January 06, 2012
It was Chef Ian Padilla's dream to open his own restaurant. After 11 years of training (which included working in a 3-star Michelin restaurant in France, a restaurant stint in the now-closed Mezzaluna, and opening Fireplace in Malate), Chef Ian finally opened his own La Girolle last October.
La Girolle is named after the Chanterelle mushrooms he used to clean in a French kitchen, day in and day out, as punishment for not doing it right the first time. From being a humble seasonal mushroom, "La Girolle" is also now a French Fine Dining restaurant in BGC.
It was the perfect backdrop for meeting our good friend Luisa, who's visiting from Sydney...
Just take note, though, that the Chef's Table is awkwardly positioned on the side of the kitchen (versus directly in front, where the food is prepared to be served to you).
When we entered the restaurant, we met Gejo and his wife of Kitchen Herbs -- famous for supplying the best herbs in Manila -- who just finished sharing the Tasting Menu.
They supply the herbs to La Girolle, and in their dealings with Chef Ian, they were impressed with his work ethic and dedication to his craft.
At La Girolle, you can choose from a Three-Course Menu (P1,750 +10% service charge), a Four-Course Menu (P2,000 +10% service charge) or a Six-Course Tasting Menu (P2,750 +10% service charge), which already includes a serving of Amuse Bouche, Sorbet, and Coffee or Tea.
Choosing the dishes individually from the Ala Carte menu will turn out to be more expensive. We recommend the Three-Course Menu or the Tasting Menu.
Since we were all good friends, we decided to each order the Three-Course Menu, pick different dishes, and share it family-style.
I loved the awesome combination of the sweetness of the Sous Vide Pear, the saltiness of the Bacon, the rancid aftertaste of the Blue Cheese and the peppery bitterness of the Arugula. Sarap!
The pinkish meat did not taste mushy or raw -- I was surprised that it actually tasted good. It was made more palatable by the complementing taste of the caviar. It's a generous serving and good-value-for-money if you order it as part of your Three-Course set.
A visually appealing dish with a variety of ingredients to mix and match. I liked getting a piece of the ravioli and topping it with the arugula and button mushrooms. The combination of squash + arugula + mushrooms worked out well, except that the ravioli itself was a bit too tough. (Maybe it wasn't fresh?)
Usually, in a Three-Course set, you can order Starters + Main Course + Dessert. You can also have the option of ordering Starters + Soup + Main Course.
This soup was interesting. It looked like mushroom soup but it tasted more like curry with the aftertaste of camote. If you are a fan of curry, you'll love this too!
TASTING MENU STARTERS: (see: La Girolle's Tasting Menu)
I personally liked it. It's just like eating tiny slices of tuna sashimi with a different texture. I loved combining it with the different herbs and the balls with squishing bernaise-like sauce.
Rache and I are Blue Cheese lovers, and we enjoyed this a lot! It is almost basically the same combination as the Arugula and Spinach Salad above except that the Blue Cheese here is the highlight. I liked its custard-like serving of the blue cheese, which was so rich -- I bet you'll get a headache if you finish it on your own.
If Blue Cheese is not enough for you, why not a rich parfait of Foie Gras? Ang sarap rin!
If you are ordering the Tasting Menu, I suggest you share it with someone.
The lamb was cooked perfectly. It's best eaten with the sweet roasted onions and covered with sauce.
Among the Main Course dishes we ordered, this was the BEST! The really soft and juicy pork belly went well with the bitterness of the clams and the maasim taste of pickled mango. You've got to try it!
Sweetbreads are from the neck part, and they were mushy and tasted like brains.
TASTING MENU MAIN COURSES: (see: La Girolle's Tasting Menu)
The fish was nicely seared outside and had juicy, milky meat inside.
Most of the main dishes are served with the juices poured in front of you. These short ribs were utterly soft, juicy, and tasty. Just add potato, sweet onions, and a bit of the bernaise to fully appreciate it.
Frankly, this was a letdown -- Banana Q with Banana Cake and Banana Sorbet?
The Balsamic Sorbet was heavenly on its own but made perfect with the strawberry taste. Order this!
TASTING MENU DESSERTS: (see: La Girolle's Tasting Menu)
This was a bit hard to eat and not exciting enough. They need to improve on their desserts.
To end the meal, order a cup of fresh mint leaves tea or good black coffee together with the dessert.
Overall, we highly recommend La Girolle for a special occasion or date, especially if you would like it set in a refreshingly romantic hidden resto.
Order the ★-rated dishes to make your dinner even more enjoyable. Also, for a dinner for two, you can share the Tasting Menu and just add from the Ala Carte Menu.
Thanks to Chef Ian for the awesome dinner!
Note: You can park near the 7-11 along the corner of 31st and 2nd, and just have a nice, leisurely walk to the resto.
Definitely, it is more fun to eat a degustation dinner in the Philippines where you can share it over laughter and tsismis with your family and friends :)
RESTAURANT LA GIROLLE
2nd Floor Blue Sapphire Building
30th Street, 2nd Avenue
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Chef Amando Ian Padilla
Mobile: +63 917 8035423
Telephone: +632 478 4119
Live an Awesome Life,
Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals. We are not connected with the owners or any organization promoting La Girolle.
P.S. Because of its relatively cheaper rent, most of what you pay for goes to the quality of the food and the expertise of the chef. :)
P.P.S. Thanks to Joel Perea who patiently explained to us the menu and how each dish is prepared. His extensive work experience in the different high-end restaurants in Manila (from Le Souffle to Mezzaluna to Duo) is a great asset for this resto.