Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fresh Starts at Enderun's Restaurant 101

A new year and flavorful fresh starts...all happening at Restaurant 101. 

Enderun Colleges' Restaurant 101 welcomes the new year with Fresh Starts, an exciting new Market Menu created by their very own alumni chefs to welcome the new year.

Located at McKinley Hill at Fort Bonifacio, the impressive campus is the training ground for some of the brightest young talents in the hotel and culinary industry. Enderun Colleges is also home to the first Ducasse Institute outside of France, bringing with it world-class culinary education and expertise. 

Enderun Colleges' Amphitheater, where the culinary magic is shared with guests, is our first stop. Under the supervision of Chef Thomas Wenger, the school's Senior Culinary Lecturer and Managing Director for Restaurant 101, Enderun's alumni chefs execute a culinary demo of Restaurant 101's new dishes...

The success of Enderun Colleges is evident with its young chefs and recent graduates, like Chef Marco Bangit (L) shown preparing one of the five courses from the new Market Menu, Cream of White Bean Soup with Prawn and Chorizo Galette, with Chef Thomas Wenger...

...Chef Justin Baradas (L), and his elegant and colorful Beetroot Marinated Salmon with Pickled Cucumbers, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, and crispy "Chicharon" of Salmon Skin...

...and Chef Penny Pedersen-Ponio with her indulgent and intricate Layered White and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Butter-Mint Ice Cream, each prepared and plated to the exacting high standards Enderun Colleges is known for. And this was just a preview of Restaurant 101's new 5-Course Market Menu. 

And it's here at Restaurant 101 where Enderun Colleges' working faculty and students showcase their culinary skills. The student kitchen and wait staff, under the supervision of Enderun's Culinary and F & B Faculty, hone and perfect their craft in a real environment. Chosen by Philippine Tatler as one of the Philippines' Best Restaurants of 2013, Restaurant 101 is the application restaurant of Enderun Colleges. The stylish and contemporary interiors exude a casual elegance reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, a perfect setting for a memorable dining experience.

The interior lighting provides an elegant warm glow, setting the mood for the dinner about to be served. At Restaurant 101's kitchen, the pace picks up as the students perform their assigned roles at their respective stations, and the first course is served... 

My dining experience at Restaurant 101 began with an elegantly plated Scotch Quail Egg, quail egg with a crisp and flavorful bacon crust on glazed asparagus, smoked cream, and truffle dressing. Drawing inspiration from the traditional Scotch Egg, Restaurant 101 spins its own twist on a classic with quail egg coated in bacon, delivering complex yet comforting flavors. The richness of the quail egg is perfectly balanced by the bold and smoky notes from the bacon crust, the delicate sweetness of the glazed asparagus and the nuttiness of the truffle dressing. The different components of the dish, each with distinct notes, combine contrasting flavors and textures that work so well together. And this play on flavors and textures continue all the way to the last course.

With clockwork precision, the kitchen expedites the second course...

Restaurant 101's Pan-Fried Goose Liver on mesclun greens with cranberry dressing was then served, a light yet rich and flavorful dish. The subtle sweetness of the fresh greens is further enhanced by the sweet and tart cranberry dressing capped by the indulgent goose liver for another blend of contrasting flavors and textures.

The goose liver is perfectly seared, firm yet melts in your mouth releasing a burst of rich, buttery notes. And like the previous dish, each ingredient weaves its own unique note in a rich tapestry of flavors. Paired with a refreshingly crisp white wine, perfect. And the parade of rich flavors continue with the third course...

Restaurant 101 then served the third course, a hearty dish completed as the staff poured a thick and creamy broth and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper...

Cream of White Bean Soup with Prawn and Chorizo Galette, the dish demonstrated by Chef Marco Bangit earlier at Enderun's Amphitheater, was the third course in Restaurant 101's 5-Course Market Menu. The thick and creamy broth delivers a mild flavor punctuated with a rich buttery hint, setting your palate for the bold and robust salty and sweet notes of the prawn and chorizo. Chef Thomas Wenger and his team of alumni and student chefs at Restaurant 101 have displayed a mastery of fresh, clean, and bold flavors in each of the dishes served so far, with even more to come...

