One of the great things you’ll discover for yourselves when in Manila, is that there are numerous restaurants that serve exquisite international dishes that wil always, always leave you on a hunt to find the next great resto. I was on that same mission a few weeks ago and that hunt led me to Enderun‘s Restaurant 101.
You may have heard of Enderun Colleges, a college that started a few years ago and a college that offers a full range of Bachelor’s degree and non-degree courses in the fields of hotel administration, entrepreneurship, business administration and international hospitality management. In a short span of time, Enderun Colleges has already established an excellent reputation for producing top-notch students who, not only get into top hotels and restaurants in the country but who also get the chance to do their internships abroad and land reputable jobs there as well. Step inside their campus and you’ll find yourselves seemingly in a different country. The buildings are asian colonial inspired and since the campus sits on 1.7 hectare land, there is generous space in between their beautiful buildings that make them just perfect for their students to pick their own little nook for studying or just for hanging out.
So what’s a school doing in the business of running a restaurant? Here’s the interesting part. Restaurant 101 is actually an application restaurant which means most of the servers and cooks are, get this, actual students! Yep, Enderun’s very own students who, under the careful and watchful eyes of their mentors, apply everything they learned in their classrooms and school kitchens and whip up meals worthy of praise! To complete the dining experience for their patrons (and the teaching and learning experience for their students too) , Enderun Colleges even made sure that the restaurant would also be very stylish and reminiscent of contemporary Parisian restaurants. The restaurant is very spacious, the lighting subdued, and the furniture very classy which helped make the whole feel of the restaurant just very relaxed. Because of all that, throughout our whole experience at Restaurant 101, we did not feel, not even for a second, that we were inside an actual college campus.
Now, allow me to walk you through our impeccably delicious meal. First up was the cocotte of seasonal vegetables which was a mix of seasonal vegetables in olive oil, the 101 Caesar salad with classic romaine and their special homemade dressing and my personal favorite among the starters, the tanigue tartar which consisted of bits of pomelo, cilantro, salmon roe and calamansi dressing. Restaurant 101 pride themselves in not only changing their market menu every two weeks, they also make sure that they use local produce to make their signature dishes, as in the case of the tanigue tartar where they even finish off the dish with a mix of their calamansi dressing. And by adding the traditional french techniques to their cooking, they come up with recipes uniquely their own. And that tanique tartar was unique, fresh and very satisfying and it was also nice that it wasn’t heavy at all and I felt that it prepared my palette for the main course that was about to be served. So take my word for it, this starter is a must try when you come visit this restaurant.
Cocotte of Seasonal Vegetables
vegetarian selection, fennel, carrot, daikon radish and pumpkin in olive oil
101 Caesar Salad
classic romaine salad, poached egg,bacon, croutons, homemade ceasar salad. (320)
pomelo, cilantro, calamansi dressing, salmon roe (320PHP)
The Escargot Risotto was served first for the main course. The bowl of bright green food that greeted us was certainly interesting (aka, i’m not sure what that is) and it made me very curious as to what the taste would be like. And i’m quite happy to say that I was very fond of it. It wasn’t as heavy as most risotto’s I’ve had the (mis)fortune to try and the rice was cooked perfectly as well, not soggy nor dry. And the snails that lay atop the risotto added a little twist to the sweet flavor of the meal. It was just lovely. The escargot risotto would be one of my recommendations for your visit. Up next was the Grilled Sea Bass, where the fish was laid beautifully on top of a mix of squid, capers and basil. The fish was grilled to perfection, just enough to keep the outside intact but the inside remain juicy and piping hot! I’m a little particular with fish, meaning I like to have mine very fresh, if it could come straight from the sea and then cleaned and deboned and cooked right away, all the more better, but living in the city has made the access of fresh fish quite a task for me. But in this case, the grilled sea bass was fresh, tender and sweet and it was just delicious! It was very tasty, that I could definitely say, but because of it’s steep price and small portion, I might hesitate to get this the next time I come here.
