Dinner at Aubergine has been in our plans at the House of Queens for over a year now. Until last night – we had been unsuccessful in including it in our schedule. Last Wednesday, after coming back from vacation, I learned that the CEO of our company is in town and I, along with the other local executives in the company will be joining him for dinner. The choice was Aubergine. I was excited because I can now cross it off our list.
Dinner with the big boss was great. I was sitting at the right side of big boss which meant that I was the token host. We learned a lot about the interests of our boss – which apparently included cooking great meals and decorating. That was a refreshing topic of conversation and I was happy that we were not confined in our conversation with the usual business topics.
Anyways, I digress – this blog is about Aubergine. My general impression: it’s a good casual dining restaurant with fine dining selections. Call me snooty – but for me – fine dining requires patrons to dress up and it also requires the service staff to speak in hushed tones. Of course – in the Philippine setting – both would not make a restaurant successful and the usual formality that comes with fine dining is lost.
The service staff was very helpful. They even asked me if I wanted to go inside the kitchen and take pictures. Of course I said yes. I was not that comfortable though because I know that it’s a busy kitchen and I don’t want to be a burn victim if by a result of my klutziness, I end up being in the way of the kitchen staff. They also noticed that I was taking pictures of the menu and they offered to just give me a copy of the menu. All very helpful.
Most of the people in our dining party opted for the Degustation menu. My overall verdict on the meal: separately, the dishes may be good, but as a meal, I didn’t feel that each course complimented the previous course. For me, the flavors were just not cohesive. The biggest disappointment I had though was that they didn’t offer wine pairing. We did order a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine. The selection was from the big boss – so I wasn’t able to capture what we ordered. They were good wines, but again – they didn’t seem to blend well with the flavors of the dishes.
Pictured above are the dishes in the Degustation Menu. From Left to Right. First row: duck foie gras and ox terrine with port wine jelly along with the salad; Madeira flavored duck essence with duck confit crepes; pan seared scallops. Second row: Campari-orange sherbet, Grilled Chilean Sea bass; White Chocolate Fondue Cake with berries.
I guess you are now waiting for my verdict. This I will say, I will come back to Aubergine to try their Chef Specials. Those seem to be good. I also looked at their menu and it seems like there are other items that are worth trying. As I said earlier, the dishes were good separately – but I do not think that the whole Degustation Menu had cohesive flavors. The meal costs 1,950 PHP ( around 40 USD ).