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#221 asmodeus

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:47 PM

It was a somewhat long and tiring drive from Baclaran (what with all the slow traffic we encountered), we haven't had dinner yet and it was already 10:00 p.m.... Arriving at the Timog-Tomas Morato area, we circled around to see what interesting food spots we could try out. My first choice actually was the newly opened Johnny Rockets along Tomas Morato, but since we couldn't find a decent parking space we decided to keep on looking.

Eventually we ended up in this cozy little Korean Restaurant near the corner of Timog Avenue, the name of the restaurant is CHUNG MI RAE (I will have to double check on the spelling). If you're coming from the Timog-Tomas Morato rotunda, just take timog and head into the direction of Quezon Avenue. At the first corner (Dannys Grill on your left serves as your landmark) make a right turn and you should immediately see the restaurant's signage to your right side. (Because of the heavy downpour, I wasn't able to get a pic of the facade). Customers are mostly korean nationals though I did see a table occupied by local filipinos.

Since it was just the two of us, we really couldn't order too much food. (but we sure were really hungry. hehehehehe)


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Without us even asking, the wait staff provided us with a pitcher of cold tea........ While the pitcher and glass had soju as their labels, the contents was just plain tea. (we weren't in much mood for alcoholic beverages)


Also without us asking for it, they also provided some korean appetizers while we wait for orders to arrive....... What I like about this restaurant (aside from the free appetizers, which I believe are re-fillable) is the different varieties not normally found in more commercial korean inspired restos.


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On the left are sliced baby octopus dipped in chili sauce, while beside it is cabbage kimchi. Above the kimchi is pickled salty radish and the one on top is sour plum.


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Upper left is sliced zucchini in chili sauce, to its right side is dilis mixed with nuts (not sure if its walnuts) and topped with a subtle sweet sauce. Lower right is kinda like egg omelette while lower left is something I not familiar with. (taste like gelatin with sweet sauce)


DOLSOT BIBIMBAP

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Rice topped with egg and assorted Vegetables in a Hot Stoneware.

I have to admit that there are some vegetables inside that does not look familiar to me. Why even the beansprouts (toge) has a different shape. Anyway, I did find this rice topping a little on the bland side. I asked the wait staff for some additional chili sauce to give it a somewhat sweet, spicy flavor.


JAPCHE


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Glass noodles with strips of vegetables and pork.

Served really hot, the glass noodles are long and firm and has just the right amount of sweetness (mainly from sesame oil). Though the serving is pretty much generous, I was however a bit surprised that of all the dishes we ordered, this one was the most expensive. (I think 500 pesos per order)


DENJANG CHIGE

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Fermented soybean paste, potatoes, tofu, zucchini and shellfish soup.

After my first sip of the soup ... all I can say is "Wow" !!!! My companion was starting to tease me because all my concentration was on the soup alone. It somewhat had the subtle taste of japanese miso soup. But I think the magic here is the fermented bean paste as it has a more intense flavor as well as a more nutty taste than miso. A little chili powder gives the soup just the right amount of "heat"

Definitly this will be one of my most highly recommended dish should you drop by this restaurant ........ I think i have just found my new comfort food.


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After our meal (and again, much to our delight) the wait staff gave us some complimentary ice cream ....... Its just basically vanilla ice cream, but after all the intense flavors we just consumed, the subtle flavor of the vanilla serves as an effective palate cleanser.

Damage was a bit costly at 1,200 pesos for two persons, but given the great tasting food that we experienced, I'm not about to complain.

Edited by asmodeus, 24 October 2010 - 07:17 AM.


#222 TheSmilingBandit

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 09:33 PM

1521 - Shaw Blvd

Having dinner with two old and dear friends is always a pleasure, more so if the food is as good as it is in 1521. This is a small restaurant specializing in native fare done with a flair.

Dinner began with a bagoong salad with eggplant, onions, green mango, and chicharon.
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This was followed with a white corn soup.
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The main course was simply crispy pata with bagoong rice and garlic rice split among the 3 of us. The crispy pata is very crispy and delicious without being heavy with oil. The bagoong rice is very tasty as well, a perfect accompaniment.
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The food was exquisite in taste and reasonable in price. Our total bill was roughly 1300, not bad considering how full we all were at the end of the night.


#223 asmodeus

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:26 AM

JOHNNY ROCKETS (The Original Hamburger)
Tomas Morato, Quezon City


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Relatively easy to find ....... coming from the Timog-Tomas Morato Rotunda, take Tomas Morato going in the direction of E. Rodriguez. Just pass the first intersection (shakey's to your left serves as landmark) you will see Johnny Rockets to your right.

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A friendly security guard is there to assist you in your parking, or there are also valet attendants to help out in case the parking slots are full.


Once you step inside, its like going back in time to the days when soda fountains were all the rage (images of the movie GREASE starring john travolta and olivia newton john comes to mind)
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I was quite delighted to see a replica of those old jukeboxes (this one is fully functional)

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Of course the jukebox is a little hi-tech since it uses Compact Discs instead of those vinyl records....Tunes being played were more of the upbeat kind ranging from "That thing you do" by the Wonders; Stupid Cupid; Copacabana by Barry Manilow; the theme from Hawaii Five O and even the 80s hit "Stray Cat Strut" by the Stray Cats.


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For starters I ordered myself a CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER Milkshake.

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Quite thoughtful of them to even give us the excess milkshakes that was left in the container, so it would seem like we are getting almost two glasses of shakes for every order.
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The Milkshakes were however a little too thick that it was hard to sip on the shakes. Given that the straws were the usual thin ones used for soda pops, I had to virtually suck hard just to get the contents up. Eventually, I just added a little water to smoothen it out and make sipping easier.

I got a lot of the taste of peanut butter (and chunks of peanut bits) as well as the taste of milk. What I didn't really get is the taste of chocolate.


