Le Monet Hotel at Camp John Hay is popular not only for its fabulous accommodation but also for its unique fine dining experience. In the blog entry, we give you a rundown of our favorite dishes from start to finish.
Le Monet has a wide selection of appetizers to begin your meal with. The choice is especially difficult if you’re a seafood lover. But if you’re sharing — and especially if you’re hungry! — there’s no reason to stop at just one. We couldn’t pick a favorite, so here are our top two:
The Le Monet shrimp cocktail is a serving of butterfly-cut shrimp with three different sauces on the side. For the full experience, take a piece and dip it in all three sauces. Living in Baguio, we tend to be very critical of seafood, particularly its freshness. With the shrimp cocktail as well as the other seafood dishes we enjoyed, we did not feel the need to worry about it.
We also loved their selection of tarts. Le Monet offers a shitake, chanterelle and asparagus tart, a four cheese tart, and a cherry tomatoes, ricotta, and herbs tart. The most savory and filling of the three is the shitake, chanterelle, and asparagus tart, because of the mushrooms; for a milder appetizer we recommend going for the four cheese or the tomatoes and herbs. All of the tarts, however, have good flavor and texture and are safe options for vegetarians.
The sandwiches at Le Monet are enormous. Our favorite is the super indulgent grilled cheese sandwich served with a side of tomato soup. Despite being a fairly straightforward grilled cheese — some vegetable on the side but nothing extra in the sandwich itself — it’s filling and flavorful. We would definitely put it in the category of “comfort food”. If you’re dieting, keep it in mind when you’re planning your cheat day.
Our favorite pasta is the spinach and ricotta ravioli. The raviolis are quite large and packed with spinach and cheese, served in tomato sauce with more cheese on top. Fans of Italian cuisine will enjoy this one in particular. For those who can’t get enough of every manner of serving shrimp, Le Monet also offers shrimp scampi linguine.
As we mentioned above, the Le Monet menu includes a good variety of seafood. One specific dish that caught our attention is the almond-crusted salmon. Upon ordering, you can ask that it be served according to your preference of temperature or rawness. The almond flavor is not terribly prominent, but the flaked nuts do make for an interesting texture. They also contribute to the gorgeous presentation of the dish.
When it comes to salads, Le Monet bypasses the common, run-of-the-mill styles of preparation. The shrimp and watermelon salad offers an interesting combination of flavors. If you opted for a shrimp appetizer and would like to try for some variety, we recommend the Oriental chicken almond salad. It’s heavy enough to stand alone as a meal, but works well for sharing in small groups as well. In any case, be sure to get a forkful that includes a Mandarin orange slice, as the sweetness complements the chicken nicely.
In true Filipino fashion, we know that a meal would not be complete without some form of succulent pork. The twice-cooked pork knuckles cover this nicely. Though it may sound like an odd combination, one of the sauces provided with this is chocolate sauce. Forgo the predictable gravy and vinegar and try the chocolate sauce at least once. We did, and we were pleasantly surprised.
Overall, we had no major complaints about the Le Monet menu. Each dish is carefully, thoughtfully prepared. There is also a lot to be said about the service and the atmosphere.
Seeing as Le Monet offers fine dining, their prices are not necessarily budget-friendly or student-friendly. That said, you certainly get what you pay for, and we highly recommend it for a romantic date night or for special celebrations with the family.