Finally, Restaurant 101 is now open in the Enderun McKinley Campus. I am a fan of the “restaurant lab” concept of Enderun and I’ve blogged about it before with regard to their Ortigas campus (Restaurant 101 @ Enderun and Falling In Love With Restaurant 101…). It is now branded as “101 by ADF (Alain Ducasse formation) + Enderun”. Alain Ducasse’s claim to fame is that he was the first chef to own restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities.

Well, we loved it and we hated it. We didn’t mind the awkward service from the first-year students who took our orders and served us throughout the entire meal with shaking hands. We hated the lousy food served to us — cold, hard bread, ho-hum starters, and tired pasta. We loved the Angus Rib, which saved the entire meal for us and the lady who took care of Aidan by giving him “kiddie” stuff and cupcakes in the end.

The ambiance is great, but the chefs in the kitchen need to give extra love and care to the food served. Unfortunately, Chef See was not in the kitchen that night (which probably explains the kind of food that we had). Then again, eat at your own risk since the kids seem to treat this more as a “practice lab” instead of a restaurant that would take fine dining to Michelin Star-level in Manila.

 


This is Enderun’s Atrium, which is the students’ lounge for activities or just for hanging out. Earlier that day, they had an activity for autistic kids.

 

 


The 101 ambiance — non-intimidating elegance…


There are two chef’s tables directly in front of the kitchen. I love reserving this because of the soft back rest and the illusion of privacy provided by the walls in between the tables. The acoustics are very good — you cannot hear the conversation of the people beside you.


This is one of the long tables you can reserve. It is good for 12 people and is near the Atrium. Reserve this for your big group.


Meet Mitch, a Cebuano and a first-year student at Enderun. Part of the charm in eating at 101 is that you help in the education of these kids by being a good customer. You also learn a thing or two from them and their teachers.

101 Opening Menu: 101 Main Menu | Desserts Menu
(all the menu prices are VAT inclusive and have no service charge)


We were seated at one of the chef’s tables. It was fun to watch the interaction of the kitchen and the servers.


One of the lady servers (Jena, I believe) knows how to make kids happy. She gave Aidan a lot of paper, a coloring book, a set of crayons and a balloon. Restaurants can learn how to entertain kids better from her.


After eating at 101, Aidan told us not to return there again because the bread was so hard. Even the “soft bread” was as hard as French bread. We don’t know if they were really that hard or they were heated a number of times that they hardened already. The first batch of bread served to us was cold and hard until we requested to have the bread reheated… Oh well.


Classic French Onion Soup (P160). Gruyere Cheese Crouton

La Cuisine Francaise has better onion soup. This looks like French Soup from a lab — very amateurish…


Gensan Tuna Belly (P180). Delicately Poached in Olive Oil, Aubergine Caviar, Roast Red Bell Pepper and Parsley Sauce

The Tuna Belly was a bit cold and almost dry. Not sure where the inspiration for this dish came from.


Baked Davao Goat Cheese Tart (P220). Tomato Coulis, Goat Cheese, Ligurian Olives and Fresh Arugula

This is the BEST! We cut it into pizza-like slices so everyone could taste it. The sweetness of its flaky base was very good. The best way to eat it is to combine the different complementary flavors of Tomato, Goat Cheese and Arugula. Highly recommended! 🙂


Although we were happy with the cheese tart, we were already complaining about the meal at this point. And then we saw the Angus ribs being served and sliced in front of us…


Angus Beef Rib (P1,680). Grilled to your liking, served with Braised Red Wine Shallots and Bone Marrow (Good for Two)

One of the best ribs in Manila! It is actually good for 2-4 people (we had to bring home half of it). We loved the deep red sweet shallots and the sweet vegetables on the side. However, the inside of the Bone Marrow was cold already and it was hard as a rock. We did love their secret sauce though — it was creamy and cheesy.

 


Homemade Tagliatelle (P80) and Risotto (P90)

The Angus Rib came with two sidings, both of which tasted pathetic in my opinion. The pasta was overcooked and looked tired, and the risotto was just like wet, ordinary rice with no taste. It’s a good thing the ribs’ secret sauce worked like magic because it turned the tired pasta and ho-hum risotto into something enjoyable.

Next time, we will order the other options of sidings, which include Potato Gratin (P100), French Fries (P80), Vegetable Bouquet (P80) and Creamed Spinach (P80).

 


Selection of Cream Custards (P140). Davao Vanilla, Green Tea and Coffee

These desserts were ordinary, but they were executed to smooth and crusty goodness. I loved the Coffee version.


This was a nice surprise for Aidan — complimentary cupcakes!


Outside the restaurant, you can find the bar, where the students learn bartending skills. I guess you can also hang around and order a few drinks/cocktails.


The lovely Enderun campus seems to transport you to Europe — you’ll forget that you are in Taguig (except around 5pm, when you hear all the planes landing in the NAIA airport, one after another).


The restaurant has been open for just less than a month, so we will be back to check it out once they iron out their operations… Let us know your personal experience with 101, OK? It is a very promising romantic place…

 

101 by ADF + Enderun
Enderun McKinley Campus
For Reservations: +632 856-5000 loc. 101


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Anton

Anton Diaz
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