Kitchen MIshaps and Victories, Restaurant Rants and Raves and a whole lotta wanderlust!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A taste of NOLA in Manila

For the past few years, I have had this obsession with going to New Orleans. I've always found it fascinating that in the middle of McDonald's-generated America, there is a place where French-Creole food and architecture lives, where there is voodoo in a 1st world country and where beignets are an acceptable form of breakfast. And let's not even start talking about N'awlins being the birthplace of Jazz! Sigh! Someday I will get there!

So, Sarah, Margaux and I ate at Rue Bourbon in Salcedo Village last night. Hungry and worn out from our long day, we were happy to note that our food was served really quickly. I know a bit of time is needed in restaurants, but I really hate waiting more than 10 minutes!

First up, The Bayou--> or a bucket of battered seafood, including squid, crablets and shrimp plus onion rings. This can easily be shared by 4 people. It doesn't look like a big bucket, but believe me, it goes pretty deep. We couldn't even finish it even if we wanted to. Everything in it was tasty and it is served with an aioli dip.

Ooooh yeaaahhhhh....

Next we tried the Shrimp Gumbo with deep fried okra. Considering this is a New Orleans-inspired place, we were a bit disappointed with the Gumbo. Well, not disappointed because it was bad, but just because it didn't have the kick I expected. It was more like a tomato soup with seafood and rice. It was good, but it certainly wasn't "gumbo" as I expected it to be.

Third dish, Crazy Shrimp Carbonara. We collectively enjoyed this dish. It was a basic carbonara sauce with a cumin and cayenne zing. It was definitely unexpected, but in a good way.

Lastly, we ate the Wagyu and Fries. Much as I always marinate everything, I liked how I could taste the real flavor of the beef in this dish. I would have wanted it bloodier, so would have been better if they asked me how I wanted it done, but still good. I didn't enjoy the side of mushrooms and spinach (?) It wasn't cooked enough but hey, the steak is the star here anyway, and I liked it. I would like to note though that I was happy and relieved to see REAL mushrooms on my plate. It should be considered a crime for restos to use canned mushrooms-- a sad alternative to the real thing!

Of course, a meal with me wouldn't be complete without alcohol! Sarah had the Pucker-up grapefruit martini, I had the Raunchy Rootbeer (I love rootbeer-and even Margaux who doesn't like it enjoyed this drink) and Margaux had the Liquid Black Forest They have a new mixologist Kathryn Eckstein who wants to bring cocktail culture to the next level in Manila. Drinks were yum-and she's not even done experimenting yet!

This was the unexpected crowd favorite though--Peppermint Patty shot--- a mix of creme de menthe, sambuca and other stuff plus a splash of milk. Usually the words sambuca and milk would make me cringe, but this tastes like a liquid candy cane- pretty damn good!

So, would I say it's "authentic?" Hell, no, but I don't think they claim to be. The dishes are definitely inspired by N'awlins cuisine but made for Filipino taste. Perhaps the gumbo was made more for the Pinoy palate, although spicier would be better, but I'll definitely be back for more of that battered seafood and crazy carbonara! And maybe I'll stay longer and get wasted trying all the cocktails on the menu. Man, now I wish I still lived in Salcedo Village, it's a short walk from my old apartment!

Rue Bourbon is located on the corner of Tordesillas and H.V. dela Costa, Salcedo Village, Makati. They also have another branch at Fort Bonifacio.


  1. I enjoyed reading your blog, i live in Makati and i go here once a week at least. The ambience is perfect, food is great and it's not that heavy on the pocket.

  2. I definitely agree about the mushrooms. I love reading your blog because it's raw (honest) and interesting! I encountered one of your articles on a food mag (i'm sorry I forgot which one it was) and I look up to you because I wish to be a food columnist someday, too. And to travel as much as you do. Great job! Keep it up! :)

    Babe for Food - your new BFF in Cebu dining!

  3. Im gonna be in Cebu soon!!! Not this weekend, but next---> Suggestions on where to eat please :) and thanks for the kind words :D

  4. I can't wait to try the Bayou!!! Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Try that warm brownie cup at La Marea. It's a piece of heaven!