Food Trip Frs
Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:53 AM
Retiro near D. Tuazon
I have eaten in this fine noodle house quite a few times already, but this is my first time to try out their new branch which is also located along Retiro but nearer the side of D. Tuazon (the original one is near banawe).... So coming from Araneta, Quezon Ave, take a right at D. Tuazon until you reach Retiro (i think now renamed Amoranto) then turn left and almost one block away (before Speaker Perez) to your right you will find the noodle house.
The new branch has a larger sitting capacity than the original one, lighting is given a more modern twist. I liked the dark colored tables as they will give a nice contrast to the white plates and bowls they use. I also noticed that they have expanded their menu....... before in the original branch, it was just noodles and dumplings. Now they also offer some rice toppings and cold cuts. Nevertheless, I came here for the noodles so I will stick to that for the meantime.
FRIED LAMB DUMPLINGS
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For appetizers, I decided to try their newly introduced Fried Lamb Dumplings ........ in the original branch, I did try their regular fried dumplings and I enjoyed it. For their new dish, I did find the skins a bit charred and that it became a bit too brown. I'm guessing they kept frying it using oil which has been used over and over again.
Tastewise, its ok as one can distinctively taste the slight pungent aroma of the lamb but I did find the filling too little.
SHANGHAI BEEF NOODLE
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One of their Signature Noodle Dish ....... this has been my peborit the past couple of visits. Healthy servings, not so oily soup and nice fresh and firm hand pulled noodles. The only drawback is that the soup tasted a little bland as compared to past visits in the original place. Perhaps the mixture in seasoning wasn't done right.
I can't remember the exact damage, but I think the noodle and the dumpling plus a can of coca cola would come to less than 175 pesos.
Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:46 AM
I think I read some good reviews about this place in the other threads so I decided to give the place a try and see what they have to offer.
New England style with clams, calamari, fish, celery, potatoes and heavy cream
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I've never been to New England so I'm not sure what style it actually is. My guess is this version is somewhat chunkier as they added some finely diced potatoes into the soup as compared to some other chowder which are somewhat creamier.
Chunky as it may be, the soup was not that heavy on the stomach but I did find it a tad too salty for my taste.
CREAMY HOT SPINACH & CHEESE DIP
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I seem to notice that a lot of restos are starting to offer this spinach dip thingy as part of their appetizers. Since I tried a lot of these in other eateries already, I might as well try this one and see how it fares.
For starters, it is NOT creamy ...... I think they use a tad too much parmesean cheese in their dip and when it gets slightly cold, it tends to become flaky. The spinach could use a little more chopping or dicing as the pieces are still a bit too big to be scopped up using the nacho chip. PLUS the overall dish could use some extra seasoning.
SURF & TURF KEBAB
US Beef & Tiger Prawns skewers in olive oil marinade with Yogurt dip.
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Whatta name !!!! They should have just called it Beef & Prawn BBQ. hehehehehehe Again like the Spinach Dip, this dish could use some more seasoning. Heck, even my Sister who ordered the Breaded Steak told me that her dish tasted kinda bland. I'm thinking they must have used up all the salt for the chowder that they're left with none for the other dishes.
Posted 26 June 2009 - 01:08 PM
Recently had a very early sunday lunch at this fine eatery, of which the purpose for the early arrival was to avoid the lunch crowd. Plus I wanted to get a good seat for our dessert destination.
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Their standard freshly baked bread which we dip in their olive oil-balsamic vinegar combination. These come with the meals you ordered at no extra charge. (I think you can ask for more bread if you like)
ANGEL HAIR POMODORO
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Angel Hair pasta with chopped red tomatoes sauted with garlic in a light tomato basil sauce....... The sauce is not light as it has heavy cream taste. But it did go well with the tomatoes. I also felt they used a bit too much olive oil. The pasta are nice and firm though.
GRILLED SALMON OREGANATO
Perfectly Grilled Salmon Fillet with Potato Wedges and Sauteed Veggies
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I did find the Salmon grilled just right ...... Slightly charred on the outside, moist and tender on the insides. Plus the potato wedges are nicely cooked with just the right amount of seasoning. Veggies like the pasta comes out a bit too oily.
After that nice quick meal, the server approached us and asked if we would like to order some desserts. I politely declined as I have another dessert place in mind..............
Following that meal in Italianis, we headed straight for RED MANGO which specializes in Frozen Yogurt. This kiosk is located at the 3rd level of the TriNoma Mall just in front of Fitness First Gym. I had wanted to try the place a couple of weeks back but the place was packed with so many people that we couldn't get a seat...... Since we were early this time, we got us a nice seat.
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The last time I had Frozen Yogurt was in the SM Malls. I think it was in those kiosks they called "Better Than Ice Cream". I never really liked their version since they tend to taste just like ice cream. (and they were a bit toooo frozen)
Here in Red Mango, the yogurt tastes like yogurt and though its frozen, it does have a little bit of creaminess to it. PLUS you can choose from an array of fruits and other goodies to be used as toppings. I chose regular yogurt (they have green tea flavor) topped with fresh mango slices and mandarin oranges. For dine-in customers, they serve your yogurt in this cutely shaped bowl. (personally, a different colored bowl would make better contrast to the white table)
Also, for dine-in customers, I find the shape of their spoon a little weird ...... kinda like a flat shovel. I mean its ok if the yogurt stays frozen during the duration that you're going to eat it. but as they start to melt and it becomes a bit watery ....... you cannot scoop up the meted ones. (better just ask for a straw)
Price for the medium sized yogurt (plus two toppings) comes to around 135 pesos. Not exactly cheap fare for dessert but I think its much healthier and much cheaper than Cold Rock Ice Cream.
