Monthly Archives: February 2014

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

We paid a visit to Silantro earlier today, because my mom wanted to give their cuisine a taste, and also because her friend suggested that we try out this cantina, which combines both Filipino and Mexican dishes (very much similar to Madeca). The three of us weren’t familiar with this part of Kapitolyo, so finding this place was a bit of an adventure.

Their walls are decorated with Lucha posters.

Menu shots.

Caliente Wings. Huge chicken wings covered in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce, served with lettuce shreds.

Silantro Burrito. FYI – This 11-inch burrito is definitely meant to be shared with someone. The burrito was filled to the brim with Mexican rice, savory beef chunks, plus bits of potatoes and tomatoes. I felt really full afterwards, so we had to order the rest of the Caliente Wings for takeout.

Beef Nachos. Ahhh, this was fabulous. Huge tortilla chips, with tomatoes, cheese, guacamole, and the same beef chunks found in their burrito. You can also choose between plain, beef, or chicken nachos.

Dips – Sour cream, guacamole, and… I’m not really sure what the third one is called, but it’s quite spicy.

For our drinks, we had some water and their ultra-refreshing dalandan juice.

What I really love about Silantro (as well as other restaurants in the Kapitolyo area) is that their restaurants serve delicious, homecooked food that costs only a few hundred bucks. It’s a foodie paradise, that’s for sure. And as for Silantro, their large servings are worth the price, and the trip.

Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina is located at 75 East Kapitolyo Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Cell no. 0917-508-4748.

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Kimukatsu

There’s katsu…

… And then, there’s Kimukatsu.

Kimukatsu is a new katsu restaurant that opened up in Shang’s East Wing just a couple of weeks ago. Their branches are found all over Japan, and have been featured in different Japanese magazines and TV shows.

What sets them apart from all the other katsu places in town is that their katsu is served mille-feuille style—Each katsu contains 25 layers of thin pork. It is firstly coated in a batter and panko breadcrumbs, and deep-fried to a crisp in canola oil for around 8 minutes. The katsu is then is given some time to steam, which allows the heat to spread through all of its layers.

The interior gives off a wonderful, modern vibe (I love the ceiling lights!!) The black and white color scheme is present throughout the resto. Heck, even the menu/plates are color coded: Men get black menus/plates, while ladies get white menus/plates.

Menu: Kimukatsu (must try flavors are plain, cheese, and yuzu kosho, which is a combination of yuzu and chili pepper), Kimukatsu assorted set, Premium katsu set (kurobuta kimukatsu set), Tonkatsu meal set (menchi, aka a minced set), Donburi, Kimukatsu sandwich (Kimukatsu plain sandwich, Kimukatsu cheese sandwich), Seafood set, Vegetable fry, Rice set, Ala carte, Side menu (ebi mayo, negi shio tofu), and Dessert (matcha parfait, soy cotta, kurogoma pudding).

Shredded lettuce, salad dressing, and two types of miso soup: White, which has a smooth, milky taste, and Red. I never got to try the red one, but I’m assuming that it has a strong flavor, one where you can really taste the miso.

They serve two kinds of dipping sauces as well, and some sea salt, which you can sprinkle on your kimukatsu (or other dishes) for some added flavor. And let’s not forget the sesame seeds – A staple in every katsu restaurant, just like the bowl of shredded lettuce. ^^

From left: Ebi Fry (which my mom ordered), Tatsuta-age (deep fried juicy pieces of chicken fillet, probably their version of chicken kara-age), two small bowls of pickled salad, and chewy steamed Japanese rice (Koshihikari). My dad ordered the Pork Loin Rosu Set (far right). The meat was a little bit tough, but the thick layer of fat makes up for it.

Meanwhile, I ordered the Black Pepper Kimukatsu. I couldn’t really taste the pepper bits… But because of the thin layers of pork, this kimukatsu was 10x more tender than what my dad ordered. I was definitely surprised after taking the first bite, since the texture was so different.

