Monday, February 9, 2015

A Taste of The Tasting Room

Experience a culinary journey of discovery, where freshness and delicate subtleties blend in an artful medley of flavors. Very few establishments in the metro can boast of a Michelin Star, and this is one of those places where the dining experience is elevated to a level that's unique, inspiring, even sublime. 

Each elegantly plated dish is a masterful work of pure art, feeding both the eyes and palate. Dining at The Tasting Room is a sensory experience like no other, matched by impeccable service. It is, indeed, a Michelin Star dining experience. 

Located at the Crown Tower of the new City of Dreams, The Tasting Room is just one of the many world class dining outlets at the new gaming complex, bringing with it the Michelin Star experience and pedigree of the original Macau establishment. Your unique experience begins as soon as you enter the The Tasting Room...

The warm, golden glow exudes a graceful elegance, and you just know this is special. The Tasting Room was the venue for the launch of LOUIS XIII's "Quest for a Legend", a worldwide search for the oldest and rarest decanter of the iconic cognac (for more on LOUIS XIII's epic contest, check out my previous post here at, a fitting and appropriate backdrop for the King of Cognac. That night, an equally epic dinner prepared by Chef de Cuisine William Mahi was served for the world's best, the undisputed King of Cognac.

At the entrance, one is greeted by the warm and beautiful smiles from the staff, and all the minute details form a constant and continuous thread of experiences long before your meal as you are escorted to your table.
The soft, muted lighting casts its golden glow on the elegant interiors, accentuated by fresh and ornate floral arrangements. And at each and every step of the way leading to your table, you are greeted by The Tasting Room's courteous staff.

The Tasting Room's Chef de Cuisine William Mahi begins your dining experience with an intricate Amuse-Bouche, a light sampler that's both elegant and playful, weaving in the creative play of flavors in each of the appetizers. And the range of flavors are impressive, combining the rich yet delicate sharpness of cheese with caramel flakes, chocolate with a savory filling, and a unique gelatin. The combination and blend of flavors are like nothing I've tried before, and that moment of wonderment lingers as you try to decode the ingredients.

For the first course, an inventive Duck Liver Terrine with cinnamon, port wine sauce, apples, strawberries, pear, honey and spicy red wine was served. The complexity of the seemingly contrasting layers of different flavors combine seamlessly in a delicate balance of subtle nuances. The richness of the duck liver terrine is accentuated by the sweetness and spice of the cinnamon, the mild tartness of the apples, strawberries, and pear, and the deep, bold notes of the port wine. Wonderfully balanced, yet filled with surprising contrasts.

Chef de Cuisine William Mahi continued to impress with his unique 52 Degree Egg on Potato Mousse with caramelized onions, Cepes powder, Iberian ham and truffles. Once the bowl was served, the staff then makes another round adding the delicate egg to your bowl. Chef de Cuisine William Mahi weaves another medley of flavors and textures, with not one ingredient overpowering the other. The creamy and buttery potato mousse is amplified a notch higher with the egg, balanced by the sharpness of the ham and the nutty hints from the truffles. An elegant, yet comforting dish with perfectly balanced flavors.

Dinner becomes even more indulgent with a glass of LOUIS XIII, the iconic King of Cognac. The aromatic bouquet and the smooth, elegant body warms the senses to complete your dining experience. One sip, and you can appreciate the time and love that goes into each and every decanter of LOUIS XIII. It is, after all, the culmination of nearly a century, bottled in each decanter (for more on the legendary LOUIS XIII, check out my previous post here at

The elegant tapestry of flavors continued with the 36-Hour Marinated Salmon with olive oil, pickles, white vinegar shallots, orange, dill and ginger, another impressive dish highlighted by pure, fresh, and clean flavors. The richness of the marinated salmon comes alive punctuated by the orange, dill, ginger, and pickles, and rounded out by the nutty olive oil. As with all the dishes at The Tasting Room, the flavors are not overly pronounced, yet each deliver a richness that lasts and stays with you. And it just gets better...

The French Lamb Saddle with lemon confit, turnips, truffles, rosemaery stuffed macaroni and pine seeds delivered robust, yet refined flavors. The tender lamb's meaty flavors were pure and clean, with the truffle adding that finishing touch. The details that go with each dish, with its individual components meticulously prepared, is an experience in itself.

For dessert, The Tasting Room's Guanaja Chocolate Ganache with espresso ice cream, spicy cocoa and smooth chocolate mousse, capped what could be one of the best dining experiences yet. Sweet with just a whisper of heat, it's the perfect finale to end on an even higher note. A true Michelin Star experience, and just a preview of more good things to come...

The Tasting Room is located at the Crown Tower in the new City of Dreams, D. Macapagal Boulevard, Paranaque City, Manila. 

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