Edited by asmodeus, 26 June 2009 - 01:11 PM.
Posted 27 June 2009 - 02:25 PM
Im not too good with directions inside Fort Bonifacio ..... all I know is that this "Tea House" is located at the Neo Quad Building and is just beside a Teriyaki Boy Resto.
The food is typical short order stuff much like Hap Chan and David's Tea House although they do boast of a chef (or cook) from Hong Kong whom I saw a couple of times walking outside the eatery.
FRIED CUTTLEFISH WITH SPICY SALT
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When it was served, it looked tempting ...... but when I took a bite, I hardly tasted any of the cuttlefish as there was an overwhelming amount of batter. Plus the batter had a somewhat chinese herby aftertaste which I did not like.
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Nothing out of the ordinary, in fact it tasted kinda dry for me. plus the accompanying sauce was a bit too sweet for me.
HOT & SOUR SOUP
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I really should do a little more research as to what a good Hot & Sour Soup should taste like. It was my sister that ordered it and I just agreed to split it as she cannot finish an entire bowl. Anyway, there was an overwhelming taste of chinese hot sauce of which I am not sure if that is the right way to give the soup its "Heat".
DON DON NOODLES IN SPICY SOUP
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I ordered this out of curiosity and to veer away from the usual beef wanton noodle. hehehehehehe Plus I like spicy stuff.
I actually cannot make of what the taste is like. Its kinda like a cross between Thai tom yum goong soup and chinese sate, and the noodles are somewhere in the middle of ramen and lomi (as far as thickness is concerned). Surprisingly I kinda enjoyed the unique taste of this dish......Could use a little more "Heat" though.
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Unknown to many, I have been on a silent quest to look for some of the Best Siomai in Town. So its not surprising that whenever I visit any chinese eatery, an order of siumai is always on my itinerary. I guess I have tried many places already from Hen Lin usually located in Foodcourts to the more upscale ones like Gloria Maris. Sadly, most of the those I've tried have certain things "lacking" ...... some are too small, some have too much extenders, some are undercooked while others just taste bad.
The Siumai I tried at Eat Well is ........
* Not Small - An average person cannot pop it into one's mouth lest he wants to choke in it.
* Not Full of Extenders - I can actually taste the Pork.
* Not Undercooked / Nor Overcooked - Its juicy and scrumptious.
The same can be said for their Hakaw (Shrimp Dumpling) as they used a large piece of shrimp so you don't just taste the dumpling wrap.
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The only drawback here is that it comes at a slightly heftier price......If I'm not mistaken, the Siumai borders around the 90 peso mark while the Hakaw borders around the 100 peso mark.
We would really appreciate it if they install one of those blower thingy by the door so as to keep the flies and mosquitos out everytime they open the door ...... while there was this lady server that uses this electric swatter that somehow resembles bjorn borg's tennis racket, it certainly wasnt enough as I could see some of the customers swatting off the buzzers here and there.
Posted 29 June 2009 - 01:57 PM
Retiro Corner Speaker Perez St.
This newly opened eatery is nowhere near banawe. It is actually nearer D. Tuazon, so coming from Quezon Ave., one goes straight until reaching retiro (amoranto). take a left and I think at the corner of the 1st block (just passed starbucks) is a somewhat green building which houses ASIAN TWIST. I saw this place by accident last week as I dined in SHANGHAI hand Pulled Noodle House which is a couple of steps away so I said to myself that I try it out at the soonest possible time.
As of this writing, ASIAN TWIST is still in its Soft Opening Stage, no word yet as to when will be the Official Grand Opening. But even at this early stage, the place is already packing in the customers. It was good timing on my part to go there on a very early sunday morning (around 11:00am) as 15 minutes after we were seated, droves of people started to come in and by the time it hit 12:00 noon plus plus there was already a line outside.
Based on what I saw in the menu, they offer some (i think american style) sandwiches and there is also a cake and pastry counter near the entrance. But a lot of their dishes are bordering on oriental asian, more particular on korean and japanese fusion. By da way, they also serve some coffee/choco concoctions as well as SML and San Mig Pale Pilsen.
SESAME RICE TUNA TATAKI
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Kinda weird to be called a tuna "tataki" as the tuna was not pounded into bits. More like sliced and diced. hehehehehehe. Anyway, here you have vinegared sushi rice coated with toasted sesame seeds and topped with some raw diced tuna in some spicy creamy sauce and some sliced mangoes on the side. Soy sauce and wasabi is available if you some extra kick.
I must say that the toasted aroma of the sesame really went well with the slightly sour taste of the sushi rice. Plus the the sesame gave the rice more texture. The diced tuna is quite fresh and the spicy sauce gave it the sweet, sour, spicy flavor. But being a lover of spicy foods, I think it could use more "heat".
PORK KANI TEPANYAKI
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Marinated Pork (looks like bacon) wrapped around a piece of KANI (crabstick) along with a small piece of ham(??) and served alongside some leaf tempura.
Along with the 1st dish I mentioned ....... these two are really eye candy, since we were the first customers, our orders came out first and when the other customers saw what was served, they started asking the servers what these were and began to order some for themselves.
I too enjoyed this dish, the pork is not oily, cooked just right so it wasnt too tough to bite and the slight saltiness of the pork mixed quite well with the sweetness of the crabstick. The leaf tempura wasnt so bad either ...... not too much batter and also not too oily. They used tempura sauce for dipping.
