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Ever Had Your Pizza Black?
Smile 4 days ago
The Village Tavern would have to be one of my favorite Bistro Group-run restaurants. Although pricier than its other sister restaurants, you can be assured that it pays careful attention to the execution and quality of its dishes.

   Blackened Chicken Alfredo

Because we couldn't start raving about its Blackened Chicken Alfredo (P425/P650) since our first visit, we just had to order it again! It featured fettucine in a light creamy alfredo sauce, with grilled chicken strips, broccoli, and fresh tomatoes. However, it was not as good as the one we had before! The sauce wasn't as tasty; and the chicken was a bit dry. It was so far from the one we had before, that it seemed like it was a completely different dish altogether.

Luckily, the dishes that we decided to try out more than made up for the disappointing Alfredo.

   Snapper Hemingway

We enjoyed the Snapper Hemingway (P550/750), which featured a nice fillet of snapper, cooked in white wine, and served with angel hair pasta. The snapper had a nice meaty bite to it, and was wonderfully paired with some lemon and capers.

   Braised Beef

The Braised Beef in red wine jus was really tender and tasty. We opted to pair it up with really delicious potatoes; however, you can choose to have the rice pilaf. This was definitely a must-try!

   Black Pizza

Lastly, the Black Pizza (P475) piqued my curiosity; since I never had squid ink pizza before or seen a pizza literally colored black. The dough itself was made with squid ink, which made it incredibly tasty and irresistible! Aside from this, it was loaded with three kinds of cheeses, gruyere, mozzarella, and parmesan; and was served with some pepperoni, mushrooms, and bell peppers. It would have been better if the crust were crunchier, but the entire experience was amazing!

Overall, it was a wonderful second visit to The Village Tavern. Although, the Blackened Chicken Alfredo miserably failed to live up to what we tried before; the other dishes were still quite splendid!

Date of Visit:
2014-01-31

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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KKK Food Revolution
Smile 5 days ago
If it we'rent for a friend, I wouldn't have the opportunity to dine at this restaurant. The name is quite interesting enough but I am a bit skeptic when dining in a restaurant that serves Filipino dishes. I mean, our mothers and lolas are all great cooks (which I know most of you will agree) so tasting extra special Filipino dishes in a restaurant sometimes becomes more of a miss than a hit.

 

I had the Lemongrass Iced Tea. The glass was a novelty- thumbs up. However, it tasted too sweet so it doesn't taste refreshing anymore. But I did manage to finish it to the last drop.

 

For appetizer, we had the Crispy KangKong. This is the local version of the popular crispy spinach that's been quite popular years ago. This tasted so nice, including the vinegar dip. Two thumbs up! I can happily eat this the whole day.

 

KKK's famous Sinigang na Lechon. I was really excited to try this since I love sinigang and I love lechon but it falls short from expectation and doesn't taste spectacular.

 

Kare-Kare. Now this is a very praise-worthy kare-kare that made me forget I'm eating in a restaurant and made me recall the feasts that my lola used to prepare. This deserves another two thumbs up. The ox trip and meat was very tender and the peanut sauce doesn't taste it came from a pack.

 

Overall, it was an interesting and good dining experience. The interiors at this restaurant are also nice and the staff are warm and friendly. smile

Recommended Dish(es):
crispy kangkong,kare kare

Spending:
Approximately
Php300(Lunch)

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (4)
  • Clean (4)
  • Price (5)
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A Taste of Kapampangan Flavor
Just OK 5 days ago
UP Town Center is bustling with a lot of new and busy restaurants such as the much talked about Ginza Bairin, the immensely popular 8 Cuts and Casa Verde (evident in their never ending queues) to name a few. There are familiar faces such as Steveston Pizza, and JCo Donuts; but some interesting new players as well.

One of which would be the Kapampangan restaurant, Pinac.

Sadly, the sole reason why we ended up dining in Pinac would be because it was the 'most available' during that busy lunch hour. I didn't have high hopes for the meal, but wished that somehow, it would be at least worth the visit.

   Sizzling Sisig

We proceeded to order a number of 'safe' choices such as the Sizzling Sisig (P155) which we started with. I would have to admit that it was tasty; however, I was not a fan of it.

   Inihaw na Liempo

We also tried the Inihaw na Liempo (P190), which was well-marinated and flavorful. The pork belly was really delicious; however there was barely enough meat to fully enjoy it.

   Beef Tapa

The Beef Tapa (P195) was a complete meal on its own, as it was served with sunny side eggs, garlic rice, and some atsara. An odd but pleasant surprise would be that it was served with some eggplant and kangkong. Although these were far from the usual breakfast sides we're accustomed to, they were perfect complements to the tasty beef strips.

