Mall of Asia

My Rice Table @ Mall of Asia

12 dishes
4 people
490++ pesos
My Rice Table!

“The Rice Table concept was introduced hundreds of years ago when the dutch first visited the spice islands of Indonesia and asked to sample each dish one at a time. So impressed were the Dutch with this unparalleled gustatory experience that they began the tradition of rijstafel or ‘Rice Table’. ” — excerpt from the Soft Menu of Rice Table

The rice table concept is very simple and cheap. It is also based on the insight that Filipinos love to try out small portions of dishes. When we eat out with my family, we make it a point to order different dishes and share the food with everybody so that we can have a wide assortment of taste. This patikim habit is also the reason why most of us get fat because visually you are eating small portions but you wouldn’t know that you have eaten a lot already. I love Asian food and Rice Table is for those people who wants a light dinner before that IMAX movie. All the dishes are served on top of a stainless table with a matching votive candles below to heat it up. I like the food and it is very affordable but the different dishes got mixed reactions. What I like about it is that you can exchange some of the dishes included in the rice table with the other menu items. We particularly excluded Koffee Babi (Pork Ribs with Coffee Sauce), and Daging Rendang (Spicy Beef Stew).

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[Dear Awesome Planet #4] Out-of-town Recommendations and “Not to Miss” Restaurants


Thanks to your blog, I have some idea where to go during my family’s visit to Manila this end of July specially the restaurants. Anyway, I thought I’d check with you (because I know you have vast knowledge on this…).

I will be visiting Manila with my family (wife and 11 y/o son) end of July. Do you have a recommendation for an out-of-town weekend (maybe 2-3 nights) outside Manila but w/in driving distance to get some fresh air, good food and to relax? Hope you can give me some suggestions?

Also, if time permits, any recommendations for an island resort outside Manila? Any recommendations for restaurants “not to miss” while in Manila? Looking forward to your recommendations.

Thanks. Gaio G.

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Mall of Asia

Gumbo’s Seafood Jambalaya — From Ahh to Ayy

Grande Seafood Jambalaya (P425) To Share

You would always hear the chefs in the open kitchen of the Gumbo, shout “Ahh. Seafood Jambalaya” as they serve their “star” dish to their customers. Gumbo is the newest themed restaurant revolving around the concept of “A Taste of New Orleans”, their first branch. This less than a month old place in the Mall of Asia is a sister company of Burgo’s Restaurant so this is not a multinational chain but proudly Filipino owned company. You can see the servers wearing the multi-colored beads necklaces, inspired by the women collecting these beads during the New Orlean’s Mardi Gras. Bag Hag actually enjoyed her visit to this place in her posts “Salcedo Market + TRESORMAKATI update” but unfortunately, we had a different experience.

Actually the “Ahh. Seafood Jambalaya” turned into “Ayy, Seafood Jambalaya pala”. I always hate it when the photos in the menus are dishonest and typical of any marketing hype. We were fooled by the menu on how good the Grande Seafood Jambalaya looks like and was disappointed by the presentation when it was served to us. We were expecting the our jambalaya would be full of shrimps, squid and mussels like it was in the menu but to our dismay the paella rice was all over the dish! The supposedly toppings were hidden somewhere down there. Excitement turned to disappointment but to be fair and of course, we already ordered it, we digged in. I did not really enjoy the paella-type cooking because there was no consistency in taste throughout the journey with our Jambalaya — some portions were too tasty with spices, while some were bland. I guess Lori is right that we should give restaurants a good 2-3 months in operation before judging them for the quality of food they serve. So I will pause for now for my rants about Gumbo and I do hope that my readers who have a different experience with Gumbo (please post them in the comments). The last thing I wanted to do is post negative comments on my blog about restaurants. The reason I still posted Gumbo is that the interiors were lovely and the place is a very promising alternative to Fridays or Burgoo’s. Maybe we will just have our little amnesia phase about our experience with this place and check this out after some time, maybe after we finish off the MOA restaurants.

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Mall of Asia

Chocolat Cakes — Best Chocolate Dessert Place in Mall of Asia!

