Tag Archives: spring roll

La Petite Camille: Vietnamese Fill

food blog manila philippines

Who’s Camille? Beats me. Might be the French inspiration of the place, after all La Petite Camille (Greenbelt 5) specializes in Vietnamese-French fusion, and not cupcakes as the name might suggest.

 lazy black cat review greenbelt

Sure the place is flooded with yellow and white furniture, a pleasant and proper domicile for those little Camilles, but the food is more of Vietnamese and where the heck is the French?!? Well as far as what we ordered, yep, it’s really Vietnam all over. No forks needed, just chopsticks (or hands) please.

I still question the French part, but with a fill of Vietnamese noodles, I had no time to process gastronomic fusion, nomenclature and whatnot and just had to dig in when the food came—or is it stab in?

 vegetarian food greenbelt makati

It’s funny how the appetizer, the Fresh Spring Rolls, came in last. The French influence is apparently absent in terms of the order of food service because they massively screwed up and served everything in reverse. Merde, eh?

Back to the Fresh Spring Rolls, because they came in last, we were already filled with the main dish noodles, and to spy more rice noodles popping from these carefully wrapped rolls was not too enticing. Still, with the hoisin sauce the rolls were made bearable. But having to shove that large a roll, when I was already full, was quite the challenge! If only they served that first, I’d have something better to write about.

 seafood restaurant makati

The Salt and Pepper Cuttlefish was served somewhere in the middle. I needed a few chunks before finally narrowing down its taste; it’s similar to the shrimp balls we eat in Chinise restaurants. You know that taste, right? Those awesome prawn balls that burst with crunchiness on the outside. That breading plus soft cuttlefish in the inside is La Petite Camille’s version. The sauce—we can do without. Better off with calamansi and soy sauce instead.

 Vitenamese French restaurant manila

The Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Chicken does not look appetizing but is greatly more delectable 10x over its looks. On the blander side—which greatly favors the health conscious—it’s got vegetables, egg and succulent chunks of chicken. A hungry person can finish a serving, which is what my brother did. Goes well with that cuttlefish for thatprawn-y flavor on the side.

 j.anne gonzales blog

Pad Thai with Prawns was the other noodle dish. With the same noodles and toppings (more or less), I had a difficult time differentiating the photo from the previous dish. Then I realized that this has a siding of nuts—which they graciously set aside rather than sprinkle on top!

Having requested a mildly spicy serving was a smart idea because I did not need a water fest so far from home. The Pad Thai is (expectedly) sweeter and more flavorsome than the Stir Fried noodles. While I adore Pad Thai, having the latter as comparison makes me go for the Stir Fried Rice Noodles. Think of it as a toned down version of Char Kway Teow. Not bad huh. Still, the Pad Thai is great and “al dente” and so French-approved.

 jenina gonzales blog food review

4 dishes and 2 diners—so it would be accurate to say that the meal came with a large bill! With no time (or money) for dessert, it was all right. The meal was ultimately filling and I remember the first bites of the noodles were interspersed with Mmmm and “I need to take a photo of this!” 

Still, if the appetizer came at its properly appointed time, I’d have been more satisfied and at ease. Imagine having Hoisin for dessert. Weird.

Or is that how they eat in France? Oui?


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Swinging by the Mango Tree

Mango Tree Bistro BGC

If you suddenly find yourself dining at Mango Tree (Bonifacio High Street), well for starters, try not to look for a mango tree or any form of horticulture in the premises. An inquiry on mango-laden dishes may be considered an act of curiosity, but don’t expect the menu to be doused with mango-fused dishes. Or expect mango juice to be free-flowing. That’s what we would call stereotyping and a lack of creativity on your part.

Mango Tree Bistro review

Instead, find not a tribal-island place but rather, an uppity-up Thai fine dining spot that basks in the elegance of its chandeliers and high ceilings and steers clear of banana leaves. Despite the fancy atmosphere, there is still a subtle hint of Thai homey-ness that perhaps is fitting when reading a menu filled with lengthy Thai jargon, dominated by Kaeng, Phad and Tom. Sounds like my childhood friends – how I wish they were – but they translate to Curry, Fried, and Soup respectively.