   Jerry's Fried Itik

I'd have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Jerry's Fried Itik (P295) which was cooked in olive oil, garlic, and liver spread. The duck meat was quite tough; however, I did appreciate how tasty it was.

   Binukadkad na Tilapia

As a lighter alternative to our meaty dishes, we also ordered the Binukadkad na Tilapia (P255) which was perfectly crispy. It was also served with some lovely light soy sauce and a refreshing yellow mango chutney.

   Calamansi Panna Cotta and Turon with Dulce de Leche

For our dessert, we enjoyed the Calamansi Panna Cotta and Turon with Dulce de Leche (P120). I was happy with this dessert; however, I wished that the panna cotta would have been smoother.

   Brazo de Mais at Salabat

We also had the Brazo de Mais at Salabat (P185) which was just alright. The meringue and custard simply passed expectations.

Overall, Pinac still has a lot of work to do with regard to improving the quality of its dishes. I have noted that some dishes had the potential of being stellar; however more details have to be paid more attention to. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to a second visit to the restaurant, but I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Date of Visit:
2014-01-19

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (3)
  • Environment (4)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (4)
  • Price (5)
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New Found Love for Sticky Toffee Pudding
Just OK 2014-04-05

I'd have to say that Spatzle has its own charm of welcoming intrigued diners in. Aside from its laidback vibe and quirky interiors, its interesting European Market set up definitely is enough to hype up one's curiosity.

Aside from the usual tissue and utensils, Spatzle also provides its personalized hand sanitizer for its diners to use.

Its menu is on a hard folder, just like the ones that Green Pastures and The Clubhouse have. The menu had a number of interesting dishes listed; but since we were just two, we were constrained in our selections.

The drinks selection was immensely tempting, that we decided to order a drink each.

   All Natural Citrus Cooler Soda

My mom had the All Natural Citrus Cooler Soda (P145), which was a refreshing blend of citrus fruits, mint leaves, honey, and cucumbers in sparkling water.

   Spatz All Natural Caffeine Free Iced Tea

I decided to have the Spatz All Natural Caffeine Free Iced Tea (P98), which seemed to taste like chamomile tea with honey, paired with slices of lemon.

I found both drinks interesting; however, they fail to pair well with the food that we ordered.

   Roast Chicken Sausage on Mushroom Spatzle

The first of which would be the Roast Chicken Sausage on Mushroom Spatzle (P319), which was paired with gravy. I found the meat really dry, but the chicken had really tasty skin which made the dish bearable. The spatzle was definitely not the best I've tasted. I'd rather go to Brotzeit (also in Shangri-la) to get some good tasting spatzle fare.

   Monte Blanc

We also shared the Monte Blanc (P325) tarte flambe, which featured a delightful topping made from a mixture of pancetta, bacon bits, spinach, mushrooms, and cream sauce. These are all topped with a layer of potato chips. I definitely enjoyed this dish, especially because of the chips. I'd have to say that the extra crunch brought the flatbread dish up to a whole different level. The tarte flambe was pretty tasty on its own, but the extra crunch and saltiness made it more satisfying to eat.

   Sticky Toffee Pudding

My favorite dish for the night would have to be the Sticky Toffee Pudding (P110). It was definitely a TINY piece of dessert; however, its top layer is something that you would definitely crave for. It had just the right amount of sweetness, which was perfectly complemented by its cake base. This was the dish that convinced me to try Spatzle out again in the near future.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with the turnout of its main dishes. I'd like to believe that we just ordered the wrong things; however, having a mediocre spatzle dish when it's the name that your restaurant bears is a bit concerning. Luckily though, it still has its hits to make up for its misses.

It's a place where there is an endless supply of mouthwatering aromas, and quirky interiors such as the bill folder shown below.

Date of Visit:
2014-01-11

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (3)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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Greeka Kouzina: From Quiet to Mainstream Dining
Smile 2014-03-30
Tucked away in a small corner along P. Guevarra St., Greeka Kouzina's simple exteriors may easily go unnoticed by diners who have never heard of the place.

For those who have, I'm sure a certain loyalty will have been forged after that first amazing dining experience. You would have then stopped minding about having to braving through the traffic of Ortigas Avenue and EDSA and the crazily limited parking space it has. Its food is simply something that you can't help but keep coming back to.

That's why I was quite surprised to see it branching out to SM Aura. It made me wonder how this expansion will all come into play. Can the Aura branch live up to the expectations of loyal die-hard Greeka Kouzina diners? Would its homey ambiance still be maintained now that Greeka situates itself in a shopping mall?

Thus, I decided to do a little bit of experimentation. I decided to dine in its two branches within a month's time.

THE FIRST VISIT: JANUARY 2, 2014 (P. GUEVARRA BRANCH)

Since we were introducing Greeka to my mom's sister, Ai Beth, for the first time, we decided to play it safe when it came to the dishes we ordered. We stuck to our usual fare, with just slight deviations.