Watercress risotto, garlic, burgundy snail, parmesan (380PHP)
Grilled Sea Bass
squid, capers,basil, lemon, balsamic reduction (880PHP)
The roasted chicken breast paled in comparison to the other dishes in terms of it’s presentation. I would’ve liked to have seen a little more color on my plate, maybe add a little vegetables on the side. But apart from that, don’t let it’s appearance fool you though (like it did me), this dish was juicy and savory and the perfectly cooked mashed potatoes with the gravy sauce of the chicken went perfectly together (my mouth is watering just thinking about this meal!). It soon became one of my personal favorites from their menu. So far, we’ve had five dishes and to be honest, I was already more than happy with the meals that we’ve had but the salmon sounded too good to pass up so we had that too. True enough, the Pan-seared Salmon was worth it, besides (i convinced myself), it’s seafood! We don’t gain a lot of weight when we eat seafood right? ;) and I know Salmon is definitely lower in fat than most red meats, so we’re good to go! And just look at the picture, even you would be able to tell that this too, was cooked to perfection. Soft enough that you know you can slice through this one quite easily. It was perfect.
chicken breast, mashed potatoes, mushroom sauce.
leek fondue, scallion oil, buerre blanc sauce (580PHP)
Oh!! And the Banana Surprise!! Imagine this, ham-wrapped senorita bananas cooked in a sauce that was absorbed by the bananas and was cooked until it left a crispy surface that I just wanted to break into. Now i know bananas and meat doesn’t sound like a good idea but this idea worked and it worked so well that when my fork broke into it, I took a bite off it, and became an immediate fan. This was one surprise that I enjoyed till the last bite! The sweetness of the sauce and the bananas complemented the meat, you’d be pleasantly surprised with this odd combination. Another definite must-try!
Ham wrapped senorita bananas, gratinated (480PHP)
When you finish a meal that just soooo delicious, you really can’t think of eating more…but…well, desert was up next. And who could say no to desert right? Not me. It is, after all, my favorite part of any meal :) We had the Ricotta Tart , which had senorita bananas and chocolate ice cream which was good but it was their enderun-colleges-restaurant-101-mckinley-hill-when-in-manila-fine-dining-shayla-sanchez-delicious-lunch that I enjoyed more. It looked simple but the chocolate was so moist and it went well with the outer crispy praline. Yum! I was glad I lef t a little more room for desert as it was worth it!
Senorita banana and Chocolate Ice cream (220PHP)
dark chocolate ganache over crispy praline bar (260PHP)
Down to the very end, I was impressed with Enderun’s Restaurant 101. I would definitely recommend this place for couples who want to just take time out from the busy metro and have someplace nice and quiet for a lovely meal just for two. My date and I enjoyed this meal and enjoyed the time that we had together at such a unique date spot. We’re already planning our next visit soon.
Marketing consultant Lou Molina took us around campus to check out the different classrooms and buildings of Enderun Colleges as she shared with us the many other things you could discover for yourself here. Want to try your hand at cooking? Take their culinary or pastry workshops. For those of you who are clueless about wines and want to learn more about them (reading wine labels, selecting wines, basics of wine tasting), spirits or even beer, check out either their wine, spirits or beer appreciation night. They also have non culinary workshops such as the Money 101, Fashion Entrepeneur Dialogue Series, or the Restaurant Management Series. It seems there’s a lot more to this College than just being a regular school. I’m already looking into enrolling in some of their classes like the Money 101 and the pastry workshop, who knows, I might discover something new about myself while we’re at it. And I’m always ready to take on a new challenge and experience.
So when in Manila and looking for a new date place, check our Enderun’s Restaurant 101 and enjoy the culinary dishes prepared just for you by their students and their internationally acclaimed chefs and mentors. And while you’re at it, maybe later on discover the other interesting classes that this college has to offer!
Credits to: Noel Salazar and Jimbo Sanchez for helping me out with the photos!
1100 Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio
Taguig City, 1634 Philippines
Telephone (632) 856 5000 local 505 | (632) 4037840