Sunday, December 13, 2009

Red Mango - multiple branches

Yogurt ice cream with Mango and Mochi Balls
Elle: I have to say that this is one of the best tasting yogurt ice creams I’ve had. It’s sweet and tart at the same time but it lacks the smoothness of really creamy yogurt ice cream. Fresh mangoes really go well with this dessert. It gives a fresh twist to the rich yogurt flavor. I usually order something crunchy to contrast the smoothness of yogurt but this time I ordered mochi balls cause it was the first time that I saw this being offered in any yogurt store. The mochi balls were just ok… they were not too sweet but they were too soft that it didn’t really add character to the dessert.
Cody: Indeed it is one of the best tasting frozen yogurt around. Service was fantastic and fast. Price wise it was affordable. I love the creaminess of this yogurt that you don’t usually get from the other fro-yo, plus they have a lot of topping choices that only they offer.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Museum Cafe - Ayala Center, Makati City

This restaurant caused such a big buzz when it first opened in the early 2000s.... first specializing in fusion cuisine but now after a reformat in its menu, they are more towrrds asian cuisine. Place is still the nice sleek interiors. Clean and fresh smelling.

Now for the food

Tuna Carpaccio
Elle: Very thinly sliced tuna pieces served with a very light Japanese inspired sauce. This was delicious and had that “I want more” effect. The tuna was fresh and did not have a fishy taste. The raw bean sprouts added to the freshness of the dish.
Cody: One can’t go wrong with a dish like this as long as you use fresh tuna, and they use very fresh tuna as evident in the color. The combination of the bean sprouts added a nice crunch to the dish. The dressing was very Japanese and didn’t overpower the tuna.

Char Kway Teow

Elle: The noodles were overcooked and served cold. I would have appreciated it more if it were served hot. It had three pieces of seafood which did not have any distinct taste. Overall the dish was bland.
Cody: All I liked here was the huge pieces of seafood but aside from that, the noodles were soggy and I would appreciate it if it was served a bit warmer.
Kung Pao Chicken

Elle: Wow! The dish was big and had so many colorful ingredients that made the dish pop and come to life. The chicken was soft and very flavorful. The spiciness was just right and had that light throaty action. The grilled pineapples added a bit of sweetness and tanginess to the dish. I could have done away with the peanuts and cashew nuts because they were bland and overcooked and coated with the same batter used for the chicken.
Cody: Apprehensive by the look of the dish, but upon getting a piece, it was done pretty well. It was able to deliver the flavors of a real kung pao chicken. Slightly spicy with hints of sweetness. The chicken was cooked thoroughly but still keeping the flesh moist and savory.

Hainanese Rice
Elle: The rice was very aromatic and flavorful. Each grain was bursting with flavor. Although they said it was good for sharing, the serving was small.
Cody: The flavors of the ginger and the other herbs used in Hainanese chicken was present in this rice. But the rice was a bit dry.

Roasted Duck Yang Chow Fried Rice

Elle: The serving was bigger than the other rice dish we ordered. It had a good amount of duck meat and smelled so much like roasted duck…you wouldn’t miss it. The dish was not at all oily and did not leave a coat of fat/oil in the mouth. This dish alone was very filling.
Cody: This rice dish I love more than the Hainanese rice. This was packing in roast duck flavor. Very very good and it has a lot of duck pieces.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shang Palace- Shangri-la Makati Makati City

Shangri-la Makati Hotel - Arguably the best hotel in Metro Manila.  Being the best hotel, they are suppose to house the best restaurants. Circles is indeed one of the better buffet restaurants. RED is really not out type, it is.. for us, a bit overrrated. Inagiku is indeed a wonderful japanese restaurant. But for today we are concentrating on SHANG PALACE

Dimsum:  Elle:The dimsum wrapper was so shiny, glutinous and gummy…I loved it! Super chewy and delicious! No scrimping on ingredients here.  Hakao had a ton of shrimp inside, siomai was real pork and not just pork fat.  They were fresh off the steamer and bursting with aroma and flavor! My first favorite would have to be the Steamed crystal dumpling with vegetable. The shiny wrapper was glistening with freshness! One bite had a lot of textures- crunchy, soft, jelly-like.  It had cilantro in it which added a certain freshness to the dish.  The deep fried seafood with mango in rice wrapper was also delicious! The delicateness of the seafood was contrasted by the crispiness of the rice wrapper and the mango sauce gave it a nice twist. 

Cody: This is the pinnacle of dimsum eating here in Manila. Everything was done to near perfection. From the skin to the filling. Everything was made using high standards. It is like you were eating in Hongkong and not in Manila. My favorite was the Hakao, delicate skin yet it holds everything inside. Inside was plump prawn pieces that I could eat everyday. My least favorite was the hong kong style fried roll. It was a bit oily.

Soup:  Elle: The hot and sour soup had loads of mushrooms and it was heartily-good! It was not as spicy and it was really good that way because it wasn’t the kind you’d get sick of after a few spoonfuls. The corn soup tasted like fresh corn chucked off the cob. It was not creamy which I also liked because the corn can get a little overpowered by the cream.  It was a light and refreshing soup.  Something to clean the palate with after a few servings of dumplings.

Cody:  The soups were sad to day, for me,  just ordinary.  It wasn’t as outstanding as I would hope for. 

Vegetables:  Elle: We ordered the Steamed Mui Choy with sliced bean curd. I was a bit disappointed because the bean curd didn’t taste so good. It had a slightly sour unpleasant taste to it that just made the dish taste a bit off.  Bean curd is one of my favorite things on the planet and this dish didn’t live up to my expectation.

Cody: This dish was presented beautifully but tastewise, it wasn’t a hit for me. I like the tofu and the vegetable, but the sauce on top of the tofu wasn’t really to my liking. It tasted like fermented veggies that I think is more of an acquired taste than anything else.

Main dish: Elle:The sauteed scallops with broccoli in X.O. sauce was a winner.  The scallops were sautéed in a lot of green onions which gave the dish so much flavor.  However the picture was so different from the actual serving.  The actual scallops were so much smaller and a bit “drier” in texture than the ones on photo the menu.  Slightly disappointed by the size but it was still delicious. 

Cody: Scallops was cooked perfectly, the veggies was also done right, the problem here was the size, they slice the scallops very thin. Too bad, the sauce was also great.

Elle: The fish fillet in orange sauce was another disappointing dish.  I found it too sweet and too orangey that I couldn’t really understand if it was supposed to be savory or not.  The fish pieces were soft and had a creamy texture but it was overpowered by the sauce.  A little sauce does go a long way. 

Cody:  It was nice that they used real lapulapu fillet. Size was good. Fried perfectly. My rant here would be the sauce that tasted like SUNQUICK.

Dessert:  Elle: Mango sago puree had bits of mango in it.  The sago was a bit too overcooked and had that melt in your mouth texture.  I like sago that kind of fights back when you bite into it.  I was also disappointed with the almond jelly with fruits because it did not have the almond taste I was looking for.  The almond-taste was very mild you’d miss it even after a few bites. 

Cody:  Here is were all the Chinese restaurants fail and falter. And Shang Palace didn’t fare better. It could be done better and I hope they can improve.  The mango sago lacked in taste. The almond jelly was just ordinary.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Manna-ish - Jupiter St. Makati City

Middle Eastern food has been getting its claim to fame because of its availability in our city. Theres the ultra cheap Mr. Kabab in Quezon City to the  more than 500 pesos Kebabs of Hosseins. People love this because of its great taste.. healthy method of cooking. 
SO when this placed opened. We wanted to try it immediately.

Ayran natural yogurt

Elle:  choice of sweet and natural.  Of course I chose natural.  The first sip: it was like drinking champoy juice if there’s even such a thing! It was soooo salty.  A small amount of sugar syrup made it better.  Sad part was it was runny.  I was expecting it to be cold and creamy. 

Cody: Sour and salty, if it was from a milk carton, I would have thrown it away, but they say its all natural yogurt…. Not really my type of drink, had o ask for lot of syrup to balance the taste.


Elle:  it was the Middle Eastern version of pizza.  It smells beefy but doesn’t taste much.  You have to add a lot of chili sauce to make it taste like anything.  Worse is they will eventually charge you for the sauce. 

 Cody: This one I like very much, the size is good for just one person and you can easily finish this one because it is very good.  Freshly baked even the sauce eas freshly made.

Mixed Chicken and Beef Shawarma

Elle: This was served on a thin crepe-like wrapper.  But it had no stuffing! What kind of shawarma doesn’t have vegetables?  The dough was a bit thick when it cooled down it was already like corkboard.  The chicken was very spicy and had too many herbs.  It was also very dry that it resembled dry stew/curry.  The serving size was too small. 

Cody: I had so much hope that this would be good because of the look of he place with all the fancy cooking equipment, but once it was serve and I had a peek what was inside…. I was disappointed. The beef was dry, the chicken was also dry.

NOTE:   Sad because the place looked promising.  It came complete with Mediterranean looking gadgets and oven. 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tachibana - Pasay Road

Theres a lot and we mean a lot of Japanese restaurants in Makati. Deciding where to eat can sometimes be difficult. Let us share with you guys one of our hidden Japanese restaurant secret.
Place really looks old, the wooden interiors plus the chair and tables, makes you think this restaurant has been there since the 60s. Once you enter, you will see Japanese people eating.. which is always a good sign.

Tachibana Bento

Elle: To start off, the rice was done so well. It was sticky but not stuck together.  It also had several slices of sashimi-no fishy smell!  Tempura was delicious! One piece was interesting – at first I thought it was okra but it was actually a big green chili!

Cody: At P350 this is one of the most packed and sulit bento box there is around. Everything was well prepared, from the rice to the fresh sushi to the tempura and the delicious chicken teriyaki

Chicken Teriyaki

Elle: This was sliced into bite size pieces that were fried into a perfect crisp and crunch.  The sauce wasn’t just poured over the chicken but it was most likely the marinade used.  The chicken was so tasty and not oily even though it was deep fried.

Cody: There are a lot of different preparations of chicken teriyaki ut so far from all the ones I tried this one is he winner. The skin was thin yet very crispy, the meat was is moist even if it was deep fried.

Chawan Mushi

Elle: Soft and creamy.  The dashi wasn’t too strong and was just the right amount to make the dish light yet rich.  It had a good amount of chicken, shrimp, mushroom, fish cake.  It just melts in your mouth!

Cody: This is included when you order a bento box, soft and will just disintegrate once you take a sip of it. It has huge pieces of different meats. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Buenisimo -Eastwood Mall

Cafe Ysabel is also an institution in the Greenhills area. And its always been a nice place to eat at, not the best restaurant but at least they serve good food. It was nice to know they expanded to another location and having his son run this new restaurant.

Food items here are basically same as the one in Cafe Ysabel with a few new dishes. Service was great.

Dip sampler

Elle: Pretty presentation. It reminded me of small servings of ice cream! But instead of being cold and sweet they were savory and served at room-temp. My favorite flavor was the spinach with cheese. It was salty, creamy and cheesy.

Cody: I was shocked by the size of this appetizer.. it was good for at least 4 person…. There were a lot of bread slices. The dips were just okay, my favorite is the same was my love Elle.. I like the Spinach and cheese as well..

Spaghetti with mushrooms and truffle in cream sauce

Elle: You couldn’t possible miss the aroma of the truffle oil. The amount of sauce was just right. It coated each strand of pasta without drowning it. There was a good amount of mushrooms as well and I liked the combination used because it gave a woodsy and fuller texture and flavor to the dish. However we requested for whole wheat pasta and it did not look nor taste like whole wheat pasta. I think they made a mistake but I just let this one pass.

Cody: Not wanting to eat a lot after a huge appetizer. this dish came. No meat here or seafood. Only mushrooms. It was good, the pasta was cooked well, the truffle oil was evident.. though it wouldnt hurt to have a splash more:) THe pasta like what Elle said was not the whole wheat we were expecting, but we didnt mind it.

We will be back to try the other dishes for sure.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kusina Teatro- Ortigas Home Dept

We love concept kitchens and how they wanna ijmpress diners. We read about this place at nad it immediately caught our attention. Its a small place, bright and looked very clean. They have an open kitchen where you can watch them do there stuff.

Stuffed squid (bacon and onions)

Elle: the squid was soft and perfectly cooked. The slightly salty meaty filling would ooze out of the tiny squid pieces upon biting. The tomato sauce was a bit tart and balanced out the saltiness of the bacon.

Cody: Shocked!!!!! by the size... but happy with the overall dish, in taste and in cooking preparation. The squid was cooked just in the right amount of time . It was easily eaten and the smoky flavor of the bacon was indeed nice....

Seafood Paella (good for 2)

Elle: The rice was absolutely amazing! It was infused with the flavors of the ingredients and I loved the orangey-red color of the rice. It was soft and had a slight bite to it. The squid was again perfectly cooked, it was tender and not at all chewy. The prawns were tender and delicious and had a different flavor which added another dimension of taste to the dish. I loved the “tutong”! Yum! Super worth it!

Cody: It took time for this dish to come out. and thats a good thing, coz you know its freshly prepared Me and Elle were scrambling for the tutong part. hehe, Lots of seafood, Big in taste:)

Fried Cheesecake

Elle: The cheesecake was wrapped in lumpia wrapper and was served slightly warm. Upon cutting into the cake I noticed that it was dry and a bit flaky. It lacked the smoothness and creaminess I look for in cheesecake. The ice cream on top of the cheesecake complemented the dish .

Cody: Good concept, but the cheesecake itself was not of high quality, it lack in sweetness and wasnt as creamy as i want it to be Too bad, it was a beautiful dish pa naman.

We were the only ones eating there that night, i hope its not like this everynight or else this place wont last.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kim Garden - Magallanes Commercial Center

Magallanes have lots of different restos, but this place is one of the less known one because of its location.

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Elle: I was surprised since they served the chicken separately from the noodles. The chicken was cooked perfectly seasoned but still complements the noodle soup. The noodle soup had a nice burnt sesame taste to it and the fresh cilantro gave it a fresh clean hint. The noodles were thick and chewy.

Cody: Like Elle i was also surprised that the chicken was served as a side dish. But glad that the chicken was good. The sweet and slightly salty marinade penetrated the chicken well. The noodles are big and fat like japanese udon.. this is the chinese counterpart.

Fried Shrimp Puff

Elle: It looked a bit like a small empanada, the skin was thin and crispy. It had a lot of shrimp (looked fresh cause the shrimp wasn’t whitish it was still a bit salmon in color). It was a bit bland though but the crispiness of the dough made up for it.

Cody: At first i was skeptical, but upon first bite, it was love.... full of whole shrimps... yummy, too bad a serving only has 3 pieces.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gloria Maris - Greenbelt, Makati City

What's one of the best thing to eat during rainy days?? What else but HOT SOUP!!! One of the best places to drink hot soup is Gloria maris with its famous hot pot.  You can either choose your ingredients or order the combination prepared for two or four persons
Here is what we had:)

Fish Fillet in Sate Sauce

Elle: Yum! The fish was super soft and it had a very creamy texture.  I liked how the fish was coated in a think layer of sauce and how sticky the sauce was.  It’s the kind of fish fillet you can’t have enough of.  It was a combination of salty, sour, sweet and fishy. Grrreeeaaat!

Cody:  I never imagine cooking fish fillet with sate sauce, but this combination was a winner together with the pineapple slices that exudes sweetness that complimented the Sate taste.

Hot Pot

Elle: It had so many ingredients I had a difficult time choosing which one to attack first.  Nevertheless the ingredients looked fresh.  The soup itself was refreshing, not too tasty and salty which I appreciate in hot pot.  The combination of sauces was also interesting because they had Chinese peanut butter, chili sauce, hoisin sauce, sate sauce, garlic and green onions.  The combination compliments the relatively bland broth. 

Cody:  The combination for four was enough to keep everyone full. Fresh ingredients, good amount of meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles.  Be sure to put the things that cook the longest first. And while waiting for it to be cooked, make your own sauce combination with the available condiments. And don’t forget not to each too much, because after eating the ingredients, be sure to have space for the soup cause it will be one of the best tasting soup you will ever taste. 


Elle:  The taho doesn’t have that plaster of Paris feeling to it (not that I’ve eaten it).  It’s very finely processed that it doesn’t feel sandy in your mouth.  The sugar sauce wasn’t too strong and didn’t have a burnt sugar taste to it.  The tapioca would have been better if it had a little bite or chewiness to it.  Overall it was a great dessert to end the whole meal.

Cody:  This was the first place to got to eat freshly made taho and it was indeed a pleasure to eat.  The fun thing here is that you get to put as much arnibal and sago as you want, The Taho was silky smooth and tasted wonderful.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rasa - Araneta Center

After Shopping and watching a movie in Gateway mall, we were looking for a place to eat and we went to the Araneta Coliseum area and saw this restaurant which we thought already closed down.  It serves Singaporean food and there are very few pure Singaporean restaurants here in our country so we gave it a try

Five Foot Trilogy

Elle:  the chicken was juicy and tender.  It was cooked 3 ways which gives you enough choices in one meal.  My favorite was the Hainanese chicken.  It was simple yet tasty. 

Cody:  We were  perplexed by the name of the dish. It consist of 3 different cuts of Chicken cooked in three different ways and served with 3 different sauces.  So why 5 foot? We don’t know. It all tasted good though. Moist and tender. I love the Crispy chicken the most. J

Laksa Fried Rice

Elle: Who would’ve thought that toasted coconut bits in rice would taste good??  It was a surprise to bite into coconut bits and taste something sweet in the middle of chewing on rice.   

Cody: To those who don’t know what  Laksa is, it’s the famous Malayasian Singaporean Noodle Dish. Made from Spicy coconut milk broth and seafood.  SO imagine instead of noodles, its made with rice  The only downside here is that there is not much seafood.

We love the food here and will try the other dishes when we go to the Cubao area again. 


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Volare - Araneta Center

As soon as we arrive in the Araneta Center complex, we tried to look for a good place to eat, walking around, we found this little Italian restaurant. Which was said to be owned by the Chef who started the Amici Craze.  So we expected a lot

Foccacia Bread- freebie

Elle: The bread was soft with a little bit of a bite to it.  The herbs weren’t overpowering and only gave the bread a mild flavor. 

Cody: I  find the bread soft but a bit dry.  It’s a good thing they serve the dip I love which consist of EVOO, balsamico and parmesan cheese

Frutti de Mare Pizza

Elle: Thin and crunchy crust but it was a bit dry since it had minimal tomato sauce and cheese.  The mussels looked really pale.  There were several slices of squid and pieces of shrimp.  The serving was still good and filling. 

Cody:  I was expecting a lot . But then this came. The crust was great but the rest f the pizza was a letdown. Too little toppings. Too little cheese…  it was still filling though.. 12 inches of bread... not enough other things

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Amici - Makati City

To those who used to feel that this is their own secret little Italian get away…. Sorry to tell you guys… it's no longer a secret. After being bought by the people who used to run Red Ribbon. They have expanded the place and opened in 3 more locations. But what can we do, but live with it right? Just as long as the quality of the food doesn’t deteriorate… well lets see..

Genovese con Gambareti pizza

Cody: Nice looking pizza don’t you agree. The shrimp was plump and freshly cooked. It has the crunch I always look for when I eat prawns or shrimp. The crust as always was nicely done, not too thick, not too thin, just right.

Elle: I agree.  The pizza was thin and crunchy.  With loads of cheese and a very thin layer of tomato sauce.  You can see how thin the crust is and the lightly burned edges gave the dough a different taste.  I would have wanted more shrimps on the pizza.  After all it’s the only topping and a small piece doesn’t suffice. 

Spaghetti Vongole en Gambaretti

Cody: my favorite pasta order because for me it’s the most sulit. Thought the seafood can be overcooked like the tough scallop and the shrimp that’s hard to peel. Serving size was big. Served hot

Elle: this one had a lot of seafood,  the pasta was overcooked.  The sauce was good though since it tasted like  tomatoes that have been stewed for some time