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Its basically a mixed rice meal ...... I think it can also be classified in the rice toppings category. For my order its an assortment of seafoods like shrimp, squid and kani mixed with rice and some veggies, chili sauce and a raw egg. It is served in one of those hot stone bowls and the server immediately mixes all the ingredients together. Even after 10 to 15 minutes, the mixed rice in the bowl is still hot although a bit toasted already. (some people do enjoy the rice toasted)
The Bibimbop was actually one of the signature dishes of the now closed AKU restaurant, they carried over the recipe here and it is still one of the more popular dishes in ASIAN TWIST. Practically every table has at least an order of Bibimbop (except for this table of four elderly ladies that opted for salads)
The aroma of the dish was enough to whet my appetite, but i did find the actual flavor slightly on the bland side. Perhaps next time, a little bit more seasoning would help. Plus I will request that they make it extra spicy.
GRILLED CHICKEN CREPE IN WHITE SAUCE
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Supposedly, you have grilled chicken fillet wrapped in a piece of crepe and baked in cheese and white sauce. In actuality, its more like small, charred, overcooked grilled chicken strips with crepe almost the thickness of a pancake.The white sauce tased womewhat similar to those being used for chicken ala king and I did not taste any cheese.
Since it was only me and my dad, we could not order too much lest we would opt for a doggy bag. But definitly there are some other stuff in the menu that looks like they are worth exploring ....... but I will have to save that for a future visit.
Posted 29 June 2009 - 03:37 PM
The first item to arrive was the beer, lukewarm, but, drinkable when you are thirsty, and at least Kris was a bubbly hostess.
Then the Spicy Gizzard (cooked oriental style). The very first thing I noticed was that no self-respecting oriental chef (by oriental I assume Chinese/Japanese/Korean mind you) would ever cook this thing. The poor gizzard had been parboiled into submission rendering it into a pasty consistency that lacked any form of taste, not that the sauce of the poor dish was all that tasty consisting of soy sauce with pools of oil floating on top and chopped siling labuyo. Although admittedly the vegetable parts (specially the onions) were cooked to perfection.
Next to arrive was the Tenderloin Tips ... except they should rename it chopped and cooked rump of cow. The thing was so chewy that 5 minutes of chewing couldn't make a dent on the meat. My companion took time to chew hers for 20 minutes before she could masticate it enough to swallow, I wasn't a lady, I spit it out. Obviously I sent it back and instead ordered Buffalo Wings.
It was roughly this time that the Spicy Chicken Fillet arrived, small strips of chicken meat surrounded by a thick mass of flour that had been fried to death. It wasn't spicy, though it had chicken parts, I wouldn't dignify it with the label of chicken fillet.
The Buffalo Wings then came, from the get go I could tell I wasn't going to enjoy this experience anymore than I did the rest. Sure enough, its a tasty treat for those who consider chicken wings coated in some sort of poor grade chili sauce batter and deep fried in oil that wasn't quite hot enough to fry it as Buffalo Wings, me, I just moved it aside and ordered Kilawing Tangigue.
The last item was the Kilawin, I was ready and prepared to be disappointed, but this time the culinary murderer in the kitchen surprised me, not only was it edible, it was pretty darned good.
All in all though, spending almost 1.5K for unsatisfying food is definitely not in my idea or range of good times. If not for the friendly servers (Joie and Kris) I'd have walked off in a huff.
I do wish management would do something about this.
Oh, and one thing I did notice though, most of the pretty servers from a couple of months ago? Well they are rather porky right now. Hehehe, actually almost all of them were on the overweight side. Not that I should complain being extremely overweight myself.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:41 PM
The Blade Steak
Ambiance 6/10 - Most people go here and know what they want... some dont..
Since it is a in a mall expect varied customers kids/adults family/business tourists
Service 7/10 - Attentive ... I just wonder how they would do it on "rush hours"
Food 7.5/10 - Good steaks good texture, so-so gravy, dont expect much on the sidings
Though I requested it to be well-done ... some parts of the steak are uneven
A1 sauce, Knorr as condiments
Value 9/10 - Php 440 per order, VAT incl, No SC
Posted 09 September 2009 - 03:12 AM
If its okay ill place mine
bear with me as its a bit difficult to be able to describe everything hehehe
(located ground floor of sofitel near MOA, GSIS, SENATE)
CCP Complex Roxas Boulevard , Pasay City
Type of cuisine : International
Opening hours : 06:00 - 00:00
Non smoking area
(but can opt to eat/smoke outside near the pool)
Reservation is a must (a week in advance especially during peak season)
Price differs from Breakfast to lunch to dinner.
(Dinners and Sunday lunches are a bit more pricey)
more or less 2500 per person would cut it. Better if you have a discount card
(discount card has a lot of freebies such as a free overnight stay on any accor hotel in asia)
(dc card works as follows 1 card for 2 people = 50% off.. 1 card for 4 people = 3 pay 1 free....
much better to have multiple cards for bigger discount)
In summary this is a buffet type restaurant. The food here consists of almost everything and anything you could think off.
We can only divide the parts by Continents. From Asian (japanese, korean, chinese, indian) to European (spanish, italian) and to American style of cooking.
AS you enter be it from the side entrance (parking lot-bring your parking card to get it validated)
or from the hotel lobby - going down the escalator..
you would be greated by lovely and gorgeous model like ladies. They would escort you to your preferred seats
(if you are a group of 4 i suggest getting the booths near the pecking duck station)
You could be seated near the glass window to get a nice and wonderful view of the bay.
From here, waiters would ask for your drinks.. I suggest just ordering the hot tea/ coffee...
(dont worry its part of what you paid for and you could always ask for a refill)
dont go for the bottomless ice tea or what not... its just add an extra 150-200 bucks and you wont even drink a lot of it...
After ordering i suggest you walk the whole length of the buffet for you to get an idea of what you want.
Me being the gluttony type and being able to go here around 6-7x already ... i know where i would go
anyway here's a little peak of what they have here
see the small choco chip cookies?? they are to die for... (and if you are planning to buy ... it costs a lot .. so if i were you... bring a zip lock)
well.. here is an example of a freshly made crepe (you can choose what to put in....)
and of course ... some mallows from the fountain hehehehe
(so sorry i only have 2 pictures... i had to check my cellphone and my image hosting sites if i still have any and these are all that i have...)
MUST I SAY MORE...
in terms of quality and quantity i would have to say that this buffet rocks....
and just to give an estimation, more or less.. the length of the buffet would have to be 18 cars bumper to bumper just to give how long the buffet spread is...
The japanese section is divided into 2 parts. One is the fresh section which has the
easy to make fresh sashimi's , sushi, maki and what not...
and the other one is the fried section. Where they serve the different kinds of tempura, cold/hot noodles, grilled yakitoris, miso soup
if you're up to it i would suggest you try their cactus maki and also dont forget to try the cold noodles yummmmmyyyyy !!!!
Near the japanese station a "seafood station" is present. There are fresh crabs, clams, oysters on ice just waiting for us to eat them. We could opt to have them cooked another way.
As for me...my favorite would be oysters baked with cheese.
Salad/Cheese/Sparkling station/Bread and spreads
To the right of the japanese station, a salad bar is present. Here we could find different kinds of greens and toppings to make a wonderful salad.
If that isn't enough the cheese bar is stationed here too. There are at least 8 different kinds of cheese.(9 if you count the huge parmesan block found here)
Just stay away from Gorgonzola. I tried to taste it .. but i just can't imagine eating it anymore. Even if it costs a lot... i suggest that the feint of heart stay away from it.
Of course who could forget about the different kinds of bread that they bake everyday. These breads are partnered with different kinds of jams, butter, patte, and other enjoyable treats.
During Sundays and dinners (if im not mistaken) there is free flowing wine/champagne found here. Usually 4-6 bottles are opened
As for the pasta, well you get everything. A chef is there always to wait on you and to do what you wanted.
The pizza's on the other hand are always refilled. Usually, there are 4-6 pizzas. The usual flavors are cheeze, pepperoni, ham and cheese, vegetarian....
In this part, we could see different kinds of food for the veggie lovers... (so sorry im not quite into veggies... hehehe)
There are different pastas and even different kinds of european food found here.
YES they do have one. But these aren't like the once we see on the streets. Their shawarma's are a thing of beauty. The meat they serve differs from day to day, be it chicken, lamb or at times pork. They serve it in a small pita bread. They slice the middle to place all the ingredients in it. You are asked if you would like to put everything on it or what. If i were you, you should try this.
Lucky me i have already tried the 3 .. and believe it or not.. i loveee the lamb hehehe
I'm not quite a fan of such so im not quite familiar with the food that they have. But they do have the different kinds of dip, sauce, and even bread.
Here different kinds of meat are grilled. From my favorite lamb chops to steaks to fish to a lot more...
can you say yumyumyum.... You could ask the chef to make yours a little rare to well done. A compliment of sauce are present. From jelly to salsa to steak sauce and even hot sauce.
Western food section
This station has the different kinds of food one sees in the western world. From potatoes to vegetables to the roast beef sliced right in front of you to the salmon pies and what not.
The last but not the least station. Here you could find a small desert area that can be said to be originated from china. From bucchi to the other stuff. Then we would be amazed by the cold cuts found here... from duck, to chicken, to asado.
And we couldn't forget the dumplings and dimsum that they have. Yes their hakaw is made from fresh shrimps. FRESH i tell you.. not the like other restos that use dry and hard shrimps...
and to the secret part of the asian section found at the right most area of the buffet.....
my one and only favorite....
the pecking duck station[/u]
here rolls and rolls and rolls are found... you can even tell the chef to make you with just the crunchy skin...
and of course.. there are also .. some appetizers and what not found near here too.. such as the kimchi, crackers, and other delicacies....
well there... BUT WAIT>> THERE's more...
one more section i almost forgot would be the
This has got to be the dream of all dessert lover and even diabetics...
From 6 kinds of cakes, to flakes (yes they have sugar free) to pastries
to the fruit section (they even have the dragon fruit >>> the white with black seeds inside...)
to the white and dark chocolate fountain to the crepe station to the churros to the creme brulee to the freshly baked cookies (4 types last time i checked) to the ice cream station (yes diabetics they have sugar free) to the halo halo station and for the young guys... they have the gummy bears, and other kind of gummy dessert there...
hope i helped
here is their website
food choices 9/10
price 7/10 (too pricey for the common guy like me)
>>> would definitely go back but only on special occasions
Posted 19 September 2009 - 10:37 AM
Location: If you're coming from Quezon Avenue, it is just one (or two) blocks after passing Amoranto Street (retiro). Just look to your left.
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Well thats what the wait staff told me when I asked her what those four large balls that she's trying to pass off as siumai. Tastewise, its loaded with extenders, its bland and its dry. Worst of all, its not even hot. (more like luke warm)
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How do I describe this anyway???? Do I call it adobo rice shaped into a pyramid? hehehehehe
Anyway, its not exactly the tastiest MACHANG I've tried but it came out somewhat good enough. What ticked me off was that the restaurant does not have the option of giving me TOMATO catsup (which I like to smother my machang with), Instead all they had was BANANA catsup.
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I would think that this is a simple stir fry dish loaded with some spices like garlic and splashed with some soy based sauce (which usually goes great with plain rice).
But horrors of horror ..... everytime I tried to scoop up some of the sauce, all I got was oil (lotsa oil)
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This is probably the only saving grace for all the bad food we ordered. Its very starchy (just the way I like it) and the pork is very tender ..... although next time I should request that they cut the pork into more bite-sized portions.
Incidentally, I wasn't the only person who felt that the food was bad. A lone male customer who was seated a few tables from where we were was so pissed at the bad food he got (i think he ordered pansit bihon) that he got up and confronted the owners (or the manager) and told them that the food was unedible.
I however, did not know if the customer paid for his meal or if management offered something to appease him.
Edited by asmodeus, 19 September 2009 - 11:07 AM.
Posted 19 September 2009 - 11:06 AM
If I'm not mistaken, this teahouse is just somewhat across WENSHA SPA...... I just passed by for a quick snack before heading off to my favorite ktv hangout.
Back then, when I was still a junior bowler in greenhills during sundays, I have always looked forward to visiting their greenhills branch after several games of practice. Though they do have a banawe branch, I never got to try it there...... when the timog branch opened, I tried out of curiosity to see if the taste were the same as before.
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Perhaps some would be thinking that SIUMAI is one of my favorite food because in practically all the chinese restos and teahouses that I've been to, I always order it .......... Well to be honest, I do enjoy eating this chinese snack food and as previously posted, I am on a silent quest to look for the BEST SIUMAI this side of town.
For Le Ching's version, the taste is actually good except that its a tad too small. Notice the picture of the siumai in relation to its wooden container. (they almost look like the size of marbles) In fairness, there is little or no extenders and one can actually taste the pork. Plus they serve it to you steaming hot.
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I kept asking myself, do they really put sharksfin in these dumplings ???? I know I break off the dumpling once in awhile to check if there are actual sharksfin pieces like those served in sharksfin soup. Most of the time, there are none to be found ...... all I see are pork.
For Le Ching's version, aside from not having any visible sharksfin, the dumpling skin came out a bit too soggy. If these were to be passed off as pork dumpling, I might just give it a half-thumbs up.
PORK SPARERIBS RICE
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This has been one of mine and my teamates favorite dish over at the greenhills branch many years ago. Add lots of chili sauce and we are in foodie heaven.
Unfortunately, they changed the formula for this once fabulous dish. I remember before that the pork was somewhite white in color meaning they did put any soy sauce while cooking. And though the meat was tender, I kinda missed the times wherein there are several cartillage in the meat which makes it crunchy. In short, the taste is definitly different from what we used to know. (In fairness, it didn't taste bad)
Edited by asmodeus, 19 September 2009 - 11:08 AM.
Posted 19 September 2009 - 01:12 PM
Maria Clara St. (Near Banawe)
I am not certain of the street name, all i know is that coming from quezon avenue along banawe st..... upon seeing a yellow cab to the left, immediately turn right (which I think is Maria Clara St.) head down a few meters and you will see a carwash center. (beside it is TAZZA CAFE itself)
While some people will swear by how good the coffee is in this establishment, I have not been much of a coffee drinker...... I'm here for the food.
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Much like my silent quest for the best siumai ....... I have also been looking for restos that serve good pumpkin soup. So it comes as no surprise that given the chance, I will try them out whenever available. As a personal preference, I like my pumpkin soup to taste like pumpkin rather than it having an overpowering taste of the cream.
Sadly, the pumpkin soup I tried at Tazza Cafe does not have any significant taste of pumpkin ..... all I got was bowl of bland cream soup that had the color of pumpkin.
FRIED WANTON SKIN (With Spinach Dip)
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The concept of using the wanton skin and deep frying it until it comes out crispy and looking like nacho chips was a good idea. Unfortunately, they disappointed us with the spinach dip. This tasted much like cream of mushroom soup sprinkled or colored to look green. I would think that a little effort in trying to make a real dip should be in order.
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Its basically grilled fish fillet with capers and red sauce........ while I find the fish grilled nicely as it came out slightly crisp yet tender inside, the red sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste.
CHICKEN CORDON BLEU
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Rolled Chicken breast with bacon and cheese ...... In fairness, the chicken was also cooked nicely though a little too crispy on the outside. What I would have wanted was more cheese and more bacon stuffed inside.
Posted 25 September 2009 - 10:27 PM
I had lunch there a while ago and they are offering a mini soft opening promo which is 30%-off on all foods & drinks on cash basis while a 25%-off on credit cards payments, however there is still the catch of adding a 10% service charge on your tabs.
Ambiance inside is like a HONG KONG style feeling, menu offered is only about 4 pages because its still new, tried their beef curry in hot pot, eggplant with mince meat in hot pot, steam live shrimp, steamed garoupa, yang chow fried rice and their famous (daw) hot and sour soup, price is really resonable enough in my observation.
Parking is quite adequate but their flow of traffic inside might cause certain irritation to drivers because way in and way out could be confusing.
Attendant and serving personnel are very attentive to your needs, maybe because the place is still new.
As for my own personal rating:
FOOD - 8.5
PRESENTATION - 8.5
AMBIANCE - 9.5
SERVICE - 10
PRICE - 8.5 ...............ciao!
