House of Minis (Lower Ground Level, Shopsville, Greenhills, San Juan)

PhotoGrid_1400864992750

Date visited: November 2013

What we ate:

Mixed Green Salad, Swiss Steak with Cheese Sauce and Beef Barbecue

 

Taste = 3.5/5

–          This particular branch has been established in the Greenhills area for as far as we can remember but not a lot of people really know about this. It’s other branch has been visited more as far as we know. They serve Pinoy-style steaks (in our opinion) and they’re pretty good at it. The Swiss Steak was pretty ok. It had the taste of an irony steak but there’s really no visible blood or pink center at all. It was also a little bit on the tough side. The Cheese sauce and the tomato sauce were good compliments to the flavour of the beef and the sizzling plate was a good idea. The Beef barbecue was okay as well. The beef was also on the tough side while the flavour was more on the sweeter side than spicy or tangy. The salad was okay as well, nothing to really make it stand out from the usual salads.

 

Service = 4/5

–          The servers were well-dressed, well-mannered and ready for action! Although there was a lady that appeared to be the supervisor who for some strange reason was a bit irritating.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The restaurant’s decor attempts to present a fine dining atmosphere with a western country theme with their wooden furnishings, leather adornments, and animal ornamentation. But to us, it feels very Filipino and was a welcome contrast to the busy mall just outside their doors.

 

Value for money = 3.5/5

–          In every main dish in House of Minis, you will be served complimentary bread, soup, small salad and dessert, usually ice cream. All of these were welcome bonuses and tasted good. This restaurant caters to the Pinoy carnivores but I think their prices are a bit higher than what we expected.

Click here for their website.

Banana Leaf (G/F Greenhills Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan)

PhotoGrid_1385302119835

Date visited: October 2013

What we ordered:

Crispy Spring Roll Thai Style (~PhP140), Hainanese Chicken (~PhP300) and Thai Style Fried Rice with Shrimp Paste (~PhP200)

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          We have eaten at different branches of this restaurant and the taste seems to be consistent among them, which is a bit hard to accomplish since different cooks tend to approach dishes differently.  We ordered our favourites. The Hainanese Chicken tasted so delicate and really went well with the accompanying dark soy sauce, ginger and chilli sauce. It tasted as if the chicken was boiled for a long period and made the meat really succulent. They probably have a “master stock” because the chicken was very flavourful. The ginger gave the chicken that refreshing taste and the dark soy sauce gave the dish sweetness and saltiness while the chilli gave it that special spicy kick. The frIed rice was a version of Bagoong (shrimp paste) rice. It was on the sweeter side and was less salty with a kick of chilli. It was a very good compliment to the delicate taste of the Hainanese Chicken. Lyn likes Thai style spring rolls with bean thread noodles (Asian vermicelli), shrimp meat, cilantro and fresh veggies inside and this restaurant has a fried version of it, which was good. The accompanying sweet, sour and spicy sauce was really a very good compliment to the crunchy noodle-filled spring rolls. Their special pandan iced tea was really something else. If you know the taste and smell of pandan leaves then just imagine it served as a very cold and refreshing sweet drink. The taste is almost like an aromatic cold honey drink. The serving sizes of the dishes were good for 3 persons so we really were just barely able to finish the rice and chicken. We took home more than half of the spring rolls as take out/take away.

 

Service = 4/5

–          The service was good though there were times that the servers were not too attentive. But overall, it was better than most restaurants.

 

Ambience = 4/5

–          The restaurant serves good Thai, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian, Singaporean and Vietnamese dishes and while they serve that many cuisines, the interiors of the restaurant looked and felt plain. There was clearly a green motif to the restaurant with different shades of it and the chairs had a “rattan” style. Also, the dishes were served in plates but the diners would eat on banana leaves, which is actually something very Filipino.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The quality, taste and serving sizes of the dishes here are really above average compared to the other restaurants in its class. Their successful presence in all of the three major Philippine islands is proof of this and we hope they continue to improve.

Click here for their website.

Ajisen Ramen (Level 2 North East Square 47 Connecticut St. Greenhills, San Juan)

Date visited: September 2013

What we ordered:

Shitake Ebi, Ajisen Ramen and Seafood Ramen

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          The Shitake Ebi (stuffed shitake mushrooms) was really good. The shitake flavour was not overwhelming and it was cooked tempura style including the dipping sauce.  The Ajisen Ramen tasted very good. The broth’s meaty taste was just right and it really went well with the barbecued pork, which in itself was very soft, delicate and the fat was almost jelly-like. Yum! The Seafood Ramen equally tasted very good. It had fresh shrimps, crab sticks and scallops but the scallops were a little rubbery. Even if broths were essentially the same for both ramens, the ingredients blended so well they gave each ramen distinct tastes. The noodles in both dishes looked like spaghetti and they were “al dente” throughout our stay.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          The waiters knew how to serve their customers well enough. The place was almost full but they still were able to quickly accommodate our requests.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The dining area was small but it didn’t feel cramped inside although the place was almost full. The seats were comfortable and everything was neat and tidy.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The prices were a little too high but considering the good quality and taste of their food, they could justify their charges.

Click here for their website.

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.

Tender Bob’s (Greenhills Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan)

Tender Bob'sDate visited: May 2013

What we ate:

Rib-eye Steak with Jave rice and Sea Burger

 

Taste = 4/5

–          The steak was great as expected. Whenever we want good steak at a reasonable price in Greenhills, we go to Tender Bob’s. Both Lyn and I prefer our steaks medium-well because we don’t really want too much blood on our meat. The steak was tender in the middle part and a little bit tougher on the edges. I know it’s hard to cook meat evenly but the toughness on the edges were too obvious. The overall taste was nice. We could really taste good-quality beef and it really went well with the gravy. We experimented on the steak and barbecue sauces but we thought that it went best with the gravy. The sea burger was also nice. The fish tasted fresh and the crust was crunchy. The onion rings were huge and was great with ketchup.

 

Service = 3/5

–          The place was almost full but that doesn’t mean the customers will receive poor service. Since they placed that amount of chairs, they should be able to cater to full capacity.

 

Ambience = 4/5

–          The air-conditioned area was great for dining and chatting. Unfortunately, we were only able to sit on the al fresco area but good thing it was a cool night. The seats were soft and the dining area was clean and tidy but the tables (on the al fresco area) were a bit too close to the walkway of those just passing through.

 

Value for money = 4/5

–          The prices of their steaks and sea burger are reasonable considering the size and quality. I just hope they can improve their service.

Click here for their website.