Friday, February 12, 2016

The menu for a pre-Valentine's day dinner tonight for 10 friends. And about the best French food in Manila.

A very comfortable set-up in business class
on Japan Airlines between Manila and Tokyo


I flew from my Tokyo home to Manila last night on Japan Airlines, living a #Travelife, just to make it for a very special dinner specially prepared for me and a group of 10 friends by one of Manila's most talented chefs.

This dinner is happening tonight and I am so looking forward to it.

BAR PINXTOS IN ALABANG


This pre-Valentine's dinner came about over a very liquid wine dinner at Bar Pinxtos in Alabang just before New Year's Eve, followed by an equally very liquid lunch at the same Bar Pinxtos on the 2nd day of 2016.

At both of these meals, I'd mentioned how I so wanted to eat the specialties of this very talented chef -- the same chef tonight.

Scroll down to read more about my Valentine's Day dinner in Manila tomorrow...


THE BEST FRENCH FOOD
IN MANILA

I don't really go to his restaurant enough, but the times that I'd been a guest at private dinners specially prepared by him, the meals were nothing short of amazing. Unforgettable, actually. In fact, I can still taste everything he made for us at a dinner at a friend's home in Forbes Park so many years ago.

"I can arrange a dinner for us," said our friend N. So we set a date and left the menu to him and the chef, and got some of our friends together who we know all love both excellent food and very fine wines -- not just any good wine for this group.

Thank you to N for arranging this for tonight, and thank you too to someone who flew in from another country, bringing a couple of amazing bottles of wine with him, just to take me to this dinner tonight.


The real deal Bresse chicken
as part of a very grand pre-Valentine's Day dinner.,
complete with some of the most wonderful wines.
The ingredients for dinner have been flown in specially from France.
Thank you, guys, you know who you are...

MENU
FOR A PRE-VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER

Amuse Bouche of Beef Trilogy  
Vanilla Carot Veloute and Duck Liver Foam 

Tartelette of Beetroot Mousseline
Pickles Shallot 
 Pork Head Fry Buchi 

*** 

STARTERS

Pâté en Croute 
Classic Pâté en Croute with Duck Liver 
and French Duck Breast 
Served with Mesclun Salad, Fresh Button Mushroom and Baby Red Radish
Soil of Truffle of Port Reduction 

** 

Bavarois of Sea Urchin and Scallop 
With Crisp Tuile of Squid Ink, Mashed Edamame, 
Hazelnut Broth Foam 

*** 

Poulet de Bresse Demi-Deuil en Deux Cuissons 

The Breast of Poulet de Bresse
Poached with sauce Supreme 
 Glazed Stuffed Cabbage with Herbed Chicken Farce
Squash Pave dusted with Black Truffle-Potato Powder

Petit Flan of Aspragus and Leeks, 
Carrots vichy 

The Leg of Poulet Bresse 
Crispy with a Truffle sauce  
French Bean and Celery Salad and Pommes Pont Neuf 

***

DESSERT

 Mignardises 
Strawberry Champagne Pralines
Wild Fruits Financier
Pistachio Nougat 

Dessert 
Salted Caramel Ice Cream 
Kouign Amman


Dinner last night at L'Embellir in Tokyo, business class on Japan Airlines, and about a very special pre-Valentine's Day dinner tomorrow.

With Chef Naoto Kishimoto just last night in Tokyo,
at L'Embellir in Aoyama,
living a #Travelife...

Last night, there I was in Tokyo enjoying a ten-course dinner at L'Embellir, a low-profile Michelin two-star restaurant that I think is completely underrated by foreign foodies, living a #Travelife.

Underrated compared to its similarly ranked counterparts, that is. When I go to Les Creations de Narisawa, another Michelin two-star restaurant nearby, for instance, it's full of foreigners visiting Tokyo.

One of the courses at L'Embellir last night.
Beetroot jelly and a tofu fume with gold paper.

But at L'Embellir, it's also full but the majority of diners are Japanese.

I actually wanted to eat at Chateau Restaurant Joel Robuchon but it was completely booked out, so we settled for L'Embellir, which is owned and manned by a very nice and hands-on chef named Naoto Kishimoto, and happily so.

One of the three desserts last night at L'Embellir

EARLY MORNING FLIGHT OUT OF TOKYO
ON JAPAN AIRLINES

Then today I was up bright and early to catch the morning flight of Japan Airlines to Manila.

Japan Airlines had great service as always, and the new JAL planes they're using, with flat beds and a 1-2-1 seating configuration in business class offers one of the most comfortable inflight experiences between Tokyo and Manila.

A very comfortable set-up in business class
on Japan Airlines between Manila and Tokyo

MADNESS OF MANILA TRAFFIC.
AND ABOUT THE EFFICIENCY OF NARITA AIRPORT.

Then I landed in Manila, suffering through the madness of Manila traffic while looking at other people's Facebook posts about crime and inconveniences in Manila in the two hours it took me to get from the airport to my office in Makati, which is actually a very short distance of about two kilometers.

If only all lounges could be like this.
Clean, orderly, useful and relatively uncrowded.
The Japan Airlines lounge at Narita Airport.

In contrast, it took me 60 minutes door-to-door by car to navigate the 70 kilometers from my home in Tokyo to Narita Airport. 

Then it was literally seven minutes from the Narita airport driveway to the Japan Airlines lounge, passing check-in, security, and immigrations.

Lunch while watching a Tom Hanks movie today
onboard Japan Airlines

SO NOT NICE TO BE BACK

I've never regretted landing in Manila as much as I did this afternoon, smack into the unbearable traffic and the sad news about a widow who was murdered after a botched robbery in a taxi. 

Apparently she worked in the business district of Makati, and she disappeared after getting into a taxi for home. Her body was found not too far away from where she boarded her taxi, another victims of a robbery turned homicide in an ever increasingly dangerous metropolis.

What sad news.

Scroll down to read more about my Valentine's Day dinner in Manila tomorrow...



SO LOOKING FORWARD TO
A PRE-VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER

So I would much prefer to be in Tokyo with its safe streets and orderly traffic as I type this out on my iPhone in the car in crazy Manila traffic.

However, the bright side to returning  to Manila is a pre-Valentine's Day dinner some guys have organized tomorrow, prepared by one of my favorite chefs in this city, especially for us. The ingredients have mostly been flown in from France especially for this dinner.

The real deal Bresse chicken
as part of a very grand pre-Valentine's Day dinner.,
complete with some of the most wonderful wines.

The ingredients for dinner have been flown in specially from France.
Thank you, guys, you know who you are...

This dinner started out because I've been so wanting to eat this chef's specialties as he's not usually making these for the public anymore. So two guys made it happen. Or I should really say one guy made it happen and another guy is taking me to this very special dinner for ten persons, all friends and wine lovers as well.

I go out to dinner practically every night of my #Travelife and this week in Tokyo alone has been one amazing meal after another.

But I'm really looking forward to this customised dinner for a select group of friends tomorrow night in Manila, living a never-ending, and never-endingly delicious #Travelife.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

The 1st Rendezvous du Club of the CCI France Philippines at Buddha Bar


Thank you for joining us at the very successful 1st Rendezvous du Club of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) France Philippines at Buddha Bar tonight.

#Travelife Magazine, the leading travel & lifestyle publication, is a proud partner of this event.