Don’t let the mellow yellow double door and French windows fool you.
Everything is indeed properly fine inside the two-storey Pardon My French restaurant – with its white-linen tables and plush seating, the distinct French blue walls that surround the main dining area, and the three private alcoves upstairs, including the Burgundy room that has all the Parisian feels.
But at night, the restaurant’s open space transforms into a roaring dance floor – a nod to the supper clubs of the storied Jupiter Street in Makati.
Pardon My French marries the elements of a restaurant gastronomique (think three-hour lunches and wine-pairings) and a dining establishment that also functions as a social club where one can let his or her hair down while enjoying live music.
Even the menu reflects the chic yet welcoming vibe of this dining and entertainment destination.
“A lot of people get intimidated when they think of French menu. That is not what we want. We want people to enjoy the food, so we decided to do a combination of French-Asian dishes,” said Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad’s and Bistro Manuel that were known for well-executed French-style dishes.
There’s the escargot served with burgundy butter and garlic sauce that transported me to L’Escargot Montorgueil – a heritage site in France – where I and two other Asian journalists (Amie Arimbi of Indonesia and Zarni Mann of Myanmar) only had all of about 10 hours to explore Paris before heading back to our school in Brussels several years ago. (I can distinctly remember our pleas to the chef – “Please serve all the food at once.” – and his horrified look – “Please finish first the soup, and then we will serve the burrata, and then the escargot.” Pardon us, French chef, but we are Asians and we are journalists – we are trained to eat quickly plus we still had a lot of exploring to do.)
The French onion soup did not skimp on the raclette, and felt like a mother’s warm hug on a rainy day, while the Caesar Salad has an anchovy dressing and a six-minute boiled egg.
The Pondicherry Prawn Curry Indienne was an explosion of flavors, while the duck confit was pure indulgence, with duck au jus and cranberries on the side.
Pardon My French also has different cuts of steak, including the hefty Chateaubriand that is good for two.
As the sun goes down, the restaurant hosts a myriad of local musical bands and talents handpicked by renowned musical director Mel Villena, making it, pardon my French, the hottest effin’ place to be on this side of the metropolis.
“The idea of Pardon My French as a supper club was borne out of my experiences of entertaining at home where I get to share my love for sumptuous food and great live music. We don’t have enough of these kinds of places now and I’m hoping to open more in the near future,” said Jun Sy, president of PYC Foods Corporation.
Pardon My French’s location was formerly known as Strumm’s, which for years had become a landmark in live acts and a favorite institution among Makati’s professionals who enjoyed listening to ‘80s and ‘90s tunes from different genres.
Relish the nostalgia once again with Pardon My French’s impressive lineup of live entertainment, employing state-of-the-art acoustics to take the experience up a notch. Each night offers a different musical genre: Pop Jazz on Tuesdays, Party Retro on Wednesdays, ‘80s Dance on Thursdays, Latin on Fridays, the Artist Series on Saturdays, and Easy Listening on Sundays.
A portfolio of wines and other tipples complete the culinary escapade, with bar chow like Mushroom Chicharron, Beef Shawarma, and Duck Fat Fries that go well with your poison of choice.
The restaurant also offers casual but elevated lunch sets (starting at P850) from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The menu changes every two weeks.
Pardon My French is located at 110 Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati.