Friday, October 20, 2023

Private Dining Reimagined at the Innovative Chef by Rob Pengson Pop-Up

A chef's culinary vision transforms an elegant space setting the stage for a unique and memorable private dining experience. Welcome to Chef by Rob Pengson...

Located at the Lobby Lounge of the Aleanza Institute in Makati, Chef Rob Pengson unveils his latest innovative private dining concept with Chef by Rob Pengson. A four-month pop-up, Chef by Rob Pengson lavishly showcases his spin on the private dining experience inspired by his culinary journey from over two decades of gastronomic mastery. 

Chef Rob Pengson creatively re-imagines French-European cuisine infused with novel touches of global influences and modern culinary techniques resulting in elegant tasting menus. His contemporary rendition with a refined and seamless fusion of fresh and bold flavors reveals a personal glimpse at Chef Rob's unique journey. Step inside Chef by Rob Pengson, your table is ready...

With a renewed mission and purpose, Chef Rob Pengson embarks on a new culinary journey with Chef by Rob Pengson weaving flavorful new stories with his Antebellum Menu Selections. Following the success of the revitalized Beso-Beso, Chef Rob is back in the kitchen for yet another chapter in a storied journey (for more on Beso-Beso, see my post Spanish Interlude: Chef Rob Pengson Unveils a New Chapter with a New Menu at Beso-Beso from May early this year).

Inside the Aleanza Institute, you won't immediately spot the Chef by Rob Pengson pop-up adding an intriguing layer to your experience. Suddenly, a door swings open to welcome you to Chef Rob's latest culinary offering...

...revealing an elegant space ideal for intimate private dinners or events. Chef by Rob Pengson is a scalable culinary template unhindered by geography as Chef Rob intends to replicate the experience in various locations and public spaces such as museums, resorts and libraries or even your home via his catering service. Imagine the infinite possibilities with Chef by Rob Pengson for your private event, and you get the picture. The compartmentalized system allows Chef Rob and his team to set-up a private dining experience virtually anywhere. More than just a pop-up or restaurant, the novel concept of Chef by Rob Pengson offers "bespoke B2B or business-to-business restaurant event pop-up packages to hotels, resorts, offices and tourist destinations enhancing property revenue and guest experiences anywhere." 

Tonight, the lavish experience begins at the Aleanza Institute... 

The elegant setting becomes the first layer in a series of seamless weaves to the Chef by Rob Pengson private dining experience. Assisting Chef Rob are Chief Culinary Officer Nicey Reyes, Head of Hospitality and Guest Experiences Chef Yancy Ramirez and Head Chef Rachel Rodis tasked with orchestrating the lavish dining affair with that signature Aleanza touch. The concept's name is inspired by the collaborative nature of the venture "fueled by a collective of culinary experts." 

The Aleanza Institute of Arts is Chef Rob Pengson's culinary education arm and the base anchoring his various ventures (check out their FB Page for more information at Despite the global pandemic, the Aleanza Institute is slowly making up for lost time with its full and comprehensive roster of courses and programs...

...showcased and highlighted by the institute's successful batch of students at Beso-Beso. And the Chef by Rob Pengson pop-up. Real world training while working in real kitchens helmed by some of the country's best chefs are at the heart of the culinary philosophy at the Aleanza institute. And diners can experience it at the elegant private dining of Chef by Rob Pengson...

That evening, the Antebellum Menu was served starting with the intricate Foie Gras Cone to kick-off our private dining experience at Chef by Rob Pengson

The opulent bite-sized indulgence is a delicately layered creation of silky smooth truffle, fig, port jelly, almond and paté mousse topped with an almond tuille served in a crisp cone. A masterfully executed starter with luscious notes and textures, it's your first bite in a unique private dining experience reimagined with creative flair and culinary techniques. The Antebellum Menu reflects a classic French influence expressed in imaginative and novel executions at Chef by Rob Pengson, and the Foie Gras Cone is a prelude to a lavish exploration of flavors and culinary techniques in a private dinner setting. 

From its deep and lingering savory notes to a delectable and mild fruity sweetness, the Foie Gras Cone tempts the palate with its play on rich flavors and textural contrasts in one sinful bite. 

From the bar, Chef by Rob Pengson offers a variety of cocktails including a proper Old-Fashioned. Smooth and easy, the bold notes of bourbon with its distinct smoky hints are tempered by the bright and vibrant burst of citrus for that balanced finish. 

Next, the Crab Daikon Rose with caviar and cauliflower panna cotta tempts both the eyes and palate with its ornate plating. And the flavors are just as indulgent as it looks. 

