May 28, 2008

a night out at apt 1b

it's been more than a year since we got together. g and m arranged this whole dinner thing which is something new since i am usually the master planner. anyway, m has been a regular at this place so she practically ordered everything she liked.

we want something light, so we had the house salad. i liked this salad, it has walnuts, grapes, blue cheese, greens and a raspberry vinaigrette. i usually don't like blue cheese but this one is a creamy mild flavored cheese which just worked well. too bad the serving was small - a tiny plate that is.

we also had the broiled cheese and garlic prawns. it's crab fat pasta with veggies topped with prawns. the pasta was creamy but i wasn't able to capture the crab fat essence so to speak. the prawns were humongous so you get a lot of shimp meat. for almost 800PHP a pop, i'd have second thoughts ordering this dish. actually, if the pasta would have been bigger in serving then it would have just been perfect.

another of m's fave is the baby back ribs served with a honey bourbon sauce and corn and veggies on the side. i'd say this is the best ribs among the once i've tried in the past month or so. tender but not that meaty, the sauce was perfectly balanced with the tart, sweet and salty hints of flavors but of course i would love to have the smoky hint too. i like that the corn was freshly shredded from the cob.

it was a pleasurable dining experience. no misses. the only drawback i saw were the prices. but i am definitely coming back because i have yet to try the other menu items.

apt 1b
one lafayette square
sedeno st. salcedo village

May 21, 2008

quick stop at five cows

when i first learned about five cows i got pretty excited. then later on, i have read so many not so great reviews that my interest slowly dissipated. however, i was about to catch a film with some friends and we were on a tight schedule so i suggested five cows for a quick fix.

we got creamy beef and mushroom pasta with penne. i actually liked this dish. it was a creamy pasta with thin beef slices, similar to the ones used for sukiyaki. so the beef was tender and with some strips of fat, it was definitely yummy. well seasoned not bland and not salty either and the pasta was al dente.

another pasta dish is the gamberetti. shrimps cooked in olive oil and white wine??? not sure on that but they gave it a twist by adding sundried tomatoes. i love sundried tomatoes but the ones in the pasta are just too big. they should have chopped them more finely. there was something a miss with this dish...more olive oil and garlic perhaps? anyway, it was so so.

been looking over other tables and i just fancied the unusually shaped rectangular pizza. we got the margherita pizza. it wasn't flavorful, no hint of herbs whatsoever. but i like the crunchy crust (definitely premade) and the fact that they used loads of mozzarella cheese.

if you're tired from malling or in a rush to get a decent meal before your movie starts then five cows is an option. i haven't tried the desserts which they probably do better so i have yet to come back.

five cows
trinoma, cinema level

May 19, 2008

magic chips

here's a food find. magic chips. it's thin baked crackers with cheese or bqq flavoring. they taste like piattos actually. i love it because it's guilt free since they're baked and they taste like chips.

May 16, 2008

gaster deli @ 6750

this is a long overdue post. had lunch with other foodies. we tried out gaster deli at 6750. we were looking forward to trying out some of the food items featured in other blogs. unfortunately, they changed the menu and everything we wanted to try were all out.

jv and i decided to split everything since we just didn't find food that is extremely interesting. we had some pumpkin soup. no amount of pepper and salt could remedy this soup. all i could taste was cinnamon.

we also had the gaster burger. wagyu beef patties with foie gras. the beef didn't taste/look anything wagyu at all. i found a string in my patty too. jv said the foie gras didn't taste like foie gras and i didn't know what she meant then i eventually knew what she meant. foie gras should be fatty or atleast glistening when you eat it but this one isn't, it was too livery in taste and texture. and the aioli, it was just was already translucent with no distinct flavor at all, they could just have given us bottled mayo. the sad thing is, the burger costs around 600PHP.

hiro had kurobuta pork belly, they claim that it's from snake river farms. kurobuta is the wagyu of pork. it was a huge chunk of pork belly that is so tender. the flavor actually reminds me of humba, sweet and salty. it came with mashed potato and crispy greens which i'm not sure what it's made of =).

