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La Girolle's Tasting Menu by Chef Ian Padilla

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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...

 

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The restaurant itself is small, with a maximum capacity of 36 people. The best table is the Chef's Table, which gives you privacy and a first-hand view of the kitchen.

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).

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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.

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La Girolle Ala Carte Set Menu | La Girolle Tasting Menu | Champagne & Wine

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.

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First up, the bread. We found the focaccia a bit tough, maybe half-baked or made with poor quality ingredients. I do hope they improve it.

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AMUSE BOUCHE: This single piece of squash ravioli with blue cheese did its job of readying our palate and getting us excited for the succeeding courses.

STARTERS:

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★ Arugula and Spinach Salad (P470 +10% service charge)
. Sous Vide Pear, Blue Cheese, Bacon Vinaigrette.

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!

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★ Beef Tartare (P890 +10% service charge). Horseradish, Lumpfish Caviar, Pickled Beet Root.

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.

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Ravioli of Butternut Squash (P575 +10%service charge). Arugula, Parmesan Cheese, Arugula Puree.

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?)

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★ Veloute of Sweet Camote (P250 +10% service charge).

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)

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★ General Santos Tartare of Tuna. Legumes Ala Greque, Sea Urchin, Cromesquis.

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.

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★ Timbale of Blue Cheese. Sous Vide Pear, Bacon, Wild Arugula.

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.

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★ Parfait of Foie Gras

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.

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SORBET: The Melon Sorbet was melting already when served. The presentation can be improved.

 

MAIN COURSES

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Chef Ian, with his staff, carefully finishing the dishes to be served.

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★ Pan Seared Saddle of Lamb (P1,350 +10% service charge). Garlic Puree, Market Vegetables, Lamb Jus.

The lamb was cooked perfectly. It's best eaten with the sweet roasted onions and covered with sauce.

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★ Sous Vide Belly of Pork (P1,250 +10% service charge). Clams, Pickled Mango, Pork Jus.

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!

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Pan Roasted Veal Sweetbreads (P1,500 +10%service charge). Market Vegetables, Veal Jus (Supplement +500).

Sweetbreads are from the neck part, and they were mushy and tasted like brains.

TASTING MENU MAIN COURSES: (see: La Girolle's Tasting Menu)

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★ Pan Seared Grouper

The fish was nicely seared outside and had juicy, milky meat inside.

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★ 48 Hour Sous Vide Short Ribs of Beef. Red Onion, Bernaise Beignets, Beef Jus.

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.

 

DESSERTS

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Banana 3 Ways (Banana Sorbet, Banana Cake, Roasted Banana Brulee) (P270 +10% service charge). Vanilla, Butterscotch, Yogurt.

Frankly, this was a letdown -- Banana Q with Banana Cake and Banana Sorbet?

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★ Parfait of Strawberry (P290 +10% service charge). Strawberry Sauce, Balsamic 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)

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Chocolate Fondant. Strawberry Balsamic Butter Sauce.

This was a bit hard to eat and not exciting enough. They need to improve on their desserts.

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COFFEE OR TEA: Fresh Mint Leaves Tea

To end the meal, order a cup of fresh mint leaves tea or good black coffee together with the dessert.

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Chef Ian with Rache, Luisa and Maong.

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! 

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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
Email: groupegirolleinc@yahoo.com.ph 

Live an Awesome Life,

anton  signature 
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Contact me: a
nton@diaz.ph iphone

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.
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Comments

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Could somebody please tell them to correct the spelling of "Hoarse Raddish" in the Ala Carte Menu? It's supposed to be "Horseradish" (one word, no "a" after "o", one "d").

Also, its supposed to be "Market Vegetables" (in plural form; note under the Lucena Sea Bass in the same Menu).

Sorry but typos in menus are one of my pet peeves. Lack of attention for detail is something a restaurateur would not want to convey to his patrons.

Thanks!

Had lunch here a few weeks ago but did not enjoy at all. Appetizers were so-so. Main courses were disappointing (cod fish too salty, porkchops quite dry and duck too tough). Desserts were supposed to be redeeming but failed as well.

I have been enjoying Ian's food for years. He's pushing our food scene forward with his original - highly quality cooking; the opposite of mere "cuisine reproduction" which is what most places do. He has the balls to be original and Manila is better for it... enough said.. go for a visit!

Thanks Chef Rob for the comment! Yeah, I appreciate also how he pushes the boundaries of the food scene here in Manila. Galing! I'm glad he finally opened his restaurant.

Oh what a tasty post! =) Pictures are so great, I'm going to throw everything away and go get something to eat )) And when I'll be in the Philippines, I'll surely visit La Girolle.

It would be nice to have some "New World Wines" on their wine list eg Australian, New Zealand etc...

Disappointing lunch tasting menu.
duck was soggy & the pork was foul-smelling.
Raised our concern with the Chef but apparently he was over confident and unapologetic .
He explained the science of his cooking, as if we are clueless on how he prepares the food.
There are more fine dining restos in the metro that offers WAY BETTER food and service.

Vicky De Leon is a Free Food scoundrel! She and her friends pretend to write about Manila's restaurant and expect to eat for free.

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