Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dinner Date at Cru Steakhouse, Manila Marriott Hotel

Every time Paul takes me out on a date, I still feel all giddy and excited about it. Mind you, we have been dating for more than 9 years already! While we're no longer the college kids that we used to be where sharing a cup of Mocha Frappuccino and a plate California Maki would turn me all lovey-dovey, I still blush and get tiny butterflies in my stomach whenever he tells me to prepare for a date.

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As we were planning our mini staycation at the Manila Marriott Hotel a few weeks back, we both agreed to just enjoy the hotel's facilities and not to go out..not even for dinner. This just means that we will be having ALL our meals inside the hotel. Luckily, our overnight stay also came with a complimentary dinner at Cru Steakhouse. Yay! It was both our first time to actually dine at Cru except for the time wherein we were invited to try Marriott Cafe's Sunday Brunch which includes crossing over to Cru for some juicy steak and seared foie gras.

Remember we had guests who visited us on our first day at Marriott? Well, we excused ourselves as the clock struck six to take a warm, long bath, get dressed and (yes, believe it or not) I even put on a little make-up! At age 30, I'm probably one of the few girls who goes about my day without a tiny make-up on my face but of course, a dinner date with my husband just means I have to look my hottest best.

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Wearing my favorite blue floral backless short dress, a pair of strappy heels and making sure my unruly hair behaves all throughout the night, I held Paul's hand as we headed to Cru just in time for our dinner reservation.

I love the classy dark entrance and as Paul gave his name, we were led to a cushioned booth that I got to admit was a bit of a challenge for me to slide in with poise. We went through the menu and agreed to share an appetizer and the main course. No more salad or soup as we want to fill our tummy with steak, steak and more steak.

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As soon as we gave our order, our server presented the bread board. It had three types of breads -- Spinach (or was it Brocolli), Cheese and something else. Forgive me as I was too busy munching on the fluffy, buttery bread that I failed to take note of exactly what they were made off. It came with some butter and cheese which was really good.  I've read reviews made two years back that their complimentary bread were hard and cold, luckily ours was served warm and soft. Definitely a big improvement since then. Mmmm..

The server asked Paul if we were in-house guests and after saying yes, she served us a piece of Louisiana Crabcake which was complimentary for all in-house guests. It was really good! The crab cake was very juicy in the inside and toasted on the outside. They actually have this on the menu too! One order gives you 3 pieces of Louisiana Crab Cakes (Php. 690). Quite pricey but if you're ready to splurge, why not give this a try. 

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Next came our real appetizer -- Tuna Tartare (Php. 650). I love it when dishes are prepared by the table side. This fascination goes as far back when I was younger where my sister and I would make sure that we order some Caesar Salad or a Mango Jubilee dessert simply because these were normally prepared in front of you.
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We enjoyed this dish made of raw tuna mixed with lime, truffle cream and salt. When our server was actually adding in the truffle cream, I was fighting the urge to convince her to dump the entire bottle on our Tuna Tartare. She has just met the truffle monster! :) This was served with crisp bread but really, with or without the bread we happily enjoyed every spoonful of Tuna Tartare until our plate was squeaky clean.

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In between dishes, Paul and I bonded and catched up with one another (as if we don't see each other everyday no?). I really do enjoy having these heart-to-heart conversations with my husband and I can do this for the rest of my life. We really didn't mind the long wait but obviously, the servers of Cru were such perfectionists that they couldn't stand the fact that our steak was taking a little bit longer than it should to come out.

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Even after telling them that we're fine and we really do need the pacing, our server came back with a plate of Baby Spinach Salad (Php. 520) and was once again profusely apologizing for the wait. Wow. Cru, your service really blew me away. If only ALL restaurants in the world are as conscientious and efficient as you guys are, then the world would definitely be a better place.

Well, we're not one who would say no to a plate of yummy looking Baby Spinach sitting in front of us. After giving it a try, we found the salad to be refreshing yet for the greens, my loyalty still belongs to arugula and lettuce. We did enjoyed the sweet mandarin orange and cheese that were generously sprinkled around the greens though.

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Finally, the star of the night has arrived! Meet our 900g US Prime Rib Eye (Php. 5,200). This baby came with 5 personally chosen sidings namely the Potato and Onion Gratin, Creamed Spinach, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Onion Rings and the Truffled Mushroom Risotto. The menu said that this is good for two but a group of 3 to 4 can still share this provided that you'll be ordering some starters and perhaps a plate of salad too. We were definitely not ready for this! This is Man/Woman vs. Steak, my dear readers and this was how the battle began...

As the steak was brought to our table side, the server gently sliced the meat into a more manageable piece and carefully laid each piece down on our plates. See that black glob beside our pinkish steak? That's the Grilled Portobello Mushroom and it was one of the best sidings that we had that evening. I enjoyed the robust taste of the mushroom which perfectly complemented our slightly salted, perfectly grilled steak.

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As we continue to enjoy our prime rib, I was so happy to dip every single piece into my truffled mustard. I told you I love truffle very very much! If I can live in truffle land, I definitely would be a happy happy girl!

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This steak also came with two types of sauces depending on your choice -- we went with the Black Pepper and Bernaise Sauces. You can also ask for some A1 sauce and some mustard too. They got a trolley just for all the sauces and condiments available. 

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I also tried the Creamed Spinach which was really good. The creaminess wasn't too rich and the spinach still have that crisp bite at the end. The Potato and Onion Gratin was just a-ok. I'm not a fan of potatoes and Paul was just too busy with his plate of steak to care about our sidings.

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Aside from the Portobello Mushroom, the only sidings that I was able to finish off was the Truffled Mushroom Risotto. I know, I know I shouldn't have had carbs that evening but I couldn't help it. How can I let a good serving of truffle risotto go to waste? I'll definitely end up dreaming about it if I do. The risotto was rich and creamy and made a good siding to accompany the juicy meat.

Paul, on the other hand, was happy with his steak and his chosen sidings -- the Onion Rings. I wasn't able to give this a try but from the looks of the empty casserole that was sitting in front of my husband, it looked like it was also a winner.

We raised our table napkins as soon as we victoriously polished off our plates! Yahoo! Man/Woman won over the Steak! Our meal was so good and filling! Too filling that we could hardly eat much for breakfast and had totally skipped lunch the next day. Nonetheless, it was indeed a perfect date for Paul and I. How I wish we can continue to go on romantic and yummy dates once in a while even when we're old and gray.

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Service was perfect. I can't even remember lifting my finger to call the attention of the server as she was just too quick to attend to our needs. Our glasses were always filled, our plates and utensils sparkling clean all the time. Cru's service was really top-notch and its no wonder why some regular visitors would request to have these wooden name plates done as they most probably frequent Cru with their friends, colleagues and families.

Cru definitely has won my heart. I can't believe they have been opened for years and it's only now that we got around to trying it. This will be the start of a fantastic love affair with Cru Steakhouse. To quote Gen. Douglas Macarthur : "I shall return."

Related post: 5-star Staycation at Manila Marriott Hotel

Cru is located at the ground floor of the Manila Marriott Hotel. Marriott Hotel is at No. 10 Newport Boulevard, Newport City Complex, Pasay City. Operating hours is from 6PM to 1030PM daily. Call them at 988-9999 for reservations.

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