The vibrant colors of the next course, Beetroot Marinated Salmon on pickled cucumbers, horseradish mashed potatoes, and topped with "chicharon" of salmon skin, serves as a visual cue to the rich flavors of the dish. The preparation of the dish was demonstrated earlier by Chef Justin Baradas, and the complexity of the dish provides a better appreciation for the blend of complex flavors. The delicate and buttery notes of the premium salmon are kicked up by the sweetness from the beetroot marinade while adding a bright red tint. The richness of the dish is perfectly balanced by the sharpness of the pickled cucumber and subtle bite of the horseradish in the creamy mashed potatoes. The addition of crispy salmon skin adds a playful twist, with its contrasting texture, to complete the dish. 

Oven Roasted Magret of Duck with Apple Hazelnut Chutney on celeriac puree and port reduction, a juicy and tender duck breast with a thin layer of fat, another impressive dish from Restaurant 101's new Market Menu. The rich flavors of the juicy duck breast are perfectly balanced by the sweet and tart apple hazelnut chutney, capped by the creamy vegetable puree and port reduction for another elegant and flavorful dish. A glass of red wine pairs perfectly with this dish. The delicate and elegant plating complements the rich flavors of each dish served at Restaurant 101, feeding both the eyes and the palate for a complete sensory experience.  

Restaurant 101's kitchen then prepared and served its indulgent dessert to cap a memorable dining experience with its elegant Layered White and Dark Chocolate Mousse with Butter Mint Ice Cream. The intricate stacked dessert displayed the meticulous attention to detail with its ornate presentation. The dessert, demonstrated by Chef Penny Pedersen-Ponio, combines the deep flavors of white and dark chocolate with a creamy and minty homemade ice cream. The dark chocolate crisps complete the dish with its contrasting texture and deep flavors. The masterful execution of each dish, and the bold blend of flavors, is affirmation of Enderun's high culinary standards. And you can experience this first hand everyday, at Restaurant 101.

At the end of the dinner, Chef Thomas Wenger proudly introduced Enderun Colleges' alumni chefs and the culinary team of Restaurant 101, greeted by a warm round of applause from the guests. The new Market Menu at Restaurant 101 is definitely something to cheer about, offering one of the best dining experiences in the metro. The Fresh Starts 5-Course Menu at Restaurant 101 is priced at P 1,480+ per person. Experience world class cuisine and service, only at Restaurant 101.

Chef Thomas Wenger and his culinary team also shared three of the recipes from Restaurant 101's new Market Menu for your reference:

Cream of White Bean Soup, Prawn and Chorizo Galette
Ingredients (for 4)

125 g white beans dried, soaked in cold water over night
30 g white onions, chopped
2 pcs garic cloves, peeled, chopped
30 g celery, finely diced
30 g carrot, sliced in half
50 g bacon rashes, chopped
250 ml chicken stock
120 ml heavy cream
30 g butter
20 pcs tomato confit (alternative: sun-dried tomatoes)
4 pcs large prawns, peeled
Spring onions, chopped, for garnish
Olive oil for frying
50 g Chorizo sausage, diced


1.  In a casserole, sautee the onions, garlic, and bacon, then add the white beans and cook in chicken stock untl soft, then add the carrot.
2.  When soft, remove a few beans for garnish and the carrot and set aside.
3.  Puree the remaining white beans and strain through a sieve.
4.  Bring the white bean puree back to boil, add the heavy cream and season well.
5.  Cut the tomato confit in half lengthwise.
6.  Chop the prawn finely and mash well together with the diced chorizo. Season with salt and pepper.
7.  With moist hands, form a disk and pan-fry in olive oil and set aside.
8.  In the middle of the plate, add a good spoon of the cokked beans, add the tomato confit as well and top with the prawn-chorizo patty. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions.
9.  Adjust the seasoning of the soup and pour fresh and hot in front of the guest.

Beetroot Marinated Salmon, Pickled Cucumbers, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, "Chicharon" of Salmon Skin
Ingredients (for 4)

Marination of Salmon:
4 pcs Salmon fillets (180 g per piece)
20g Beetroot, peeled and cubed
5 g salt

Pickled Cucumber:
50 g cucumber
50 ml cane vinegar
25 g sugar
5 g salt

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
100 g potatoes, peeled
80 g butter
20 ml milk
20 ml horseradish
Salt and pepper

Salmon Skin Chicharon
1 pc Salmon skin, scaled, reserved from the salmon
20 g Rock salt

Method for the Salmon

1.  Cook beetroot in boiling saltwater until soft.
2.  Blend until smooth and add salt, then cool down the mixture and marinate salmon with this mixture for one hour.
3.  Wash the salmon fillets thouroughly.

Method for the Pickled Cucumbers

1.  Bring the vinegar, cane sugar and salt to boil.
2.  Cut and deseed cucumber. Slice to 10cm using a mandolin.
3.  Pour pickling mixture on the cucumber and cool in the refrigerator.

Method for the Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

1.  Wash and peel potatoes and cut into 30cm cubes and boil until tender. Pass through a tamis (fine sieve) and add butter, salt, and pepper.
2.  Infuse the milk with horseradish and add to the mashed potatoes.

Method for Salmon Skin Chicharon

1.  Sandwich the salmon between two trays and bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 160C. Add salt after and leave until cold.
2.  Fry in hot oil at 190C until skin pops.

Layered White and Dark Chocolate Mousse, Butter-Mint Ice Cream
Ingredients (for 4)

For the Chocolate Mousse
50 g chocolate couverture
10 g sugar
100 ml heavy cream, whipped gelatin, soaked in cold water to soften
40 g egg (approximately 1 egg)

For the Chocolate Sponge
100 g powder sugar
120 g egg whites
150 g egg yolks
150 g brown sugar
125 g dark cohocolate couverture
220 g butter
50 g cake flour
15 g cocoa powder

For the Butter-Mint Ice cream
125 ml buttermilk
125 ml milk
150 ml heavy cream
100 g sugar
60 ml creme fraiche
10 g corn starch
fresh mint, leaves only, chopped

Method for the Chocolate Mousse

1.  Make on batch of chocolate mousse each, white and dark chocolate, separately.
2.  In a bowl, over steam, melt the chocolate.
3.  In a bowl, over steam, beat the eggs until fully cooked and fluffy.
4.  Remove bowl from the steam.
5.  Remove the gelatin from the cold water, squeeze out all liquid and melt it into the egg/sugar mixture.
6.  Gently fold in the melted chocolate and then the whipped cream.
7.  Pour in a shallow container to the desired height and set aside to chill in the refrigerator.

Method for the Chocolate Sponge

1.  In a bowl, whip eggwhites and powder sugar until stiff.
2.  In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks and the brown sugar well.
3.  In a bowl over steam, melt together the butter and the dark chocolate.
4.  Remove the bowl off the steam. Add the sifted cake flour and cocoa powder to the chocolate butter mixture and smoothen so there are no lumps, then add the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Combine well.
5.  Gently fold in the meringue (egg white and powder sugar mixture) and fill into a well buttered and dusted baking pan.
6.  Bake at 180C until cooked through.
7.  Cool on a wire rack and cut in desired shape/size.

Method for the Butter-Mint Ice Cream

1.  In a pan, combine the milk and sugar and warm well but do not boil. Add the mint leaves and set aside to steep for 2-5 minutes, depending on how strong the mint flavor for the ice cream is desired.
2.  Strain the mint out.
3.  Dissolve the cornstarch with the buttermilk. Bring the milk sugar mixture back to heat and add the cornstarch. Bring to simmer and set aside.
4.  Add the heavy cream and creme fraiche and chill well before churning.

Restaurant 101 is located within Enderun Colleges, 1100 Campus Avenue, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, or call 856-5000 local 101 for inquiries and reservations.

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