In a few hours, it will be Christmas. There is something about being grown up and being jaded but try as I may, Christmas remains to be my favourite holiday. And now that I don’t have to go to downtown (read: Binondo) every single day, I haven’t experienced the horrible holiday traffic at all.
This was actually last year’s Christmas dinner. I have loved Duo since they opened. The Tessie Tomas Salad has always been a favourite of mine. But for that Christmas eve, the restaurant has put together a 5-course dinner for their patrons.
As compared to eating in hotels’ restaurants during this time of the year, when prices double all of a sudden during the eves (both for Christmas and New Year) availing of the set dinner at Php 1,100 (plus 10% service charge), I say, is a pretty good deal.
In our case, I didn’t order the set because I seriously wanted to order Tessie Tomas Salad (small – Php 485, large – Php 750). The salad is composed of a set of greens with tiger prawns, marinated salmon, parmesan cheese, shitake mushrooms, sundried tomatoes topped (and tossed in?!) with creamy balsamic dressing. The combination of these ingredients is sure to confuse and please your taste buds all at the same time. You just have to taste it to believe it.
For my main course, I had Peppered Steak in Creamy Cognac Sauce (Php 730). I do not normally like medium-well steaks (I prefer mine just medium) but this was really cooked to perfection. The meat was tender and moist, and overwhelming with flavours. It was just really begging to be eaten, loved it.
As for the set, my meat-eater companion was the one who availed of it. We actually split the peppered steak and the sea bass for us to try both main courses. Check out the line-up below:
Pan-fried Goose liver and Baked Duck Confit in filo pastry (in raspberry sauce with mesclun salad tossed in French creamy dressing – didn’t expect for this to appear in a wrapped-lumpiang-shanghai kind of way, but it worked. It was a good mix in the mouth and the raspberry flavour gave such a good play in the taste of the entire dish.
Cream of Chestnut Soup – I could not remember anything special about this but hearing the word “chestnut” instantly converts a dish into a Christmas one. But then again, I remembered it being a good enough soup to gorge in.
Dalandan Sherbet – now this was supposed to be served to us, but Duo didn’t do so. I guess they forgot, and we did too.
Baked Leek and Shitake crusted Chilean Seabass in lobster lemongrass sauce served with truffle angel hair and asparagus – ah, ze zeabass. Hahaha. This dish had enough creaminess into it that enhanced the flavour of the fish. The seabass was cooked just right, almost in a melt-in-your-mouth kind of way. Throwing in the angel hair pasta and asparagus was a delightful mix of good flavours.
Dark and White Chocolate Cake with strawberry filling – by this time, we were both quite full. The cake was moist, the flavours were rich and it came with a hint of mint leaves on top which added another edge on the flavours.
Service that night was less than acceptable, I’m afraid. How come they are always that way during the holidays (same was the case when I had my New Year’s Eve dinner here in 2008). They even failed to serve the sherbet. Tsk tsk. We totally forgot as well as I was in a hurry because I have to be home for noche buena that night.
I hope they improve though because service can overshadow the quality of food, no matter how good it was.
So, where are you spending your Christmas or New Year’s Eve?!
Serendra Piazza Taguig City
(63 2) 8561200; (63 2) 8561300
Tags: christmas, continental, formal, salad, tessie tomas