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The Day I Ate ‘The President’

Restaurateur couple Mon and Monique Eugenio, the owners of Myron’s. Photos by Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines - The President is here!” announced Monique Papa Eugenio.  There was excitement in her voice.

The burly man at the table next to ours heard her, alerted himself, and looked around, perhaps anticipating the arrival of the man from Malacañang.

I remained in my seat, but I was excited. Then, a serving of steak landed before me. Smoke billowed above the plate. It smelled appetizing. The haricots verts served with the steak looked fresh and green, an added invitation to a hearty, mouthwatering meal.

“This is The President,” Mon Eugenio said.

And I met — and ate — The President with gustatory salutation. That moment, I was certain, The President was in Myron’s, not in the Palace.

The President, a serving of 500-g US-certified Angus rib-eye, is the centerpiece at Myron’s restaurant on the sixth floor of the Ascott Hotel in Glorietta 4, Makati City. Restaurateur couple Mon and Monique Eugenio own the restaurant.

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Mon is an award-winning chef who finished his Hotel and Restaurant Administration degree at the University of the Philippines. He proceeded to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco so he could prepare for his ultimate dream of opening his own restaurant.

Monique, also an award-winning chef, finished a Business Management degree from Ateneo de Manila University. She is also a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York. Her being a chef was further honed by her experience under the supervision of culinary master chef Daniel Boulud and master pastry chef Francois Payard. She received additional training with master pastry chef  Jacques Torres of Le Cirque in New York, where she had the chance to prepare a meal for three former US presidents dining together. Secret Service Agents prevented her and the rest of the restaurant staff from peeping into the private dining room, so the identities of the high-powered guests remain confidential to his day.

But, going back to The President, this scrumptious steak is a certified meat-lover’s delight. It is tender in its medium-rare doneness; every bite does not wrestle with the teeth. Its natural juice oozes, mixing well with the buttery sauce that gloriously navigates around the sliced meat. The rib eye is tasty enough but at Myron’s, the strips of steak are sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt for a complementary delightful flavor. Delicious. Delirious.

According to Mon, the dish was named The President when, one night, President Noynoy Aquino entered the Myron’s restaurant in Rockwell. There was no name for the steak dish at that time and Mon thought it would be proper to name it The President. While the Rockwell restaurant is no more, the steak remains popular at Myron’s new location in Ascott Hotel. The President is always, always a big hit.

Another scene-stealer at Myron’s is the Roast Iberian Half Chicken. It’s perhaps the sexiest chicken meal you will devour, at least based on its presentation. The meat is soft and tender. It’s juicy and flavorsome, too, perhaps because it is roasted for a longer time on low temperature. The flavor of garlic is apparent, making this dish more appetizing, more so when paired with the Caesar Salad tossed in front of you.

Myron’s is also famous for its Tiger Prawns and US Sea Scallops with roasted pumpkin and scallion sauce. Both the prawns and scallops are seared perfectly. The respective seafood is fork tender. The slight tang of the sea is balanced well by the zest of lemon juice and freshly ground pepper in the sauce.

Myron’s, aside from its lunch and dinner servings, is also known for its breakfast fare, consumed by the guests of Ascott Hotel but the public is also welcome to partake of the morning feast.

Take, for example, the congee and mami that both come with all the condiments one can think of: toasted shallots, crispy garlic, spring onions, century egg, you name it. But what makes these two dishes more appetizing is the presence of crunchy “pares,” or shredded beef brisket.

And the omelet, I must say, is divine! Sure, it comes with melted cheddar on top and crispy homemade bacon and cherry tomatoes on the side, but it’s your choice of mixture. For an omelet-crazy eater like me, Myron’s version is heavenly and silky, moist, but not runny. It must be the “baveuse” method that goes into the preparation of the omelet. Myron’s takes its omelets seriously, too.

Of course, Myron’s steak is always a serious matter. Soon, I will devour The President again.

 

 

 

 

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Myron’s is located on the 6/F, Ascott Hotel, Makati City. For reservations, call 755-8898 and 755-8109.

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