Chef Dino Guingona

Provençal calling

It’s a hazy weekday afternoon. I troop over to the Fairmont/ Raffles hotel, literally a stone’s throw away from the Career Purveyors head office… The lobby is busier than I’d anticipated.
Businessmen clad in dark suits are all over the place.
Tourists are checking in and out with their baggage trolleys in tow.
On the 9th floor, I arrive at the Mireio restaurant and bar lounge.

I am met by my most gracious host, Ms. Margaux Hontiveros the hotels Marketing-Communications Manager.

Rather than intimidating, the restaurant interior was strikingly elegant, bright and homely, owing to its transparent floor to ceiling glass surroundings that in effect, offered a commanding view of the Makati skyline.

As Margaux engaged me in lively conversation about the inspiration of Mireio, I couldn’t help but enjoy the contemporary-rustic feel that this restaurant provided.

According to Margaux, the restaurant is named after Mireio, a celebrated poem by Nobel Laureate Frederic Mistral, a favourite son of Provence.

Taking notes for the staff briefing

Mireio is indeed a reflection of Mistral’s vision. The restaurant interiors are adorned with art works and elaborate floral arrangements that represent the atmosphere and “feel” of Southern France. Casual yet elegant in a homelike setting.

Tables were set apart with ample spacing, giving diners legroom and privacy.

I’d go on to say that even the most passive observer would readily appreciate the neatness of this environment. It’s clean… I mean, spic and freaking span from the drapes down to the last water goblet!

The front prep area: My definition of neat!

Private dining room with class!

The look, the feel when darkness kicks in

A guided tour of the restaurant inadvertently led me to the kitchen.

The kitchen was great.

A bit tight, but had an efficient workflow layout that maximized the limited space. The environment really made me feel like jumping onto the hot line again.

Mise en place was readily accessible in neat bins.

It was well lit and properly ventilated.

Everything was accurately labelled to ensure first-in first-out, thereby underscoring the significance of freshness without compromise. Precisely what a perfect kitchen should be.

It was here where I got to finally meet Chef de cuisine Nicolas Cegretin.

A light moment with Chef Nicolas

After exchanging pleasantries, he readily agreed to prepare a quick, simple dish for Larawan.

Here’s what he prepared.

Click on the link below:

The finished product was simple but delectable in every way!

Fresh vine ripened tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, herbs, snails and clams topped with shaved parmesan & baby rockets. A BULLSEYE!

The main restaurant has a staircase that leads to an impressive indoor bar lounge with a separate entrance to a slightly higher, and equally impressive outdoor al fresco bar with retractable awnings.

The private indoor lounge

A little humor to loosen up the tie. I chose Blue!

Deep red slightly underneath the outdoor area

Outdoor al fresco bar with retractable awning. A sweetened view of the Metropolis

The perfect spot to savor duck foie gras, crusty bread, a glass of Sauternes and the golden sunset overlooking the Makati skyline!

I was deeply fascinated to learn that the average age of the entire staff was around 28 years old.

The Restaurant Manager, also a native of Southern France, Nicolas Bracq had the energy of a youthful idealist ready to conquer Manila.

Casual, warm, understated outdoor elegance

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