Such was the case last night where we were invited to try a delicious 5-course degustation menu at Robot Restaurant. Degustation is a french term for a way of examining a dish by taking in tasting portions / smaller amounts to test its quality. Despite its small size, these dishes are normally bursting with flavor therefore delighting all senses. Thus, I arrived at Robot ready to be served with really small portions for this particular dinner.
We met the very friendly group behind the newest group buying site: Deal Dozen. Browsing their site, it reminds me of my current favorite groupon site with its clean white front page and its premium choice of establishments. This truly has potential!
The 5-Course dinner at Robot Restaurant is actually one of their deals being sold for only P1,150 instead of its original value of P1,800. It features the special creation of Robot's Head Chef Bruce Ricketts who trained in French Laundry, a restaurant in the US owned by Chef Tom Keller who also owns the classy Bouchon at Beverly Hills. After learning that Chef Bruce trained under the Michelin chef Tom Keller, I had extremely high expectations on our dinner that evening.
Dinner began with an Amuse Bouche of Salmon Tar Tar mixed with diced Apples, Celery and Curry Aioli encased in a small cucumber cup. It's like a sushi only there was no rice included and you can eat the entire cucumber cup in one go. The salmon tar tar tasted fresh and the curry gave more personality to this creation.
Our first course was Crispy Duck Roulade, Mixed Greens, Apples and Truffle Emulsion. The Crispy Duck reminds me of my favorite Taro Duck in Chinese restaurants. It's very tender inside and crunchy outside. I love how Chef Bruce played with the contrasting texture of this tiny duck nugget. However, what I enjoyed the most were the mixed greens. It was very flavorful though I can't seem to distinguish the truffle emulsion, I'm sure it played a role in making the salad more interesting.
In between bites and chatter, we get to know more about Robot Restaurant and Deal Dozen. I remember first visiting Deal Dozen after learning that they have a special deal selling a 2010 Mitsubishi Eclipse for only Php. 1.6M instead of the Two Million Peso rate. There are only two cars available and surprisingly one was immediately bought within hours of putting this deal up. Amazing!
Moving on to our second course we had Aligue Risotto with Edamame topped with Grilled Prawn and Cilantro Aioli. Notice that Chef Bruce loves playing with various flavors. Here its a mixed of rich crab fat rice and Japanese beans with lean grilled prawns. I liked the fact that Chef has cut up the prawns into bite-size portions to make it easier for us to eat it. The rice was very rich and delicious how I wish we can have more.
Our third course was Pan Roasted Dory with mexican Romesco sauce served with Potatoes Fondant, Olives, Calamari and Nori Salt. This is once again a story when East meets West. Strong mexican sauce gave a different taste to our well-loved pan-fried cream dory. I love the sliced olives and potatoes that adds more flavor to the fish.
I can't believe we're only on our third course! I was starting to feel full after finishing the fish and we still have two more dishes to try.
Moving to our Intermezzo, we had Watermelon Gazpacho and Robot Salsa. It's a savory intermezzo very different from the usual sweet sherbet that is normally served. I just stirred it to let the cilantro foam settle and drank it in one go. I immediately can taste the sweet watermelon followed by the savory garlic, salsa flavor. Yum!
After our Intermezzo, we have our fourth course which is the Grilled Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin with Egg Plant Miso Puree and Creamy Polenta. Upon hearing that this dish comes with polenta, I was excited! How I miss enjoying a good serving of polenta after our visit to C' Italian. Chef Bruce's polenta was delicious! I made sure to get a spoonful of it together with my piece of Kurobuta Pork. More polenta please!! :)
Lastly, we had dessert -- we had Mango Cheesecake which was the dessert of the day. It's not your ordinary cheesecake though, it has a textured crust topped with a piece of sweet mango. I sliced it into smaller pieces to be able to fully enjoy this dessert while Paul just popped the entire thing into his mouth. Whichever way you choose to do it, it surely is a good way to end your meal at Robot Restaurant.
Check out who we met that evening! It's Robot Restaurant's owner and TweetBiz host Tim Yap! We're fans of his show as we watch this almost every evening for our daily showbiz scoop.
After dinner, I visited the wash room and look what I saw! This could be the wash room of the future!
a TV screen in your own cubicle
I think I spent a good 15 minutes taking photos in their washroom which I later found out was pretty common with their guests.
*photo credit: Paul Ang (food)
Visit Robot Restaurant at 7921 Makati Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Call them at 812-8800.
Don't forget to buy a coupon from Deal Dozen to enjoy the 5-course degustation menu by Chef Bruce Ricketts.