Monthly Archives: August 2016

Qubiertos Grill and Restaurant

You’d be hard pressed to find a Filipino dish that can stand alone without rice. Rice is a huge Filipino food staple (Asian food staple, actually) – In fact, we have created so many different flavors of rice or have incorporated them in several dishes. Honestly, I have a love-hate affair with rice – I have made many attempts to go for one whole month without it, but only a handful of them have been successful.

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… And for those who have no qualms about eating rice every single day, then Qubiertos is the restaurant for you. This Kapitolyo restaurant offers unlimited rice, which is sure to go well with your favorite Pinoy dish. From its location alone, you can be certain that the food is highly affordable. Qubiertos hasn’t been around much, but they already have so many branches scattered across the metro.

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Interior was a bit plain, but very spacious.

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Menu.

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Calamares. Slightly greasy aftertaste which made me feel slightly queasy in the end, but hey, at least they didn’t include the tentacles!

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Since I already had liempo the day before, I got the next best thing: Special Pork Sisig! Although some of the chopped pieces were a little bit tough to chew…

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Qubiertos Rice. I love good fried rice with scrambled eggs mixed in.

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And finally, some Tinolang Native na Manok.

My dining experience here wasn’t too bad, but I’ve been to better Filipino restaurants. That aside, I still think that Qubiertos is definitely worth the money, especially for those who have big appetites. Heck, my dad enjoyed his meal here and he’s really hard to please when it comes to the restaurants that I pick for my reviews. So I guess that says something! Anyway, I can probably enjoy another meal here if given the chance ^^

Ambiance/Interior: 3/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 3.5/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Qubiertos Grill and Restaurant is located at 40 East Capitol Dr Kapitolyo, Pasig. Tel no: (02) 718-0339. Links: Facebook || Twitter || IG: @qubiertosph

Santiago

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Santiago is one of the many restaurants that you’ll get to see if you pass by the Blue Ridge area while on the way to Katipunan (home of even more restos!). Their slogan is ‘kain, kape, kwento’, which is pretty self-explanatory: This is a place where you can enjoy some delicious Filipino food while spending good quality time with your loved ones. We were originally supposed to go to Greenbelt but ended up having dinner here since we couldn’t go too far because of the heavy rain.

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The interior gives off a cozy, laid-back vibe… Like you’re a guest in someone’s home. They also have a small store/bakery where you can purchase some Pinoy delicacies and cakes.

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Menu: All day breakfast, Merienda cena, Pasta and noodles, Soups and salads, Filipino creations, From the grill, Cakes and desserts, Beverages

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Batangas Lomi. Very rich, not to mention flavorful. The egg noodles were definitely filling.

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Inihaw na Liempo with salted egg, fresh tomato, and onion. The pork had a lovely, smoky flavor to it, which I found particularly nice.

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Kalabasa Crema – Golden native squash, cinnamon, cream, and Mire Poix. This was way too good! The person who came up with the idea of mixing cinnamon with regular squash soup should be given all the awards. This soup was addicting, and what made this dish even better were the two small pieces of bread, grilled Panini style.

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Santiago Dinuguan – Tender pork liempo, pork liver, and pork innards.

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Batangas Caldereta – Slow-cooked beef ribs, sirloin, belly, chili pickles, and cheese.

That was surprisingly good! Better than expected, in fact. I think Santiago may have secured a spot on my list of favorite Pinoy restaurants. It definitely lives up to its ‘kain, kape, kwento’ slogan, since a great place to eat, relax, and have a cup of coffee with friends. I will be sure to come back here to try more of their dishes.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 4.5/5
Food: 5/5 (taste), 4/5 (presentation)

Santiago is located at 202 Katipunan Avenue Extension, Blue Ridge, Quezon City. Tel no: (02) 6327357. Links: Facebook.

Shinjuku Ramen House

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Shinjuku has always been known as a Makati institution. This place has been around waaaaaay before Manila experienced their ramen boom, and has attracted lots of foreign customers, mostly Japanese expats and tourists. And there’s a good reason why – Shinjuku serves authentic ramen, and has the same vibe/ambiance as fellow Makati resto Tsumura, and even Tok-yu in Kapitolyo.

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Interior.

