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#Restaurants

#Restaurants

Ordinary Food @ Zoovenir :(

Image006_1

Still disappointing despite the change in name from Endangered Species :(

This should be a lesson for me not to always follow the recommendation of Amanda from the “F” show in Studio 23. Last Sunday, she featured this restaurant in M.H. del Pilar named Zoovenir. The street is one-way so best to start from Pedro Gil or in the Manila Diamond Hotel area. For those of you who have been in this area, the place was originally named Endangered Species. It retained its animal themed interiors and the ordinary tasting salads, pasta, and meals.

What’s good about this place is the Baked Salmon and Cheese Dip (P290) with really crunchy garlic toasted french bread. Also, the dessert was nice — we tried the crunchy vanilla. It was simply vanilla ice cream with merengue but it costs P220 — way too expensive. Please stay away from the Spaghetti alla Vongole (P230). The Salads which was raved about by “F” is nothing but ordinary and we tasted both Tuna Turner (P140) and Chinese Duck Salad (P160).

After the meal, we felt that we were robbed by P400/each! This is the reason that I want to blog about places, and restos in manila so that we don’t get all marketing gimmicks and information from TV Shows and Magazines… Aaarghh!

Anton

#Restaurants

French Fine Dining @ Parallel 45

z Popsy's Bday @ P45-0

A Breath of Fresh Air in the Fine Dining Cuisine in Manila

Finally, another new secret fine dining place in Manila. Parallel 45 is neatly tucked away in a busy mandaluyong neighborhood along Samat Street. This fine dining restaurant just opened last July 26 and on Popsy’s bday we made sure that this is the place to be to select his 69th birthday. I’ve always been in the lookout for very nice dining places that is not in a hotel but the likes of Chef Laudico in Urdaneta, Tita Monings in Malacanang, Lolo Dads in Malate, and Antonio’s in Tagaytay. This is a place where you celebrate special moments, anniversaries, or reward yourself and your family.

The main chef of the restaurant is Humphrey Navarro who is a very approachable guy and it is easy to strike a conversation with him. At the moment, the main dining space is small which can occupy less than 30 people so you should reserve in advance. There are other function rooms in the 2nd floor which would include a chocolate room and a wine library which is still 70% complete.

I like the way the food is cooked and prepared. The Foie Gras appetizer where very good (although I know that duck liver is fattening). You should try the Soup & Sandwich (with foie gras), and the four dances of Foie Gras (small servings of duck liver cooked in 4 different ways — the “meat ball” cooked foie gras was good). We also loved the starters of a small plate of sea urchin and a dash of caviar. The soup of the day which is like an oyster soup and the mini-sorbet before the main dish was a winner. For our main course, we shared family style the 500g Angus Beef Cowgirl Steak, A Shellfish pail, and Lapu-Lapu for my mom. It was a heavenly treat specially that the cooking is light/healthy and usually with wine as a cooking ingredient. Although the tastiness of the lapu-lapu or the seafood can be improved, as well as the different sauces for the shellfish pail, and the chocolate dessert. The food is expensive so be prepared with a P1,500-2,000max/person when you eat here on your special day.

Here are some of the details on Humphrey Navarro’s Parallel-45:
Address: 871 Samat Street, Mandaluyong City
Mobile: 0917-8906865
Website: http://www.p45.com.ph/ (Still under construction)
Reservations: 718-8888
Popsy’s Bday @ Parallel 45 Photoset

Anton

#Restaurants

Amici de Don Bosco — Home-Cooked Italian Food that you’ll love!

Authentic Italian Food!

If you haven’t eaten in Amici yet, then I suggest that you hear mass in Don Bosco Makati and right after mass, walk towards Amici which is located under the pasay road/ arnaiz st. It is authentic Italian cuisine brought to us by one of the entreprenurial Italian Salesian Priest, Fr. Gianlugi Colombo, SDB. Now, having said that it is authentic, it means that its not the Italian food that we grew up in Manila — Spaghetti that is sweet with red meat sauce. Here are my assessment of the Amici food so that you can calibrate your expectations when eating here:

1. Canteen ambiance. The entire resto has a canteen feel to it, and it is self service. This would mean you have to order pizza, pasta, and gelato from their respective counters and they will give you a number. There’s a long line sometimes and the food delivery is slow so I would suggest to avoid the main dining hours.

