I took a vacation leave from work last Wednesday to join the Zomato foodies for dinner at CRU Steakhouse, and surely I had no regrets. At CRU (pronounced as “kroo” and “not C-R-U”), steaks cooked to perfection are a given! This high-end restaurant inside Manila Marriott Hotel doles out generous portions of amazing grilled steak matched with an imaginative fare elevated by an extensive wine list. By the end of our meal, we could only utter one word to describe their menu: phenomenal. CRU Steakhouse presents everything you would expect in a quality steakhouse. 🙂
Review of CRU Steakhouse (Manila Marriott Hotel, Newport City)
Elegant and polished, CRU Steakhouse certainly is a good refuge after a busy day of noise and networking. Upon entrance, I felt the warm embrace of a traditional steakhouse ambiance consisting of dark wall panels, wooden flooring, and dim lighting along with plenty of wine bottles displayed across the dining area. To keep the consistently prime vibe, CRU Steakhouse is open only during dinnertime daily.
Orange light fixtures echo off the adorned designs effortlessly, while chairs dressed in red polka dots and line patterns complement the pristine white tablecloths. Central to the dining area is an open kitchen which gives a sense of contemporary dining with a twist. Adorning the space in tasteful fashion, the front part houses the bar that’s set up well to draw in any type of crowd.
For private events such as the Zomato Foodie Meetup we attended, CRU has two function rooms that seat eight to ten people. Note: Reservation of the function rooms should be made a week ahead.
Customer service was first class. Treating everyone as VIPs, the servers were kind and professional to explain about the food and demonstrate a short cooking presentation before serving some of the entrees. They also made regular rounds to make sure that our glasses were filled with drinks and that guests felt welcome and appreciated. The smooth and attentive team definitely added perks.
Think oranges are just for breakfast, snacks, or desserts? Think again. The orange made such delightful addition to the Organic Baby Spinach Salad (PhP 550), thrown together with blue cheese crumble, walnut in Parmesan crisp, and mustard dressing. Fruity notes to the well-dressed leaves of baby spinach made the salad taste outlandishly better.
Tossed with red onions, balsamic, crushed olives, and feta cheese, the giant organic cherry tomatoes locally grown from the Marriott Organic Farm served in the Organic Tomato Salad (PhP 580) were super juicy and fresh. This salad was sweet, tangy, and full of character, with the natural flavor of tomatoes combined with cheese oozing with a savory sensation. It’s a must-order for those who are in a diet. 😛
Voted as the best appetizer we had for the night, the Sauteed Duck Liver (PhP 920) with apple chutney and sweet maple lemon glaze was very satisfying. Admittedly, the number of times I’ve tasted foie gras is probably less than five. But by far, CRU’s take on the foie gras is the best. It melts on the tongue like the creamiest butter but with a distinct cured sweetness.
The Certified Angus Beef Carpaccio (PhP 750) reminded me of yukhwe, which is raw beef eaten with raw egg in Korea. Wandering more into a fancy territory, this appetizer was an absolute home run, and it turned out to be love at first bite. The paper-thin slices of beef were topped with parmesan, arugula, and tarragon dressing. So good!
Next, we were treated to seafood galore. The Seared US Scallops (PhP 730) were plump, briny, and buttery but still supple, with a very slight sweetness. Spicy shimeji mushrooms, pickled onions, and Hollondaise sauce all contributed to the robust flavors that stood up to the zesty sauce.
The Tuna Tartare (PhP 650) looked so tiny and simple, but this dish should not be underestimated. Every element was on full display (not sure if that’s egg yolk on top but it tasted like egg yolk), and the complete bite, with the soft wash of the wasabi aioli, was so much more than the sum of its already excellent parts.
The Salmon Tartar (PhP650) was another knockout. It was pure decadence: perfectly cooked chunks of ultra fresh raw salmon with lemon mustard dressing and extra virgin coconut oil. Close your eyes and bite into this and you could imagine you’re tasting the best salmon you’ve ever had.
Crispy and crabby, the CRU Crab Cakes (PhP 690) with the celeriac apple slaw and creamy Cajun remoulade were quite dainty, gone in three or four delicate bites at most—but they were three or four perfect bites, I can assure. I’m also glad that these crab cakes were not too heavily coated in breadcrumbs but packed more with crab meat than pasty binders. Taste was stellar.
Too appealing to slip by, the Chilled Ocean Shrimps (PhP680) looked like a starfish or spider from afar. Its presentation was so captivating with summer colors lifting our mood and appetite. Dipped in the cocktail sauce and eaten with jalapeno salsa, the shrimps tasted nice and fresh, titillating our taste buds for the final appetizer.