While waiting for our other orders, the wait staff provided us a plate-full of French Fries (which by da way are re-fillable)
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And just for the fun of it I guess, A plate of catsup made to look like a smiley. (of course a bottle of catsup is also available in every table)
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The french fries here are cut into really big pieces, the outside is a little crispy while the inside is hot and fluffy. They are a bit underseasoned though, but a dash of salt (also available in every table) or a dip into some catsup should solve that problem.


We also ordered the CHICKEN TENDERS. Which are basically strips of chicken breast which are lightly battered and deep fried. It comes with a choice of different dipping sauces like BBQ flavor, honey mustard, etc etc (we chose the BBQ) and also a choice of salads or more fries. (we chose the salads with thousand island as dressing)

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The chicken strips are quite crispy on the outside and cooked just right on the inside as its still somewhat moist and doesn't taste too dry. I kinda like the smokey flavor of each strip. The BBQ dipping sauce is nothing really much to crow about, it tasted much like the BBQ sauce used for McDonald's Chicken Nuggets. I actually opted for the regular catsup on my Chicken Tenders. Salads were ok, at least they are not very watery.


My parents opted for a Burger which they will share ........

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At first they wanted to order this burger topped with a lot of mushrooms (if im not mistaken, the name of the burger is Route 66) but for some strange reason, the wait staff told us that they are out of mushrooms (hmmmmm at 11:00 in the morning????)

So they ordered this other burger which I forgot to note down the name. I just got a small bite of it and though the burger is somewhat juicy and beefy ..... the taste is kinda generic. Maybe my expectations were a bit high but I just didn't find any special flavor. (nontheless, my parents did enjoy the burger)


For myself (thanks to the heads up of sir DONGT) I ordered the Philly CheeseSteak Sandwich ......

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A cross section look at the sandwich shows that there is really a lot of beef and carmelized onions.

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And while the beef is cooked nicely with its subtle saltiness blending quite well with the sweetness of the carmelized onions, I was wondering where the heck is the cheese ........ this is after all a Cheesesteak sandwich. I asked the wait staff about it and she pointed out to me that there are some sliced cheese at the bottom of the sandwich. (I took apart a slice of the sandwich and found miniscule slices of cheese at the bottom)

I really can't help but compare the CheeseSteak Sandwich of Johnny Rockets with that from Charlie's Grind and Grill ....... Johnny Rocket's version should be called Beefsteak Sandwich for lack of cheese while I think Charlie's still has the best Cheesesteak sandwich around (as far as those that I have tasted already). If you're going to backread this thread a couple of pages, you will find that the Cheesesteak sandwich of Charlie's is smothered all over with melted cheese (plus they have salsa and jalopeno peppers on the side)


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I did post in the burger thread that it was quite an entertaining lunch ...... and I mean entertained because once every 20 minutes or so, wait staff and even supervisors would suddenly break into dance numbers much to the delight of the diners.

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Even the kitchen staff would sometimes join in on the dance numbers.
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Our lunch lasted for approximately an hour and we got to see 3 performances all in all. (each dance number lasts approx. 1 minute plus plus)
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* I wasn't able to get a picture but the wait staff (plus security guard and valet attendant) actually did a dance number at the parking lot area.

** For all the gentlemanyaks out there ...... check out the servers named ANGEL and LESLIE as they are quite the cuties. (i was there for lunch service so no idea if they work the night shift)

Edited by asmodeus, 26 October 2010 - 11:55 AM.


#224 Itto Ogami

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 09:00 AM

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ate at the Cubao branch.
ordered Magellan boodle (good for 3-4):

  • 1 steamed crab & 4 steamed prawns
  • 1 grilled tilapia
  • 1 grilled squid
  • 1 grilled talong
  • deep fried shrimps
  • 1/4 chicken inasal
  • kinilaw na tanigue
  • bagoong rice (lotsa!)


food was good, except for the tilapia which was unevenly grilled.
i especially liked the crunchy, deep-fried shrimps. Posted Image

paging the great master ASMODEUS for a decent FR.
sorry, my bad. no pics.


#225 erato

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:36 AM

The Gustavian
1/F Robinson's Place Tacloban City

This is from last Christmas so I've pretty much forgotten details. What I won't forget was how good everything on the menu was. I didn't get to take a picture of the other dishes that we'd sampled. But anyway, you go experience it yourselves? My bestfriend said they have a branch in Cebu, too? Not sure. :)


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#226 erato

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:08 PM

Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken
Annex Bldg. SM City North EDSA

-First of all, this is fast food joint so set your expectations right. :D Having said that, here's what I remember about this place. It's supposed to be serving Portuguese dishes, but I don't think it's anywhere near authentic. The chicken is nothing extraordinary. That's me being kind. In the back of my head, a voice is screaming "What's the big deal with this chicken?!" Maybe it's cooked differently, but it doesn't really reflect on the taste. Ah, by the way, food here tends to be hot and spicy.

The saving grace of this place are the Chicken Fajitas and the Shrimp. Oh and this dessert that looks more expensive that it is.


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This comes with wheat Tortilla and stuff, but I lost the picture. See, that's me being clumsy.
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Looks yummy, eh? It's quite good.
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And like I said, what's special with this chicken? I say, nothing. Doesn't look delicious, and is not delicious. :D
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#227 erato

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:49 PM

Cafe Adriatico
1/F Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao


I initially thought the resto was serving exclusively classic Filipino dishes. Then I saw the menu and it had sinigang and gambas and kakanin and pansit, and at the same time they had steak and salpicao and stuff. So maybe it's a mix of cuisines? Anyway... The crowd is a mix of everything, too. Early in the night, there are families and couples. Late into the night, it becomes more of a relaxed drinking place.