I enjoyed my meal here at Kimukatsu—Their original method of cooking katsu is definitely one of a kind, and a surefire winner.

Kimukatsu is located at Level 5, Shangri-la Plaza East Wing, Shaw Boulevard, corner EDSA Mandalyoung City. Tel no: +(632) 727-0333. Visit their official website, and like them on Facebook.

Parmigiano

After sending our balikbayan guest to the airport, we headed off to Resorts World Manila to have lunch. And since I already did a review of Johnny Chow last New Year’s Eve, I decided to visit its next-door neighbor instead, Parmigiano Pizzeria Ristorante. I’m so glad that I finally got the opportunity to eat here, since I’ve always wanted to try this place out whenever we visit RWM, but we always end up eating somewhere else.

The interior looks a bit intimidating, but diners are not required to put on a fancy dress/suit & tie just to eat in this restaurant. But don’t you guys think this resto makes a good lunch/dinner spot for Valentine’s Day? Hehe ^^;

Once again, I had to keep the menu open with my finger… >_<

Menu: Antipasto/appetizer (gambero aglio e olio d’oliva, limoni al forno, caprese), Insalata/salad (insalata di parmigiano), Ravioli (ravioli al funghi), Zuppe/soup (minestrone), Risotto (risotto ala parmigiana), Pizza (Quattro formaggi, bismarck, margherita, tre salsicca, gamberetti can rucola), Pasta (carbonara, pasta al funghi, pasta al Bolognese, pasta al pomodoro con crema di gamberi, pasta di frutti di mare, spaghetti vongole), Fruitti di mare (gamberi gratinatti), Pollo (pollo arrosto con patate), Maiale (porchetta), La bistecca (bistecca alla griglia con gamberoni, bistecca alla florentina), Dolce (panna cotta, tiramisu), Caffe/coffee, Bevande/beverages, and Vino/wine.

For our appetizer, we had pieces of bread with olive oil and salsa(?) dip.

Frittura di Calamari for our appetizer. I’m really picky when it comes to eating calamari, but I really liked this one. The squid pieces practically melt in your mouth.

Pasta al Pesto. Al dente pasta mixed with creamy pesto sauce, topped with paper-thin slices of parmesan cheese. The chicken strips were extremely tender too.

Salsicca pizza. This was really good!!! The brick oven-baked dough was tasty and chewy, and you can tell that it was freshly made. The assortment of pizza toppings, which include sausage, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese, perfectly blend together.

Parmigiano’s food is just pure heaven! And I have to admit—I’m starting to prefer brick oven-baked pizzas more now, all thanks to this restaurant. ^^

Parmigiano Pizzeria Ristorante is located at 2/F Resorts World Manila, Newport Mall, Newport Blvd Domestic Airport, Pasay.

Kichitora

Due to a harrowing personal experience over a year ago, I developed an aversion to SM Megamall (and just malls in general) for quite a long time, and vowed to never step inside that place again after at least one year. But on the other hand, I also knew that I had to go back to that place because I still had to review one more restaurant—A ramen place called Kichitora.

… And earlier today, I decided to gather my courage and visit Megamall again. I didn’t have time to explore the newly-built areas of the mall, since I just wanted to visit Kichitora and try out their ramen. So I went straight to the Mega Atrium and let out a sigh of relief when I saw that it was still open for business.

Interior.

It was quite difficult to get pictures of their leather-bound menu, I had to keep it open with one hand, while the other one was busy snapping pictures.

Menu: Ramen (paitan ramen, tan men, chintan ramen, hiyashi ramen, Hokkaido miso ramen, mabo tofu tsukemen, shoyu tsukemen), Rice toppings (oyako-don, pork chasyu rice, mabo tofu rice), Ala carte (ban ban ji), Desserts (coconut pudding with matcha & adzuki), and Drinks.

According to their menu, their ramen dishes are served with this slow-simmered, flavorful and healthy chicken-based broth called Torigara. Kichitora also combines recipes from three of Tokyo’s famous ramen shops: Kohmen, Daijin, and Kookai.

