Yes, there exists a fine dining restaurant in Manila and to be quite honest about it, you can probably just count them with one hand. And The Goose Station is one of them. But I have to say this is not your typical snooty, over-the-top, strictly-formal fine dining restaurant, like those you would normally find in Paris, London or New York, wherein it is quite the norm that almost everyone – from the person who takes your reservation, to the maitre d’ who welcomes you at the door to the Michelin starred chef who pretends to cook your food, intimidate the customer. This fine dining restaurant at the Fort makes you feel at ease and instantly at home the moment you walk in that door.
So when some good friends invited the Hubby and I for a casual get-together dinner, The Spoiled Mummy readily chose The Goose Station. This restaurant has been one of my favorites from the very first time I tried it. They have always been consistently good. And I think consistency is definitely key in any restaurant’s success.
So without much further ado, here’s what our happy bellies partook of that one fine evening : The Goose Station’s 8-course Degustation Menu
(Pardon the dark photos, as we only had votive candles on the table)
We were given three different kinds of snacks or amuse bouche…
1st amuse bouche : Rice Crackers with 2 kinds of dip : avocado guacamole & sinamak vinegar
2nd amuse bouche : Lychee Mojito granita in spoons (yes that had a bit of alcohol in them!) and Tuna Tartare. Both were very light and refreshing.
3rd amuse bouche : Foie gras mousse beautifully wrapped in their home-made cone then topped with fig jam, port wine jelly and toasted hazelnut
And I loved this dish so much, how I wish they gave more than one piece per person 🙂
Moving on to the second course on the menu :
CAVIAR PARFAIT made of white asparagus flan, shrimp jelly, crab, tapioca, uni-yuzu and topped with caviar.
The flan was light and creamy, the seafood not overpowering, and the caviar finished the seafood taste of the shrimp and crab delicately.
The third course :
EGGS BENEDICT perfection. This is slow cooked egg, drizzled with truffle oil and hollandaise foam topped with a bacon tuile.
For me, this is probably one of the best – if not the best – Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had…and that includes the ones I’ve had abroad in those award-winning and (sometimes) over-rated restaurants. I’ve always loved eggs – and I can have them anytime of the day, but I have to say that I am very particular about the way it is cooked. Whether it is fried, scrambled, boiled, poached or made into an omelette or a frittata, my eggs must be cooked perfectly well. It must not be overly done or overly cooked nor overly seasoned. It must be cooked just right, soft but not too soft, and with just the right amount of runniness in them. And poached eggs or the Eggs Benedict style, definitely tops my list of my favorite egg dishes 🙂
If I am not mistaken, this Eggs Benedict of The Goose Station has consistently been the restaurant’s most popular dish, and has been on their menu from the time they opened a couple of years back. I know of some friends who come here just to have this dish. (Because yes, you can order this ala carte too). So for a restaurant to have perfected this recipe and maintain its best-seller status from the very beginning, just speaks volume about their great skill behind the kitchen.
Up close and personal with my favorite Eggs Benedict.
This is what I mean when I say I want my eggs cooked just right…see how the yolk is softly formed and yet still runny? You can still scoop it up and it forms that delicious-looking yellow glob in your spoon and then a part of it flows down easily to the glass, happily mixing in with the rest of the egg white.
And lest I forget what makes this dish even more special, is the generous drizzle of truffle oil on top. The moment the waiter laid this glass in front of me, the unique, earthy aroma of the truffle oil instantly woke up my senses and I was immediately transported to a happy state of mind 🙂
Now the fourth course :
HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI PASTA topped with Gochujang spiced fried shrimp or “Alamang” mixed with a little bit of honey for that small dose of sweetness.
There’s something about the word homemade pasta that makes my heart skip a beat. The idea of making something from scratch tediously when you know that it’s something that’s actually readily available in a box or can easily be bought off the shelves of a supermarket, excites my tastebuds even more. So imagine my profound joy the first moment I partook of this dish. The spaghetti was cooked al dente (firm to the bite, not soggy!) and the spiced shrimp or our native Alamang with its spiciness, saltiness and a bit of sweetness, just perfectly complemented the delicate tasting homemade pasta noodle.
Now, who would’ve thought that our humble Alamang, which is always relegated to our bagoong, would actually be given this kind of spotlight in a fine dining 8-course menu?
Fifth course :
GARDEN SALAD made of raw and cooked vegetables with a roll of goat’s cheese wrapped in carrot jelly and some nuts and citrus on the side.