Been here a couple of times. The Pinoy dishes were quite delicious, and my fave would be the Sinigang na Hipon. That was really good. Unfortunately, I failed to document the early visits to this place. The last time I went here, here were the dishes sampled:

Steak Cafe Adriatico - looks good, tastes even better. :lol:
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Salpicao Rice - just okay. And looks like a small serving, don't you think?
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As for beverages, they have juice, iced tea, beer, cocktails, etc... :D

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Cheers! :lol:

Edited by erato, 11 November 2010 - 09:54 PM.


#228 Queen Darkeinjel

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:54 PM

The Cookbook Kitchen
Eastwood City Branch (near the Dell Building, across The Palazzo)

A good friend of mine asked me to visit CBK and do a review about it. Last weekend, I had the time and energy to do so. We wanted to try another restaurant in Eastwood, but when we passed by the Orchard Road, we saw CBK, we got down and decided to eat there instead.

I only know of two CBK branches, the one in Eastwood and the one in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong. To get more information on CBK Mandaluyong and how to get there, please click here.

So here's what we had:

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Creamy Tomato Soup

The soup was served with bread for starters and we both agreed that it's one of the best tasting tomato soups that we've had. It's not super thick that you'd have a hard time eating it and the flavor of tomatoes was just superb. We did find it great because there was no taste of added sugar, the sweetness of the soup came from the tomatoes' natural sugar.

Hubby had this

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Spicy Italian Sausage with its own dip (I'm sorry but the dip's name just escapes me this moment)

It's not really spicy, so if you're gunning for a real spicy meal, this one is not for you. But if you'd like to try Italian sausage, this one is a definite must try.

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I had the Custed Parmesian Fish

Which was rather a disappointment to me. Because of the overwhelming cheese flavor, I started looking for the taste of the fish I'd say after my first 3 bites of it. It's okay, not overwhelming, disappointing but edible. I was looking not just for the flavor and taste of the fish, but of the other ingredients in the dish as well.

If you want to read my full review and experience at CBK Eastwood, please visit my blog FooBu: Food Buddies

Edited by darkeinjel, 12 November 2010 - 02:59 PM.


#229 asmodeus

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:56 PM

November 14, 2010 (Sunday) ..... I had to drive my parents to a wedding reception in one of the 5-Star Hotel near the Roxas Boulevard Area. Since I have a few hours to spare before I pick them up again, I thought about going for a food trip on my own. And I guess for sheer love of noodle soup, my destination was to be chinatown.

Parked my vehicle in one of the Parking Lot near Soler St. and decided to go on foot ....... my first destination??? Someplace where I haven't eaten in many many many years.

MASUKI
Benavidez Street, Manila

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If I'm not mistaken, this noodle house used to be called Ma Mon Luk, then eventually changed to Ma Kong and is now called Masuki (did I miss any other names?) Either way, the look and feel of the eatery remains practically the same (give or take a couple of paintjobs) ...... why even up to now, they didn't even bother to put up airconditioners when most of the other establishments have.

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I'm still quite amused and feeling nostalgic at these thick glasses they used to put the tea.


Though the menu has somewhat changed what with more varieties in their noodle dishes, I still opted for their Original Flavor.

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The variety is basically the difference in the toppings, and with the original flavor, they have some sliced chicken and pork on top of the noodle soup. (one can opt for purely pork or purely chicken) The noodles themselves are kinda thinner versions of linguini.


Accompanying my order for the noodle dish are some chopped spring onions and the sweet sauce which everybody mixes with the noodles. (heck i think it can even double as the sauce for he siopao)

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The flavor of the noodle soup (in my opinion) has not changed all these years, it still has that distinct aroma that very few other noodle houses carry. What I still like about their noodles is that its not very oily although I'm still wondering why they still cannot enhance the flavor. Its still typically bland and would need the sweet sauce to give the dish that kick. But I guess that has always been the charm which still attracts many diners up to this day.

I didn't order anything else because I'm saving space for another go at a different noodle house.........


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NORTH POINT LONG KEE BEEF NOODLE RESTAURANT

This noodle house is somewhat near the Estero ........From the the center of Chinatown which is at the intersection of Ongpin St. and Gandara St. (A Philtrust Bank & Mang Inasal branch serves as landmark) Go into the direction of Espeleta. Just pass this restaurant to your right (I think the name is Royal Garden) you will see a dark alleyway, turn right and immediately you will see the eatery. (if you go further down the alley, you will end up in the estero eateries)

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I just ask the waitress what their specialty is and she suggested the BEEF CAMTO

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This noodle soup definitly has a more beefy flavor though it does come with a very subtle oily aftertaste. I like it in that they sliced the beef (which by da way are tender enough) into bite sizes which makes it easier to eat when using chopsticks. They used these very thin type of noodles which if I'm not mistaken is Cantonese Style Noodles. (which unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of)


So after two bowls of noodle soup in roughly an hour, I opted for a little cold drink ....... Just for trying I ordered their HONG KONG STYLE COLD MILK TEA.

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Its basically just cold tea mixed with some condensed milk and served with ice. I was a little amused that they used those long straws for softdrinks and not the bending type. The waitress approached me and asked me how the tea was. My reply to her is that it just tasted like TEA TAHRIK. She smiled, but I was pretty darn sure she had no idea what I was talking about. (I would think that I might be the first customer to order that tea drink hahahaha)


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My mind is still craving for one more noodle house to try, but my stomach just couldn't take it anymore ....... Oh well, I suppose there should be a part 2 sometime in the very near future.

Edited by asmodeus, 18 November 2010 - 07:16 AM.


#230 asmodeus

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:50 PM

NAPOLI PIZZERIA RISTORANTE


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For those who are familiar with the Timog-Tomas Morato area, the location of this eatery should be easy to find as it is situated right along the Timog-Tomas Morato Rotunda.

