My good friend Patty Laurel-Filart (www.pattylaurel.com) met up with my husband and I for a quick lunch last week. It was supposed to be a double date, but Patrick, Patty’s husband, couldn’t make it at the last minute. So it was the Fernandezes and a Filart that day, which was still super fun. It is always a treat to meet up with Patty, who was once upon a time my neighbor (weirdly enough we never saw each other during those times) and constant seat mate at final castings and shoots when we were both modelling. Our dads are also friends. They both studied in Ateneo and were even batchmates, I think. I’m glad I get to see her often now because we get to go to the same events because of our blogs, and get invited to try yummy restaurants like this (perks of the job). Not to mention we’re practically in the same boat–meaning, we both just got married and are taking the time to adjust, learn and cope with the day to day nitty gritty of life (cooking, cleaning, bills, etc).
So back to eating. The three of us had lunch at a yummy restaurant called La Petit Camille, which is located at the second floor of Greenbelt 5. We were surprised to know that this is actually a Vietnamese restaurant chain from San Francisco. Its founder and creative culinary inspiration, Mama Phon (pronounced as “Fong”) initially set up La Petit Camille at 170 El Camino Real Milbrae, San Francisco when she migrated to the United States in 1992. During this time, she noticed that 50-60% of her customers in California were Filipino. So when an opportunity arose to bring the restaurant to the Philippines, Mama Phon did not hesitate. And so La Petite Camille opened in Manila on December 17, 2012 and has been serving traditional Vietnamese food since.
I have to say though, La Petit Camille has a unique taste that sets it apart from other Vietnamese restaurants. The dishes are sweeter and tastier, which I think is more apt to the Filipino taste. As I found out, the secret lies in the sauces and marinades, which Mama Phon developed herself and have become closely guarded family secrets. It is so top secret that only Mama Phon and members of her immediate family had access to these recipes. No wonder the dishes were so good!
Here are the ones we ordered.
SUMMER ROLLS. Rice wraps filled with prawns, lettuce, cucumber, rice vermicelli, and Thai basil served with peanut sauce. (P295) – We ordered this as a starter/appetizer. I thought it was light and refreshing. The peanut sauce was sweet which went well with the taste of shrimp.
DEEP FRIED ICE CREAM (Kem Chien). (P105) Sorry for photographing a half-eaten dessert! We just couldn’t wait to eat it already. This was so good. I wonder how they make this–I want to try this at home.