Last September my good friend Dibie treated us to dinner in celebration of her birthday. She told me we were going to eat at Café 1771 in El Pueblo. My first reaction was, “Chateau 1771 is still open?”
Ironically the last time I ate at Chateau 1771 was with Dibie and Rochelle some time in the early 90s. I haven’t eaten at El Pueblo either since my favorite Tequila Joe closed.
To the left is the Lounge which looked like a library in an elegant home. I really loved the interiors done by Ivy Almario. The third area was the Winebar on the second floor which we didn’t get to see.
The only thorn among the roses is my friend Ariel who came from San Francisco just to celebrate Dibie’s and my birthdays. But he really came for his mom’s birthday and it happened to be in September too so lucky us.
The last time we ate at Chateau 1771 we also ordered raclette since it’s our favorite. Who doesn’t love hot, stinky, melted cheese? The smell was enough to trigger good memories of eating raclette. Memories was all I tasted since it was a no-no on my diet.
This salad was even yummier. Roasted portobello mushroom, provolone cheese, arugula and orange balsamic vinaigrette. I didn’t taste any arugula though. The server said they ran out.
salad mirabeau P440
My diet choice was the Spanish paprika chicken. It came with tomato rice but I had it changed to a side salad. There two generous pieces of chicken breast and I only ate one. I removed the skin and gave it to Ariel who said it was very, very good. I believe him because even without the skin the chicken breast was very flavorful and tender.
Spanish paprika chicken P460
Rochelle loves breakfast and she was happy that she was able to order the smoked salmon eggs benedict for dinner. She loved it but found the hollandaise sauce too rich after finishing everything.
smoked salmon eggs benedict P420
The fish wasn’t photogenic but Ariel said it was very good too. Boneless sandbass fillets cooked with patis-mansi, tomatoes, shallots and leeks steamed inside a foil tent. The fish was served with white rice.
fish in a tent P480
Dibie, the birthday girl, doesn’t eat meat so she ordered this sinfully looking vegetable lasagna. I wish I could try the lasagna layered with eggplant, zucchini, onions, peppers and slathered with garlic-parmesan béchamel sauce and napolitaine sauce. It was a big serving and she was only able to eat half of it.
vegetable lasagna P400
We chose to share only one dessert and I’m happy to say we chose the right one. The rich Valrhona dark chocolate cake was frozen and crumbly but it was delightfully bitter and the crunchy crust was a great contrast. Yes I cheated and I loved it!!
rose noir cake P250
I had their brewed coffee and I wasn’t too happy with it. I found it quite weak. Rochelle was also disappointed with this cafe au chocolat. She found it to light and the chocolate too sweet. It looked nice though.
cafe au chocolat P170
Overall dinner was a big success. Everyone was happy with their meals. I was just surprised that the bill came to a little over P5,000 and we didn’t order any drinks except for tea and coffee. That made an average check of P1,000 per head.
A few days ago I brought my balikbayan aunt and uncle to have lunch here.
We started with the fried squash flowers stuffed with anchovy and kesong puti. It was very, very good. I could have eaten the entire dish myself. The batter was light and crisp and it didn’t taste oily. The stuffing was creamy and tasty without being salty. There was sweet chili sauce in the bottom but in my opinion it didn’t really need it.
fried squash flowers P280
My uncle had the walnut chicken salad and I had the Spanish paprika chicken and salad mirabeau again.
My uncle who was also on a diet and didn’t even finish his salad was so excited to order dessert. And he just adored the famous coffee pie. I liked the chocolate cashew crust more than the filling which I wish had a more intense coffee flavor. I prefer the rose noire cake.
coffee pie P185
El Pueblo Real de Manila
ADB Avenue cor. Julia Vargas Avenue,
Ortigas Center, Pasig City,
telephone: 631- 7340
Mondays to Saturdays: 7:00am to 10:00 pm
Sundays: 7:00 am to 3:00 pm