CHEF SALAD

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Rolled slices of mozzarella cheese, ham, salami, pepperoni and roast beef on top of fresh lettuce, tomato, onions and olives with our choice of salad dressing. (we chose italian) While I can say that the veggies are quite fresh and not so watery and that the protein like the ham and beef are not overcooked...... for a salad dish, it does come off as a bit too heavy that we might not be able to eat anything else. (moreso since it was just the three of us in our table)


CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP
Thick tomato soup with Garlic, Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese.

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Quite a fun soup if I may so myself ...... though its somewhat thick, the soup doesn't give you that heavy feeling and it has that great intense flavor of the garlic and the cheese plus a minor kick of spicy heat. A slight complaint on my part is that it kinda tasted too much like spaghetti sauce.


ITALIAN SAUSAGE with MARINARA SAUCE

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Most of the sausages I've eaten are either fried or grilled. This is one of the few times that I had sausages which are boiled of which they did not disappoint. Its still quite firm to the bite and that the sausage are not too watery. The Marinara sauce is nice with a right balance of sour, salty and subtle sweet.


SHRIMP FIESTA SPAGHETTI
Marinated shrimps placed on top of pasta with Fresh Marinara Sauce and Melted Mozzarella

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A shrimp fiesta this one isn't as I only saw a few miniscule pieces of shrimp. Instead they added lots sliced squid and small chunks of fish. I think a more appropriate name to call this pasta dish "Mixed Seafood Fiesta Spaghetti". The pasta itself are a little on the soggy side and I felt that there was just way too much marinara sauce (on a personal level, I like my spaghetti with very minimal amounts of sauce so that I can still taste the pasta)

Serving for this pasta dish is quite big as it can feed roughly 5 people.


SPECIAL PIZZA

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For its toppings, its got Ground Beef, Pepperoni, Mushroom, Onion, Bell Pepper and Ham. The pizza dough is thin and slightly charred (in a good way) but not overly crispy. We took home most of the pizza as were quite stuffed already with salad and the pasta.

Edited by asmodeus, 18 November 2010 - 09:20 PM.


#231 asmodeus

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 04:16 PM

CAJUN RED ROCK
Atrium Section, SM Megamall

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I can't remember the exact level for this eatery, but I think its on the 3rd level just across a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaves Coffee house. Based on what is written in their menu, the establishment started out as burger joint somewhere in the Retiro area (hmmmmm I should look for the burger joint) and has now expanded their menu to include other american southern inspired dishes.


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Quite thoughtful of them to provide us with some complimentary popcorn while we browsed their menu..... though considering the very yellow color of the popcorn, it did come out a little bland. Good thing there was a salt shaker in the table.


FARMERS MACARONI SOUP
Cajun's special recipe of plump tomatoes boiled to perfection with herbs and spices. Then simmered with fresh macaroni pasta.

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Imagine having a simmering hot bowl of Campbells Alphabet Soup and you should have an idea of how the soup tastes like. Only the flavor in Cajun's version is more pronounced. Plus this one has a chunkier texture. Not that the soup is bad (its actually good) though I was probably expecting a little more "heat" since some cajun cooking tends to be spicier.


NEW YORK FISH AND CHIPS
Whole Cream Dory Fillet stuffed with cheddar cheese then seasoned in crispy batter.

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Accompanying the fish dish are some potato fries three dipping sauces: Honey Mustard; Vinegarette and errrrrrrr (I forgot what the 3rd one is called) ^_^

The batter is light and does not have an oily aftertaste and the fish is quite good (though some parts are slightly undercooked). What I was looking for is the stuffed cheddar cheese as I don't seem to taste any of it. The potato fries are quite good in that its flavored with spices. (not the artificial kind) My mother was exclaiming that these are some of the best fries she has ever tasted. (as for the dipping sauces ..... I was using mostly the honey mustard)


GRILLED CHICKEN MARSALA
Grilled Chicken with Creole Style Mushroom Sauce and Side Dish of Cajun Safron Rice and Baked Mash Potatoes

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The chicken is grilled nicely, slightly charred on the outside so it has this nice smokey flavor but still tender and juicy on the inside. (of course medyo daya since they used all dark meat). Mushroom Sauce is delicious as it blended quite well with the smokey flavor of the chicken. The rice has a nice aroma as well a nice subtle salty taste which also blends quite well if mixed with the subtle sweetness of the mushroom sauce.

Too bad the mash potatoes were a little gummy...... I like my mash potatoes a little on the chunky side.

Edited by asmodeus, 19 November 2010 - 04:42 PM.


#232 asmodeus

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 12:13 AM

GLORIA MARIS DIMSUM KITCHEN
Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan


Situated almost across Unimart inside the Greenhills Shopping Center Compound, this establishment basically serves chinese dimsum and short orders...... my favorite of all the dimsum remains the ever popular PORK SIU MAI. But for that particular day, I decided to try other dishes I don't normally order.


FRIED TARO PRAWN

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I just saw a young couple from the other table order this and I was quite intrigued as to what it is because of its cute shape. The server told me that this particular dish is not even in their menu yet........ Truth to tell, I'm never a fan of any taro dish (I mean give me kamote or regular potatoes anytime) but at least I can I tried it. hehehehehe

Aside from the generous serving of taro, which basically comprised 80% of the dish, there were some small slices of chicken inside as well as the prawn (though a small prawn if I may add). Both chicken and prawns were cooked just right and would have a subtle salty taste (if you ate this seperately). But bite it together with the rest and all you're going to taste is the taro.


CHIU CHOW DUMPLING

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The server told me that this dumpling comprises of some minced pork, peanuts and yellow corn...... Before I continue, I always make it a personal point to try out dumplings without any dipping sauces so that I can get the actual flavor of the dumpling. Sadly (aside from the subtle sweetness coming from the peanuts) the dumplings were bland in taste.

Another issue is the size of the dumpling ...... I personally like dumplings or siumai in smaller bite sizes so that one can easily pop it in my mouth. Unfortunately for me, the dumplings came in overly big sizes that it would roughly take at least 3 bites before finishing it. And by then a lot of the fillings would have already fallen off.


