Last Night we had another Dinner at Tita B's house. As mentioned by N (I hope you don't mind me using it for my title) I think her house is truly the best private table in Manila. I was happy because for once, she would sit down with us at the table and not be in the kitchen the whole night. I've had dinner in her house several times but she is busy in the kitchen. The Guest Chef was Ian Padilla, who works for Taillevant in Paris - a 2 star Michelin. He started working in Taillevant as a stagier but after only 2 months, they hired him as a full time Chef. He was back in Manila for a month to fix his papers, so when we were asked if we wanted to join the dinner, how could we say no?
The menu had been sent to us a week in advance, so we had ample time to discuss with N and R what wines to pair with the dinner. Of course all the pairing were done by the master N. We arrived at the house at around 7 pm and most of the guests were already there( I think we were all excited for this Dinner)...so after some champagne and some chit chat, we started the dinner around 8 PM.
We started off with the Amuse:
* Tarragon Infused Tomato water, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Carrot Parfait with Carrot Ginger
* Deviled Quail Egg, Basil Yolks
* Braised Beef Wanton, Thyme and Fleur de Sel
My favorite (and I think the favorite of everybody) was the Carrot Parfait. I also like the Deviled Quail Egg, which was slightly spicy. We paired this with a 2005 Henri Bourgeois Pouilly Fume.
First Course - Roasted Shallot Bisque, Creme Fraiche - Stewed Onions and Chive oil. Very tasty. The stewed onions and Creme Fraiche was a good combination with the Bisque. There were mixed reactions - some people said it had hints of mushroom and one even said it smelled like garlic bread, but over all the taste was good. With this we continued with the 2005 Henri Bourgeois Pouilly Fume.
Second Course - Roulade of Squab Confit, Salda of Haricovert, Radish and Watercress with Olive Oil emulsion. I enjoyed this dish and liked the touch of Fleur de Sel on top of the Roulade. N had a hard time making a decision as to what to pair this with, but finally decided on the Ete de Mondot par Christine Valette. Great choice and I think the pairing was perfect for this dish. A bit for "full bodied" than other Rose wines I've tried, I enjoyed this one very much.
Third Course - Macadamia Nut Crusted Foie Gras - Caramelized Banana, Chocolate Sauce. I like this dish also (of course I always love Foie). First time I try it with Chocolate sauce. Again, N was having trouble paring this one because of the chocolate sauce. R eventually decided on a Sauternes 2004 Chateau Cantegril (which I had given him for his Birthday). I think the pairing was quite ok. Nice touch of the macadamia nut. The Foie was seared perfectly, crusty outside and very tender on the inside.
Fourth Course - Poached Egg w/Duck Fat, Truffle Oil. Roasted Mushrooms, Mushroom Consomme and chives. This is one of the many versions you can have of Oeuf Cocotte. The Egg was quite dry ( I would have liked it a bit more moist). Following N's suggestion, I did not have this with any wine.
Before the Main course came out, they served us a Melon and green Tea Sorbet which I really enjoyed. It was not as citrusy as other restaurants serve them and was perfect to cleanse the palate. I think the Sorbet had a little "orange powder" which gave it a good contrast.
Sixth Course - Roasted Escolar "Sandre", Citrus Marmalade, Salad of Sweet baby corn and Mushrooms. At first, N thought the fish was "Sandre" but I think it was just cooked "sandre style". The fish was actually Cod. It was cooked perfectly and not overdone at all. I enjoyed this meal although I found the Citrus Marmalade to be a bit too overpowering. We continued having the 2005 Henri Bourgeois Pouilly Fume with this.
Seventh Course - Certified Angus Beef Braised Short Ribs, Puree de Pomme de Terre, Bearnaise Beignets, Thyme Natural Jus. The Chef commented that he marinated the beef 24 hours prior to braising it for 8 hours. The beef was as tender as it could get. I particularly enjoyed the Beef with the wine we had. Also the Bearnaise Beignet. For this, we brought 3 bottles of red wine. N brought a '01 LES FORTS DE LATOUR, R brought a '00 PONTET CANET and I brought a 96 CHATEAU HAUT-BAILLY. All 3 were excellent. As pointed out by R, The Haut-Bailly(Pessac Leognan) was peppery and quite different from the 2 others from Paulliac. We enjoyed all 3 wines and continued drinking them after dinner.
I enjoyed both desserts although I was expecting the to see more pink peppercorn and salt on the Pineapple. The Chocolate Terrine also was a good match with the cherries and the glazed orange. After dessert, we were served with Espresso coffee (Nespresso) which really went well after a meal like that. Ian and his assistant Chef (I forget her name now but she mentioned that she is the Head Chef Of Fireplace Grill at the Hyatt) joined us for a well deserved glass of wine.
A very enjoyable dinner that I hope we can repeat again some day. Thank you Chef Ian for preparing it and thank you Tita B for offering your house and for organizing the dinner. Til next time...I hope soon...