Kogi Bulgogi (G/F Greenhills Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan)

PhotoGrid_1399651154538Date visited: November 2013

What we ate:

Bulgogi (Grilled marinated beef) (~PhP340), Bulgogi Ssambap (Grilled marinated beef rice wrap) (~PhP290) and Fried Rice (~PhP90)

 

Taste = 4/5

–          We were looking for a new restaurant to try in the Greenhills Promenade area and we happened to see this Korean restaurant. They served six complimentary appetizers that included kimchi, bean sprouts, sweet anchovies, fried meat balls, sweet potatoes and stir-fried veggies. They were all good and really helped diners who were very hungry. Their Bulgogi was good, the beef was tender and the sweetness was just right. However, there was nothing really distinct about this dish to make it stand out from the other restaurants. Even though we were really in the mood for beef that day, we couldn’t really finish the beef dishes because of taste fatigue which we haven’t really experienced in a long while. The Ssambap had three sauces that you could mix with the lettuce rice beef wrap which were: a sesame-based sauce, sweet bean paste and a chilli sauce. It created different taste combinations that made the meal more interesting but again, we experienced taste fatigue. The Fried rice had a good blending of flavors but the serving size was a little smaller than what we expected. It was also on the soggy side, which we didn’t particularly like. The serving sizes were also smaller than what we expected for the beef dishes.

 

Service = 2.5/5

–          The servers were not very attentive and there was an atmosphere of chaos and confusion among the servers. It also didn’t help that the cooking time was longer than average.

 

Ambience = 3.5/5

–          The dining area was tidy but the spacing between the tables were narrow and it was a bit difficult to move around. Even though only a few people were talking, it got too noisy for comfort.

 

Value for money = 3/5

–          While the dishes tasted fine and the quality was ok, the prices they charged were too much considering what other restaurants of the same cuisine and class were charging. It also didn’t help that the service we received was below average.

Click here for their Facebook page.

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.

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.