I can’t even pronounce the name of this club…the Chaine Des Rotisseurs is apparently one of the oldest “dining clubs” in the world and there is a chapter here in the Philippines. There are different levels that you have to go through before becoming a full-fledged member and you wear a fancy medal sash when you dine together which indicates how far up along you are. It’s quite exclusive and very prestigious — and of course I only learned about it last Tuesday when I was luckily invited as a guest of the host.
I attended a Chaine Kaiseki BOYB (Bring your own bottle) Dinner at Umu, the menu having been painstakingly prepared by Chef Fugada. And it was such a delight to just be with THE ultimate foodies. I was seated beside one of the most charming men I’ve ever met, and he regaled me with his “food trips” — literally, trips around the world that he’s made with friends just to sample ultimate cuisines.
The food was superb, as what you would expect from Umu. By the way kaiseki is a Japanese dinner form that is served in several courses, where each course is served in basically bite-sized pieces. My seatmate explained to me that you are supposed to be able to put a whole kaiseki dish in your mouth — meaning no biting usually necessary.
The highlights for me were the following:
Yoso blue cheese umadashi ikura olive oil kinume (that’s the little glass there with the glistening salmon roe) which I immediately described as surprising and absolutely delightful to eat.
Chawan mushi with foie — anything with foie is lovely, that’s what I always say…but this chawan was just excellent and bursting with flavor.
(The Executive Assistant Manager for Food and Beverage of Dusit Hotel, Chris Orta, welcoming everyone to the party. He found the ONLY koto player in the country to play music during dinner. It was such a fantastic detail to the entire dinner experience)
There was also the wagyu beef dish in the end with the fried rice that I wasn’t able to partake because I had to rush off to a different party really quickly (yes, yes…I double-booked that night…bad form but I had to)…but my tablemates assured me it was excellent and I missed half my life. Fantastic. The great thing is all these can be found in Umu anytime…so I will just order when I get the chance.
(The Chef and his team being acknowledged and applauded by happy and satisfied diners.)
Thank you to the Chaine for letting me join the dinner. I know now what it really is to aspire for when one is a foodie. 😉