Our first main would be their signature Arni Lemonato (P610), lamb roasted for five hours which made it so tender that the meat easily fell off the bones. Read more about it in my previous Greeka Kouzina article.

   Arni Lemonato

We decided to pair this rich and tasty main with the Roka Garides Pasta. The shrimp and arugula pasta provided a nice contrast to the smoky flavors of the meat since the noodles were tossed in a light and zesty tomato sauce and garnished with feta cheese for that extra kick of flavor.

   Roka Garides Pasta

We mistakenly ordered the Chicken Souvlaki (P430). We thought that it was the same as the Chicken Souvlaki Salad. Instead, the greens were replaced with slices of pita bread. The lack of greens wasn't a problem for us. Rather, it was the chicken itself which was a bit lackluster. It was dry and paled considerably in flavor compared to what we had before.

   Chicken Souvlaki

For the side, we decided to pair it up with the Moussaka, which featured layers of grilled eggplant, ground beef, and bechamel sauce. Their moussaka is just alright for me. I prefer my mom's. However, my mom herself, and her sister, were fans of it so I guess it was acceptable.

   Moussaka

Since we didn't finish the pita bread, we had enough room to accommodate two dessert options.

The first would be my mom and aunt's pick, the Milopita (P180). It featured a thin crepe like-pastry filled with sliced apples, and sprinkled with cinnamon. It was topped by a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was a so-so dessert that would satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. It was alright; however, I don't think I'll ever find myself drooling about it.

   Milopita

My pick for the night was the opposite. It's something that I couldn't stop drooling about and yapping about. The Greeka Yogurt (P170) featured two lovely scoops of amazingly luscious Greek yogurt, on a bed of honey, and sprinkled with a handful of pistachios. Simply a delight in each bite!

   Greeka Yogurt

THE SECOND VISIT: JANUARY 25, 2014 (SM AURA)

This time, I was accompanied with my mom and sister; so we had more opportunity to sample dishes we hadn't tried before.

The first would be the Krasates (P480), which featured two hefty pieces of perfectly grilled tender pork chops topped with a thin layer of bleu cheese walnut. This was such a delightful dish where you can certainly get your money's worth. The pork chops were tender and well marinated (that you can do without the gravy!)

   Krasates

For our other main dish, we decided to sample its Salmon in Avgilemeono Sauce (P530). This pan-fried piece of salmon was prepared perfectly. It was juicy, and was such a delight to eat on its own. I wasn't a fan of its greek wine and lemon base sauce. For me, the sauce simply overpowers the naturally delicious flavor of the salmon.

   Salmon in Avgilemono Sauce

For our sides, we decided to get the Moussaka, once more. (I am really not a fan of it, but I don't get why they keep ordering it :|). We also got the lovely Watercress Salad which was a refreshing alternative to our mains.

   Watercress Salad

For both nights, I came home with a full stomach and a giddy feeling. Despite switch to going mainstream, Greeka has managed to be consistent with the quality dishes they have been known for.

Date of Visit:
2014-01-02

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (5)
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Grilla, Rockwell
Smile 2014-03-29
Tofu and Sigarilyas Sisig | P145.00
My favorite dish is sisig, so I was really excited about how this dish would taste like. Unlike the usual sisig, this one has got sigarilyas and tofu thrown in the mix. Of course, onions are and will always be present in this dish. I find it awesome for a sisig fan like me. It may be tangy but everything seems to blend well together. This one is from Apalit, Pampanga

 

Chicharong Cebu | P160.00
Yes, it’s a bit costly but I assure you it’s the kind of chicharon you surely wouldn’t want to miss. They use the back fat of the pork. It may look thin, but it is seasoned at its finest. This dish takes its root from Carcar, Cebu.

 

Inihaw na Manok na Sinampalukan | P225.00
This dish from Angeles, Pampanga offers foodies with an asim kilig experience. Our table had a discussion before this particular dish arrived. We wondered whether the chicken would be grilled then seasoned with tamarind or if it would be marinated in a tamarind base then grilled. It turns out that we were right with our first guess. This dish is actually very creatively done. The roast flavor in the hot soup is really tasty.

 

Beef Kansi | P345.00
This spicy soup from Bacolod has flaked beef, caramelized onions and bones—like a bulalo. The beef is boiled for five to 6 hours. I thought it comes with a tamarind-based soup but it actually uses a kamias base. There’s an overpowering first-class herb in it, too.

 

Poqui Poqui P 145.00
This one is a sliced eggplant with scrambled eggs. It’s also delicious, but I cannot distinguish what seasoning they used for this one. The dish is from Ilocos too for Chef Agustin used to work with the Singsons before.

