Le Petit Souffle

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French and Japanese fusion has been something not unheard of. What comes to mind for me when this type of fusion is mentioned are the ending scenes of the Japanese movie “Tampopo”, replete with mouthwatering ramen. But as Kat has pointed out on more than one occasions, Le Petit Souffle takes fusion to another level. And on another level it sure was.

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Furikake Pomme Frites

For our date and de-stressing session, we started out with an appetizer, which was the Furikake Pomme Frites. When it arrived, the imagery of a pile of shoestring potatoes was a long step up from that of canned shoestring snacks. The texture was crunchy yet light on the taste buds. We managed to catch the natural flavor of the potatoes as well as the combination of nori, sesame seeds, and other seasonings they’ve mixed in, without the typical oiliness one usually expects from fried appetizer.

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Carbonara Souffle

 

 

 

For our main course, Kat picked the Carbonara Souffle. And it was a treat to be had aesthetically with the egg on top like a cloud ready to be mixed in with the firm pasta, crisp bacon, and grated parmesan. And once mixed together, it transcended all our expectations because the creaminess of the carbonara sauce wasn’t overpowering. The pasta created a platform for each ingredient to shine through.

 

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Japanese Beef Curry Souffle

I, on the other hand, took on the Japanese Beef Curry Souffle. I honestly did not expect myself facing a meal that’s good for two people. At the same time, it was just as inviting to the eyes as to the tastebuds. The fluffy texture of the scrambled egg complemented well the rice and curry underneath it. The beef was thinly cut into strips that absorbed the flavor of the curry, though I felt that the texture would have been better with the meat cut into cubes.

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Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Souffle

As we were in dire need of stress relief after the rigors of graduate school, we immediately picked to our old stress relief motto of ‘Get chocolate when stressed’.  The one thing that would fit the bill was the luscious Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Souffle. The dark chocolate caressed our taste buds, while the souffle itself achieved a balance of moist and firm  textures in the same bite. It was the ideal decadent ending to our meal.

After our meal, we took time to glance around the place, which evoked the feel of being in an Parisian garden cafe., with a touch of adorably barmy courtesy the rolling pins hanging out among the leaves and branches. This odd and welcoming charm cinched the deal for us.

Simply put, this was a dinner date to remember.

 

Food Score:5/5. Each item of the menu here is well thought of and combines well with each other. But we personally like the Carbonara Souffle because it is a class of its own, and the Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Souffle is sublime.

Ambiance / Service Score: 5/5. The entire restaurant gives of the vibe of being in a chic Parisian garden, which makes it a calming and comforting place to dine in. Their servers are also on top of our dining experience, informing us when the souffles will be ready and even assisted us to have the chocolate souffle come out 25 minutes after our main meals come in.

GERD Score: 3.5/5. My only problem with the menu is that since it is French-inspired is that there are plenty of dairy and eggs, which doesn’t help my heartburn. But thankfully they have plenty of options in their menu that can cater to most diets.

Epilepsy Score: 4/5. Hooray for well sourced ingredients, and rich dishes that do not rely on preservatives. Although coffee is a must-have at Le Petit Souffle, the teas and juices are also very much recommended.

Team Glasses Score: 4/5. All things considered, it was an amazing experience dining in Le Petit Souffle’s way of doing Japanese-French fusion cuisine. And we recommend that it should be experienced at least once by any casual gourmet here in the Metro.

 Le Petit Souffle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Persia Grill

Ah, Valentine’s Day: a big night for couples, traffic, and overbooked restaurants. According to a relative of mine in the restaurant business, this occasion is a major day for revenue if only for all the couples, families, and even groups of friends celebrating this holiday dedicated to the expression of romance. So this year, for Team Glasses’ first Valentine’s Day out, we decided we’d have to look beyond the lists of ‘romantic restaurants’ in the city. We eventually chose to go to an old favourite, Persia Grill.

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Luckily for us, there are several branches of this restaurant located in Metro Manila, with one of them found in the Greenbelt area. We arrived here in the early evening, before the dinner time rush. Right away, we were charmed by the restaurant’s cozy interior that still had distinctly Persian touches such as the elegant colored glass lamps hanging from the ceiling, and a small collection of traditional art prints on one wall. The overall effect was welcoming and classy, without resorting to Middle Eastern stereotypes just to make the restaurant live up to its name.

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We decided to try out the Peshgaza appetizer, which was a sampler platter of four dips and bread. The dips were salad oliveyeh (potato with chicken, herbs, and pickles), baba ganoush (roasted eggplant in olive oil), must o’ khiar (yogurt, cucumber, mint and onions), and hummus. The servings of this particular appetizer were generous enough for three to four people, or perhaps just two very hungry ones. All of these dips were flavourful yet not overpowering; in particular the must o’ khiar was perfect for cleansing the palate as a prelude to a hearty main course.

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I was determined to have Lee try out the gormeh sabzi, a favourite dish from some of my previous excursions to Persia Grill. This stew of slow-cooked beef, beans, and pickled gherkins is touted on the menu as a ‘national dish’. One bite was certainly enough to explain to us why this dish would be a worthy candidate for the title. Although the beef was not yet tender enough to melt in one’s mouth, it had been cooked long enough to pick up the flavours of rest of the ingredients. The stew itself was aromatic and spiced well without being too hot on the tongue, something we certainly appreciated during our leisurely dinner. We also opted to have Persian rice on the side, served still warm with butter on top. 

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Unfortunately this was still the busiest night of February, and by the time we thought of having dessert, we could see the place already beginning to fill up with couples and groups of friends also eager to celebrate. One of these days we’ll have to head back there to try the baklava and yogurt, among other concoctions on their menu. But that is another tale.

The Food Score:  5/5. Whether this is ‘authentic’ Persian food is still up for debate, but it doesn’t change the fact that the food in this restaurant is filling, tasty, and very friendly to diners who may not be as accustomed to Persian or other Middle Eastern cuisines. The spices go further than simply hot chilli, and employ a whole range of flavours to tickle one’s curiosity and fancy. The serving sizes are meant for sharing, so this is perfect for group or family nights out.

Ambiance/Service Score:   4/5. This particular branch of Persia Grill was a bit small, thus limiting the number of diners who could enjoy this place at any given time. Although some traditional Persian music was played on the speakers to add to the ambiance, the occasional selection of European classics occasionally detracted from the mood. The set of colored lamps are a nice touch, which caused Lee to reminisce his Friday rest-day adventures in the Middle East.

GERD Score: 4/5. While there are some dishes that could and perhaps will trigger one’s heartburn from their menu, a couple of advantages are that most of their meat options are grilled, and that they have a wide variety of food options to prevent burping episodes.

Epilepsy Score:  4/5. Perhaps the one drawback about this place is that it may not be easy for a diner to request for a dish to be made without ingredients that could trigger or aggravate seizures. However the menu offers a wide range of food and drink options, thus giving one a better opportunity to avoid trigger foods. The restaurant’s ambiance is relaxing and far from a sensory overload, thus reducing the likelihood of having a seizure induced by too much light or sound.
Team Glasses Score: 4.5/5. We’re not picky about whether this is ‘authentic’ Persian food; we just love to eat and tell people about it. And this place fits the bill of ‘food to share’, both in terms of size and quality. Now, time for dessert.

Persia Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato