Friday, February 6, 2015

A New Story Unfolds at The Nostalgia Dining Lounge

Food, they say, is memories, with each dish telling a story and providing flavorful links to a cherished past. French Executive Chef Jerome Cartailler opens a new chapter filled with his favorite family recipes and the hotel's most popular dishes over the past five years at the new Nostalgia Dining Lounge of Oakwood Premier-Joy Nostalg Center.  

The new menu reflects classic international dishes set in elegant interiors reminiscent of a bygone era, a nostalgic theme that seamlessly threads all the elements for a unique and memorable dining experience at the Nostalgia Dining Lounge.

The new "old' look at Nostalgia Dining Lounge is complemented by a wide array of cross-continental cuisine supplemented by a touch of Asian and Filipino classics. But the sentimentality for the past is balanced by a contemporary approach to flavors, recreating classic dishes with a modern sensibility. At the new Nostalgia Dining Lounge, you can easily relive the past with your old favorites, or create new memories with a wide selection of dishes.

Located at the sixth floor of the Oakwood Premier-Joy Nostalg Center in Ortigas, The Nostalgia Dining Lounge exudes a warm and gracefull elegance, accentuated by subtle touches that strengthens the continuous chain of experiences that begin with a friendly smile at the lounge's entrance. 

Inside The Nostalgia Dining Lounge, one finds an impressive collection of accent pieces that relive the past. An old Remington typewriter here, a rotary dial phone there, each one providing a fascinating glimpse of days long gone. 

Other items include vintage spirits, like a crystal decanter of premium Louis XIII Cognac and a rare Macallan 30 year Single Malt. The nostalgic theme is carried over to the three function rooms, with the elegant Cosmopolitan Shanghai (R) for six incorporating classic Chinese prints and artworks...

...the Bohemian Paris (L), also for six, with  its bold and bright palette of colors rendered in a distinct French motif, and the rustic and formal wooden tones of Old Manila (R), which can accommodate up to fourteen guests, recreating the casual and laid-back charm of the capital's storied past. 

Elegantly framed vintage postage stamps adorn the tables, reinforcing the nostalgic theme. Days before, I thought I would sorely miss the old Oakroom. But seeing the new Nostalgia Dining Lounge somehow eased the transition, as I sat back and eagerly awaited for Executive Chef Jerome Cartailler's classic dishes.  

The new menu at Nostalgia Dining Lounge includes a selection from Executive Chef Jerome Cartailler's family recipes, like the Chef's Terrine, recreated from his grandmother's original recipe. And the Onion Gratine, the French classic made with fine wine, a blend of premium Emmental cheese, and prepared with love and patience, it's a dish that is revisited often by Chef Jerome going back to the days when he first donned a toque. The stories, and memories, behind each dish, are all lovingly recreated at Nostalgia Dining Lounge.

The feast began with The Nostalgia Dining Lounge's Trio of Appetizers, with sampler portions of the Crispy Pork Belly and Mesclun Salad (P 425), Escargot in Puff Pastry (P 530), and the Chef's Terrine (P 425), a pork and veal terrine flavored with Cognac. The crispy pork belly is perfectly cooked, with soft and juicy meat contrasting with the crisp layer of skin on Chervil ranch dressing and poached egg. The rich and flavorful Chef's Terrine is prepared the old-fashioned way, with time to allow the flavors to blend during the marinating process and slow baking. And one bite releases the rustic richness perfected by Chef Jerome's grandmother, passed down and recreated for The Nostalgia Dining Lounge's diners to enjoy. The delicate and crisp puff pastry filled with baked snails, garlic herb butter, and mushrooms is another classic recreation, with equally rich flavors made from traditional techniques and premium ingredients.

A popular appetizer makes a comeback at The Nostalgia Dining Lounge, Steamed Mussels (P 425), a comforting bowl of plump New Zealand mussels cooked in white wine, shallots, garlic and cream. The subtle briny sweetness of the mussels are perfectly accentuated by the nuttiness of the garlic and the sharp notes of the shallots, finished by the delicate hints of the white wine and the rich cream. Served with a crisp bread stick, just what you need to soak up the rich broth.

Chef Jerome Cartailler's flavorful story continues with the Pan-Seared Macademia Crusted Salmon Fillet with mini-vegetables and Chardonnay Sauce (P 895), a constant favorite over the past five years. And it's quite fitting that the dish is now permanently reflected on the new menu. Said to be a favorite of one of the hotel's owners, one bite immediately tells you why...

With premium Norwegian Salmon flown in weekly, the tender fillet bursts with clean and fresh flavors, complimented by the rich and buttery notes of the macademia nuts and the creamy Chardonnay sauce. The chunky mashed potatoes add a rustic texture, and the crisp French beans and fresh fennel complete the dish.

Chicken Supreme (P 645), stuffed with mushroom mousse, crushed potato with a light gorgonzola sauce.  The delicately flavored chicken roulade is given an extra kick in flavor by the nutty mushroom mousse and the flavorful gorgonzola sauce. Elegantly plated, with buttered cubes of carrots and mushrooms, the light yet filling dish reflects classic cuisine with a modern update. 

Other classic dishes include the Baby Back Ribs Pork Adobo (above), Berkshire Pork "Milanese," Prawn Kebab, Oven Roast Grouper Fillet, and Vegetarian Tajine as well as Asian and Filipino favorites.

For dessert, end your meal with a classic, the Tartufo (P 325), Nespresso coffee infused mousse with ganache and seasonal berry coulis, just perfect with a cup of coffee. Other options include old favorites such as the Deconstructed Black Forest, Baked Choco and Hazelnut Cheesecake, New Zealand Ice Cream Selection, and the traditional Halo-Halo. 

The popular buffet is still available for breakfast and lunch at The Nostalgia Dining Lounge, and Executive Sous Chef Hermogenes Perez ensures you'll find a favorite in the wide selection of dishes. That day, the mains included Chicken Tikka Masala (R)...

...and Roasted Pork Loin stuffed with prunes (L). The buffet also boasts a wide selection of fresh salads and seafood, plus an equally impressive array of indulgent desserts and fresh fruits.

At the Carving Station, a slab of crispy Pork Lechon Kawali proved to be a popular item among diners that day. Flavorful stories and memories, all coming to life, at the new Nostalgia Dining Lounge.

Oakwood Premier-Joy Nostalg Center's General Manager, Trevor MacDonald, invites you to rediscover your old favorites at the new Nostalgia Dining Lounge, and create new memories. The amazing stories behind each dish by French Executive Chef Jerome Cartailler are just one of many reasons to go back to Oakwood Premier-Joy Nostalg Center, and understand why food is, as many say, memories.

The Nostalgia Dining Lounge is located at the 6th Floor of Oakwood Premier-Joy Nostalg Center along ADB Avenue in Ortigas Center or call 637-7888 ext. 8603 for inquiries and reservations. 

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  1. Hi, just to clarify...The Nostalgia Dining Lounge replaced the Oakroom?

    Also, the buffet is no longer available for dinner?

    1. Hi jek, The Nostalgia Dining Lounge is the new concept replacing the former Oakroom, and so far, the buffet is available only for lunch and dinner. Thanks!


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