Recently, I’d been a bit selective on restaurants to write about. I’d been doing food reviews for about a year now and it has been really fun, but now I want to focus on quality restaurants that I can proudly promote. I’ve heard good things about Bistro Charlemagne so I decided to check it out.
Bistro Charlemagne is a concept by Little Asia and is owned by Mr. Charlemagne Lim. It features Asian and European fusion cuisine. So far, the restaurant has received stellar reviews and it has also been cited in In Flight Traveller magazine’s Top 10 Filipino Restaurants in Metro Manila.
This is a great option if you’re craving Filipino and other Asian dishes with a twist, especially if you’re out with a group of friends or family.
Bistro Charlemagne in Ayala Malls Manila Bay
The branch I visited is the one in Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Paranaque City (located across City of Dreams). This is the first time that I’d visited this mall and I even had to ask for commute instructions on how to get there. (If you are as clueless as I was: From MRT Taft, ride a bus with PITX sign and get off at the mall.)
This Ayala Malls has just opened last 2019, so there are still a lot of soon-to-open shop and restaurant tenants on my visit but there’s already a roster of good restaurants you can choose from. Bistro Charlemagne is in the 3rd floor along the open-air hallway.
Okay, so let’s get started with the food.
We started with the Japanese Mixed Salad (P335). It’s tossed tuna, shrimp and kani with spicy mayo. This is very tasty and it’s good for those who enjoy Japanese flavor.
If you like a lighter meal starter, get the the Vietnamese Spring Rolls (P315). The recipe they use is authentic.
Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Cheese (P415). I actually couldn’t tell what it was when it was served, I thought it was kikiam or something. This is actually one of the best dishes in Bistro Charlemagne. The rolls are so good, the combination of flavors (beef, cheese, teriyaki sauce) works perfectly and it’s one of my favorite items in the menu.
For those craving for Filipino taste, you can order the Bistro Sisig Fries (P315) or Ox Sisig (P335). I thought the sisig and fries was a weird combination at first, but it works especially when you think that sisig can be nakakaumay especially as appetizer or pampulutan so the flavored fries is a nice addition. The ox sisig is surprisingly good. If you’re looking for a variation of sisig, this is a must-try.
We also had Lengua in Mushroom White Sauce or Mushroom Brown Sauce (P415 each). For those not familiar, lengua is beef tongue. Both dishes are amazing. Personally, I prefer the white sauce simply because it’s less used in local cuisine.
The Shrimp Poppers (P435) is a winner, especially for seafood lovers like me. It’s made of big, fat shrimps with slightly crunchy batter in sweet chili-mayo sauce and chili oil.
Another seafood entry is the Octopus A La Pobre (P395). The octopus slices are easy to chew and goes well with the garlic-butter sauce. To me, this one of the stand-out dishes in terms of flavor in the restaurant.
Our last main is Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken (P355). It’s a family recipe which has been passed down the owner’s familly for generations. If it’s your first time visiting Bistro Charlemagne, this is one of the signature dishes you should try. The chicken is juicy, with crispy skin. It’s definitely one of the best savory chickens I’ve tried.
For dessert, we had Smores (P265) with chocolate ganache and Reese’s Smores (P265) with peanut butter chips ganache. If you have sweet tooth, you’ll love either flavor. It’s fun to eat too — you have to scoop the fillings with the graham crackers. I like the chocolate one better because the roasted mallows are already sweet enough for me and the peanut butter taste is too much. That saying, I enjoyed both desserts. You can also order a combination of chocolate and peanut butter off the menu.
For the drinks, I had Blueberry Banana Shake. This is one of their bestsellers and I feel that this is a safe choice because you can’t go wrong with a banana-flavored shake. Drinks start at P120.
Overall, I love the food in Bistro Charlemagne. The flavors are amazing, the servings are generous. Price wise, it’s a bit expensive but it’s also competitive if you consider the quality and serving of the food. I know I’m really sold because I want to bring Hali and his mom here for our next date. Again, this restaurant is a great choice for dining out especially for groups.
About Bistro Charlemagne
Currently, Bistro Charlemagne has 3 branches:
- Ayala Malls Solenad 3 in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna
- Ayala Malls Feliz in Pasig City
- Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Paranaque City (across City of Dreams)
We dined in at 3rd Floor, Lot 2, Cinema Building, Ayala Malls Manila Bay.
Some things you should note:
- Bistro Charlemagne also offers sets at P235 each including rice, soup and drink.
- They also have party trays for events and gatherings.
Disclaimer: Thanks Bistro Charlemagne for feeding us! As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to Bistro Charlemagne? What is your review? Let me know in the comment section below!
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches and staycations.