The famous New York gourmet deli /grocery Dean & Deluca recently opened a branch here in Manila! Finally! It’s located in Rockwell, just across the street from the Mango at the Powerplant Mall.
Of course, being the insatiable foodie that I am, I dragged J along to check it out. I came across a few reviews from other foodies but I came to Dean & Deluca with an open mind, ready to eat. It’s Dean & Deluca, so I already mentally prepared myself for the high prices
What’s Available at Dean & Deluca?
The interiors were white & black, evoking no-nonsense New York. There were shelves filled with jams and other goodies. The counters were filled to the brim with breads and cakes.
The prices of these jams and sauces ranged from P200+ to P400+. I think the price for the jams are reasonable as far as imported gourmet jams go – they were around P240-P270, if I recall correctly. But I haven’t tried them yet, so reserving judgement. Maybe some other time
As much as we wanted to try them all, we were there for lunch. A very late lunch. It was almost 4pm and we were starving!
OUR LUNCH ORDERS
We decided not to get the pizzas that everyone seems to be ordering and reviewing with mixed results. We just chose what we really wanted to eat.
For soup, we ordered the Trio Field Mushroom Soup (P280):
Okay, can I say, this is the best mushroom soup ever! Sure, it’s almost 300 bucks, but O.M.G. it’s the most awesomest mushroom soup ever, ever, ever! I can taste the earthy mushrooms, but they are blended so fine, superfine, I can’t even feel a piece of mushroom. The soup is that smooth. And it’s also frothy! It’s like a mousse, but it’s a soup! Taste-wise, it’s excellent! I really wanted to lick my soup plate so bad… And isn’t that foam heart just too cute? If I am rating this, it’s out of the ballpark. 10 out of 5!
J wanted the Gratinated Baked Oysters (P325):
These oysters are soooooooooo good! Make sure to squeeze the lemon on the oysters! The oysters were fresh and briny, and the chewy melted cheese with the tomato sauce and the lively sourness of the lemon were perfect with it! We both agreed that this dish was worth what we paid for it. We are definitely going back for these oysters! If I were rating, I would give this a 5/5.
I chose the Reuben Sandwich (P460):
I have never had a real, honest-to-goodness Reuben Sandwich before, but now I have a standard to measure other Reuben Sandwiches against. This sandwich is just a revelation. I never understood why people raved about putting sauerkraut on basically a corned beef sandwich, but now I’m one of them!
Those dark maroon slices in the sandwich are not ham, but sliced corned beef! The corned beef was so flavorful that those few slices were enough to flavor the sandwich. I never thought I would like sauerkraut but it just works really well in this sandwich. It tasted a little bit like dry cabbage, but also sort of like cheese.
My only complaint is that this sandwich is too small! Hahaha. It’s really good but the small portion would be barely enough to feed a regular person for a real meal like lunch. J and I each had 1/2 of the sandwich and it was really bitin (a bit short)! For P460, I would have expected a bigger serving.
And J was excited to try the Butifara con Salsa Funghi e Tartufo (P480):
Can you tell by now that we seem to have a thing for good mushroom dishes?
The sauce and everything else for this dish was excellent – there was sausage meat, there were mushrooms, the sauce was creamy and tasted of truffles. Our problem with this dish was the pasta. I think it was under-cooked. Why. Why. We were on our last dish. Why did we have to encounter a problem?
I thought it was just me, but I asked J and he confirmed. I don’t have a problem with al dente pasta but chewing this pasta was a little bit like chewing cardboard.
We didn’t want to cause any problems, but after a few bites, I finally had to tell the waiter that I think the pasta was under-cooked. He wanted to take my plate to the kitchen but I was worried about losing sight of my plate, so I asked him for a small plate and put a small portion of the pasta on the plate to take back to the kitchen.
The waiter came back and just told us that the pasta really is supposed to be like that and that it’s not under-cooked. He said that was how fresh pasta was like, and it was cooked al dente, and that nothing was wrong with it. But if I wanted to, they could recook our pasta to make it softer. I was thinking, What? They’re going to get our half-eaten pasta and recook it? How would that even soften the pasta? Are they going to add water to the sauce and cook it some more? The sauce will be watery then. At this point, I was too afraid of food complications that I just said no. We continued to just eat our pasta and suffer in silence… Anyway, at least the sauce was good… And what do I know. Baka naman talagang ganyan ang al dente ng fresh pasta (maybe that’s how al dente fresh pasta is really supposed to be like).
Can anyone who has had fresh pasta confirm? If fresh pasta really has that texture, then at least I’ve learned something new. I’ve had freshly made ravioli and they are soft… but, anyway, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Here’s a close-up:
Our bill total was almost P2,000 but it was worth the splurge (except for the pasta problem). VAT is already included in the price and there’s a 10% Service Charge. Thank you, J, for always spoiling me and feeding me good food!
I was actually looking forward to trying some cakes after our meal but we lost the mood…
But the rest of the food was awesome! If you are thinking about trying D&D, go ahead! Aside from restaurant food, they also have drinks (sort of like Starbucks, similar price range) and cakes. The cake & dessert prices are generally around P200-400, with some cakes around P180.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!