Posted 27 September 2009 - 05:16 AM
Coming from Quezon Avenue going to Retiro, just go straight until you ALMOST reach Del monte Ave (at the corner is Causeway). To your left is the said establishment. I can't remember what are other eateries are beside it.
Judging from the signboard, one would think that this place specializes in Italian fare. Sure they have some pastas, but a closer lok at the menu shows that its more of an mix of different comfort foods from different countries (kinda like RECIPE)
POTATO FRIES PLATTER
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Once in awhile I still get fooled by food with semi-fancy names (moreso if the name was fancier) and this particular dish was another one of those boo-boos. There was absolutely nothing special about this particular dish as it is just plain french fries. The fries are cut into too small pieces (heck even jollibee has bigger, longer fries) and are cooked a bit too dry. The dipping sauce that came with the dish is of no help either .... just some mayo mixed with some herbs and spices.
KOREAN BEEF STEW
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The beef is tender, the sauce is just right (not too sweet). The only problem here is that the servings is just way too small. It is actually good for just one person....
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Having tried something that is similar to this in Club NICHE, I thought I order this just to make a comparison. Its basically (or supposedly) spicy chili stuffed with ground pork and cheese. Firstly, the chili peppers are not spicy enough so there was nothing to be considered "dynamite" about ...... and they scrimp you on the ground pork and cheese.
I also think that using catsup as the dipping sauce was a mistake, I personally would have preferred sour cream on this dish.
CORNED BEEF MARINARA SPAGHETTI
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Whenever I hear or read the word "marinara" ...... seafoods usually comes to mind, and I thought it would have been an interesting combination if added with corned beef. Unfortunately, there wasn't any significant seafood in the sauce.... its just some tomato based sauce with some added corned beef. (the taste was actually a bit too sour for me) And the spaghetti pasta came out way too soggy.
In fairness to the resto, it would seem that considering they are somewhat new in the neigborhood, they are doing their best in getting customer feedback and hopefully they would improve on their dishes. I filled-out a customer survey card which they provided while they were processing my credit card. I left my email address and they sent me an email thanking me for dining there and has occassionally updated me should they have new dishes.
Edited by asmodeus, 27 September 2009 - 08:09 AM.
Posted 02 October 2009 - 10:48 AM
Located inside the IL Terrazo Building (across Burgoo) ...... its on the second floor just beside this establishment named Bannaple (tama ba spelling??)
Me and two of my friends were supposed to go straight to Club NICHE that particular night, but since we were kinda hungry, we opted to grab some dinner first. We arrived around 9:00pm which makes parking in the basement much much easier. My first option was 8 Spices which is just adjacent to PINK PEPPER, but since I’ve already eaten there before, I just thought of trying something different.
Their menu boasts of different kinds of dishes from different parts of the world in the likes of pizza, pasta, escargo, paella and much much more ....... since there was only 3 of us, we were able to order a few dishes:
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Basically this is of hungarian origin ...... nowadays it is more prepared in soup form, but can also be prepared in stewed form. Basic ingredients are either beef, lamb or veal cut into chunks. Carrots, onions and potatoes can also be added plus some spices and seasonings.
For PINK PEPPER’S version ...... its basically diced meat of beef with some diced potatoes and some onions. My two friends who have never heard of goulash before totally enjoyed the soup. Personally, I find the soup a bit too watered down (literally) since I like it a bit thicker. Nonetheless, it was very tasty and the added spiciness brings extra kick into the flavorful soup.
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I have not been a fan of Carbonara since I was a kid, I definitly will prefer those with red sauces. (like bolognese or with meatballs) The taste though is not that bad (just needs a little extra seasoning). Even my friend who is a carbonara fan admitted that there are better carbonara elsewhere........ pasta came out a bit too soggy.
PINK PEPPER PIZZA
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I would assume that if they’re going to name a pizza after their resto, it should be good...... Guess I assumed wrong. Lets start with the crust..... Its super thin as in “nacho chips” thin. While I have always been a fan of thin crust pizzas, this one is just way too thin to hold any significant amount of toppings for fear of it breaking off if one tries to pick it up from the plate.
So basically, there is very little amounts of cheese, some toasted peppers, a little bit of sauce and a piece of pepperoni. Then oddly, there’s a slice of mango placed on top which I find not to blend in with the rest of the toppings. (Overall: a very disappointing excuse for a pizza)
GRAND SEAFOOD PAELLA
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Ok so far we’ve had hungarian and italian inspired food ..... lets move on to some spanish ones.
At first glance, the dish looks rather tempting what with all those seafoods spread out on top of the rice. But one sniff of the aroma and I had a feeling its not going to be what I expected. It had some sort of a “fishy” (malansa) smell........ And after tasting it, it does come off with a rather “fishy or shrimpy” after taste.
While some may argue that its a seafood paella hence the fishy taste .... I have tried paellas in places like CASA ARMAS, and definitly their paellas do not have this “malansa” after taste.
Perhaps the resto opted to spread out their specialties way too thinly to capture a broader market. I would think that if they were to specialize in some of the more particular dishes which they CAN handle, perhaps the quality will have improved more significantly.
Edited by asmodeus, 02 October 2009 - 11:01 PM.
Posted 02 October 2009 - 12:06 PM
From Quezon Avenue Araneta going to quiapo, turn right at Banawe (Mcdonalds is the landmark).... At around the 1st or 2nd block to your right is the said eatery.
It's just basic simple comfort food orders for us as we were just there for a simple snack.
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A healthy serving of siumai as far as size is concerned. Not the biggest, but just right to pop it into your mouth. Tastewise, it is good as there are very little extenders. It is also good that they serve it to you steaming hot.
