ClawDaddy’s Great American Picnic (Upper Ground Level, Robinsons Magnolia)

PhotoGrid_1376065576571Date visited: August 2013

What we ordered:

Ribs and Crabs buffet and Baltimore Fish and Chips

 

Taste = 4/5

–          For a limited period, this branch had a weekend buffet of ribs and crab. Knowing that this is part of the Red Crab group, I didn’t let this buffet pass. There were other dishes there but I was really focused on the crabs. The crabs were cooked Szechuan style and in garlic and butter. The quality of the sweet crab meat were superior to most restaurants but not really as good as the crab dishes in the main Red Crab restaurant, which I expected since it was just a buffet. The Szechuan style was also a little bland but the garlic and butter flavour was really good. I dipped the garlic and butter flavoured crab meat in vinegar and the result was indescribably good. I ate the yummy crabs for almost 2 hours. The ribs, some served fried while some were grilled, were on the tough side and even if they were served with no sauce, they tasted good by themselves. Lyn didn’t think she could maximize the buffet at that time so she had Fish and Chips. She said the fish tasted like your usual battered fish fillet but on the plus side, the serving was large.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          There were a lot of staff on the dining area and most of them provided good service while a few looked like they were just waiting for closing time.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The dining area was not that large and when they added a buffet table, it got even smaller. I don’t know if they planned it but the flow of people going to the buffet didn’t cause much disorder. It was actually a pleasant experience for us.

 

Value for money = 4/5

–          The price of the buffet was very reasonable but the other items on the menu were on the expensive side. I hope they would do the buffet again.

Click here for their Facebook page.

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Cajun Red Rock (151 Level 3 Mega Atrium, SM Megamall)

PhotoGrid_1375971237561Date visited: July 2013

What we ate:

Ribs and Jack Wings Treat, Red Rock Cob and Corn and Creole Chicken Pasta

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          The servings were surprisingly large. We had to zoom out just to capture everything on the plate. The ribs were tender and were on the sweet side but not spicy which was strange since it was supposed to be Cajun. Nevertheless, it was still good. The Wings were spicy and sour which, for some reason, made us want to eat more of it. The corn was sweet but not really any different from good sweet corn. The salad was named Red Rock Cob and Corn but it was strange to me because there were more veggies than corn but it was good according to Lyn because of the generous crisp nachos in the salad and the tangy dressing. The Chicken Pasta was creamy and I mean really creamy. That was not my type of pasta but Lyn really enjoyed it. It had generous amounts of chicken fillet, bell peppers and lots of sweet-tasting cream.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          The servers were very nice and provided fast service. They were very attentive and the food was served promptly.

 

Ambience = 4/5

–          The place had an indoor dining area but it was cramped even if it was only half full. The al fresco area was better but the noise of the mall was sometimes too distracting.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          Considering the large serving sizes and good taste of their food, the prices they charged were reasonable. We had plenty of leftovers because of the generous serving sizes.

Click here for their Facebook page.

Elar’s Lechon (151 Quezon Ave. cor Speaker Perez St. Doña Imelda, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1376064954192Date visited: July 2013

What we ordered:

¼ Lechon and Adobong Baka

 

Taste = 5/5

–          Lechon is suckling pig and Adobong Baka is beef in vinegar and soy sauce. For me, Elar’s (not to be confused with Elarz) makes the best roasted lechon. I’ve tasted lechon that cost five times more but the taste and quality wasn’t even close to Elar’s. The perfectly orange skin was super crispy and the thin fat layer underneath it gave a very good contrast in texture. The pork meat was almost melt-in-your-mouth and really asserted its premium quality. The Lechon sauce was sweet, a little peppery and livery – just excellent. When I put crispy skin, pork meat, sauce and rice on one mouthful, I went to heaven and cried a little. Lyn doesn’t really eat much pork so she ordered the Adobong Baka. It was on the tough side but the sauce was on the salty side and was good.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          It was a self-service set-up but there were lots of attendants who helped us with our trays, drinks and utensils.

