Face-lift! Chelsea Market + Cafe becomes Chelsea Grand Cafe
Find out what changed in this Serendra mainstay.
Chelsea Grand Cafe
G/F Serendra Piazza, Bonifacio Global City
Tel. No. 909-7012
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) In this world of oversharing, keeping a secret has become old-fashioned. But not for Chelsea Market and Café. Early in 2014, the longstanding bistro in Serendra quietly transitioned, becoming Chelsea Grand Cafe and adopting a more refined but also more welcoming approach.
Mixed textures in the interiors
The change is noticeably physical. The restaurant’s former crisp and neutral profile is replaced with peppy hues of yellows and oranges, and a hip new logo. Booths become livelier with a tropical print that matches the newly installed plants in the al fresco section. The rustic blue floor-to-ceiling shelf adorned with books and tea sets and the dark wood details give the airy space a touch of warmth.
Chicken Liver Pate
Chelsea’s bestsellers found permanent residence on the menu, sharing space with fresher takes on bistro-style dishes as well as a new category of lighter fare for shoppers looking for a quick pitstop. While waiting, customers can pass time with a basket of in-house-baked bread, marinated antipasti, and house-pickled vegetables. The hearty flavors of Grandma's Chicken Liver Pate (P250) is brought out by the sweet and smoky apple-bacon chutney. The Real Lump Crab Cake (P495)-a whole crab claw from Cebu served with a remoulade-is hard to resist, but browse through the menu before making up your mind. You’ll receive the same degree of gastronomic satisfaction from other appetizers like the Norwegian Salmon Gravlax, an indulgent starter with a thicker-than-usual slice of the beet-cured and herb-crusted fish, grated egg, dill horseradish sour cream, and black caviar.
Bacon and Quinoa Salad
While it may seem easy to sink back to your usual favorites, Raintree’s Corporate Chef Kalel Chan makes sure to integrate curiosity in the new lineup-not a lot, but enough to shake up your old Chelsea habit. The Bacon and Quinoa Salad (P420) challenges the popularity of the Salad Nicoise (P375) and Grilled Chicken Caesar (P395). The newbie is a medley of grilled heirloom carrots, red onion, fresh orange segments, roasted tomatoes, double-smoked bacon lardons, and mixed greens in a surprisingly effective marriage to quinoa. A warm cherry balsamic vinaigrette ties all the components together.
Truffled French-cut Pommes Frites
Cacio e Pepe e Uova
Simplicity speaks for Chelsea’s version of a Cacio e Pepe e Uova (P320). Al dente cappelini is enrobed in a thick cloak of Pecorino and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses, speckled with freshly cracked black pepper, and topped with an egg that has been cooked sous vide for an hour. The runny yolk adds to the richness of the cheese sauce. It may not look it, but there’s enough variety in the texture and flavor to have you finishing this creamy dish without problems.
Squash Flower Pizza
Chelsea sticks to tradition when it comes to their pizzas. The dough is made fresh every day and turned into a crust that’s thin and crisp, letting the toppings take control for the flavors. The Squash Flower, Garlic Greens, and Ricotta (P395) is a healthy benediction amid the meatier options.
Pan-seared Crusted Cod Loin
Smoked Turkey, Fresh Avocado, and Bacon Sandwich
Though the new Chelsea exudes a much more welcoming atmosphere, you might find yourself suddenly closed off with the Pan-seared Crusted Cod Loin (P495) where Chilean mussels, a pair of incredibly tender cod, and lemon rind risotto soak in a beurre blanc broth. It’s considered a "big plate"-good enough to share, but chances are you’ll want it for yourself.
Kir Supreme, Passionfruit Margarita, and Watermelon Cucumber Sweet Water
Ginger Peach and Apricot Mint Iced Tea
Strawberry Mint and Apricot Ginger Lemonade
Raintree’s famous cakes, such as the Choc-nut Valrhona, Toblerone Torte, and Cookie Dough Cheesecake, are still available, but new desserts like the S'mores (P275), a warm brownie topped with toasted mallows, mantecado ice cream, nuts, and graham crackers, will convert you to neo-Chelsea, which has taken a more playful turn with their refreshments. Their bevy of beverages are intriguing twists of flavored lemonades, fruity sweet waters, iced teas, smoothies, shakes, and cocktails. The wide selection will have you ordering at least one to accompany your meal.
It’s been eight years since Chelsea first opened its doors-that’s about 80 in Serendra years. And like true veterans, they knew when to go back to the drawing room. In today’s competitive industry, the timing couldn’t have been better.