Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tempura Japanese Grill (Trinoma)

Beloved and I had dinner at Tempura Japanese Grill the other night. It's been a while, and I guess I was wondering if it was still the pretty darn good Japanese restaurant we always found it to be. Okay, actually, we were just looking for a place that served bottomless drinks and wasn't feeling Bigoli. Also, Beloved mentioned that she tried their bacon-wrapped asparagus here and found it better than the one at Kimono Ken, so I guess I wanted to try that.

We soon find out that they were out of bacon, and we didn't get to try out their Ebi-Aspara Bacon Maki. So instead, we ordered their Gyu Aspara Maki (180 Php). Of course, we had to order their Tempura, and go 5 pieces for 300 Php. Beloved also wanted Miso Soup (50 Php), so we ordered one. We also ordered a couple of their Chahan, or fried rice, for 55 Php each. Finally, aside from the bottomless iced teas (65 Php each), we also asked for an order of their Temari Sushi (115 Php).

Monday, September 20, 2010

Icebergs (Trinoma)

Me and my friends went to Icebergs a couple of days ago. This is one of those I've-passed-by-this-place-a-lot-of-times-before-but-never/rarely-tried-it places—for me, at least. I think the number of times I've been here can be counted in one hand. From its name, you can assume it specializes in ice cream, which it does. The branch I always pass by, especially when I was a child, was the one in SM North EDSA. But the place it's in is pretty obscure that me and my lola, whom I always go with to go grocery shopping there back then, don't get to visit it. That, and my family has a history of diabetes. That doesn't stop any of us from eating ice cream, though.

Anyway, the branch we went to was the one in Trinoma. Similar to SM North's Icebergs branch, this one is also in an obscure place, surrounded by apparel stores that you wouldn't think there was a food place here. I also thought it was pretty funny that despite this being an ice cream store, the place features other foodstuffs, specifically Pinoy favorites such as sisig. Because I was hungry, I decided to try out one of their "all-time favorites"—their Golden Lechon Kawali (178 Php). The reason I got that was the rice, which I found interesting. I upgraded the plain rice that comes with the meal to their Yellow Corn Rice for 32 Php. Because Icebergs is an ice cream store, I also got one of their desserts—their Caramel Flan con Hielo (118 Php)—after a very hard time deciding.

My meal came first. Don't let the picture fool you—there's actually a lot of rice and a thick cut of meat. My friends were laughing at the fact that the pork was extremely oily on the side down, teasing that I would certainly die young. Nevertheless, I will admit that this is one great piece of pork. The fats toasted just right to retain its delicious flavor while still having enough juices keeping it from being dry. The atsara is a welcome addition to the plate as well, making for a great palate cleanser. Sadly, the rice, which was the reason I ordered this plate, wasn't really that great. I expected a buttery flavor, but it just tasted a bit plain. The only difference, aside from the color, is the random bits of corn every now and then.

Teriyaki Boy - Sushi Fest (SM North EDSA)

Last Friday, Beloved and I had dinner at Teriyaki Boy SM North Annex. Now, if you've been following our food adventures, you'll probably wonder why we went here despite having terrible experiences in this particular chain. Apparently, Teriyaki Boy's SM North Annex branch is having a "Sushi Fest" promo wherein you get to eat as much sushi as you want for only 250 Php. Despite not knowing the quality of Teriyaki Boy's sushi, we risked going there because of how much of a steal the promo is. We also had to go on Friday because the promo runs only on weekdays.

Anyway, after going to the branch, we learn additional details regarding this Sushi Fest. In addition to being able to order as much sushi as you want from 10 different choices, you can also order a plate of sashimi 50% off. We decided to take that offer up as well, and ordered their Shake (salmon) Sashimi which is originally 190 Php for a plate, but because of the promo is now only at 95 Php. As for our first orders of sushi, we asked for their Tamago (egg) and Maguro (tuna).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Yellow Cab (Katipunan)

Beloved and I had dinner at Yellow Cab's Katipunan branch last night. This time, she's the one in doubt whether or not I should write a review about this, since this is another well-known pizzeria, perhaps third to Pizza Hut and Shakey's, and perhaps tied in third for Domino's. There's a Yellow Cab branch practically anywhere, at all malls, all major roads, and other populous area. Despite that, I still find Yellow Cab special, and perhaps my favorite popular pizza place among the three I've mentioned. I love their pizzas for the oiliness of their cheese, which I find much more flavorful compared to the other two. However, I don't just go here for their pizzas, and the reason we went last night was because I was craving for this other reason. To find out, read on.

