Going wild over Ulang Thermidor at Mesclun

EAT’S EASY - Ernest Reynoso Gala (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2014 - 12:00am

Nothing escapes Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara eyes when she is in her restaurant. From the waiters’ look to the temperature of the food, how the glasses are positioned to how the dish is plated, she notes it all. It’s not that she is a nitpicker; she just absolutely loves her job as the chef-owner of Mesclun, keeping her eyes peeled for excellence in the restaurant industry.

Her culinary passion is evident in her French cooking influenced by her days studying in Le Cordon Bleu Paris, but her collaboration with other chefs opened doors to new ideas and infusing various techniques.

Mesclun means “mixture” in French and this diverse menu has plenty of good food and is the go-to place for lip-smacking eats. A gourmet getaway, the Mesclun experience is unforgettable, tasting leisurely meals and lubricated with exquisite wines hanging by the wall.

Located in the fussy food locale of Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, the ambiance at Mesclun is comfortable yet elegant, an ideal place for a quiet weekday lunch with friends or relaxed meals to do business. A quick leaf through the menu turned up many exciting options.  The usual suspects are on the menu, including buttery-rich escargots, a sumptuous foie gras sandwich and cheesy-rich French onion soup.

Service was thankfully prompt as I ordered a feast. First to arrive was the delish Andre’s Poke, a tuna ceviche, soy sesame dressing with Sriracha mayonnaise and crostinis. It was spicy, sweet, and savory — all together very good. The homemade crostini, or “little toasts” in Italian, gave it crunch and bite that complemented the dish well.  Named after the creator of the dish, Andre, her good friend from Hawaii, this simple but very well thought-out dish is a starter to any meal.

The mains were the rightful stars of the meal. The portions are generous but if you are part of a larger party or posses a healthy appetite, there is an option for “share sizes.” For voracious meat eaters like me, the robust and aromatic slow-cooked house-cured corned beef served with cabbage, potatoes, carrots with rice pilaf had me squealing in excitement. The choice of Pommery mustard or horseradish gave it character, adding a tangy and taste bud-satisfying kick. Some pieces of the meat boasted a dark caramelized crunch, while other cuts were fork-tender and melted in the mouth. The pilaf had a fluffy texture while the vegetables were crunchy and evenly spiced, making every spoonful worth it. Absolutely yum! 

Also a crowd drawer is the Wild Ulang Thermidor with black squid ink risotto. In fact, one can’t find fault with this dish, which was freshly prepared and beautifully presented with flavors elegantly poised, balanced and refined.  With moist flesh and a generous amount of addictive sauce, only the shell was left — a sign of appreciation of the chef’s mastery when cooking this dish.

Then it was on to dessert. The homemade gelatos were enjoyable. We tried all seven flavors for good measure comprising of strawberry, chocolate hazelnut, dark chocolate, avocado, vanilla bean, green tea and Bailey’s. Of the delicious selection available I enjoyed the Bailey’s most — the coffee liqueur combined with fresh pasteurized milk was not too sweet but creamy rich.

The verdict: Mesclun’s cuisine is a clever and mouthwatering lineup. As Katrina eloquently stated, “I still respect the Old World classic style, but I also want to show the New World refreshing approach.”

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Mesclun is located at G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, open Monday to Friday 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday 7 a.m.-11 p.m. For reservations call 954-2100 or 551-1626.


There will be a “Crazy Maki & Assorted Sushi” workshop at Gala Stars by chef Takashi Kawasaki on April 26, Saturday, 1:30-5:30 p.m., price is P3,000.

Each student will have his/ her own workstation, with 100-percent hands-on training and step-by-step process of the art of sushi to be taught by executive chef-owner of Hanaiichi restaurant, BGC, and Sakura Subic Takashi Kawasaki.  Paid reservations will be given priority.  Please bring your own apron and food containers.

For recipes and a schedule of classes visit www.sylviareynosogala.com or www.galastars culinary.com or www.facebook.com/Sylvia Reynoso Gala Culinary or call 671-4489 or 98.

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