Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dinner at Lemuria in Horseshoe Village in Manila




Last night I had dinner with an ambassador of an important country and his wife.

We often meet up on the weekends, or whenever we are free, just for the fun of it.

Nothing we talk about goes outside the table, so it's very enjoyable and relaxing to just sit back and talk about everything and anything in the world.

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HOMEWORK FOR A SUNDAY NIGHT

I was tasked with finding an interesting restaurant for tonight's dinner.

In a way, I am the wrong person to ask about new or interesting restaurants

I am a creature of habit, and I usually just go back to the same four or five restaurants I like a lot in Manila.

NEVER ANY TIME FOR RESTAURANTS

The next issue is that I am hardly in town anyway, so I don't have the luxury of discovering the latest hot restaurants.

When I'm in town, my calendar is booked with events that I am invited to, or that other people have planned.


For private dinners, I often get asked over to people's homes rather than to restaurants. 

The people I know eat out in restaurants or hotels practically every night. So when it's a relaxed dinner, we often just ask each other over to our homes.

This gives me very little time to try out restaurants on my own, in Manila, living a Travelife.

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But as the ambassador and his wife are foreigners in this country, and we meet up for dinner as often as possible, I pretty regularly have to think up of interesting places to go. 

So far, I think I have not disappointed them yet -- and we have been to all my favorite restaurants, as well as a couple of out of the box ones.

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OUT OF THE USUAL

As it was a Sunday night, I decided to venture further afield. 

We went to Lemuria, a restaurant operating out of a home in Horseshoe Village, just past Greenhills. I'd been there once for a wine dinner many years ago, so even I wanted to try it out again.

It's not that easy to find if you don't know your way around this part of town. 

But eventually we made it, and the first impression was very nice. The gardens were lighted up, and the restaurant offered a kind of nostalgic atmosphere that made me feel I was not in Manila.

A LITTLE BIT OF EUROPE IN MANILA



Inside, the decor is European country -- or at least, that is what it looks like to me.

We ordered a foie gras platter to share, and then I had a gazpacho soup to start.

This was followed by the Norwegian salmon which was highly recommended by the waiter.

ALL ABOUT THE FOOD



The foie gras was good, but I thought the gazpacho could have used more depth. 

Perhaps I was asking too much, or expecting too much, since I just came back from Spain where I sampled quite a lot of gazpacho cooked by Michelin-starred chefs

One of the best gazpacho I had was in Madrid. It came with tiny Iberico pork bacon bits, and it was created by Michelin two–star chef Paco Roncero.



MY OWN VERSION OF GAZPACHO

I even took a cooking course in Barcelona last week, to learn how to make gazpacho, paella and a couple of other goodies the Catalan way. 



Then, back in Manila over the weekend, I made gazpacho for lunch with some very fresh vegetables I had bought myself at an organic store. 

I had imbibed the basic gazpacho-making process in Barcelona, but my gazpacho was made more with inspiration, and it was very good.

TWO OUT OF THREE



For the main courses, the ambassador ordered a roast kurobuta dish, while his wife had the roast lamb shank

Both of them were very happy with their dishes, and the ambassador's wife said that the lamb shank was the best she'd had in a long time.

My Norwegian salmon, on the other hand, was just okay.

SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM WINS VOTES



I was happiest with the dessert, which was a big plate of salted caramel ice cream. It had real bits of caramel, and a wonderful combination of salty and sweet.

Yes, I have been back in Manila for all of three nights, and each one has been a truly interesting and enjoyable evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



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