Finally, our favorite Fat Michael's, one of the pioneers of the homey and quaint dining experiences in Manila, has decided to branch out in Mandaluyong. Its new venture is called The Frazzled Cook (TFC). The original Fat Michael's chef, his brother and another partner converted the first floor of the former Legaspi Collection showroom along Luna Mencias St. into a secret dining bistro. From being allegedly "cocky/snobbish" to being a frazzled cook, I prefer the latter. Service at The Frazzled Cook is definitely much better than Fat Michael's with its friendly and accommodating waiters and owners. However, since it's located near Cookbook Kitchen (CBK), we all still prefer CBK over TFC.
The ambiance is a bit kitschy Chinese and tries hard to be a mish-mash of the old and the new. The tables, chairs, china, and cutlery are intentionally different and do not reflect any one personality. Being frazzled means "being worn out, or exhausted either physically and/or emotionally", and its namesake did not bode well for the food. I like the Pinoy pizza and the pancake ala mode, but the rest of the food lacked a distinct taste. We will go back a few months after, when the restaurant operations have stabilized and become less "frazzled"…
I always like Pinoy style pizza crust – a bit thick and crunchy like 3M's. Pizzas are good when they are simple with big slices of tomato, grated cheese, and slices of white cheese. I prefer putting garlic chili oil on top of my pizza.
Aidan was able to draw this on the white placemats while waiting for the food. He likes drawing these days and spelling out all our family members' names. He also loves creating birthday cards for everyone. 🙂
We were seated at the table near the shelf where all these lucky Japanese cats were waving (or saying goodbye?). I must admit, they were cute.
The place reminds me of a stylized Fat Michael's, complete with the ambiance and furniture like bookshelves, different lamps, and disorganized tables/chairs.
The Paella Negra is a specialty of The Frazzled Cook, but we found it bland in spite of the squid ink. You just end up with blackened teeth and lips, wishing you just ordered the seafood paella.
If you are ordering for a family, it would be good to order big dishes like the Grilled Beef Spareribs. But the same story goes as with the paella, the ribs tasted like it was poorly marinated. They can improve it by letting the meat absorb the sauce over a longer period of time.
The lamb meat was OK… parang adobo but with wine sauce (I think). At P400+, I expected a more yummy and fulfilling taste.
The pasta dish was cooked a bit amateurishly, with burnt toasted bread on the side. The shrimps were fresh and good though.
This is the cheapest item on the menu… I was not able to taste this because it was my cousin's.
The fish was fresh but bland without the herbed butter spread over it. Most of the dishes were served with rice with brown sauce…
The iced tea is highly recommended. I personally like their unique tea blend with the sweet taste of cranberry… It was a bit expensive though at P100+.
Their Ultimate dessert — crispy pancake with butter inside and topped with vanilla ice cream… Sarap!
Overall, The Frazzled Cook is promising because of the warm service and good ambiance. We usually eat in Cookbook Kitchen, but once TFC installs Wi-fi, it could be our next hangout. Although we have to wait and see first because with rent to pay, usually the food quality is compromised. Most of the successful quaint bistro-type restaurants pay minimal rent, and the ambiance reflects the personality of the owner.
Let me know what you think about Frazzled Cook.
If you're familiar with Shaw Blvd., look for the FLYING V gas station when you enter Shaw from EDSA. The street perpendicular to Flying V is L. Mencias but it's a one-way street. So enter Hoover street, which is two more streets after L.Mencias. It is right across 9 de Pebrero street (the street you use to go to Makati). Go straight from Hoover and turn right at the second corner, which is Araullo street. From Araullo, go straight until you reach the intersection of L.Mencias and Araullo. From there, turn right. You'll see a sign on L.Mencias street with an arrow pointing straight that says "EDSA, Shaw".
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