First impression lasts and Le Jardin sure knows how to charm. I still remember my full course dinner at this spectacular restaurant and I often find myself craving for its superb Dessert de Gils. And I regretted not going back sooner when I found out that they finally closed their huge French doors. But great things never fail to make a comeback and Le Jardin opened once again but as a casual café.
Hello, Le Jardin Café.
I was greeted by familiar garden inspired interiors and a menu that is a lot more affordable than its fine dining predecessor. Focusing more on comfort food and breakfast must-haves, Le Jardin has charmed me once again.
I decided to go with Chia Seed Pudding Bowl (PHP180), Le Jardin Signature Kale and Quinoa Salad (PHP290), Croque Monsieur (PHP320), Truffle Three-Cheese Penne (PHP260), Strawberry Smoothie Bowl (PHP200), Kale Smoothie Bowl (PHP220). For drink, I opted for Wellness Sunshine (PHP150).
First served were the two smoothie bowls. Both had generous serving of toppings making it pretty much bang for the buck.
Between the two, I liked kale smoothie bowl more. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't have a strong taste of kale unlike other smoothies I've tried. I enjoyed the blend of banana, kale, honey, strawberry and yogurt. It was sweet but balanced by the slight tartiness of yogurt and, well, the healthy taste of kale. The cashew bits and granola added crunch though it made my throat itch a bit. So make sure that you have a glass of water ready.
The strawberry smoothie bowl is pretty good too. It'll be a hit for those who prefer sweeter smoothie bowls with a bit of tangy kick from kiwi.
The kale and quinoa salad was quite filling. I liked the complex textures and flavors brought by the sweet and slightly chewy fig, tangy strawberry bits, crunchy greens and almond bits, quinoa and kale. The truffle vinaigrette dressing beautifully rounded up the flavors.
I love cheese and I was delighted to see Le Jardin Café's Croque Monsieur to be covered in béchamel sauce and stuffed with cheese! However, it took me a few mouthfuls before I got to the homemade ham. It was worth the wait though as it was tasty! It would have been nicer though if it was cut a bit thinner and was spread through the wheat bread.
My favorite during my visit was its Truffle Three-Cheese Penne. It was one of the best truffle pasta I've had to date. It had generous serving of cheddar cheese, mozzarella and cream cheese giving it a lovely creamy and cheesy taste!
It was also so fragrant and undeniably a truffle dish. It was a skillet packed with flavor but definitely not cloying.
Last served was the Chia Seed Pudding Bowl and it was great too! It had a lovely light taste that would make you finish it in one go.
I loved the slight chewy texture of the dish and its sharp contrast with the granola, sunflower and flax seeds. I just wished that there were more honey to balance the tangy mango and kiwi.
My drink Wellness Sunshine which a blend of orange, lemon and ginger was refreshing. The ginger taste was just a tad strong which could be a bit off for those not so fond of this spice.
Overall, it was a lovely meal. I'd definitely go back for more of that truffle three-cheese penne and croque monsieur. I'd also try Le Jardin Café's coffee next time. I just hope that service will be quicker on my next visit.
Le Jardin Café is located at Ground Floor, BGC Stopover Corporate Center, 31st Street corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.