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Monday, August 31, 2015

 Great friends and Better Food. That is what bounds us together. It's like a family of sorts. Yes, that is the KTG for me. Known as the KAIN TULOG GANG. A band of brothers and sisters enjoying each others company. More than the food, we strive to help one another and be one awesome family. That is how I see THE KTG. 

Recently, one of us, JUSTINNE of BABE FOR FOOD. Visited the Metro to take her license exam which she aced and passed might I add. She is based in CEBU and is an awesome foodie blogger and an authority when it comes to CEBU food finds. I remember the first time I met this gorgeous fun loving girl. We became friends ever since. On a Friday night, she invited everyone to go to CAFE YSABEL in SAN JUAN. 
There, CHEF GENE greeted us and dined with us. He showed us all the elements of a great dinner. From food, to drinks and of course excellent company. 

The food journey started with a piece of bread that was chewy inside yet crunchy outside. The patte like dip is actually "roast beef" like that one dab is truly not enough. I told myself that I need to stop myself because more good things are coming. 

GAMBAS (268Php) was served almost simultaneously. Plump pieces of shrimps cooked in amazing sauce. The fresh shrimps absorbed the flavor. 

 The PIZZA 4 CHEESE (468Php) or what's left of it. Excellent thin crusted pizza. I love the flavor and the mix up of the 4 cheeses that were used.

Another special pizza dish that was served to us was the BOBBY CHIN'S PIZZA (618Php). Originally this was all veggies. From goat and fresh cheese to smoked tomatoes, fresh arugula and red wine shallots. Prosciutto was added in for the general public. Wohoooo!!! Love the meat and the mix of the arugula and the shallots. 

Throughout the meal, different wines and liquor were served to partner with the dishes we had. One thing that was incredible was that most of the alcohol were made and bottled for CAFE YSABEL or if not were actually made in house. I'm not a wine connoisseur but I did enjoyed the pairings as they enhanced the flavor of the dishes. From Cafe Ysabel's Sparking Pinot Noir by Bird in Hand to Adolaide Hills 2011, to KyohoYamabe Winery 2013 Rose, to 2007 Petite Sirah By Corte Riva and Gran Monterfisoke Valley Bussaba 2013.

Since it was raining, we had soup to soothe our tummies. THE SOPA YSABEL (168Php). This has been in their menu ever since they started. Mixed seafood chowder with a dash of saffron made the soup taste like the sea.

For their 30th anniversary, they had made a PASTA TRETISSIMO ANNIVERSARIO (468Php). A white sauce pasta dish. Topped with mad bacon that you wish you had more. The pasta is made fresh daily and is sits somewhere between an udon and a normal spaghetti. The shell is actually made of parmesan cheese just because we love our cheese. 

When seafood comes to shove, CAFE YSABEL knows their stuff. SEABASS with SEAFOOD & VIETNAMESE BUTTER (1,248 Php).  Crustacean Sauce Hazelnut Butter and Wild Mushroom Ragout.
 An incredible dish. I don't usually love seafood but this dish is an exception. I can't explain the butter sauce but it was sublime. This is a playful work on a sea dish. The flavors were elevated to a different level. You can really taste the sea. 

Since we had been going on and on, we needed a time out. A SORBET. A way to cleanse our palette. 

FILLET ALA GINO is the perfect meat dish. Grilled fillet of smoked beef with bone marrow. Wild Mushrooms with truffles, foie gras in grappa sauce. This is a little rich for me but believe it or not, I still went for it just because. The foie gras just made everything better. It gave it a more buttery feel. It was a dilemma for me if I could just lick the sauce off the plate. That good.

After a heavy dish, we had our pre-dessert. A CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE (218Php). IT was soft and the chocolate didn't have an overwhelming flavor. I enjoyed the burnt part on the edges too as it gave it a little crunch. 

 The strawberry shortcake was mushy that it was so perfect with every bite. The accompanying "ice cream" dessert was sort of like a cold ice cream cake. Different levels of chocolate and vanilla. Delicious.

To end the meal, we had the homemade mead. Chef's very own making. Back when he still had a girlfriend and went into making alcohol, this was their baby. Excellent. Just the right sweetness and it did make everything go down better.  

Good Friends and Excellent Food. That is what one can only hope for. 
See the girl on the right with the white shirt. That's Justinne thinking about the abyss. 

CAFE YSABEL has been ahead of its time. More than 30 years in the business, CHEF GENE has mold the dining scene in the metro. CAFE YSABEL has been the go to place when it comes to intimate dinner and power meetings. I am glad to say that it is very much still the best place to eat and dine with friends and love ones.

Epic dinner by Chef GENE GONZALES

455 P. Guevarra St., San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
(632)726-9326 ; (632) 725-5089

Disclaimer: Was invited to this event. Wrote this based on my experience. Enjoyed truly. Prices might not be updated. Please call on ahead.
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Written by Lovely

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  1. Alright, give me some breaks from those deserts but please give me those gambas and pizza!!!. You just murdered me jeng! you just did it well, murdered perfectly!

  2. hahaha thanks bro... Cafe Ysabel does that to you :D Cheers