2. Italian food for a price. The food is expensive and I think just rightfully so since it’s kinda authentic and I’m hoping that some of the profits goes to a good cause by the salesian priest. Pizza costs around P240 while the pasta goes from a range of P120-P170. The gelato goes for P35 per scoop.

3. I love the home-cooked Italian taste! Now this is debatable because Filipino does not like the Italian taste which is bland, and sometimes sour in taste. You can certainly distinguish the taste from the commercial italian restos and the jollibee spaghetti taste. The pizza by the way is wood fire pizza so it tastes great except that sometimes there are some burned portions. Try Pizza #10 Four Seasons, #23 Al 4 Formaggi, and #24 Tutta Carne. On the pasta, try out #15 Spaghetti Vongole e Gamberetti (seafood pasta) and the Lobster Linguine. The gelato is addicting — try out the vanilla with nuts.

By the way, there are cooking lessons available for P1,500 for 6 hours and the session varies. I actually would have an idea to propose a teambuilding cooking sessions with the priest and see how it goes. The number to call are: 893-8915 for the cooking lessons.

Anton

#Restaurants

Dayrit’s delicious Roast Beef

Don’t go back for more :(

Finally I was able to eat in Dayrit’s which for the longest time I’m just seeing it along Buendia. Now, they moved in Magallenes already where they have spacious parking and a canteen like ambiance. I don’t have alot to say about Dayrit’s because so far, only the Roastbeef is great. All the rest, burger and non-beef food like sizzling fish is a big disappointment. So, if you are a meat lover and you happen to be in the Magallanes area, this is something to try out for a change.

Anton

#Restaurants

Power Lunch @ Chef Ed’s

Image764_1G/F GF & P Building
139 H.V. Dela Costa Street
Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel# 812-0016, Cell# 0921 740710

Awesome Power Lunch!!

I’ve always wanted to eat and try out Chef Ed’s famous cosmopolitan cuisine specially the famous paella. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to eat during lunch time with the phils leadership team in Salcedo. We arrived at 11.15am (they open at 11.30) and this was just a perfect time for us to order the paella which should be ordered one hour and 15 minutes in advance! Yes, we have to wait but it was worth it 🙂 Lunch was heavenly specially with all the happy discussions we are having with the team. You should also try out their laing lumpia, crispy cochinillo, and the decadent cake! we tried the grilled salmon tocino on vegetable sinigang but it was just OK.

Just a couple of advice for people eating here, you should alot at least 2 hours for lunch, call one hour in advance, and prepare a power budget of >P500 🙂

Anton

Food

Costa Brava — Yummy Caramel Cake

OK to try . We ordered a caramel cake for Aidan’s 2nd Month anniversary from Costa Brava. The cake was yummy, not to sweet, addicting specially the yema-like caramel in the middle. It looks like an immitation of Estrell’s cake and it tasted similar. The round small cake above costs P300 and you need to pick it up in Bel Air. We feel that it is expensive but we like it because it is home made and kinda a secret. We learned this from one of the potluck dinners we attended last Christmas.

Below is the complete contact information:
Costa Brava – 12 Polaris St. Bel Air 896-1267, 896-6872.

#Restaurants

Green House Bistro — Trying Hard to be like Sonya’s

Green House Bistro, Tagaytay Highlands. OK to try once. This garden restaurant lacks its own personality and it reflects in the quality of food and ambiance.

You won’t miss green house bistro in Highlands because it is located in the corner of the road going to the midlands and to the Batino Exit. Your meal starts with dalandan juice, toasted foccacia, and onion soup. Then followed by Salad with a choice of white and balsamic vinegar dressing. Main course is Pasta with a choice of white/red sauce and a wide variety of toppings. The meal ends with blue berry cake, tart and tea.

What I like about green house bistro? The healthy food options, garden ambiance and relaxed atmosphere. I like the toasted foccacia, variety of choices for your salad/pasta toppings.

What I don’t like about green house bistro? The powdered Dalandan juice, ordinary Salad dressings & Pasta selections, forgettable dessert, and trying-hard-to-be-like-Sonya’s feel.

#Restaurants

Kikufuji — Authentic Japanese in Little Tokyo


Diaz Family @ kukifuji
Originally uploaded by antondiaz.

Recommended . My friend Shigo-san ( a japanese national based in Manila )recommended that Izakaya Kikufuji serves the best authentic Japanese food in Little Tokyo. It was my Brobo’s last night in the Philippines before going back to the states, and this was the perfect time to try out Kikufuji. Check out these pictures –> Kikufuji Photos The sushi’s and sashimi’s were excellent specially the rice that they used for the sushi. Although it costs P200/order, I think it was worth it if Japanese food is your favorite. We also liked the chicken “sukiyaki” in a big hot pot enough to serve us. My friend Shigo was right. Try it out for yourself.

More information
Kikufuji is located in the Little tokyo area and the restaurant is located along pasong tamo beside Makati Cinema Square.

#Restaurants, Tagaytay

Sanctuario – a secret dining place in Tagaytay

Update Oct 2005: Sanctuario Revisited: Ho-hum food?


Rache in Zen Place
Originally uploaded by antondiaz.

AWESOME! I'm not sure until when we can keep Sanctuario a secret place in Tagaytay. They just moved in to an unassuming place beside the tagaytay ukay-ukay place near the tagaytay circle just a month ago. If you don't know the place you would not even venture to eat there. Since they just moved to a 50-person capacity place in the Tagaytay circle, some articles in the web would give directions in its original location beside the korean place along the tagaytay-Sta. Rosa road which is already closed now. Check this out –> Sanctuario, Tagaytay Photos

Here are 5 tips to truly enjoy a awesome dining in Sanctuario:
1. Call and reserve the best spots in the restaurants. Specially if you are a group of 10 or more, you definitely need to get the zen place! If you are a group of 5-10, you should reservce the ground floor spot with a view of tagaytay. If you are a group of 4 or less, the basement spot near the window should be cozy enough for

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#Restaurants

A memorable dinner @ La Cocina de Tita Moning

LacocinamenudescAWESOME! for special dinner and events in your life (i.e. wedding anniversaries, birthday celebrations, etc.) . In the league of theme restaurants with great food like Chef Lautico in Urdaneta, Antonio’s in Tagaytay.


La cocina is the best
Originally uploaded by antondiaz.

I must admit that I have mixed feelings going into La Cocina that evening. First, I was excited that after 4 years that the restaurant is in operation, we finally found an occasion to celebrate in this fine dining place and at the same time, a financer (my momsy or my balikbayan brobo) to pay for the bill (approx. P2,000/head). However, I’ve also received alot of feedback from friends who tried it that the food was not the great for the price and it is too hot because there are no electric fans to conform to the old house theme. Surprisingly, La Cocina exceeded everyone’s expectations and we had a great time celebrating my brother Rommel’s 29th birthday (Jan. 5) and his girlfriend Jinky’s birthday (Jan. 4).[ see more pictures @ Rommel’s Birthday in La Cocina de Tita Monings ]

8 Tips for an awesome dining experience in Tita Moning
1). The Tita Moning’s Bread Pudding is the best! Its like milk bread leche plan that melts in your mouth. You should save space for this wonderful dessert.
2). For wine lovers, it would be best just to bring your own bottle and pay a corkage fee of P300 versus a house wine that would costs P700. In this way, you could also choose the best wine for the event.
3). For healthy eaters, I would recommend the Whole baked Lapu-Lapu and the sauteed fresh vegetables. My mom likes it alot and it is one of Tita Morning’s signature dish!
4). We got mixed reviews on the Seafood Paella. They say it is one of the best sellers and best in town (?) so try it out for yourself if you are a paella lover. Morever, the paella that we ordered which was suppose to be good for 6, was too much for the family. I’m glad that they would allow us to take home the food.
Lacocinamenu_15). Don’t eat too much bread at the start or when you are eating your soup. The staff is hospitable and they are trained to put bread on your empty bread plate. So watch out for it, and make sure you have room for the bread pudding.
6). Remember to inform them if there is a birthday occasion so that they can prepare a cake for the celebrant for free! Learn from our mistakes.
7). Don’t forget your camera and miss the photo opportunity. The tour of the old manila house is very interesting , I like the living room, dining room and the dressing room areas filled with alot of family pictures, antique artifacts, and china wares.
8). A tip by Aling Tining, just make sure that you don’t eat there at the same time that the president is dining because there would be alot of security guards that could cause tension in the area.

More Information:
La Cocina Website
Telephone Number: (632) 734-2141, 734-2146
Mobile #: (63917) 538-3490
Address: 315 San Rafael Street, San Miguel, Manila Philippines

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