Paire at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel

For some unique pairings of food and drinks, Paire offers up some interesting choices. It’s a new restaurant in the newly-opened Cocoon Boutique Hotel in the Timog-Tomas Morato area. Behind the concept are two young female chefs, one in charge of the pastries and savory dishes, and the other one the mixologist concocting the drinks. They have both savory and sweet pairings with both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, so there’s definitely something for everyone. When I visited however, the mood was purely for dessert. Surprisingly, though, what really stole the show was their crispy ligid platter (not pictured, sadly), which is deep-fried pork jowls dipped in vinegar. They offer to pair this with beer,

The Class A (pictured above) is an almond slice paired with an Amaretto sour. This pairing was highly recommended, and with good reason. Among the desserts I tried, this was the most balanced and impressive, with a playful combination of different textures. The pairing was also excellent with the common flavor denominator being almond, obviously. But the sweetness and richness of the almond slice and the slight tartness of the amaretto sour really worked together.

I forgot what this pairing was called, but it had a fruit theme. The dessert was a banana-walnut tart. Very moist and creamy, but I would have preferred a bit more crunch to add more life to the dessert. I like the desserts in Paire in general, because they aren’t cloying at all. The cocktails are also have a subdued booziness. You’d come here to appreciate the food and drink, not to get buzzed. I wish I could suggest that they start carrying craft beer, too (being an advocate of beer, and pairing food with beer after all), but it would definitely clash with their cocktail theme. I’d definitely come back here to try the rest of their menu.
I do wish a similar place would open up which was more beer-centric: at least, have menus which offer suggested beer pairings rather than the fixed matches in Paire, similar to how many wine restaurants present their menus.

We got a slice of sans rival (layers of meringue, butter, cashews and my favorite classic Filipino cake) and I took some of it the next day and got my wish of pairing something from Paire with beer. I went with the Rogue XS McRogue Scotch Ale. It was a 2010 bottle suggesting a year of aging for best results, so I think I drank this close to, if not at, its peak. This was my first Scotch ale, and based on my pairing research, it went well with rich desserts, and very little can be considered more rich than a good sans rival. The maltiness of the Scotch ale was enjoyable – roasted but without the coffee and chocolate notes I’ve come to expect with dark malts. The hops were negligible at best, but that’s exactly what you’d want with this style. I enjoyed this beer immensely with its malt sweetness working well with the buttery but not cloyingly sweet sans rival. The brew also had enough body to stand up to the decadent sans rival.

I’ve had a number of good dessert-beer pairings lately. The best one being Rogues Double Mocha Porter and Fried Oreos at Rub Ribs and BBQ. The McRogue and Sans Rival is a close second though.

Try out Paire if ever you’re in the Morato/Timog area at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel at the corner of Scouts Rallos and Tobias.

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