One of my best friends from New York is in town. He’s a major major major foodie and we used to go on crazy fun michelin-filled foodtrips when I was still living in The Big Apple. Now I’m back in Manila, the foodie in me has taken a backseat to other things but of course the appreciation for a great meal still remains.
The Goose Station has always been on my list. With Joe here, I knew it would be perfect to go. It’s the Manila leg of our culinary journey.
Joe and I:
What it looks like: Ambiance is intimate. Noise levels are inconsistent (sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes there’s music). Open kitchen which is great.
Joe and I perused the menu but decided that we would both go for the Signature Menu (Php2,600) which is a tasting of all of The Goose Station’s most popular items. Let the gluttony begin.
Amuse Bouche: Lychee Martini – Shaved Ice, Lychees, Lime. — The perfect beginning to our meal.
Amuse Bouche #2: Foie Gras Cones – Foie Gras spread piped into a phyllo pastry cone topped with a hazelnut. — Creamy and delicious in one bite.
Snacks: Assorted chips with guacamole and another dip which we forget but it was tangy —- Good to munch on but nothing special. All things considered, they could do without this part.
First Course: Caviar Parfait – Cauliflower Panna Cotta, Crab Jelly, Tapioca and Crab “Salad,” Sea Urchin and Avruga Caviar sprinkled with Gold Flakes. — This needs to be mixed to get all the flavors to work together. The first few bites are fishy, which is to be expected. It gets better. The problem with this is the texture which was kind of dribbly and creamy. I’m not sure if they intended for it to be that way. The consistency was a little off, kind of like melted ice cream… or baby food.
Second Course: Eggs Benedict - Slow cooked egg, brown butter, hollandaise foam, white truffle oil, bacon tuille. — Joe and I will be one of the few people to say that this dish isn’t really as spectacular as everyone says it is. Why – for starters, it’s really rich, the butter, egg, foam, oil and bacon...all of that put together is great in theory but after a few spoonfuls, it’s not so great anymore. Second, the texture and consistency is very similar to the caviar parfait. Too much rich and creamy, in a not so good way. We both couldn’t finish this, it was too much for us. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack after eating it, too much cholesterol and nakakasuya. On the bright side, the bacon tuille is wowowow yummy.
Third Course: Garden Salad - Salad of beets and carrots with Davao’s goat cheese, orange, cashew and pili nuts, cooked and raw radishes, micro greens. — Really relieved for this course because our palate was overloaded after the first two creamy courses. We were excited for the salad. The plating is beautiful and reminiscent of a deconstructed garden. We were a little confused on how this is supposed to be eaten. We mixed the components together. Personally, I really liked the carrots and the pili nuts. I thought the pili nuts gave it great texture and a saltiness that it lacked. All the components put together made for a great salad course. By the way, It also had goat cheese, which again was creamy. We were starting to see a common denominator to our dishes by this point.
Fourth Course: Fideua Negra - Squid ink, roasted scallops, angulas, morcilla, peppers, lemon and anchovy aoili — There’s baby eels on this plate. This sort of freaked me out (not because of the baby, but because they looked really wormy) so I gave them to Joe. Without those on my plate, I could actually eat. Before I go into dissecting it, I will say that this dish is good. However, we had some problems with it. First, the anchovy aoili. We disliked that part. The squid ink pasta is already creamy (again) and rich (again), to add the aoili is overkill. We liked the lemon sauce, this gave the dish the acidity that broke up the creaminess. We think that the chefs should less of the aoili and more of this lemon acidic stuff. This made the dish taste better. The scallops were okay. The pasta okay. I couldn’t finish it. I was already getting full at this point.
Fifth Course: 24-Hour Steak - USDA Short rib, their very own worcestershire jus, truffle oil mashed potatoes, crispy onions — The reviews were right. This dish is a winner!!! The entree had just the right balance, the meat and the mashed potatoes, textured properly with the onions with tanginess from the worcestershire. Heaven on a plate. Finally, we got one right. When I go back, I will just order this. I also have to note that my first cut of steak was very fatty (50% fat/50% meat) so I had to send it back to the kitchen and they promptly changed it which I was very grateful for.
Dessert Course: Pumpkin & Coconut (Joe) – Coconut Panna Cotta, “latik” anglaise, sago, pumpkin foam and fondant sticks — It’s made to look like a plant. At least that’s my guess. We both agreed that the fondant sticks added nothing to the dish. They were just there for presentation and extremely sweet at that. Useless calories. As for the dessert itself, Joe loved the sago with the coconut and pumpkin flavors. Again, creamy though so it took a while to finish.
Cheesecake (me) – Vanilla and cream cheese foam, textures of mixed berries, burnt marshmallows and green apple — I loved this dish. Yes, it was another creamy dish but it was very light and the berries gave me the palate cleansing I so desperately needed.
Mignerdises: Macarons – Salted Caramel with Popcorn & Raspberry — Joe tried the Salted Caramel one and he said he didn’t really taste the salt. I don’t like Macarons so I didn’t bother.
Overall notes on The Goose Station’s Signature Menu:
- It’s CREAMY and RICH. Prepare to be overwhelmed. I like these two properties in food however, if all the dishes have this common trait then it gets too much. We wanted more acidity, more texture and stronger flavor.
- No, seriously. Individually, the dishes are all great. However, together as a degustation menu, we feel that they are not the perfect combination. The Goose Station team needs to reevaluate this menu because the courses don’t work together. After a while, it sort of numbs your palate and they all start to taste the same. From all the prix-fixe menus I’ve had at various restaurants in New York, I’ve learned that the courses and flavor profiles you serve have to be cohesive. It can’t all just be your best dishes combined because it doesn’t work all the time.
- The Parfait/Benedict should be a choice of either/or and not both. They should replace with another course. Nothing creamy and rich please.
To conclude, Joe and I enjoyed our meal. He said he never thought he’d have a degustation in Manila. We thought the food was good but (see above). I’d come back but I’d definitely go ala carte so I can choose what I want and avoid the eggs benedict.
The Goose Station
G/F W Tower, 39th St. Fort Bonifacio Global City
*Know before you go: Shorts are prohibited.
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