Wednesday, April 30, 2008


4.5 out of 5 stars

quotations lifted off

"Enderun is a college that offers a full range of bachelor's degree and non-degree courses in the fields of hotel and restaurant management and culinary arts. Enderun's mission is to prepare its students for leadership positions in this dynamic global industry, not only by providing them with unrivalled professional, and management training, but by grounding them in the humanities, social sciences, arts, and practical physical sciences.

This culinary school houses not only "state-of-the art learning technologies-including cutting-edge audiovisual equipment and wireless networking in classrooms and demonstration labs" but also a culinary arts restaurant that is open to the public for dining reservations. It is called Restaurant 101, "where delectable meals are prepared by students, providing a venue for hands-on learning in a real-life setting."


There are a lot of deli-restos, restos turned boho-chic, restos in tagaytay or restos-cum-winery; but there are only a few known culinary school with a restaurant where they train their students in it. The first one I remember would be the tea house in UP Home Ec. There's also this new one of La Salle called "Solomon House." But the best and downright most impressive of them all in its class (semi-fine dining) would be Restaurant 101 in Enderun (for fine dining, Aubergine); and for the following reasons:

1) SERVICE IS IMPECCABLE - the students are manning most of the positions in this establishment from waiters, to the chefs, back to the register. Though they may not be professionals yet, their earnestness and commitment to perform excellently (under pain of a good grade, perhaps? :) make an eating experience here unforgettable.

2) THE KITCHEN IS BEAUTIFUL - If you have a kitchen that looks like this, you should expect delicious-tasting food to come out of there. Anything less than that is an insult to the facility.
Open Kitchen
found in the hallway before entering the restaurant

3) THE AMBIENCE - elegant and private. The blue lights and high benches add a dramatic touch, yet you still feel very comfortable.

4) THE FOOD - Here were the dishes that we ordered, along with the freebies:

Freebies: One of the times I went here, they served white and whole wheat buns with creamed butter. I love how restaurants are thoughtful enough to cream butter in a soft paste, making it more spreadable and the taste more rounded and subdued.

At another time, they had small kaiser buns with regular butter. The bread was really tough and hard enough to bounce off a wall. Unfortunately, I didn't like this as much the second time around.

I often order Kiwi Juice in UCC because I like the bright neon green color (probably from food coloring) and its very fluid texture. This shake is quite the opposite, being very chunky and naturally colored. I was surprised how I actually liked it, and how filling it was... and look at the awesome glass shape!

The Cream of Butternaut Squash with cinnamon croƻtons and BBQ chicken (90 PhP) was probably everyone's favorite order. Everyone loved to eat it in different ways, some dunking the chicken in te soup, eating it separately or dipping it in. The tangy taste of the bbq complemented the mild taste of the squash perfectly.

The Gratinated French Onion Soup with Beaufort cheese croutons (90 PhP) was just okay, according to my friend, Kate. To gratinate would be to cook in a sauce until the sauce is absorbed and a crisp surface forms. As can be seen from the picture, it almost looks like a crispy surface, and Beaufort Cheese, a French hard cheese similar to Swiss Gruyere, formed the rectangular center of the bowl. Even with all this work, she still liked the same soup in Katre the most. This comes to an average second.

The Baked Gnocchi Florentine (220 PhP) [pronounced NEEYOEKEE] was divine. I myself make gnocchi at home. I make mine with mashed potato and flour, then drench it with pesto sauce, some marinara and pine nuts. These dumplings are made with spinach, hence its green color, accompanied with gorgonzola sauce. You feel like it's a sin when you eat this. It's so rich and creamy, and tastes like pure cheese in every bite. I'm a cheese-lover, so I found it quite lovely.

When I saw the Penne Al la Bascaiola (250 PhP), I immediately got it, being a mushroom junkie myself. This one was made of wild mushrooms, parma ham and mascarpone cheese. It tasted a little too much like the gnocchi, though, and seemed superfluous next to the other entrees. Some of the girls didn't like it because it was too rich. The sauce was a little bit lumpy, and should have had more liquid to thin it down. I personally didn't mind that. But what i did mind was the parma ham. It had a weird taste, like it was not used for awhile. But I did like the mushrooms. I think you can never go wrong with mushrooms. Isn't the right way to spell mushrooms in Italian though "boscaiola" and not "bascaiola?"

The Smoked Duck (380 PhP) that I ordered is apparently a popular mainstay according to our student waiter, which is why I chose it. It had a cranberry and peppercorn sauce, so it was almost a combination of sweet and spicy. Fortunately, the cranberries weren't too sweet, nor did I gag and spit out the peppercorns when I bit into them. The latter had a great mildly spiced flavor, and the pepper aftertaste lasted even after you finished eating the peppers themselves. The duck did not taste like your ordinary duck since it was completely smoked. Rather than being brownish and meaty, it was rubbery and pink, and you can taste the smokiness althroughout the meat. The way they treated the duck was the most appropriate way of pairing it with this unique sauce. I found it delicious and creative, but it's not something you'll order over and over again.

