Monday, June 2, 2014

Sage Restaurant at the Makati Shangri-La ... a wise choice for a quiet Friday dinner.

A good way to end a busy week is with a quiet dinner with a good friend.  Note ... emphasis on the word "quiet" so that we could enjoy the conversation as much as the food.  None of the usual places would do -- too full on a payday Friday night.   There were "hot" new places that we hadn't tried and had heard good things about but we were sure the decibel levels would go through the roof.
Then it hit me -- Sage at the Shangri La Makati had opened this year, after many years as "Red". If it was anything like its predecessor, it would be a nice, uncrowded place to dine.

I was able to enjoy a tall cold glass of my favourite beer while waiting for my friend.
Sage has two levels -- the ground floor houses the bar -- a reincarnation of the late Conway's.  The restaurant portion is on the second floor.  The layout is much like Red's with wide windows that look out onto the lights of Ayala Avenue.  Although there is a live band and lots of noisy patrons at the bar, you leave all that noise behind once you enter the restaurant.

We were started off with an amuse bouche, compliments of the chef. Served in a shot glass, it was bits of fish and micro greens in a minty green seafood foam.  We both agreed it was a pleasant and tasty start.

We both ordered the Edamame and Watercress soup with King Crab.  The soup came with a delightful parmesan crisp which I ate quickly, before it disintegrated.  A small tidbit of grilled or roasted king crab came attached to its shell.  The creamy emulsion added to the delicate and refined flavour but we both had the same question -- why was the soup tepidly warm?  Perhaps soup like this is not meant to be hot?

My friend ordered the Palawan Lobster with Morels but I  opted for the King Prawns Fricasee with Vegetables and Herbs (surely some sage was in attendance) which the wait staff said was their bestseller.  I'm glad I did because when the lobster came, it was certainly a teeny weeny piece -- delicious but decidedly downsized.  My order at least had two good sized prawns on a puddle of a lovely, creamy sauce.  It was a generous serving for a hungry diner.

We didn't realise that it was almost ten o clock when we ordered dessert.  Most of the diners had gone, moved on perhaps to the bar downstairs?  To cap off a most satisfactory evening, I ordered the thin apple tart -- it was perfunctorily good but the small serving of a ginger and honey ice cream was the best part of the entire meal.

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