Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cicou

As soon as it opened, I was excited to see Hotel Celeste's boutique atmosphere. I have been a fan of boutique hotels, and when abroad, I usually stay in smaller hotels with great ambience and unique character (the definition of boutique). Hotel Celeste may be the first real boutique hotel in Manila, as G is still managed by Waterfront. But this post isn't about Hotel Celeste, as I was only to grace their lobby. This is about the French resto talked about in by both bloggers and chefs.

Restaurant Cicou is the newest dining experience at Hotel Celeste. The French menu offers a sufficient variety. I like the way the menu is presented, as they highlight (in bold) the main ingredient of the dish. The ambience is an upscale bistro, though I wasn't too much of a fan of the interiors (I thought they were tacky and cheap in a way if you look in detail or close-up).


Anyway, this is about the food, and this is a long overdue post. As soon as we finished ordering, we were offered 3 kinds of bread, Olive, Walnut and Wheat. We got one of each. I loved the Olive and Walnut, so we had seconds.


Afterwards, they served us a shot of cucumber soup (mixed with something I forgot). It was meant to cleanse our palette which did happen.



So to start, we got Tomato on a Crisp Puff Pastry with Egg Plant Caviar, Mozzarella and Parmesan Shavings (P250). I was quite disappointed with this as the puff pastry was hard to chew and even slice across. And it was served a bit cold, or grew cold easily that the flavors fell flat.


Mai got the Squash Cream Soup with Duck Liver Flan (P230). This was a great choice, as the duck liver boosted the creaminess of the soup.


Apparently, our cameras (both of them) lost battery so the next dishes weren't photographed. For main course, we had the Braised Sea Bass with Mashed Potatoes and Leeks with Truffle Sauce (P680). The truffle sauce powered the dish, and the sea bass tasted fresh.

The other was the Roast Chicken Breast Stuffed with Walnut Butter and Leg in Boudin Sausages (P650). Now, this was both a hit and miss dish for me. I was intrigued with the combo of chicken and boudin sausages, and thought it would be perfect. But in the end, I savored the sausages more and started eating the dish without the chicken. The dish also had quite an identity problem, as it had so many infusions.

Finally, the highlight of the evening, the beautiful Mille-feuilles of ganache and caramel chocolate. For some reason, I am craving for chocolate (being not a fan of chocolate). This creation certainly hit it off. I wish I had taken a photo. In any case, it was smooth, not too sweet, and the presence of caramel and ganache in one dish was heaven. I would certainly go back just for the dessert.

So, with all the dishes paired with White Wine by Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, we had a great two hour dinner experience. The waiter who served us was so attentive and was personable. He even sounded French. We loved the dessert and the bread. I guess the reason for the slight disappointment was because of the high standards set. But I still believe Je Suis is still the best French bistro in town, and I heard they have a new menu.


Cicou is the newest French bistro in town, and I just love the service, even if it took us 1 and a half hours to finish our dinner. Go for the desserts, and while you're there, savor some of their interesting courses. Haha. Desserts do come first.

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