I was completely starstruck! One of our idol chefs took the time out to give us a tour of his kitchen. It was our first time at the new location of Chef Bruce Lim’s Chef’s Table ,and they were still on dry run. Chef’s Table is now located at the Infinity Tower, 26th Street, The Fort Global City, Taguig.

The menu at Chef’s Table is made up of Filipino dishes. Although a Filipino-Chinese, who grew up in America, Chef Bruce is still an inspiration since he still opted to feature dishes from his country. He mentioned in the Chef’s Table article of Anton Diaz of OurAwesomePlanet.com that he fell in love with Filipino cuisine, because of his Kapampangan grandmother.

The building were Chef’s Table was located is still unfinished. Parking was easy, but before you could reach the restaurant, you had to go through an unfinished building. The entrance to the parking was at the right side of the building. You would see a ramp going up; that was it.

Chef's Table by Chef Bruce Lim

Chef's Table by Chef Bruce Lim

Chef’s Table, unlike the building it was in, was completely and elegantly finished. It had wooden tables that had pencil slots on each of the space provided for guests.

Chef's Table Pencil Slot

Chef's Table Pencil Slot on a wooden table

Chef's Table Table arrangement

It had an open kitchen, where people could see how the chefs were cooking their food. Chef Bruce Lim mentioned that this was the first open kitchen restaurant in Manila. I have never seen any restaurant with a kitchen like this.
Chef's Table ambiance

When we met him, Chef Bruce was so corteous. He gave me and EJ a tour of his restaurant. He said that he hasn’t toured anyone yet inside the kitchen.

Chef's Table with Manila Reviews and Manila Shopaholic

Chef's Table with Manila Reviews and Manila Shopaholic`

Chef's Table Kitchen

Chef's Table Kitchen

Chef's Table Dessert station

Chef's Table kitchen tour

Chef's Table kitchen tour

Lecture from Chef Bruce

We noticed how clean his kitchen was. We also noticed that all the male chefs were bald like Chef Bruce. He says that he requires them to be bald for cleanliness. The male servers were required to have a crew cut hairstyle, as well. He mentioned that his team is so united and close, that even some of his staff that were not required to go bald, wanted to be one with the team, and shaved off his hair.

After the tour, we sat down and started our meal with the Reversed Sotanghon soup (Php 150). I was expecting a bowl of, well, soup, but instead, we were all given a bowl of fried sotanghon noodles with liempo bits.

Chef's Table Reversed Sotanghon Soup Php 150)

Chef's Table Reversed Sotanghon Soup Php 150)

Here’s the thing. It’s called “reversed” sotanghon soup since the soup comes in after. The server poured classic french onion soup into the bowl of sotanghon right after. I have to give this dish A+ for the uniquness of presentation. The clear soup was suddenly colored orange, which looked like the traditional Sotanghon soup that we all know. The soup was delcious, and had the right amount of taste and flavor. It didn’t have a strong taste; it was just right. The bits of liempo gave the soup additional character. It was like finding treasure in the bowl. I’m not a fan of sotanghon soup, but this was a unique gastronomical experience that each one should try. It puts you in the right mood to try the other dishes. It leaves you wanting to see what more is in store for the entire course.

Chef's Table Soup being poured

Chef's Table Soup being poured

For our other appetizer, we had the Crab Cakes (Php 370).

Chef's Table Crab Cakes (Php 370)

Chef's Table Crab Cakes (Php 370)

I have tried crab cakes before but never this “compact” and filling. The crab cakes were made with mostly meat parts of the crab. Not filled with extenders as most crab cakes are. This makes this baked dish worth it’s price. It was also served with sampaloc aioli.

Our “ulam” (entree) then started coming in.

First up was the Kalderetang Itik (Php 480). This dish was gone after just a few minutes. It was passed on and literally, passed out to the server since all of us wanted to have more than enough for each of us. The duck’s meat was so tender and kaldereta was a great style to do for this dish.

Chef's Table Kalderetang Itik (Php 480)

Chef's Table Kalderetang Itik (Php 480)

Next came the Calamansi Tuyo with Spaghetti (Php 210). As described in the menu: Spaghetti sauteed in tuyo oil and flakes, enhanced with calamansi juice and topped with fried tuyo and queso de bola.

Chef's Table Calamansi Tuyo Spaghetti (Php 210)

Chef's Table Calamansi Tuyo Spaghetti (Php 210)

The sour calamansi and the salty tuyo created a unique and surprisingly pleasant flavor combination. It was a must-try dish for the pasta lovers.

Chef's Table Ilocano Table on a Plate (Php 530)

Chef's Table Ilocano Table on a Plate (Php 530)

Of course, fish will have to be ordered in this table. Yes, we are trying to eat healthy. The good thing was the two fish dishes that we ordered were the “talk of the table”! One dish was called Ilocano Table on a Plate (Php 530). It was pan seared lapu-lapu in monggo sauce and topped with kangkong and kamote tops rolled in balayan bagoong. I never had any dish with monggo sauce. I always thought that it was a separate “ulam”. It turns out that it was a great sauce compliment for the lapu-lapu. The bagoong and the leafy vegetables went well with the fish and the monggo, too. For the veggie lovers, this is a good entree to order.

Chef's Table Chill-A-Fino

Chef's Table Chill-A-Fino

The other fish dish was Chill-a-Fino (Php 550). It was Chinese style steamed lapu-lapu on a bed of mashed Filipino ube this time around. It was topped by pechay. This dish reminded me of soy chicken. It had similar flavors (probably because of the soy sauce found mixed with the mashed ube. The presentation of this dish was nice; I loved the play of the purple with the greens on top. I love “color” in my dishes.

Chef's Table Chicken Sat on Salt

Chef's Table Chicken Sat on Salt

Another dish that we had was Chicken Sat on Salt (Php 450). It was roasted perfectly and the sauce reminded us of “Inasal flavor”.

Chef's Table Banana-Mango Jubilee (Php 130)

Chef's Table Banana-Mango Jubilee (Php 130)

Then, it was time for dessert. We took Chef Bruce Lim’s suggestion of trying the Banana-Mango Jubilee (Php 130). The fruits were caramelized and it had a bit of a Rum flavor in it.

You will surely have a great time trying out the different dishes at Chef’s Table. Truly Filipino and truly delicious!

Contact Details:
Chef’s Table (Chef Bruce Lim)

Unit 106 The Infinity Tower
26th Street The Fort Global
Website: Chef’s Table Manila
Email address: michelle@chefstablemanila.com
For reservations, please click here: http://www.chefstablemanila.com/reservation.html

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