Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gumbo (SM North EDSA)

Beloved and I ate at Gumbo last night. This is a New Orleans style restaurant in SM North EDSA the Block which specializes in, well, gumbo and the likes. I've eaten here a couple of times, and at both times, I found my food a bit spicier than I would've liked it. But it was okay—I guess that's what's New Orleans cooking is about. In addition to the spiciness, all their food seems to come from the sea, if not sausage. Beloved and her family frequent this place because they love seafood. Anyway, because beloved was craving for crab, we decided to go here.

It was actually my first time dining here, but I've tried their Jambalaya (basically New Orleans paella) a couple of times. Their items are basically good for at least two, maybe up to five if there are plenty of viands. Anyway, we ordered that—their petite-sized Seafood Jambalaya (395 Php) cooked mild. As for the crab, we ordered their Bayou's Stuffed Crab (495 Php), which the waiter warns me was spicy. After nodding it off, we ordered Refillable Iced Tea for our drinks (80 Php each), which came at once and was quite delicious; not too sweet like the usual instant-sugary ones.

They gave us complementary bread as we wait for our order. It was crunchy on the outside and soft and tasty on the inside. The garlic-oil dip they gave didn't do a lot, but the bread in itself was okay.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pepper Lunch (Greenbelt)

While at Greenbelt a couple of days ago, beloved and I found ourselves having a late lunch at Pepper Lunch. Apparently, this is the restaurant is what borne Sizzling Pepper Steak that we frequent a lot. According to beloved, this restaurant uses superior quality ingredients so I should expect premium prices. Similar to Sizzling Pepper Steak, this is a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant where they put meat on a hot plate and you do the "cooking" on your table. Anyway, because we were in the area and most of the restaurants were closed in the afternoon, we ended up going here.

Unlike Sizzling Pepper Steak, Pepper Lunch uses a fast-food style counter to take orders. While I expected a huge price difference, it wasn't really that much with their non-premium meat. Their Beef Pepper Rice, which is a common item on the two comparable restaurants, are priced equally. We didn't order that, though. Beloved got for herself their Curry Beef Pepper Rice (218 Php). As for me, I took one of the premium items seeing as I probably won't be going here again and wanted to make the best of it. I ordered their Shimofuri Pepper Steak (610 Php), which I don't have any idea what it means but I liked how the beef has a lot of marbling so I got that. I also got their Yakiniku Sauce (30 Php) for the heck of it. For our drinks, beloved got for herself their Orange Juice (40 Php) and I had Hot Green Tea (40 Php), both are given right away from the counter fast-food style.

Kimono Ken (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I ate at Kimono Ken last night. This is a Japanese resto, which you can probably guess from its name, at Tomas Morato. We didn't plan on eating here, but the restaurant we were planning to go to was closed on a Monday, and so was the next one we were planning on going to. It also wasn't the first time we ate at this restaurant, although this was the first time at this branch. I don't really remember anything spectacular from this resto apart from their expensive (although somewhat good) sashimi which I vowed never to try again even if I have cravings. In addition, I cannot remember what else I've ordered here, so I guess it'll be pretty fresh apart from the sashimi fiasco. Anyway, due to the circumstances and hunger, we ended up here.

Seeing their menu, I find out that they haven't changed the prices and servings for their sushi and sashimi. Their sushi costs over a hundred for two pieces and their sashimi two hundred or more for a measly amount. That fact in mind, we didn't order any. Their other menu items seemed decently priced in contrast. Beloved ordered their Beef Curry (200 Php). After a hard time deciding between tempura, which looked very good seeing all the other tables having them, and their ramen, the latter won just because I wasn't really craving for rice. So I ordered their Shoyu Ramen (195 Php) and their Bacon Asparagus Maki (170 Php) to compensate for the hunger. For our drinks, beloved had their Kimono Ken Special (75 Php), and I had their Iced Tea (40 Php), both non-refillable drinks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aveneto Pizzarea Ristorante (Trinoma)

Yesterday, for lunch, beloved and I ate at Aveneto. This is one of the more overdue nomnom adventures we've had, since we've been here more times than I can accurately remember. And if you're a mall-goer or live in the vicinity of Visayas Ave., you've probably at least heard of this resto, if not have eaten in it. If not, well, you can probably assume from its name that it's Italian, and it is. Being an Italian restaurant, they specialize in pizzas and pastas, but also have some nonstandard Italian fare ranging from their appetizers and their hero sandwiches (then again, maybe the latter is also Italian). This restaurant has a lot of branches, and I've been to most of them. The particular one we ate at yesterday was their Trinoma branch. When we go here, it's usually full because it's dinner time. Their lunch hours are the opposite of that, and we were practically the only table when we came in.