 

Grill – A Palayok P695.00
This hot pot has a lot to offer. It has maya-maya, mussels, shrimps, sliced beef, and clams. You might mistake the stones for sea shells, so be careful. This is because this dish is especially cooked over hot stones served with pork-Lemongrass broth. The flavorings include sinamak, grilled eggplant, and nilasing na mangga. This is epic! It’s like a fiesta. This is from Balesin, an island in Quezon Province.

 

Halo-Halo Spring Rolls P135.00
Basically, all the ingredients that you see in our all-time favorite Halo-Halo is stashed in the wrapper. Plus, it is topped with ube ice cream! In short, it’s bliss!

 

These unique drinks will surely keep you coming back to the place. Among the five that we have tasted, I chose Calamansi Basil Liqeuer. It might be a safe drink to choose considering that I’m 24 already. Haha! Nevertheless, these alcohols are legendary!

 

more from: http://ladylagalag.com/2014/03/12/grilla-rocks-rockwell/

Recommended Dish(es):
Chicharong Cebu,Inihaw na Manok na Sinampalukan,Grill A Palayok

Date of Visit:
2014-03-12

Spending:
Approximately
Php400(Dinner)

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (4)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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Café Adriatico, Malate
Smile 2014-03-28
Gambas al Ajillo P 250.00
This shrimp in garlic dish is flavored Catalan (or Mediterranean) style. The way it is seasoned is perfect for me – not too salty which I find delicious.

 

Hummus with Pita Bread P168.00
This is another Mediterranean dish and it was my first time to try it. Hummus is an Arabic food spread or dip made from chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil among others. It tasted like a dressing. Also their pita bread was well-baked. It surely was a new experience trying it with black olives.

 

Cream of Two Mushrooms P110.00
This one is a combination of buttons and shiitake mushrooms. The soup is scrumptious.

 

Blue Marlin Provencale P425.00
I very seldom get the chance to eat fresh Blue Marlin, and I was glad I tasted one that night. The fish is topped with tomato and caper sauce that lends a tangy taste to it.

 

Garlic Pork Leg Espagnole
It is a Spanish style pork leg with fried whole garlic cloves and potatoes on the side. We were told to eat the meat together with the garlic cloves. As for me, the garlic is slightly caramelized. What is entirely intriguing is the green dipping sauce which is called parsley con garlic. As a whole, I’d say that it is pretty much like a high-end crispy pata. Moreover, we were the first set of people who were able to taste this! Yeah, of course I want to brag about it!

 

US Tenderloin Steak Solana
This pan-fried steak topped with onions, shiitake mushrooms, buttered zucchini slice – which I barely noticed because it is drowned in peppercorn sauce. The meat is so soft and was well-liked. However, we were almost full and we wanted to have room for desserts so we didn’t finish it.

 

Buttered Vegetables
This has broccoli, asparagus and carrots, a perfect dish to condition ourselves for the dessert.

 

Mango Crepe P150.00
It is a flambéed fresh mango topped with chocolate syrup. From the ranfe of one to five, with five being the highest, I’d give this dish a 3.

 

Just like Larry J. Cruz, we all get old but the question is, how do we want to be remembered? For Sir LJC, he wants to be remembered by sharing to us his superb choices that will surely be enjoyed by people today and in the future. Happy 35th year The LJC Group!

more from: ladylagalag.com

Recommended Dish(es):
US Tenderloin Steak Solana,Garlic Pork Espagnole

Date of Visit:
2014-02-20

Spending:
Approximately
Php350(Dinner)

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (5)
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Gaucho: Spanish in Roots, Extraordinary in Dessert
Smile 2014-03-25

Coming from a good first time dining experience from months back, I was definitely excited to suggest Gaucho Cocina y Vinos Argentinos as our family's New Year meal. The very fact that it was one of the pioneer Argentine restaurants (actually, the only one I know of as of the moment) in the Philippines sparked curiosity in my family members on what the cuisine actually offers.

However, as you gaze through its menu, you can't help but notice its striking similarities with that of the Spanish cuisine. I guess it's that sense of familiarity that would aid in the acceptance (and integration) of this cuisine in the local market.

   Gambas al AJillo

One such familiar face would be the Gambas al Ajillo (P320). Gaucho's version takes the classic tapas to a whole new smokier level. The extra kick provided by the paprika definitely gives an interesting twist to the classic appetizer.

We also ordered three of their house specialties, the Falda a la Cruz, Cochino a la Cruz, and the Costeletas de Cerdo. Whenever you order any of these dishes, they will be served with a jar of to-die-for chimichurri sauce, organic pickles, and unlimited garlic/plain rice. I guess these sides help boost the Argentine factor of its dishes.

