Monday, November 14, 2011

A Special Potato Thanksgiving Dinner at Restaurant 9501

Who doesn't love potatoes?

Well, I know I do! I know my sister Pan and best friend T can't live without potatoes too!

This is mainly the reason why I braved the traffic and the strong rain as Paul and I drove all the way to Restaurant 9501 to be part of a special Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the US Potato Board. I was able to join their first Thanksgiving Dinner at M Cafe two years ago and till this day, I can't help by drool by the thought of those delicious Porcini & Truffle Gnocchi. It was simply delicious.

Restaurant 9501 is a private restaurant exclusive only to ABS-CBN employees and their registered guests.  While I don't work for the network, I had the privilege to dine there a few years ago for a South African festival wherein I enjoyed my meal very much.

Putting together two amazing experiences both with the US Potato Board and Restaurant 9501, it's no wonder why I immediately sent my confirmation upon receiving their invite and was actually counting down the days till this very special Thanksgiving Dinner.

We got there a bit late yet were ready to catch up with the crowd. It was a 4-course meal consisting of specially created dishes by Chef Myrna Segismundo and all makes use of...what else!?...POTATO!

potato 3

Our meal started with a plate of Potato Bread accompanied by Chef's very own Adobo Pate and Tomato Jam. The bread was quite heavy and is more stuffed than the usual wheat bread. I chose the adobo pate and enjoyed the light meaty flavor of the spread. Paul, found the Tomato Jam very interesting as he was expecting it to taste like a Tomato Chutney but instead there was a hint of sweetness just like his favorite jam at home.

potato 1

We moved on to the appetizer which was a plate of Seared Scallops, Straight Cut Potatoes and topped with Apple Waldorf Salad and Basil Oil. The scallops were very tender and fresh. I loved how well seasoned it was yet I enjoyed swirling it over the basil oil to even add more flavor to it. The Waldorf salad was ok but we think it had a tad too much apple slices in it. I also can't find the straight cut potatoes too, I think the kitchen staff forgot to put some on my plate.

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Our soup was a creamy masterpiece of Truffled Mashed Potato with Porcini Mushroom Froth. I love potatoes and I love truffles so this soup definitely earned lots of stars in my book. It has a heavier consistency due to the mashed potato mixed into the soup while every slurp is so flavorful as it's mixed with truffle oil. I love that it was presented in a small teacup too.


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Of course, what's Thanksgiving without having turkey? I was a bit hesitant about eating turkey as I always find turkey meat dry, bland and quite boring. When my Roast US Tom Turkey plate as served in front of me, I took a small bite and I was surprised that the meat was very tender. It actually felt like eating chicken leg, yes it was that tender. Chef Myrna also added in the traditional bread and nut stuffing that has given the dish a delightfully nutty texture. I also loved the creamed spinach and the candied crinkle-cut potatoes that made this turkey creation truly unique. I could hardly find the gravy and the minted orange-cranberry relish but I didn't mind at all as I was enjoying every bite of my turkey dish. Truly, being able to enjoy this is something worth being thankful for.

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Dessert was also another surprise. My first encounter with poached pears was during a trip to Hong Kong where we didn't enjoyed this dessert very much. Thus, I also felt a little hesitation when I saw that we will be served poached pears for dessert. Still, it is always my belief to keep an open mind all the time. After cleaning our turkey plate sparkling white, out came the dessert plate where we had Poached Pears and Grapes served with Mashed Potato Crepe and Vodka Sabayon. I loved how fragrant the crepe was, it was served warm and as I take a careful scoop, I enjoyed the warm thin crepe covering the juicy poached pear slices. It was goooood! The sweetness was just right and it gave a very comforting feeling perfectly fit to end this delicious meal. Paul wasn't able to finish his dessert as he was very full from the three other courses but not for me as my plate was once again empty as I ate the entire crepe and finished off all the grapes too! Yum!

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Frannywanny with Chef Myrna Segismundo

What a great evening chit-chatting with fellow bloggers and friends in the media. In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my loving family, really good friends and the privilege to be able to indulge and have a great meal like this.

How about you? What are you thankful for this year? :) Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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