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Like the siumai, I like the size of the hakaw ..... they did not use small shrimps and it is good that they wrapped it tightly so that the skin does not separate easily from the shrimp when one picks it up with the chopstick. The shrimp itself is cooked nicely with that slight crunchy bite.
SIAO LONG PAO
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Kinda looks like pork siumai except that this is more a dumpling given the much thicker skin. Better be careful as there is some HOT soup packed inside and it could burn your tongue especially if its just freshly steamed.
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I've never been to singapore so I'm clueless as to what a legitimate singapore bihon would look or taste like..... for LAM TIN's version, its bihon noodles mixed with an assortment of meat, shrimps and some veggies. I'm not exactly sure of the slight pungent aroma & taste ..... but I think its either curry or sate.
For those who are used to the regular pansit bihon we partake in the local cariendera...... this dish may take a little getting used to.
Edited by asmodeus, 02 October 2009 - 12:09 PM.
Posted 02 October 2009 - 01:13 PM
Retiro corner Speaker Perez
MIXED MISO SOUP
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It’s basically hot miso soup with the twist of some added minced meat and corn. A light and refreshing way to start a meal.
CHICKEN KAMI SALAD
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Sliced grilled chicken tossed with lettuce, carrots and some japanese crabstick (kani) ..... the chicken came off a bit too dry for me. Overall the dish was not bad as there was just the right amount of vinegarette added into it.
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Probably stands for Chicken, Ham and Kani Roll ...... add some cheesy sauce and it was suppose to be a fine dish for me. The problem comes with what they used to wrap the ingredients with ..... they used thin sliced breadcrust (covered with bread crumbs) as the wrapper and when it gets cold, the roll becomes to hard to bite on. On a personal choice, I would prefer that they use sushi rice.
VIETNAMESE TWIST ROLL
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The twist here is that they used lettuce leaves in wrapping the ingredients instead of the usual rice paper (also called lumpia wrapper). The ingredients are your basic mixed veggies and some minced pork. Another twist is that instead of using fried vermiceli, they opted to use angel hair spaghetti instead.
Unfortunately, there was way too much vinegarette placed inside. It came out a bit too sour.
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I can’t remember the exact name, but it doesn’t look like korean beef stew as this dish has more starchy sauces as compared to the korean version which is usually more watered down. Nonetheless, the beef is quite tender and the accompanying sauces and potatoes are good to go with plain rice.
My shallow complaint is the ceramic dish itself ..... the shape is kinda hard to reach especially if you’re reaching out from the side wherein one has to turn the dish in either clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.
FISH FILLET BIBIMBOP
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Another one of their best sellers here (aside from the mixed seafood bibimbop) ....... but just like my previous visit. Seasoning seems a bit lacking. Though that hot stone bowl really works as it keeps the food hot longer than your usual ceramic bowl.
Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:06 PM
Somewhat near/across Lan Zhou Noodle House. If you’re coming from Ongpin (President Restaurant) just enter the street facing the restaurant (Salazar St. I think) and make a right at the first right turn available..... Look to your right, you will see the small eatery.
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Well thats what the menu said it is ....... of course I didn’t taste much of the pork. I tasted more of the extenders. Anyway, if you can ignore that part, the siumai does come in large pieces so they can quite filling. Another thing that bugs me is that is served somewhat lukewarm. Normally I’d prefer my siumai to be steaming hot.
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This soy-enhanced salty rice is a fine dish for those rice lovers on a budget. At P30.00 per order, one gets a nice tasty bowl of rice mixed already with some peanuts, spring onions and some minced pieces of pork.... an almost complete meal for those with a less than hearty appetite. (order another one if you’re have a bigger appetite)
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For me, a great Fried Tofu would be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside ...... in this case, it was slightly burnt on the outside and dry on the inside.
The accompanying sauce that tasted somewhat like watered down banana ketsup was no help at all.
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The soup is very starchy just the way a good maki should be and its got loads of tender pieces of pork. Add some black vinegar and it will further enhance the flavor...... Just like the Kiam Pong, this too is a great “stand alone” meal that can be quite filling given the richness in the starches.
Posted 06 October 2009 - 01:03 PM
SM City Annex
What makes the Tokyo Tokyo fastfood franchise so memorable to me was this was the first eatery that I've had my very first taste of Sashimi. I vividly remember it was just after our high school graduation that we decided to bowl a few games at Coronado Lanes in Makati then a classmate suggested going to this japanese somewhere near SM Makati ...... being just new high school graduates with very little money, fastfoods for us during that time was considered "fine dining" already.
I do remember that the Tokyo Tokyo franchise that time was also relatively new so sashimi slices came out in bigger slices and rice toppings in much much healthier servings. Of course, thru the years with the advent of streamlining, the quality and the size of the servings deteriorated plus the fact that I was being exposed to more real fine dining japanese inspired restos that Tokyo Tokyo took the back seat as far as preference is concerned.
It was only recently that I read in the papers that the people behind Tokyo Tokyo decided to bring their fastfood franchise to a different level and introduce to the public a more upscale version of their eatery. And when I saw one that just opened at SM City Annex, I knew I just had to take a big risk......
Ambiance wise, don't expect traditional japanese settings, perhaps its best to compare it with say Kimono Ken or Teriyaki Boy ....... kinda like a more upscale fastfood setting but with ceramic plates and bowls. Foodwise ???? Well just read on.
