Golden Fortune Seafood Restaurant (678 TM Kalaw St., Ermita, Manila)

PhotoGrid_1372910509996Date visited: July 2013

What we ordered:

Suahe, Crispy Squid, Halaan, Steamed Lapu-Lapu and YangChow Fried Rice

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          I have eaten at this place several times already but I don’t remember the food to have tasted this good. The Crispy Squid was cooked very well. The squid was on the spicy side and the meat was soft and not tough and chewy. The Halaan was just ok but the clams tasted fresh. The YangChow tasted above average. The Lapu-lapu was very fresh and the meat was very good. The sauce had a hint of sesame oil and really went well with the very fresh fish meat. The highlight of the dinner was the Suahe. The sizes of the shrimps were large and they were very fresh. The meat was soft but not mushy and the sauce in the heads tasted very good. The sour-salty sauce was just perfect.

 

Service = 5/5

–          The servers were very professional and it seemed that they have been doing their tasks since childhood. The dishes were served in good time and service was fast.

 

Ambience = 4/5

–          The restaurant looked clean and well-maintained but the other restaurants in its class have already made vast improvements.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The prices of the dishes were very reasonable. The dishes tasted very good and the freshness exceeded our expectations.

Click here for their Facebook page.

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Napa (12 Sct Borromeo St., South Triangle, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1372696460405Date visited: June 2013

What we ordered:

Chicken Croquettes, Italian Sausage w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Napa Baby Back Ribs

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          Everything we ordered tasted good. The Croquettes had a very crunchy outside and a paste-like consistency on the inside. The taste was good but we couldn’t tell if it really had chicken in it. The pasta dish was cooked very nicely. The Italian sausage blended very well with the sun-dried tomatoes and made the pasta dish rich in flavour. The serving size of the Baby Back Ribs was huge: not only were there plenty of ribs but the meats on the ribs were chunky as well. The taste of the ribs was on the sweet side and the meat was very tender. The veggies were also a good compliment to the ribs just to change the taste in between bites.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          The servers were very attentive and catered to our orders but when more customers came, they looked like they were panicking a little.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The place looked good for casual dates as they had dimly lit areas and cozy seats. It also looked like they have their own wine selection and there were also areas for large groups.

 

Value for money = 5/5

–          We weren’t able to finish any of the dishes we ordered because the serving sizes were large. The taste and quality were superior to most of the restaurants in the area. They really know how to fairly price their menu items while maintaining good quality dishes and service.

Click here for their Facebook page.

Elias (UG/F Robinsons Magnolia)

PhotoGrid_1372860738997Date visited: June 2013

What we ordered:

Sisig Linares (Pork Sisig), Carlota (Squid Fillet sautéed in Garlic Oyster Sauce with Chilis), Dona Victorina (Sautéed Prawns in Crab Fat) and Espana (Ginataang Manok at Gulay with Tanglad)

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          With names like Espana, Carlota, Linares and Dona Victorina, we expected the food to be extra special. We weren’t disappointed with the taste of most of the dishes. The sisig was very good. It was very meaty with lots of onion and a salty-sweet sauce. The taste of the squid dish was not that good since it tasted bland and the meat was on the tough side. The prawns were delightful. The crab fat sauce was creamy and went very well with the prawn. The chicken dish was what surprised me the most. I am not really a fan of coconut milk-based dishes but this dish tasted very good. The coconut milk was not overpowering and served as a very good base for the lemon grass and chicken. This is probably the dish that will make me come back to this restaurant. I hope they don’t change the recipe.

 

Service = 4/5

–          The place was almost full but we still received decent service although it took some amount of effort just to call their attention sometimes.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The atmosphere felt very Filipino. The ornaments and decorations made the customers know they were eating premium Filipino food. The problem with the restaurant was that the spaces between tables were very small.

 

Value for money = 3.5/5

–          The prices were very expensive. I understand that the quality and taste of the dishes were above average but the serving sizes were not. In addition, the space between tables needs to be increased. Improvement of the service wouldn’t hurt also.

Click here for their website.

The Grillery Restaurant & Bar (Greenhills Town Center Granada St. Brgy Valencia, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1371872846308Date visited: June 2013

What we ordered:

Sisig and Balinese Fish

Taste = 4.5/5

–          Both Lyn and I were already hungry and didn’t have enough blood sugar left to try and think too much on where we would eat when we were on our way home along Ortigas/Granada. JT’s was full so we went inside Greenhills Town Center. We picked this restaurant randomly but it turned out to be a good choice. The Sisig was surprisingly delicious even though it was too spicy for me. It had pork cartilage, sweet onions, green chillies and the taste of liver with a salty and umami sauce. Lyn said the fish was also good. It tasted fresh with a semi-crunchy crust and the sauce was on the sweet side which complimented the fish very well.