It's been a while since my last Yellow Cab visit. Nine out of ten times I go here, no matter what company I'm with, we usually end up ordering their Four Seasons pizza. This is basically a sampler of four of their best flavors, and three out of four I like a lot. This time, we didn't. They've added something in their menu maybe a year ago that I haven't tried yet but have been wanting to try out—their Dear Darla Pizza. This is a thin crust pizza with minimal toppings meant to be rolled with alfalfa sprouts and arugula leaves, similar to the pizzas in Uncle Cheffy. I was pleased to find out that this pizza is much cheaper than their regular ones, so we managed to order their second size, a 14 inch Dear Darla (435 Php). As for what I was craving, this item in their menu I fell in love with the first time I tried it. Ever since then, I never fail to order this one whenever I go to Yellow Cab—their Twice-Baked Potato Halves (195 Php). Our drinks were a couple of Sola Iced Tea (45 Php); raspberry for beloved and lemon for me.

Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee (SM North EDSA)

After dinner at La Mesa Grill, me and Inggo looked for a place to hang out at Sky Garden since we didn't want to go home yet. We ended up at Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee which is just a few steps away from La Mesa Grill. It's a small coffee shop that specializes in cakes and coffee, obviously. What made me choose this store from all the shops in Sky Garden is that they serve Alamid Coffee, which is the Tagalog version of Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee. I didn't order that one because it costs (185php) a cup and didn't have the budget.

Instead, I ordered a slice of Crème brûlée for 60php, Iced Thai Milk Tea (80php) for me and Iced Green Milk Tea (80php) for Inggo.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lamesa Grill (SM North EDSA)

Earlier, Beloved and I had dinner at Lamesa Grill in SM North EDSA. It's kinda funny why we ended up here. Beloved was craving for soup, so we first started going towards Yoshinoya. While at the Sky Garden, we passed by Marina, and beloved started craving for sisig. We almost decided to eat there, but I thought it was weird to eat at a seafood grill and then order pork sisig. We ended up going to the next Filipino resto that served sisig, which was Lamesa Grill from the path we took. Do note that there are many bar-and-grills at Sky Garden that specialize in Filipino food, and Lamesa Grill is just one of them.

Beloved said that Lamesa Grill is the same as Mesa, except this one specializes in the grilled stuff and is a bit cheaper. I do notice that they also have the "boneless crispy pata" in their menu, which I thought was pretty unique when I first saw it, so I guess this sort of confirms what she said. Aside from that, the rest of their menu is similar, but there's noticeably a lot more grilled stuff from seafood to meat. Of course, other Pinoy favorites that goes well with beer are present including sisig, so we ordered that—Pork Sisig for 170 Php. Learning from the past Filipino restaurant experience, we decided to go for variety and ordered a healthy plate of Adobong Kangkong with Garlic for 115 Php. To add variety, we also ordered a special rice—their Seafood Rice for 150 Php. Finally, because we weren't drinkers, we asked for a couple of glasses of their Bottomless Iced Tea priced at 65 Php which was nothing special, but I guess reasonably priced.

Friday, September 10, 2010

OMA (Scout Fuentabella near Tomas Morato)

A couple of nights ago, beloved and I had dinner at Oma. Oma is a semi-Filipino bar and restaurant at one of the junction streets of Tomas Morato. Why I call it semi-Filipino, read on. Anyway, Beloved has been bugging me to go here after learning the names of the two soups in their menu. However, every time we pass by, it's either under renovation, closed because it's a Monday, or still not open because the sun's still up. Finally, after deciding to eat at Burger King, we happen to pass by and see it open so took the opportunity to do so.

Why I call Oma a semi-Filipino bar and restaurant is because they have either your Filipino favorites such as sisig and Pinoy stews such as sinigang, adobo, caldereta, et cetera, or your usual bar menu such as finger foods, pasta, and pizza with a Filipino twist. The Filipino twist usually comes with the use of kesong puti, specifically in their pasta and pizza. If that's not enough, they also name their menu items with common Filipino first names. Also, because this was a bar, I expected elevated prices from your usual restaurant.

