This Bistro’s Fresh Takes on Seafood Transport You to the French Coast (

(This feature was published in last May 8, 2019)

It’s easy to associate French cuisine with fine dining since its food, after all, is known around the world for its finesse and flavor. But don’t be intimidated by what is commonly considered as haute cuisine—there are restaurants where you can sample French specialties sans the snootiness, like La Mère Poulard at SM Aura.

While the brasserie exudes casual elegance, it also has a relaxed, homey vibe to it. The predominantly red-and-white theme is accented by copper—from pans to bowls, and even lights—an ode to what founder Annette Poulard originally used in her kitchen centuries ago. The walls are also peppered with framed photographs of celebrities and other famous personalities who have dined in the restaurant, and this has become a tradition of sorts. “We want [La Mère Poulard to offer] a very casual dining experience for families, for date nights, for coffee meet-ups—an all-around thing,” shared Managing Director Deborah Dorene How-Tan.

It’s been a year since the Manila branch opened in early 2018, and you’ll still find the old favorites, as well as new dishes that bring together the best of French and local ingredients. A few of the items are even inspired by Filipino specialties like calderetaand adobo. “We want to balance out the menu for the Filipino palate,” says How-Tan, who also mentions that they try to use local produce as much as possible.

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