The Panfried Cinzano Scallops and Prawns (450 PhP) were really delicious. I wasn't sure what Cinzano was, so I checked it out, and it said in Wikipedia that it's an Italian brand of Vermouth. I just remember vermouth being used on martini. Anyway, it had fresh tomato tarragon salsa and edameme mash. Edameme is a japanese bean, and when they turned it to mash, it almost tasted like a vegetable mashed potato. Apart from it being flavorful, with the wine sauce and vegetables combined, it was still really healthy. Even without any starch, this was still filling. I'd order this again if I had the chance.

The Lengua Estofado (320 PhP) was just okay, according to Kate. It's basically braised ox tongue with olives, pearl onions and mushrooms. They really make it a point to steer away from the typical viand and starch. This is because they don't tell you that all entrees can come with a variety of sidings, as written i the menu. So if you don't tell them, they don't serve it.

Ijin got the Garlic Steam Tofu and Seabass Fillet (450 PhP). It was served with rice pilaf. It had bok choi in it and light brown watery sauce. I didn't get to taste it, but he didn't seem blown away with it either, so I guess it's also just alright. It looks awfully healthy.

Bern and Pao got the BBQ Hoisin Baby Back Rib [sic] (350 PhP) with yellow rice and grilled corn on the cob. Nothing spectacular, but enough to lick the bone clean. I was never personally fond of putting hoisin on ribs, preferring it on one thing alone: fried duck. I can't get the salty-sweet thing anyway. At least when it was with something like peking duck, the duck's taste without the hoisin is bland; hence it really needed the hoisin.

I think the winner among all the entrees were Nix's and Jen's Salmon in a Pouch (420 PhP). It was baked with baby potatoes, porcini, roast peppers, truffle oil, herbs and caper sauce. I need not even describe how scrumptious this meal look and tasted. The pictures speak for themselves! Also, once Nix and Jen opened their pouches, you could smell the truffle oil wafting around the area. MMMMM-MMM!!!

The Aluminum Pouch

The Salmon Inside

Among the desserts, the Dark Chocolate Cream was the most delicious, since the Walnut Tort was a little too sweet, and the Panna Cotta a little too meager.

Dark Chocolate Cream with Raspberry Coulis

Walnut Torte

Panna Cotta

Also, this resto has a good selection of wines. Woody got the group a bottle of Aussi Wallace, and a Romanian White. both were very good, and even when we were done eating, was still a great way to cap off our meal.

5) THE PRICE THAT CAN'T BE BEAT --- soup for 90 pesos, salmon for nearly 400? Considering its a refined establishment, the prices are very, very reasonable. I guess it's because the resto also benefits its students: we get great food, they gain invaluable resto management.

Oh, they also change their menus every semester with the new influx of students. Right when we ate here, they were going to revamp their menu within the week, probably just keeping the favorites and best-selling dishes.

One very apparent downside would be reserving this place. Sometimes, no one attends the phone, or the school transfers your call to the wrong department. This is why reserving this place can either take one call, or sometimes the entire day at different hours whenever the school's empty or too busy. Restaurant 101 badly needs a direct line instead of having to go though the school trunk line.

Nonetheless, eating here is a fun dining experience. Among the restos in Ortigas, you're missing a gastronomic experience if you haven't tried Restaurant 101 yet!

menu. appetizer, soup, salad, sandwich. pastas. entrees.

wine list.

Restaurant 101, Pasig
2/F Wynsum Corporate Plaza, 22 F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center
Pasig City, Metro Manila
(02) 638-5555

has now transferred to:

11oo Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill
Fort Bonifacio
(02) 856-5000 loc 101
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm


banonymous said...

the soup is souper

graey eats said...

banonymous: ur a kyotie, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

wow, u guys ordered a lot...parang ako hehe

tomas/noni said...

can we try chef's bistro next week? sige na naman??

graey eats said...

sakai: but of course!

noni: game, but you never ask ;P you know naman I'm summer, so I'm free :) be prepared, though, for me to bring out my cam and start taking pictures, hahaha.

aznpoptart said...

that glass is awesome. lol.

try pepper lunch! i'm being a supportive friend. hehehe.

graey eats said...

aznpoptart: pepper lunch....i heard of pepper steak but not pepper lunch....where is that? :)

aznpoptart said...

oh. pepper steak is the gaya gaya version of pepper lunch. my friend franchised pepper lunch from sg.

they had their soft opening last friday. parking level 1 (P1) powerplant mall. across the hall from the grocery.

you'll feel at home. they have a molten chocolate cake. lol. :D

graey eats said...

aznpoptart: molten chocolate cake??? I'm there! *drool* :)

Anonymous said...

i know this sexy lady who owns this website.she is driving a mazda 3 or 4 if i'm not mistaken and so is noni. to start service at 101 is wrong to say 'impeccable'. i dined there and it was disappointing! the malaysian chef married to a filipina see should see not only the foods, the bad foods being cooked but also the bad service the students are given. parang pinagpapraktisan ka lang once you dine in this restaurant.

graey eats said...

Anonymous July 17, 2008: I'm sorry to hear about that. Not everyone gets the best service from culinary schools, mainly (you're right) cos they're still studying their craft

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