Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we diet!
Was what my friends and I did two Thursdays ago at Chef’s Table, a newly opened private dining of a different kind right at the kitchen of Chef Bruce Lim. A different kind because you get to watch him prepare the dishes right in front of you while he entertains you with trivias, stories of his stints abroad, etc.
For those who spend less time on the couch, Chef Bruce is the Chef/host of Tablescapes and Chef’s Table. He could very well be the up and coming celebrity chef in this side of town.
His kitchen serves as kitchen studio for many years to the show produced by Mis en Plus Production and shown at Studio 23, TFC and recently at AFC. Tucked away in the outskirts of the Fort, perched atop his family’s building, this kitchen has found another purpose. It is now becoming a hot spot for freestyle dining. Chef Bruce has opened his home… er… kitchen to the public. It is now open for dining every night except Wednesdays.
Reservations required, a week in advance for the adventurous opting for freestyle dining and 1 day in advance for those opting the safer route, the set menu. So what is freestyle dining, you may ask? It’s leaving it up to the chef to surprise you. You give your budget and he prepares your dinner. Ours was at P1,500 per head and we had…
Lato Salad and Sake Shooters:
Fresh lato tossed with tomatoes, red onion and ginger. Drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette. The shooter had fresh oysters topped with a spicy tomato sauce and a shot of sake. I never really like lato because of it’s fishy taste but this salad didn’t have that at all thanks to the ginger and red onion. It was the best lato salad I had ever tasted. Yum!
Fresh Ahi tuna and salmon mixed with aromatics and topped with crispy camote chips. A perfect duo! Although meant to be an appetizer, this dish had a great deal of flavor and richness from the salmon, one could only take so much… so perhaps a smaller serving would have been perfect. But I finished it albeit slowly coz it was just too good to put to waste.
Roasted Tomato Halaan Cream Soup:
Clams sautéed in onion and ginger than steamed in white wine, which brought out the flavor of the halaan complementing the sweetness of the roasted tomato cream soup drizzled in basil oil. A different ambrosial twist to your classic halaan soup. Definitely worth a try.
For the main course, we had 3 entrees!
Crab & Shrimp Cakes:
Monterey style cakes served with a tamarind aioli. This for me is the winner of the night. First of all, it’s crabs and shrimps, two of my most favorite food in the world. The combination was just superb. The texture of the crab meat coupled with the crunchiness of the fresh shrimps… ahhh! But the tamarind aioli definitely made a world of difference to this wonderful dish. Love it!
Steamed Lapu lapu sat on a bed of ube (yam) mash. Yes Ube. I really love the colors and the presentation of this dish. The meat however, was a bit tough unlike the Chinese-style steamed fish I am used to.
Chicken leg deboned and stuffed with a cranberry rouge dressing and oven roasted to perfection. Drizzled with a red wine orange reduction and served with potato gratin. Not particularly fond of stuffed chicken and this one’s not an exception.
For dessert, we likewise got 2 kinds!
Crème Brule: Enjoyed this a lot, the custard baked perfectly leaving a smooth feel in the mouth.
Mango Strudel: Fresh mango tossed in sugar and cinnamon then wrapped in phylo dough. Baked till golden brown. It was the perfect combination of sweet with a hint of cinnamon and crisp. Perfect cap to a great dining experience.
Contact Details:Chef’s Table 1238 Emilio Jacinto St. corner Kalayaan Contact: Michelle Lim 0918-8871277