Jan 28, 2013

lunch at mangetsu

to compensate for our not so fantastic christmas dinner we decided to have lunch at the much talked about mangetsu in jupiter. b and c have been here so we were sure that we won't be disappointed.

uni tempura - as if we haven't had enough tempura? of course this was done right, thin and crispy batter. they have the signature kropek (prawn crackers) in the stick and rectangle forms. i wanted to try uni since some of the foodie bloggers i read enjoy it and this was perfect because it's cooked not raw. verdict? i will never have uni again haha. not that it's not good, it's just that the creamy fishy taste doesn't suit my palate well. plus the fact that i had to eat most of this because it was my order and my friends only tried one piece each me thinks.

chicken karaage, tender flavorful chicken pieces with 3 kinds of salt. i liked the spicy one.

spicy tuna salad, ok this one was so so. i wanted it very spicy and creamy and the tuna didn't have that. i still think haiku's spicy tuna is the best.

sukiyaki - something to balance our meal, something with a sauce and the right amount of sweetness and saltiness to avoid any cloying effect of the fried stuff we got. this was good, just the right balance of flavors. it was served in this huge inverted hat looking iron dish.

it was a good meal, a nice yearend lunch with my favorite tweeties.

jupiter street
makati city


just one quick post before that christmas lunch i talked about earlier. here's another casual dinner with friends at chihuahua.  kl lacks the kind of tex-mex restos that have sprouted in manila and i so wanted my burrito bowl.

their in house hot sauce concoction of charlie sheen. was already happy with it, added kick to the salsas they have.

nacho grande??? forgot the exact name got everything on it nachos. it was nice.

my chicken salad, yupyup i didn't get the burrito bowl because i don't like rice. the salad is basically like a burrito bowl sans the rice. it's refreshing, i needed this dose of tex-mex in my diet.

greenbelt 2

three restos on a christmas night

it's a christmas dinner with friends which ended up in three restos. first stop, wild flour.

freebie bread

mixed veggie tempura, light batter and a great selection of veggies including squash blossoms. bad thing? it was soooooo oily. we asked them to drain it out again and weren't sure if they did anything to remedy the oiliness. we didn't finish this one. i reckon it was cooked at the wrong temperature making it extremely oily....icky oily.

tarte flambe with gruyere, apple and arugula. it was good,  the three main ingredients complemented each other (i hate arugula but i still eat it plus b super loves it) you have salty, sweet and bitter. i just think that the crust was too thin or rather it was too wet to hold everything together.

roasted bone marrow, b and i always order bone marrow whenever it's on the menu. this was just alright. the mango salsa brightened up the oh so boring marrow. i think it still needs a minute or two under the broiler and more salt and pepper it was quite bland.

braised short rib. it was alright, it could have been more tender though. i liked it but b finds it a bit expensive. this was 700PHP ++ me thinks. so what do you think? was it over priced? 

we didn't make reservations so we were in such a hurry. we were only given about an hour to have dinner. the meal was ok, but i deem that the dishes could have been done much better. 

so because of that artery clogging meal, it was so apt to get some tea. we wanted to try da u de as well which was just next door. we perused the menu but there wasn't anything exciting for desserts so we just had tea. i forgot what we chose, it was a special blend of fruits. their wait staff needs to be trained more. we basically got nothing out of him so we just chose a flavor ourselves. 

the unique tea contraption...was wondering why we were served with clear plasticky looking cups which raised our eyebrows but then they brought out the tea pot which explained why the cups were such.

i liked the fruity tones of the tea no sugar needed or maybe we were just trying to be healthy because of that marrow and oily tempura from dinner. i hope they had more exciting pastries because if they had we would have stayed. 

still unable to satiate our palates and in dire need of something sweet, we walked further to bhs central.  slice was full, and b is not happy with the cake club so we just ended up in village tavern.

there was a bit of drama with that whole bistro card that b availed but i already blogged about that here.

we initially wanted to order two desserts, but we had the thai chicken salad first and because we were still full we had to cancel the other dessert and opt for just the carrot cake. doesn't it look oh so yummy. it was, actually, the carrot cake was very moist and warm. i was just disappointed because i thought it had cream cheese icing. the icing on this one was just too cloying for me. arrrgh! b and i always become victims of this supposed much raved about restos which always fall short of our expectations. i am not sure if it was just what we ordered or we just have such high expectations that we just get disappointed when it doesn't deliver up to par. 

because we weren't overjoyed with this christmas dinner. we followed it up with a chrismas lunch to make ourselves happy, i'll post that one next.

wildflour cafe
da u de tea lounge

g/f net lima bldg
4th ave cor 26th 
the fort, taguig

village tavern
bhs central
the fort, taguig

surf and turf l'entrecote style

finally, i was able to try l'entrecote. this is one of my christmas lunches and was really happy with this meal. this is one of the rare occasions i order wine, i think it best suits a meal with steak. i might not have followed the cardinal rule of red wine for red meat but i think white wine is still better than ordering iced tea, don't yah think?