Gyoza!

Mom tried their Chicken Karaage Rice, served with salad and a bowl of miso soup. The chicken was really crispy, but some of the pieces were sliiiightly undercooked. Still delicious though, especially with the mayonnaise dip.

Instead of ordering the usual ramen soup, I tried their Jajamen instead. This beauty consists of tsukemen noodles, spring onions, sweet minced pork sauce, and onsen tamago. It had the perfect combination of sweetness and spiciness.

I felt really full after my meal. It was delicious! Although Ramen Nagi still tops my list of best ramen places, I have to say that Kichitora is definitely a must-try for ramen connoisseurs. ^^ Oh, and I’ll be sure to try their Paitan ramen next time!

Kichitora of Tokyo is located at 2/F SM Megamall, Mega Atrium, Julia Vargas Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City. Tel no: (02) 775-1100. You can also find them at Glorietta 5.

Banana Leaf

(Hey guys! I’m really sorry if I’ve been really slow when it comes to posting lately… We had one of our balikbayan relatives stay over at our house for a couple of days, so we were quite preoccupied with having to entertain our guest. Plus I had a special assignment to do for work, so I was really busy >_< My apologies!!)

We went to Greenbelt to have lunch, as well as to pass the time, since our guest had to meet up with some of her friends over at Glorietta. I had a tough time trying to decide which restaurant to dine in at first, but in the end, I picked this one, since mom was craving for some of their Asian dishes.

I took pictures of the menu while waiting for our turn to be seated (it was a pretty long wait, believe me… -_-)

Menu: Roti and bread specialties, Salads, Soups, Appetizers, Meats, Seafoods, Crabs, Vegetables, and Rice.

Interior.

Murtabak. This wasn’t so bad, but… I should’ve ordered their Roti instead. It was too bland, and I didn’t like peas very much.

Tasty Thai style fried rice with shrimp paste.

Deep fried chicken strips, Malayan style. This was just too good. Crunchy chicken strips, with sweet chili dipping sauce.

Tilapia fillet with Malayan cream sauce. I didn’t try the fish itself, but I loooooved the creamy sauce! I kept mixing it into my rice, hehe.

Crispy spring rolls Vietnamese style. Also came with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

For my drink, I had their Thai iced tea. Completely forgot that I wasn’t supposed to have sugary drinks this month… Oh well >_<

And finally, for our dessert, we had Sticky rice with mangoes.

We had a very satisfying lunch at Banana Leaf. I would recommend this place to those who want to have lunch or dinner with their entire families, or with a large group of friends or colleagues.

Banana Leaf is located at 2/F Greenbelt 3, Esperanza St. cor West Drive Ayala Center, Makati City. Tel no: (02) 812-8618.

Crystal Jade Dining In

The first time I tried Crystal Jade’s pricey Chinese cuisine was back in 2011, where we went over to Greenhills and had dinner at Crystal Jade La Mien Xiao Long Bao, since I wanted to try their famous noodle with dried shrimp and peanut in spicy sauce and xiao long bao. We had a bit of a difficulty trying to look for a parking spot, but in the end, everything went well and we had an amazing dinner.

Then several years later, while passing through Bonifacio High Street, I saw this restaurant called Crystal Jade Dining In. And once I saw the name of the resto, I got really excited, since BHS was a lot spacious and parking wouldn’t be such a hassle, unlike in Greenhills.

I decided that I would just dine in this branch instead of the one in Greenhills once I get the opportunity to do my review—And that opportunity arrived earlier this morning, when I had lunch there with my auntie, my cousin, and my mom.

Look at that interior! It reminded me of Lugang Café’s interior, except this one was probably 5 times more grandiose. It was a bit intimidating, actually, since we were about to dine in this really swanky restaurant, when there’s no occasion to celebrate.

