This date place is your slice of France in Manila
Le Jardin is a cozy French getaway.
Le Jardin Manila
W Fifth Building, 5th Avenue corner 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City
Open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday t0 Saturday) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) It’s hard not to be impressed at the efforts of Le Jardin Manila. It’s been two years, and the little French garden in the middle of the city has committed to their promise of delivering from-scratch, authentic French delicacies.
The Duck Confit is still large and crispy, the Escargot de Bourgogne is still delectably garlicky, the Tuna Steak is still a generous stack of fish and foie gras. If anything the amuse-bouche—Truffle Scrambled Eggs—has only become creamier and more pronounced.
Le Jardin Manila partners with Chef Gils Brault, who owns Trois Gourmands in Ho Chi Minh, and his attention to detail extends to this Manila-based fine-dining space, from every leaf pattern on the wall to every speck of meringue on the picturesque desserts. Chef Gils drops by every so often to check up on things.
The high-ceilinged, garden-styled space is the perfect date place. Seat yourselves by the window and you have an unobstructed view of Taguig. The food will give you lots to talk about.
Brunch dates consist of delicate things like the Saumon Royal (P420), which will definitely be a hit due to the house-smoked salmon, runny poached eggs, and touches of arugula that inject bitterness into every spoonful. Or, maybe make things sweeter by sharing the Le Brunch Le Jardin (P890): a sampler set of Eggs Benedict, smoked salmon, smoked chicken, blood sausage, duck-fat potato strings, and a cool kale and quinoa salad.
You have more options for lunch or dinner. The venison is a big A+ for those who love game meats, but the Entrecote (+P1,200), might be a more popular choice. It’s a classic French steak—grilled rib eye with a dazzling pepper sauce. It’s a hefty cut of meat, good to share for two.
The Crusted Lamb Tenderloin isn’t the most photogenic dish, but the chefs manage to pull out all the right bold flavors of this type of meat. It goes nicely with their delicious zucchini gratin, which is a must-try on its own.
The desserts are a highlight at every visit to Le Jardin. Hey, a restaurant that bakes their own bread should know a thing or two about desserts. The Dessert de Gils is stunning. This award-winning treat is a big, mouthwatering mess: chewy nougat, crispy brittle, crushed meringue, strawberries, crème anglaise, and a refreshing raspberry sorbet. It’s an overload visually, but it’s very demure on the palate.
If you can’t shake up your chocolate habit, the profiterole is a good source of satisfaction. It’s almost as big as a cream puff, but the subtle depth of premium Belgian chocolate makes it easy to finish. The white chocolate ganache isn’t too sweet, either.
Le Jardin co-owner Irene Ng admits that the W building, which its security measures and scarce parking, is not the easiest place to get to in Fort. But maybe that’s just part of its appeal. There are things you have to go through to get whisked away from the daily grind.
Le Jardin's meals come in sets priced at P2,200+ (three courses), P2,800+ (four courses), and P3,200+ (five courses).