‘Balikbayan’ chef creates ‘open-minded menu’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

OYSTERS Rockefeller
OYSTERS Rockefeller

Tomorrow (Friday) is Valentine’s Day. If you’re looking for a cozy, romantic place to bring your loved one, there’s Discovery Country Suites’ Restaurant Verbena.


Corporate chef Anthony Raymond will not disappoint hungry lovers with what he calls “an open-minded menu” that has a little bit of everything. Instead of the set menus that establishments usually have for Valentine’s Day, he decided to create a special a la carte selection for this occasion.


“The Filipino palate has changed a lot through the years,” he said. The chef has worked in US kitchens for 18 years. He decided to come home after feeling burned out from working 17-hour days. With his wife and new son in tow, he packed his bags and returned to the Philippines.


What he offers to Restaurant Verbena’s loyal clients and their discerning palates is his spin on “California Cuisine,” a fusion of flavors using fresh ingredients with emphasis on presentation. “A big part of any successful dish is the quality of the ingredients, and how to make the main ingredient shine,” he said.


Feast for the eyes


This Valentine’s weekend, diners can choose from eight dishes specially created for the occasion. For starters, there will be Baked Oysters, Bacon and Corn Bisque and Mushroom and Foie Gras Cappuccino. The oysters are cooked with pink champagne, lemon verbena cream and topped with tobiko caviar and petite greens. A feast for the eyes, it is a great alternative to the usual Oysters Rockefeller, but gives the same decadent mouth feel and savory taste from the tobiko caviar.


The Mushroom and Foie Gras Cappuccino is as decadent as it sounds, served with foie gras butter and toast, shaved foie gras in the soup, and Oreo powder on the side. Oreo powder?


Yes, you read that right, and it is a wonderfully sweet but not too sweet addition to the dish, to cut through the richness of the foie gras and cream in the soup.


The mains include two Surf and Turf options and another two for the hard-core carnivores. Meat lovers can go for the Slow Roasted Ribeye with foie gras and pinot noir sauce or Lamb Two Ways with crispy lamb riblets and lamb shank ragout.


Can’t decide whether you want seafood or meat? Get both! There will be Steak and Lobster in a Cabernet reduction or the deliciously different and unexpected pairing of Crispy Chilean Sea Bass with Lucban Longanisa Risotto. The latter makes a great pairing for the more adventurous foodie.


Finish off the meal with a classic Chocolate Soufflé, served with banana compote and Chantilly cream.


Restaurant Verbena seats about 40 people, so hurry and make your reservation. Call 5298172, (046) 4134567; or e-mail amelgar@discovery.com.ph. The Valentine’s menu is available Feb. 14-16.

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