By VIANCA GAMBOA
It’s one thing to enjoy a sumptuous four-course meal at a luxurious fine dining restaurant. It’s a completely different thing to divulge head-first into a decadent dessert before a succulent steak. If that sounds like something you can handle, then try an upside down affair at Cru Steakhouse at Marriott Manila.
Always up for reinventing the fine dining experience, Marriott Manila takes diners into a rollercoaster ride of gastronomic delights, without all the anxiety-inducing, tummy-fluttering discomfort.
The specially curated upside down culinary experiment starts the moment you enter the venue where the hostess hands you your farewell gift, a box of handcrafted praline, and escorts you to table set up half-cluttered as if you’ve finished your meal.
You bet the crew of Cru Steakhouse is not kidding around because you also have to pay for your food first.
The eccentric concept couldn’t get crazier, but its menu is also printed backward on a compact mirror, so you can only read through the reflection. All the gimmicks aside, the sui generis dining experience is, of course, focused on the dishes. You’re in for a rare treat as soon as your tangy, rich, and sweet dessert arrives at your table.
The Noisette Exotique, a dome-shaped hazelnut dacquoise covered with yellow exotic glacage and raspberries, strawberries, and mango bits, is a bit on the heavy—but not overpowering—side so if hunger pangs kick in, this would make for a good appetizer. It is a meld of textures, fine praline-noisette mousse, nutty but velvety on the outside with a zesty yuzu cremeux and orange passion compote, and a crumbly yet delicate almond lemon bottom layer. One would think this is the show stealer.
But Cru Steakhouse prides itself for capturing the oozing flavors of beef, its hand-seasoned steaks, and US Prime Rib Eye like no other, so there’s no doubt that you come here for its specialty. After digging into indulgence, sink your teeth into the juicy Rosemary Crusted US Angus Beef Tenderloin that you would most likely smother with potato puree and pink peppercorn sauce served with butter-glazed vegetable siding. If you’re not a steak person, a mild barramundi fish awaits.
Traditionally served as the second course, your Tomato Espresso soup is hearty enough to warm your full tummy. The soup is an espresso shot with a rich, tart froth that goes well with the creamy, nutty, melts-in-your mouth Gruyere pudding toast. You will also get a taste of Cru’s signature bread and its tomato, spinach, and parmesan with herb butter and Davao cheese spread.
Cap off your meal with the Crab and Apple Salad, a cherry tomato stuffed with rich and creamy crab salad packed with pine nut gremolata, avocado mousseline, and crème fraiche. You would most likely poke this bite-sized entreé four times in one sitting for its bursting flavors, even after chugging down the heavy meal.
How do you go out in style as you finish this dinner when you’ve already paid? Take this cue: Your server surprises you with a formal introduction—“Good evening Ma’am/Sir, I am Isabelle, your server for tonight.”
You can reserve a seat for P2,800 nett per person. The Upside Down dinner is available every Thursday of July to December at Cru Steakhouse, Marriott Hotel Manila Main Lobby
988-9999 for reservations | manilamarriott.com