Tag Archives: manila

About Last Night’s Gastronomique Adventures…


The wonderful people behind the famous Grey Goose vodka label held a series of events that celebrated the exciting partnership between a skilled mixologist and a master chef.


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#lit (clockwise from top left): Grey Goose bottle illuminated from below, Mayura Onglet, Tomato Meringue with Ginataang Langka, Burnt Kalabaza with Sea Urchin and Orange Kamote, Bahay Kubo (Garden Vegetable Salad), Kilaw of Wild Talakitok, Toyo Eatery Silog



It was a first of its kind, given that it is rare to find an event that focuses on a multiple course dinner of Pinoy food paired with different vodka cocktails made from, of course, Grey Goose.

Grey Goose is one of the leading vodka brands in the world, renowned for its impeccably smooth texture and quality production methods. Made in Cognac, France, the vodka is made from selected French wheat and goes through a five-step distillation process to ensure its exceptional flavour. It is then blended with pure spring water naturally filtered through Champagne limestone. A maître de chai (cellar master), François Thibault, is hands on during the production (from selecting the ingredients to tasting the spirit to see to it that the vodka has reached its optimal taste).

As a treat, we were given a choice of several delicious cocktails that were paired with exceptional interpretations of Filipino food, as prepared and curated by Chef Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery.



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Gorgeous Grey Goose Cocktails




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The evening’s culinary genius, Chef Jordy Navarra

My personal favourite ended up pairing the smooth, creamy Cucumber Fizz cocktail with Chef Jordy’s Bahay Kubo, which was inspired by our local folk song, featuring all 18 vegetables of the song in one dish.

It was made even better by one of the waiters entertaining us with his rendition of Bahay Kubo as we ate.



Speaking of entertainment, on top of the fabulous gastronomique experience, we were delighted by an audio-visual entertainment provided by DJ Paul’s video music (which featured songs from the 70s to the 90s), and live violin music.

Makes me want to drink more Grey Goose at home.



Feeling the Grey Goose blues!

How do you like your Grey Goose? Cheers!


*Special thanks to Masterminds Asia, Chef Jordy, and Mr. Jun for a wonderful evening

Home, Jetlagged, and Procrastinating


Finally home in Manila. I’m a little exhausted from the flight and forcing myself to adapt to the time difference.

I promise to be coherent enough and come out with something by next week.

Admittedly, some days, I just want to delegate blogging to our Yorkie, Schrumpf.

Oh well. 😉 Cheers!

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Schrumpf tries to blog about wine and fails

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, HOT…


Ah, April in Manila.

A time for wallowing in the intense heat.

A time for enjoying a teeny tiny sliver of traffic decongestion because local schools are out for summer break (this, of course, is debatable).

A time for putting aside wine for anything refreshing and cool.

I realize that the moment April arrives in Manila, writer’s block seriously hits me, and with good reason: I can’t stand drinking wine in this heat.

I can go as far as chugging down a very chilled Sauvignon Blanc, or maybe some sparkling wine. I cannot, however, get adventurous in my red wine exploration during this time of the year… I can’t even stand eating red meat these days (much to my doctors’ delight)… Which makes me veer further away from enjoying robust reds.

People who say I should just stick myself in an airconditioned room have obviously not heard that the Philippines has one of the highest electricity rates in Southeast Asia.

I apologize for being a ranting wino (I have yet to get started on the baloney that is the importation of alcohol in the Philippines), but let me blame this on the heat and move on.

In this temperature, I’d rather have coolers, cocktails, and beer… So let me focus on that.



Cocktail of the Month:


A smoky take on a classic


I like cocktails.

As most people know, however, the Pinoy palate is geared towards saccharine sweet food and drinks, and it does translate to the way we make cocktails.

I tend to shy away from diabetes-inducing beverages myself, so I’ve decided to butch up my Screwdriver and use scotch instead. Not just any scotch: A peaty, smoky, masculine Islay.

Here’s how the mix went:



1/2 orange

1/2 lemon

1.5 jiggers Islay scotch

½ teaspoon honey

1 can soda water



Chill the soda water before starting. Juice the orange. Put the orange juice, scotch, and honey in a cocktail shaker with tons of ice. Shake. Strain in a rock glass. Pour soda water.


Beer of the Month:

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All the way from Sancerre

Maybe it’s my wanderlust coupled with the desire to get out of this inferno added to the French classes I’ve been taking.

Maybe it’s the boredom of having to feature yet another crisp white wine (nothing wrong with that, though).

Whatever it is, my mind ended up transporting itself back to one of the biggest surprises I’ve ever had from the French wine countryside: a brewery.