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Menu: Robatayaki, Tsukemen, Ramen, Cold noodles, Udon and fried noodles, Gohan mono, A la carte, Teppanyaki, Soup and salad, Sushi, Drinks and desserts

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Ordered something different this time and had the Chicken Tsukemen, aka dipping noodles. The noodles were served pretty cold, but the soup was piping hot. The chicken strips tasted pretty decent, even though they do remind me of those frozen ready-to-cook chicken nuggets that you can get at the grocery store.

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Ebi Chahan – Fried rice with shrimps, vegetables, and egg. I gotta say, it looks slightly different from the picture on the menu book…

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Manten Ramen, which had a shoyu soup base, crabsticks, shrimp, squid, pork and veggies in thick sauce.

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Biggest pieces of Gyoza I’ve ever seen (so far). LOVE IT.

It was a good meal, but I’m a little bit underwhelmed with our dining experience here… I guess I expected a little bit too much, especially since their Makati branch has always been a constant favorite amongst Japanese food fanatics. Oh well. At least I’m thankful that I got to try what this restaurant had in store.

Ambiance/Interior: 3/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 3.5/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Shinjuku Ramen House is located at Grace 1 Bldg, Katipunan Ave Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Tel no: (02) 288-4729. Links: Facebook.

Nadai Fujisoba

As far as I know, I have always had a love-hate relationship with soba. My first taste of actual soba – AKA buckwheat noodles – Happened when I ordered a bowl of mul naengmyeon at my favorite Korean restaurant in Eastwood. It was my first time trying naengmyun, and… Well, let’s just say that after that meal, I swore to myself that I would stick to my usual order of ramyeon or jajangmyeon the next time I eat at a Korean restaurant. Later on, I had to figure out the reason why I was a bit put off with what I ate that day: Was it the cold broth? Or the noodles? I decided it was a little bit of both.

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… Enter Nadai Fujisoba. First opened back in 1966 in Shibuya, this restaurant takes pride in delivering the very best of Japanese food to diners everywhere. Their soba shops all over Japan serve over 58,000 customers every single day! Whoa! But that’s kinda understandable since their stores are open 24/7. Their first branch in the Philippines is located at SM Aura, and they recently opened up another branch in SM Megamall.

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Interior.

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Menu: Nihon soba/udon, Tempura soba/udon, Inori soba/udon, Hiyashi soba/udon, Donburi rice bowls, Tempura ala carte, Teisyoku set.

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I had their Niku Fuji Soba, which had slices of beef, with a poached egg, plus nori flakes and spring onion slices. The soup was just marvelous. Compared to the usual wheat noodles used for ramen, soba had a smoother texture to it. Each bite of the soba was a constant reminder that I was eating something different, but familiar at the same time.

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Mom had the Ebiten Soba, with… What else? Tempura!

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And in case that wasn’t enough, we ordered a plate of Ebi Ten as well. Hehe.

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As a substitute for the usual gyoza, we ordered their Potato Croquette. These were crispy on the outside, and warm on the inside. Very tasty, not to mention, filling.

Well that wasn’t too bad, I guess? A warm bowl of soba soup is probably a great choice if you’re looking for a good alternative to ramen. My first taste of buckwheat noodles started on a rather sour note, but I think it’s safe to say that after this meal, soba and I have rekindled our friendship for good. Hehe.

Ambiance/Interior: 3.5/5
Staff/Service: 4.5/5
Food: 3.5/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Nadai Fujisoba is located at the Upper Ground Floor of SM Megamall, Ortigas, Pasig City. You can also find them at SM Aura Premier, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Bonifacio Global City, and SM Mall of Asia. Links: Facebook || Twitter.

Banh Mi Kitchen

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I love a good sandwich. If you ask me to choose between eating a sandwich or a rice meal for lunch or dinner, then I would readily pick the former over the latter. One of the reasons why I love munching on sandwiches is because 1.) It’s pretty much easy to prepare 2.) You can eat it on any time of the day – Be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack, and 3.) It’s the perfect go-to meal, especially for those who are always running on a busy schedule, like call center agents or office workers.

… And those are the same reasons why a group of entrepreneurs decided to open up a banh mi shop in SM Megamall called Banh Mi Kitchen. They know this situation all too well: Getting so swept up in work/school that you barely have time to enjoy your lunch breaks. Their sandwiches come in two sizes: Half and full, which is excellent for those who are constantly on the move and want something to munch on to keep themselves energized all day long.