i wasn't really satisfied with our meal so i guess that's enough clue. the pork belly is delish but i think it's overly priced. as i've said they've changed the menu so all the ones available online are not accurate anymore unless they have been updated.

gaster deli
6750 ayala ave

May 15, 2008

lotsa fooda at bubba???

here's the last installment of my greenbelt tasting menus adventure. nothing unique about bubba gump but my friend was overly fixated to this place. the tasting menu was simple.

you can choose between the soup of the day or bbq chicken salad. we opted for the latter. it was an ample serving. the dressing suits well with the chicken bbq strips, the crunchy tortilla strips also gave texture. but again, another overly dressed salad.

the dixie style baby back ribs is tender and meaty. the bqq sauce is your usual american style sauce that is thick and tangy.

i liked the spiciness of the chipotle shrimp. the creamy sauce was not overpowering but i wish that the shrimps were bigger.

the alabama mud pie is so so. nothing spectacular with this this frozen cake dessert.

in terms of flavors, the dishes were pleasing to the palate. but i just found the entire dining experience so so. i guess it was because the food wasn't nicely presented and because the servings were not that substantive. i understand that the menu only costs 600 PHP which is relatively cheap but i'd think that people would be willing to shell out more just to get bigger servings.

i actually felt like the food was being served from a cafeteria of some sort. the salad seemed like it was just put over a plate and topped with some crunchy tortilla strips. the chipotle shrimp and baby back were served in the same plate, they just look so lonely in a huge white plate on top of newspapers. i guess it really boiled down to the sizes. they could have just used a smaller dish served the two dishes together with a surf and turf kind of thing going on. the uber small mud pie obviously looked like a small piece of of cake taken from one slice. it could just be the presentation of the food that needs improvement or increased serving sizes with the menu price being adjusted as well.

NOTE: items might look big but they're not actually :)

bubba gump
2nd level greenbelt 3

May 14, 2008

pepper lunch is now here

finally heard news about pepper lunch. it's opening on may 16 at powerplant. i sense a lunch break in rockwell next week... i hope hehe.

click here for more details

May 13, 2008

lunch @ brenner

finally, something casual. we knew that the menu at max brenner was quite heavy so we opted to get it for lunch. we initially had caesar twist, which is basically caesar salad with a twist. you get your usual romaine lettuce tossed with a caesar dressing, croutons, cheese and loads of bacon bits plus slivers of white chocolate. the only thing i noticed is that it was heavily dressed so you can probably opt to have the dressing on the side or request them to use less.

we then had chicken nibblers, which is basically chicken strips. lightly breaded with japanese bread crumbs with tender and juicy chicken strips inside. the plate was dusted with choco powder and served with a dip on the side. i actually think they could do better with the dip, a lot more chocolate and chilli powder would probably make it more interesting.

but the meal is not yet over, we were then served with bbq honey glazed baby back. the sauce was not heavy, it has a sweet and sour bite. the ribs were meaty but could go a bit more tender. the fries were perfectly cooked, thick home cut fries that were crispy and dusted with some parmesan cheese.

for dessert, we had banana trifle. fudge brownies, pound cake, bananas, custard with strawberry sauce and slivers of white and milk chocolate. it was so tempting that you simply cannot skip it, having the pound cake less crumbly would be perfect since it wasn't that great in the palate.

i think that max brenner's tasting menu is a winner in terms of the amount of food. the entire menu could probably feed 3-4 people, and based on what the wait staff said, you can get up to 4 trifle for dessert. probably not a date place but a very good meal to have with a group of friends, very filling and satiating as well.

