The amount of hype Le Petit Soufflé has been receiving is what originally thrust it into my radar. Being something of a hermit who lives under a rock ( harhar 😛 ) I’m not often particularly updated with the goings-on in the restaurant world. I’m thankful to social media for keeping me in the loop, but in the case of Le Petit Soufflé, all the food people I follow have been raving about it nonstop. It became exceedingly hard to ignore.
Needless to say, this sent my expectation level off the roof.
Le Petit Soufflé is a restaurant in Century City Mall that offers French/Japanese fusion comfort food. My family and I planned a visit to Le Petit Soufflé on a Sunday, and for the entire week until that Sunday arrived I chattered excitedly about it with my brothers. Century City Mall ain’t exactly close to where we live, and on that day, Typhoon Lando was also trying to blow through Manila like a kid stubbornly blowing on his birthday candle, but hey, we all do crazy stuff for food.
Stepping into the restaurant, I immediately wanted to give it the award for best interior design among all the restaurants I’ve so far visited this year. It gave a sort of greenhouse-slash-garden like effect, with the shutters at the far end of the room giving the impression as though you’re sitting outdoors, dining al fresco.
I cannot get over how pretty it is inside this restaurant. They get a 10 out of 5 in ambiance! Adding the rolling pins on the faux trees gave it a very funky vibe which I liked.
When we came here I was pretty much determined not to order all the usual suspects (Squid Ink dishes and the Foie Gras Mac ‘n Cheese) that I’ve been reading about on the other blogs. Surely those are not the only good dishes this restaurant has! Instead we picked a bunch of other dishes that caught our attention, and of course we also chose quite a lot of desserts.
So was Le Petit Soufflé worth a visit after all?
The first two dishes that came out were the appetizer and salad. My Dad has a thing for cream puffs, so understandably he wanted to get a taste of these Cheesu and Matcha Puffs (Php 175). Savoury choux pastries (yes, even the sesame-topped matcha puffs were savoury) with a crunchy shell and airy interior that’s unique to pate a choux.
However I do wish they filled these with something. It would be nice to have something creamy to balance out that saltiness that leaves the mouth dry. Well, that’s my preference anyway.
The Sesame Crusted Tuna Salad (Php 345) is one of the most raved-about dishes from this restaurant, but we decided to get it anyway because we are all tuna lovers and this just looked too good to pass up. And as I took my first excited bite of the tuna, this dish simply underwhelmed me. Being a huge fan of sesame dressing I did enjoy the addition of wasabi to make the dressing extra tasty, however I didn’t find the seared and sesame-crusted tuna loin to be particularly flavourful.
On to the main dishes, which were certainly bigger and more unforgettable stars than our appetizers, we first had this scrumptious Porc Bourguignon (Php 425). It’s a red wine-braised pork leg dish served with delicious garlic Japanese rice. A medley of shrooms, carrots, bacon, pork, and onions decorate the top, with a happy sunny-side up in the midst of it all.
Adding rice to this classic French dish was a great idea as the rice soaked up all that flavourful sauce, turning it into something akin to Asian baked rice. It certainly worked much better than simply using mashed potatoes. One of my favourites of the day for sure!
I’m really picky when it comes to pastas. I’m not a white sauce eater, except maybe when there’s truffle involved. However I’ve also had my fair share of bad experiences when it comes to truffle pastas, including that one time the pasta ended up tasting like a vat of gasoline was poured over it. Too much truffle does not a good truffle dish make! You have to find the balance when it comes to pungent ingredients like truffle, and this Truffled Hamburg Meatball Spaghetti (Php 550) was able to pull it off in style.
It had the perfect balance of truffle in that creamy white sauce, with mushrooms and some nicely seasoned Japanese hamburg meatballs to boot.
The Japanese Beef Curry Soufflé (Php 525) held a special place in my tastebuds probably because of my love for curries. It’s basically Japanese-style curry rice with strips of US beef resting at the bottom of a savoury cheese soufflé.
It’s quite a straightforward dish to be honest, with the Japanese curry being a very flavourful and yummy one that shines through the savoury cheese soufflé. And in case you’re wondering, they were indeed quite generous with the beef.
