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

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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.

Outback Steakhouse (35 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Acropolis, Libis, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1398964954557[1]Date visited: November 2013

What we ordered:

Crispy Calamari (~PhP350) and Outback Special (~PhP1000) with complimentary bread

 

Taste = 4.5/5

–          This Aussie-style restaurant has been on our dining plans for a long time already and at the time, we were in the area and hungry. The Crispy Calamari (deep-fried batter-coated squid) was served really quickly. It was still piping hot when we took a bite and it was delicious. The better part of the dish was the salsa. It had tomato chunks, onions, a little chilli and Lyn’s favourite, cilantro. It was one of the best salsa we’ve tasted and it was so good we asked for another bowlful. Lyn didn’t like the tentacles but it was ok for me. The steak looked almost too good to be true. It jiggled a little when we poked it with a fork and it was as tender as it looked. It had the right amount of chewiness almost like a chunk of chewy fondant. The taste was good but for me, it was a bit low on saltiness. I would have preferred a unique sauce for the steak since the A1 steak sauce they had overpowered the taste of their good steak.

 

Service = 4/5

–          They provided ample service and the servers were attentive enough though they weren’t the smiling types, we think.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The dining area was divided into sections, there was a non-smoking area, a smoking area and a bar, which made it really pleasant for non-smokers and families. The place had neat-looking wooden furnishings, knickknacks all over and Aussie-inspired decor. The floor spacing was also nice and made manoeuvring easy despite the number of tables.

 

Value for money = 4/5

–          The dishes were on the expensive side but the good taste of the food and the quality of the meat made everything worth the price. They could try to improve on the serving size and service to make the whole experience better.

Click here for their website.

Everything at Steak (939 Banawe St. cor Sta. Rosa, Manresa, Quezon City)

PhotoGrid_1369581344093Date visited: May 2013

What we ordered:

Rib Eye with Coleslaw and Beef Brisket with Grilled Corn on the Cob and Macaroni Salad

 

Taste = 3.5/5

–          The restaurant offers affordable steak meals and has added some menu items since we went here years ago.  The Beef Brisket tasted average but was very tender and the serving size was large. Lyn had the Rib Eye and it tasted average as well and was also very tender. The macaroni salad was on the warm side and was unappetizing. The grilled corn was good. I think it was boiled first before it was grilled. The coleslaw was pretty average.

 

Service = 3.5/5

–          The servers were attentive and catered to our requests pretty fast. However, they seem to lack friendliness towards the customers.

 

Ambience = 3.5/5

–          The dining area was clean and neat although the furniture and utensils were pretty standard. The comfort room exhaust was a little weird since I think it opened out to the kitchen area.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The prices of the steak meals are reasonable and the tenderness of the meat was a pleasant surprise.

 

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.