Thursday, June 19, 2008

G.U.S. NITPICKS!! (v. 17)


I had a lunch out today with my good friend Jk., who is one of the most good-natured and sweetest souls in the whole world, although i must say she has a habit of throwing a tantrum once every ten years!!

Venue was Robinson's Place Ermita, not a mall i normally go to [i abhor Robinson's Malls in general, since they tend to be crowded and haphazardly laid-out], and we chose this resto, since the reviews i've read about it in local blogs were generally positive.

Mind you, i did have doubts about Chefs' Quarter, having read that its owners / chef / etc. were the same as Duo at Serendra. Well, i ate at Duo once, and it wasn't any great shakes. Below average even, especially considering the prices they were charging.

But anyway, onwards to our lunch.

The interiors give off a classy, fairly high-end, yet relaxed ambiance. Nothing that would intimidate you. I would describe the place as comfy, or fun. . .i liked the colorful paintings on the walls.

But i think this resto is rather too big, or maybe its just because during our lunch, only one or two other tables were occupied? I don't think RP really has much of a lunch crowd, beyond the fastfood joints.

Chefs' Quarters' blurb on its menu cover mentions that it is "a total innovation in fine continental cuisine. Here, we give you an alternative to fine dining, where the food and service is always exceptional that can be enjoyed in a very relaxed atmosphere. What's even more interesting are our reasonably priced menus."

Let's see how it lives up to these lofty words.

Jk. ordered this French Onion Soup (PHP195.00), which looks a bit terrifying, no? Like the overflowing cauldron of the wicked witch? :D But she liked it very much, finding the cheese portion substantial and something "you could really chew into". Overall, tasty and above-average.

I ordered the Crayfish Tomato soup (PHP150.00) [not pictured], which proved to be tasty, yet without being cloying, the way some tomato soups can be once you're half-way through the cup.

For the main course, i ordered this Almond-crusted Cream Dory, topped with tomato concasse and vegetable risotto (PHP495.00), with mixed results. The fish itself was tender and perfectly cooked, but the chef must have had a heavy hand that day, as it was way too salty. The risotto? Flat out the most bland i've ever tasted!

Meanwhile, Jk. ordered the Fish & Chips (PHP295.00), having fallen in love with this dish during her stint last year in London. I felt it looked kinda dry and plain and the portion seemed puny, but she loved it as well, esp. the dip.

Finally, dessert! [i think anyone who reads this blog with some regularity knows i can't wait to get to desserts every time i eat out, haha :d]

We were supposed to share one dessert, but couldn't resist and ended up sharing two! The Blueberry Cheesecake (PHP120.00) was pretty good, with firm texture albeit lacking a bit of that 'tangy' taste i like in cheesecakes.

Now, the Lemon-Ginger Creme Brulee' (PHP95.00) was a flat-out winner!!! As in!! It had a refreshing light tangy taste, balanced by the burnt sugar on top! It was only sheer politeness that prevented me from gobbling the whole thing in one go and leaving some for Jk., and from licking the bowl clean! I think i could eat 4 or 5 of this creme brulee' in one sitting, actually!

So, would i go back? Hmmm. . . .yeah, much as i hate RP, i'd go back, if only for the . . . you guessed it, creme brulee'. Chefs' Quarter also has an extensive selection of salads and steaks, which look interesting and which probably deserve a try.

Oh, damage per person was above PHP800.00, so i'm not quite sure this can be defined "reasonably priced".

But hey, that creme brulee' was reasonably priced at PHP95.00; and in my stomach's humble opinion, that's all that matters!

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