NOTE: accdg to a friend the tasting menu is not available unless you have a coupon from the launch not sure if the tasting menu was just complimentary or this involves the coupon that you can find in appetite magazine.

tasting menu (may1-30): 1200PHP

max brenner

greenbelt 3, first level

May 12, 2008

dining at nuvo

here's another tasting menu, this time it's from nuvo. we got some free bread first. i like dinner rolls and theirs was perfect - soft and warm, a great way to start a meal. we then had a shrimp cocktail. it was aptly presented in a martini glass. shredded greens topped with some shrimps and chopped mango. the dressing was not extraordinary, it tasted like mayo and ketchup combined. but still good plus they didn't scrimp on the shrimps.

the soup was chicken consomme, well i think that's what it was. clear soup with some chicken dumplings which look like deformed chicken balls and shredded snow peas. the broth lacked flavor, the chicken essence was not evident. similarly, the chicken dumplings didn't really taste like chicken if they were indeed made of chicken. the shredded snow peas added texture but the long strips were a little bit off. a more flavorful broth would have made it remarkable and some fresh herbs would actually do the trick.

for the entree, you get to choose between wrapped grouper or steak foie gras (australian veal) and we chose the latter. cooked as preferred which was medium well, the foie gras and veal were a perfect pair served on a bed of crisp green veggies. i like this dish.

for a sweet ending you can opt for a raisin parfait or if you want something savory you can try some french cheese. i don't like raisins and i was apprehensive about this dessert but it definitely lingered in my palate. the parfait was creamy, smooth and very dense. this is my favorite among the food items served in the menu. definitely made a lasting impression. also, there's complimentary coffee or tea of your choice to cap your meal.

this was a pleasurable dining experience. a definite miss on the soup but everything else was ok. the parfait is on top of my list followed by the steak foie gras. the place has a great ambiance - a perfect setting for a quiet dinner indoors or a dinner celebration al fresco. and of course, good service which is expected from a fine resto such as nuvo.

note: pictures depict half a serving since we had it split but you only get one parfait

tasting menu (may 1-30): 1230 PHP


greenbelt 2

May 9, 2008

a take on mezze

my last spanish outing seem to have made me a little bit wary on spanish cuisine but i was still up for another food adventure. this time we headed to mezze, been hearing some great reviews about the place so i was pretty optimistic.

we were initially served with bread and gremolata. the bread was placed in paper cones which was nicely done and the gremolata was something to rave about. the balsamic reduction gave it the winning factor i could eat the bread and gremolata pairing as a meal =).

for appetizers we got the croquettas which are stuffed with cheese and ham, flavorful and crisp in the outside. the patatas brava are potato wedges drizzled with aioli. enough seasoning and perfectly cooked inside. the salpicao wrap is basically stuffed with lettuce and some salpicao, the beef was tender and well seasoned. great starters for our spanish feast.

after the platter, we were served with some grilled ahi tuna salad. the tuna was fresh and tender served with some herbs and spices more like a ceviche the only difference is that the tuna was seared. the dish was refreshing, a nice way to cleanse our palate post the fried appetizers.

the shrimp and scallop is served in a creamy concoction with a tinge of yellow color which probably came from saffron placed on top of peppers in a crunchy ciabatta bread. i like the the crunchy bread which contrasted the creamy seafoods but it would have been better if the bread was a bit warm.

paella de dona nena is a house speciality. served with a complete range of your usual paella ingredients. didn't scrimp on the seafood and shellfish. the rice is well cooked, i like that the rice is soft and meshed well together with the ingredients but having it piping hot would have been great.

for dessert, we had tropical rice pudding. it's mango rice pudding served in a puff pastry garnished with some berry coulis. the mango and rice tasted great but would have been better served sans the puff pastry. i think the textures just didn't add up well. i also liked the house iced tea which is similar to the raspberry teas you get at other establishments.

overall, it was a great meal. way better dishes than my previous review on spanish cuisine. the wait staff is very attentive as well especially on how they explain the dishes being served. i am definitely coming back just to get that newly toasted bread and the great gremolata.

tasting menu (may1-30) : 1000PHP
greenbelt 2

May 8, 2008

jap fix at haiku

haven't really heard much about haiku so i was looking forward to trying their tasting menu. i like the interiors of the place, it was very relaxing. the wait staff are attentive and renders good customer service.

