Sunday, February 21, 2010

Celsius Gastrolounge

I've had a string of bad new restaurants recently. The most recent and probably the worst of the year so far was Bordeaux in Burgos Circle at the Fort. That experience was bad enough for me not to take any pictures of the place and food. French food and service at its worst. To think I had a wonderful experience at Je Suis last Valentine's.


So when I was again in search of a new restaurant, I became nervous. I pass by a new restaurant called, Celsius in the Morato area, near Shakey's. The place intrigued me, but I was afraid it was another pretentious restaurant, since there were very few guests. So when I went back to the area last night, I took a bold move of having dinner there.


Celsius called itself a gastronomic lounge, where you can get a unique gastronomic experience. I thought I made the wrong move going inside, since again, we were the only guests. But, as they say, you'll never know until you try. So we did, made it up to the 2nd floor lounge area. Their menu looked interesting, and they had a one pricing policy for their courses. Hence, all appetizers had one price, and so did the soups, salads and main courses. It was interesting to see this method of pricing. Their selection looked interesting as well as I read through their uncluttered menu. A very friendly waitress took our orders, most of which were her recommendations.


I was still feeling a bit nervous, until this plate of great tasting buns arrived. The bread came with hummus, which actually tasted good. The buns were perfectly browned and the saltiness was just right.


Our first order of Roti Chennai came forward. The roti was tough, ad you would guess it came packed from the freezer. But the roti was beside two dips: curry of course, and surprisingly, salsa. I initially was against the salsa, but when I took a spoonful and mixed it with the curry, the roti tasted heavenly. That was probably one of the best salsas I've tasted.


So the initial salvo was inspiring and was all lit with smiles with the food so far. Our next dish was a salad with sesame coated prawns. I tasted the greens first which took me back to the beach. The taste was refreshingly citrus. But that wasn't all, it came with 4 huge servings of sesame coated prawns that were superb.


When I got the menu, I wanted to order a lot of dishes. We finally settled on one main course, Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Chorizos. The dish was a recommendation of the waitress. For the first time, I had to express so much gratitude to a waitress, because the dish was great indeed. Let's start with the sin of crispy skin which made my eyes open wide in delight. The spinach and chorizos were perfectly blended together with other vegetables that laid at the base of the succulent white meat of chicken. This was the best dish I had so far this year.


And it didn't end there. Their desserts sounded tempting as well on the menu, but we ordered the most intriguing. The Star Anise Souffle with Banana Fritters. If you have tasted the banana pancakes of Thailand, then you would instantly be taken back to the streets of Bangkok. The star anise cream souffle tasted as expected like cinnamon, but they infused almond flavor as well.

As they say, I will never know until I try it out. Though there weren't any customers and having interiors that looked amateur, Celsius Gastrolounge broke my bad restaurant streak, and proved that good restaurants don't have to have star chefs. I assumed that the masterpieces served on our small table was the result of a passion for gastronomic delights by whoever owns this place. I highly recommend you guys appreciate this passion, and fill up those seats.

* Celsius Gastrolounge is located in the Morato area, in the street where Shakey's is. It is also in front of the new Japanese restaurant, Akiage.

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