complimentary bread - what do you call this type of bread? crunchy on the outside but has a soft and pillowy inside and of course it was warm, perfect!

fondue cheese bites, i've read so much about this and being a cheese lover myself i wanted to try it. it was such a disappointment. i didn't taste anything cheesy about it and i can taste the oil in the bread,  it was bordering rancid. i am not even sure if this was freshly made.

l'entrecote menu, this comes with the steak and fries and salad, there's another menu that comes with wine and dessert already but we just opted for this so we can choose our wine and we weren't keen on getting dessert anyway. i liked the dressing of the salad it was light and flavorful. it balanced out the rich and creamy herb butter sauce of the steak.

the steak with the secret herb butter sauce and homemade fries.  loved the tender steak it was cooked just right and the butter sauce was flavorful and the homemade fries also made the calories oh so worth it. there's a tealight candle at the bottom of the plate to keep it warm which is a brilliant idea. though it dries up the sauce and could cook your steak much further at least you won't end up finishing a steak with grease.

pasta with spinach cream with lobster, this is to "balance out" the protein rich steak. i wanted lobster instead of lapu-lapu which you could choose for your pasta. i also thought that even though it's spinach cream it wouldn't be too cloying and thankfully i was right. the pasta wasn't cream heavy and i liked the smokey charred flavor of the lobster. a perfect dish for those who want to skip their meat.

aside from the forgettable cheese bites, annoying fly inside the resto which the wait staff relentlessly tried to "kill" in fairness to them, i also found the menu quite confusing. maybe they were trying to emulate a bistro or brasserie type of menu? i'm not sure i have yet to go to paris to validate that. but it was really confusing - various fonts, not so obvious categorization of menu items, it was a bit of challenge considering it was just a four page menu if i'm not mistaken. that's about it. i still love the food and would definitely go back.

burgos circle
the fort, taguig

lugang cafe

finally, i get to try lugang as they opened a new branch at my side of the metro.

vietnamese spring rolls, nothing really bad about this one...my dad's order, he's starting to like vietnamese food or maybe just the spring rolls. the rolls could have been better if they were more golden and crunchy. i dunno why the texture doesn't have that popped skin effect which is common  on vietnamese spring rolls even with my homemade one.

wonton soup, it's a staple for my dad. he loves soup so we had to get one. had to request the kitchen to reheat it, it wasn't as hot as we expected but quite nice.

just your typical yang chow.

salt and pepper cuttlefish, super tender cuttlefish wonder how they do it. hopefully they can make the breading more crisp and there's not much salt and pepper going on there, it lacks flavor, we used the dip of the vietnamese spring rolls which made it perfect.

three cup chicken, this was a winner, tender chicken pieces piping hot in a thick flavorful sauce. no wonder this is one of their bestsellers. perfect for a steaming bowl of rice, skip the yang chow!

there were still glitches on the service, but they have only been opened just a couple of days when we visited so i understand. there are flies inside the resto...they should close their door even if it makes the area less spacious or if it means alienating the customers seated outside. i highly recommend the place especially for families. the food is good and they have reasonable prices, which was a total surprise considering the ambiance is several notches higher than your typical chinese restos which have the same price points. now i understand why they have a lot of patrons, you guys should try it.

lugang cafe
the block, sm north edsa


when deal grocer offered vouchers for bistecca i knew i had to grab it. in one of my christmas lunches i used it and it was good enough to feed 3 people who didn't have breakfast. yeah that's how filling this was.

their famous truffle fries, seasoned with parmesan and truffle. honestly, i wasn't amazed. the flavors were too subtle. i've read people had seconds but for me, one order was enough not because i was counting my calorie intake but it wasn't just that mind blowing. maybe if the fries were more crunchy instead of soggy it could have been a hit.

their steak sandwich. it's a one and half feet long ciabatta bread with 3 flavors.

surf and turf has slices of beef, shrimp and blue cheese mayo dressing. i liked this one because of the subtle flavors nothing too salty (ok just so you know, i've acquired the malaysian palate which is less tolerant with salty and sweet food, my family now thinks everything i cook is matabang). this one is not  matabang it was really flavorful.

french dip is slices of beef with jus and cheese. this was way salty, though my friends say it still suits the filipino palate. this was like bistek tagalog sans the citrus undertones and paired with cheese. it was also nice just didn't suit my now malaysian palate.

bbq beef, i don't know if it was intentional or not but this has very dry beef unlike the first two wherein you have tender slivers of beef, this one has dry bordering crunchy beef which actually works for me. imagine a well seasoned beef charred well that it creates a crunchy layer of meat with intense flavors of sweet, salty and smokiness paired with a red cabbage slaw that adds the right tartness to balance the flavors. that's what the bbq beef was for me. it was my second favorite.

