Tast­ing Room re­turns to the City of Dreams

Business World - - ARTS & LEISURE - — Michelle Anne P. Soli­man

THERE IS NO need to travel far to ex­pe­ri­ence sump­tu­ous French cui­sine, not since The Tast­ing Room re­opened at the NÜWA (for­merly Crown Towers) at the City of Dreams in Parañaque City. A con­tem­po­rary take on haute French cui­sine with Asian in­flu­ences is now of­fered by the restau­rant’s new chef de cui­sine Fred­eric Thevenet, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with restau­rant man­ager Stephen Maroney.

Mssrs. Thevenet and Maroney have work to­gether since 2015, most re­cently at Pierre Gag­naire’s La Mai­son 1888 at the DaNang Sun Penin­sula Re­sort in Viet­nam. Mr. Thevenet told Busi­ness

World dur­ing a me­dia pre­view on Feb. 8 that the chal­lenge of fig­ur­ing out Filipino din­ers was what made him de­cide to come to Manila. “The thing, first of all, is try to think of what the cus­tomer will like, be­cause I can­not ar­rive and just make my French food. I know that prob­a­bly not all cus­tomers will ap­pre­ci­ate it. You al­ways have to do a mix fol­low­ing the coun­try where you are.

“You ( Filipinos) are quite open... You are ea­ger to dis­cover new fla­vors and a new style of cook­ing,” Mr. Thevenet said of his ob­ser­va­tions on Filipino din­ers.

Guests are now wel­comed to the restau­rant’s neu­tral col­ored yet rich in­te­rior which seats 56, this in­cludes the main din­ing area for 40 guests, a semi-pri­vate area, and a bar for eight peo­ple.

The new Tast­ing Room of­fers a choice be­tween a four-course and six-course menu show­cas­ing dishes by Mr. Thevenet which change ac­cord­ing to what is in sea­son. A four­course menu is priced at P4,588++ per per­son and a six-course menu is P5,088++. Wine pair­ing is of­fered at an ad­di­tional P2,000++ and P2,800++, re­spec­tively.

The dishes of­fered on the cur­rent menus in­clude sea bass carpac­cio; porcini and king prawns ravi­oli with green curry, en­dives and co­conut; lob­ster bisque with ginger and es­pelette pep­per; pollock ( from France) with chou­croute, smoked ba­con, tofu, and ju­niper berries; and grade 7 Aus­tralian wagyu beef. The meal ends with the Choco­late Suc­cess cake com­ple­mented with ly­chee veloute.

To help sim­mer down af­ter a fill­ing din­ner, a se­lec­tion of fresh herbs — pars­ley, sage, rose­mary, and thyme — is cut, pre­pared in front of the guest, and served in cup of warm water.

“What we want to do is just to keep the taste of the pro­duce as much as we can. We are not go­ing to go with sev­eral propo­si­tions of taste in a plate. We try to stay fo­cused with the pro­duce be­cause the pro­duce is the star. If you have good pro­duce, you have good food. If you have bad pro­duce — bad food,” Mr. Thevenet said.

“It’s an ex­pe­ri­ence — to give the guest a feel of a Miche­lin din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence re­ceived in Europe,” Mr. Maroney said about din­ing at the Tast­ing Room.

Mr. Thevenet fol­lows a sim­ple phi­los­o­phy, “Make it good. Sim­ple,” Mr. Thevenet said. “Make it the best you can ev­ery day.”

The Tast­ing Room is open from 6: 30 p. m. to 10: 30 p. m. A spe­cial five- course Valen­tines menu ( P4,900++) with wine pair­ing ( P2,500++) is avail­able un­til Feb. 16. For in­quiries and reser­va­tions, call 800- 8080, e- mail guestreser­va­tions@cod- manila. com, or visit www.city­of­dreams­man­ila.com/thetast­in­groom.

RAVI­OLI with porcini, king prawns, green curry, en­dives, and co­conut

LOB­STER BISQUE with ginger and Espel­lete pep­per

WAGYU BEEF with black pep­per, onions, and pota­toes

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