the tasting menu was served on a clear glass plate. very clean and sleek. you simply can't wait to try out the dishes.

top (l-r): spicy tuna, haiku salad
bottom (l-r): haiku sashimi, gyudon roll

spicy tuna - japanese mayo tastes really good, mixing it up with fresh tuna is even better. simply melts in your mouth, no fishy taste, this is a fave.

haiku salad - perfect contrast of some crispy garnish (which i don't know of which it was made of) and greens. the dressing is a light asian dressing that is refreshing. the only drawback is the canned tuna, i think leaving it out would make the dish perfect, the shredded kani would suffice.

haiku style sashimi - another fave. the tuna simply melts in your mouth. served with a sesame oil based dressing that is light and flavorful.

gyudon roll - thin beef slices wrapped in a rice roll then fried with a tempura batter and topped with creamy jap mayo. who could go wrong with that? i was probably hallucinating when i initially thought it was unagi. i probably ought to check if they serve a similar roll but with unagi instead.

ika tempura (not part of the tasting menu) - love the ika tempura, the squid was cut like tentacles and garnished with some nori. it has a perfect thin crisp batter, however the squid was a but chewy good thing still has not become rubbery.

we also got complimentary langka ice cream which was flavorful, a nice way to end our meal.

i just realized that i have not raved about a meal in ages and this one definitely breaks the streak. this is a new fave love love the food.

tasting menu (may 1-30) : 495PHP
greenbelt 3, second level

May 7, 2008

spanish style at gaudi

the greenbelt restos came up with their tasting room menus, which is more popularly known as degustation. so here's the first installment of my tasting menu adventure, started off with gaudi.

we had some pintxos variados first. basically, they are just canapes. we had three samplings. the tarifa, a chicken based spread, different from your usual chicken sandwich filling topped with a slice of hard cheese which i cannot figure out what. the chatka is supposed to be crabmeat but it was just shredded kani sticks that you can get at other sandwich places. the viruta is serrano ham, how do you say' malansa' to describe cured meats? that's how it tasted like, it was dismal.

ok let's move on to the main courses. the bacalao ajoarriero is basically shredded bacalao, i could associate the dish with callos. it tasted like callos but only with bacalao and there's no evident tomato flavor.

the paella de cocido had soft arborio rice loads of garbanzos which were clearly extenders topped with a couple of slices of chorizo...totally forgettable.

the pollo al ajillo which is garlic chicken is not far from your garlicky adobo at home sans the soy and vinegar flavor. the chicken was not tender and juicy, am thinking it was not recently cooked.

the presentation itself lack the appeal of an appetizing meal then top that with totally forgettable dishes. i doubt that their tasting menu is gonna be a hit. i was totally disappointed with this place considering i've heard some great comments about it. as my friend said, you will not forget about it because it was totally forgettable.

tasting menu (may 1-30) : 630 PHP

greenbelt 3, cinema level

May 5, 2008

angelati italia

read about angelati a long time ago but since it's quite a hassle for me to get one and i'm not really an ice cream/gelato lover i skipped it. but when i saw its sign at megamall i just couldn't resist. i was evading cold stuff because i was at the verge of getting a cold...thought hard and finally took a risk of getting sick just to taste it.

you can try the flavors before settling for the one you really like. i was eyeing the creme brulee but tried the blueberry cheesecake first. it tasted like real berries and didn't get any hints of artificial flavorings. but i still couldn't resist the caramelized sugar flavor in the creme brulee. the gelato was smooth and dense, you know that you are getting some high grade stuff. i'm not sure though if the caramelized sugar flavor was supposed to taste like it nearly got burnt.

you can get the ice cream per scoop, the regular flavor is at 70PHP, i forgot about the price of the premium flavors. the serving is small more expensive than amici's but definitely better

angelati italia
ground floor , just around the corner of segue
megamall bldg a