My wife, Tina, our preschooler son, Gabby and I joined my our 2 good best friends of 16 years and counting for a casual get together 6 days before Christmas. We came from different places but all hurdled the holiday rush going to SM Megamall just to catch up with our 7PM dinner.
After few SMS of where to dine, my suggestion was honored. :D Finally, we have tried CHEF’S QUARTER in Mega Atrium.
I’ve been longing to try and taste some of their dishes after I’ve read their reviews from broadsheets and on-line.
We saw the place was packed except for the table outside the restaurant so we decided to occupy it while waiting for Rob who was caught in traffic from Pasay City. Our friends asked me if I’d like to avail of Chef’s Quarter’s eat-all-you-want spread but out of nowhere, I beg off. I opted their ala carte. Perhaps those CQ’s dinner and merienda buffets could wait some time. :D Just before we were given the menu, I’m already sure of what to choose.
For Salads, Chef’s Quarter has Trio Salad (prawns, escargot & mushrooms on lettuce in balsamic variation), Frut de Mer (spiced seafood and pomelo in sesame vinaigrette), Foie Gras Salad (goose liver on green apple ragout in raspberry honey sauce), Caprese Salad (baked buffalo mozarella, plum tomato, basil and toasted garlic), and Caesar Salad (romaine lettuce tossed in lemon-anchovy dressing with garlic croutons bacon bits and parmesan cheese).
Those salads appeared to me as must-try but I and our friend, LG particularly singled out TESSIE TOMAS SALAD “OLD TIME FAVORITE” for our starter. I guess we’re both interested on how the name of a local celebrity made these seafoods on bed of greens quite attention-grabbing on CQ’s menu.
On my plate :
TESSIE TOMAS SALAD “OLD TIME FAVORITE”, large / to-share PhP 595+. A combination of Roasted prawns, Marinated Salmon, Shiitake Mushroom with Mesclun Salad in French Creamy Balsamic Dressing.
While others considered this salad as ordinary or found nothing unusual, I instantly fell in love with it. :) Perhaps because I really like no complexities and I’m just biased to its ingredients.
I don’t know about you but I’m a loyal SEAFOOD fanatic. I love SHRIMPS from its little variant used to prepare a Bagoong Alamang or shrimp paste to its larger sized prawns; so it wasn’t difficult to like this at all. Tessie Tomas Salad-large size has FOUR PRAWNS that were roasted in almost perfection; they’re succulent and plump. :D
While Gabby was still picky on food and was not at all interested with salad, I served Tina and LG their share of the prawns and asked our benefactor for that dinner, Rob, if he wants one. Quietly, I was jumping for joy when he passed up; that made two prawns landing in my plate!!! :D
FRENCH ONION SOUP, PhP 150+.
Rob was the only one who ordered for a soup. It comes with two small pieces of bread and butter but was served several minutes after the bowl of the soup was brought to our table. There was no apologies from the wait staff so they just gave themselves a minus-point. But let me clear that everything was served within 20 minutes after ordering except for those breads.
STIR FRIED PAELLA SEAFOOD, PhP 430+ large order / to-share. If you must know, I also love this Spanish dish. Although CQ’s version may not be the most flavorful but it doesn’t disappoint either. All of us were satisfied with this platter and despite its HUGE serving, I personally felt short, actually and would crave for more, LOL :D
CHEF’S QUARTER PASTA, PhP 420+, large /to-share serving. Fettucine tossed in mild spicy vegetable pangritata with prawns.
What can I say? This pasta plate has prawns again! It was raining calcium and iodine last night, LOL! :D Actually, Tina considered sharing her order with us so instead of having a steak which Rob doesn’t eat (read : he hates pork and beef), she agreed on my suggestion for this pasta which Gabby liked as well.
ICED TEA, refillable PhP 75+. Refreshing, but I was expecting a more uniquely tasteful house blend.
BELGIAN CHOCOLATE FONDUE, PhP 350+. Mallows and fresh fruits. Gabby personally hand-picked this dessert from the menu. It was OK but suffered comparison with the BEST FONDUE that we have sampled to date. I think we’ll order their cake slices on our next visit.
Service was good but not great; maybe because staff was busy more on refilling the buffet spread and a little bit less attentive on the ala carte diners. The place was a bit small especially when cramped during peak hours. Nonetheless, Chef’s Quarter deserves a second and many more visits because of the quality, taste, cleanliness and presentation of their dishes.
We spent more than 3 hours of chatting over fine foods on our table. Other than the dinner treat, Rob and LG who both stand as dutiful godparents to Gabby, gave our son their advance Christmas gifts. THANK YOU! Tina and I had a little something too for them. What a night of friendship and family bonding experience! :D
Have you tried dining at Chef’s Quarter ?
CHEF’S QUARTER, Level 3 Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.