Menu: Appetizer, Roasted & marinated selection, Shark’s fin, Soup, Bird’s nest, Abalone, Seafood, Live seafood, Seafood & dishes, Meaty galore, Vegetables, Healthy selection, Rice & noodle, Beverage, Milk shake/Smoothie, Soft drink, Fresh fruit juice, Coffee selection, Chinese tea, and Dimsum.

… It was after looking at the menu that I realized… This Crystal Jade was actually different from the one that we dined at in Greenhills. It didn’t have any of the dishes that I ordered previously… So I was slightly disappointed. Then I thought that maybe I should try something new… So that’s exactly what I did.

(Not to mention some of the dishes were a lot pricier too… Ouch)

For our dimsum, we had the Ha Kau steamed shrimp dumpling.

Barbecue pork with honey, served on a hot plate. It wasn’t too bad, but for me, it was a bit bleh… It tasted delicious, but I felt like it lacked something. The fat, probably. I’m not sure.

I can’t really remember what the exact name of this dish is… Basically it’s fried rice served in a hot stone bowl.

Steamed cream custard bun with salted egg yolk. You really have to be careful when eating these since one wrong bite, and its creamy and delicious custard filling will end up spraying all over your clothes, like what happened to me.

We also tried their Sautéed seasonal vegetables with crab meat, and their Baked prawns with salted egg yolk.

… So if I were to choose between Crystal Jade Dining In, and Crystal Jade La Mien Xiao Long Bao, I would choose the latter. I guess I just ordered the wrong item on the menu here at this restaurant. I’m sure other people would enjoy it here, though!

Crystal Jade Dining In is located at Unit SEUG201 Bonifacio High Street, 30th St cor 7th Ave Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Tel no: (02) 808-5233

Manila Maki

Manila Maki is a small Japanese restaurant tucked inside one of Makati’s high-rise buildings. The restaurant serves Japanese food, mostly sushi/sashimi/maki (hence the name) with a Filipino twist.

Interior. Since this restaurant is located near a bunch of offices/commercial buildings/residential areas, I can easily imagine office workers, call center agents, and businessmen visiting this place to eat lunch or dinner.

Menu: Nigiri sushi (spicy tuna gunkan, sabahi belly, sisig gunkan), Sashimi (seared tuna kinilaw), Pinoy maki (Pinoydon maki, aligue maki), Premium roll (Laguna roll, Manila maki, tempura maki, tinapa maki, adarna roll), Salads (spicy tuna, kani ensalada), Sushi plates (sashimi moriwase), Katsu (pork kare katsu, Pinoydon tofu, sabahi katsu), Ala carte (longganigyoza, bonbon chicken), Tempura (tempura okoy, teriyaki inasal, chicken teriyaki), Teppanyaki (salpicao, sisig teppanyaki, seafood sisig), Noodles (aligue yakisoba), Donburi (sisigdon, veggiedon, sabahidon), Rice, and Dessert (banana surprise). Their drinks mainly consist of sake-based cocktails, coffee smoothies, and sodas.

I really love how they were able to incorporate even just a small hint of Pinoy ingredients into their maki, as well as their other dishes.

Pinoydon Fried Chicken. This was really good. The chicken pieces were tender and easy to chew, and goes really well with the bowl of steamed Japanese rice. The dip gives life to this dish. Plus the name of the dish brought back memories of dining at Pinoydon’s Eastwood branch when I was still in highschool, hehe.

This is their Crazy Maki, made with kani, aligue, sushi rice, toasted panko, and topped with a delicious kani salad.

Lastly, I had some fresh Maguro sashimi.

The food was amazing, the interior gives off a nice, chill vibe (the only complaint I have is the lack of ventilation… whew!) and the staff was accommodating too. I would recommend this restaurant if you are a huge fan of sushi/maki/sashimi, or if you’re into fusion cuisine. It’s definitely worth a try!

Manila Maki is located at the ground floor of Elizabeth Place Condominium, 332 HV Dela Costa St Salcedo Village, Makati. Tel no: (02) 822-7319