Thursday, April 7, 2011

Little Asia (Tomas Morato)

Yesterday was Beloved's birthday. To celebrate, we were supposed to have dinner at Chili's Tomas Morato to take advantage of their 120Php burger promo. Sadly the place was packed with people when we got there. Knowing that we'd wait for hours to be served, we decided to settle for Little Asia.

Beloved and her family frequents this place a lot, perhaps being one of their most favorite places. The prices are fair and the servings decent. As for their specialty, well, it's pretty much everything Asian... with a twist. However, this is no Asian Twist—they serve a la carte good for 3-4, according to Beloved. Since it's her birthday, we ordered a couple of stuff that she wanted, and a couple that we fancied. We got their Crispy Shrimps (215 Php), Lengua in Mushroom White Sauce (325 Php), Garlic Spinach (215 Php), and Chicken Wrapped in Bacon (275 Php). We also had their Salted Fish Fried Rice (245 Php) that beloved recommended us to get.

Our appetizer, the Crispy Shrimps, arrived first. These are basically shrimps, battered, and deep fried and served with vinegary sauce. Funny thing is, they don't taste oily at all. Indeed, they are crispy as advertised on the outside, especially since the shell is on. However, it's still pretty soft in the inside. The shells turned soft as well, making them edible and actually palatable. A pretty nice plate overall.

Our main courses arrived next, except for the bacon-chicken order. I'll start with the Salted Fish Fried Rice. It's basically fried rice with bits of salty fish in it, similar to what you'd order on a Chinese restaurant that isn't Yang Chao. On its own, this is a pretty good plate. But with some of our viands, the sudden salty—and this is very, very salty—taste ruins the supposed star of the bite, making me wish we ordered something more plain, or at least not as salty.

Beloved's favorite dish in this resto, and maybe in other restos as well, is their Lengua in White Mushroom Sauce. While there are actually quite a few varieties of lengua here, I think she prefers this one because it actually has two things she likes—cow's tongue and mushrooms. Indeed, these soft, tender slices of beef are delicious, especially with the mushroom sauce. The only complaint I have is there's only one piece of broccoli and a couple of carrots, but then again, they're not really what this dish is about now, is it?

The next dish, obviously not Beloved's choice, is the Garlic Spinach. What's there to say about this? There's spinach, a lot of it, in garlic sauce... nothing spectacular. Doesn't mean it's bad, though.

Finally, the Chicken Wrapped in Bacon arrived last because it takes 20 minutes to cook. We were a bit disappointed with the size of each piece, but after biting in the sweet sauce, delicious bacon, and unwrapping the tender, steamed chicken, it turned out all right in the end.

All in all, it was an enjoyable stay, and I finally understood why Beloved's family loves this place so much. Our bill amounted to 1.4K Php—not bad if you consider this a meal for four. While there were seven of us, we weren't as hungry because we had a late lunch at Aveneto. If we didn't we'd perhaps order more stuff and be more elated. As it stands, we were pretty satisfied. Like most tea houses and other restaurants with the similar manner of serving I've been to, I wouldn't recommend this place if you're alone. A party less than three might not enjoy it as much. But for huge parties, Little Asia is certainly a place to keep in mind.

Worth a try

Tomas Morato
200-500Php per head
Recommended for:
Asian food lovers.
Not recommended for:
Smart nomnomnom tip:
The more, the merrier. Go for variety.