Tiago (85 Sct Fuentebella St, Sacred Heart Quezon City)

Date visited: October 2013

What we ordered:

Pinausukang Chicken and Pork

 

Taste = 3.5/5

–          The menu describes the dish as Smoked Chicken in Mindanao Adobo Sauce, Quail’s Egg and Pork Trotters.  While the chicken tasted great and was very juicy and the pork meat was as delicate as it can get, the menu led us to believe that it was adobo but it wasn’t. The vital ingredient in any adobo is vinegar. It is the one ingredient that has to be there. Or if it was there, the diners should be able to taste it. The relatively low rating we gave for the taste isn’t really to say that it wasn’t delicious but more on not meeting expectations set by the description of the dish.

 

Service = 3.5/5

–          They were on their first month of opening so it was expected that they did not accept credit cards yet. However, the poor service we got was something we did not expect. It was really hard to get the server’s attention and it seemed that “discipline” and “impressions” are not words they value – one of the uniformed servers was comfortably seated in a large couch with both his hands stretched across the back rest and it seemed like he can’t be bothered.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          This is probably where they invested a lot. The place looked great. There was an area where a part of the ceiling was made of glass and it added a nice ambience to it. Some of the walls, even the restroom walls, had a blackboard type of material and the designs were made with chalk, which matched the interiors and the black-and-white menu. The plates had nice designs, the lighting fixtures were great and the overall design had a good flow to it. However, I noticed that the restroom sign had some Braille writing on it and when I touched them, they weren’t embossed or raised. Too bad.

 

Value for money = 3.5/5

–          The price of the dish was a bit expensive even if the serving was for sharing. It also didn’t help that we got poor service. They have the potential to being one of the good Filipino restaurants in the area but they have a long way to go to get there.

Click here for their Facebook page.

 

Advertisements

Relish (74 Sct. Limbaga St., Tomas Morato, Quzeon City)

(The map points to the neighboring restaurant, Cerchio)

Date visited: September 2013

What we ordered:

Slow Roasted Beef Belly, Relish Bistro Steak and Pannacotta

 

Taste = 5/5

–          We’ve heard a lot of things about this place and several friends have already recommended this restaurant so I had very high expectations. Fortunately they were all met. The Beef Belly was something else. The meat was so tender and the fat was so flavourful. The texture of the meat was like chewy marshmallow. The sauce really brought out the meat flavour from the belly meat and fat. There were no complicated flavours in this dish, just really good beef flavour. The Steak dish was equally great. The dish consisted of expertly-seasoned succulent tenderloin pieces which were bathing in their own juices. Both dishes had very rich beef flavours but the tenderloin had the more intricate set of flavours while the Beef Belly dish highlighted the roasted beef flavour. We were constantly getting from each others’ plates while eating. While their Pannacotta was not the best that we’ve tasted, it was still good. The consistency was softer that what we preferred but the cashews and citrusy-sweet syrup complemented the taste of their milky Pannacotta very well.

 

Service = 5/5

–          When we entered the restaurant, there was a European-looking guy roaming around seemingly very affectionately observing everything that was happening in the restaurant. He was even greeting guests. With management like this, we thought we would get good service. As soon as we sat, around 3 servers took turns getting our orders, serving our food and refilling our drinks. We didn’t even have to call their attention, they just kept coming back to our table. Now that’s great service.

 

Ambience = 5/5

–          The restaurant looked very bright and fresh. There was a holding area prior to entering the restaurant and it had very comfortable couches. Everything about the dining area, from the charming decor to the “Hello Happiness” messages, sent good vibes and made us smile.

 

Value for money = 5/5

–          They really charge fair prices taking into account the excellent quality and taste of their food, great service and outstanding dining environment. I really hope they continue to do very well.

Click here for the Facebook page.

A Taste of LA (171 Roces Ave Laging Handa, Quezon City)

Date visited: September 2013

What we ordered:

Pritchon Pugon and Barbecued Tuna Belly

Taste = 4/5

–          Pritchon is a combination of the words Prito (fried) and Lechon (suckling pig) while Pugon means wood-fire baked. What is usually done to Pritchon is they deep fry a whole suckling pig, cut it into bite-sized pieces then wrap in pita wedges. What I think they did here is they baked pork parts then served in into pita wedges. Why they even bothered to put the word Prtichon there is a mystery to me. Anyway, the pork meat was tender and succulent while the square bits of crispy pork skin were salty and very good. It had some veggies in it and the sauce tasted like Peking duck sauce. Everything complimented everything. The downside was the very small serving size. The Tuna Belly was ok and the sauce was thick and was salty and sweet. I detected a faint fishy aftertaste with the tuna which somewhat ruined it for me. Lyn said it was ok for her. The serving size was much better for this dish.

