The South has always had a unique homey feel. I had yet to find a restaurant that truly capitalizes on this, until I found Le Petit Cheri. Tucked in a quiet corner of Molito, there lies the little darling. With its high ceiling and the use of dominantly white color, it is already inviting from afar. I go inside and immediately feel right at home.
Le Petit Cheri in Alabang
It was a quiet afternoon with only myself and two students as patrons, so I decided to give myself ample time to appreciate the different Parisian details on the first floor. I take my time checking out the pretty luggage right by the entrance, along with the Paris inspired souvenirs right beside it. It also took a couple of minutes to look at every photo posted on the high wall.
It was, however, on the second floor that I found my spot. It has a mini-library with a sizable number of books, categorized accordingly. Books that I would actually pick to read, found inside a restaurant that serves good food, is a combination I have been searching for. “I was only too pleased to have a library. My Major in Ateneo was Literature so I had loads of fun selecting the books,” says Krizia Cureg, who is the daughter Edna Cureg, owner of Le Petit Cheri.
But wait, I am moving ahead of myself. So let me finish on the other features of the second floor before moving on to the eating part. The wall on a semi-enclosed part of the second floor is painted with a refreshing Paris street scene. It is in that area where I see an alternative spot for my next me-time plans. “To pinpoint a sole source for the interior design would be unfair. Javi and Miel Cabanes helped my mom, but all of us in the family, including my brother Patrick who is taking up Industrial Design at the College of St. Benilde, had a hand in the details,” adds Krizia.
Painting on the wall
It would seem like the vision of the Curegs to put up a Parisian bistro is now a reality, but the real test is how their menu will fare. “We are just beginning to learn how varied our customers’ tastes are,” shares Krizia. And I can understand her sentiment since French cuisine is not quite commonplace in the metro. I, for one, ordered items from the menu not because they were specialties of this particular cuisine, but because they had familiar ingredients that I like.
Salad de la Mer
The Salad de la Mer (P280) was fresh and seared to near perfection. For that alone I give it my two thumbs up because I really love seafood. The only time I regret ordering seafood is when it is sullied or not cooked the way it should be.
While I do love my rice, I settled on Pork Noisettes (P288). This dish has potato gratin for siding instead of rice. This one tasted okay, but I would have liked it if the meat was softer.
After seeing an array of sweets on the first floor display counter, I was quite positive that the desserts will provide redemption. In fact, I had two! Luckily, both the Eclairs (P50 each) and the Crème Brulee (P75) did not disappoint. With these, I was able to wrap up my Parisian experience with a smile on my face.
Broccoli Crepes with Mornay sauce
Other popular choices — also healthy picks at that — include the Broccoli Crepes with Mornay sauce (P150) and Cappuccino Champignons (P164). I am trying to decrease my uric acid, and broccoli and mushroom are high in this. So I had my best friend sample these two dishes, and she gave her two thumbs up.
Since the restaurant is fairly new, it is a given that there will be things to improve on; in fact, we learned from Krizia that there will be changes in the menu in the coming days. In the meantime, the big vision of bringing Paris to the South is on the right track. We will be watching out for more as we keep coming back to this new-found favorite!