Garde Manger? Is that a restaurant? Well literally speaking, the term Garde Manger is French for “keeper of food”. According to Wikipedia, it’s a cool, well-ventilated area where cold dishes like salads, appetizers, pates, etc. are kept.
Anyway I’ve been meaning to try Garde Manger at Hole in the Wall in Century City Mall for some time now. I knew it was all about healthy food and drink — fruits, veggies, etc… nothing fried and greasy. It’s so hot these days that more and more, cold dishes are starting to sound good to me.
You can see everything in the menu displayed inside their chiller by the counter — salads, cold pastas, rolls, tapas…
Hubby and I started off with some fresh fruit drinks, Golden Hour (P90, left) and Bahamas (P90, right). Golden Hour is a blend of mango, calamansi, honey, and tarragon. It’s light, citrusy, and refreshing. Bahamas is cranberry, pomegranate, and pink lemonade. I actually liked Bahamas better, it reminded me of my favorite childhood drink Hawaiian Punch, except that it’s all natural.
I ordered a Watermelon Salad (P200). All salads at Garde Manger come in a single serve bowl. You can share it if you’re ordering a lot of other food items but if it’s all you’re having, it’s really just good for one. Anyhow my salad was comprised of mixed greens, watermelon cubes, orange wedges, feta cheese, and pistachio nuts. They’re drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette infused with a bit of watermelon juice. Like my drink, it’s a very light, citrusy, and refreshing salad.
Hubby had the Sisig Rilletes Salad (P200). Also comprised of mixed greens, it also has sliced radish, candied pili nuts, and Pampanga sisig formed into rectangular slices… kinda like meatloaf. I think the proper culinary term for its form is terrine. Anyhow, I had a taste of the sisig terrine and um… it was cold, gelatinous, and weird waaaahhhh… I felt the fat melting in my mouth. I don’t like fat so I will never order this.
Since we didn’t think we’d get full with a small bowl of salad, we also ordered rolls. Each order consists of two (2) big rolls. First served was the Mu-shu Sesame Pork Roll (P200). It’s served with Chili Hoisin dip on the side. I liked this roll. The shredded pork filling is very tasty, it reminded me of adobo and asado at the same time for some reason. So the roll is filled with veggies, glass noodles, shredded pork, and sesame seeds. I recommend dipping it in the sauce before taking a bite.
For our second roll, we opted for Thai Mango Shrimp (P200). It’s served with Coconut Basil dip on the side which tasted like peanut sauce more than anything. It’s very healthy since the shrimp are perfectly steamed and wrapped with all the same veggies and glass noodles as our other roll. This one had fresh sweet ripe mango slivers too. I prefer the Mu-shu Sesame Pork Roll though as it’s the more flavorful variant. This one’s a bit bland.
We also tried their tapas, well at least one of them lol. We had the bestseller, Smoked Chorizo Marbled Potato in Red Wine (P225). Sliced smoked Spanish chorizo and marbled baby potatoes soaked in what seemed to be a mix of olive oil and red wine are served with potato chips and melba toast. This is the priciest dish we ordered considering the tiny serving but wow, the chorizo is SO GOOD!!! OMG I don’t think I’ve ever had chorizo like this. The flavor is so deep and it doesn’t taste salty and over-processed. I could eat this all day.
If you want something fresh, light, and healthy, Garde Manger is the stall for you at Hole in the Wall. We were so stuffed after having just salad and rolls. Hubby originally wanted to order some meat dishes but I told him to do so AFTER Garde Manger and thank goodness he listened… or else we would’ve ended up with a lot of leftovers.
Garde Manger @ Hole In The Wall
4/F Century City Mall
Kalayaan Ave., Makati City
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