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Who would mind getting lost in this view?


Look at all that beer…

See, Sancerre has always been about legendary white wine, and the notion of having a local brewery in the form of Brasserie Sancerroise floored me. Located in what felt like the middle of nowhere, Sancerre, this charming little brewery still uses traditional methods and recipes. They also make beer jellies and candied wines.

Inside, I was told by the nice vendeuse that a) I was allowed to take photos, and b) these are their best sellers:

  • La Sancerroise (Blonde) – An earthy, soft, round blonde beer with hints of green lentils and berries.
  • La Sancerroise au “Gruyt” – An award winning Belgian style beer that used herb and spices instead of hops, using methods done in the Middle Ages.


Unfortunately, my imagination can only get me so far… It’s still extremely hot where I’m sitting right now. Excuse me while I indulge in an ice cold beer and cool down.


Writer’s Block, Hunger, and Beer


Hello, my name is Gail, and I’m suffering from writer’s block.

*”Hi, Gail!”*

Anyway, I’m hoping my tried and tested combination of Anthony Bourdain, Natalie MacLean, good food, and a couple of pints of beer would help.

That being said, here’s something I’m really looking forward to:

I mean, come on: Excellent beer (courtesy of Baguio Craft Brewery)? Check.

Awesome burgers (by Burgers and Brewskies)? Check.

Good, fun people all around? CHECK!

See you on April 1 from 11am-9pm in Open Space Jupiter! Cheers!

*video courtesy of 2 Big Guys Productions

Seeing Red Part 2: LOVE


It’s almost Valentine’s Day (or as some of my bitter single friends would put it, S.A.D., or Singles Awareness Day).

Speaking of the occasion, I was fortunate to co-host a food and wine pairing dinner in one of the ultimate Valentine’s Day date places, Le Jardin, about an equally romantic topic, Burgundy.

Okay, I admit: The main reason why I find Burgundy romantic is that (#throwback alert) Chad and I spent part of our honeymoon there. 😉

I know I’ve talked about Burgundy so many times before, so I’ll skip the part about the technical aspects of the region’s wines (but still give you the link for a detailed explanation) and focus on some of the phenomenal wines we had during the evening:


Phenomenal Burgundy Wines for Burgundy Night in Le Jardin!

  • Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Foliatières – I love the story behind the Montrachet appellation… Incidentally, it involves a bit of love and lust that is quite timely for Valentine’s Day.
    Legend goes that there was a soldier/horseman (a chevalier in French) was serving in one of the great crusades. He was sent away by his father to fight in the crusades from the Montrachet castle. Afterwards, he met a woman and fathered a child with her.
    In ancient days, of course, this was scandalous.
    Since he wasn’t married to the child’s mother, the kid ended up being classified as illegitimate (a batard in French). Nevertheless, the child was welcomed (bienvenue) in their castle.
    Long after the castle has been destroyed, the appellations still remain, bearing names that chronicle these bits of legend: Montrachet, Chevalier Montrachet, Bienvenue-Batard Montrachet, and Batard Montrachet.
    Worth taking note of next time you pick up a bottle of Burgundy.
  • Mongeard-Mugneret Beaune 1er Cru Les Avaux – I admit to irrationally preferring wines from Beaune for personal reasons: The first winemaker I’ve ever met was born and raised in Beaune. He was marvellously kind, knowledgable, and managed to show us around his region like it’s his backyard (and forever spoil my palate for Chardonnays).
    Nonetheless, Beaune is legendary for producing stonking wines, and this bottle is the ultimate exhibition of everything Beaune wine is supposed to be… Luscious, multi-faceted, earthy, and elegant.
  • Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru – Excellent Pinot from one of the best (and most expensive) appellations in Burgundy? Check. Grand Cru, the highest classification of Burgundy wines? Check. Winemakers that have trained with the ultimate Burgundy winehouse, Romanée-Conti? Check. Extremely delicious, otherworldly, rich, masculine, complex, dark, sophisticated, and smoky expression of true blue Burgundian soil? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK.


My take on the evening is that it’s not work when you’re surrounded by gorgeous wines and enjoying a gastronomic feast courtesy of celebrity chef Jonas Ng.

My only complaint is that I wasn’t part of the audience to enjoy all of this against the Le Jardin’s famous backdrop of city lights. It would have been so romantic had it been a date with Chad (maybe that’s why a lot of our audience were couples…?).

Anyway, there’s always Valentine’s Day. 😉


For reservations in Le Jardin Manila, call or text +63917-8176584, or check out their website at http://lejardinmanila.net.