SAGANA Epicerie & Bistro: Sustainable French Food by Chef Marc Aubry in Manila (REVIEW)

Sagana26 Sagana Epicerie and Bistro is the latest Farm-to-Family French restaurant concept by Chef Marc Aubry. Located in the same spot as his old bistro, Champetre, Chef Marc still offers French food but now highlights farm-fresh, organic, and locally-sourced ingredients. Make no mistake though, despite its Filipino-sounding name, Sagana is a full-fledged French restaurant. It doesn’t try to make anything Filipino. “Sagana” refers to abundance and is a fitting tribute to the rich produce and diverse ingredients of the Philippines. Here’s what we loved about Sagana…   SAGANA EPICERIE & BISTRO G/F Net One Center, 3rd Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Open Daily – Mondays to Saturdays, 10:30 AM – 10:00 PM Telephone: +632 815 8801 Mobile: +63 917-6327946 Email: Facebook: Sagana Epicerie and Bistro Instagram: @saganabgc Sagana16 Sagana Menu: Appetizers and Soups, Old-time Favorites (Appetizers), Main Courses, Old-time Favorites (Mains), Desserts, Drink List 1, Drink List 2 Chef Marc Aubry has completely moved forward from the rustic look Champetre was known for. Sagana now looks modern and formal, but not stuffy.   Sagana13 In this concept, Chef Marc reached out and partnered with multiple local farms to make sure he gets the best produce from every region.   APPETIZER Sagana4 Clam Marinaire (₱420)Clams cooked in white wine sauce with fries. The clam marinaire is a bit salty, with hints of sweetness from the white wine sauce and clam jus. I like this better than the old New Zealand Mussel version because this uses Manila clams with a lot of flavor.   Sagana3 Baked Pumpkin Soup (₱310). Pumpkin soup with cheese, garlic, and herbs served in a pumpkin shell. The soup is neither light nor creamy; it’s thick and hearty with generous helpings of pumpkin in a cute mini pumpkin shell. The cheese on top added a hint of nuttiness.   Sagana1 Quiche (₱380). Crustless quiche with mushrooms and cheese with salad. This was part of the off-menu items for the day. Chef Marc usually prepares daily specials to keep the regulars coming back for more. Every bite of this quiche had a mouthful of mushrooms and eggs. You could taste the freshness of the mushrooms too!   Sagana21 Prawn Bisque (₱360)Served with Parmesan Crisps. The bisque was very creamy and the flavor of the prawns was very distinct. A sustainable alternative to the lobster bisque.   MAIN COURSE Sagana5 Grilled Apahap (₱760). With creamed vegetable ratatouille and fried shallots. A great dish! The fish was not flaky and the ratatouille keeps the dish light.   Sagana7 Baked Jambonneau (₱580)Homemade cured pork hock with stewed lentils. Jambonneau is more commonly prepared smoked or poached. Chef Marc’s version is baked and has a light breading. It has a strong aroma, which we found off-putting at first because the pork was cured, but Chef Marc assured us that it wasn’t spoiled.   Sagana6 Coq-au-vin (₱620)Braised spring chicken cooked coq-au-vin style. The coq-au-vin style involves cooking the chicken in red wine but a la adobo. The chicken was cooked just right and the sauce was balanced and not overpowering.   Sagana9 Grilled Pork Kurobuta (₱920)Served with roasted vegetables. The pork was tender with just the right amount of fat. I found myself scraping the sauce off the plate with each bite. Another off-menu item and the best of the meat dishes we ordered.   Sagana20 Grilled Prawns (₱840). Grilled water prawns with brown rice vegetable risotto. The vegetable risotto had a cheesy Parmesan-like aroma. The prawn portions were generous, although I found them to be a little tough, but not rubbery.   DESSERT Sagana22 Le Nancy (₱320). Flourless dark chocolate & almond cake with sauce & Chantilly cream. Good balance of flavors, not too sweet, and you get a good chocolate taste. Try to get a bit of everything in one bite for the full experience.   Sagana23 Mango Crumble (₱240)Ripe mango butter cookie crumble with Chantilly cream. Good texture, mango was not sour, and the cream was not too thick. Remember to scoop down to the bottom to get those mango bits.   Sagana19 Lemon and Dalandan Givrés (₱220). Fruit Sherbet served in its shell. Givré is French for frozen. Order this if you’re dining with the kids. I suggest ordering this ahead of time so it’s not frozen solid by the time you eat it.   Sagana25 Congratulations to Chef Marc Aubrey on the successful launch of your new Sagana restaurant concept, from Team Our Awesome Planet!   FINAL THOUGHTS Sagana11 We love that Chef Marc has shifted his focus to sustainability and supporting our local farms. I must say, French cuisine tastes better with fresh local produce. It’s also nice how Chef Marc comes out of the kitchen to talk to the diners at their tables personally. This place is ideal for birthday dinners and romantic dates. The clientele is a bit mature, but millennials are sure to enjoy the restaurant as well because of the focus on sustainability. Plus the new menu items are good value for money. They still keep the classic French food favorites for the loyal customers of Champetre. If there’s a down side to the place, it’s that the Filipino name is a bit misleading for a French restaurant. Order the Prawn Bisque and Quiche for appetizers, the Grilled Apahap, Coq-au-vin, and Grilled Kurobuta for the main dish, then finish off with the Mango Crumble. Budget about ₱800/head + drinks. Congratulations again to Chef Marc and the Sagana Epicerie & Bistro culinary team!   SAGANA EPICERIE & BISTRO G/F Net One Center, 3rd Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Open Daily – Mondays to Saturdays, 10:30 AM – 10:00 PM Telephone: +632 815 8801 Mobile: +63 917-6327946 Email: Facebook: Sagana Epicerie and Bistro Instagram: @saganabgc Live an Awesome Life,   MONIQUE of TEAM OUR AWESOME PLANET Disclosure: We paid for our meal. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.  P.S. The vegetables and other produce they have on display are actually for sale! You can shop for your organic needs while waiting for your food to be served. Sagana17

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