overall, it was a good meal, especially since i got it with a huge discount. maybe i should have dinner there next time and try the steaks and other dishes.

joya tower
rockwell, makati city

Jan 23, 2013

sg: dean and deluca

drumroll please....this was my best 2012 meal. when i learned about dean and deluca opening in singapore i got so excited and then a friend posted being there which made me more obsessed. good thing i had an impromptu trip to sg late last year which allowed me to try out the place. it was full and we really waited in line to get seated. here's what we got.

they have quite a few salads, they all looked great. we went for grilled chicken salad with grapes, apples and walnuts. it was a classic combination but nonetheless good with a very light vinaigrette. this was filling and perfect for those on a diet ;).

portobello cheeseburger??? super yummy, has a cheese sauce that was not cloying and perfectly complemented the mushrooms and the juicy burger. munching on my fries dipped in ketchup i tasted something else. i ate another piece without ketchup and then another one. holy moly, it's truffle fries!!! i was so excited with this one.

french toasts with caramelized bananas, berries and vanilla ice cream. i actually posted the photos in reverse. we got the french toasts first and it was happiness in my mouth. brioche coated with cornflakes fried to perfection, a nice caramel with fruits and ice cream it was heaven. i had to stop myself to make room for the other two. 

their signature drink is marble latte which is what me and my friends got. it's dark and white chocolate latte. it was good but for 8SGD i'd probably drink something else next time. because the food is good, it's better to just have a plain drink like water or brewed coffee. this was a very good meal in sg. a must for anyone who can try it.

dean and deluca 
orchard central 
orchard road, singapore

Jan 17, 2013

pj: organic express

organic express is another vegetarian resto we frequent. it has a more casual ambiance than kechara. here's what we got in one of our dinners.

brown rice - freshly cooked unlike one of the places we ate at

steamed ginger "fish" something like that. the cooking method of choice is not apt for fake fish actually (not my choice :D) 

some stir fried veggies which was nice

butter cream chicken?  yes another buttered something this one has a more distinct curry flavor which complements the bland veggie meat.

sweet and sour fish...worked out just fine

freebie rojak...nothing much to rave about

organic express
49, ss2/30
same row as lobsterman

Jan 16, 2013

pj: kechara oasis restaurant

i have not blogged much about my vegetarian dinners. actually, my colleagues and i enjoy eating vegetarian. we are lucky enough that there are a couple of nearby vegetarian places. the quality of the vegetarian restos here are really amazing especially when it comes to the fake meat and seafood.

anyway, kechara is one of the finer vegetarian restos we visit. here's dinner in one of our outings, i forgot the exact names (sorry).

delicate block of tofu which a brown savory meat sauce. i liked this one the best because it was delicate and yet flavorful.

butter mushrooms, another style of anything buttered this one is rather saucy. creamy cheese sauce with curry leaves and bird's eye chillis in some occassions. this one was fried oyster mushrooms, what i didn't like was the sauce that wasn't cheesy/buttery or milky at all and it was a tad sweet.

"fried eel" this was just mushrooms, yums.

japanese/eggy tofu with chilli sauce, just so so.

a bit more sophisticated vegetarian restaurant which offers great service, nice ambiance and good food.

kechara oasis restaurant
jaya one
jalan universiti

pj: new formosa

i've read about new formosa on several food blogs before it's supposed to be a long running taiwanese resto. then found out that it was nearby my workplace. we've been here a couple of times trying out different stuff. but here's a meal wherein we availed a dinner set.

grilled garlic prawn, nothing spectacular, it was ok.

stir fried mushrooms of some sort, it was okay.

buttered eel...i love eel :) and i love anything buttered. a buttered dish in malaysia is basically curry leaves, chilli padi (bird's eye chilli) fried in butter and then mixed with whatever fried/battered meat or seafood.

steamed fish, i don't like this version of steamed fish if i'm not mistaken this is teochew which is not taiwanese!!!. it's mildly seasoned and the ingredients doesn't do much on the fish. this is only perfect if the fish is very fresh otherwise one should stick to hongkong style which was soy and slivers of ginger which removes any possible fishy flavors. my colleagues chose this one and i didn't contend.

pig trotters....think pata tim. very soft practically falling off the bones with a nice salty and sweet sauce.

fried beancurd sheets with a smaller kind of bokchoy. it looks simple but this dish was made perfectly well.

muachi!!! this was complimentary and i loved it. soft sticky rice cubes dredged in crushed peanuts.

nicefood, good service, a great place for big gatherings and food to share.

new formosa
jalan ss2/24
on the left and side opposite mobil 
if coming from the old rothman roundabout