Service = 4/5

–          We got good service but we had to exert too much effort in calling their attention.

Ambience = 4/5

–          The dining area was dim probably because it was primarily a place where people just hung out and drank. The place felt cluttered even though it wasn’t. Weird, but that’s how I felt.

Value for money = 4/5

–          The prices were ok considering how their food tasted as well as the serving size. Our experience would have probably been better had we received better service.

Click here for their Facebook page.

Saint’s Alp Teahouse (2/F Regis Center, 327 Katipunan Ave Loyola Heights, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1371873073701Date visited: June 2013

What we ordered:

Beef Tips in Garlic Sauce, Honey-Glazed Coffee Spareribs and Black Tea with Milk (Frothy Tea)

 

Taste = 3/5

–          The restaurant is located in front of Ateneo and I expected that the quality of the food would be better than average. Sadly, I was mistaken. The beef dish tasted like old meat and the serving size was miniscule. The spareribs were average and had a bitter sauce which I sort of liked. Unfortunately, the serving size was also small and the meat was on the tough side. The black tea was good, thank goodness. The “tea” taste was just right to let you know that what you’re drinking was really tea-based but not too strong to make you want to spit it out.

 

Service = 4/5

–          The servers were ok. They were not the happiest ones but the service was fast.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The place was good for students with their large tables for laptops and books and the very bright lighting. The seats were very comfortable as well.

 

Value for money = 2.5/5

–          The prices of the food items were unreasonable considering the modest quality and poor serving sizes. I sincerely hope they can do something about it since their tea tasted promising.

 

Bizu Patisserie (The Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan City)

PhotoGrid_1376060619867Date visited: June 2013

What we ate:

3 Dips and Baguettini, Chicken Waldorf Salad and 10-Hour Roast Beef

 

Taste = 3.5/5

–          A lot of people think this is one of the best restaurants in Metro Manila. I don’t know if we caught them on their bad day but our experience was underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good but it was not as good as I think they thought it was. Their “award winning slow-roasted US beef belly” was average. The semi-tough texture, slightly rubbery taste and small serving size left much to be desired. The saving grace was the sweet and savoury potato gratin side dish. The baguettini dish was great: the three dips (tomato-chorizo concasse, creamy artichoke and mushroom duxelle) tasted very nice and stimulated our appetites. The salad also tasted good. The vegetables were fresh and they were generous with the walnuts.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          The servers were very attentive and accommodating but the food took a little too long to serve.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          We felt very special just being in their very elegant restaurant. However, it was a little too crowded in their dining area.

 

Value for money = 3/5

–          I understand restaurants that charge high prices for excellent food. Unfortunately, asking too much for average-tasting food is not reasonable. I really hope they improve their food or adjust their prices.

Click here for their website.

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo Garden Restaurant (11 Isabelo Mendoza St. San Roque, Marikina City)

PhotoGrid_1370781936979Date visited: June 2013

What we ordered:

Caesar Salad, Beef Ribs and Banana Split

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          The Caesar Salad was an excellent starter to our lunch. The lettuce was very crisp and the dressing tasted very good. It actually made us hungrier. When we ordered the Beef Ribs, I thought it was going to be barbecued ribs. When the dish came, it was actually more like Calderetang Baka. When we tasted the sauce and the meat, you could tell that a lot of love was brought into the dish. The sauce was probably the best caldereta sauce I’ve tasted and the beef was very tender. There was a lot of tendon in the meat which I liked but not Lyn. The downsides for me were the small serving size and that it was on the oily side. The Banana Split was large and what made it a little special were the slices of almond which gave crunch to each spoonful.

 

Service = 4/5

–          All of the tables had a small bell which customers could use to get the attention of the servers. Even if the restaurant was less than half-full, I had to ring more than twice just to have a waiter look at our direction.

 

Ambience = 5/5

–          If you want to eat somewhere special and secluded but still within Metro Manila, then this is where you should go. The whole restaurant felt magical: you can easily break the ice in this restaurant just by talking about the copper pots and pans hanging above your tables, the empty olive oil bottles that were used to decorate your backdrops, the paintings, knickknacks and several other unique things you can easily find here. Trying to go here is a pleasant journey in itself.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The prices of the dishes were a little bit expensive but the ambience was what made this restaurant stand out from the rest. They also had the best comfort room I’ve seen (for a restaurant).

Click here for their website.