   Falda a la Cruz

The first would be the Falda a la Cruz (P550). I previously wrote about this dish already; but I just have to say that I was quite disappointed with the grilled US Beef Shortplate, this time around. It considerably lacked in seasoning, that even the tenderness of the beef was not enough to impress my family. Having tasted it in its perfection before, I am well aware of how far this dish can go, if prepared well.

   Costeletas de Cerdo

Next, we tried the Costeletas de Cerdo (P490). This dish featured a heavy 300g free-range pork chop which came with amazing cabbage and apple slaw, and delicious potato wedges. Every element in this dish was bursting with flavor. Simple as the chop may be, each bite featured a juicy chunk of well-seasoned, herb-rubbed tender meat. The slaw gave a perfect contrast to the saltiness and heaviness of the meat; while the potato wedges were simply too good to resist.

   Cochino a la Cruz

Fortunately, there was a small portion of the Cochino a la Cruz (P760) available. This is because this dish is usually just available during dinner time. The native free-range suckling pig boasted of tender meat, and really crispy skin. It's well seasoned, that you won't mind eating it on its own. Of course, like with the other two meat dishes; flavors can get more enhanced when paired with the chimichurri and the pickles.

However, the stand-outs of the meal would have to be its innovative desserts!

My favorite would have to be the Peras al Vino Malbec (P190) which featured slices of poached red wine pears on top of a layer of a light and smooth panna cotta with chunks of granola in between. This dessert is simply too good to be described in words. Simply extraordinary! If I would be asked to live with just one dessert, there's no question that I would choose this!

Lastly would be the quirky Porteno Sundae (P190) which features a mountain of popcorn on top of salted caramel gelato, drizzled with Hershey's chocolate syrup. This dessert definitely earns more points for its uniqueness than its simple flavor. However, it definitely innovated on how popcorn (or ice cream) should be eaten. Truly, an interesting concept!

Overall, I just wish that I could rave about its meat specialties as much as I do its desserts. However, I truly commend Gaucho for slowly educating the Filipino in Argentine fare.

   Peras al Vino Malbec

   Porteno Sundae

Date of Visit:
2014-01-01

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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Food Worth the (Extremely) Long Wait
Smile 2014-02-01
After my wonderful first time in Draft Gastropub with my barkada, I was psyched to bring my family to the restaurant for our usual Sunday lunch.

   Chili Cheese Skillet Fries

We started with the Chili Cheese Skillet Fries (P385) which featured deep-fried thick fries smothered in ground Angus Beef with chili con carne, pico de gallo and jalapeno peppers. Added to this would be layers of cheddar cheese and sour cream which simply elevated this appetizer to a whole new dimension. I'm not a fan of fries served in this manner since they become soggy; but I didn't care for that one bit. It was that amazingly delicious.

   Fried Cheese Platter Sampler

Another stellar appetizer would be the Fried Cheese Platter Sampler (P425) which featured fried mozzarella balls served with tangy tomato sauce, bleu cheese croquettes served with truffle aioli and Camembert cheese on peat chutney. This dish was plated in such a neat way that it feels so wrong to take a piece and mess the arrangement up. Each piece was amazingly crafted that my only criticism is that the number of pieces it has should be significantly increased! (maybe 4-5 of each variant?)

   Mac 'N Cheese

To appease my little sister's craving, we ordered the Mac 'N Cheese (P345). The macaroni was served in a rich mixture of parmesan, cheddar and cream cheese, accented by smoky chunks of bacon. I found this dish quite salty and a bit overwhelming; but as far as macaroni and cheese dishes go, this would be my favorite one!

   Steak and Eggs

We also shared their Steak and Eggs (P485) which featured a hefty serving of (slightly overcooked) US Angus Minute Steak, 2 eggs, roasted tomato topped with parmesan cheese and yummy crumbs, criss-cut potatoes and sourdough toasts of bread. The meat was a bit tough and dry, but it was tremendously tasty (even without the gravy)! However, it was the tomato which captivated my attention. I loved the crunchy layer, and smoky flavor it had.

   Crispy Pork Knuckle

I love pork knuckles, whether it's cooked the Filipino or German way. Thus, I thoroughly enjoyed Draft's Crispy Pork Knuckle (P685) version of the German pork knuckles. The meat was so tasty and tender that we really cleaned up the plate, leaving just the bones on the plate!!!

   Crispy Fried Mars Bars

For dessert, we were treated to the immensely delicious Crispy Fried Mars Bars (P255). My first encounter of a dish like this would be in British Take-away's Fried Mars Balls, a fast food kiosk frequenting popular malls in Singapore, and I fell in love in an instant. How can you resist the gooey Mars chocolate in a light and crisp batter, paired with a scoop of ice cream? Simply, heavenly (and deadly).

