Monthly Archives: August 2013

Red Garlic

We decided to take our taste buds for a spin by having a sumptuous lunch at Red Garlic. FYI, this bistro was first located at Blue Ridge in QC, but later moved to Bonifacio Global City. At first we couldn’t decide which restaurant to go to coz we were in BGC after all, and that place has a whole treasure trove of good restaurants and cafes.

(I was quietly waiting for the guy to leave so I can get a better shot, but he won’t budge… >_<)

I think their old location in Blue Ridge was more spacious…

Menu: Soups and salads (French garlic soup), Salad (Hanoi pomelo salad with crispy adobo flakes), Appetizer (Santiago chilli taco poppers), Sushi (Red Garlic signature roll, US baked scallops), Pork (Ilocos bagnet), Chicken & seafood (Batanes roulade), Beef & lamb (US Angus beef shortplate), Pasta, Pizza (Torre al Greco), Sandwiches & burgers (Red Garlic signature burger), Dessert, and Drinks.

Their Thai Milk Tea had a nice, almost creamy consistency.

Frosted Crunch Fried Chicken. The chicken was perfectly crispy, and like the name suggests, the skin did have a nice crunch to it. The meat could use a little bit more salt, but that’s where the flavorful peppercorn gravy comes in.

Santorini Pasta.

And finally, instead of ordering a bowl of rice, I had their Shrimp Popcorn Nigiri. Oh, man. I don’t even know how to describe this dish, except… This is probably one of the best sushi rolls I’ve tried. Ever. The big, fat, juicy, wasabi-coated shrimp is basically the cherry on top. And the rice that they used for this roll had a really sweet finish to it. It’s truly amazing.

Free dessert (for dad, at least): a thin slice of pound cake and coffee.

I had a great time here, thanks to the accommodating staff, and the delicious food. We did have to pay a hefty sum of money for this meal, but I have to say it’s definitely worth the price. Can’t wait to dine here again!!

Red Garlic is located at Two Parkade, 7th Avenue, 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Tel nos: +02 856 2822. Visit their website at: http://www.redgarlicbistro.com.

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Komrad: Mao’s Hunan and Sichuan Kitchen

Despite the stormy weather, the three of us still trooped over to Eastwood to eat at Komrad: Mao’s Hunan and Sichuan Kitchen. I really enjoyed the ambiance and the food the last time we came here, so I couldn’t wait to savor their cuisine again.

A giant portrait of Chairman Mao welcomes guests upon entry. The restaurant’s snazzy interior is decorated with pictures of Mao, Mao’s (in)famous wife (who worked as an actress before marrying him), and propaganda pictures from The Cultural Revolution.

(BTW, this isn’t the first time we dined at a restaurant that is named after the renowned Chinese historical figure—A looooooong time ago, we dined at a restaurant in Greenhills called ‘Lolo Mao’. And now I’m wondering if this restaurant is still around today…)

Menu: Dimsum, Soup, Old town small plates, Sichuan spicy bowls & pots, Mao’s pork & friends, Fish and seafood diplomacy, Crabs rock lobser & prawns, Poultburo, Tofu & vegetables, Rice & noodles, Dessert & Drinks.

Komrad Steamed Siomai!!!

General Tso’s Chicken. Light with a small amount of crispiness. The sweet sauce gives it a bit of tang. The Shrimp and Egg White Rice that accompanied it, however, needed more salt.

Taiwanese Pork Chop. Just like the chicken, this was also light, crispy, and perfectly seasoned. The dipping sauce compliments the chop’s salty fried skin.

Tan Tan Noodle Soup. I actually let out a sigh of relief when our waiter served it to us—I thought it was going to come in a huge bowl. I let out another sigh of relief right after tasting the soup—It wasn’t spicy at all, and had more of a nutty taste to it. They also used flat and thin rice noodles—Not the usual choice for Tan Tan Mien, but it was still good.

And lastly, Beef in Spicy Pot.

Since Sichuan cuisine consists of spicy, tongue-numbing dishes, Komrad is the perfect place to go if you love spicy food, or just good Chinese food in general.

Komrad: Mao’s Hunan and Sichuan Kitchen is located at 2/F Eastwood Mall Veranda, Eastwood City Cyberpark, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Tel nos: (02) 921-3440.

