COCONUTS HOT SPOT — With the refurbishment of Funan IT Mall and the introduction of Capitol Piazza, the once anachronistic district of City Hall is seeing a new (and seemingly upscale) lease of life.
Case in point: Grand Park City Hall, the hotel that’s undergoing progressive renovations to take its luxurious interiors to the modern age. With it comes Tablescape, a restaurant and bar that wants to be City Hall’s newest dining destination. It is atas as atas can be with a neoclassical decor, European fare, and even table-side trolley service to start (with loaves upon loaves of bread baked in-house) and end (with a spectacular array of desserts) your feast.
Once the carbo-loading and butter-licking are done, start the proteins proper with the Nordic gravlax ($16) of house-cured salmon paired with citrus caviar, daintily dressed in lemon-myrtle oil and topped with a dollop of splendid cream cheese ice cream. For a different take on steak tartare, sample executive chef Robert Chan’s take on the French classic ($24) — it comes with an oxymoronic crispy poached egg stacked on top of hand-chopped US Black Angus beef, red onions, gherkins, parsley, and capers.
Continue the indiscriminate array of European cuisine with an exquisite marriage of pork and seafood. What arrives on your plate are pan-seared hunks of monkfish wrapped in prosciutto ham, accompanied by moist Maine lobster sous vide in clarified butter with risotto in Armagnac bisque as its foundation ($38).
Another Tablescape highlight is none other than the indulgent milk-fed veal tenderloin stuffed with seared foie gras, duxelles, and sage — all of which is flattened, crumbed, deep fried, and baked ($38). Soften the blow with cauliflower mimosa and Madeira jus as sides.
Dessert needs to be shared. Waiters will wheel in a trolley that offers irresistible saccharine grandeur, with the likes of Spicy Mango (mango mousse cake encased in a shell of white chocolate with a hint of Tabasco sauce), Camembert Cheesecake (exactly what its name describes) and more at just $12 each.
“Having been part of the industry here for almost two decades I’m proud to see our restaurant scene blossom, but I had a sense of nostalgia for how fine dining used to be. There was no pretension or fluff, just great classic flavors executed really well with exceptional traditional cooking techniques,” enthused Chan.
“That’s the kind of restaurant, I feel, we constantly return to reminisce and create our fondest memory; that’s the experience we want to achieve for Tablescape.”
Tablescape is at L3, Grand Park City Hall, 10 Coleman Street, 6432-5618. Daily noon-2:30pm, 5:30pm-1am.