Saturday, February 9, 2008

CUILLERE

3.5 out of 5 stars

The French resto in Serendra, pronounced as KU-YER, is as authentic as one can get apart from stepping into a brasserie (check the technical definition of brasserie attached to the end of this blog) in France. The look and feel and taste of the place, apart from being genuinely French, is warm and inviting. The outside has seating arrangements for the smokers in wooden stools where you can peek through the red wooden windows, with floor to ceiling glass, and wave at the customers inside. Once inside, menus are written on walls and pillars, trompe d'oeil murals of cafes and gardens adorn its walls, and an open bar is found in the front corner of the place. The owners (being the Arce [of the ice cream] family) have certainly done a good job of decorating its interiors (interior and exterior pics care of daguldol).

The word "cuillere" means spoon....now whether it's a teaspoon or a dessert spoon (where the French word is usually attached to) is a sign of things to come, as their dessert menu lists an extensive array of desserts in a separate menu of its own.

But I didn't have space to eat these treats because I was already full with my entree, Loup de Mer, Risotto au choix (Sea Bass on Risotto of choice, 895 PhP). You could choose between squid ink or mushroom risotto. I chose the latter, since I'm not too fond of squid. My twin sister got the exact same thing with two full servings of chardonnay, while my friend Bern, got the Foie Gras au Torchon (Poached Foie Gras, 775 PhP) and Milkshake (made of carabao's milk). Finally, Kuya JunJun got the Filet de boeuf, Sauce Fromage Bleu (Tenderloin Steak with Blue Cheese Sauce, 545 PhP) and beer, secretly hoping his order would be the most "sulit." Haha!(Gia and Bern in the left pic)

Unfortunately for me, I think his wishing proved true. My sea bass was huge, succulent and all those things, but it wasn't a clean fillet, having lots of bones in it. Also, the mushroom risotto was forgettable. Even if they used real Parmesan shavings, they only used button mushrooms. I was thinking they'd use something more exotic for 895 pesos.

Loup de Mer, Risotto au choix

Bern was also disappointed with her foie gras. She expected it to be served whole, seared and crisp on either ends with creamy insides. Hey, maybe she even expected it to be braised and evenly tender...but not served cold as terrine, as she claims! Terrine is similar to pate, only that the meat is chunkier and flavored in a wine and herb mixture while it develops its flavors for a day or two. However, it is easier to mix in less quality foie gras since it turns out pate-like anyway.

Well, I'm not sure why Bern thought it was terrine.... Maybe because it was cold, I'm not sure, but when you read the menu, "au Torchon," it means that it's poached in cellophane with some alcohol. I've tasted this in Red before, but I wasn't so fond of it myself because it's easy to stash it in the freezer for a while then call it "au Torchon." Either way, I don't get foie gras that is cooked terrine, poached or otherwise, preferring to stick to the more common method of pan-searing it. In the menu, this is described as, "Duck liver poached 'au torchon' served chilled with Quince jelly."

Foie Gras au Torchon

Bern also had the Carabao Milkshakes (195 PhP), supposedly one of their specialties. It was even good enough to have as a dessert (as the menu says) and I spotted my Tita's children slurping it in the front as an after-meal. It looked like a really thick (and fattening) milkshake, very rich with grated cheese on top. Although it looked really luscious, Bern said it was just okay, not something she raved about. Maybe it's because she got plain vanilla, but I'll probably have to try it myself before I can give a definitive rating. I forgot to take a picture of it, so I just used Southbound's.

Carabao Milkshake

Luckily (for him), Kuya Junjun got the best entree of all with the Filet de boeuf, Sauce Fromage Bleu. Desribed as "beef tenderloin steak on a bed of spinach and artichokes with blue cheese sauce," it was a big serving of steak, with not just a side of vegetables, but also a ceramic full of really creamy mashed potatoes. The sauce was made of light olive oil, with what seemed like either balsamic vinegar or alcohol. When I had a bite of the steak, you can tell that it was marinated for a long period of time, it was that flavorful! Moreover, the blue cheese in the sauce was there even if you can't see it that well.

Filet de boeuf, Sauce Fromage Bleu

Cuillere is a good resto as any when dining in Serendra. This is surely a place to check out if you happen to be here, trumping even the likes of its other neighbors Mamou and Thai at Silk.

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Soups, Salads, Appetizers














Sandwiches, Pastas, Cheeses














Main Courses












Cuillere Part 2

Cuillere

Serendra
Bonifacio High Street
The Fort
Taguig City, Metro Manila
(02) 856-3325

*No need to reserve, unless you're big company.

-------------------------- www.wisegeek.com ----------------------------

Brasserie is the French term for brewery, but in actuality the French and the rest of the world use the term brasserie to describe semi-large, informal restaurants that stay open late, don’t require reservations, and may be open for several meals a day. The food is typically simple, and you can enjoy it with beer, wine, or any number of drinks. Usually the brasserie will feature a special or two each day that are typically French dishes, but the primary offerings are classics like steak and seafood.

Brasseries are much larger than bistros. The bistro tends to be a casual restaurant with only a few entrees. The Brasserie offers a more extensive entrée selection. Small bistros may have great food, and some are run by world-class chefs to showcase their food in small and intimate atmospheres. In contrast the Brasserie is not small, and frequently loud, though the food may be just as good.

The brasserie first got its start with the destruction of the nobility during the French Revolution. Chefs who had worked for the nobility still wanted to showcase their gifts and skills and began to open numerous bistros, cafes and brasseries. Importantly, the brasserie offered wine or beer with food, while many cafes did not.

While we think of each brasserie as unique, many are now operated by chain companies. The Flo chain is one of the larger brasserie companies in France, owning several well-known dining places. These include, in France, La Coupoul, Brasserie Flo, Julien, and Bofinger. Chain establishments may disappoint those who visit Paris regularly when they expect a more unique dining experience. Others argue that the food at these particular establishments is still excellent, and unlike the more exclusive bistros run by “name” chefs, and formal restaurants, it’s much easier to get a meal at a brasserie.

In addition to serving excellent entrees, the brasserie usually has several wonderful French desserts that make them worth a visit. Crème Brule and soufflés often top the list and make an excellent finish to an already good meal. Don’t forget to order french fries with grilled dishes like steak. Many argue that French fries in France are far superior to their American cousins.

The brasserie offers good food at lower prices than a restaurant. You can expect to spend between 20-70 US dollars (USD) at a brasserie for a meal. The food is typically French, beautifully prepared but is not served in the formal restaurant setting. Before dining at a Paris brasserie, or one in England, Australia or the US, inquire about reservations. In some cases, not making a reservation may mean waiting quite a while before eating, especially with some of the best-known French brasseries.

2 comments:

Sakai said...

i was disappointed with theier milshakes. i rather go to Filling station.
They have seared foie gras, huge pieces for 1,400
will try the steak next time i dine there

graey eats said...

hey jeff!! :)
the steak wasn't as good as before. I updated my review on Cuillere, and I'm not sure if I could rave much about it anymore. It's not bad at all, but it's not mind=blowing either

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