Service = 2/5

–          There were two to three servers in our area that were responsible for six tables. Only 4 tables were occupied at the time we arrived so we assumed we would get great service. Well, I was close to screaming at the two servers just to get their attention for our initial orders. Too bad for me, I was too hungry and too weak to transfer to a different restaurant. To add more insult to injury, the food was served at different times and took too long to cook. One time we wanted water, we made contact with one of the servers and he nodded and smiled but we got our water after 14min. It really made me feel bad when I saw that there was a service charge on our bill. I would’ve wanted to rate them lower but I’m reserving lower scores for explicitly rude service.

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The restaurant has about 4 areas: a bar/lounge, a smoking area and two non-smoking dining areas. We were seated in the smaller non-smoking dining area and the mood was intimate. The lights were dim, the room was quiet and customers could cuddle in some of the seats.

Value for money = 2.5/5

–          This restaurant has been a landmark in the Tomas Morato area for as long as I can remember. I don’t know if we just caught them on their bad day but they have to improve on two things ASAP: serving size and service. But I’m not really keen on checking if they have improved in the future.

I couldn’t find a website or Facebook page for this restaurant, Sorry.

Rub Ribs and BBQ (64 Scout Rallos, Quezon City)

Date visited: August 2013

What we ordered:

Raki’s BBQ Ribs and Rub Beef

Taste = 5/5

–          If you want to eat delicious ribs fast, this is the place to go. When Lyn and I went here, we were very hungry. This was the best time to assess their food and we were very impressed. Not only were the dishes served quickly, they tasted very good. I was a little confused when there were no knives on the table but when I tried to separate the meat from the bone, it came off very easily and cleanly. No meat was left on the bone just by using a fork. The taste was sweet with a little tanginess and a bit of a peppery taste and it was just perfectly seasoned that it really didn’t need a sauce. The Sprice was a very good compliment to the meat – it was cooked spiced rice. Lyn’s beef dish was equally delicious. The meat was very tender and the sauce had a very good garlicky taste to it and was on the salty side. At first, we were sceptical on the combination of beef and toasted bread but when we combined them with the sauce, they were perfect for each other. Very yummy.

Service = 5/5

–          The servers and cooks looked like they were having a good time preparing the dishes. Maybe that was why the dishes tasted very good and were served fast.

Ambience = 3.5/5

–          The place was clean and well-maintained but it was very cramped inside especially when it was full.

Value for money = 5/5

–          They priced their dishes very well. The high quality, superior taste and large serving sizes of their food were reflected very fairly on their prices.

Click here for their Facebook page.

Buenisimo (24 Scout Tuazon St. corner Scout Lozano Barangay Laging Handa, QC)

BuenisimoDate visited: January 2013

What we ordered:

Galicia Steak (Aged US Angus Ribeye, Sea Salt Rub, Wild Mushroom Ragout) and Puttanesca alla Buenisimo (Longganisa Lucban, Gourmet Tuyo, Green Mango, Green & Black Olives, Basil, Parmesan Cheese)

Taste = 5/5

–          On our 6th monthsary, we really wanted to go to a special restaurant. Good thing Buenisimo opened near Tomas Morato because we were really hungry. I think we were very lucky that day because Chef Gino was there and gave some lucky customers, including us, a complimentary dish. It was melon wrapped in parma ham with balsamic vinegar. It was a great contrast of tastes: salty vs sweet vs sour; meat vs fruit. The tastes went well with each other. For the main dishes, the puttanesca was simply too good to describe and the steak was divine. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the saltiness of the tuyo complimented the longanisa well and the olives gave the necessary contrast. The steak was huge. It was meant to be shared but we could only manage to eat two-thirds of the beef – succulent, juicy, tender beef that was a little crispy on the outside combined with a delectable gravy, a touch of balsamic vinegar and the best garlic mashed potato…just wow. We wished our stomachs were larger to accommodate the steak.

Service = 5/5

–          Great service was what we expected and that was what we received. Very attentive and made our experience pleasurable.

Ambience = 5/5

–          It was clear from the outside that the restaurant was relatively small but it didn’t feel that small inside. The floor area was maximized and it was easy to walk around. The place was bright, very clean and it really felt comfortable inside.

Value for money = 5/5

–          Premium dining experience comes with a price but with Buenisimo, it’s really worth it.

Click here for their website.