Update April 18, 2012: This restaurant is now closed and replaced by Harvest Gastro Pub in BGC.
Have you ever wondered what is the true taste of a French croissant?
The authentic croissant is crusty on the outside, soft like a pillow inside and, best of all, it's not oily. (Although Mila said it should be flaky not pillowy. See a Parisian Croissant by MM.) The secret of the French croissant is in the baking technique and the special European oven used to bake it. Also, raw butter is used (instead of margarine), which gives it flavor and blends perfectly with the bread itself.
Now Manila can enjoy French breads and pastries from Alexandre, the first authentic French Bakery and Cafe -- named after its French owner.
Croissant aux Amandes (Almond Croissant) Grande - (P75)
The Almond Croissant is what most people are raving about. The almond filling is based on a secret recipe from Alexandre's family. It actually tastes like yema. We initially ordered one to try it, and before we could reorder some to take home, the next customer bought and wiped out all the remaining inventory.
The chocolate with almond is also OK but we prefer the plain Almond instead. All the bread types are cooked onsite fresh daily, starting at 7 in the morning. The leftover bread at night are donated to charity.
Alexandre Signature Tarte Tatin served with homemade vanilla ice cream - (P190)
I vowed to go back to taste the Tarte Tatin. I think it is best to order this fresh from the oven and not settle for the ones that are displayed on the counter for a long period of time. (Have you tried this?)
The trendy but warm ambiance is complemented by the friendly waiters and the uber-friendly French owner, Alexandre. We're glad we decided to eat dinner here last night for our weekend birthday celebration. The menu is limited to healthy salads, sandwiches and crepes -- Alexandre Menu | Drinks Menu.
Salad de Monaco (Shrimp Salad) served with a basket of French bread - (P390)
The restaurant prides itself on serving healthy and organic food with fresh ingredients. Alexandre's favorite salads are the Shrimp Salad and the Cheese Salad with Camembert.
The greens were sourced directly from Tagaytay, with fresh avocado and shrimps bought fresh everyday from the market. It tasted "healthy" -- a bit bland, with the avocado as the source of its flavor. The greens were a bit tired and tasted frozen.
To justify the overpriced salads (which range from P320-P390), a basket of classic baguette, rye bread, and walnut or raisin bread is served with it. Enjoy the taste of real French bread that is crusty outside and soft and chewy inside. They don't add any sugar, butter or oil to make the bread in Alexandre, which gives it a unique and healthy taste.
Vive La Pizza (Served on Baguette) Petit - (P140)
For the kids, we ordered the basic pizza topped with tomato sauce, cheese and (oregano?). This was a sure hit with them.
Le Cirque (Chicken) - (P150)
The chicken sandwich is simple -- with just tomato, lettuce and light mayonnaise. You can order additional mayonnaise if you want to have more flavor in your sandwich. Alexandre is still working on sourcing organic chicken from a farm in Tagaytay.
The friendly servers and baristas in Alexandre. Thanks for the warm service! :)
Croissant au Beurre (Butter Croissant) - (P50)
After eating this bread from Alexandre, I will never settle for anything less than this authentic butter croissant. :) (My French Baker days are over...)
Alexandre has cool lounge chairs where you can sit, hang out and chat with friends.
Cappucino - (P100)
Update 1/19/2011: The coffee has improved and I was wrong about my initial impressions about the coffee.
The cappucino was served lousily without the proper froth because of the milk. It is forgivable, considering they just opened 3 days ago and are still stabilizing their operations. They should have good barista training, like how Starbucks or Coffee Bean would do it.
Crepe Nature (Crepe with sugar & butter) - (P80)
Alexandre is proud to serve organic crepe using an Oat brand.
Crepe au Chocolat (Chocolate crepe served with homemade vanilla ice cream) - (P190)
Of course, Filipinos love chocolate and ice cream on crepes! :)
It is always a precious moment every time we see Joshua saying, "Wowowow!"
Thanks to Alexandre for taking the French Bakery/Cafe to a higher level of quality in Manila!
The P250 Steel Calling Card of Alexandre... I want one too!
Overall, the baked goodies, bread and pastries are awesome! The coffee needs to be improved, though. I can't wait to see the lounge opening in front of the restaurant with a cobblestone street. :)
From Buendia flyover going into Fort Bonifacio, turn right after Jollibee and turn on the first right. This is 31st Avenue. You should see Alexandre in the middle of Mini Stop and Dunkin Donut Cafe.
There is parking on the next block. You can park in front of the restaurant at night. You can also get special parking inside the building if you request from Alexandre in advance. :)