Mango Tree Bistro Thai Iced tea

Dimly lit and with a slightly vermillion theme, there is no house mango-anything; however they offer their splendid Thai Iced Tea, which is not for free but is tasty enough to compete with the Taiwanese milk teas. If I am not mistaken, their secret ingredient is condensed milk. And lots of ice.

The food came in a blur, with servings good enough for 2 hungry or 3 skinny people. With the dim atmosphere and the hasty movements of the hungry, pardon the photos and the blur. This thing we call hunger can seriously cause ADD.

The Yum Woon Sen came with glass noodles that shimmered a mile away, and this posed as a potential salad favorite. The unusually salty-sour-spicy dressing was greatly new to my palate, yet well met. However the same fate cannot be said to my fellow diners – which left more for me. (Yay!)

Sauce, not soup!

Sauce, not soup!

Mango Tree Bistro appetizer

The deep fried catfish (Yom Pla Duk Fu) was served with a green mango salad-sauce that we first thought was a cup of soup. Come on, in the dark, the mango slivers looked like noodles and when placed in a soup bowl, just screamed, “Taste me!” not, “I’m the catfish dip.” The unlucky taster was not pleased by her tingling senses, but did enjoy the catfish greatly. Meat eaters might perhaps compare this to the local fare chicharon, but I prefer to describe it as the crunchy fish almost-floss.

thai restaurant bgc

The spring rolls (regular and shrimp) were a feast for the eyes but came in only 5 pieces per order. Groups dining who are not a multiple of 5 will have to split, share or abstain. In our case, it was “the faster fork wins.” Filled with glass noodles and vegetables, it was crunchy, delectable and a bit on the oily side. The sweet and sour sauce that came with the rolls is an absolute necessity, since the dish on its own is bland, on account of the noodle component.

thai food fort bonifacio

A trip to a Thai restaurant is never complete without an order of Phad Thai. Our Phad Thai Goong was enclosed in an egg-net that was so lovely to look at, I couldn’t bear to ruin the design with the fork. But eat was the main order of the evening, and I had the privilege of bringing forth destruction of the fortress and getting the first fork. The rice noodles were on the thin side but the taste was an explosion of sour, salty and spicy. With eggs, bean sprouts, peanuts and shrimps swimming around the dish, it was an excellent conquest.

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The grilled quid (Pla Meuk Kang) was mildly sweet yet very tender. Grilling squid can be a tricky business, so this successful attempt at serving a tender dish with no hints of the biter grill taste was very much appreciated. In no time, there was even no sign that Kraken had graced the table.

mango tree food review

This grilled chicken was so typical and straightforward that I forgot its menu name. Seriously though, if could give it an English name, it would be: Golden Grilled Chicken. As for the flavor, we’re probably better off discovering more traditional Thai recipes in the next visit. Like satay, curry or mango chutney.

It was among the desserts where we found the abundance of mangoes, which led me to think that perhaps there is a mango tree somewhere in this restaurant.

where to eat bgc

The Mango Cheesecake was a refreshingly sweet change from the spiced up dinner. The cheesecake was on the light and frothy side, but the mangoes proved to the winner. Undeniably sweet and succulent, this is why mango is my favorite fruit! Delightful!

lazy black cat blog

The sticky rice, which looks a lot like biko, is actually Khao Niew Ma Muang. It is so difficult to pronounce and remember with so many syllables that seek to confuse, the waitress must be so used to people referring to it as biko as well. Of course she couldn’t go around spreading the word and calling it such, but for patrons of local rice cakes, this one’s for you.

As for me, my mind already shut down after the Mango Cheesecake.

While not for the faint-hearted, spice-averse and those who simply detest lemongrass and curry, Mango Tree may not be the best destination. You might find yourself reaching out for a Mango Ago-go at neaby Jamba Juice instead.

However if you’re very much into the adventurous and exotic Thai fare-fest, then dig in and find a spot in Mango Tree. I assure you, your palate will be very pleased.

As for the wallet, that’s a different story.

thai restaurant review manila


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