If eating crabs in shells isn’t your thing, try the Lump Crab Cocktail (PhP690) and savor the juicy lump crab meat without getting your hands dirty. Spicy pineapple salsa and cocktail sauce added texture and a hint of sweetness to the cold dish.
We were served with three kinds of soup. The Shrimp Gumbo (PhP 370) consisted of a mildly spicy broth that’s a far cry from the one-dimensional broth made from instant meal packages available in the grocery store. The soup had a rich body and a faint aroma of the sea. At the bottom of the bowl, we found bits of fragrant rice and minced vegetables popping out as a nice surprise.
The Caramelized Onion Soup (PhP 350) sang a chorus of layered onion flavors topped with a blanket of gooey cheese. Yum! We enjoyed the variation in tastes and textures.
The Wild Mushroom Soup (PhP 390) was super creamy, rich, velvety, smooth, and with the aroma of truffle oil, intoxicatingly delicious. OMG. I loved the soup so much and I think I won’t ever get tired of it. 😛
The long wait was finally over and well worth it. The spectacle of parading the three sizzling slabs of pound CRU’s US Certified Angus Beef Bone-in Rib Eye (PhP 5,400 for 900 grams/31.75 ounces) through the function room invariably led everyone wanting one. Well-browned and crackling with some fat, CRU Steakhouse’s signature steak was sliced open and revealed a juicy pink center that extended from edge to edge. Each slab had a commendable crust and a succulent interior.
Each 900-gram steak comes with two sauces, five sides of your choice, and carved table side. Choose to pair it with black peppercorn, forest mushroom, spicy tomato and onion, CRU blue cheese, Shiraz, or Béarnaise sauce, and you have one unforgettable dish. I’m not a fan of sauces for the steak, but I tried them anyway. What I wasn’t able to resist were the sides that have a good fit with the food.
Since we got three slabs of steak (shared by 12 people), we were pampered with all the sides which were more than enough to please our demanding palates: truffle mac and cheese, grilled organic sweetcorn, organic sweet corn on the cob, corn and pepper hash, grilled portobello mushrooms, creamed spinach, steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce, green beans pancetta, organic steamed broccoli, honey glazed organic baby carrots, fried onion rings, black truffle risotto, warm organic tomato salad, and sliced potato fries.
Above all, truffle mac and cheese, grilled portobello mushrooms, creamed spinach, and black truffle risotto for me struck as the best complements to the steak and almost worthy of as much discussion as the steak itself. 🙂
The Banana Foster (PhP 410) took a few minutes to get prepared. The waiter ignited caramelized bananas, raw sugar, flamed rum, whole butter, and sliced almonds at the tableside and then poured over vanilla ice cream for our enjoyment. It was like a one-plate dinner theater that’s undeniably fun and interesting to watch. The first bites of the banana foster were luxurious, as crisp flakes of almonds and swimming banana in ice cream completed the equation.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t miss the Sweet and Salty Chocolate Moist Cake (PhP 400) with homemade dark chocolate ice cream. It had a moist and buttery crumb that packed a toasty, nutty punch. This chocolate cake isn’t particularly novel, but it’s not disappointing in any way.
Basically an ice cream cake of chocolate and cognac, the Grand CRU Chocolate Praline Mousse (PhP 400) is one of those desserts that create a great textural experience, as the mousse melts away while the praline provide crispiness. Make sure to snag the layers in one forkful! 🙂
Another pure chocolate bliss was CRU’s Chocolate Caramel Crunch Log (PhP 380). Sweetened by caramel, the rich chocolate flavor was beyond divine.
CRU Steakhouse’s bar serves wine by the glass and by the bottle. Selections range from champagne, sparkling wines, red wines, and white wines. Other beverages offered are local and imported beers, whiskey, rum, tequila, etc. We had Beringer’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley) that featured aromas of black plum, cherry, and enticing spice notes.
Price for Value: ★★★☆☆
For the price point, you don’t need to sell your car to eat here. However, you might have to break your bank account a bit to recover for a return visit. 😛 Ambiance, service, and the quality and taste of food were unquestionably impeccable, but prepare to pay “special-splurge” prices for the privilege. It will be good to reserve dining at CRU Steakhouse in Marriott Hotel Manila (Resorts World) for special occasions such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries, graduation, promotion, or sealing a good business deal.
Sun – Thu: 6:00PM – 10:30PM
Fri – Sat: 6:00PM – 11:30PM