ASADO SIOPAO (Roast Pork Bun)

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One thing commendable about this establishment is that almost all the food items are served steaming hot and the buns are no exception. It's also soft and fluffy as if you are biting into a big piece of cotton. The asado pork fillings are not bad with the right blend of sweet and salty. I however think it kinda lacked a little more sauce as it tasted somewhat dry. (I personally like my asado siopao oozing with sauces)


CRYSTAL SCALLOP DUMPLING

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When one orders a scallop dumpling. Surely one expects the dumpling to contain (at the very least) some pieces of scallops ....... I felt kinda cheated when I opened up the dumpling and saw some minced pork and veggies, BUT no trace of any scallops whatsoever. Instead they substituted that with japanese crabstick. (which has a slight similar texture to the scallop). They shoud have just called this Crabstick Dumpling.

I actually wanted to return the dish but my parents and sister insisted that I just let it slide.


FRIED SALAD SHRIMP DUMPLING

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I wasn't exactly sure what they meant when the word SALAD was mentioned. I opened up the dumpling and I saw minced pork and a piece of shrimp. (Does that make it a salad ???) Anyway, the fillings (shrimp and minced pork) were too salty for me. And the deep fried skin was too oily.


SPARERIBS WITH TAUSI

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Just by looking at the dish, one can tell thats it going to have a very oily aftertaste ........ and it did. Then there is definitly a need to add more tausi because I didn't taste any of it.


BICHU RICE ROLL

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I'm not familiar at all with this dish (my brother in law ordered this one) but it looked like Hofan Rice Noodles wrapped around a piece of fried bread...... There is absolutely no flavor whatsoever in this dish as it is completely bland. The dipping sauce was no help as it too seemed a bit underseasoned. Too bad because I would have enjoyed it what with the contrasting soft and crispy texture.


SHANGHAI SIAO LONG PAO (Soupy Pork Dumplings)


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One of the main reason why I enjoyed the Soupy Pork Dumplings at CRYSTAL JADE is because of its size as it takes just a single bite. That way you get to taste all at once the entire dumpling (the skin, the fillings and the soup) in one go....... Gloria Maris' version is a bit large that its going to take around 2 bites. Wouldn't that spill out the soup????

Oh wait, where's the soup ???? It must have dried or leaked out during the steaming process.


RADDISH CAKE

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Nice and crispy on the outside ...... but unfortunately too soft and mushy on the inside. And there seemed to be too little of those minced pieces of salty pork which could have given the sweetness of the radish a nice contrast.

#233 asmodeus

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:30 AM

CIRCHIO
Sct. Limbaga St., Quezon City


Was recently browsing thru one of the more popular local food blogs and I chanced upon a posting in which the restaurant is located in a very familiar spot in Quezon City, so I thought about going there to try out the place. Finding it should be relatively easy ...... coming from the timog-tomas morato circle going into the direction of E. Rodriguez, when you reach the 2nd intersection (a Congo Grille serves as landmark) turn right and a little further down, you should see the resto to your left.

It was already many weeks back when I dined there, and during that time they had no signboard but just a tarpaulin banner indicating the name of their resto.......anyway, food there is basically a mix of fusion local and international cuisine. (by da way, I asked the server how they pronounce the name and they replied TSER-KIYO)


PUMPKIN MALUNGGAY SOUP

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Blame it on me to be always on the prowl for some of the best pumpkin soups in the metropolis and I guess this one doesn't disappoint that much. My personal standard for a good pumpkin soup is that it has to taste like pumpkin and not be overwhelmed by the richness of the cream. Circhio's version is just that and its not overly heavy on the stomach. The malunngay part however is just for added colour. I hardly tasted any of it. (but I'm not really complaining)


GRILLED CHICKEN SOUP

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I really like the blend of this soup .... the smokiness of the grilled chicken, the salty-sweetness of the chorizo and the mild spiciness of herbs all blending well with the lemony flavor of the broth. I would definitly recommend this soup if one is looking for a little difference in flavor.


SPICY CRISPY SQUID HEAD

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I lost the receipt so i definitly cannot be exact on some of the names of the food items we ordered. Aside from having some squid heads, they also included some of the tentacles. The squid is fried to just the right amount of crispiness in that you don't need jaws of steel to enjoy this. Its not overly sweet nor spicy that will have you continuously eating piece after piece after piece.


NACHOS

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Nothing really to crow about as this is just a straighforward nacho dish with all the trimmings of green peppers, onions, melted nacho cheese and a meaty beef dip. (the dip could use a little more spice). Nevertheless, given that our family likes nachos, the contents disappeared in no time.


TUNA SALPICAO

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I had a hard time eating this dish, the fish tasted really dry on the insides..... but the sauce would have been fantastic with plain steamed rice.


THAI SINUGLAW

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I was wondering where the "Thai" part comes in, nevertheless I like the grilled smokey flavor of the pork liempo on top, though I wish they would include more of the lean parts instead of the fatty parts. The kilawin tanigue on the bottom is delicious, the blend of the vinegar is of the right sourness, and the meat of the fish is a nice balance of being cooked (by the vinegar) on the outside but still raw on the insides. And each chunk of the kinilaw is quite big, but small enough for just a single bite.


BOURBON RIBS WITH SPECIAL SAUCE

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In fairness to the ribs, it was cooked soooo tender that it could almost slide off the bone by itself...... the disappointing part for me was that the sauce was way to sweet.


GRILLED PRAWNS with SOTANGHON

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Nice big prawns, though nothing extraordinary in the flavor. I was delightfully surprised however at the flavor the sotanghon (glass noodles). Much like the Grilled Chicken Soup, the noodles have the flavor of lemon and it was quite a unique experience to have something far different from the usual salty flavor of some chinese sotanghon dish or the sweetness of the korean Japche


GAMBAS PIZZA

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I like the thickness of the pizza dough, its almost tortilla thin and slightly crispy but still chewy enough. Toppings included the likes of shrimp cooked gambas style, some chorizos, tomato sauce and a generous helping of mozzarella cheese. Bottomline, its not something I would call as extraordinary, but should suffice if you just happen to be in this restaurant and your craving happens to be pizza. (by da way, they also offer sisig pizza, which I will try when I have the chance to return here)


PERI PERI CHICKEN

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I actually didn't like the chicken, it was overcooked that the meat tasted dry. We could actually get a better tasting chicken in some other inasal restaurant....... What really blew me away was the rice which comes with the chicken. Very fragrant aroma, flavorful spices and a crispy texture that makes the rice soooo delicious. I actually wanted to finish off the rice by myself but my other companions were also jostling for a share of the rice. (a closer look would indicate that they added some finely chopped nuts into the rice which would account for the crispiness)


COOL AS CUCUMBER

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A non-alcoholic juice with a mixture of fresh lime, cucumbers and coriander ....... its really a refreshing drink that I highly recommend. (they also have an alcoholic version of this drink)

Edited by asmodeus, 02 December 2010 - 12:31 AM.


#234 asmodeus

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 05:39 AM

Here's a couple of "quickie" food trips I made recently ........

KORYO KOREAN BBQ
Sky Garden, SM North

More of a fastfood type of eatery .... concept is pretty simple, order the type of korean BBQ you want, and they come with 2 cups of rice and your choice of two side dishes.


BEEF & CHICKEN COMBO With sidedish of seaweeds and crispy squid tails

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BBQ SHORT RIBS With sidedish of beans and cabbage kimchi

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First of all, don't be fooled by the picture, the servings of rice are not that generous but the overall dish should be filling enough since there are side dishes included. The rice itself are good as it got this nice aromatic flavor and the meat of the beef are surprisingly very tender (considering its fast food). Its the overwhelmingly sweet sauce thats really going to get you.

Errrrr whats the english term for "Nakaka Umay" ?????


GARLIC POTATOES

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Much like the main dishes, the sauce is way too sweet for me ........ and I didn't taste much garlic flavor. (Too bad, because I just soooo love garlic)




KFC's DOUBLE DOWN

Was at Waltermart Munoz a couple of days ago and when I passed by their KFC outlet, I remembered reading in the Food thread about how this Double Down Chicken Sandwich thingy is always sold out. Well just out of curiosity, I went in right in and asked if they have any available. Fact is, they have a whole buch of them ready for pick-up. I did notice that none of the diners were ordering the said dish. (Oh, I had my order "To-Go")

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It's basically, two pieces of chicken fillet on top of each other with some bacon, mayonnaise and cheese squeezed right in the middle.

Given that the usual chicken recipe of KFC is fairly on the salty side ...... the addition of the bacon would make it even saltier. I personally think it could use a little more of the mayo to counteract the saltiness. Or some coleslaw would also do the trick (which are available for an additional fee)

Overall, I wouldn't want to eat this on its own ...... either have them with rice or with lots of the coleslaw. Oh and if ever I wanted a chicken sandwich ...... I'd opt for the Zinger instead.

Edited by asmodeus, 02 December 2010 - 05:40 AM.


#235 asmodeus

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 06:58 PM

It was a week or two ago, that I was accompanied by SIR TEMPEST and his Non-MTC friend to what we call a BINONDO "QUICKIE" FOOD TRIP. The plan was to visit some of the smaller eateries within the area and try around 2 to 3 dishes in each location.

ANG TUNAY BEEF HOUSE
Gandara St., Binondo

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This eatery is known for home cook meals, most of the food are laid out "turo turo" style so you just point out what dishes you like and they just re-heat the dishes. I heard they serve Soup # 5, which was one of my objective here but unfortunately the lady at the counter said they do not have any.


KIAMPONG (Salty Rice)

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The rice itself is sticky enough that you can pick them up with a chopstick but not overly glutinous that you feel like you're eating sushi rice or Ma-Chang. I like the subtle saltiness flavor of the rice (some restaurants tend to make theirs too salty) and the small chunks of pork as well as the peanuts give the dish a nice crunchy texture.


STEAMED INTESTINES

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Would have been nice if they steamed (or re-heat) it a bit longer as it was still quite cold when the dish arrived. In fairness, this is one of the few times I've eaten this dish without having to taste minute particles still inside the intestines. This dish relied on black vinegar as its dipping sauce..... I personally think plain soy sauce with some chili peppers would also go great with it.


STEAMED BAMBOO SHELL with SOY SAUCE

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There was this one time that i ate in a restaurant serving the same dish, but I just couldn't eat it because the sauce was soooooo oily. Sure this dish still has oil, just not so generous. The special soy sauce was just the right blend of salty and sweet. Dishes like this would go great with a bowl of steaming plain rice.


SUZHOU DIMSUM

Gandara St., Binondo

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A few doors away from ANG TUNAY BEEF BEEF HOUSE sits this eatery which specializes in Dimsum so we decided to a couple for trying


XIAO LONG PAO

We ordered the Pan Fried
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And the Steamed
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As far as taste is concerned, there is really not much difference, actually i find the dumplings to be on the bland side, and they used too little filling. The only difference is that the fried one has been charred at the bottom and is a bit oilier.


CHICKEN DUMPLINGS

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I actually couldn't taste any chicken flavor ....... all I got was the taste of the dumpling skin.


SHALLOT OILED PAN CAKE

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Think very thin pieces of pancake infused with some herbs and spices ........ its actually very flavorful and tastes good but just a tad too oily.



-----------------------------------------

We actually wanted to try SINCERITY CHICKEN but at 9:00pm the eatery was already closed. So just to somewhat wash down what we just ate, we headed over to this place serving Milk Tea with Jelly or what the regulars here called NAI CHA. I couldn't post pictures of the establishment since for some strange reason, the pics turned out crappy. Anyway, the establishment (whose name I also forgot) is just along Tomas Mapua (across Top Royal and Hap Chan). I saw lots of mainland chinese ordering there.

So is it good ???? Well I can say good enough, quite refreshing after a somewhat oily meal at SUZHOU. hehehehehe. This will probably be one of the few times that I would the drink to be a bit sweeter.


----------------------------------------


Again, many thanks to SIR TEMPEST and Friend for accompanying me on this fantastic food trip. We hope to do another one soon and hopefully we can dine in places like SINCERITY CHICKEN as well as try the food stalls along the ESTERO.

Edited by asmodeus, 13 April 2011 - 09:54 AM.


#236 DemonAsmodeus

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 11:59 PM

MOMO CAFE
Eastwood Mall, Libis

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This was my first time to go to Eastwood, so pardon me if I'm not very familiar with the ins and outs. It just so happened that when we went up from the lot parking in the basement, the eatery was just to our left.


HERB PUMPKIN CREAM & BACON BITS

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Served piping hot, I actually didn't get any taste of herbs nor bacon bits ...... but the flavor of the pumpkin soup is still fantastic. Its creamy, but not overly rich that you will be full by the time you finish the soup and like most of the good pumpkin soups, it tastes like pumpkin.


WILD MUSHROOM CAPPUCINO

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Somewhat like your usual cream of mushroom soup but with a more flavorful mushroom taste. I personally think that some mushroom bits would have added some nice texture, but overall its still a delicious bowl of soup to start the meal.


MELTED CRAB AND SPINACH 3 CHEESE DIP

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The nacho chips were fresh and crispy, the dip however was a mess. Most of the cheese weren't creamy because it had hardened making it quite difficult to scoop out. Then there is some watery residue on top which kinda makes the dip bland in taste.


GRANDMA'S COUNTRY HERB and BACON WRAPPED MEATLOAF

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I don't often eat Meatloaf, fact is I cant remember the last time I had one so I cant make any comparison ..... if you ask me, its somewhat like eating a thick piece of beef burger pattie. The beef was slightly overcooked but at least there was some gravy sauce to help moisten it up a bit.

My only question ...... Where's the bacon ????


OLD FASHIONED BEER BATTERED FISH N CHIPS

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Did they really dip the fish in a batter before deep frying it ?? or did they just take a piece of rice paper, wrapped it onto the fish and deep fried it ?? I would think its the latter as I felt like I was eating a big piece of fish turon. But the real disappointing part was that the entire deep fried fish was still dripping with oil and that the fish was undercooked.


CRISPY BACON CARBONARA LINGUINI

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Maybe its just me ..... but I personally think it would have been better to cut the bacon into strips or bits, then tossing it with the rest of the pasta and cream sauce. But I think they would rather that we cut the bacon ourselves. (which by da way is not crispy at all)

The cream sauce was just a little too rich ...... Bacon aside, there was no other flavor except for the cream.

#237 asmodeus

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 03:01 PM

RAMEN BAR
Eastwood Mall, Libis

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Much like AJESIN RAMEN HOUSE in Robinsons Ermita, RAMEN BAR makes use of the TONKOTSU variety (or Pork Bone Broth) as its main broth. It's basically made from boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for many hours (some reaching 20 hours or more), which suffuses the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency of milk or melted butter.

We arrived at the eatery a little past 11:00am and already the customers were starting to fill up the establishment fast, luckily for us, we got a nice seat situated just across the airconditioner for a more cooler experience. hehehehehe Since it was just the two of us, we could only order a limited number of food items ......


We started with an order of SPICY KAKUNI BUNS which is Spicy Melt in Your Mouth Pork Belly wrapped in Special White Bun

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It wasn't really "Melt in your Mouth" ...... its actually a little dry hence tough to chew on and the sauce wasn't as spicy as I would like. The buns had the texture and consistency of chinese siopao or kwa pao.


For our Ramen, we ordered the following:

SPICY KARAAGE RAMEN
Spicy Shoyu Ramen topped with Fried Boneless Chicken

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The pork bone broth is just delicious, very flavorful but not too salty and is quite light on the tummy even if it looks rather rich and milky. The noodles are very nice and firm.....While still eating my Pork Buns, I actually had my bowl of ramen resting in the table for a good ten minutes. And even after such time, the noodles still retain their firmess and bounciness.

The Chicken Karaage is also good, slightly crispy but tender on the inside, batter is light but very flavorful. I however was looking for the "spicy" part.


RBS # 1

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I assumed it called Ramen Bar Special # 1 (though I glanced at their menu and I didn't see any # 2. hahahaha). Much like our first order, this one uses the same Tonkotsu broth except the toppings are different. Instead of the chicken karaage, this one has Tamago (Egg), Naruto (Sliced Fish Cake), Nori (Seaweed), Negi (Onion), Chasu (bbq pork), and Kakuni (braised pork belly).

Edited by asmodeus, 07 December 2010 - 12:48 AM.

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#238 Queen Darkeinjel

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 12:51 PM

Eversince I started blogging about food and reviewing restaurants and their services, hubby and I became more picky on the places where we want to eat. Last weekend was no exception. We went to MOA quite hungry, but we walked around the area where the restaurants are until we finally decided to give Jatujak a try.


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Jatujak SM Mall of Asia Branch


The restaurant is located at the second floor, bay area side near the cinema. It's quite easy to miss since it is small and if there was no one out front wearing a uniform, we would not have given the place much thought.


When we went inside, the restaurant was quite warm. I think the restaurant just opened that time. I asked the crew if we could transfer to an area near the airconditioner and they gladly obliged. We got the menu and these are the things that we ordered.


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Vegetable and Tofu Curry


The vegetables were cooked just the way I like them, not soggy but not too crunchy to the point that you'll ask someone if they really cooked the thing. It was a curry dish and for someone who likes to eat curry, this one surprised me a lot. I never knew vegetables and tofu cooked curry style would taste that good. Another inspiration for my healthy cooking recipe to be put inside my vault.

It was served last and it was steaming, fresh out of the pan. I wouldn't say it was spectacular, but I wouldn't call it bland either. It was just right, not too spicy too. Although I kinda wished it was, since for me curry should be on the spicy side.


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Thai Bagoong Rice



Our rice was one of the well known varieties of Thai dishes, Thai Bagoong Rice. This one was good! The Bagoong was not salty and the shredded eggs and green mangoes hit the spot. What I loved the most were the fresh onions and cucumber that were on the sides of the rice. It meant that I could choose to put the onions along with the bagoong and the rest of what was on the plate if I wanted them.


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Crispy Pork with Cilantro Garnish


And here is what really made my lunch worth waiting for. The crispy pork with cilantro garnish. What can I say? When it was first served, I thought, hey, it's effing dry! No condiments, not even vinegar? Phew! But when I started to dig into it, I found out that the condiment was at the bottom of the pile of pork. The great thing about it was that, it didn't make the pork soggy. So there I was looking at the pork and heaving some tomatoes, onions and cucumber slices along with the vinegar dip onto my plate. And when I tried it with the rice, I was instantly transported to food heaven.

The pork wasn't salty and the vinegar dip complemented the whole thing. I was a happy camper that time.

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Jatujak's Thai Iced Tea


And with the food adventure comes the curiosity about their signature drink. I had the Thai Iced Tea. I can't put my finger on the exact flavor that they used, but it was definitely something new to the palate. Did I like it? YES and NO. Yes, because it was something new and it tasted good. NO, because there was just way tooooooo much ice inside the glass that it made it hard for me to take a sip and drink my iced tea. I only wish they lessened the ice a bit.


Overall, the Jatujak experience was really good and I would love to go to their other branches located in Megamall and SM North sometime soon. And for everything that we ate, we paid a little over Php700 or roughly $12. I can't wait to go to another Thai restaurant to compare prices and of course the food and service. Hmmm, maybe on Saturday I should try that Thai restaurant that my friend keeps telling me about. Time for another foodie adventure!


#239 Queen Darkeinjel

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 01:09 PM

A teaser photo from my recent trip to Mango Tree Bistro

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A short intro:

Mango Tree Bistro opened in Manila sometime October and my friend asked me to visit the place. It took me more than a month to go there, but from my experience, it was all worth the wait. Comparing the Thai Ice Tea of Jatujak and Mango Tree, the latter brings home the prize.


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Posted 23 December 2010 - 05:15 PM

Mango Tree Bistro - Trinoma Full Review

A review of one of the newest Thai restaurants in Quezon City, Mango Tree Bistro. The restaurant is located on the third floor of Trinoma mall beside Powerbooks. It opened its doors to Filipinos last October 11th. It originated from Bangkok, Thailand and it now has branches in several international locations including Tokyo in Japan, Macau, Dubai, Kuching, Busan and Kuching and its newest baby, the restaurant here in the Philippines.

The ambiance of the restaurant is relaxing and the crew members were prompt in leading us to a table and giving us the menu.

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From the photos alone when you open the menu, you might be tempted to order everything that you see.

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Although the dishes had their Thai names written on the menu, it was not hard to place our orders since there was description under every item to help one decide which one to order.

What we had were the following:

Hubby ordered the Garlic Shrimp

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The thing that I loved most about it is that it was juicy. There was enough garlic for the dish to live up to its name, but there was also enough juice from the shrimp so that its flavor won't be overpowered by the garlic in the dish. It wasn't spicy too, so for those who would love to try Thai food without the tongue burning spicy taste, I would recommend that you try this one out. From how it was served, I would definitely say that it's kid friendly too.

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My choice was the chicken in green curry sauce. I LOVED every bite of it. The smooth curry sauce with the chicken fillet was marvelous! It was mildly spicy, there were chopped finger chilis in it, as well as some chopped cayenne pepper. If you're not into spicy food, you might still find this dish just with the right amount of spice. It wouldn't make you run towards the crew member asking for a glass of water.

For drinks, hubby had regular lemon ice tea and I got the Thai Ice Tea.

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Comparing it with the one from Jatujak, this was waaaaaay better. I was able to quench my thirst, enjoy its unique flavor without gagging on bits of shaved ice.

Okay, we were full from what we ate, but I can't pass off on dessert, can I? So we decided to have the simplest dessert available.

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It's sago with sweetened coconut milk.

Gross? No, NOT A BIT! It was delicious! I must say though that we were taken aback when it was served. I'm so used to having cold desserts that this warm glass of sago surprised me a bit.

The best thing about it, it wasn't tooooo sweet. We were able to enjoy the coconut milk, the sago and the added flavor that it had, which I finally realized was a touch of mint on the dessert. I'd like to have a glass of it again.

The verdict:

Food Quality: 10/10
Efficiency of service: 10/10 - they were fast in delivering our food on our table, the crew member who served us even led us out to the smoking section where he served our dessert with two glasses of ice cold water.
Ambiance: 9/10 - I have to say that if you're using an ordinary digital camera, you might have a little difficulty in taking the photos. The lighting was ambient and was designed to highlight the food (according to my friend) and using your camera's on-board flash just might sabotage the look of the food.
Cost: 10/10 - we only paid Php1,000 (one thousand pesos) for everything. It's cheap considering that we had two types of viand, two cups of rice, one glass of ice tea each and dessert.

Recommendations:
If you are craving for Thai food that's easy on the budget, Mango Tree Bistro is the place to go.

Would we go back there? DEFINITELY!

I'm now thinking of going to another Thai restaurant just to compare prices and food quality. Till my next restaurant adventure then!




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