As the only food blogger in the group I was tasked with planning all our meals in Baguio. I remembered seeing Mama’s Table featured in Heart-2-Heart’s blog so I forwarded the link to my friends and they all agreed to try it.
I really wanted to go to Chef Vicky’s house while there was still light outside so I can take pictures of the beautiful scenery around her house. But with 7 women and 2 1/2 bathrooms it took time to get ready.
Even though we all saw the pictures in Rica’s blog we were still amazed with the house. It looked really dramatic at night.
Chef Vicky explained to us the contents of the bread & spreads artfully displayed on a solid piece of wood. There were an assortment of bread like foccacia, ciabatta, wheat bread, French bread which she sourced from The Manor and Baguio Country Club.
bread & spreads
Chef Vicky used to work in a legal firm and a bank until she had a mid-life epiphany and decided to follow her dream and studied culinary arts at the age of 50. She used to live in Toronto and just moved to Baguio a year ago. Thank you for opening your house and kitchen to us, Chef!
Our degustation meal consisted of 8 courses and cost P1,350 plus 10% service charge. Other than asking if anyone in our group had food allergies Chef Vicky planned the menu according to what she found in the market. I didn’t ask nor did she offer to tell me what was on the menu. I wanted to be surprised.
You will notice that the plates for each course is different. Chef Vicky used the fine china her mother and grandmother collected through the years.
I don’t like eggs. When I eat the rare egg it has to be fried with the yolk really runny. I didn’t know what to expect when the half egg shell was placed in front of me.
Amuse Bouche – baked eggs, onions &
gruyere in egg cups w/ anchovy toast
Chef Vicky instructed us on how to eat this. First take the toast and use it to scoop some egg. Next use a spoon to get the onion, mushroom and egg mixture.
My favorite dish next to dessert and the egg was the salmon. I’ve eaten my share of bland, rubbery salmon so I wasn’t too excited when the salmon was served. The salmon was simply dipped in flour, pan fried and finished in the oven. Sounds simple right? The fish was cooked with perfect timing and it was moist and succulent.
What made it even more outstanding was the brown butter, lemon juice & parsley sauce and the sprinkling of dried lemon zest, fried capers and crunchy baked croutons. We’ve never tried fried capers before and it was a revelation. Fried capers were less salty and the texture was fantastic!
Seafood – salmon grenoblaise
I was expecting a sorbet in between the main courses but we got a meatball instead. Good choice! We were advised to eat this in one go. Salty meatball, tangy pickled cucumber and sweet and tart lingonberry preserves. Another excellent melange of flavors and textures.
Intermezzo 2 – Swedish meatball w/ pickled cucumber & lingonberry preserves
With this course I realized that I’m not much of a steak eater. If I do eat steak I prefer it to be grilled to medium. I did eat half of the tenderloin. Despite it’s red color it didn’t really taste raw. This was the only dish I didn’t finish.
Chef Vicky explained that in France the salad is served at the end of the meal. The acids from the dressing was supposed to help you digest your food.
I was already too full at this point but I ate the strawberries marinated in sweet reduction of balsamic vinegar with the blue cheese. I called it my first dessert or my fruit and cheese course.
Digestif – marinated strawberries & blue cheese on watercress & arugula
Take a piece of ganache made from Callebaut chocolate, wrap it with a crepe, dip it in batter and fry it. That’s what we have here dear readers. My only complaint was not enough chocolate. I suggested to the chef that she should have a pitcher of chocolate sauce served with it. But that was just me. Everybody else was perfectly happy the way it was served. But then I was the only chocoholic in the group.
What a fantastic discovery! It was definitely the highlight of my trip to Baguio. Who would have thought I would find a 5 star degustation meal that rivaled the chi-chi hotels in Hong Kong? Thanks again for the fabulous meal Chef Vicky!
Mama’s Table by Chef Vicky Tinio Clemente
888a Ambuklao Rd. Baguio City
telephone: (074) 442-1794
cellphone no. : 0915-6438775
cost: P1,500 (+10%sc) pax (as of March 2012)
Go to Wright Park Circle where Pacdal church is. Go around rotunda until after the police station. Turn right on Pacdal Rd. which becomes Ambuklao Rd. There are two 888s. It is not the 1st one. Keep going up. When u pass APTS you’re near na. Red house on right side before km post 254 with sign 888a VTC.