We expected brilliant food, and they delivered. Sadly, the waiting time was too long throughout the lunch service that my parents went a bit ballistic. It turned out that they were understaffed that day. So much could have been done to improve its service, but they failed to do so. Luckily, my personal opinion is always outweighed by my opinion on its food offerings, that's why I didn't mind the long wait. I actually found the wait to be really worth it (still though, I hope they do something about their service)!

Date of Visit:
2013-09-22

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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The Relleno Worth Coming Back For
Smile 2014-01-31

Romulo Cafe has established itself as a fine Filipino restaurant serving up traditional local cuisine with a modern flair and with portions perfect for sharing. It was no wonder that it was an obvious choice for my dad to invite his foreign friends along to Romulo Cafe for our usual Sunday lunch.

   Sinigang na Liempo

How can you not start a Filipino meal without the classic tamarind-based soup? The Sinigang with Liempo (P240) had the right amount of sourness, and was wonderfully paired with well-seasoned pork slices. It was obvious how much we enjoyed it since it was empty after we were finished with the meal.

   Gambas

We also had the Gambas (P325) as our starter, which featured large and juicy pieces of shrimp cooked wonderfully in oil and garlic. I loved how it was served with large pieces of green chili to lend it an extra spicy kick! I also loved how it could easily compete with its (more expensive) alternatives served as tapas in famed Spanish restaurants.

   Chicken Pork Adobo Romulo Style

Another staple in any Filipino meal would be adobo, so we decided to order the Chicken Pork Adobo Romulo Style (P290). Sadly, I found the chicken and pork quite dry, since it wasn't bathed in the sauce. I also found the sauce itself to be lacking in flavor.

   Tito Greg's Kare-Kare

Another disappointing order would be Tito Greg's Kare Kare (P450). I'm far from being a fan of Kare-Kare (I only grab a few spoons so that I can eat some bagoong without my mom accusing me of making 'papak'); however, judging from unbiased opinions from my family (who are fans of Kare-Kare) and by the fact that around half of it was left untouched, it was not that good. No offense to Tito Greg.

   Mixed Bicol Express

Luckily, the other dishes made up for the less stellar ones. One of these would be the Mixed Bicol Express (P285) which slightly deviated from the typical predominantly vegetable-filled dish. I loved how it was served with tender and tasty chunks of meat wonderfully bathed in a rich and delightfully tasting coconut sauce which had just the right amount of spiciness in it.

   Crispy Pata Binagoongan

Another exquisite dish would be the Boneless Crispy Pata Binagoongan (P650) which I adored. I love crispy pata, and I love bagoong so this dish was simply an innovative match made in heaven. I loved the tender and juicy pork knuckles, as well as its crunchy skin. However, it was the lovely play on the sweet, sour, and salty flavors brought about by its sauce and the bagoong which made it perfect.

   Lola Virginia's Chicken Relleno

Of course, the star of the meal would be its house specialty, Lola Virginia's Chicken Relleno (P615). An order doesn't seem to be enough since it only features only half a serving of juicy roast chicken, stuffed with some tasty ground pork, raisins, and chorizo. It's so good that you'll actually forget that it comes with a killer sauce! Sampling this dish alone was enough to make it worth it.

   Bagoong Rice

   Garlic Rice

Nothing can ever quite complete a Filipino meal without rice (since no matter how much we deny it, rice makes everything taste so much better)! To make things more interesting, we decided to go with some Bagoong Rice (P145) and some Garlic Rice (P55/cup). The Bagoong Rice was superb, it came with fresh tomatoes, scrambled eggs, and strips of really good green mangoes. It definitely could stand on its own! The Garlic Rice was a bit of an upset since it lacked the fragrance and flavor of garlic; thus, defeated the purpose of it. At least though, we had a less overwhelming alternative to pair up with the tasty viands.

Overall, Romulo Cafe testifies to the art of Filipino cuisine. Sure, it had some misses; but the hits were more than enough to make you come back for more.

Date of Visit:
2013-09-08

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (3)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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Quality Japanese Cuisine
Smile 2014-01-16

My dad was actually the one excited for my family to try Akira out. This was because he immensely enjoyed his first dining experience in the said restaurant. Thus, the soonest time we were able to drop by Shangri-la's East Wing, we just had to eat in Akira to appease my dad's eagerness.

He just kept ordering dish after dish, that we could not help but end up in a food coma afterwards.

   Japanese Miso Clam

We started out with the Japanese Clams Miso (P109), which was a delightfully light soup with just the right amount of miso flavor, subtly mixed with seaweed, and blanched clams. It was a departure from your typical tofu and mushroom filled miso soup, but the slight salty flavor given off by the clams was a welcome change.

