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5.041 Slow Roast Beef Brisket with Cauliflower Cheese

 -Cycle 5, Item 41-
15 (Sat) February 2014

-French-
Slow Roast Beef Brisket with Cauliflower Cheese

3.5

at Sala Bistro (Greenbelt Shopping Mall)

-Makati City-

with CS Hahm

My uncle CS is back in town.  

As recent history would suggest, whenever we're both in Manila, we'll be seeing a lot of each other (see previously 5.022 Wagyu Course).  Which is totally cool, because he's cool, one of the smartest, most dynamic people that I've ever met.  For purposes of GMTD, another good thing about eating with him is that, unlike most Korean men his age, he doesn't always insist on Korean food.

Sala Bistro is a French restaurant.  Located in Greenbelt Shopping Mall.  (Frankly, I don't know enough about French eateries to characterize the place.)  Very popular, at least among the expat community, as evidenced by its current ranking on TripAdvisor: 16 of 892 restaurants in Makati.

Walking around the mall, it seemed a good a place as any.

Pricy, even by Greenbelt/Makati standards, most mains starting at around 600 pesos.

In fact, our final bill of around 7,500 pesos between the two of us, which did include 2 bottles of wine, made this the most expensive meal that I've had in the Philippines thus far.  

Next time, I should ask about the distinctly un-French name.

Sublime weather these days, we opted for the alfresco seating.

Surprisingly, in the history of GMTD, this is the first French restaurant ever featured.  Of the 40 posts attributed to French origin, 38 meals were cooked by me, while the other 2 comprised French-ish dishes at a wedding buffet (see 4.161 HJ's Wedding Buffet Highlight...) and at a whisky tasting (see 4.326 The Glenlivet Guardians' Chapter...).  If I'm to continue talking the talk about food, I really need to expand my French horizons more.

Salad Niçoise (3.5)--although this salad seems so familiar to me, I can't recall a single prior instance of having tried it before this evening.

The food was excellent.  For starters, the salad Niçoise was exquisitely executed, at least in terms of the seasoning--admittedly, I wouldn't really know otherwise--although the tuna did seem straight out of a can.  On the other hand, the seafood spaghetti in saffron sauce was way too salty, a shame because the saffron flavor was otherwise quite nice.  But the brisket made up for everything: luxuriously tender yet pleasantly chewy, richly beefy without being gamy, smothered in a gorgeous tomato & red wine & au jus reduction, paired with cheesy cauliflower and steamed broccoli and green beans.  Time and money willing, I want to go back and try everything on the menu.

This Pebble Lane Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from Marlborough, New Zealand--generally, my favorite region for sauvignon blanc--represented my favorite style of white table wine: explosive exotic fruit, light-medium body, no oak (I don't usually review wines, but I wanted this on record for future reference).

This Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir 2011 from Otago, New Zealand, was also quite nice: candy strawberries, light body, touch of acidity, great for sipping and with pasta.

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