Monday, March 26, 2012

Provençal Cuisine at Café Provençal

If you need a casual-classy restaurant that's not cloistering, try  Café Provençal  at Shangri-la Plaza Mall.  It's warm ambiance, filling food, and attentive service are great for an intimate mall lunch or dinner with friends or business colleagues.  

Staying true to its name,  Café Provençal's food has the taste of Provence. This means, expect a lot of garlic, aromatic herbs, and olive oil in their dishes. Olive oil is such an essential element in Provençal cuisine that an important book on Provençal food, La véritable cuisine provencal et niçoise (The Wonderful Food of Florenceby Jean-Noël Escudier states that the king of Provence is actually the olive tree. 

My friends and I were hungry and didn't go wrong with these dishes:

For appetizers, we had the Picasso Painter Palette which would gladly feed 3-5 people.  We also ordered two pasta dishes, but the Porto Fino was the one that stuck to memory.  It seemed like such a simple dish, but it drew in mildly surprised comments of "masarap" (yum!).

Picasso Painter Palette
calamares, parma ham, feta-tomatoes, smoked sausages, Caesar sampler and garlic mushrooms
Porto Fino
black olives, sundried tomatoes, virgin olive oil, anchovies, and parmesan cheese over our choice of penne
Pasta is of course, best complemented by pizza.  Here's the self-titled Cafe Provencale pizza.

Cafe Provencale pizza
shrimps, pepperoni, ham, mushroom, capers, olives, anchovies, garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella cooked on Italian pizza stone

How do you make a good old brownie more interesting?  Top it with creamy vanilla, choco fudge, whipped cream, and while you're at it, add a butterfly to complete the mouthwatering picture.  Our dessert was so lovely, it drew in a chorus of wows.  

beautifully done brownie

the caramel butterfly looked too elegant to eat

You can bet that we soon got over this brownie's loveliness.

Chris takes the first huge bite
My equally lovely friends and I are satisfied.

friends since high school

men with babies are love!
Chris, daddy Sonny, and baby Claire
Café Provençal is located at 2nd Lvl. Shangri-la Plaza Mall, EDSA corner Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.  It's open from 10 AM- 9 PM everyday.  For delivery (minimum of P500), catering, and reservations, call 02-6318046.