   Fried Spicy Ikura (Salmon)

We also sampled their Fried Spicy Ikura (P318). You can opt to have a tuna or salmon filling (we opted for the salmon alternative). I absolutely enjoyed the different dynamics offered by the ingredients of the rolls; the fried seaweed roll, the fresh salmon chunks, salty salmon roe, and fried tempura batter bits that topped it off and gave it an interesting crunchy bite.

   Gyoza-Pork

We also added the deep fried Gyoza-Pork (P248), as part of our appetizer. I loved how the meat was well-marinated that you would not find the need for its sauce anymore.

   Ebi Tempura

   Kisu Tempura

   Kakiage Tempura

For our tempura dishes, we opted for the Ebi Tempura (P368), Kakiage Tempura (By Request) and Kisu Tempura (By Request). I actually enjoyed the Ebi Tempura, even though I'm not really a fan of it (I like the other tempura variations way more) because of its crisp and light batter, and well cooked juicy prawns. We also requested for their Kakiage and Kisu Tempura. I enjoyed the Kisu Tempura, and found it quite comparable with that of Kimpura's. However, the Kakiage Tempura was a bit disappointing. The pieces were a tad bit soggy, and the vegetables felt mushy. I can't really fault Akira for that though, since this dish was only an accommodation they offered to us.

   Akira Fried Rice

   Seafood Yakisoba

   US Tenderloin

We paired our Akira Fried Rice (P248) and the Seafood Yakisoba (P378) (you can opt for the udon variant) with their really tasty US Tenderloin (P518). I loved how tender each beef chunk was, and how each bite was packed with so much flavor.

   Chicken Teriyaki

   Salmon Miso Yaki

We also ordered their Chicken Teriyaki (P288) and their Salmon Miso Yaki (P318). The former featured perfectly grilled tender chicken strips marinated in a delectably sweet but light Teriyaki sauce. The salmon simply melted heavenly in your mouth after each bite. It was prepared with the deliciously salty miso sauce, heightened by the strong flavor of garlic bits.

Overall, it was definitely a delightful Japanese feast filled with consistently good dishes. I just can't wait for a second visit!

Date of Visit:
2013-09-01

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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If Tapas are Your Kind of Thing...
Smile 2013-12-30
...then Cerveseria definitely has a lot of great tapas to offer!

   House Bread

For starters, they serve really soft toasted rolls which had hints of sweetness in them. Just a warning, try not to finish the whole plate because the rolls perfectly go well with the different savory tapas; especially the saucier ones!

   Shimeji Mushrooms

We ordered some fresh shimeji mushrooms wonderfully flavored by garlic and olive oil. This light tapas dish, served al ajillo style tends to be a bit addicting for any mushroom lover.

   Calamares Fritos

We also ordered some Calamares Fritos , which featured crunchy deep-fried squid rings with garlic aioli sauce. I found this appetizer just ordinary. It was well seasoned, yet far from those served by Fish and Co, and CPK.

   Gambas Al Ajillo

Luckily, the Gambas al Ajillo was one of the best I have ever tasted. It featured a generous serving of shrimps, wonderfully accented by fried garlic bits, and flavorful virgin olive oil.

   Huevos Rotos Con Tocino

The Huevos Rotos con Tocino was also an interesting dish we ordered. Not only was it a filling dish, the meat was tender and wonderfully marinated. The crunch given off by the shoestring potatoes made the dish more interesting to devour.

   Filete a la Plancha

For our main dish, we had the Filete a la Plancha, which was a delightfully char-grilled steak, perfectly seasoned and grilled; paired with a pleasantly fruity relish to complement the smoky and salty taste of the steak.

   Paella Cerveseria

We then paired it with the Paella Cerveseria, which featured generous helpings of fresh seafood, including fish fillets, soft shell crabs, squid rings, mussels and clams; with crunchy blanched French beans to top it all. I loved the consistency of the paella, it had just enough moisture that it was neither tough nor soggy. The taste was not overwhelming, allowing you to pair it up with the other main dishes.

Overall, I loved the entire dining experience in Cerveseria. The food was exquisite, the service was excellent, and it felt everything like a tapas bar should feel like.

Date of Visit:
2013-08-11

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (5)
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A Twist of Tea in Each Bite
Smile 2013-12-29
It took a while for me to sample the hot dishes of TWG; for some months, the only thing I have tried would be their interesting selection of French macarons. Since I'm not much of a fan of this delicacy, TWG failed to leave a lasting impression of me. However, I can't help but be enthralled by the majesty of its golden and royal interiors that I just had to experience dining in TWG.

   Caramel Tea 2

   Caramel Tea

I'm not much a fan of tea, but since I was here already, I decided to go with a pot of Caramel Tea. I loved the sweet subtle hints of the refreshing tea but I was a bit disappointed that it was just enough for around two cups for I simply could not get enough of it!

