Sunday, March 06, 2011

Degustation at The Goose Station

Try saying "The Goose Station" ten times and you'll probably end up saying "degustation."

The name of the restaurant at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig is a play on the said word, a culinary term which literally means taking a small amount of food into the mouth to test its quality.

Owned by celebrity chef couple Robert Pengson and Sunshine Puey, The Goose Station is known for its excellent degustation menus, which most people call an experience of "high culinary art."

And excellent, it is. Each dish is well thought-out and painstakingly prepared, from the 24-hour steak to the sous-vide sea bass.

Thanks to restaurants like The Goose Station, degustation menus are starting to become more mainstream here in Metro Manila. 

It's a breath of fresh air from the usual buffets, where one, more often than not, ends up stuffing too much food in his or her mouth. 

Here, you get to enjoy every bit and crumb of food and drop of sauce, all of which are beautifully arranged on the plate.


At The Goose Station, you only get to choose between 2 items -- the 8-course signature menu and the 5-course express menu (although I heard that it occasionally has an a la carte menu). Items on the menu change with the seasons.

I had the P2,500-signature menu which,  in my opinion, is a better deal since you get to try all of the restaurant's specialties, unlike the express menu which is only cheaper by P550.

The 8-course meal starts with the foie cone, which is foie gras mousse in phyllo pastry. The rich and creamy foie gras against the thin, soft cone gives a sensual experience, making this amuse-bouche one of the (if not the) best items on the menu.

Upon finishing the foie cone, 3 more snacks that look like desserts are served. The potato glass and the olive tapenade Oreo taste nothing out of the ordinary, but the prosciutto guava macaron is a totally different story.

It is the perfect mix of sweet and savory -- too bad I only get to eat one piece.

The next course is gazpacho, or cold tomato-based soup, with blue crab, New Zealand oyster and Avruga caviar. 

I'm not a fan of cold soup, but I was able to enjoy this dish. Fresh and tangy, the gazpacho refreshes the palate and stimulates the appetite.

Following this is the sous-vide sea bass with artichoke, portobello, miso sauce and bits of black rice. 

The sous-vide method of cooking, which involves sealing of food in air-tight plastic bags and placing it in a water bath for several hours, gave the fish a wonderful texture and succulent taste.

After the sea bass is a dish that looked more like art than food. A 64-degree egg (egg that has been poached for an hour at a temperature of 64 degrees Celsius) is placed in a bowl of green pea puree and topped with hollandaise foam, truffle oil and bacon tuile.

For added color, 3 small beet cubes surrounded the poached egg.

Delicate yet flavorful, it is the most elegant egg dish I've ever tried.

The fifth course is the carrot salad, which further shows the celebrity chef couple's creativity. Here, carrots from Bukidnon are served in different ways -- raw, pickled, as a sorbet, and as a tube of jelly stuffed with Malagos farm goat cheese.

It is lovely to look at, and even more interesting to eat. 

The dish that I've been waiting for all evening came in next. The foie gras torchon (foie gras placed in a towel and poached) with strawberries, aged balsamic and brioche tastes good but sadly, it didn't blow me away.

It was a bit on the bland side. The server told me that they usually serve pan-seared foie gras, but they are currently having some problems with supply.

Fortunately, the 24-hour steak made up for it. The tender and heavenly meat, slow-cooked for an entire day, was accompanied by truffle whipped potato, crisp onions and haricot verts.

After the savory courses are 4 uniquely delicious desserts. The first one presents strawberry in 3 ways -- as sorbet, chips and compote

Sweet and refreshing, it prepares the palate for the last 3 items on The Goose Station's signature menu.

Next up is a small scoop of praline ice cream with a slice of cinnamon sugar-crusted banana. This dessert had a different kind of sweetness -- the praline ice cream, in particular, was to die for.

Even better than the praline ice cream is another macaron, this time with dark chocolate, mango and raspberry syrup. 

Aptly called "The Bittersweet Farewell," the dessert looked like a mini-cheeseburger. 

The last item on the menu is the deconstructed blueberry cheesecake. Not exactly one of my favorites, but a good dish nonetheless, considering that I don't like eating this type of dessert.

All in all, the 8-course signature menu at The Goose Station gave me a delightful dining experience, one that made me raise my standards even further when it comes to food.

It may be a bit pricey for the average diner, but it's all worth it.

G/F W Tower, 39th Street
Fort Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City, Philippines
For reservations, call (632) 556-9068