Date # 77: Impressions
Top left photo credit from: When in Manila
To be honest, I’m not really a fan of fine dining. I hate all the stiff conventions, the protocols, the unwritten rules—there are so many unnecessary things that go with fine dining that I’d rather do without. However, for our last date for the semester, I really wanted to slow things down and take a well-deserved break after all the stress. That’s why Douglas and I decided to try out this very new fine dining restaurant in Resorts World, Impressions.
The head chef of Impressions is Chef Cyrille Soenen, who used to be the head chef of the popular French restaurant Cicou. The friendly chef travels around the restaurant and greets customers to ask how they’re doing.
The prices for Impressions are as follows:
Appetizer or soup or dessert + one main course – P600
One appetizer, one main + one dessert – P800
Appetizer or soup, one main + one dessert – P1000
Appetizer or soup, 2 mains + one dessert – P1200
I’m really sorry but I don’t have the exact names of the food, so let’s just go with what I remember:-/
We started off with a complimentary basket of bread. We were glad that the bread was freshly-baked—the crust was nicely crunchy, with a slightly charred taste, while the insides were soft and fluffy. The butter is already good with this, but if you want a more mind blowing experience, request an extra serving of bagna cauda, a spread made from garlic, butter, anchovies and olive oil. This was by far the best bread basket we’ve had in a restaurant.
To appease our taste buds further, we were given complimentary servings of Salmon Cream. This amuse-bouche is truly a tease—it tastes strongly of fresh salmon, but it feels like a heaping of cream that’s made interesting by a crunchy piece of crouton.
For Douglas’ appetizer, he chose a plate of Ravioli served with salad. The ravioli was enough to be glad about—the pasta was perfectly al dente, with just the right thickness, coated with a delightful creamy sauce. However, the fresh and luscious greens were also the star of this show. The vibrant vinaigrette coating the salad converted Douglas, a veggie-hater, for the day.
For Douglas’ second appetizer, he got this bowl of Poached Egg. He was happier with this than he was with the other one. Here we see the chef’s technical excellence: the egg was perfectly cooked, with the yolk still nice and runny.
For my appetizer, I chose a Beef Carpaccio w/ Arugula Salad. This was a beautiful harmony of textures and flavors—there was an inherent sweetness from the beef, which melded wonderfully with the bitterness of the arugula and the tanginess of the vinaigrette.
My Squash Soup w/ Pancetta was very thick and heavy in consistency, exactly how I love my squash soup. The flavor was rich and sweet: you can tell that the kitchen crew had spent an ample amount of time drawing the flavors out of the squash. The pancetta was also perfectly crisp and toasted.
This plate of Braised Beef was originally my order, although Douglas and I switched because I wanted to try the fish. The beef was so tender that the knife was no longer required—it flakes with just the slightest touch of the fork. The sweet tomato sauce complemented the beef well, making this a good dish overall.
To my dismay, however, everything that Douglas’ main course had was lacking in my Asian Sea Bass dish. The fish was perfectly cooked, although the tomato puree it was sitting on was unusually bitter. I also remember the server saying that they had replaced the fish with something else, so it did not have the natural clean, sweet taste of sea bass.
For dessert, Douglas got a bowl of Crème Brulee. This isn’t exactly my type of dessert, but it was nicely done. What makes this unique is that the cream is not made from the usual custard base—it was made from something chocolaty.
We were also given a generous platter of Complimentary Desserts, which should not have been free, to be honest, given its quality.
Lastly, I got a small serving of Chocolate Cake. This was very rich and heavy, making me wish I’d gone for something lighter. I’m also not a fan of macaroons, so this was just okay for me.
Overall Verdict: We think that Impressions is off to a strong start. Furthermore, compared to other restaurants, Impressions is reasonably priced. Go here if you want a full-blown, satisfying, fine dining experience minus the heavy spending. Their menu changes, however, so they might not have what you want when you go there.
Resorts World Manila
Pasay City (in front of NAIA Terminal 3)
With and For Love,
Rina Caparras and Douglas Chong