Beloved was somewhat disappointed in learning that they replaced one of the soups, Iñigo, to a different one. Also, the other soup, Ramon, although was still in the menu, wasn't available the time we went. So, yes, we didn't get to order my entire first name. We did learn that half of Beloved's first name was available in a form of pasta, so we got that: an order of Paulina (255 Php). In addition to that, we also got a pizza: one Clara for 320 Php. For our drinks, because we weren't really much of drinkers, just got ourselves a couple of glasses of Bottomless Iced Tea for 60 Php each; no cute or silly names here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kenny Rogers Roasters (SM North EDSA)

Beloved and I had early dinner at Kenny Rogers a couple of days ago at SM North EDSA. You know, I'm pretty torn about writing this one. For one, Kenny Rogers is borderline fast food, and I don't really review fast food places simply because I wouldn't want to bore people writing countless entries about McDonald's. Unless it's an obscure place nobody knows about and I feel that everyone should, I draw the line there. Second, and more importantly, I believe everyone knows this place and I bet everyone has tried it at least once. I usually write about the more unknown places I don't see advertised on the tubes or paper. It was beloved that swayed me into writing this, as our particular stay here was a somewhat interesting one and that the number of times she'd been here is less than half the number of fingers on one of her hands—and both her hands have a full set of five. So with that, I shall continue.

Kenny Rogers specialize in, obviously, roasted stuff. Once, they were known only for their roast chicken and baby back ribs, but through the years they've started diversifying their menu. They boast that their food is healthier than usual since they're all roasted or grilled. What made our particular stay here interesting was our choices. Beloved ordered for herself their Low Calorie Meal (185 Php) and I got their High Fiber Meal (185 Php). We also grabbed a half-dozen box of their Corn Muffins (70 Php).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yogi Berry (SM North EDSA)

Beloved and I met up with our friends who were waiting at Yogi Berry. They were having yogurt from the said store, and we learn that they have a pay-by-weight style similar to Qoola. We also find out that the store is much, much cheaper than my comparison, and even to your regular yogurt store. I guess it also doesn't hurt that this would make my blog have another yogurt entry even though I'm not particularly fond of the dessert. With those facts jotted down, we head to the self-service counter.

Like Qoola, they have several flavors—melon, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, and your plain classic yogurt. I expect these flavors to come and go depending on the time, day, and maybe mood of the manager/owner. Because my favorite flavor (green tea) was not in the choices, I went for their plain yogurt, filling my cup halfway through after learning my lesson from my first self-serve yogurt experience. Beloved got their melon flavored yogurt.

Great British Take-Out (SM North EDSA)

While waiting for beloved at SM North EDSA a couple of days ago, I happen to pass by this small store at the Sky Garden which piqued my curiosity. When beloved arrived, we went back here because I was pretty hungry as I haven't eaten yet that day. Great British Take-Out boasts that all their items are below 100 Php. Since it has "take out" in its name, has Austin Powers references in their poster, and we were catching up with our friends to go to a movie, I thought this was a perfect place to try out.

Their menu really did consist of stuff under 100, but it was a bit brow-cringing that their top items were 95 Php. The price was still pretty fair, despite that. Their specialty were finger foods with chips (fries). I ordered their Shaggy Fish and Chips, priced at 95 Php. You get to choose what kind of chips and dip to go with it. I got their randomly chose their hand-cut fries and honey mustard sauce.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Yogreat (Dapitan)

While waiting for my thesis adviser the other day, I decided to go to the Dapitan side of UST since I was craving for yogurt. I planned on going to California Berry since it is nearer to my building, but I ended up at Yogreat because of the heat and my budget.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oki Oki (Trinoma)

Today, beloved and I had lunch at Oki Oki. This Japanese restaurant has been at the main entrance of Trinoma ever since the mall's incarnation as far as I can remember. However, all these years, we never ate there. Why? Perhaps because it eludes an unappealing atmosphere from its shabby interiors and unwelcoming look. The number of customers we find eating there wasn't enough to sway us in as well. Even though it never seem to have a lot of customers, even after all these years, this particular restaurant is still there. Finally, after the said years pass, we finally mustered enough courage to try it out.

We did manage to take a peek at their menu before coming in, and we did see that their prices were comparable, maybe a bit more expensive to other Japanese restaurants we've tried. Their menu is also a bit laughable, with a lot of spelling mistakes and inserted messages I can only guess were pranks played by the menu encoder. They do boast they serve the "largest tempura in town". Seeing that message, I was inclined to try it out. However, I also wanted to try out their other stuff, particularly their sashimi, and their menu basically has every Japanese dish you can think of. Luckily, they do serve bento boxes which comes with tempura among other stuff, with your choice of main teppanyaki dish. So I ordered their Executive Bento C (495 Php). Beloved had a bento box as well, their Executive Bento B (380 Php). As for our drinks, beloved had their Refillable Iced Tea (80 Php) and I had a pot of their Hot Green Tea (50 Php).