This salad was very fresh and tasty and the combination of the tartiness of the goat’s cheese and the mild, earthy flavor of the red beets was just perfect.
Sixth course :
SALMON on a bed of shrimp bisque butter, spiced squash, crumbs, black garlic and cauliflower “tabbouleh”.
When it comes to fish, I am quite biased with Salmon. I love anything that has Salmon! I can eat it on its own or mixed with anything. Whether pan-seared, baked or smoked, there’s just something about this pink fish that delights me to no end. I must say that this dish in particular is tasty even when served plain, but it is made even more delicious because it lies on top of cooked butter made with shrimp bisque.
7th course :
24 HOUR STEAK. The restaurant used USDA Prime Shortrib Steak, and then underneath it was a slight drizzle of Worcestershire jus and fried crisp onions on top.
I hope I don’t sound like a broken record if I say that this dish is once again, a favorite of mine! This beautiful short rib steak was slow cooked for 24 hours, making it really tender and juicy (qualities you definitely want in your steak). The Worcestershire jus is not overpowering unlike most steaks which would normally be swimming in a lot of steak sauce poured on top of them! It is a small portion if you notice, and I had to remind myself that this is so, because this is just one course out of the 8-course menu we ordered! But if you’re a big steak lover like me, then you can definitely order this from the ala carte menu to get its one big full serving (Note to self : next time!)
Last but not the least and definitely, my favorite part : the Dessert Course!
Dessert no.1 : CHEESECAKE made of foamed cream cheese and mixed berries.
With the 8-course Degustation menu of the restaurant, you are given a choice of one dessert. Now this isn’t really good news to a dessert fanatic like The Spoiled Mummy, who almost always would like to try each and every dessert on the menu! 🙂 So since the Hubby and I get to order one dessert each, I just ordered a 3rd one ala carte to solve my dilemma. So this one above is just the first of the three desserts I was lucky to have that evening!
Although the name says Cheesecake, this is actually not your typical cheesecake. Yes, it is still made with cream cheese but whipped into a foam! So it is light and airy and the mixture of berries and marshmallows on top just added that subtle sweetness and fruity flavor to it. I must say, it was a good way to start my mini-series of dessert tasting! 🙂
Dessert no.2 : PEANUT BUTTER TERRINE with apricot puree, caramelized bananas, chocolate biscuits and ice cream.
When I saw the words chocolate and peanut butter in one sentence, my face instantly lit up! Without even tasting it yet, I just knew this would be the best dessert amongst them all! (Yes I am that biased with anything that has chocolate and peanut butter in them!) Everything on this platter is just plain and simple GOOD. G-O-O-D. The cold, smooth peanut butter terrine on top of a hardened chocolate crust surrounded by fine chocolate biscuits and sweet sugared bananas…wow, that just spelled heaven for me! And I knew right then and there, that I cannot share this dish with anyone else! 🙂
Dessert no. 3 : STRAWBERRY SORBET with Cardamom Creme Anglaise.
To cap it all off, I decided that my 3rd dessert should be a lit bit “healthier” and “fruitier” than the first two…you know, just to lighten the guilt (and the calorie intake) a little bit. 🙂 So I ordered this Strawberry Sorbet, since I am a strawberry lover too (what else don’t I love?) and a sorbet is well, lighter and supposed to be healthier than a regular ice cream. So I thought, this should definitely be the right way to end my 8-course meal and my dessert-tasting spree! And boy, was I right! The juiciness of the fresh strawberries mixed in with the icy sorbet perfectly cleansed my overly-used palate!
And we all thought that was the end of our delicious food binge…but much to our delight, the restaurant gave us this after-dessert Salted Caramel mini macaron AND with it, a beautifully wrapped gift box, which we later on found out was from the restaurant’s newly opened just-desserts place in Serendra called Gourmandise Patisserie.
And surprise, surprise! Each box contained a divine looking, freshly baked eclair! Now, who would say no to that? 🙂
Quite lucky too that the Hubby and I got to take home a different flavor each…since it was sealed with a ribbon, the waiter didn’t know what flavor each box contained. So when we got home and I finally opened the boxes, we saw that we got one Salted Caramel and the other – surprise, surprise, was my favorite Peanut Butter! 🙂
My stars must have been aligned that particular evening, since this just meant that The Spoiled Mummy was able to try two more desserts before finally calling it a sweet, sweet night!
PS. Heard that The Goose Station recently changed their menu…Now that’s definitely another reason for me to go back there soon!
The Goose Station is located at the W Tower, 39th street, Bonifacio Global City.