 

Ambience = 3.5/5

–          The place looked more like a cafeteria than a restaurant. It was quite apparent that they had low-cost utensils but it just made us focus more on deliciousness of their Lechon.

 

Value for money = 5/5

–          Even if we were talking about just the Lechon, the prices they charged were very reasonable. The dishes were just priced right but what will make me come back here again and again is definitely their Lechon.

Click here for their Facebook page.

Chateau Hestia Garden Restaurant and Deli Shop (Purok 5, Brgy. Bukal, Silang, Cavite)

PhotoGrid_1376064295874Date visited: July 2013

What we ordered:

Set Menu consisting of Vienesse Potato Soup, Hestia Garden Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, Rinds Bouladen and Panna Cotta, and Osso Buco Milanese

Taste = 4.5/5

–          As part of our anniversary celebration, we went to a place outside of Metro Manila that’s mostly hidden probably even from some of the locals. Good thing we pushed through because the experience was wonderful. The Potato soup was very rich and had just the right amount of herbs: caraway and fennel according to the menu but it tasted like there were other herbs in there. Since we were in the Tagaytay area, the salad greens were as fresh and as crisp as they could ever be. The Rinds Bouladen was beef roulade filled with onion, bacon, mustard and parsley. Both of us like mustard on meat but for some reason, the taste was there but we just didn’t like as much as it deserved. The Osso Buco was a delicious slowly simmered beef shank. The slow cooking really showed on how tender and how beefy the meat tasted. However delicious it was, we just couldn’t finish the dish because the meat was large and it literally occupied  1/3 of the plate. Their version of Panna Cotta was the best we’ve ever had. The passion fruit was very tangy but it was the perfect complement to the sweet and firm Panna Cotta. Lyn and I were racing to get more and more of it into our mouths.

Service = 5/5

–          There were only a few customers and it was near their closing time but we still got great service. They were friendly and were quick on their feet.

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          We almost got lost looking for this place and the journey looked like we were headed towards a haunted house in the middle of the night. When we got in, it looked like a rustic Filipino-European dining place. Although there were various delis, food items, decorations and ornaments that were from several European countries, the dining area felt Pinoy for some reason.

Value for money = 5/5

–          Our eyebrows raised a little when we looked at the prices of their food but when we saw the quality, serving size and taste, and felt the great service, we knew that the prices were very reasonable.

Click here for their website.

Suka at Sili (158 D Tuazon Ave, Sto. Domingo, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1376063779108Date visited: July 2013

What we ordered:

Sisig and Chicken Barbeque

Taste = 4/5

–          We were travelling South from Manila and we were looking for a place to have lunch when we happened to see this restaurant. Suka means vinegar and Sili means chilli pepper. We both like vinegar in our food so we took a chance and went to this restaurant. The sisig was nice but it was mostly pork cheek fat and only had a little cartilage. It was on the spicy side but when I added soy sauce, it tasted much better for me. Lyn said the Chicken Barbecue tasted good and was tender but there was no taste that distinguished it from the others. What was special was the side: ripe mangoes with bagoong (fermented shrimp paste), onions and eggplant. The taste was a blend of sweet, fishy, fruity and a little spicy – really good. Both dishes were served with cut onions, tomatoes and kalamansi, which we mixed in our individual ratio of soy sauce and vinegar. We didn’t detect any extraordinary taste from their vinegar but it tasted a little better than the commercially sold ones.

Service = 3/5

–          It sometimes felt as if we were begging for service with one of the waiters. The other server provided good service.

Ambience = 3/5

–          The place was clean but it was a little dim even though we were in the restaurant during the middle of the day. It didn’t really feel like they wanted customers at that time.

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The prices were pretty fair considering the taste and serving size of their food. I truly hope they could improve their service and ambience.