I'm always excited when I go to tasting menu dinners because more than just being there to eat, a tasting menu is always a gastronomic experience. The ambiance is always top notch and screams elegance in every corner. The service is impeccable and you'll be amazed how synchronized they are in serving the food, course per course. The wine selection is always outstanding and the food - oh where do I even start!
The ingredients used are guaranteed best of the best with each dish cooked fresh and almost everything from scratch. You don't go to a fine dining restaurant and expect to be served with lobster, foie gras and even truffle with a low price tag. The quality of the ingredients speak for what you are paying for and of course, insert the execution and experience of the Chef who prepared your meal.
Enter The Tasting Room...
|Welcome to The Tasting Room!|
The Tasting Room is known for it's European Cuisine offerings, creating exciting dishes by re-inventing classic ones. They re-opened their doors in December with a brand new culinary team and location.
Occupying the used to be Crystal Lounge of Crown Towers which have been re-named to Nuwa, this 56 seater restaurant in City of Dreams is nothing but impressive.
Spacious and elegant, the restaurant has high ceilings, gorgeous drop lights, a bar area and semi-private rooms.
With touches of gold here and there, incorporating fresh flowers of yellow and red hues for that much needed pop of bright colors, The Tasting Room has the perfect setting and ambiance for that special date night.
|Chef Frederick Thevenet with the ladies of Fat Girls Day Out and yours truly :)|
Heading the culinary team is Chef Frederick Thevenet who brings with him three decades of culinary experience, specializing in French Cuisine. Coming from a background of Michelin-starred restaurants, Chef Thevenet created 4 course and 6 course degustation menus. Incorporating local produce as much as he can into his dishes, Chef Thevenet definitely knew how to wow his guests!
|Table is all set for dinner!|
We got the 4 Course Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing. The Tasting Room's Restaurant Manager, Stephen Moroney, personally picked each wine that went with the dishes. he was also the one who introduced each wine to us, explaining the origin and flavor profile.
|Salted French Butter to your left & Seaweed Butter to your right|
To start this dining experience, we were served with two kinds of butter and a selection of sliced bread. We got the Salted French Butter and Seaweed Butter to go with either French Baguette, Sourdough or Black Sesame bread slices. The French Butter was notable. It was so creamy and rich, I have never tasted butter that's as good as this before. Hand churned in small batches, you can always ask for a second helping of this if you wish too.
|Sea Bass Carpaccio | Red and Black Raddish | Artichoke Cream | Cucumber Jelly | Celeriac | Remoulade | Banana Blossom | Veal Tongue | Vinaigrette | Pickles|
Onto the the main event, we started our dinner with an impressive first course - Sea Bass Carpaccio, Banana Blossom and Veal Tongue. Chef Thevenet recommends a certain order in eating his creations to fully enjoy the flavors.
Here, he recommended to start with the Sea Bass Carpaccio. Light flavors from the thin slices of sea bass, good texture contrast from the crisp and peppery red and black radish slices, an additional peppery kick from the pink peppercorns and a nice pop of fruity and sweet flavors from the pomegranate. The cucumber jelly added a nice fresh note into the dish.
The Banana Blossom with Celeriac and Remoulade came in as a nice accompaniment to the sea bass. The explosion of fresh flavors with tartness being the most evident gave the main dish it's much needed acidic touch. A little bit of this after a bite of the carpaccio would be perfect.
Lastly, the Veal Tongue with Vinaigrette and Pickles gave a much needed savory profile. The small cuts of Veal Tongue were melt in your mouth and hands-down flavorful!
Wine paired with the dish: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc - 2016
Light and clean, refreshing dry wine, fruity with lemon notes.
|Lobster | Ginger | Espellette Pepper | Bisque|
Next course was the star of the night for me - Lobster! Served with a side of lobster rillettes and yogurt, topped with freshly chopped herbs, Chef Thevenet suggested to start with this. Such a clever move I would say because this side dish, with light lobster flavor, will prepare your palate for the main thing.
The main lobster dish was fantastic! With lobster sourced from Palawan, the meat was plump and juicy, perfectly cooked with that snap when you take a bite! The Bisque with cilantro and hints of coconut and mango was the perfect pair for the lobster.
Giving the dish an overall summer feel, each spoonful will transport you to a sea-side setting where nature is in harmony with the food that you are devouring. Chef Thevenet perfectly captured Filipino flavors here. Taking advantage of our tropical abundance, his choice of ingredients and how he was able to put this dish together was plainly awesome. I was literally speechless, nodding in delight after each bite!
Wine paired with the dish: Domaine Mittnacht Freres Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France - 2015
Very floral and fruity, leaning towards the sweet profile, notes of lychee and rambutan - low acidity.
|Cape Grim Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin | Black Pepper | Onions | Potatoes|
If the second course is best for seafood lovers, the third course is made for meat lovers! Cape Grim Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin with black pepper, onions, potato. Seasoned with only salt and pepper, I had mine done medium-well. Seriously, this piece of meat was so tender and flavorful that it can stand on it's own. But then again the red beet sauce that it came with made it more interesting. Surprisingly, this sauce complemented the beef so well that it was almost like a gravy that you can't stop eating the meat with even though you know that it's not necessary.
Wine paired with the dish: Penfolds Bin 389, Cabarnet Shiraz - 2011
Aged in American oak, this AU wine has dark chocolate profile. Full body with dark cherry, rich plum and a bit of spice.
|Chocolate Success | Lychee Veloute|
Last course was reserved for dessert. Chocolate Success! Layers of chocolate meringue with chocolate parfait, this was drizzled with warm dark chocolate sauce.
Rich and decadent, this can get cloying right away but then again Chef Thevenet is a genius so this dessert was accompanied by Leychee Veloute.
Light and refreshing, it acted as a palate cleanser, balancing the richness of the dark chocolate dessert.
Wine Paired: Clos Lapeyre, Jurançon Moelleux
A sweet dessert wine that has clean and light flavors, well balanced and refreshing. Hints of apricots and honey.
If you'll go for the 6 Courses Meal, you'll also have the following dishes:
Ravioli | Porcino | King Prawns | Green Curry | Endives | Coconut - right after the Sea Bass Carpacio
Pollock | Choucroute | Smoked Bacon | Tofu | Juniper Berries - right after the Lobster.
|Elegance in every corner!|
More than pleased with this dining experience, I would say that this is the best tasting menu that I have ever had! I loved the way Chef Thevenet developed each course - putting small dishes together, playing with flavors and textures. It was my first time to experience such complex flavors put together to give one an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Hands-down, The Tasting Room!
*** 4 Courses: Php 4,588++ , with Wine Pairing - additional Php 2,000++
*** 6 Courses: Php 5,088++ , with Wine Pairing - additional Php 2,800++
5 out of 5 Stars for The Tasting Room!
--- The Tasting Room: G/F, Nuwa, City of Dreams, Aseana Avenue corner Macapagal Ave., Entertainment City, Roxas Blvd, Paranaque City