But thanks to M, I get to try some of its bestsellers.
When I arrived, I was the only guest there. I thought I was too early for dinner. But throughout dinner, only two to three other tables were occupied. (All were couples except for the group of baby boomers near the bar.)
M and I tried the five-course dinner (PHP3,200) which includes amuse bouche, three entrée aux choix (appetizers), plat principal au choix (main course), assortment de fromage maison (homemade cheese) and dessert au choix (assortment of one dessert).
First served were a plate of freshly baked bread and a small serving of amuse bouche (truffled scrambled eggs).
The amuse bouche was delightful with its soft and silky texture. It went well with the warm bread.
It took roughly 30 minutes before the first appetizer arrived.
The Saumon Fumé Maison or house smoked salmon was quite ordinary for me. It was also not as salty as the other smoked salmon I tried before.
The Tartare de Homard au Pamplemousse was served next and it was quite bland. 
The lobster was fresh though and the chilled pomelo was refreshing.
It took almost another half hour before the Lasagne D’ Agneau was served. But it was worth the wait.
Though small, this dish was oozing with flavor. This is one of the tastiest lasagnas I’ve tried. I also loved that the lamb had no after taste. It would have tasted better though if it was served warmer and al dente. But apparently, French pasta is made to be softer or so what the chef told M.

Before the main course, we were given some citrus sorbet. It was refreshing!
Now for the main course… the Pavé de Thon et Foie Gras Poêlé Sauce aux Truffes or Grilled Tuna Steak with Foie Gras and Truffle sauce. (Whew, that’s a mouthful!)
It sauce was divine! I loved the salty and slightly creamy sauce and it went well with the grilled tuna, mashed potatoes and asparagus. I also loved the thick slice of foie gras (though I’ve had better foie gras in Tagaytay Highlands). The only part I was a bit iffy about was that the tuna was medium well. It has some red parts but the server said that it’s really served like that. Oh well.

We were already full when the cheese platter arrived. But since it looked tempting, we gave it a try.
The homemade cheeses were infused with flavors such as olives, red pepper, truffle and chives while one was made with ash from French wood.  My favorites were chives and truffle. Red pepper was so-so while ash and olives were unbearable for me.

Finally, after more than three hours of eating, we finally reached dessert.

The Dessert de Gils is said to be Le Jardin’s bestselling dessert so I had high expectations.
The beautiful mess was made of strawberry sorbet with frozen berries, crust and nuts and it was a lovely way to cap the night. I now get it why it is their bestselling dish.

I will definitely be back for more!

Thank you, M!

Le Jardin is located at Penthouse, W Fifth Building, 5th Avenue corner 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

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