Surprise! At Cru Steakhouse, Dinner Is Served In A Mystery Box
For the carnivorous among us, CRU at Manila Marriott Hotel has steadfastly been one of our favorite go-to’s when we’re looking for a great meal that’s centered on steak. The selection of meat is always top-notch; and the ambiance is welcoming without being too stiff or formal. And right now, CRU has ongoing its Mystery Box concept that, admittedly, takes inspiration from the TV show MasterChef.
The chef comes to your table, wheeling the Mystery Box. It’s opened, and you confer with the chef on the 3 to 4-course meal that will be created from the ingredients found in the reveal. CRU is a steakhouse, so rest assured that the box will contain either a rib-eye, strip loin, or tenderloin. What will be up for discussion is how the chef will prepare your steak, and what to do with the other ingredients. On the night I opted for the Mystery Box, the contents were a hefty slab of tenderloin, a giant tomato, potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus spears, and a banana.
So Chef Robert Guevarra and I decided on a hearty mushroom soup to begin proceedings, a caprese salad that would make use of the juicy tomato, and medium rare tenderloin with grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes. With the banana, we agreed that he’d make compote, à la Bananas Foster.
Sure, one can say that you can proverbially load the dice with what ingredients are in the box to begin with; and the chef doesn’t have to be as inventive or resourceful as the concept would suggest. But I think that would be missing the point. It’s more about going off-menu, and making the dining experience far more interactive than it usually is—the crux of the experience being how you discuss with the chef and jointly decide what will be served to you that night.
As it was, we had fun; and I’ll swear by how the tenderloin came to me the right shade of pink, with just a hint of bleeding despite the thickness of the cut. I have to confess that I was originally hoping for rib-eye or a strip loin, but thanks to Chef Robert for making this tenderloin hit home. And the caprese salad with the thick, juicy tomato slices was outstanding.
Cru Steakhouse, Manila Marriott Hotel, 2 Resorts Drive, Pasay City;
For reservations, call (02) 988-9999 or visit dining.marriottmanila.com/restaurants/cru-steakhouse/