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.