My mother saw this little display on the table for the Miso Coq Au Riesling (Php 450), which is basically chicken simmered in Riesling (a dry white wine) and miso, served with a side of edameme pea mash. Yes, my friends! That green stuff is mashed peas, but this dish wouldn’t be the same without it! On its own the chicken is quite salty, but eating it topped with the mashed sweet peas makes the experience oh so good. This dish changed the way I view peas haha!
And now we get to the desserts! I have had the pleasure of trying out desserts by Chef Miko Aspiras from his time at Raffles so I was extremely excited for this part of the meal, and I have to say it did not disappoint!
The Valrhona Gran Crus (Php 375), made up of layers of Araguani 72% flourless chocolate cake, Caramelia 36% sponge, Dulcey 32% ganache, and Equatoriale 55% ganache, is a celebration of chocolate. It is served with warm vanilla bean crème anglaise that you pour on the crumbs of chocolate scattered on the plate until they are melted. I’m sorry my photo does not do much justice to the beautiful construction of this dessert, however it is difficult to fight off excited eaters.
Oh my goodness, this was soooooo good. I definitely recommend this to any chocolate lover out there! The chocolate was smooth and silky and just an absolute pleasure to devour. And you can taste the quality of the chocolate they used as all the different components gave varying degrees of deepness in their chocolate flavour. If it weren’t so dang expensive I’d order another one!
Instead of going for the soufflés this time around, we decided to order all three parfaits on the menu because we just could not choose among them.
By far the most interesting one would be the Salted Egg Caramel Parfait (Php 195), which is a vanilla based softee with salted egg custard, granola, vanilla wafer, peanut brittle, and a drizzling of caramel. There were also Pocky sticks attached on top and some almond dacquoise at the bottom.
I managed to only eat a few spoonfuls of this one but I managed to taste each and every component, except for the salted egg part. In theory, most salted things complement caramel, so it’s either the salted egg component melded so well with the caramel I was no longer able to detect it, or it was simply overpowered.
The very colouful Strawberry Lychee Parfait (Php 195) was by far the most eye-catching of the three, made up of vanilla softee that’s been bombarded with vanilla cake chunks, fresh strawberries, almond dacquoise, lychee and matcha jelly, plus a generous drizzle of strawberry sauce. Deep within the softee are pieces of vanilla wafers and pistachios that you are welcome to fish out using the Pocky sticks. Again, I just ate a few spoonfuls of this one but it was enough to make me determine that this was perhaps the sweetest parfait for me among the three.
It’s no surprise that my favourite was the Mactha Parfait (Php 195). The Matcha softee had that authentic matcha taste I so adore; and it was littered with just the right amount of chocolate cake chunks, chocolate sauce, matcha and coffee jelly, some matcha and charcoal mochi, azuki beans, then some green tea white chocolate wafers at the bottom. WHEW THAT IS A LOADED PARFAIT. Oh, and let’s not forget the Pocky sticks.
My brothers attacked this parfait with vigor but I managed to convince them to only eat the add-ons and leave me with enough of the soft serve to satisfy the matcha monster in me. Yay! I can’t imagine a better way to end any meal. 😀
I guess I don’t have to reiterate that I enjoyed every dish we had while we were here, but to be completely honest this might be one of the instances where I allowed the hype to get ahead of the experience. Yes, I found myself excitedly devouring, appreciating every dish, but I just wasn’t as blown away as I was expecting to be after hearing what everyone else had to say. That doesn’t mean the food wasn’t delicious though. BECAUSE IT WAS. 🙂
With the exception of the starters, I recommend everything we ate! In fact I’m still thinking about that Pork Bourguignon… (Thinking of it to the point of wanting to make it at home even!) I thought the concept of doing French and Japanese infusion dishes was clever, and I most certainly look forward to coming back to try the other items on the menu– the soufflés and soufflé pancakes especially!
Le Petit Soufflé serves up food as pretty and yummy as its interiors, and on top of that, the quality of the food was definitely topnotch and worth the money, as was the service. It’s probably not a place you would frequent because of the price point, but if you want to impress a date or host an extra special occasion, I promise this place will NOT disappoint!
Le Petit Soufflé
3F Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Ave., Poblacion, Makati City
Hours: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm
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Full disclosure: This meal was absolutely not sponsored in any way and all opinions stated above are my own.