Sunday, October 23, 2016

Chef Rob Lau's Party Toques Sampler: a taste of Fine Dining packed into party trays.

Chef Rob and Chef Mike have been close business partners who mastered the art of making ready to go meals in Gourmade. With Party Toques, however, the two have entered a wildly different ball game: party trays! Their vision is to create a fine dining approach to food orders that can cater from 6 to 12 people per tray at very affordable prices averaging about Php 1000 per order. It is actually pretty cheap given the number of people each dish claims to serve. 

The food tasting event held in their commisary in Ortigas through a small gathering of bloggers. Chef Rob and Chef Mike delightfully hosted and entertained us with their excellent culinary vision. The event was complete with a fine dining set up and prime Australian Red Wine perfect for the occasion.

To start off, we were shown the entire viand set composed of The Party Toques Sushi Platter (Php 850 for 4-6 pax and Php 1110 for 8 to 12 pax), the Chicken Biryani (Php 1240 for 8 to 10 pax), the Persian Beef Kebab at (Php 1100 for 4-6 pax and Php 1600 for 8 to 10 pax), the Miso baked Salmon with Eggplant at (Php 1595 for 8 to 10 pax), the Valencia Roasted Chicken with Paella Rice for (Php 1100 for 8 to 10 pax), and the Thai Pork Glass Noodle at Php 1180 for 8 to 10 pax. They also served their experimental Squid Ink bread with a Seafood Mayo filling.

I particularly enjoyed the Persian beef Kebab for its bold flavors comprising of excellently grilled ground beef chunks topped with crispy pita bread, grilled tomatoes, cucumbers, lemons, and their special yogurt sauce. This dish, from the smell alone, is truly high quality. The aroma is combined with a taste that screams genuine Mediterranean! The beef was well done and mixes well with a thick helping of the yogurt sauce.

My second best favorite would be the Valencia Roasted Chicken which is a slow roasted whole chicken dish topped with oven baked paella in authentic Spanish style. The chicken is roasted for three hours in order to become very tender. It is, in fact, so tender that a single bite can easily melt the sumptuous meat in your mouth. However, the majority of the flavor was with the slow cooked paella topped with limes, seafood, and peas. It was pretty rich. I'd truly come back for this dish alone, since it's already a complete meal in itself.

My third favorite was the Miso Baked Salmon in Eggplant. This dish is a baked half kilo of Norweigian salmon cooked to perfection. It is topped with fried eggplant for that edgy taste. I like the fact that the salmon was fresh and not dry. Also the fact that the meat was tender and pretty sweet. This dish is perfect for pescetarians and those with diet restrictions.

My honorable mentions would be the other three. The chicken biryani, albeit a bit too spicy, satisfied my palate. The stir fried chicken complemented the long grain biryani rice in ways I have never imagined. The rich yellow color of the rice was also pretty notable. I also like the fact that they used a tasty concoction of herbs for that variegated taste.

The Thai Glass Noodles and the Sushi Platter were great appetizers. I especially liked the Glass Noodles (usually used in chapche and made of green beans) for their texture and consistency. The pork toppings were also very flavorful. As for their Sushi, its unique blend of Pinoy Longanisa and other meaty delicacies are substituted for the typical sashimi and crab meat fillings.

Their desserts were composed of a variety of colors and flavors, much like their viand selections. While it wasn't part of the menu yet, we had a taste of things to come. I first tried the red velvet and banana hazelnut cupcakes. These are pretty tasty flavors, although the hazelnut tasted more like mocha. The red velvet was pretty decent too. Their other unique dishes were the mango and black sesame serradura. According to the chefs, the serradura was inspired from Macanese cuisine. They added their own elements such as the mango and the black sesame from the original cream and graham crumb dessert. It felt and tasted like pudding, actually. The sesame was a bit bitter. According to them, the bitter taste was intended to substitute the dessert for coffee. The matcha cake was more preferrable. The bitter taste was mellowed down and complemented with broas for the crust. The mix was pretty excellent and unexpected. Lastly, the oreo graham cake topped the list of desserts. The generously topped cake had layers upon layers of crushed oreos and cream. Surprisingly, the chefs tempered the taste and made it not to sweet.

The experience was truly filling and sumptuous. I'd certainly come back for more!

You can visit their FB Page at while the Party Toques FB Page is undergoing construction.

The story in pictures:

A wide array of sumptuous dishes awaited us

The Thai Pork Glass noodles with the Paella Rice Topped with Kropeck

The Chicken Biryani Rice on the side of the other sumptuous dishes.

The Party Toques Sushi Platter and the Persian Beef Kebab

The Valencia Roasted Chicken with Paella Rice

The Miso Baked Salmon with Eggplant

The dessert tray

Chef Mike, Chef Rob, and Chef Diane, the visionaries who prepared the sumptuous feast

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