Want a taste of new flavors at reasonable prices in this beautiful Power Plant Mall restaurant? Visit CDP Global Table for lunch and try their P590 and P790 set meals that are both filling and delicious.
"We wanted to offer an option for lunch for the customers looking to try more things and it's set at a good price, and for us, the prix fixe allows us to let them taste what's more to come for our menu," says Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara (KKA). The chef, known for her mouthwatering creations at Chuck's Deli and Mesclun (she has also recently opened a whisky bar in Serendra called Lit), is joined by two of her long-time friends, restaurateurs Malou M. Fores (MMF) and Kristine del Gallego-Locsin (KGL), all three comprising the ''chefs that party" of CDP, short for "Chef du Partie" -- a play on the term chef de partie (line cook).
Malou shares that they have been wanting to open a restaurant together for about two and a half years. "We would talk about it, but the inspiration came after," she shares, "I went to this place and then I told her [Kat] about it. I think artists in general get inspired by something, a painting or anything, and then when you are inspired, you take and you create." And take and create they did with CDP, where the trio of women's love for food, drink, and travel all merge into their beautiful little space in Rockwell -- a restaurant where, if you drink in all the pretty details and dine there yourself, can make one inspired, too.
For lunch, I join two of the three leading ladies of CDP. Being a fan of their food (Recovery Food's tapa, Kat's crazy sandwiches, French onion soup, and gelato, Mamou's steak and truffle pasta and sinigang and so many more!), I was excited for the spread that was about to be presented on our table. Malou shares that ever since they've opened, about seven months ago (just a day after Kat gave birth to her daughter), guests have been constantly ordering their Pig's Ears Fries (P295) -- my favorite -- and Fritto Misto (P245) to pair with their wine and cocktails, and for filling pastas the creamy Truffle Maccheroni (P495) and Maine Lobster Vongole (P995). They hope to introduce more regular items on their menu, and some of these will first roll out as course options through the prix fixe.
Their new Prix Fixe offering started this Monday, and allows the hungry weekday lunch crowd a filling set meal for either P590 (2 course) or P790 (3 course). P790 gets you a good serving of Entrée (starter) + Plat (main course) + Dessert, while the 2 course set allows you to choose either a combination of Entrée + Plat, or Plat + Dessert. There will always be two options per course of CDP's Prix Fixe; for the mains, a seafood and a meat option are mainstays. Chef Kat is also known for her signature gelato (she being an Arce), and so gelato will always be included in the dessert. The Prix Fixe menu changes every two weeks, and for lunch that day with Kat and Malou, we tried everything. As the new menu is now on its first week, all the food will be available until April 24, 2015, and will be replaced with a new mix afterward.
Entree: Tomato Gazpacho or Caesar Salad
The choices for the first course, when seen separately, are served just as you would ordering them a la carte in a restaurant, good for one. CDP is known to serve their food in small plates that give their presentation some character, but this definitely doesn't mean small in flavor. Gazpacho is seldomly a staple in the soups section of restaurant menus in Manila, and if there was a time to enjoy it, it is this summertime when our palate needs to be soothed with cooler temperatures. "This is why I wanted to offer this soup," Kat says, "Lunch would be hot, and you'd crave for something cold, so why not gazpacho?" The Tomato Gazpacho is endearingly tart, how one would have fresh bursts of the juice of a tomato when you bite into it.
The Caesar Salad is classic, but not haphazard. The fresh and delicious details of having perfectly crunchy homemade croutons, bigger flecks of crisp and salty bacon, and the freshly grated cheese make a difference. You can begin your prix fixe lunch with this reliable and traditional salad, but I say go for the gazpacho for something summery on your tastebuds.
Plat: Chicken Tikka, Basmati Rice or Lapu-Lapu en Papillote
For your mains, two options: chicken or fish, and both impressively portioned and plated. I eye on the Chicken Tikka and Basmati Rice first -- it was more colorful and photogenic -- and see the pat of butter on the basmati rice slowly melting and melding into the white morsels of rice. Malou forks some of the homemade pickles, "I love this," and I follow suit. Zest and crunch surround my mouth, and I immediately take a piece of the chicken to chase it. The chicken is very tender and coated in yogurt and sesame seeds, and everything was so flavorful that yes, a helping hand of the rice was good as its requisite starch.
Chicken Tikka, Basmati Rice
The Lapu-Lapu en Papillote was then revealed, after peeling open its casing. Chef Katrina displays her love for French food and technique with this dish, and true to its en papillote preparation, the fish is moist, the lemon slices and capers giving it a mouthwatering aroma and burst of flavors. It is served with ratatouille that I enjoyed so much, I had more forkfuls of it and had to ask Kat if she can offer this as a regular on the CDP menu. "This is why I have it on the prix fixe," she smiles, "so we get feedback from customers and see which ones would be favorites." The order also comes with a side of potatoes, which makes this option even more filling. If you taste and discover a new favorite at CDP for lunch, don't be shy and share it with the servers so they can share the news with the ladies. I hope I get to order the ratatouille again -- I imagine it could go well with roast chicken, and as a side to a steak they already offer in the restaurant.
Dessert: Maple Bread Pudding and Salted Caramel Gelato or Affogato
If I have to recommend a prix fixe mix, I personally recommend you to never skip dessert, because for sure CDP has got you covered with a good selection. My tastebuds trust the sweets of Mesclun and Mamou, so if the ladies of these two places are at the helm of CDP, I am already pleased. First up was the Maple Bread Pudding and Salted Caramel Gelato. "How nice," I say to myself, as I get myself a small spoonful of the salted caramel. It's a flavor I'm familiar with, as I enjoy gelato by Chef Katrina. I then get myself some of the pudding, gooey with its shiny maple syrup oozing from the spoon stabbing it right in the middle. It almost looks like a lava cake. "The idea here is to get some of that gelato then top it on the pudding and eat it," Kat tells me. "Oooh," I cooed, and follow her instructions. The thick bread pudding warms the salted caramel gelato, melting fast, and every spoonful of this delicious hot and cold marriage was absolutely indulgent and blissful.
In the heat of summertime, it's a difficult endeavor to decline gelato. And gelato is every present when you have Chef Kat around to serve you dessert. At CDP, she provides the sweet tooth with luscious scoops to lick clean with her housemade Gelati (P245/3 scoops). For the prix fixe, the gelato also came in the form of Affogato, and their version kicks it up a notch with fun textures: gelato in milk and sesame seeds is topped with cookie crumbs. Pour the ristretto from its tiny cup, and enjoy the sugar and caffeine rush in every spoonful. By the end of our meal, I was beaming with equal parts coffee and sugar doing their job well done.
The new Prix Fixe is a great introduction of new dishes by CDP which leaves you fully satisfied with a complete meal. The two choices per course and a new menu every two weeks keep everything fresh, and people in the kitchen creative, with cooks pitching in their ideas to their chef and Kat shortlisting what will be featured. As our lunch ends, she runs through a list of food using her phone, and I hear her talking about clams, chicken, and pork with the head chef for the future menus. They still have many up their sleeve, so come hungry and best with another companion, so you can sample as much as you can. And, as always, leave room for gelato.
Visit CDP Global Table at R1 level (Lopez Drive) of Power Plant Mall, Rockwell. The restaurant is right beside Mamou. Like CDP in Facebook (/cdpglobaltable) and follow on Instagram (@CDPGlobalTable).