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Le Petit Cheri: the Newest Darling of South Manila

Tucked in a corner at Molito Complex in Alabang is Le Petit Cheri—a casual dining restaurant that welcomes you to sit back, relax, and enjoy a bit of French cuisine. Opened in June of this year, Le Petit Cheri (meaning “the little darling” in French) is owned by the French Patisserie Corporation. The restaurant is the realization Edna Cureg’s dream to open a restaurant of her own.

Not Your Typical French Food Restaurant

Most people picture restaurants serving up French cuisine with a very formal atmosphere, and where you need to really dress up to eat. Not to mention it’s very expensive. Le Petit Cheri broke from this stereotypical French food restaurant image. This can be seen from the overall design of the place to the way how their food is plated and served.

Bistro-inspired interiors

Second floor dining area at Le Petit Cheri

Le Petit Cheri’s second floor dining area

The restaurant’s interior was inspired by the bistros found along the streets of Paris. Bistros are cozy restaurants where diners can get to eat simple, slow-cooked French food.

The second floor dining area is surrounded by a delicately designed black iron railing, very similar to the wrought iron fences found in French bistros. The cushioned yellow chairs and cream-colored tables made the second floor dining area cozy and relaxing. Downstairs, the tables and chairs were laid out in one long line that encircles the main dining area, giving diners here an equal view of the restaurant. There are no white linen tablecloths here. Just simple orange place mats, which adds to the casual yet cozy feel of the place.

The tall windows surrounding the main dining area of Le Petit Cheri gave the interiors a modern touch. One wall was filled from top to bottom with colorful paintings. Although the place was quite filled with diners when my family and me ate here, the high restaurant’s high ceiling kept the noise level down.

The menu at Le Petit Cheri

Coq au Vin, a French chicken stew, is one of the many traditional French cuisine dishes served at Le Petit Cheri

Coq au Vin, a French chicken stew, is one of the many traditional French cuisine dishes served at Le Petit Cheri

Le Petit Cheri’s menu features an array of traditional French cuisine dishes. Most of them are meant for single serving, but there are a few dishes, like their Duck a L’Orange, that can be shared by 2-3 people. Some dishes were given a twist to cater to the Filipino taste. An example is their Coq au Vin. Instead of serving this classic French chicken stew with potatoes, Le Petit Cheri serves this up with rice flavored with butter and parsley. I’m not really sure on how the French would find this slight change in their classic dish, but it definitely made this more appealing for Filipinos who’d always love to have some rice along with their main dishes.

The menu also has a few Filipino dishes, most can be found in their breakfast selection. There is also a limited, but quality, selection of wines for those diners that would like a bit of bubbly to pair with their food.

One of the plus factors that Le Petit Cheri had for me was their wide array of different dessert options. From traditional French macaroons to their light soufflés and sinfully rich chocolate mousse, the variety reflects the immense passion Edna Cureg has for pastries. It’s a sugary paradise if you got a sweet tooth like me. This, along with a steaming cup of coffee, is a great way to cap off a meal here in Le Petit Cheri.

Service at Le Petit Cheri

The only downside in my dining experience at Le Petit Cheri was the quality of service we received. There seems to be an apparent sense of miscommunication between them. More than once, my family and me have been told contradicting information by the waiters.

Shrimp Bisque Soup from Le Petit Cheri

Shrimp Bisque Soup from Le Petit Cheri

The first occurred when I asked to follow up on my Shrimp Bisque Soup (a traditional French soup made out of pureed shrimp, tomatoes, white wine and brandy, served with cream and shrimp for garnish). One waiter told me that it was on its way. A few minutes later when I asked about it, another waiter said that it was not included in our orders, and asked me if I still wanted them to prepare it. Just as I told them not to bother about it anymore, the soup arrived.

The second instance came when we ordered their Chocolate Mousse. They had two presentation styles for it: one in the form of a petite cake. The other is served inside a cocktail glass. I was told by one waiter that the petite cake style is for those that would like to take this home with them. The one in the glass is the plating they do for dine in orders. Despite the explanation, I was actually surprised that they served me the petite cake. I politely explained to the server what I was previously told. It took quite a bit of convincing on my part for the server to change it.

Then there was the misinformation about their closing time. We asked one of the waiters until what time were they opened. She told us that they were opened that night until 11pm. When we went down from the second floor dining area at quarter to 11, we were shocked and embarrassed to find nearly all of the waiting staff dressed up and ready to leave for the day. When we apologized and asked another what time they closed, he told us that they were opened only until 10pm.

Service is also quite slow here. Some of the dishes can take a while to prepare, which is understandable since we are advised beforehand by the waiter that attended to us. Ironically, the one that I had to follow up more than once was a dish that I was informed would be served promptly. It can also take a while for the waiters to hand over the bill after you’ve asked for it. I saw one diner head over to the counter and complained that they have been waiting for quite some time to receive their bill. Needless to say, we also had to follow up our bill more than once when our turn came.

Final Thoughts…

From its cozy atmosphere to its wide selection of food, Le Petit Cheri is a restaurant to savor and enjoy some traditional French cuisine without being intimidated. The food is reasonably priced compared to other French restaurants. A bit of patience is required, however, when dining here as the quality of service needs a bit of work. I’m hoping that this will improve in time.

Top Picks from Le Petit Cheri

Salad de la Mer at Le Petit CheriSalade de la Mer (PHP 280.00++)

You have to try this if you love seafood. This hearty salad of mixed salad greens, seared pepper crusted tuna steak, smoked salmon, and shrimp dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette is a meal on its own. Its serving size can feed two people or one very hungry person. The pepper taste coming from the seared tuna mellows down the otherwise sourness coming from the salad dressing.

Duck a L'Orange at Le Petit CheriDuck a L’Orange (PHP 1,511.00++)

At first glance, the price may seem to be anything but reasonable. Once it arrives at your table, you’ll see that it’s definitely worth it. This huge platter of thick seared duck breast glazed with orange sauce can feed up to 3 people. The lean duck breast was perfectly cooked. The meat was moist and juicy while the skin was crispy. The orange glaze was sweet yet tangy at the same time, a good sign that real orange juice was used in the making of the glaze. The bitterness from the salad greens rounds up all of the flavors here.

French macarones at Le Petit CheriFrench Macaroons (PHP 38.00++)

This much loved French dessert is a light way to end a meal or a sweet snack to munch on with a strong cup of coffee. There is just enough cream filling in between the two cookies to add a burst of flavor in your mouth as you bite into it. Out of the many different flavors of French macaroons available at Le Petit Cheri, my favorites were the strawberry and pandan flavors.

Le Petit Cheri choco mousseMousse au Chocolat (PHP 115.00++)

If you’re a chocoholic like me, this is something that you should not miss. This edible masterpiece made of whipped cream, rich chocolate mousse, dark chocolate crumble and topped with a generous spreading of chocolate ganache is a feast for the eyes and the palate. You get the richness from the chocolate ganache, mellowed slightly by the whipped cream, the creamy and milky chocolate taste of the mousse, and the crunch and bitterness of the dark chocolate crumble at the bottom in every spoonful. Bonus points for adding half of a strawberry on top, which always is a perfect partner for chocolate in my book.

Rating for Le Petit Cheri

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Cleanliness
Ambience
Service
Price
Menu Selection
Rating: 3.8/5 (5 votes cast)
 
Le Petit Cheri is located at Unit 8 Molito Lifestyle Center, Madrigal Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa City (click here to view a map to the area). Operating hours are as follows: Sun-Thurs from 7:00am to 10:00pm, Wednesdays from 7:00pm to 2pm and 4:00pm to 10:00pm, and Friday-Saturday from 7:00am to 11:00pm. 

Have you tried dining at Le Petit Cheri? Rate your experience in the box above and share more about it in the comments below.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
Le Petit Cheri: the Newest Darling of South Manila, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
About Adeline Yuboco

A natural-born foodie with an eye for detail, I started Life and Leisure to be a place where I can share on how to travel and live in style within your means. At the same time, I cover various events for DigitalJournal.com where I'm a contributing journalist. If you got a great story idea or have an event you'd like me to cover, drop me an email at the Contact page, message me on Twitter, or Connect with me on
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Comments

  1. good food, comfortable and relaxing ambiance, cleanliness, friendly staffs and waiters, fast and quality service are the factors that make a bistro more famous, no matter how good food a resto serves if one the factors mentioned was not met, customers will surely be not coming back due to dismay and dissatisfaction.

  2. Reasonably priced french food is such a rare combination so le petit must really be a good place to enjoy good fine food.
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    • The attractions in the south that I’d want to visit is already piling uo including this french restaurant. I like french food because they just remind me of the finer side of life.

