In my dreams, I come home from a long day craving for eggs that are not scrambled or boiled but gently poached, and topped with some dream of a sauce called hollandaise. Eggs Benedict, it is called, and I wish I knew why.
Not that I have to. But given how much I love and how often I crave for it, the knowing would be nice. But Benedict, whoever you are and whatever you did to inspire the genesis of this dish, thank you. In my dreams I just have to want it and instantly I have it in my hand with no time to waste, served on a martini glass, staring up at me like a precious cloud, delicate as it quivers and trembles with the smallest movement of my hand, a thin crumbly stick of bacon tuille resting on top of it like a mighty sword.
I break into the soft pillow that it is with the bacon tuille and stir it slowly, the scent of truffles exciting me further. I enjoy every single bit dreamily with a thin spoon, as if I have nothing else more important to do. The perfection of this dish commands that kind of respect, I could curtsy before it if I had to. And the last velvety bite leaves me wanting more, always. But knowing that I can have it again tomorrow makes me rest easy, and I step into the shower humming, simply happy with the memory and taste of it. I know I am set for a good night’s sleep and very happy dreams.
In reality though, when it is that late at night and most especially when I wake up in the morning, Eggs Benedict do not magically appear with a simple wish. I have to settle for a homemade version, with ready-made hollandaise sauce that we buy from the deli. A treat is when Richard whips up Eggs Benedict from scratch for me, sweet man that he is, but I do not have the heart to ask him all the time because I just want it too often.
In reality, I go to The Goose Station to enjoy Eggs Benedict of the caliber that it is in my dreams. It is a very nice place to settle into a meal and although not exactly cozy, it is neither stiflingly formal. It is just spot on, with just the right balance of comfort and quiet elegance that you need for a pleasurable dining experience. I dare say you really will be in no hurry to leave the place once you get there. The place is sleek, with good lighting and good food that just continues to grow on you on every visit. It has a hushed ambience, maybe because it really is just a pocket of a place, and the pace upon which food is served (especially if you order their signature menu) encourages dining habits of old — a languid pace of enjoyment, the requisite good wine, and lots of conversation and stories going back and forth. I really, really like it there.
My dad, a very casual guy who likes his food straightforward and with very little fuss, has taken to the place like fish to water. I never thought that would happen. But for reasons not exactly strange he enjoys it as much as my 10-year-old Juliana also does. The food tastes very good, period. And with that, everything else is just a delightful plus.
Although I am tempted after every visit to go a la carte the next time around, the moment I sit down again to another meal there I cannot seem to pass up the chance to be pampered yet again by the whole experience. Always, I seem to succumb helplessly to their signature meal, as it calls out to me in a happy succession of words spelled out in the menu. Each little dish is presented pretty as can be, like little jewels meant to be enjoyed for every facet it has. Out of respect for the chef and all the work that obviously went into it, I eat slowly, enjoying each serving with all my senses. That is the least I can do. Let me tell you — the flavors are gorgeous.
Although I feel that the Eggs Benedict is the star, the others are in no way less stellar. The foie gras terrine lobbies to be hailed (and rightfully so), the 24-hour steak is perfect each time around. The appetizers are like children, one as delightful as the next. Each dish builds up excitement for the next one and dessert never disappoints.
If at all, my only complaint is that they do not operate somewhere very near where I live, something that would allow me to satisfy my inordinate cravings for what I love about the place even more frequently than I already do.
If you haven’t gone yet, please go. Make sure you go with someone whose company you enjoy. Make reservations as they always have a full house. Please do not forget to try their Eggs Benedict. When you finally step out the door and into the moonlight, you will be so happy you could skip the whole way home.
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