January 18, 2010
I've heard a lot about The Gustavian, especially from foodies who were raving about it when they visited Cebu. They have branches in Banilad, Marina Mall, and Ayala Mall in Cebu. Now, they plan to win over the foodies in Manila by opening a branch in Eastwood Mall and another in the heart of Salcedo Village, Makati (it's called Brasserie Boheme -- I originally thought it was Bohemian Brasserie).
The Gustavian is the restaurant partner of The Picasso, which is the latest Boutique Serviced Residences in Manila. The Picasso is entering the Serviced Apartments category, currently dominated by Ascott (formerly Oakwood) and Fraser Place in Makati. It offers a very interesting artsy concept, plus a gourmet restaurant.
I personally like Brasserie Boheme for its homey but formal ambiance, and gourmet food. It is perfect for business meetings and get-togethers with friends. But for the first month of The Gustavian's operations in Manila, it got mixed reviews, particularly the Eastwood Mall outlet. (Have you tried this branch? Please leave a comment.)
BRASSERIE BOHEME by The Gustavian
"The Gustavian is an old-world European delicatessen shop known for its own recipes dating as far back as 1803. It is the first of its kind to boast of all home-style, freshly made products ranging from artisan country breads, sugar-free jams, fresh cold-cuts, European-style sausages, smoked meats and seafood, dairy products, sauces, various kinds of cheeses, pickles and a wide array of organic food products."
"It is a gourmet destination for those with delicate taste buds and a keen eye for artistry and craftsmanship. The products of The Gustavian Country European Delicatessen are not only rich, flavourful and delicious, but meticulously handcrafted as well." (Source: The Gustavian Restaurant)
In both the Makati and Eastwood Mall branches, a deli shop is located beside the main dining restaurant. In Brasserie Boheme, a small bar caters to the in-house guests. The restaurant offers a unique 3-course menu that starts with either soup or salad, followed by the main course, and then finished off with dessert.
First Course: SOUP OR SALAD
The salads were very good -- fresh and sweet, complete with a nice presentation (served in a bowl with a plate-like ring). I prefer the salads over the soup because they are very filling. The serving is good for one.
The mushroom soup tasted fresh, which is great since Rache loves a good bowl of mushroom soup to start her meal.
Second Course: MAIN COURSE
This dish, made more popular by the Julie & Julia movie, was executed perfectly with its very soft, tender, and tasty beef. Essentially, it is just beef in red wine sauce but cooked for a long period of time. I also liked the sidings of potato and fresh salad.
The mashed potato was created from scratch and was indeed very yummy. We did not like the beef itself (I'm not sure why). With a name like The Gustavian, one would expect consistent gourmet quality. We tried this when they first opened, so it might merit a second try. I'm sure that the kitchen will be more stable by now.
The salmon was cooked well -- juicy, tasty, and with the right consistency. We also loved the nice blue, beach-themed plate of this dish. :)
(Overall, for just about P400 for the 3-course meal, I think it is worth it if these are the main dishes that you get.)
Third Course: DESSERT
I don't think they have a good pastry chef in the kitchen, so just stick to this traditional serving of crepe with mangoes or strawberries.
We ordered pasta for the kids. For some reason, they only liked the bread. We ended up finishing the pasta with the fresh seafood.
Chef Mason entertained all the guests. We originally thought that he was a stern-looking chef who didn't like noisy kids. We were surprised that he was very friendly. In fact, he escorted Aidan around the kitchen.
Aidan is getting interested in becoming a chef. He likes to pretend he is one as he "cooks" for us. One time, he was very hungry and wanted to cook pancakes. He knew all the ingredients (pancake mix, water, and egg -- but it was out of stock) and mixed them properly. He even remembered to use the right pancake/toast grill. I was his assistant throughout the process. It's really cool being able to share that experience with him.
Live an Awesome Life,
Founder and Digital Publisher
P.S. We tried The Gustavian in Eastwood Mall when they opened. We did not like it because the taste was a bit bland and the waiters were clueless. The soup had no taste, the burger was dry, the callos was malansa, and the pasta was overcooked. I'll just share the pictures below to give you an idea of the food, serving size, and price.
I'm sure they have improved already. (Please share your experience in the comments section.)
THE GUSTAVIAN in Eastwood Mall The Gustavian
Unit A-120 Ground Level
Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City
Mobile # 0917-9853429
Telephone: +632 470-2971, 470-2984
THE GUSTAVIAN in Eastwood Mall