Your biggest mistake would be to go to Le Petit Soufflé just for dessert.
Yes, the desserts are excellent, but that shouldn’t be a surprise because Miko Aspiras and his Scout’s Honor partner Kristine Lotilla are behind them. Their cookie shop is a big hit at Century City Mall’s Hole in the Wall, which was conceptualized by Charles Paw, who is also their partner for Le Petit Soufflé.
Their brand, Beyond Concept, will have more exciting launches here and abroad this year.
“This time, Charles really wanted a French-Japanese concept,” said Miko.
Miko, who has won a number of awards in international competitions and who is also the chef responsible for creating the magnificent plated desserts at the Magnum cafés in Manila and Kuala Lumpur, enjoyed coming up with Le Petit Soufflé’s extensive dessert menu.
“We wanted to revisit the soufflé. I’m on a mission. I want to revolutionize dessert, I want to revolutionize the way Filipinos eat dessert by introducing more concepts.”
But while the restaurant is dessert-driven, the rest of its menu shouldn’t be ignored. “A lot of people know us as dessert people, so our challenge was to make people understand that this isn’t just a dessert place. I think we’re living up to the challenge.”
They recruited Noel Mauricio, who has worked at the Mark restaurant by Jean-Georges in New York, as their hot kitchen consultant.
“Noel is classically trained, the challenge for him is to satisfy our craziness,” Miko said.
It’s a delicious kind of craziness.
Start your meal with Le Petit Soufflé’s soups. “I love the Classic French Onion Soup,” said Miko. “I also love the Japanese Sweet Corn Potage.” Le Petit Soufflé’s potage has more complex flavors thanks to the corn, which is roasted before it’s creamed, and herbs.
Try the Sesame-Crusted Tuna Salad (seared tuna loin with garden greens, shimeji, tobiko with sesame-wasabi dressing on the side). The serving is generous. In fact, Miko says, if you’re looking for a light meal, you can pair this with soup and you’re good to go.”
But the mains are too good to skip. Try the Squid-Ink Rice (fresh seafood, shimeji and soft scrambled egg on squid-ink rice), which is already a bestseller, or our favorite Japanese Boeuf Curry Soufflé (savory soufflé filled with strips of beef short plate and short grain rice with Japanese curry sauce). It takes 20 minutes to make but it’s worth the wait. Cut through the beautiful golden soufflé with your spoon to reveal a generous serving of beef curry rice. It’s a must-try.
If you’re not in the mood for rice, go for the Aged Duck Confit with sweet potato. It’s served with a generous heaping of greens, too.
Another fast favorite is the Foie Gras Mac and Cheese (macaroni with sharp cheddar, mozzarella with shimeji, crimini, and Hungarian sausage topped with seared foie gras), proof of the playfulness and creativity that happens in the kitchen.
Save room for dessert. “If you’re only having one dessert, try the Valrhona Guanaja Soufflé,” said Miko. This dark-chocolate soufflé, which is served with vanilla crème anglaise, is a rich treat.
Chocolate-lovers will enjoy the Valrhona Grand Crus, too, a dessert that features seven kinds of Valrhona chocolate: a layer of Araguani flourless cake, Caramelia flourless cake, Dulcey ganache, Equatoriale ganache and an assortment of chocolate pearls.
Miko has also whipped up what he calls his best hot chocolate, serving it topped with whipped cream and freshly baked Madeleines on the side.
Try the Cream Cheese Soufflé Pancake (light vanilla soufflé pancake with chunks of cream cheese served with crème anglaise and maple syrup), too, says Miko.
Want something cold? Order the soft-serve custard (matcha, vanilla or swirl) or the parfaits (matcha, salted egg and caramel, strawberry and lychee).
Don’t be intimidated by the pretty interiors. Le Petit Soufflé is a casual place. In fact, they want people to hang out there. “That’s why we serve sandwiches. We want you to come here for merienda, too.”
Cheesu Puffs, a new addition to the menu, are a great snack. You wouldn’t be able to eat just one. We like to have them as an appetizer, too.
How much did we enjoy the food at Le Petit Soufflé? A couple of hours after this interview, we went back for dinner. Yes, we ate there twice in one day. And we can’t wait to eat there again.
Le Petit Soufflé is at 3/F, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Poblacion, Makati City. Operating hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday. Call tel. 8863056. Follow @lepetitsouffle on Instagram.