Aveneto is a place you don't go alone, or even on a date. You go here in groups of maybe at least four simply because of the serving sizes. This is one of the places me and my friends go to when there's an occasion and have no particular place in mind because it's a pretty good value if you're in a huge group. Their pastas are good for at least two, and their pizzas, even the smallest, can be shared by four (assuming you ordered pastas on the side). A good thing, though, is that like most Filipino franchises, they allow taking home of your leftovers with no extra charge. That thought in mind, we decided to order a pasta, a small pizza, and a couple of appetizers. Beloved wanted their Deep Fried Crabsticks (190 Php), and I wanted their French Fries (55 Php). Because their appetizers platter, which contains cheese balls and chicken wings aside from the aforementioned, has less crabsticks than she wanted, we just ordered them separately. As for our pasta, we ordered their Seafood Pasta Parmigiana (250 Php) on thick noodles, which is basically seafood pasta in red sauce. Our pizza of choice was their small Vegetarian Pizza (240 Php), because it was basically the only choice we had that has mushrooms, no seafood, and sounded complementary to what we ordered. Their Refillable Iced Tea is priced at 65 Php, and we ordered one for each of us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

YakiMIX - Revisited (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I ate at YakiMIX last Saturday for lunch. We were supposed to go there the night before because it was my birthday. We didn't take the risk of going because it was pretty late at night when we prepared, so we delayed this date for the next day. We came in about fifteen minutes before it opens (which is at 11:00 AM). I was pretty excited because of unlimited sashimi and bacon, but I also decided for myself to try out their cooked food. Oh, if you can't understand what I'm talking about, kindly read my review of the last time we went here.

Anyway, because we came in early, we were seated immediately. However, we weren't the first ones there. There were already a couple of tables full and a lot more reserved. This just exemplifies how popular this place is. We had to wait a bit more before the buffet actually opens. Whether it was luck or not, we notice that we only had to pay 499 Php as opposed to the 580 Php we paid when we had dinner here. This cheaper tag was the price of their lunch buffet on Mondays to Saturdays. If the lunch buffet is actually any different from the dinner, we were about to find out.

As usual, we went in for their raw stuff first. We were surprised to find out that there was no tuna sashimi, one difference. Luckily, the salmon was still there, and was enough to make us happy. Both of us got a generous amount, and beloved also got some of their tamago and kani sashimi.

As for me, I went to their cooked stuff to try them out. Although I already tried their tempura before, I noticed that when I turned around, there was no more of the shrimp tempura. I did get a couple of pieces from the assorted basket. In addition to that, I tried out their jellyfish, yakisoba, fried rice, roasted duck, lechon kawali, and chop suey.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Santorini (UST)

Every other friday night, me and my blockmates eat at Santorini because it is the only time we get to bond due to thesis. We went there again for merienda last friday to celebrate Bebs' birthday. Santorini is a Korean restaurant located at P. Noval (beside Jon Clark Cafe) which is loved by CFAD and UST students alike. They have posters of different K-pop groups; a tv that only shows korean shows and music videos; plus a bulletin board where you can post your thoughts and fanart.

I ordered their Bibim guksu noodles (150php) and Chamchii (100php) to share with my blockmates. Ivy ordered Korean pancake (100php) while Dustin ordered their Sogogi (100php). We ordered their Magnolia fruit drinks for (10php) each, plus they have free water. They also serve kimchi for free while waiting.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Friuli Trattoria (Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I ate at Friuli Trattoria for dinner. Yes, I know I said it'll be a while before our next nomnom adventure. But because Starcraft II's Southeast Asia server lags like hell, it didn't really take plenty of my time. Anyway, Friuli is an Italian joint found in Maginhawa St., one of the closest pizza places from home. It's also our family's restaurant, so I might be a bit biased. I hope you trust that I won't be despite saying that this is my favorite Italian place, as I'll try to back that claim up. I've basically tasted everything on the menu, but recently, they've renovated and added a lot of brewed coffee-based drinks on the menu. It's also been a while since we went here, so we did.

Friuli boasts an affordable menu with some not-so-common varieties of pizza. There's also pasta, which basically comes in two white, two red, and one green varieties. I'm not really big into pasta, and when I do order pasta, I just get the Pesto. But they say they're good as well, especially the Putanesca. I'm digressing, so I'll just say it straight: you go here for the pizza. While we usually order the more affordable ones because of the mantra I follow: pizza is about the crust and not the toppings; we decided to order one of the more premium ones: Spiced Romano (229 Php) because I sort of missed it. Because we're not ordering pasta, we just got their Mozarella Sticks (130 Php) as a side. For our drinks, I had Italian Soda (50 Php) and beloved tried the Iced Caramel (75 Php), one of the newer coffee-based ones. That's it for our meal, and if you add it all up it comes less than 500, which is quite affordable comparing it to our usual food adventures.