Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Brasserie Girolle @ the Fort Strip

Brasserie Girolle: Few Gimmicks, All Heart

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Each restaurant has its story. Some of these stories are of the grand variety; they are tales of chefs and culinary enthusiasts who discover trade secrets and unleash them on society through photogenic and mouth-watering dishes. Other stories aren’t as grand, but are full of meaning and heartfelt thoughts.

Some stories begin because of something as seemingly insignificant as a French mushroom.

“While I was studying in France, I accidentally sliced these mushrooms—they are called ‘girolle’—incorrectly,” Chef Ian Padilla shares with a laugh. “The chef who was supervising my training got so angry that I was punished by having to scrub toilets for a few months. When I decided to open my own restaurant here in the Philippines, I remembered that story and went with the name ‘La Girolle’.”

La Girolle has been around for quite some time now. This is Chef Ian’s first venture into the restaurant business, and one of the few who serve simple, honest French cuisine. Brasserie Girolle happened because he wanted to open up a more casual, laid-back space that still retained his kitchen and food philosophies. “In France, I would almost always find myself stopping by and dining at brasseries,” he says. “I wanted to bring that concept here to the Philippines and incorporate it into my new restaurant.”

Located at Ground Level of The Fort Strip
For our food tasting, we had a traditional three-course dinner consisting of an appetiser, a main course and a dessert dish. These, according to Padilla, are some of their best-selling dishes.
For the entrée, we had the Rilette de Cochon (P310) with grilled bread. This flavourful spread is pork-based—the belly and shoulder portions, to be specific—slow braised to perfection. The flavour of the pork is very distinct and the final product is, though served chilled, still very tender. Fans of bread-and-spread dishes will enjoy this unique offering.
Rilette de Cochon
 
Our main course was Boeuf Bourguignon (P490), a well-known and well-loved traditional French dish. As a treat to the palate, beef is braised in burgundy wine to be made flavourful and tender. The dish is then garnished with other flavour enhancers like bacon bits, carrots and shallots. I’ve had several varieties of beef bourguignon over the course of my food-tasting career, and Girolle’s is one of the best that I have tried. His version has a very hearty, comforting feel, and all the ingredients come together quite nicely. “The type of beef that I used for this dish is actually one of the toughest cuts,” he explains. “The key is in how you treat it.”
Boeuf Bourguignon
 
The Tarte au Chocolat (P290) is small in serving, yet rich in taste. It’s all dark chocolate, with a fine crust and a fresh strawberry on top to contribute to the overall flavour. Although basic and nothing too out of this world, its slightly bittersweet taste makes it a fine dessert choice. It makes an excellent palate cleanser for the main dishes and makes for a good companion with one of their fine wines. This may come in handy should you decide to avail of their Wine All You Can promo, which is available at P900.
Tarte au Chocolat
 
 
Wine and dine
Brasserie Girolle is simple in concept, presentation and menu offerings. It is nothing over the top; it is traditional French food, plain and honest. The establishment’s main driving force is its chef’s passion for food, which manifests well in the dishes that continuously roll out from the kitchen.
“Enjoy,” says Chef Ian Padilla as he brings out each dish. And we do.
Establishment Info

Brasserie Girolle


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