The Fireplace (Hyatt Regency Hotel & Casino Manila, 1588 Pedro Gil cor. M.H. Del Pilar, Manila)

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Date visited: November 2013

What we ate:

Wagyu Tasting Plate with complimentary Potato Gratin (~PhP3,200 promo), Creme Brulee (~PhP500), Chocolate soup (~PhP500) and Guava Iced Tea (~PhP300)

 

Taste = 5/5

–          Our experience in this place was so good that we had to visit it twice in two months. The tasting plate consisted of three 10-oz steaks namely, Australian Wagyu Beef Tajima, American Wagyu Snake River Farms and Kitayama Philippine Wagyu Beef striploin 6+. All of the steaks tasted good but they had some differences. The American Wagyu had the best taste of them all. It was the most tender of them all as well. The beef taste was smooth and it was really “butter knife beef”. The Philippine Wagyu tasted good as well and it was tender. The beef tasted like our regular beef flavour here but the difference was in the tenderness of the meat and truly reflected the “6+”.  The Australian Wagyu had a smooth burger-beefy flavour and was almost as tender as the American Wagyu. The Potato Gratin was very creamy, filling and was really baked very well. We were scraping the bottom of the casserole because it was really good. The Creme Brulee had a very crispy crust almost glass-like and the custardy interior was good but it was a little too sweet even for us. The Chocolate Soup was so good. The soup part was extremely hot but the ice cream on top was so cold. The contrasting temperatures and the bittery taste of the hot chocolate soup versus the sweet cold vanilla ice cream made it very good. They also had complimentary walnut bread with Beurre D’ Isigny butter and the butter was just so good. However, one of the reasons that we came back to this restaurant was the Guava Iced Tea. It was the best iced tea that we’ve ever tasted. The taste of the guava was just perfectly blended with the iced tea and the pineapple slice was a welcome bonus.

 

Service = 4.5/5

–          Since the restaurant is in a hotel, we received excellent service although they could have been friendlier.

 

Ambience = 5/5

–          The area had a sophisticated atmosphere but was not too intimidating. There was a large Beech oven on display that displayed how they were grilling their meats which showed their confidence in what they were doing.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The prices were very expensive but the quality of the steaks, good service, nice ambience and of course, the Guava Iced Tea made the high cost worth it.

Click here for their website.

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Ramon Lee’s Panciteria (540 Ronquillo St., Sta. Cruz, Manila)

Date visited: August 2013

What we ordered:

Lumpiang Shanghai, Canton Special, Fried Chicken and Fried Rice

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          When we came to this restaurant, we thought that the specialty was only pancit. However, there were more images of their fried chicken than pancit so we thought we should give it a try. Good thing we did. The chicken itself was a bit bland but when we combined it with the brown sauce, the taste was very good. I think the chicken had a little flavouring to it and the sauce just made the flavours burst out. Very tender and juicy chicken combined with an old school sweet and sour brown sauce, perfect! When they served the pancit, it was on the saucy side and tasted salty. Since we couldn’t finish any of the dishes because the servings were large, we had leftovers. When I tasted the pancit the next day, it was the best pancit I’ve tasted. It became dry but very flavourful and the saltiness was gone. I don’t know what happened but it was just the way I like my pancit. It was even perfect with rice. The Lumpia tasted old school as well which was a refreshing change from the more floury variants we taste today. Lyn liked the fried rice very much because it was as old school as you can get. Bits of almost burnt rice, pale look, minimal ingredients but the taste reminded us of home cooking.

 

Service = 5/5

–          When we visited the restaurant, it was around 30 min to closing time and we were the only ones there so all their attention was on us. Nevertheless, I think their service was really fast as we got all of our orders in about 5 to 10 min after ordering.

 

Ambience = 3.5/5

–          The restaurant has been around a long time (4th oldest restaurant in Manila est 1929) and it showed on everything. Good thing everything was clean, even the restroom.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          Their prices weren’t really the most affordable ones but I really liked their pancit, the leftover taste (next day taste) that is. Overall, the taste of the food and speed of service were easily above other similar restaurants that actually charge more.

Click here for their Facebook page.

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.

Casa Roces (1153 JP Laurel cor Aguado St. San Miguel, Manila)

Casa RocesDate visited: February 2013

What we ordered:

Valentines 2013 Menu: Amuse bouche: Camembert and strawberry confit in phyllo crust; Salad: Pan fried harissa shrimps on watermelon-feta salad with fresh mint and balsamic vinaigrette; Main Course: Milk poached salmon fillet on garlic petsai, tomato and bacon fricassee with orange hollandaise and Porchetta served on garlic vegetables, sautéed rapini with chocolate port wine sauce; Dessert: Flouriess chocolate tart with fresh berries and pistachio

Taste = 5/5

–          The dishes were executed well. At first, we didn’t know how to attack the amuse bouche but when we got to the creamy center, it tasted like a moderately-strong creamy cheese wrapped in a crunchy multi-layered wanton with a kick of strawberry sauce. Yum! Lyn had the salmon and it was very good. The flavour was very mild, delicate and milky, and the surrounding sides complimented the salmon very well. The porchetta was great! I was disappointed because the serving was not enough to satisfy me. It was really good and it had a thick layer of fat to it. The chololate port wine sauce was the right sauce for the pork. Excellent! Although we were almost full from the other dishes, we finished the dessert in record time. It was chocolatey in the right way and was perfectly accented by pistachios.

Service = 5/5

–          Since we were the first ones at the gallery level, we had all the servers’ attention. They were very attentive and gave service with smiles.

Ambience = 5/5

–          The place was very romantic. Candle-lit tables, slightly dim rooms, bright red charger plates, harpist playing while you eat, elegant table set-up, and the floor plan made us feel like we were the only ones there even if there were other diners.

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          I felt like they could have increased the portions of the dishes to match the price that they were asking for. But it was really a nice place to celebrate Valentine’s day.

Click here for their website.