tonight was not a good night to eat at la régalade. first of all, we're on a diet. secondly, part of that diet is de-toxing, which means no alcohol. for one week lang naman. this is day four and we just know we're gonna break it by friday, so tonight we were good. la régalade is a new resto that seems like it was one year in the making and it finally opened over the weekend. it's supposed to be a franchise of a canada-based resto owned by a michelin-starred chef. OK, so we're ready to be impressed. it starts with the phone call and when we called for a reservation, we were made to wait for FIVE minutes, we kid you not, as they checked the reservation book. interiors: nothing special, lots of dark wood, an open kitchen, a long bar on one side, and donut-shaped lights, which reminded us of a chinese restaurant we ate in in hong kong (same lights, only they were red). but we gotta say, we LOVE the ladies room! this is the only restaurant we've been to where the ladies room was actually BIGGER than the men's room. the ladies' had a nice little lounge and only two stalls, but each one had its own sink! and guess what, there was actually a QUEUE for the one-man-at-a-time men's room. never seen that before. well, except maybe at V bar (or was it venice?) back in the day. menu was short and tight. but we were on a diet, so we went straight to main course: grilled jumbo tiger prawns with lime and ginger (P820). our date ordered a gratinated onion soup (P200) to start with and stewed lamb with dried apricots and spices (P750) for main course. the servings were huge and are meant to be shared family-style. the prawn dish had five pieces and were really jumbo. it was really good, like nothing we've ever tasted before. it had a rustic vibe going, like some french countryside grand-mère got a bunch of ingredients from her garden, chopped them up, and mixed them all together in a pot. the lamb was good too, tender, tasty, very comfort-foody, but we weren't feeling the mechado-ness of it all. it was served with couscous, which went well with the prawns too. the soup was huge too, with generous servings of cheese and onions—sticky, steamy, and stinky, just the way we like it, heehee... now we were a little disappointed with the wine. our date ordered a glass of côtes de gascogne and for 200 bucks a pop, you wish they'd be just a little bit more generous. we mean, a bottle of this at retail must be about 500 bucks! we also have to comment about the service. our table must have been given the worst waiter in the room. there were a lot of "VVVIPs" and "owners" there tonight, so the good guys were probably dispatched to their tables. first, he forgot our order. twice. if you're not gonna write it down, you better damn well remember it. we ordered three things and when he served the soup, he had to ask our date what his order was again! then our date ordered a second glass of wine, which the waiter also forgot. there he was standing in the corner and we tried to get his attention with eye contact and mental telepathy to no avail. so our date stood up and went to the bar to get the wine himself. THEN when the waiter picked up our water glass to refill it, the coaster stuck to the bottom of the glass and fell on the middle of our plate! the worst part: he didn't even notice! we had to call his attention to it to be more careful next time. he tried, but failed. his grade: NI (needs improvement). birthing pains, we know, we know. but we're definitely going back for the food.
la régalade french bistro, 820 arnaiz avenue (pasay road), makati city, tel 750-2104, 750-2105 (it's right across kink cakes)