Aubergine – ISCAHM Restaurant

Since I am currently enrolled and taking up my culinary arts education in ISCAHM, blogging about Aubergine is quite inevitable for me. Don’t get me wrong though, I have been to Aubergine tons of times before but it was during my recent visit to the restaurant that I started taking pictures.

When I was thinking of going to a culinary school, I did a lot of research about the schools here. For me, the best way to determine the quality of education that you are going to get is through the school’s restaurant.

Aubergine is a fine-dining restaurant that offers French Cuisine. It is technically considered the best restaurant here in Manila by the Miele Guide, and second best (I think) in the whole Philippines, Antonio’s being first. It is also one of the top 20 restaurants of the Miele Guide here in Asia.

In fine dining, food is just 50% of the whole package. Ambiance and service are of utmost importance as well. Below is the scene inside the restaurant. Ok, here is the thing, I am an amateur in photography and CLEARLY my pictures don’t do justice to Aubergine. So the first picture below is stolen from someone else.


* this came from http://restolicious.blogspot.com/2008/02/aubergine.html *

This is my picture.

They have an open kitchen inside the restaurant so you get to see what is happening inside the kitchen.

You can also see their wide selection of wines. Their wine cellar has two floors

Service was excellent! They have a good grasp of the ‘dance and disappear’ motion of service inside the restaurant. Moreover, it was rare for me to find my glass empty since the servers refilled our half-emptied glasses without warning.

I actually came here with my other ISCAHM friends because we thought that since we are already taking our kitchen practicals inside ISCAHM, why not eat at Aubergine already.

Like real French fine-dining, we started the meal with an amuse-bouche.

We had a duck breast quiche.

This was delicious! What I liked best about this was the texture. I liked the flakiness of the tart and the light creamy texture of the filling. It was gorgeous.

We ordered soup.

First, my friend had a shrimp bisque.

It had a clean flavor of shrimp in it. Ok, this time, I was really pissed about my photography so I made some changes with the lighting and voila! A better picture!

This is their essence of chicken. Another friend of mine ordered it.

The first time I had this, I was blown away by the strong flavor of the soup. At that time, I never thought that soup can be this strong yet at the same time clean. Moreover, I think this is some sort of a consomme? Any comments guys?

The next that came was out of the menu. I ordered it because I wanted to see how long it will take them to make one.

French onion soup. Classic eh?

The server told me that it would take 30 mins for the order but still I ordered it. They were really generous with the flavor of the wine which I really loved.

Next came our appetizers.

It was like a salad actually. It was like a caprese salad with parma ham. Quality of the dish was really high.

Next came our main courses. My friend had some sort of a duo of lamb.

My other companion had their surf and turf.

And since I had a classic soup, I might as well have a classic dish–a duck confit.

So how were the main courses? EXCELLENT! And really, I tell you, the first time I ate here before, it was the sauce that blew me away. The sauces were incredible! I mean, in my case, I know that I can cook the meat and seafood the way it was served to us. And just by getting good quality ingredients, I know I can serve it the way they did. BUT the sauce! I was mystified at how it was done! The sauce was meticulously prepared with care and respect and any diner in the restaurant would have to agree with that. It was really great and, like the chef-instructors had said in ISCAHM, sauces are sometimes the heart of the dish in French cooking and I clearly understood that accurately the first time I ate here.

We also had desserts! But before that, we had a short tour inside the kitchen.

First thing you get to see is their executive chef and sous chef checking all the dishes before they are served as shown in the cover picture.

Behind them is the actual kitchen where all the cooking happens.

You can also see where the plates were placed.

People were really busy inside the kitchen.

So we went back to our seat and got our desserts.

Ok, so you might think I am all praises for Aubergine because I am studying in ISCAHM or I am afraid that I might get caught giving bad comments or whatever. Here is the thing. Before, I was considering going to culinary school, but because of Aubergine’s sauce, I told myself that there is still a whole LOT to learn about cooking especially classical cooking. It was actually my first experience in Aubergine that tickled my mind about the classics which made me read Escoffier, Jacques Pepin, etc. If you think I am a good cook, (which I think I am) and have a good palette (which I think I also have) then why did I go to ISCAHM? Because their sauce was THAT GOOD! It was really their sauces that made me want to study here because I was pretty sure that time that having a good sauce wasn’t like having a good steak where you just need good quality beef. Having a good sauce required techniques and skills to create and execute it perfectly.

So, if you want to know what it means to have a refined sauce or fine food, eat here. It is quite expensive but I tell you, it is worth every penny. It wasn’t just eating; it wasn’t just entertainment. It was an education and food at its finest.

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10 responses to this post.

  1. I like Aubergine too πŸ™‚ I just find their desserts a bit boring because it’s the same everytime.

    Hershey, photos could be improved πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • I think that’s also the reason why I didn’t say anything about the dessert lolllzz!!! *Chef Norbert PEACE* yes, I know right? You think I need to buy a good camera? Also, aren’t we having a photoblogging seminar pa? I really need to improve my pictures especially when am cooking up something at home! 😦 *para naman sulit na sulit talaga ang mga pagkain ko πŸ˜€ btw, i made some hickory smoked sausage, will bring some tomorrow :D*

      Reply

  2. Posted by sheila's ditsi on March 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    yes.. your photos could be improved hersh.. πŸ™‚

    btw, do you also have discount when you eat at aubergine?

    Reply

  3. Posted by alden ong on March 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    it probably was a consomme. if it was really clear, intense and clean. and i agree with Aubergine. best meal of my life. i cudnt say the same for Enderun’s 101. hahaha i guess may difference coz the students at enderun do not cook sa resto namin. so its not reflective of the education we;re getting. gets?
    btw, im sure you know alain ducasse, db? had my book autographed when he came over to enderun last week hahaha STAR STRUCK CHONG. as in. hahahaha i was the third person to approach him to let him sign my book. haha talk about kapal mukha.

    Reply

    • you are a lucky bastard! yep! I knew he was coming but it slipped my mind that he already came! 😦 anyhow, I saw his talk and he is toooooooo traditional, I think he will not like me :)) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I mean, in terms of western cooking πŸ˜›

      Reply

      • Posted by alden ong on March 6, 2010 at 3:31 pm

        πŸ˜€

        you went to his talk? where did u see his talk? how come in terms of western cooking? how is he too traditional? hahaha

      • I didnt go, I just saw it online, someone video taped it in enderun πŸ˜› his philosophy in cooking is 60% ingredients and 40% french techniques lolz

  4. […] is another inevitable post as an ISCAHM student like Aubergine before …. in another good […]

    Reply

  5. Posted by alden ong on May 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    60% ingredients, 40% french techniques? aside from the emphasis on french techniques…how is that too traditional? whats ur take or philosophy ba?

    Reply

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