  3. For me, I rate customer service even with quality of food. If service isn’t there but quality of food is awesome, I’m one of those types who talks with a manager before I leave. Why? Because I really would like to come back but if the service is as you describe, if I can’t voice my complaint, that is likely the last time they’ll see me.
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  4. yup. that’s what i noticed too. the price is affordable given the nature and class of the resto. i have always been overly fascinated by french language and paris, of course, yet i was blank on its cuisines…maybe because i find them hard to read :)
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  5. Nice Post about french cuisine,,, looking at the photo i must say they look yummy, but i must say the price is not cheap i’ts okay but some menu are kinda expensive for me if your offering it in the Philippines.. I’ve been to Paris but im not a fan of french cuisine, and i must say the food prices are always high.

    • Actually, I’ve been to a few other restaurants serving authentic French food here in the Philippines way before my blogging days. It’s quite rare to find any dish in their menu that was below PHP500++. So to find one where they have dishes within the P100-P200 scale, it’s considered to be already cheap.

  6. Beautiful images of the food, Adele. I could totally envision myself sharing that experience with you. It’s too bad that the service was pretty bad. I don’t know how I would have handled that. Hopefully they’ll iron out their setbacks…they are pretty new. Thanks for sharing.
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    • Thanks, Freddy. Yes, I’m really hoping that the reason for the below satisfactory service is because they are just new, and that they would be able to remedy it. Other than that, we had a really swell time there.

  7. nice and cozy place place but with a slow service people might think twice to come back… by the way, nice photos… :D

  8. Adeline: Excellent review…my mouth is watering right now! I’ll take one of everything, please! Enjoyed the thoroughness of the review and inclusion of pictures. Nicely done!
    Be sure to check out Lynn Brown’s most recent post…Key Points To Improve Your Small Business Confidence For SuccessMy Profile

  9. the resto looks library to me, I mean I don’t eat in a library I follows rules and I guest eating at a restaurant that looks like a library will make me eat lesser that I usually does when pigging out
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  10. French food that’s reasonably priced is definitely worth checking out. I live in far away QC, but I hope I remember this place when I venture out in Alabang.
    Be sure to check out mas’s most recent post…Be at Il TerrazzoMy Profile

  11. When I saw the title of your post I knew it had to be French, because, well I’m French! I haven’t have canard a l’orange in a life time, because I wouldn’t eat duck anymore. Now macarons and mousse au chocolat, j’adore!
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  12. I am a very frugal person, but I must agree that for a French resto with an ambiance as cozy and relaxing as Le Petit Cheri, not to mention the mouth-watering photos of all those food, you must really be getting value for your money.

  13. Nothing like a class A French cuisine. Unfortunately, it is too far for me

    I really hate restaurants where you have to wait a long time for your bill. They could have an excuse if there are a lot of customers but if there is none then they have no reason for that to happen. I

    It is never a good feeling to enter a restaurant when they are nearly closing time. You will probably feel guilty if you are making them work overtime lol
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  14. I also love french cuisine, in fact, i try to make different french dishes when time allows me to. Le Petit Cheri seems to be my kind of restaurant. It looks cozy and warm. The food may not be as affordable but i hope it’s worth it. The next time ill swing by Alabang, I will keep your post in mind.. and maybe I will try it too.

  15. French cuisine is so classy. It’s for the commoners and we middle-class can’t afford to buy some of the menu there. lol

  16. Mangeons. Mangeons. I love the photos and the flow of description of Le Petit Cheri. Can’t wait to be there.

  17. Salads mainly are what I go to French restaurants for. But the chicken stew looks so inviting I wonder how that compares with our chicken adobo.
    Be sure to check out Hazel’s most recent post…Comment on How does sleep come? by joyMy Profile

    • The Coq au Vin is not as salty as our local adobo, and the flavors are a bit more complex because they use a lot of vegetables and a bold red wine to stew the chicken in.

  18. omelette du fromage? foie gras pour le déjeuner? Why not? and of course our favorite Macarons for dessert! This is heaven! That looks like tuna more than salmon on the salad…but whichever, I’ll chow them down the same. Fun foodie treat! thanks for sharing.
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  19. Food looks delicious and prices are quite affordable. Too bad the place is far from me but if ever I’m on that area will definitely go and look for Le Petit Cheri. Also, I love the name of their resto, hehe.
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  20. Le Petit Cheri, a place of traditional French cuisine to savor and enjoy its coziness. I’m really interested to eat French foods. “Bon appetit”!
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  21. pretty nice restaurant. what i love about french cuisine is their artistry in their food presentation… never thought duck would be that expensive… now i’m thinking to raise ducks for a living… lol. Yahweh bless.
    Be sure to check out ralph’s most recent post…The Cool Breeze Of BaguioMy Profile

    • Why not? You could really make a great profit out of it, Ralph. Fatten them up really big time, and you can actually sell their liver (foie gras) at a higher price than the duck itself. :)

  22. This will probably provide my family’s chance to sample authentic French cuisine in a not-so-formal environment. We really like eating but we purposely avoid those that are too classy for comfort.
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  23. It does give off the vibes of being a library. Maybe next time the shrimp bisque will be served much faster. :)

  24. That place looks really cozy and a nice place to have a good talk. But Duck a L’Orange (PHP 1,511.00++) I hope it’s really worth every bite. Thanks for the share.