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In fairness, the salmon served was fresh and had that slight resistance when I took that bite. Slices do come a bit small and the sushi chef could use a little more practice as far as knifework is concerned. (either that or he needs to sharpen his knife)
MIXED SUSHI PLATTER
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By looking at the picture, we can see that for the California roll, they used those lower quality Crabsticks. The Maguro Roll looks so pathetic because the tuna used was so little one can only taste the vinegared rice (which in my opinion could use a little more of the vinegar mixture)
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As for the Tuna Sushi ...... well in all my life, I have never seen such an ugly piece of work until now. The fish is cut into a shape that is so unappetizing and never has a sushi been served to me with such thick thick vinegared rice..... Tradtionally, a piece of sushi is to be eaten whole, I dont think I can do that with the one they served.
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The chicken is grilled just right ... slightly charred on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. This is probably the more decent order we got so far.
TERIYAKI UNAGI DON (Rice Toppings)
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I cannot claim to be a true expert when it comes to this eel dish served with rice ...... But in every Japanese restaurant that I have been to, I always make sure to order one so, thru the years, I should have a very good idea as to what a good Unagi Don tastes like.....
Normally in such high end japanese restos like Sugi and Furusato (just to name a few) the eel being served is grilled and yet the meat is still tender that it will almost melt in your mouth. In the case of Tokyo Tokyo Metro, the eel was way over-grilled that the entire dish became hard and dry And it had that very fishy (malansa) after-taste. Actually, it did not taste anything like the eel that I have grown accustomed to ...... I had to ask the wait staff whether the eel was imported or not (it took some time, but they eventually admitted to me it was local eel.)
I had some suspicion that I was not eating eel at all ...... it tasted more like mackarel. And I was at first tempted to bring out a small piece of the eel for DNA testing hehehehehe. In the end, I just returned the dish to them and requested that they just cancel it from my order. (luckily they did)
Well, they did try to project a more upscale image as far as this resto is concerned, UNFORTUNATELY, the dishes they prepared seemed to stick to their traditional fastfood recipes. I think they should re-think on what market they are trying to attract here.
Edited by asmodeus, 06 October 2009 - 01:06 PM.
Posted 07 October 2009 - 12:57 PM
Dasmarinas St. Binondo
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Probably one of the few places where I personally like their siumai very much. (the other two being Gloria Maris and Eat Well Teahouse) Their siumai is served steaming hot, the siumai wrap is thin enough so that you taste more of the pork and that there is hardly any extenders...... Size per piece are on the average.
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Now why is it that duck meat usually are more oily? Is it because of the way it is cooked or is it that ducks are naturally fattier than chickens?? While Ying Ying's version is tasty, I again find the duck dish too oily for my taste.
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Theirs is the salt and pepper kind, then deep fried to golden brown ..... thank heavens it did not came out too oily. The accompanying vinegar with minced chili peppers as dipping sauce further enhances the flavor.
STEAMED BONELESS EEL IN TAUSI
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This is one of my favorite chinese dishes as far as I can remember. When President Restaurant was still situated in the old building near Salazar bakery, I always make sure to order one whenever family or friends dine in the establishment.
Fortunately .... with the eventual transfer to the Dasmarinas St. area, the taste has hardly change and it is still one of our favorites. This dish will make great viands for your rice or as an excellent pulutan.
Do take note that they have both boneless and the one with bones ...... best to just order the boneless one since price will remain the same.
Edited by asmodeus, 07 October 2009 - 12:58 PM.
Posted 07 October 2009 - 01:39 PM
Soler St. corner Gandara, Binondo Manila
A few weeks ago, Me and a couple of MTC friends decided to embark on a food trip EB here in this fine restaurant ..... we dined on fine exotic foods and drank bottles of Tsing Tao beer. Needless to say, we had a swell of a time. In fact, we did a repeat EB the week after.
Actually, prior to our Food Trip EB, I already had the chance to dine her with my one of my balikbayan cousin. It is actually for this reason that I invited the other MTC friends in the first place.
SPINACH SEAFOOD SOUP
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Its got some finely minced spinach and some assorted minced seafoods like fish and shrimp mixed in a lightly starchy soup base. The taste came out a little bland but I liked the way the spinach were minced whereas other restos would opt to puree the spinach. In larger pieces, one can actually taste the spinach.
BAMBOO SHELL IN TAUSI SAUCE
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I was supposed to be ordering these large clams with tausi but unfortunately they were "out of stock" for that particular seafood ..... instead I ordered a different type of shellfish known as bamboo shell. They are sorta like clams too except of a different shape.
In one of my recent Food Trip FR, I ordered the same type of dish in this eatery in Banawe called Original Maki Haus and I was so disappointed because that time, the dish served to me was soooo oily. The one served by Golden Fortune is much much better though just a tad saltier ..... the sauce goes great with plain rice.
CROCODILE MEAT IN BLACK PEPPER
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It's sliced crocodile meat cooked in some starchy sauce with lots of black pepper and served on a hot sizzling plate. A closer look at the meat and one can see that it somehow has the look of cooked squid....... It tasted somewhat like chicken with the texture and chewiness of squid.
Again .... would go great with plain rice or as a pulutan.
LAPU LAPU SERVED 2 WAYS
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The first way is to use the body of the fish and have it steamed, then some soy based sauce is placed on the fish to give it that very slight sweet salty taste.
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The Second way is to use whatever meat left from the fish (mostly from the head) and mixed with rice, soy sauce and some Ampalaya cooked in a somewhat adobo style.
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For Dessert, were given (on the house) some ube flavored gelatin conconction ...... personally I find it completely without any flavor whatsoever. But I really can't complain since it wasn't included in our bill.
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