I was long overdue for a long powwow over lunch with an old friend from college, and used that as an excuse to grab lunch at Le Jardin. After enjoying such a lovely dinner there a few weeks back, I promised myself that a luncheon was in order, as this was also relatively more affordable than the full on dinner courses. And what’s a better excuse to go out for a girls lunch (with my photographer, Jericho, tagging along) than a pre-celebration with my soon-to-be attorney friend, Diana.

Le Jardin’s Business Lunch Set (Php 1,000) is available from 11am – 2pm daily, with a choice of meat, fish, or vegetable that tends to change every few weeks or so. The lunch plates come with a truffled egg appetizer and a pastry of the day from the deli corner.

 

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Hidden on the penthouse floor of the W Fifth building at BGC, this place can be hard to find. Look for the W building adjacent to the F1 Hotel, let the guard where you’re headed, and park your car on the 6th floor. It would be best to reserve a table to make the parking process easier, so they have your name listed on

Personally, I find this restaurant to be the most romantic one in the city. Who can beat a rooftop garden concept with the best view of the city that serves amazing classic French cuisine as well as a selection of wines flown in from France? A lush vertical garden and bouquets of flowers greets you upon entering the establishment, and sets the mood for the rest of your time there.

The high ceiling, the white-washed furniture and French doors, the black and white photos of the south of France, and the calamansi trees and vertical garden on the sides of the big glass windows, makes the space look effortlessly chic and feminine. There is something about the space that just makes you want to sit and stay a while and just get away from the noisy city below, even for just a few hours.

 

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While waiting for our orders, we picked at the freshly baked rolls of brioche and baguettinis, the smell beckoning you to The brioche is sweet and fluffy while the baguettini has a nice thick crust that hides its pillowy soft, chewy center.

 

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The truffled egg appetizer went brilliantly with the bread and tête-à-tête, as Di and I had a lot of catching up to do! Between sharing our nostalgia for the days past with Jericho – and how we were both such foodies in college – we chatted about how we got to the work we were doing now and why she got into studying law.

 

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Diana ordered the Filet de Saumon fines herbs cuit sous vide, vinaigrette. a salmon fillet and herbs cooked sous vide with vinaigrette. In true French form, this had a lot of sauce on the bottom, served with a zucchini frittata and a small side salad.

 

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Jericho was curious about the Ravioli de fromage fines herbs, sauce tomate, so that’s exactly what he had. Although this pasta dish is traditionally Italian, ravioli are commonly encountered in the cooking of Nice, the broader Côte d’Azur, and the surrounding regions in the south of France, where chef Gils Brault grew up and where most of Le Jardin’s dishes are inspired from.

This was a simple dish of herbs and cheese ravioli in tomato sauce that was very filling, I was quite surprised myself. Another tidbit about Le Jardin is that they make everything from scratch, like the ravioli… and the cheese that goes into it. They go as far as to import the bacterial culture from somewhere in France and making the cheese at some undisclosed warehouse where they also smoke their own salmon and duck. There are no shortcuts here and a lot of pride goes into all the food that is served, which is very, very French.

 

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I was surprised they had veal on their lunch menu and happily tucked into Le Jardin’s Filet de Veau Poêle, Sauce Chevreuil – seared veal tenderloin with a berry and veal reduction sauce. This is the first time I’ve ever seen it on a lunch menu, and done medium rare, it was tender and flavorful, with the sweet berry sauce complimenting the young calf. This comes with traditional potato purée and a simple side salad.

 

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The dessert, I found out, changes from time to time, depending on what pâtissier Chef Hasset Go has whipped up for that day. That particular afternoon, we were served his amazing, amazing Salted Caramel Cupcakes.

 

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Not content with the cupcakes, the chocoholic in me wanted something more, and we all split this incredibly rich Chocolate Cake (Php 280), too. Ok fine, Di and Jericho had a bite, while I had the rest.

Le Jardin has become one of my favorite new restaurants this year, as they continue to amaze me with the classic French food they turn out, their glorious desserts, the extensive French wine list, and how they make almost everything from scratch.

Le Jardin is located at the W Fifth Building, 5th Avenue cor. 32nd St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 817 6584.

 

 

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