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Interior/Exterior. I was actually quite surprised that this place turned out to be a stall instead of a real restaurant.

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Menu.

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Creamy and sweet BMKN Viet Iced Tea. Looks more like Thai iced tea to me…

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Presenting our lovely banh mi sandwiches: On the right, you have The Classic – With Vietnamese ham, roast pork, pate, cucumber, pickled radish and carrot, mayo, and hoisin sauce. The other one is their Beef Rendang, which had slow-cooked beef in coconut milk, with aromatic spices and toasted coconut, pate, cucumber, mayo, and picked radish and carrot. It’s not hard to guess which ‘wich belongs to who. Hehe. Anyway, the pulled pork that they used for the rendang had this mild spiciness to it, and I absolutely enjoyed that. But what really made this sandwich memorable was the bread – The buttered baguette had a nice, crispy toasted crust and was light and fluffy on the inside. It also went really well with the delicious taste of the moist pulled pork.

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My mom liked their sandwiches so much that she ordered another one: This is their Kani Bonito, with kani, dried seaweed, wasabi mayo, pate, cucumber, pickled radish and carrots.

If you have been following this blog for quite a while now, then you will know that I always give plus points to restaurants that serve delicious yet highly affordable dishes – And Banh Mi Kitchen is no exception. I love the fact that they experimented with different flavors and didn’t just serve the typical banh mi sandwich. And that bread! Oh, that bread. ❤ I’m glad I actually gave this place a try, especially since I don’t really do reviews of stalls. Can’t wait to come back!

Ambiance/Interior: 3/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 5/5 (taste), 4.5/5 (presentation)

Banh Mi Kitchen is located at 4/F, Building A, SM Mega Mall, Ortigas Centre, Ortigas, Pasig City. Links: Facebook || IG: @banhmikitchen

The Round Table 

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A couple of days ago, my mom and her friends had lunch at this restaurant in Kapitolyo called Round Table, owned by catering company Q Provisions. This place stands out from the dozens of other restos in the area since they have a tasting menu instead of serving the usual ala-carte meals. I have been eyeing this restaurant for a while now, and I was really glad that she was able to try out their food before we did – At least I was able to get a preview of what to expect once we step foot in the resto.

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Interior. This place does get packed on a regular basis, as only 20 people are allowed inside – So it’s advisable to make a reservation.

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Here’s the food! They have a different themed menu each day: Exclusively Yours (Mondays), Italian (Tuesdays), Japanese (Wednesdays), Filipino (Thursdays), and Carving/Meats/Roasts (Fridays). On weekends, they usually just pick a random cuisine – And today they served Spanish food, which was pretty cool since I haven’t really reviewed a lot of Spanish restos/dishes in my blog.

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Salty Sopa de Ajo for dad.

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First plate! I had their Paella Valenciana, Paella Negra, Salmon Croquettes, and several slices of Roast Beef. The two paellas almost, except the Valenciana had a bit of spiciness to it, and the Negra had hints of squid ink flavor. There was also a difference in the consistency – I think they used shortgrained rice for the Negra. The roast beef was heavenly, and had the right combination of fat and meat. I’m not really a fan of salmon, so I had really low expectations for their croquettes… But what a surprise! It ended up becoming one of my favorites on the entire menu. It was so good in fact that I ended up getting three plates of these croquettes, together with the roast beef.

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Second plate – More roast beef and croquettes. This time, instead of getting more paella, I tried their Sardines Aglio Olio pasta.

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Pork Salpicao and Garlic Chicken in one plate. The salpicao was really tender too, like the beef.

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For dessert, they were serving some brownies and Crème Catalana. The crème was a bit on the sweeter side, and had a rather thick consistency. I didn’t like the brownies too much, since they had added a strong banana flavoring to it and I found that slightly weird…

I’m so glad that we were able to try everything on the menu! I guess that’s what’s great about Round Table (and probably tasting dinners in general) – It’s pretty much like a buffet, but diners won’t feel too overwhelmed with the amount of options. Much like a good chunk of the restaurants here in Kapitolyo, Round Table’s food is highly affordable, not to mention delicious.

Ambiance/Interior: 4/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 4/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

The Round Table is located at 56 C&D E Capitol Dr, Pasig, 1603 Metro Manila. Tel no: (02) 706 1668. Links: Facebook || IG: @theroundtableph.