Each distinct note from the decadent cast of premium ingredients drapes the palate with complex yet refined blend of contrasting flavors in a beautifully balanced finish. It's pure indulgence in a bowl, and you just want more after one decadent spoonful. That first bite delivers the subtle sharpness of the caviar with its bold, briny notes followed by the pickled daikon and citrus smoothened by the cauliflower panna cotta. The second bite builds on the richness of the first leading to more bites. Topped with a gold leaf, the Crab Daikon Rose is unrestrained elegance expressed in its purest and flavorful form by Chef Rob

The Prosciutto Manchego Choux-quette is an inventive spin on the Spanish croquetas garnished with an intricate and crisp tuille. The classic croquetas with prosciutto and Manchego delivers bursts of bold savory notes rounded out by the soft, buttery and creamy texture of the choux-quette for another bite of indulgence. 

One bite drapes the palate with the savory richness of the prosciutto followed by the mild and deep flavors of the Manchego. Each flavor complements the other in another masterfully executed bite at Chef by Rob Pengson.  

The pace of the private dining experience is then taken up a notch with an invitation to the kitchen for a peek at the chefs at work preparing the next course...

...with the Tuna Tartare, Citrus and Horseradish Créme Fraiche. The crisp tartlet topped with fresh tuna brings sweet briny notes to the palate tempered by hints of citrus and the subtle sharpness of the horseradish créme fraiche for another masterful weave of flavors. 

The next course featured a comforting Truffle Mushroom Velouté with Gruyere served in a cup. Each sip warms the palate with its luscious richness...

...with the decadent notes of truffle bringing that flavorful punch. The crisp Gruyere tuille is the perfect finishing touch to this comforting dish from the kitchen of Chef by Rob Pengson

The refreshing salad of Ratatouille Tart with Goat Cheese and Arugula is a colorful plated dish not only of contrasting notes but a delectable mix of hot and cold with the addition of a tomato sorbet. The result is another playfully inventive expression of both flavor and technique in one solid dish. 

The layers of flavorful tartness as well as the mix of both hot and cold opens up the palate with its fresh and clean notes. The crisp tartlet holds everything together perfectly, with one bite delivering all the flavors from each of the components of the dish. 

For the main course, Chef Rob served his ribeye trifecta of Steak DianeCabrales and Bordelaise. The savory trio offers three distinct flavor profiles from the rich and creamy Cabrales cheese sauce to the bold pepper hints of the Steak Diane and the deep, mildly sweet finish of the Bordelaise with its truffle red wine sauce all in one dish. 

Best enjoyed with red wine, the dish allows you to experience the nuanced and subtle shifts in flavors from the richness of the Cabrales, the pronounced pepper notes of the Steak Diane and the classic finish of the Bordelaise. 

Creamy, peppery and savory and just a hint of subtle sweetness with each slice, the trio of Steak DianeCabrales and Bordelaise is one of many highlights in an epic tasting menu at Chef by Rob Pengson. A pioneer in private tasting and degustation menus from his previous dining concepts, Chef Rob brings it all together in his latest private dining venture opening up infinite possibilities for b2b applications or intimate events. 

Chef Rob then caps our private dining experience with a duo of indulgent desserts, starting with the Strawberry, Lemon Curd, Berries and Cream with crisp and crunchy pastry...

...and the Persian Tiramisu for a double dose of pure decadence. From the first course to the last, Chef by Rob Pengson along with his passionate culinary team redefines the private dining experience with the exquisite weave of fresh opulent flavors, masterful execution and classic French techniques. 

Guests and diners can experience Chef by Rob Pengson private dining for lunch and dinner from Wednesdays to Saturdays until February 17, 2024 at the Aleanza Institute.  The Antebellum Menu is available at the following rates:

Ad-Hoc 4-Course Menu: P 3,950
Express 7-Course Menu: P 6,950
10-Course Menu: P 11,800
Signature 15-Course Menu: P 16,800

The space is also available for private events, simply call or click on the links below for rates. 

Chef by Rob Pengson as a pop-up and start-up concept is an insightful peek at one chef's novel vision of culinary possibilities. From the Antebellum Menu to the Specials and Bistro Menu, rediscover elegant private dining as interpreted by Chef Rob and his team in an elegant setting at Chef by Rob Pengson

Chef by Rob Pengson is located at the Lobby Lounge, RM 101 of the Second Floor at Aleanza Institute of Arts, Autometics Center, 2257 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila. You can also call 0927 137 3611/0917 888 0105 for inquiries and reservations or visit their FB Page and website at and for more information and updates.  

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