Thursday , May 24, 2018

Café of great deals and all

MICHEL'S Deli and Café located at A.S. Fortuna St., Banilad, Cebu City, strikes one as a spacious, welcoming place. With tables at one side of the deli and café, and more tables up in the loft, the venue has a total seating capacity for about 60 people.

As a deli, it has an assortment of mostly imported goods—organic products from Germany, wines from Germany and France, fries from Belgium and cold cuts from Spain including Jamon de Iberico. Because it is a deli and café, it offers sandwiches and a great deal more.

Michel’s has an in-house chef, Dreson Badiana, who came up with a choice selection of food, making the café not just a place for light snacks but also for full meals, complete with appetizers, salads, pastas, and a selection of fish, poultry and meat dishes. The cuisine is continental, with a sprinkling of Asian cuisine.

A must-try is the Chef Special Citrus Pasta, which is made with lemon, orange and parmesan cheese. It tastes refreshingly light and is perfect for merienda. Merienda could also be sandwiches: chicken, chicken tandoori, Philly steak sandwich or Michel’s sandwich, named after the café owner, Michel Lhuiller. This sandwich is made with sour dough bread, mozzarella cheese, tomato, onion, salami Milano, and served with French fries.

For a full meal, there are a lot of choices but Chef Badiana chose to showcase Gravlax as appetizer, which is made with cured salmon fillet, dill, wine brandy, June berries, orange honey zest, spices and herbs, and served with lettuce and beet root salad. This was light and delicious, as was his choice of salad: Watermelon Glaze made with watermelon, glazed with orange citrus and served with romaine, lolo rosso, with a balsamic vinegar dressing and olive oil.

For main course, he presented Paella Valenciana, which is a favorite of the diners at the deli and café. It has shrimps, mussels, squid, clams, bell peppers, chicken fillet, spices and herbs.

There are a lot more choices in the menu which has sections on soup, fish, chicken, pork, imported meat, pasta and vegetables, besides the appetizers and salads. The vegetable section offers two dishes: spring roll and sautéed mongo sprouts. The spring roll has a delicate flavor and is served sliced, hot and with sweet chili sauce and vinegar sauce.

The most expensive item in the menu is not in the imported meat section (which offers beef salpicado, grilled beef tenderloin and lamb shank) but in the pork section: Crispy pata at P780! One had to ask why this Filipino favorite is so expensive. Chef Badiana explained it is made out of 1.6 kilos of “pata” plus two sausages. He adds that it is cooked twice and is served with Filipino soy sauce and vinegar calamansi with pickles. It is good for five to six persons which should be a must-try if one goes there with a group.

The café is a non-smoking area but there are tables outside for smokers. And for special occasions like Mother’s Day, there could be entertainment like an acoustic band to celebrate the occasion.

The place is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. A perfect place to end a busy day.