The Flying Pig/Red Crab

Yes, you read that right—Two restaurants in one entry!!! We were initially supposed to have dinner at The Flying Pig in Eastwood, but right after we stepped inside and were handed three menu books instead of the usual one, we learned that this resto was connected to the Red Crab branch next door. However, I’ll be focusing more on The Flying Pig since, like I said earlier, it’s the resto that I intended to review in the first place. ^^;

Flying Pig’s exterior…

… And Red Crab’s interior.

Flying Pig’s Menu: The salted pig, This little piggy, Bangin’ bagnet, Pulled pork carnitas, Animal house, Pork treasure pot, Three little pigs, Kurobuta belly, Fly 1 take 1, Breakfast bacon & eggs, A pig’s tale, and Kahlua pork. Desserts include Apple fosters with bacon ice cream (yep), and Pork cookies & coffee, while their drinks consist of: The Flying Pig’s signature, Classic cocktails, Signature iced tea, Lemonada, Local & imported beers, and Flaming shooters.

Red Crab’s Menu: Seafood sa lambat, Crabs, Pica-pica, Sabaw & Palayok tales, Salad, Lapu-lapu, Prawns, Seafood, Sooo karne, Pasta, Seafood & vegetables, Rice, Desserts, and Beverages.

Crispy Pork Chops. We didn’t expect that it would be this huge, hehe. The sauce was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. This dish also came with a huge bed of rice, but unlike what happened at Grams, I didn’t mind gobbling down the whole thing.

For my drink, I had their refreshing Lemon Mint Cooler.

Bagnet Sisig. It wasn’t too bad, but sometimes I kept wondering if I was eating chicken sisig or pork sisig.

Meanwhile, my parents ordered Red Crab’s Seafood Kare Kare.

My overall eating experience with these dining spots was just alright. The food wasn’t that amazing, but it wasn’t that crappy either. Nevertheless, I would recommend this restaurant if you want to spend a fun-filled evening dining with your family or friends.

The Flying Pig & Red Crab are both located at G/F Eastwood Mall, Veranda, Orchard Rd Bagumbayan, Quezon City.

Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles

My mom was craving for some yummy noodle soup, so right after church, we stopped by Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles at Marcos Highway to have dinner. The restaurant was still in it’s soft opening stage the last time we came here—So glad to see that the business is doing well ^^ I was actually having second thoughts about reviewing this place, but I ended up giving it a go, anyway.

I’ve been slacking lately when it comes to interior pics -_-

Menu: Special dry noodles (A1 braised beef dry noodles, Sliced beef dry noodles, Yuxiang eggplant with minced pork dry noodles), XO dry noodles (Sliced beef XO dry noodles), Fried noodles (Lamb fried noodles, Mixed seafood fried noodle soup, Braised beef noodle soup, Sliced beef noodle soup), Dimsum, Dumplings (Special lamb dumplings), Cold appetizer (Sliced beef cold cuts, Special beef sauce, Black fungus with jellyfish), Fried rice (Chinese olive fried rice, Chinese sausage fried rice), Chef’s Recommendation (Kanzhu special braised beef, Sliced cumin lamb, Spicy sliced beef in hot chili broth, Delicious chicken with Chinese pepper gravy, Wok fried fragrant chicken, Yuxiang eggplant with mixed pork), Healthy Options (Roasted garlic spinach in twin egg sauce, Healthy beancurd skin salad, Tomato egg dish), Dessert, and Kanzhu Teasers (Milk tea series, Fruit tea series, Hot drinks series).

Beef Tendon Noodle Soup for mom and dad.

Sliced Beef XO Dry Noodles. The XO sauce is sweet, but not cloying. You can really taste the freshness of the noodles. I also liked the contrast between the thin, stringy noodles and the (slightly) thick, udon-like noodles. The beef slices were thin and tender, too.

Some Pork & chive dumplings and cocoa-flavored milk tea.

… Plus shrimp hakao and chicken feet for our dimsum.

If you’re looking for a place to eat cheap, MSG-free, and delicious Chinese food, then Kanzhu is the place for you. ^^

Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles is located at Unit 104 Nodison Center, Marcos Highway, Antipolo Rizal. You can also find them at SM Hypermart (Pasig) and San Juan. Tel no: +632 646 02 35.

Saboten

There is no doubt that katsu is one of my all-time favorite Japanese dishes. I love everything about katsu—The succulent combination of fat and meat, the crispy breading, and even the tangy dipping sauce. I love discovering—and of course, dining—in restaurants that specialize in good katsu, and one of the newly-opened restaurants that specialize in good katsu is the Saboten Katsu House located in Serendra. I heard that the katsu there is supposedly one of the best ones in Japan, so we decided to give it a try.

