Oct 23, 2010

birthday dinner at the establishment

i guess my last trip back home was timely because some of my favorite people celebrated their birthdays during that time. it never fails that i get to try a new place with b whenever i come home. i was thinking of sala but the birthday girl wanted something else so we eventually thought of the establishment.

me thinks the reviews we read were pretty outdated. nothing really popped out the menu so we took a jab at their omakase - a degustation without an actual list of dishes and you are basically at the chef's mercy...hoping he/she will not screw it up. we got the 6 course menu at only 900PHP.

a lil bit of fun is a watermelon and lychee based mocktail, was apprehensive about this when we saw mustard on the menu and then the waiter said there's really no mustard. so how funny is that?

first appetizer is a seared tuna with sauce and ebikko on top. the sauce was nice, but i wonder why the tuna was stringy. i've never had seared tuna before but when you see it on tv it doesn't look stringy. the edges are cooked a bit with the center still pink/reddish this one ain't like that. i wonder whether this is low grade tuna...good thing it doesn't have a fishy taste.

second appetizer is salmon sashimi, this one doesn't have that seared/slighly cooked effect. plain raw salmon with wasabi ebikko and another sauce with some relish of some sort. so so, sashimi ain't that mouth watering that it has this melt in your mouth texture just like the ones i get here in kl.

tomato soup, nothing extraordinary. deem that it's all canned tomatoes and topped with some basil which gave it that "fresh" factor. and you know what's weird? our friend came late so she was behind us and her tomato soup was served with cream on top. how inconsistent is that?

salad with grilled goat cheese on top - ok this one we liked. it wasn't extraordinary but there were really no complaints on this one. straight forward salad of mesclun greens with a balsamic dressing and goat cheese on top.

our entree - pasta! yup we were looking at each when we saw this served. like totally in disbelief that for entree they will serve pasta. and the worst thing is there's nothing in it. a sliver of cheese and roasted almonds on top and that was it. i tasted a hint of orange like some orange peel but that was it. not even a huge prawn on top or other ingredients. like what the hell? couldn't it be atleast a small piece of chicken?

for dessert, a small sliver of moist chocolate cake with cream. now that i'm writing this, it reminds me of the no bake brownies i used to make.

do i really have to cap it all up? well ok i understand it was just 900php for 6 courses so what do we expect? but, it's the establishment! at the fort where people who can pay dine and eat at. we were really disappointed. the sad thing is, the chef approached us after our dinner and we didn't say a word. i am not used to this kind of encounter and i cannot be brutally honest when it comes to this. if the dishes are under seasoned or maybe if there was a bug in my dish then i would complain. but how can one explicitly point out the misses in this meal? and can you see the inconsistency in this meal? two jap dishes, italian soup and salad, unknown pasta dish and a generic dessert. well if the chef gets to read this, i apologize for not being honest but i will not apologize for this not so good review because it was simply the truth.

btw - the best thing we had was a platter of blue corn chips we ordered. it was the only thing we enjoyed =).

the establishment
bonifacio global city
taguig, metro manila

Oct 17, 2010

birthday treat @ kebab factory

for my tita's birthday lunch, she asked me if i wanted to try kebab factory. i've read a couple of posts on this so i was keen to try it as well. also wanted to see the new megamall atrium.

got served with two sauces. these are refillable, but you can't have the entire squeeze bottle - good way to prevent people from practically drinking the sauces. i've read that the sauces were good. actually, i don't find anything extraordinary about them. the garlic sauce wasn't garlicky enough and the hot sauce was basically a spicy white sauce - no distinct flavors whatsoever.

we ordered two types of naan, plain and garlic. i liked them both. i liked that the naan is thin and got charred/crunchy a bit. this is a typical malaysian fare and i'd have to say it's one of the best i've tried comparable to suzy's which i deems offers the best mamak naan by far.

the birthday girl only wanted to try one dish - malai kofta, it's vegetarian kofta (i reckon she's just 95% vegetarian - surrounded by meat loving people i don't think she can ever go back to being 100% and i love tempting her with food...ssssshhhh). the kofta was nice, i don't like bean/legume based vegetarian stuff such as this but since this was accompanied by other meat dishes i was pretty happy about it. i also liked the curry used with this - not too strong but really flavorful. wonder what type of curry this was.

we also got fish coriander curry - i'm unsure whether there were curry spices in it because the coriander overpowered all other spices if there were any. it has a refreshing flavor but would have wanted the sauce to be thicker and a more fleshy white fish like maya-maya would have been apt or wouldn't it be a sin to use seabass with this? hehe i think it would be perfect =).