    • Yes, it was, Bam. I’ve had my fair share of duck cooked in different ways. Duck can be a delicate meat to cook. It can easily turn dry and tough if not cooked properly. Some parts of the duck also contain a thick layer of fat, and very little meat. Here they used the duck breast, which is the leanest part. But it’s still juicy and moist. Since the serving is actually good for up to three people to share, it comes out about P500++ per person, which is already cheap compared to the other restaurants I’ve found that serve this same dish (average is P700++ good for 1 person).

  25. Seems one good reason to head south and another one good reason for them to really head south. LOL.. Hope they will think of expanding here in the Visayas ;D
    Be sure to check out Herbert’s most recent post…AUTOMECHA – 3rd Hobby Convention in CebuMy Profile

  26. I haven’t been to a French restaurant here! But given your high ratings in menu selection, price and ambiance.. I’d love to visit and sample what they offer too! … someday!

  27. their pastries are always interesting…. i just wonder about the 2/5 for the service… gets it a little lower on my list of ‘must\-try’s.. :(

  28. From the name of the fine dining restaurant, it sounds so cozy. I would like to try the Mousse au Chocolat (PHP 115.00++) and the Salade de la Mer (PHP 280.00++). Thanks for sharing about this.
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  29. It could have been a perfect score if not for the service, hope they improve their services to pleased their costumers, but all in all I love the food photos here Adele..
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  30. well the place looks great that duck is really expensive I guess I will have to skip that one out and go for the macarones instead hahahaha which at the pic looks like a puto to me… thanks for the share maybe i will check this out if I happen to pass by alabang..
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  31. Wow an affordable French resto! Rarely do I hear a place like this. And your picture above, at the background are those books? A first glance i thought its a library. Nice interior indeed, yeah in time for sure they will improve their service. Would love to try this place too.

  32. By seeing the palatable dish picture, I love to taste all dishes. But the price seems too high
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  33. i love to munch on their tongue twisted name of food ,,, (i came from french founded school but i cant pronounce a single french word….) and the books displayed are new to me … nice resto … nice idea

  34. French Restaurants are often expensive. How looks good doesn’t necessarily mean it taste good. We usually try places and once we like em, we go back. Its awesome that post like this introduces new place for people to try and experience. Good work and awesome pictures.

  35. Any resto that is affordable and has good food is okay with me. I hope they have a branch here in Manila. ^_^

  36. I like establishments with bistro inspired interior because of the cozy yet homey ambiance. I was prohibited from eating chocolates because of my asthma but I want to have that Mousse au Chocolat . :)
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  37. Airra Pingol says:

    looks like a classy resto… ang cute ng macaroons! :)
    I hope they have a branch here in Manila as well. I’ll definitely visit soon.

  38. I like the ambiance but i wasn’t happy with the food..sayang! Will give it another try though..
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  39. Another great review Adeline. Service is so much a part of the dining experience and some business forget it can be the simple things and touches that matter to customers.
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  40. Gigi Beleno says:

    The seafood salad sounds and looks interesting. This is the one I would really like to try.

  41. Oooh! We’re near Molito now, I’ll check this out when I’m in the area. :)

  42. Lovely review, Adeline, and you’re right! The chocolate dessert looks divine. Would love to come and try it sometime.
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  43. which is more delicious, french cuisine or Italian cuisine?

    Buti affordable sila and anyone can buy….

  44. The place feels very cozy. The chicken tastes very tasty. This seems to be a good place to hang out for a casual lunch or dinner. I forgot to mention that the Mousse is very tempting.

  45. Superb location. Hope we have that here in Davao. Seems you manage all of your time doing all the review and etc.,

  46. French cuisine in Le Petite Cheri is inviting. I want to savor the foods there for their prices at reasonable and the place is cozy and comfortable. Hope so?

  47. The place looks good and the food looks so delicious and they look good quality. I don’t think if the resto is affordable.

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