Classic Deep Dark Chocolate Cakes (P43/ slice)

I’ve always wondered what Lori meant with this description of a chocolate cake in her post ” 5 of the best chocolate cakes in Manila ” :

“For me, a chocolate cake has to have structure – it shouldn’t be one big fudgy brownie slathered in icing. The cake should have “bite,” and a consistent crumb. The cake should be moist, an indication that it was mixed well, baked properly, and most importantly, not a week old. I’m not fond of eating cakes that are so dry it feels like my throat is being scrubbed with every swallow. Lastly, a good chocolate cake should have enough icing: ganache, marshmallow frosting, 7-minute icing, or simply the instant stuff from a can – whatever it may be, there should be enough of it. A cake that lacks icing is like eating kare-kare without bagoong or peanut butter without bread. Sure, it tastes good enough, but why settle for good enough? “

Finally I was able to taste the moist Chocolat cake that Lori is taking about ! I’m glad that Chocolat opened up a store in Mall of Asia and you should look out for this place when you are craving for that perfect chocolate cake dessert to finish your meal. Their place is actually hidden behind a huge pillar in the North parking towers.

This is one of those places that can impress your date in Mall Of Asia. This would give an impression that you are in-the-know about the best places to eat specially dessert. I teased my wife last friday that I know the perfect dessert place in Mall of Asia and she thought that I was just fooling around. She kept on guessing until we arrived at the place and finally ate the best Chocolate cake she ever tasted. Chocolates are always a winner with women so let’s just hope that she is not reading this post too 🙂

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Kublai’s Rock is Back!

“Kublai’s Rock on Jupiter St. was the place to be in the late 80’s.” according to Christine of ramblings from a gypsy soul. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know and the name does not ring any bell. I started hitting the bars in the 90’s already during my college years. As with anything that is 80’s, this legendary place is making a comeback and hopefully for good after 20 years. ( Can somebody share what makes this Kublai Rock a legend during its time?)

What interests me in this place is the all-you-can-eat Mongolian Buffet that my wife and I have been craving for the past years after our favorite mongolian restaurant along Mile Long closed down, no other restaurant here in manila have been able to fulfill this craving. I’m sure some of you would remember that simple Mongolian restaurant (they even have 2 stores at that same location), the favorite hangout of almost everybody before watching a Louie’s movie (the first THX movie house in the Philippines) in Milelong, Makati. So ever since Christine posted “The Return of a Legend: Kublai’s Rock“, we were looking for the first opportunity to eat in Kublai’s Rock and finally we satisfied our hunger for Mongolian last Sunday night.

The good thing about Mongolian is that the food is as good as how well you would mix and match the ingredients. So for me, I had the best Mongolian buffet that I have ever tasted in years 🙂 Although, I think we ate too much and we were so excited that we finished 3.5 bowls. I was not disappointed with the assortment of meat, seafood and vegetable ingredient, including my favorite fish ball, mushroom, and tofu. They also have a free potato soup that comes with the buffet that just tasted like too much arina. We were hoping instead of soup, that they would include a dessert — that sago coconut milk dessert which gives closure and a satisfying experience after eating a lot of mongolian bowls. For P365 / person (including VAT and service charge), I do hope they include a dessert because we just felt that it was expensive for a Mongolian buffet. If I can remember correctly, we would only pay P100+ then for the mongolian buffet with dessert and I can’t imagine that it would be 3x more. But I guess you go here to experience the Legend of Kublai’s Rock…

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Mall of Asia

Taste Asia @ MOA- Best Kept Secret in Mall of Asia

Where can you eat authentic tasty Cebu Lechon, yummy Pampanga Sisig, sweet, smelly Durian and juicy Suha of Davao, fresh seafood from Roxas City complete with a “Dampa” cooking service concept all in one place? The secret is out, Taste Asia is voted as my best restaurant in the Mall of Asia. Whoever conceptualized this place is a genius and really knows the Filipino taste in food at an affordable price! Most of the dishes will play around P100-P200 price range and expect to pay P300/ head at the maximum if you avail of the cooking service.