we want meat!!!! so we asked the wait staff which is a nice meat dish and he/she said the shish kebab - it's a bestseller. it was a disappointment, the lamb has that gamey taste and it was freaking tough, difficult to chew. tita s and i regretted this, we should have ordered the keema instead.

the meal doesn't end here, we also ordered chicken tandoori. i was not too excited about this since i can get it anytime here in kl, but this one was different. it was so juicy and perfectly cooked. i really liked this one. btw, the picture shows half a serving already, i forgot to take a picture before we devoured it.

and for dessert, we got gulab jammun. i've been meaning to try this. it's an indian milk dumpling soaked in syrup. it tastes/feels like very fine mamon shaped like a ball and dipped in syrup. i like.

overall it was a good meal, all hits except for the shish kebab. it's reasonably priced if you consider the location and ambiance. a good place to get a basic indian fix.

the kebab factory
2/f sm megamall atrium
mandaluyong, metro manila

Oct 11, 2010

my first stop at the old vine

been reading a lot about old vine and since it's on the way home from the airport, i decided to have merienda at the eastwood mall branch.

wanted something light and healthy so we ordered salads. here's the caesar salad, very plain to me they didn't even use romaine it was just iceberg lettuce. it was just ok.

i so wanted to try the tessie tomas salad, and it didn't fail me. it was love - they use a special dressing, put slivers of cheese i reckon parmesan, grilled shrimp and what i loved about this was the smoked salmon. i really liked this salad.

also got the lasagna, it was nicely flavored but we felt like there's too much beef. i like my lasagna with the right balance of pasta and beef but this one has a very thin layer of pasta and was all beef so you'll get that "umay" feeling plus it was too oily dunno if it came from the meat sauce or also because of the cheese.

i specifically wanted to put this at the last section, i've read that these breads are usually free but we only got this because we ordered soup. i wonder what's the real deal with these bonnet looking breads is it still free or not or whether it becomes complimentary at certain time during the day. it was warm and soft though.

the service was great, one of the places i've had great service, too bad there was a fly at our table which was pretty bothersome. will definitely be back because of tessie tomas =).

old vine grille
eastwood mall
libis, qc

Oct 8, 2010

kl: marriott's hotel buka puasa buffet

this is a long overdue post. i'm sure you guys are familiar with the ramadan season, when muslims fast the entire day and can only eat during a certain period relative to the sunrise/sunset. anyway, it's very common here to have buffets for the buka puasa (if you search the internet it means open feast but my muslim friends say it means more like break the fast). this is my first time to try one - marriott's buffet was a completely malaysian fare.

our table was next to the pool, the tents were set up as food stalls.

the booth beside our table has one whole roasted lamb.

our table at the foreground all have glasses of ais syrup a common malaysian drink has a hint of bandung (rose) - don't like!

satay - grilled lamb and chicken with peanut sauce and sliced cucumber, chicken murtabak which is like a thin pancake stuffed with chicken and onions and mee goreng (stir fried noodles).

sup ekkor - oxtail soup got lots of herbs very flavorful but not spicy.

roasted lamb, nasi kerbau (blue rice which got colored by a specific herb/flower), beef rendang, veggies and stir fried shrimps.

jicama, corn and ham salad, various keropok (crackers) squid, fish and veggie flavors.

unknown fried ball was stuffed with savory items i had to spit it out :D, sweetened banana more like minatamis na saging but this one has sago the bananas are tough i want them gooey and one of my favorite desserts - bread pudding with flan at the bottom served with vanilla sauce.

ais kacang - the malaysian version of halo halo.

it was a good spread but felt overstuffed with malay treats, and knowing these can be had at cheap prices outside made me feel it's not that worth it. it is one of the cheapest buka puasa buffets though at 75RM++ but maybe next time i'll try a western buka puasa.

marriott hotel
jalan bukit bintang
kuala lumpur

Oct 7, 2010

kl: harrod's

harrod's might be famous for opulent shopping but it's also famous for food. the food hall of harrod's in london is known for good food, unfortunately i haven't eaten there. in kl, there's a store and resto in klcc where the petronas towers are, i haven't found the time to try their roast and yorkshire pudding though. at KLIA, there's harrod's too and i've always wanted to try it. i've flewn back to manila a couple times this year and only during my recent flyback was i able to try it - the place is always full.

so here's my "english breakfast".

this is a set which costs 25RM (350PHP), you get tea or coffee, a glass of orange juice and a scone with clotted cream and jam. this was timely because i was craving for scones and clotted cream. you can see the dinnerware with the famous logo and notice the tea leaf strainer. yeah, it was an expensive breakfast but you're paying for the name and simply having a set like this with the matching dinnerware was just so opulent and very english hahaha.