L.S.S. (Last Steak Syndrome) and more

A SECRET gold mine for one of the most deliciously unique gastronomic experiences hides in the building of International Culinary Arts Academy Cebu (ICAAC) along Don Gervacio Quijada St., Guadalupe, Cebu City. Open only a few hours in the evening and four days a week, the elusiveness and exclusivity of Salle à Manger—French for “dining room”—is only a small part of the allure. It is also ICAAC’s training restaurant facility, which is operated and run by the academy’s students. The restaurant is only open within the duration of the school’s semester and closes when the semester ends—opening each semester with a new theme and menu.

This semester, it is the first time they have come up with an ala carte menu using an upscale Steakhouse concept. The menu harbors an assortment of mouth-watering delights including its special Pasta of the Week (last week’s was squid-ink pasta with a light seafood sauce), Glazed Chilean Seabass (melt-in-your-mouth miso glazed Chilean sea bass with dashi broth and braised Asian vegetables), Escargot with Garlic, Parsley and Butter, Grilled Pork Chop, Braised Lamb Shanks and many others.

If the menu were Destiny’s Child, its U.S. Angus Beef Rib Eye Steak would definitely be Beyonce. Why compare that certain dish to such an iconic singer, some may ask? Because its rendition of steak provides a medley of delicious flavors—like each ingredient of it is a note to the perfect song (of steak) that leaves one crazy with L.S.S—last song syndrome or, in this case, last steak syndrome.

The steak is priced at P999 a la carte for a generous serving of steak served with the vegetable of the day, one side dish and one sauce. One of the most beautiful parts is that its glorious steak has an All-You-Can-Eat option—offered at only P1,299 that also comes with one side dish and one sauce. All dishes are reasonably priced, promising high quality ingredients and flavors as well as good service.

“Our main mission is to be a stepping stone into the Food and Beverage Service Industry. We do this by not only teaching the students the basic theories and practical skills required but also to immerse them in an environment that simulates an actual restaurant,” said Chef Jeremy Young, ICAAC’s head chef and dean, who is currently being aided by chefs Fatima Young, Justin Mechill, Munesh Gopaldas and Gabriel Garcia in guiding and training the students of the academy.

“The students then have hands-on experience cooking and serving—not only invited guests—but real outside paying guests,” added Chef Jeremy. ICAAC opened in 2002 and started operating its training restaurant in 2003.

According to Chef Jeremy, Salle à Manger lives by the motto of Ritz Carlton: We are Ladies and Gentlemen, Serving Ladies and Gentlemen.

“To treat and serve our customers not only in the best way possible but also in the best manner and to always think of ourselves as ladies and gentlemen too,” he explained. “We do appreciate people who visit and try our restaurant, because they also help us train our students who, in turn, would be working in different hotels and restaurants in the future.”

The current semester ends on Dec. 9, which means there are only two weeks left to try Salle à Manger’s scrumptious dishes. The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. For inquiries and reservations, contact: (032) 412-5241.

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