Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What A Chef's Table Should Be

There was a thunderstorm brewing and I was suddenly taken back to my childhood memory as we drove around The Fort.   Still not over the story behind how chef Bruce's childhood shaped who he is now, after having hyped up with voluptuous  fodder at Hyphy's .   Waiting eagerly for the green light on the street ahead,  I envision my Papa roasting chicken (the "Pinaupo" way, where the dressed chicken being roasted is sat on a grill over heaping fiery red charcoals.)   My Mama, making Arroz Ala Valenciana for 30 or more guests, as we scatter sliced boiled eggs over a bed of the soothing dish.   And my Lola Vita, cooking our regular Kaldereta for lunch.
Happy childhood memories are few for me and they almost all seem to revolve around food in some way. No wonder really, as food is comforting in itself. It fools you into believing that all is right with the world, well for that moment at least; and later on, if need be, the memory of it can soothe an unpleasant moment in time.   Unpleasant  as it may seem, but the thought of the indulgence that will soon manifest as we were closing in at none the less, Chef Bruce Lim's Chef's Table.
Like Chef,  I came to love food, eating it and preparing eat, through my family, though it saddens me when I sometimes  miss their cooking- my parents live in Milan, for almost 25 years already and my Lola Vita who took care of us for a short 3 years is now in Washington,D.C.   I'm however left with a husband who cooks the best Pork Sinigang and whom I love sharing all my food escapades with, and four kids who adores my cooking and baking.
So visiting Chef's Table got me and Bhogs excited, knowing the philosophy behind all what the love for cooking and dining is, in the eyes of a renowned chef.
So what does a chef's table comprise? 
  • Exquisitely designed plates with culinary masterpieces that resemble art sculptures.
  • Plate containing food so beautifully decorated that you have no idea where to start eating.
  • An ultimate invite to observe the preparation of your food the way VIP’s would at an authentic chef’s table.
  • A VIP experience, where every table has a clear view of the kitchen, which is wide open without partitions dividing it from the main dining area,if you have access to your own, personal, live cooking show.
  • A table full of fine, healthy and fresh ingredients.
  • With a staff as though their not working but living in the environment, as if they are preparing the food of those who are at the top of the status quo

All these and more of the fine dining culinary experience, except having it in a hip, eclectic, sort of casual and masculine setting.
The clouds pour so heavily outside now, as dishes kept piling up in our table, hardly choosing which one to try first, or which one to disfigure first.   Each one fancied my eyes.  All was perfectly coiffed.   Foods are picture-perfect, as if all are ready to have their pictures taken.
Prepare your eyes for a feast, hoping my photos do justice to each dish.
First off, our drinks.
Adan's I do (P 150)
A drink from paradise, combination of ginger syrup, pomegranate juice and lambanog.
CHEF'S STAR (P 150), my drink
A perfect blend of fresh mangoes, heavy cream and lemon grass extract topped with black gulaman.
A must-try!
For the appetizers, or "Pampagana" as written in their menu. 
Hot-oil blanched pusit on a bed of butterhead lettuce served with green mango salad.  (P 230)
Steamed Clams and Mussels (P 280)
Clams and mussels steamed in lambanog, white wine and yellow ginger served with garlic croutons. 

Lightly battered deep fried chicken wings smothered with Cebu-inspired sweet chili sauce.
Cold sotanghon noodles in sweet sesame soy sauce topped with cucumbers, apples, red radish julienne and fresh grapes, served with beef tapa.
 The Salads or "Ensalada"
Mixed greens combined with seasonal fruits and vegetables and sliced boiled eggs tossed in roasted garlic calamansi vinaigrette, topped with Egmont cheese.
Fresh green papaya, cucumber and pechay baguio tossed in calamansi-patis vinaigrette topped with cured salmon and crispy monggo.
Torched romaine lettuce in a localized Caesar dressing topped with grilled chicken and queso de bola.
Our Entree (Ulam)
Tender duck legs in kaldereta sauce sauce on a bed of baked potatoes served with chili sauce on the side.
Soft and crispy pork belly sautéed in shrimp pastes sauce served with grilled eggplant.

KADIOS (P 480)
Ilo-ilo inspired silky soft pork hocks on a bed of sour monggo salad.
Our version of the classic tortang talong enhanced with salted eggs.

Classic beef nilaga soup with beef shank enhanced with a very flavorful stuffed bone marrow.

Chinese style steamed lapu-lapu on a bed of filipino ube mash topped with pechay.
Pasta, any one? This is funny, in their menu it's tagged as "Pambansang Pansit," well why not!?
Linguine tossed with creamy taro leaves stew topped with grilled prawns and queso de bola.

A must try!

Linguine in creamy sauce mixed with banana hearts and kangkong topped with grilled chicken and queso de bola.
Who could forget having desserts. 
Chef's Table take on a classic buko pie with a secret twisted 
A sumptuous combination of local fruit flamed up with rum and finished with vanilla ice cream.
Yes, all Filipino, at it's best but innovated with a keen skill only a top chef can accomplish.   The menu, the place is a true reflection of Chef' Bruce and his lovely wife.
All this dishes are shown being prepared right before you or a view from the dining space upstairs.
This risky move is proof of Bruce’s skill as a culinary choreographer. He says about the openness of the kitchen: “People can see what you’re doing. You’re putting on a show for everyone who comes.” His number one rule in dealing with the high risk? “Always do it with a smile. If you’re freaking out and going crazy, people will know something’s wrong.” This same attitude extends to Bruce’s easy camaraderie with his guests. He travels around the restaurant, meeting and greeting each guest personally, completely confident and effortless in his own skin. The owner and executive chef of the restaurant has nothing to hide; therefore, neither does Chef’s Table.
Also, they do accept private dining or special functions, just give them a ring or visit their website, details below.
Just needed to share this wonderful recipe inspired by Chef Bruce's Calamansi Tuyo Spaghetti, which is also in Chef's Table menu -- my "Tortiglioni Alla Puttanesca ai Dilis," posted at joyshumblekitchen.blogspot.com.

So that's all for now from Chef's Table, as I'm off to cook "Dulong Fritata"


Unit 106 The Infinity Tower 26th Street The Fort Global City Taguig, Philippines
Tel. no. : 632 3991888
Here is a link for the map, going there :

Website:  chefstablemanila.com

Facebook: Chef's Table with Chef Bruce Lim

Food Trip Friday Entry


  1. hmmmmmnn...interesting ang menu ng Chef's table huh?
    love the review...

  2. Everything looks super! Gotta add Chef's Table to my list of restaurants to try :)

  3. Wow. I'd like to try their version of tortang talong! :)
    You may also like to try Banapple! I like their rice / pasta meals more than their cakes :) Hihi

  4. everything looks delicious and its a feast, ang dami! thanks for sharing those great food. hope we can try it someday. visiting from FTF, hope you can visit me back! thanks and have a great week. :)

  5. @jellybelly...You better do! They are also available for private dining for an extreme dining experience, but you have to call them first and ask for appointment.

    @tripswithloveinlife...Yummy Tortang talong. I've been to Banapple also here is my review for that- http://www.gastronomybyjoy.com/2011/07/banapple-my-escape-into-childhood.html

    @cheerful... the pleasure is all mine...hehehe, had your site visited already! Have a great one!

  6. That's an interesting set of menu. Looks like a feast. Tagal ko na pala hindi nakakatikim ng binagoongang baboy. Na-miss ko tuloy. I want to try that tortang talong with salted egg. Kaka-curious. :D

    Visiting via FTF.

  7. Yay, it makes me starving, I really have to eat now, seeing these foods makes my tummy go growl hehehe thanks for the visit, I am also following you now.

  8. @Gene...Interesting is an understatement! The menu was so skillfully and artistically thought of, with a heart-warming background...Thanks for dropping by!
    @Anne...Sorry about that! Seeing the pictures would really tempt anyone! Thanks for following!

  9. Congratulations on your blog ! And most importantly, thank you for that content which always makes me happy !!


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