What I liked about Taste Asia: the seafood was deliciously fresh not like the ones at the Seafood Dampas along Macapagal Blvd. Also, Taste Asia was able to achieve a one-stop shop for authentic, affordable Filipino favorites where Tiendesitas failed and nowhere close to how good the food was in Taste Asia. It is not only where you can find “The True Taste of Pinoys” but you can also explore the other Asian cuisine all in one place. All your cravings for asian dishes will be satisfied 🙂 If you are a healthy eater, fret no more because fresh fruits and salads are available for your indulgence. You can also specify the way you want your seafoods are cooked, similar to the dampas. One thing amiss was the limited choices of vegetable dishes and limited display of fresh vegetables. At night, there are bands playing similar to the boardwalk along Roxas Blvd.

The entire place is al fresco, and it is definitely not ideal to eat here in the afternoon or during summer unless you missed having your summer tan just don’t forget your suntan lotion. Best time to eat here is during weeknights because Mall of Asia is lovely during the weekdays since it is not too crowded.

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Awesome Filipinos

Pacquiao Larios Fight — Pinoys beating Mexican Boxers 4-0!

At around 11.15am, July 2, Sunday Manila Time, we saw the people’s champ Manny Pacquiao entered the ring with the Philippine Flag waving proudly in the air in front of an almost sold-out (80%) Araneta Coliseum. We were seated in Upper B and we were able to get in the front row seas of that section to still get a clear view of the boxers in the ring (see photo above). I did not imagine that Araneta will be filled by such crowd given how expensive the ticket was. I did not imagine that all our Pinoy boxers will defeat their opponents all in unanimous decision by the judges. I did not imagine how good Pacquiao was and how he masterfully defeated a taller and longer reach boxer in the person of Oscar “Chololo” Larios.

This was my first time to watch a Boxing Match. I was expecting that I get bored so I brought a book with me to read. But I was wrong, the matches were so exciting that I felt that it was my national duty to cheer for our pinoy boxers. I expected the shows to be late, but it started exactly at 8am for the first undercard match between Amonsot vs. Ortiz and Pacquiao vs. Larios fight started exactly at 11am. I was just expecting to have a date with my father and hoping that he would have a great time. It turned out that this was the most exciting live show that I watched and all the people in the crowd are proud to be a Filipino. Ever since this day, I renewed my reverence to the Philippine Flag and I always make it a point to sing proudly our National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang”. I can still remember that feeling of “Yes, I am proud to be a Filipino” when Bituin Escalante sang our Philippine anthem with a solid reverberating voice that never faltered up to the last note.

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Movie Reviews

Superman IMAX Experience!

My brother picked me up at our place at 11pm and we drove to the Mall of Asia (MOA) to watch the last full show of Superman on its opening day. I felt a sense of childish excitement in seeing back on the screen the super hero of our times — Superman. This time, we will be watching it in a 8-storey high IMAX theater and we were excited to see Superman in a 3D form! I can proudly say that we belonged to the Superman generation and there was a sense of nostalgia with Superman Returns. We arrived at MOA, 30 minutes later, and immediately felt the excitement in the IMAX theater lobby amongst the people patiently waiting to go in for the midnight show. There were all kinds of people in the lobby: the people who proudly wear a dark blue superman shirt inside their jackets with the superman logo peeking out of their chest, the personalities who appears to come from the Preview party last weekend, barkada patiently waiting in line to get a popcorn and the usual girlfriend and boyfriend sweety couple. It was already 12:40pm when we were able to sit on our reserved seats. The show schedules were messed up by the press so they were only able allow people to go inside at around 12:30pm. You can tell that everybody was excited to get their nice 3d glasses and everyone started to take their own pictures via their mobile phone, or digital cameras (which were allowed only at the start). The sense of excitement, and anticipation is in the air, including that of my brother, Rommel and his friend, Igi who were an IMAX first timers and was amazed by huge screen in front of them!

