Thursday, October 16, 2008

La Maison

October 13, 2008
Greenbelt 5, Makati City

This was my second time at La Maison. The first time was for lunch and a business meeting. This time, it was for dinner and to accompany a friend on her blind date. Didn't know what I was doing in somebody else's date but I guess it's for moral support. The first time at La Maison, I loved it. I fondly remembered the very good soup that they had, lunch meals, and the Wagyu Burger. I was excited. A little TOO excited maybe...

As we were waiting for the "daters", we decided on some soup to warm our stomachs and to open our palettes a bit. I ordered the same soup I ordered the last time, the Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup. I wanted to be safe. I didn't want to try something unsure in preparation of the highly anticipated Wagyu Burger. I had the burger before but I forgot to bring a camera. This time I was ready...

Camera checked and its settings optimized, I was prepared this time. The Wagyu Burger though, was not. They ran out of stock. The very point I agreed to eat at La Maison was to take a picture of the Wagyu Burger for the blog but AGAIN, I didn't get my mission done. I mean, the Wagyu Burger wasn't as amazing as I expected and is kinda overated but I just wanted to share the photos and my review with you guys. Maybe next time the elusive Wagyu Burger will finally present itself. I'll be back for it La Maison...

Going back on track, we decided instead on sampling their other dishes. We got the Seafood Marinara Pasta, Fish and Chips, and the Baby Back Ribs. The pasta was just ok. I'm frankly not fond of tomato based pastas and this one didn't quite make an impression on me. It was normal. Same as any marinara pasta dishes I can get at a lower price range. Prices at La Maison are a little bit steep and for the price, I hope they can make better pastas than this.

The Fish and Chips, on the other hand, was a few notches above. The batter they used was really good. The fish had a very crunchy outer shell and the inside was very moist and tender. Perfectly cooked from the inside to the outside. There were also four sauces to choose from: curry, cocktail, tartar, and red bell pepper. My favorite was the tartar and the red bell pepper sauces. The tartar had no strong after taste that I usually hate about tartar sauces. The tartar sauce is perfect for the Fish and Chips and I love how it tastes. I'm just not fond of the after taste and the aweful breath you get with it. The red bell pepper sauce is awesome. A bit spicy but not to the point of burning a hole into your tongue. This was a great sauce for the "chips" (fries) as well. For me, the Fish and Chips of La Maison was fairly good but it sure ain't gonna beat Fish & Co's version. I believe that those are the best Fish and Chips I've ever tasted in Manila.

Taking place of the excitement I had for the Wagyu Burger, was the anticipation for La Maison's Baby Back Ribs. The restaurant's signage in fact said "Home of the BEST Ribs..." so I had high expectations. Good thing La Maison was telling the truth. They indeed had the best ribs I've tasted in a very long time. The meat was falling off the bone with tenderness and the flavor was through and through. The first touch of the meat on your tongue, you'd really taste all the flavors of the barbecue sauce and spices. As you bite into the meat, the intense flavors are still noticable. The ribs, I assume, were marinated really well to get this much flavor into it.

Here are a couple of things that struck me:

1. The soups are very very good. Very rich and very flavorful especially the Lobster Bisque and the Cream of Wild Mushroom. I suggest you get to taste their soups.

2. The bread made with squid ink. Ask for some. It's complementary and you guys should try it. Don't worry, it tastes the same as the normal bread but it smells really different and it has the essence of squid. It's weird when you come to think of it but it's definitely something new to try.

3. Whatever you do, don't forget to try the ribs. It's one of the best I've ever tasted.

In conclusion, La Maison may be a bit steep for those financially challenged but I think if you order the right dishes, you'll definitely get your money's worth. They have some very good entrées too that you can try which are priced on the average so you don't really have to be afraid to try La Maison out. I was not afraid, and, I'm definitely coming back for that Wagyu Burger.

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