Many people have asked me why I don’t revive our once very popular and successful French restaurant Au Bon Vivant. My consistent answer is, “Lord willing, one day.” I feel that with the introduction of many French dishes in our country since the days of Au Bon Vivant, many of the dishes will no longer make as much of an impact as they did then.
Having lived in Paris and experienced the cuisine of Michelin-star restaurants, it isn’t easy to impress me with traditional French food.
Many French restaurants have opened in Manila. Some were better than others. There are a few that serve French dishes that are worth a visit: L’Entrecote of chef Martin Gaspar in Bonifacio Global City (BGC); Tito Chef of chef Menoy Gimenez in BF Parañaque; and Antonio’s of chef Tony Boy Escalante.
Recently, I visited a restaurant in BGC called Deli Cieux. Located at the Venice Grand Canal Mall, the restaurant has a partial French menu and some deli sandwiches, pasta dishes and salads. I ordered Canard Parmentier, Ravioli au Foie Gras, Coquillettes aux Truffes and Confit de Canard.
The Canard Parmentier is a dish of flaked duck meat buried under creamy mashed potatoes topped with torched sticky cheese. Masarap! The Ravioli Foie Gras had fatty delicious foie gras hidden in that delicate pasta. It was covered in a thick cream sauce and topped with black truffles. Also very good.
The coquillettes are tiny macaroni-like pastas in a cream sauce with shaved parmesan and topped with grated black truffles. Imagine that!
The one that floored me—and a dish I use as a basis on whether a restaurant has good French food—is the Confit du Canard. This had tender and crunchy French fries, a ratatouille on a bed of lettuce and, the main feature, a super tender, crispy, moist and delicious baked duck leg. Simply outstanding!
So whenever I miss our Au Bon Vivant food, I can be found at Deli Cieux.
Deli Cieux: Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley Hill, Taguig City, tel. 8052573.
Japan food tour with Sandy Daza: Fukuoka-Hiroshima-Osaka, Feb. 17-22; Tokyo, March 17-22; Hokkaido, April 7-12. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.