Then the “Lupang Hinirang” national anthem was played, and soon after, the green goggles sign appeared on the bottom of the IMAX screen. This signals you to wear your 3d glasses and our jaw literally drop with just even the bumper count down, 4, 3, 2, 1 with concentric circles rotating around the numbers in 3D! Then the next 10 minutes was an awesome showcase of what IMAX 3d is all about specially when the trailer of T-REX was shown. You can actually see the T-REX breathing down your necks — Awesome! You can hear the oohhs and aahhs from the audience, and shouting of “astig”, “the best”, and “ang galing” culminated with a wild applause from the audience. We thought that the 3d rendition of the trailers were the best even versus the 3d clips in Superman.

We were seated on row C which is the third row from the screen. Watching the commercials made us very dizzy since they were not designed to be shown on IMAX, they had lousy picture resolution. Also, even for the 3D portions in Superman returns if the scene is fast paced action and it is dark, it was very hard to see. My eye hurt after watching the show either because of how near we were or because the movie finished at 3.30am. There were only four times I believe that superman was in 3D:

1). The first 3d scene was when superman after going back to earth, was reminiscing about his teenager days when he discovered that he has powers. He was running so fast in the corn fields and jumped with joy like the hulk when he gets angry.

2). The second scene was during the time Superman rescued the space shuttle which got stuck into the commercial plane upon its launch and dragged the plane into space. You would appreciate the 3d movie when Superman landed the plane in the middle of a football field, opened the door, greeted lois lane, and smiled to the crowd. Awesome 3d moment!

3). My favorite scene was when Superman rescued Lois Lane and his son who were trapped inside a sinking boat. He pulled the huge boat out of the water, suspend it in mid air, opened the door, pulled out lois lane + family and let go of the boat.

4). The last 3d portion was when Superman was revived again, and saying his famous lines to his son ” The son becomes the father, and the father becomes the son. ” Then he saw Lois lane for the last time in the movie and flew out to the night sky.

Aside from the 3d effects, I always felt a tingling sensation in my bones every time I hear the Superman theme song. It was both childish nostalgia of seeing the Superman of our childhood days and a feeling of extreme satisfaction. We felt that P350 was all worth it.

Superman IMAX 3D Rocks!!! For Reservations call 556-IMAX (4629)! Just a tip, reserve the last row seats if possible 🙂


Related Posts:

Superman IMAX 3D Craze

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Tandoor King – Indian-inspired Fast Food in Mall of Asia

I love food adventure and I’m always excited to try innovative food. So when my friend Grace called me raving about this new indian place in the Mall of Asia, I can’t wait to taste their Indian-inspired food. Like most restaurants in the Mall of Asia, they are on soft opening mode and hence, there is an invisible sign that says “Proceed with caution”. My wife and I only agreed that the Mixed Tikka Pizzanaan is an absolute winner but the rest of the food got mixed reactions. First and foremost, the reason for being of the restaurant is its Tandoori Chicken cooked in a very hot special clay oven with charcoal. I loved the spicy Tandoori taste where the chicken is marinated in a mixture of herbs, spices and yogurt that give it a distinctive red color and it has a distinctive smoky flavor. However, my wife was expecting a sweet teriyaki taste but it failed to meet this expectation. Since this is a fast food concept, the food is very affordable with a price range of P100-P200 max.

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Movie Reviews

Superman IMAX3D Craze

” Superman Return, directed by Bryan Singer starring Brandon Routh as Clark Kent and Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane. Catch the world’s first live-action hollywood feature converted into IMAX 3D. Using proprietary 2D to 3D conversion technology, select scenes (up to 20 minutes) will be converted into an IMAX 3D experience, the most immersed cinematic 3D in the world. On screen cues will alert movie goers when to place the 3D glasses on, and when to take them off. ”

Would you pay P350 just to watch a Superman IMAX movie which is probably the most expensive movie ticket in the Philippines today! As of June 26 7pm, most of the prime time show times for the first 5 days are sold out (blue shaded) already with the orange shaded show times with only limited slots in the front rows. I’m among those people who wanted to see this superman on its first day so I actually bought tickets for the midnight show on the first day. (Just a tip: be careful in buying advance tickets, I almost had the mistake of buying a 12noon ticket for a 12midnight show. ) See you in IMAX!!

For Reservations call 556-IMAX (4629)!

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