Hotel fine dining, something I never really understood. I am no true foodie, I rather spend my money on something I can see tomorrow whether a small item or by saving. I always thought of food as an expense and not as an investment to increase my psychic equity. I know that other people gain much happiness from eating well and good for them. Don't get me wrong, I too enjoy new experiences, its just that I do not want to pay for them. But luckily my wonderful girlfriend was gifted with coupons for the degustation menu at the Mandarin Oriental Manila so off we were.
Service was impeccable, I cannot rave about it enough. The menu and bread were served instantly, the waiters were extremely pleasant and well versed with what was to be served and were generous with their inputs (when asked by a food neophyte like myself, I bet they can sense who doesn't need or want information). What never ceases to impress me in any restaurant is when they come over with those table squeegee things and silver dustpans to collect the crumbs after the bread plate.
The portions are substantial (although not "lamon" substantial) this is a great place to bring a date for a special occassion. If you go on an off peak period it shouldn't be too crowded with the usual foreign businessmen and tourists seeking first class accommodations in Makati.
As to be expected even the bread tray was fancy. I love carbs so I finished it all. There was garlic butter and a pate of some sort.
Our menu at the time, please not that the menu changes. Click three course menu to see what is current. Pricing I believe will be the same.
Dungeon Crab Cakes
Blood sausage and foie gras
The dessert, chocolate, mousses and fruit
We had the P1,800 three course menu (click to see what is currently there, it changes). We both had the blood sausage as the main. I had the dungeon crab (seriously, what is that? Sounds like they caught it climbing upside down on the ceiling, straight out of a sorcerer's castle - just kidding, its some North American crab, see wikipedia). The oxtail soup my girl got is something I guy would never order - at least if he is paying for it. Soup is never substantial, the only exception to soup are mushrom, preferrably of the Campbells variety and Clam Chowder, a very good one is always appreciated or if you make it yourself mami (luckyme) with Ma Ling or Spam and a fried egg on top - yeah thats right, see here).
The desert is absolutely heavenly. I am not a fan of white chocolate (just because its white, for me chocolate should always be brown or even black) but the white chocolate mouse was awesome. I am not fond of fresh fruit and chocolate although I love nuts and raisin IN chocolate so I separated the fruit and ate the chocolate and fruit separately.
I was a cheapo and didn't have any drinks with the meal so my Friday night date was almost free. I felt compelled to give a good tip as the service was very pleasing. I like this place a lot. In stark contrast I did not at all enjoy Prince Albert over at the Intercon (ate there with my family on coupons). But Tivoli I really liked. Great service, great food - found out they have some Michelin Star working French Chef - points with the date you bring (I was the date and I was impressed). Five stars!
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