When I first met Chef Jeff Claudio, he was the Sous Chef at Burnt Ends in Singapore, which had just been recognized as the #30 restaurant in Asia's 50 Best List. He is the cousin of Chef Jessie--who trained him when he was 18--and now at 32, is one of the fast-rising Filipino Chefs based in Vancouver, Canada.
For the first time, he is doing a stopover in Manila to do a Special Menu at Chef Jessie's Rockwell Club from July 3-10, before going to Hong Kong for his next culinary journey.
It's awesome to meet chefs while they're still starting out, to get to taste their food now, and then compare it later on when they become more experienced celebrity chefs. Chef Jeff's food is a mix of Asian and Western influences from his training at Noma, Per Se, and Burnt Ends, using fresh, local ingredients and his favorite Filipino components.
Watch the video and check out our Chef Jeff Claudio's Special Menu experience...
Watch the video: Chef Jeff Claudio Special Menu @ Chef Jessie's
Chef Jessie's Rockwell Wine Menu: Champagnes, Sparkling Wines | Wine Selections by the Glass | Argentina, Australia | California, Chile | New Zealand, Spain | Germany, Hungary | South Africa, Rose Wines | France | Spirits and Cocktail | Drinks and Beer
I'm glad that it's a la carte and not a degustation. At least you can only choose what you want from the menu.
The bread is soft with a good potato taste. But I suggest you skip this carb.
Chef Jeff, explaining each of the dishes. You can watch the video here: Chef Jeff Claudio Special Menu @ Chef Jessie's
A tribute to Manila clams, this dish comes with a fermented calamansi concoction and is eaten raw. It's delicious but doesn't seem worth the price.
A refreshing ceviche dish mixed with crunchy Thai-style noodles.
The pork croquette was a bit tough. You can skip this.
I'm actually still craving this crab, urchin, and chicharon combination, topped with salted pork fat from Italy.
I've started doing video stories of our dining experiences, with a little on-cam spiel introducing the rest of the footage: Watch here.
Our very own kesong puti made special with cherry tomatoes, baby onions, and bread croutons in olive oil.
A genius combination of raw beef with a salty crunch from the cichacorn, paired with seaweed and bitter shiso leaf.
The endive acts like a vessel where you can put the banana heart strips, pomelo, walnut, and shredded white cheese.
Big shrimp with XO sauce and bacon (instead of Chinese ham), topped with onion leeks to cut through the saltiness.
Very indulgent Alaskan King Crab leg, topped with mentaiko butter, which is a marinated roe of pollock and cod turned into a rich sauce. A bit expensive but worth it.
The lechon is tender with crispy skin, but what made this really special is the sauce--not too sweet, a good liver-y taste, and a nice sour aftertaste from the tamarind.
Grass-fed Tasmanian lean steak with carrot puree sauce. Healthy and yummy!
Chef Jeff isn't really a sweet tooth, so his desserts are simple and often milk-based like this Tres Leches.
I like the playfulness of this dessert, with crunchy wafers and super thick milk and banana reduction, topped with peanuts and creamy polvoron bits.
A refreshing and healthy mix of almond jelly, frozen coconut ice, and rice for added texture.
Overall, Chef Jeff Claudio's Special Menu is quite enjoyable. It's modern Asian-Western cuisine that makes great use of local ingredients and uniquely Filipino elements.
I recommend starting with the Snapper & Squid "Leche Tigre" and the Crab Toast, Urchin, and Lardo. You can also have a second course of the Warm "Queso Puti" Tomato and Migas or the Beef Tartare, Corn, and Shiso.
Then order your main course of Sugpo, with Bacon XO or Cape Grim Beef, Black Garlic, and Carrot. For dessert, I recommend the Reduced Milk, Banana, Peanut, and Polvoron and the Almond, Rice, and Coconut.
Budget about P2,000+ for a 3-course or P3,000+ for a 4-course meal.
Don't forget, Chef Jeff's Special Menu is available until July 10 only and exclusively at Chef Jessie's Rockwell Club!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of our friend, Chef Jessie. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. The serving sizes in the photos are smaller than the actual dishes since we only ate tasting portions of each dish on the menu.