   Spring Lamb Stew

For our main course, we had the Spring Lamb Stew (P585), I'm not much of a fan of stew, but this French-style stew, featured insanely tender chunks of lamb in a lovely stew with tasty carrots, potatoes, turnips, and green peas. Warning: The sauce is extremely addicting.

   Beef Tenderloin

We also had the Beef Tenderloin (P685), which was paired with matchstick potatoes, baked tomato crumble, and a Polo Club Tea-infused sauce. The beef was not as juicy as I'd like it to be, and I found the sauce a bit too salty. I did, however, tremendously enjoyed the crunchy topping of the tomato crumble!

Overall, I loved how the dishes lived up to the sophisticated flair that the restaurant exudes. Truly, an experience not to miss!

Date of Visit:
2013-08-10

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (4)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (4)
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A Special Dinner At Garden Cafe
Smile 2013-12-19
Garden Cafe is the buffet restaurant of Luxent Hotel in Timog Avenue, Quezon City. Its a relatively new hotel but I've been hearing great reviews about its buffet restaurant from friends. It took me a while to visit Luxent since we don't frequent Quezon City that much until a good friend who's based in Cebu came to visit and we agreed to meet for dinner. As always, I was tasked to scout for a venue as this is also her pre-birthday treat to us. Here's our chance to dine at Luxent!

Making the reservation was very easy and I commend the one who took the reservation- friendly and helpful. I arrive ahead of the party to make sure that everything's in order before the birthday girl arrives. The restaurant also has a very relaxed atmosphere and you won't feel intimidated by the decorations and stuff.

And true to its name, Luxent exudes simple elegance. I do hope the food will be sumptuous also. ;)

 

Spicy Shrimps. The spiciness was just right and the shrimps- fresh. I went back 3x. Oh no! Best paired with fried rice which was included in the buffet.

 

Beef Caldereta. Another winner. The beef was really tender and flavorful. And because I've been eating too much rice with the shrimp,I opted to eat this with bread.

 

This was my first plate. I don't know why but whenever we dine in hotels, the Japanese section is always my first stop. Thumbs up for the salmon sashimi and kani salad.

 

Pizza and bread selections. Everything here is good. No kidding. And I fell in love with the soft rolls which I paired with the Caldereta.

 

Cakes. Not happy with the cakes ... moving on.

 

Ice cream and leche flan. Now these sweets made me very happy. The green tea ice cream rocks and the leche flan was just an accidental topping to my ice cream. I didn't know that the combined flavor will make me crave for more. Okay, I made another trip to the ice cream section. Haha

Overall dining experience was more than good (nevermind if the cakes didn't make me happy) and we're all happy campers. Not to mention that its a birthday treat so the dinner was truly a memorable one.

Recommended Dish(es):
caldereta,green tea ice cream,spicy shrimps

Spending:
Approximately
Php800(Dinner)

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (5)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (5)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (5)
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Torched!
Smile 2013-12-12
The food at this restaurant was so great that I forgot I was a blogger and failed to take decent shots of the foods! Hahaha! *palusot* Actually, I didn’t know what settings I might have tweaked on the cam after the photography workshop and was really panicking as we were on a rush, so I was just pressing the shutter button continuously, unmindful of the photos’ quality… Sorry ‘bout that! But hey, I just learned new things about taking pictures at the workshop… So I better practice more on my point-and-shoot and maybe do it ala Terry-Richardson-style next time around! *lol* Well anyway, let’s stick to the topic, which is about the good food served at Torch Restaurant!

Torch is a restaurant of many cuisines, namely Japanese, American, Italian and Filipino. They serve good food (you don’t say! lol) and yes… I am not kidding when I tell you that this is one of the best restaurants around!

We were lucky to experience a buffet at Torch, for it was a special event…

Melted Mozzarella Meatball Pasta:

 

Monte Cristo Roulade:

 

Bread Pudding

Daryll’s messy plate, with Gambas Pizza, and Bread Pudding on the left side: (was the other pizza the Steak Panizza? Idk.)

 

My meal arranged by myself in a wrong table setup, haha! I love their gulaman-inspired drink!

 

A quick dinner before we flew our way to another event:

And I must say that Torch is one fashionable restaurant!

So we left the restaurant fully satisfied and with smiles on our faces! ;)

International cuisine? Dine in at Torch! It’s definitely worth the visit!

Torch Restaurant is located at 63 Connecticut Steet, Greenhills, San Juan.

Recommended Dish(es):
bread pudding

Date of Visit:
2012-12-10

Spending:
Approximately
Php500(Dinner)

Restaurant Ratings
  • Taste (5)
  • Environment (5)
  • Service (3)
  • Clean (5)
  • Price (3)
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