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Le Jardin, Bonifacio Global City Review: Savage Garden, A Major Disappointment

May 2, 2019
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From quality of food, to portion size, to deceiving menus, this whole place felt like a trap for those who were curious enough to go there.

I try to avoid reviewing restaurants when they’ve just opened, or when I’ve only tried them once. I always try to be objective. In this business, you need to give people a chance. However, if a restaurant is horrible from start to finish, I feel some sort of moral obligation to let them know what needs to be improved. In the case of Le Jardin, every mistake they made didn’t seem like it was due to the fact that they had just opened. From quality of food, to portion size, to deceiving menus, this whole place felt like a trap for those who were curious enough to go there. Le Jardin is one of the most exquisitely laid out dining rooms in Manila. High ceilings, excellent views, Parisian-inspired décor that is tasteful, and not tacky, their interior decorator got it right. Though there is a cheesy display case that is a little out of place in what is meant to be a fine-dining restaurant, it doesn’t detract from the ambiance at all. Once seated, you feel that this could be the start of some exceptional French food, with a menu that reads like an ode to bistro classics. Don’t be fooled, this is the beginning of a dangerous con.

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The menu says nothing about your 4 courses only actually being 3.

You’re given 3 options. The 4 course menu is at PHP 2800, 5 courses are PHP 3200, and 6 courses and PHP 3600. The menu is divided into hot starters, cold starters, meat, fish, and dessert. Unfortunately, when you try and order 4 courses for your 4-course menu, your waitress won’t let you. Apparently, you only get to choose 3, as your 4-course menu already includes a cheese plate. What if you don’t want a cheese plate? Well, tough luck, this forced cheese course is included on all menu options. The trouble is, the menu says nothing about your 4 courses only actually being 3, and your waitress only informs you when you have finished attempting to order. If they had written it in a way that said one would be ordering 3 courses for 2800, then given the diner a complimentary cheese course, I guarantee that customers would be satisfied, and even impressed.

Cheese Platter

Cheese Platter

Saying that the in-house cheese is of 3 different varieties is a complete lie.

When their beloved cheese platter was finally plopped down in front of me, our jaws collectively dropped. On the platter, or cheese platito, according to a livid companion, were 3 tiny, tiny pieces of cheese that were easily overpowered by the giant melba toasts beside each. The pieces of cheese were so small that one wouldn’t even fill a standard teaspoon. They are made in house, yes, but to pretend to me that they are 3 different varieties is a complete lie. They are all the same cow cheese, just with different toppings or flavors. I cannot believe that this is mandatory in the 4-course menu I just ordered. I though the cheese course situation couldn’t get any worse, but it did.

Tartare de Veau

Coquille St. Jacques

Poulet Fermier en Miel

We ordered the majority of the menu, but when the appetizers arrived, I immediately knew Le Jardin would only continue to disappoint me. They were miniscule, with the veal tartare as small as a Fita cracker. We were served only two seared scallops, and the lobster salad consisted of half a tiny lobster tail. The scallops, served on a dirty plate, mind you, were rubbery, and had a flavor that meant it was definitely of poor quality. Palate cleansers, described to me as a lemon sorbet, were really blended lemon shakes, with chunks of ice still present.

Filet de Boeuf Sauce Poivre

Joue de Boeuf et Foie Gras Poele

The mains continued to invalidate the exorbitant prices they were asking for. A passable tuna with foie gras was overshadowed by a sous-vide poulet that was nothing more than honey-basted chicken. While the beef cheeks were tender, the sauce was thin and acidic. Almost everything came with mashed potatoes that were unremarkable in both flavor and texture.

Peach Melba

Their peach melba was literally ice cream, covered in canned whipped cream, topped by a singular slice of canned peach, swimming in syrup straight from the very same can.

Already angry, I expected desserts to be some sort of respite, as my sweet tooth is very easily satisfied. The lava cake was appropriately fudgy but you could buy similar examples that are larger, tastier, and definitely cheaper anywhere else. The crème brûlée was plain as plain could be. However, it was the peach melba that cemented the fact that I needed to write about this place. Their version of this incredibly simple dessert was far more mediocre than a Jolibee peach-mango pie and sundae combo. It was literally ice cream, covered in canned whipped cream, topped by a singular slice of canned peach, swimming in syrup straight from the very same can. Seriously, believe me. My horrible photos will prove it.

Fondant Chocolat

The problem with Le Jardin is, with its strict dress code, fancy interiors, and ridiculous prices, they set a certain standard that customers expect them to meet. You need to be able to live up to what you are advertising. When one comes to dine here, people expect great quality food for whatever they are being charged. At its current state, I don’t know where Le Jardin could fit in the constantly evolving Manila dining scene, where diners’ palates are getting more and more exposed to good food, fresh produce, and great cooking. It is insulting to serve someone who is willing to pay this much canned peaches, and tell them to wear closed shoes while eating it to boot. That’s something I can easily enjoy in my pajamas at home. Something needs to be done about this place. And quick.

Le Jardin
Penthouse, W Fifth Building,
5th Avenue corner 32nd Street
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
They are currently on their soft-opening, for reservations:
cp: 0917 8176584

Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

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46 comments in this post SHOW

46 responses to “Le Jardin, Bonifacio Global City Review: Savage Garden, A Major Disappointment”

  1. Aileesa Lim says:

    Thanks for the warning. Was going to check this place out because I saw photos of the lovely interiors and figured if they put so much effort into decorating the place, the food must be prepared with the same painstaking attention to detail. Guess not. 🙁

    For those same prices, I’ll bring my money and stomach to The Goose Station instead.

    P.S. Interestingly, a well-known food blogger gave Le Jardin a pretty good review. I’ve never trusted the guy though, his food knowledge is almost as inadequate as his writing skills.

    • ayet pandy says:

      I think I know this food blogger. I used to follow his blog and after some time, I learned not to trust his reviews. HAHA! Btw, Looking at his pictures, portion size is inconsistent. Sobrang lugi ka, Miss Pamela. I’m thinking free pa siguro food niya.

      • Aileesa Lim says:

        You’re right, the wee wedges of cheese on his “platter” looked a tad bigger than the smidgens Pamela got. Haha.

        • Angelica Gutierrez says:

          I think if the cheese they’re going to serve is that small, they should just treat the cheese like a spread and put it in cute tiny saucers like the ones other fine dining places use for butter, and serve that with the bread in a basket as a complimentary starter, like Pamela said. Calling it a cheese platter and counting it as one of four courses just raises expectations too much.

      • Katrina says:

        If we’re thinking the same blogger, then yes, I think his food was free because he said thank you to the owners at the end of his “review.”

        He also called the palate cleanser a “lemon shake”. Hahaha. Which makes Pam’s description spot on.

      • Ivy says:

        I agree lugi ka nga. This “food blogger” with his free meal there got way bigger portion of cheese. Oh and I can’t believe he called the bread & amuse bouche course #1. Lol

        Anyway I can’t believe they used canned peaches!! Mygosh if people are gonna pay that much for a meal, -at least give them the real deal!

    • Angelica Gutierrez says:

      Hmm I think I know this food blogger as well. I used to follow his blog, tried a dish that he praised and found it incredibly bland, so I’m not exactly going to trust his reviews anymore hahaha. And honestly, as someone who works in the industry, it’s actually better to see honest reviews with both good points and bad points because honest feedback helps the restaurant to constantly improve their food and service.

    • kyuryuskat says:

      DAWHO?!

  2. Adrian De Leon says:

    That sad platter of cheese hurts my soul so much. And the description on the peach melba, oh my God. Talk about adding insult to injury. 🙁

  3. dianesantos says:

    for those prices, you could be eating at antonio’s in tagaytay

  4. The cheese “platter” is pathetic. I’d probably be like “Are you trying to feed me or lure me into a mouse trap?”

    I can see why they failed miserably. I share Pamela’s sentiments that for the price of the dinner, you should at least be served with food that is decent and tantamount to the value. As to the serving sizes, the French eat ridiculously small portions but they have to compensate with the exquisite taste. Even so, considering that they are in the Philippines, they should enlarge the portions just a tiny bit, especially since Filipinos are accustomed to bigger bites, not tiny morsels.
    What a disappointment indeed.

  5. Katrina says:

    Cheese platter?!?! Cheese PLATTER?!?!?! *screams*

    That’s the only reaction I can muster right now.

  6. mc says:

    Those portions are only acceptable for a degustation menu, not a 3-course meal! And yes, that peach melba looks depressing.

  7. Yuri says:

    That is definitely one restaurant I am crossing off on my places to visit. I’m not spending my money in a place that does false advertising and serve apparently crappy French food at the prices their asking.

  8. Trish says:

    That cheese platter. Seriously?

  9. Nico Goco says:

    To be fair. It had cheese that was on a platter.

    No, wait. It still doesn’t make sense.

  10. Aileesa Lim says:

    By the way, exactly how strict is their “strict dress code”? The interiors are nice and all, but the place doesn’t strike me as terribly formal. Not with those chairs, anyway.

  11. Jane says:

    How was their service, though?

  12. Au Poblete says:

    When did you dine at Le Jardin?

  13. John says:

    I dined in the place and the beef cheeks just melted with wonderful flavours exploding in my mouth, this article made me wonder as it seems it has been written from ignorance of the word “degustation”, I agree that you have a moral obligation which is to stick to the food of your market of all-you-can-eat buffets 😉 sad how a food recluse blogs out like this without consideration of market segmentation, puts me in the mood to blog about Pamela Cortez “Savage Garden: written by a SAVAGE” how does that sound as a title? 😀

    • Kal says:

      Now this… THIS is ignorant. :p

    • Noonininooo says:

      LOL, someone clearly has no idea who Ms. Cortez is, her background, or any knowledge of her family and their assets for you to call her, in so many words, as too poor for this restaurant. lolololol. Use google next time Mr. Clueless, and educate yourself.

    • Pamela Cortez says:

      Hey John, I’m sorry I offended you with my article, but in my opinion, these portion sizes on a ‘4-course menu’ don’t work in any market. I hope I know what value for money means, whether it’s a meal at a turo-turo or one in a fine dining establishment. I know I’m a recluse but I enjoy relative anonymity, and pay for all my meals so I never get treated specially. It’s hard to dine with me because I never get freebies or bigger portions, but if you want to, we should try one of the degustations in Manila that are worth the money you spent in Le Jardin!

    • stupid troll says:

      Either you’re one of the owners, or you’re the unawesome blogger being referred to below. If you’re the latter, that might explain why you make no sense and write like a dumb high school kid.

    • Koldzzz says:

      Hey Pam,

      I think that the apology is unwarranted given that you are doing the right thing by giving foodies honest and truthful information about the place. Keep up the good work!

      To John,

      Clearly by failing to understand the article and commenting nonsense about the author and the blog, you not only made yourself look like an ignoramus, you also made yourself, as per your own terms, a “SAVAGE” :).

    • Keri says:

      Maybe u should read her other articles in rogue philippine star etc to know she is not the type of writer that eats in buffets na blogger lol before attacking the person, do your research

    • Volts Sanchez says:

      From the description, it seems that the place really doesn’t live up to the standards set by its prices. That, “John,” is not at all what degustation is about.

      The moral obligation comment is just pathetic, btw. The beef cheeks exploding in your mouth, even more so 😉

    • Joseph says:

      Nah! John. Even budget buffet restos aren’t that gauche to serve canned peaches.

    • Paul says:

      You want Savage? Ate there for P2,800 per head and i didnt get my money’s worth!
      The next day i ate at Mang Inasal and I was happier!!!

    • Paul says:

      You want Savage? Ate there for P2,800 per head and i didnt get my money’s worth!
      The next day i ate at Mang Inasal and I was happier!!!

    • slyda007 says:

      Hi. Why are you attacking the critic who wants to help people eat at a better place? And you’re lucky you’re easily satisfied. I’m actually jealous. Wait, arenyou one of the owners??

      And from what I read, I’ll take the budget buffet resto any day. Does Spirals count? Lol

  14. alcyone says:

    The place looks pretty and lives up to its name.

    Lahat ng entree nila na may sauce parang ma-mantika hehehe. Even dun sa plates ni food blogger – over sa sauce at greasy. :/

  15. Jhoana Bueno says:

    ugh we don’t need another pretentious but underwhelming restaurant!

  16. J says:

    I had a friend who ate there and raved about it, but the portions you got are unreal. he got 5 times bigger cheese portions than you

  17. J says:

    Here’s what I propose.

    Pepperph sets up a PayPal donation link alongside online polls of restaurants to be reviewed.

    Great work!

  18. […] always been known as both silly and rebellious, and while we’ve had a lot of the latter lately, we’ve been overdue for a dose of the former. We hope you all enjoyed our little joke, […]

  19. Connie says:

    Hmm…. I feel like trying this restaurant to see it for myself…hopefully they can redeem themselves.

  20. Le Jardin says:

    […] appetizers, a main, a dessert, and a complimentary cheese platter each ON TOP OF THE COURSE MEALS. I understand where a respectable writer was coming from in her review & I respect her opinion, because I was treated badly in one too not so long ago so I definitely know the feeling, believe […]

  21. Wanesh says:

    They have greatly improved from that time. Also had the same experience back then but went on to give it another try recently. Vast improvements on taste, serving portion and pricing. Also, more choices with menu. No more strict dress code. I went in sneakers

  22. […] I understand where a respectable writer was coming from in her review & I respect her opinion, because I was treated badly in one too not so long ago so I definitely know the feeling, believe me. To be fair, we were there on an official capacity and got a totally different dining experience. I don’t know what happened really, and I was completely mortified by her experience. […]

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