I’ve always had the impression that french food is expensive, the servings small. And I’m sure you know how big the GOppets’ appetites are (ok maybe just Kap’s & mine), so french fine dining has never been our go-to option for date nights, more so family nights!
Our age-old notion dramatically changed when we had the chance to dine at Champetre Boutique & Restaurant at The Fort. Yes, it is at The Fort contrary to what Waze says, believe me. We found out the hard (and long, winding) way!
Call time was 7 pm sharp. But Waze decided to take us in another direction, through the dark & narrow alleys that is faaaar from BGC. So we got to our real destination an hour & a half late. C’est tellement embarrassant! Désolé to Chef Marc Aubry & our dinner companions.
With Chef Marc Aubry. Our sincerest apologies. And thank you for still accommodating us.
(If you’re using Waze, do indicate Net One Center as your destination instead. Our friend RICA also got duped, lol!)
Champetre means country or country side, and the boutique restaurant really does evoke a french country homey feel, not pretentious or hoity-toity at all. Kap & I felt right at home with the country decor & the bright buttercup yellow paint with leaf stencils all over the wall & crawling vines on the ceiling. The yellow lighting & overall mood makes the place seem so romantic. This is definitely a great date place in my book.
To those in the know, Champetre Boutique & Restaurant is the totally revamped old Je suis Gourmand Restaurant. Also by Chef Marc Ambry. Save for 2-3 traditional french dishes, Chef Marc whips up new & exciting french country dishes in BIG servings sure to keep you happy & your bellies full!
Our dinner companions were munching on these freshly baked french bread assortment & gabbing up a fest that they ALMOST didn’t notice the time passing by. :P Or that we were missing!
Traditional Escargot Bourguignonne with Garlic Bread 480 php. Always a delicious beginning to any French dinner.
If you want to impress your date, do order this for starters. Homemade Goose Foie Gras Terrine with Berry Compote & Brioche Bread 990 php. Perfect bit of soft crumbly fat liver, not burnt, just browned and melts on the tongue. Oh so yummy. <3 Kap had to stop me from eating more that my fair share as my cholesterol level is already so high. Boo!
It’s always fun dining with good friends because we get to SHARE with each other our food. So all of us got a taste of each dish, and we can’t really say which one is our top favorite because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING was soooo good! Rica who was sitting in front of me kept saying “ohmygoooosh” every time a dish came out haha!
Ray’s big plate of wabbit stew. French Farmed Rabbit Stew a la Pauline Simmered with bacon, tomato, mushrooms & herbs served with pasta 920 php. I really didn’t want to have a taste -coz like.. poor little wabbit, right? But my curiosity won out. I won’t go hunting for ’em but I’m actually ok with eating them if readily available. No gamey aftertaste. It’s like a posh kaldereta dish. Tastes a bit like chicken actually.
Lovelynne’s Braised Lamb Shank Baked in Pastry with Rosemary Red Wine Jus & Ratatouille 760 php. The crunchy pastry covering was a nice added touch to the dish & gives it a fresh spin.
Richard’s order of seasoned raw beef. Champetre’s Beef Steak Tartar with Fries 690 php. I wanted to seem worldly so I asked to have a small taste. Loved it so much that I asked Richard for 2nds, 3rds & 4ths haha. Who knew raw beef would taste this good, and costs so little too! Be forewarned though that many people who initially try it, don’t like it on account of the texture of the raw meat. But what Chef Marc did, and mixed in, was short of amazing as I didn’t even feel the supposed slimy texture of raw beef.
Irene, the one who eats the least, got the surprise of her life when her order came in TWO parts! ;))
Algerian Couscous. Grilled lamb chops & lamb Merquez sausages (this photo) served with steamed semolina & stewed beef and chicken broth (above) 920 php. Of course, her bottomless pit of a seat mate was VERY happy indeed! ;) What you do is (and I don’t know if we did it right haha), you pour some broth over the couscous & eat it.
Her son Jaime’s Roasted Marinated Duck Confit with Lyonnaise Potatoes & Lentil Foie Gras Sauce 890 php. So tender & juicy.
My Grilled Antlantic Scallops with Mushroom Duxelle & Puff Pastry with Beurre Blanc Sauce 990 php. Best to describe scallops is they have more of a fish-like texture, soft but firm & creamy to the taste. Oysters are chewier and thicker.
and Kap’s humongous & uber tasty medium rare Grilled US Black Angus Rib Eye Steak with Rosted Bone Marrow & Mushroom Sauce, Fries & Salad 400g 1,450 php Cooked on the outside & red on the inside. So perfect! <3
I really couldn’t believe my eyes upon seeing the price! Homemade, YUMMY, & authentic french dessert that costs less than the ones in commercial & branched-out restos! <3
Dark Chocolate Nelusko Mousse Gateau with Whipped Cream, Caramel & Chocolate Sauces 280 php. I like that it wasn’t so bitter & Kap couldn’t give me grief because I sad DARK chocolate is good for the heart. Teehee! :P
Buttered Dark Chocolate Mousse with Tuiles 190 php. Yay, this one too! Good for the heart (wink).
Poached Dried Figs with Grand Marnier Ice Cream & Sauce 270 php. If you like preserved figs then you’d enjoy this dessert. Loved the ice cream! <3
Fresh Mango Mille-Feuilles with Almond Cream and Sauce 260 php. The mango was a wee bit sour, otherwise it was perfection.
Honey and Almond Ice Cream 160 php. Champetre Boutique & Restaurant has a whole slew of homemade Ice Cream so make sure you order one, or two, or three!
Warm Crepes with Stewed Apple & Green Apple Ice Cream 280 php. I love love love stewed apples so this really hit the spot for me.
Rum Soaked Butter Cake with Cream & Fresh Strawberries 260 php. I’m not a fan of rum but my table mates had a blast with this butter cake.
Regular Coffee 90 php. Best with any dessert. Perfect meal ender. I cannot NOT have coffee & dessert after a meal out.
Chef Marc, who has a Filipina wife & has practically claimed the Philippines in his heart as his home, certainly changed my opinion of a fancy french resto. Champetre Boutique & Restaurant is a place where couples can wine & dine in style without breaking the bank, and even for families who can simply relax & have fun.
Kap & I will definitely be back for the steak tartare & gigantic rib-eye with the hungry kids in tow. <3
It’s always fun eating with friends. Aside from sharing stories, you also get to share the food! ;) From L-R: My Kap, Richard, Rica, Chef Marc, Lovelynne, Ray, Irene, & Moi!
Thank you so much Chef Marc Aubry for having all of us ransack your boutique & restaurant! And also for these delightful marmalades sure to make our mornings extra chirpy! Bonjour! :-*
PS: Where stupid Waze took us..
According to Waze, 2 minutes away & a locked gate stops our journey in the dark, narrow alley. #GabiNgLagim With no Champetre in sight! Kap asked: “Magandang lugar ba yang Champetre” I reply: “Oo naman. Hindi naman tayo dalhin ni bossing sa pangit na lugar“. Then he goes, “Anak ng. Mali ito. Gagong waze yan patayin mo na!” HAHAHAHAHA! ;)) #MyMisadventuresWithKap