Anyone of you recalls Little Asia? This familiar restaurant that boasted of variety in Asian cuisine was loved by Filipinos. You can actually find probably a hundred food choices in their menu. Ordering food there definitely took so much time on my part, knowing that I shouldn’t go overboard and ask for as much food as I want.
Today, the folks behind Little Asia came up with a new restaurant, known as Bistro Charlemagne, named after its owner, Charlemagne Lim. Bistro Charlemagne is currently located in Solenad, Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna. The restaurant still serves Asian cuisine and apparently, they made their menu choices this time around even better. Every dish made is bursting of flavors, while some of the dishes that Little Asia was known for were recreated to taste all the more delicious.
I was recently invited to visit Bistro Charlemagne so I can write a review about the restaurant. With me in tow was my barkada and their kids, so there was about 22 of us who went there to eat. I’ll definitely won’t forget this visit given the feast that was laid before us. We all got to indulged on 15 different food items from Bistro Charlemagne, excluding the desserts.
I have noticed that the restaurant was actually packed during our restaurant visit. We were seated at a long table and when the dishes were finally served to us, everyone had their chance at every food on the table. Everyone ate with so much gusto, perhaps because we were all too hungry coming from a beach trip.
I recommend for you to try Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken (priced at Php295). It was fried golden brown, served with delicious gravy. Charlemagne narrated to us that their family takes pride in this dish since it’s an old recipe passed on to them by their grandfather.
If you are actually fond of eating pork dishes, you would like it here in Bistro Charlemagne, since they serve some really good ones, including crispy pork belly with peanut sauce and crispy pork belly in hoisin glaze, both priced at Php295. Their sauces actually complemented the meat. Between the two, I actually enjoyed the one with the peanut sauce more.
Everyone who got to try Bistro Charlemagne’s eef Tenderloin Rolls with Cheese (priced at Php375) got to raved so much about it. These tender beef strips, drizzled in Japanese teriyake sauce was oozing with cheese. We also got to try their Korean beef stew (priced at Php415). This Korean staple dish was bursting of sweet and savory flavors. For an unusual fare, we had their Lengua and Mushroom in White Sauce (priced at Php375). This one actually melts in your mouth. The braised ox tongue in creamy white sauce and sautéed mushrooms is just simply wonderful.
As for their seafood dishes, we got to try their Coconut Fish Fillet and Salt and Pepper Squid (both priced at Php295 each). Between the two, I liked the coconut fish fillet more since the coconut, basil, and other spices used in the dish complemented the taste of the fried fish. Their squid dish, on the other hand, was simply prepared in just salt and pepper, yet it tasted really special, in my opinion.
The takeaway winner in all this would have to be my new favorite – Bistro Charlemagne’s Golden ’17’ Soy Chicken (priced at Php295). This dish was made extremely flavorful as it was seasoned with 17 different herbs and spices. Each bite of the tender meat was just bliss. It pairs well with their crispy Lumpiang Hubad (priced at Php255). The good combination of the chicken and lumpia was truly satisying. The lumpia was filled with veggies in garlic sauce and sweet soy dressing.
As a sweet, nice ending to the whole stretch of meals we had, we were also served a variety of desserts that’s specially curated for us. We had their pandan crepe – it is a pandan-infused crepe, with shredded coconut and coconut cream, coated in palm sugar. We also got to try their Blueberry Custard Napoleones (priced at Php235), which is a pastry puff with vanilla custard filling, strawberry coulis, and ground pistachio nuts. Then, there’s their sweet Fried Bananas (priced at Php185). It is a crepe with caramelized banana, macapuno, and langka in it, served with vanilla ice cream on top. We also had their Crepe Samurai (priced at Php175), a crepe filled with sweet mango and custard sauce; and their Mango Sago (priced at Php155), a sweet mango treat, sago pearls and coconut cream.
The dessert that I loved the most was their take on Smores. They would present you with a bowl with roasted marshmallows, chocolate ganache, and peanut butter chips in it. Then, you will have to dip your graham cracker into each bowl filled with yummy goodness. My sweet, sweet appetite just wanted so much more.
If, by any chance, you are around the Nuvali area and can’t exactly decide where to go, your best option is Bistro Charlemagne, knowing that there’s so much good food here under one roof. I highly recommend this place if you are down for a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience.