Salad was followed by Chef Jessie’s famous bread rolls and the special dip, an alternative to delicious, evil butter.
“We had a regular at Le Souffle, Mr. Jose Periquet, whose diet did not allow butter. So I made a dip out of the stuff in the cold kitchen, and he liked it, and now we serve it with the rolls.”
“Guess what this is,” she said. I took a spoonful—Tinolang manok! “What I want to do is to serve traditional Filipino food along with Mediterranean cuisine in a fine dining setting. I think our foreign customers will get it.”
Bistek. Thick juicy slices of wagyu beef with garlic rice and eggplant salad. You take something this scrumptious and you know it will probably go straight to your hips but you also know that there’s little point in struggling—we all have to eat, right?
“How can you be around food all the time and not get fat?” I asked. “I have to stay at my working weight, 110 lbs,” Chef Jessie said. “Every day I have a big breakfast with rice, and then the rest of the day I only eat when I’m hungry. Also when you work with food, just the smell makes you feel full.”
Dessert, which in my world is called the main course, consisted of small portions of three top hits: Princess Carmen Pistachio Sans Rival, Crepes Samurai, and French Chocolate Kiss. I had an espresso, then a cup of moringa (malunggay, the veggie du jour) tea. Not only was everything heavenly, but I could actually get up from the table. Pacing is key. When I eat alone I tend to wolf everything and give myself indigestion. Pacing.
“These are the most popular tables,” Chef Jessie pointed out. “We call them the Proposal Tables, so if your date reserves one of these you know what to expect.”
“Or you could end up fantastically disappointed because he just likes the spot. And the drapery. Hmm.”
Enchanté Restaurant and Bar by Chef Jessie is on the third floor of Joy-Nostalg Center (Oakwood) on ADB Avenue in front of The Podium, Ortigas Center, Pasig. Reservations: 4704828 and 4704210.