Every so often you do find someplace new that is also old. Tucked away in Paz M. Guazon, formerly know as Otis Street in L’Eau Vive (why do we rename streets so often anyway? Buendia is still Buendia, Pasong Tamo is still Pasong Tamo :D. Its been months since I ate in L’Eau Vive, way before I started this blog but today I felt compelled to write about it. Luckily my girl had these pictures.
L’Eau Vive (Living Water) has been around, I have heard of it but never thought of going until one time I was in the area for business and saw it across Robinsons Otis. It intrigued me as it seemed very out of place to have a French Restaurant in a very industrial and still developing area in Manila. As luck would have it, I would return to the area soon and so we decided to pop in for dinner.
L’Eau Vive should be an inspiration to us all. It is a French restaurant operated by French missionaries of the Immaculate of “DONUMDEI-CARMELITES” branch of the Carmelite order so you see all nationalities of present and former French colonies serving and cooking there while wearing their national costume. L’Eau Vive is their means of generating income to fund all of their charitable works here in the Philippines, far away from their homelands. Its very touching to see people so unselfish and so willing to go through hardship for others.
The menu at L’Eau Vive is not fancy at all. What you see is food that would be served at a French home, according to my girl who spent time in France as I wouldn't have the slightest idea of what normal food is anywhere but here. We ordered the Chicken Liver Pate or Mousse de foie de volaille with normal "tasty" loaf bread, French onion soup as I wanted to have something with "French" in the title. The soup was cheesy and again came with toast. We had escargots de Bourguogne or snails/kuhol with wine, parsley and garlic butter. Then some duck with orange sauce and for the desert a sugar crepe.
French Onion Soup
Escargots in garlic and butter
Flowers always cheer me up
Duck a la Orange
Truthfully, the food is not cheap. You need to have cash ready if you want to eat at L’Eau Vive. The flavor is not mind blowing, the orange sauce on the duck tastes like Clara Ole and their butter sauces taste like margarine. Each dish is about 300 pesos and the duck as pictured was P600. What I am trying to say is that the ingredients But everything tasted ok
So why would I recommend L’Eau Vive to you? Because of how you will feel emotionally. What you pay for is not the most stupendous French meal you can have but the thought that your money is going to feed others and those that feed them. It is knowing you are literally eating for a higher cause, their pamphlets all say "when you dine, you help" and it is true. A lot of charitable institutions seem like scams to me with their regular contributions and canned letters and what not but not L’Eau Vive. There is a courtyard with a statue of Mother Mary and the missionaries ask you to pray with them after the meal to properly see you on your way and that is nice. Your money feeds your soul and the surroundings, quiet and peaceful seem like a welcome respite from the world outside which couldn't be truer with the traffic to get there. The courtyard with the Madonna in the garden feels like tranquility and gives you a sense of hope that you will be helped in your own needs as you have helped others. And this is not saying that missionaries are extremely warm and live inspiring lives that are filled with purpose. If you haven't thought of what to do this Lent go to L’Eau Vive and chances are you will know after.
Their official website.
My favorite reviews of the place:
Philstar and Eat, Pray, Love at L' Eau Vive, in there is a picture of Sister Martina who attended to us too.
Phone numbers of other Fine Dining establishments.