Exterior. Alas, Saboten’s arrival meant that we had to say farewell to one of my favorite restaurants… Goodbye, Silk! Too bad I never got a second chance to taste your tasty Thai flavors T__T

Anyway, when we arrived, we were told that we still needed to wait for one hour and 30 minutes before we could get our seats, so we went to Fully Booked to pass the time. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait too long—We got our seats in around 20 minutes or so. ^^

We were seated in a secluded part of the restaurant, so I wasn’t able to take a lot of interior shots. Sorry! And apparently I got so excited to eat my katsu that I also failed to take pictures of the inside of the menu book. -_-

Menu items: Specialty courses, including the Yuki (snow), Tsuki (moon) and Hana (flower), Appetizers (French fried potatoes, pork loin karaage), The original (tenderloin, loin), Original rolled tenderloin cutlets, Grated raddish katsu, Miso katsu (tenderloin, loin & chicken), Special sharing set, Variety set (Saboten special set, tenderloin & loin set, mixed set, chicken cutlet set, mixed seafood set, kids set), Shrimp set (shrimp fry set, shrimp and tenderloin set, shrimp and loin set, shrimp and chicken set, shrimp and crab croquette set, shrimp and scallop set), Katsu curry (curry tenderloin set, curry loin set, curry chicken set), and the Clay pot.

Dessert menu: Chocolate hazelnut cream cake, Vanilla ice cream with black honey, Matcha lychee almond cake, Green tea ice cream with soybean sprinkles, and Strawberry shortcake.

Drinks menu: Saboten’s signature cocktails, Saboten smoothies, Refreshments, Coffee, Beer, Sake & shochu, Wine, whisky & cognac.

Almost all of Saboten’s dishes come with a serving of miso soup, pickles, rice, and a mountain of shredded cabbage.

I got their tenderloin from “The Orignal” sets. After we did the usual procedure of grinding the sesame seeds, I picked up a piece of katsu, dipped it in the sauce, and took a bite. The katsu melted in my mouth. It felt like I was munching on a katsu marshmallow coz it tasted so light.

We also had their Clay Pot Tenderloin. I’m sure the katsu used in this dish has the same quality as the one I ate, but I think I liked my tenderloin set more than than this one… Not to say that this one sucked, but I prefer it when my katsu is served au naturel—And not coated with scrambled eggs, sauce (like what they usually do with katsudon), and what not.

I think it’s fairly obvious that we enjoyed our meal here. In fact, I’m still craving for their katsu as I type this entry (even though I already ordered a large set). There are more katsu places opening up in the metro right now, and I can’t wait to give the other brands a try. But Saboten’s katsu is a winner for me ^^

Saboten is located at G/F Serendra, McKinley Parkway, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.

Grams Diner

After a long tiring shopping trip at the brand-new SM Aura Premier with some relatives, I headed over to Grams Diner to have dinner. I love diners!!! They tend to give off a really homey vibe. I was really excited to try some of their food as well.

Uh… The interior could use a little bit more color.

Menu:
-Best taken in the morning, but who’s complaining? (Breakfast)
-Keep the momentum on your side (Soup, salads, starters)
-You have to eat sometime (Lunch & dinner)
-In that infinite space between bread (Sandwiches)
-Pasta – Now what are Italian dishes doing in an American diner with a Pinoy soul?
-After a great meal, surrender to your desire for some sweetness (Desserts)

Seriously, the menu is one of my favorite things about Gram’s Diner. So much wit! ^^

Country Fried Chicken Fillet. The chicken meat was moist and juicy, and its skin has the perfect mix of crispiness and saltiness. It also came with veggies and a HUGE serving of rice—More on this later.

For my drink, I had their Old-Fashioned Milkshake in malt. The milkshake was a bit thick, and I could taste the crunchy little pieces of malt.

Boston Burger. I only took one bite—It wasn’t too bad. It was served with a plate of shoestring onion rings.

Some coffee for dad.

Verdict: I enjoyed my meal, I really did, but if I could, I would gladly trade my parents’ food with mine. I made the mistake of ordering something heavy during dinnertime, and that’s not really the best choice. There was just so much rice in my plate! I would definitely give this restaurant another try though—And I’ll try something light next time, for sure. ^^

Grams Diner is located at Crossroad, 32nd Street Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Tel nos: (02) 846-9822.