I have a confession to make. I am the type of person who easily gets intimated by wealthy people and fine-dining restaurants. Since I wasn’t born rich, my mind freely shifts from my chatty self to a surprisingly timid me whenever I get invited to these kinds of places. Honestly, no matter how many articles I read about the how-tos of fine-dining, I still get confused of the numerous utensils in the table. Why are there so many spoon and forks, guys? Why?!
Admit it; Filipinos are not used to this kind of locale. Being in a sophisticated ambiance and thinking of lavishly-priced dishes, I often dismiss the idea of going to fancy dining places of fear of being embarrassed. This is until I get to (bravely) tried one upscale resto in BGC.
Le Jardin Manila wanted to be known as a relaxed high-end dining place (read: not fine-dining). The place is owned by Chef Jonas Ng and Hasset Go, who have undergone a 6-month extensive French culinary training under the renowned French Chef Gils Brault of Les Trois Gourmands in Vietnam, who also happens to be the third owner of the resto. What I admired about the trained chefs was when Chef Jonas told us that, not only did they have to learn the techniques of executing the dishes, they also had to learn French along the way. This is since Chef Gils and most of his staff do not speak English. I wanted to give him a slow clap right then and there. Bravo Chefs!
What started as a dinner spot, they have now extended their menu by adding brunch to cater yuppies and office individuals. So what did I learn about Le Jardin, and their gorgeous brunch and French menu offerings? Read on.
5. It’s a romantic place to dine in.
Le Jardin comes with a very romantic vibe perfect for couples and/or ‘exclusively dating’ individuals. Add the fact that this resto is at the penthouse of a building, giving the diners a splendid view of the city. Since we came in during lunch time, I bet the sights could be more impressive during the night.
Got no partner? No problem. Since the launch of the brunch menu, this place also serves as a venue for client/work meetings or just a simple lunch escape from the office.
4. It’s the perfect spot for a wine and cheese party.
Cheese is said to be best paired with wine. I’m not really much of a fan of cheeses, but Le Jardin changed my mind just like that. I was talking to Chef Jonas when my brother gave me a slice. Fine—he put it in my mouth so to maybe shut me up a bit. I was like: “Uy, ang sarap. Ano yun?!”
We were handed 6 kinds of cheeses. Got that right. Six! All are homemade, cultured in their own kitchen at different ages. My personal favorite is the honey and almond cheese. The sweet and salty flavors of the cheese are such a good combination in your mouth.
They also have a small wine cellar where the finest wines from France were displayed. These were said to be handpicked by Chef Gils himself. Fun fact: Chef Gils is not only a distinguished chef; he is also an accomplished sommelier. Talk about achievements, huh!
3. They serve superb desserts.
We got to taste these three cakes, and they. were. delicious.