Thursday, July 31, 2008

Terrys Segundo Piso, Makati

Ive been to this place tons and tons of times, but since now I'm on "blogging" mode, its the first time I took pictures and will blog about it.

I went there with my friend R. We started out the early night with Hoegarden Belgian beer and some Jamon Serrano. They have a leg that's displayed in the restaurant and when you order, they cut it fresh. Ive tried that many times and sometimes its too dry but this time the Ham was perfect this time.

When we go there normally we order all kinds of Spanish pica picas (croquetas, tortilla, cheese platter, etc..) but this time we decided to go for a main dish and Paella. We ordered Duck leg confit, which was served with thick ruffle type potatoes and a vegetable mix that tasted like "Ratatouille" was very tasty and the duck was crisp as it could be.

To accompany the duck we had a Paella. They called it the Super paella, which ad seafood,chicken, chorizo etc...My Friend R was disappointed that the chorizo in the paella was not what he was expecting (chorizo bilbao) - but the paella was perfectly made for my taste (not too wet/not too dry)
Since we didnt have the chorizo that we wanted in our Paella, we decided to order the Chorizo Piggy Back. Its a locally made chorizo which is laid in the back of a pig made of clay. They then pour some (brandy?) and light it up. The chorizo is then cooked with the flames rigth in front of you. I like this one because the chorizo is not as fatty as others I've tried (although it has its fair share of fat)
For wines we had a Northern Rhone (thanks Noel fro the correction) to go with the Duck (Cote Rotie) and a Bordeaux after (Chateau Talbot). Both wines were superb and I was surprised to find that the Cotie Rotie was a full bodied wine, comparable to the Bordeaux (it was my first time to drink a Cote Rotie)

I'm a regular in this place so no need to say that I'll be back....but I recommend it if you want to have some good wine and authentic Spanish food. They are located in Karrivin Plaza, Pasong Tamo Extension.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

El Cirkulo Restaurant, Makati

The last time I ate in this restaurant was some years ago, when it was still a bar/restaurant. It had a design of a plaza de Toros and I remember it more as a watering hole than a restaurant. The food was quite simple during that time (mostly tapas like croquetas, chorizo etc...)

I decided to go back and have lunch there since I've heard so many good things about this place lately. I went there fro lunch during the week. The place had changed a lot from the last time I went. Much more simple but very elegant. They have very nice fixtures and very nice antique Targetti 80's lamps. Over all I really liked how the place was decorated and designed.

As for the food, we decided to order 2 appetizers and 2 main courses. For appetizers we ordered Gambas al Ajillo and Rabas (it had a different name but basically its baby squid deep fried). Both were served perfectly and even the all i oli was great.

For the main course we first ordered Bacalao. The Bacalao was served in tomato sauce with pimientos. It reminded me of the home made Bacalao my Abu (that's how I call my grandmother) used to make. The fish itself was perfectly cooked and not too salty nor too bland.

The other dish we ordered was Beef Belly. Thick slices of beef belly with grilled tomato, zucchini and black mushrooms. The Beef was the most tender I've ever tried. Served with a simple gravy/sauce. The beef was so tender it was like eating tofu.

Overall I would highly recommend this restaurant and will definitely come back here again soon. Chef Jay Gamboa has definitely made this one of the better spanish restaurants in town.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mortons The Steak House, Macau

After our lunch In Robuchon and after walking the whole afternoon, we finally get to The Venetian Hotel In Macau. I had my mind set in having a good steak so there was no other choice but to eat at Mortons. We got there quite early so there was hardly anybody in the restaurant. We were welcomed by the restaurant manager who was Filipino (thank God) and as soon as we sat down, the waitress (who was also Filipino) immediately brought out a tray of fresh raw beef and Lobster to show us the different cuts and sizes of the steak.
(Pardon the quality of the photo but it was quite dark in there)

We then took a look at the menu and decided quickly on the appetizers. I ordered a Tuna Tartare and R had the Colossal Shrimp Alexander. The tartare was served formed like a cake with tomatoes and avocado with Thai cream and balsamic glaze. The shrimps was served slightly fried with a sort of buttery sauce. Both dishes were excellent and very tasty, specially the shrimp. Being so big I was surprised it was that tasty. I had some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to go with the tuna tartare which I thought was a perfect combination.

After the appetizers, our main course came. R ordered a half order of Alaskan King crab legs and I ordered the Boneless Rib Eye steak, which they said was their best seller. As side dish we had Asparagus and Broccoli.

The crab legs were huge, served hot with a lemon butter sauce and very tasty. My steak was exactly how I wanted it to be. It was perfectly cooked medium/rare. Once I cut the first slice it was pink inside but no blood. That's how I like my steak. I asked for Horseradish and Dijon mustard but it was so tasty that it did not need much. I enjoyed every single bit of this steak although I could not finish it (it was 14 oz). For dessert we had some fresh berries (raspberry and blueberry) since we hardly had any space left in our stomachs.. :)

Overall I enjoyed this restaurant even if it was quite pricey compared to others I've been to of the same calibre...but definitely an enjoyable meal.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

NOBU Restaurant, Hong Kong

Nobu was the second restaurant we tried in Hongkong, after Robuchon. I had high expectations because of all the hype I heard about this place (and the fact I love Japanese food). We were running quite late, so we decided to take a taxi to Kowloon side. In my excitement I told the taxi to take me to the Peninsula Hotel (that's where I thought the restaurant was) so we get to the Hotel and I walk in (we were also running late) and I asked where Nobu was and the girl said it was we had to rush and walk to Intercon (thank God it was near). Finally we got there and they gave us a table with a nice view.We were welcomed by the manager who was Chinese and the waiter assigned to our table (who was Filipino and very friendly). R ordered the bento box and I ordered the Omakaze meal which they said had a little bit of everything.

My first plate was a sashimi "Lotus Chips" Tuna & scallops with spicy miso. Then I had the Lobster salad with spicy lemon dressing and the roasted eggplant with scallop and special dressing.
After the Cold and hot appetizers, we moved to the main dishes, which was mini lamb chops in some sort of sweet sauce and a platter of really fresh sashimi...

After the meals were served, I still wanted to try more food so I decided to order 2 of their best selling dishes, Tuna and salmon sashimi. The tuna was served with a light soy sauce and topped with one thin slice of Jalapeno pepper (which added a good kick to the tuna) and the salmon sashimi was also served with light soy sauce and warm sesame oil with lemon and sesame seeds. This last dishes, although much simpler, were my favorites.

For dessert, we had chocolate cake with chocolate liquid filling and green tea ice cream. Over all it was a good experience although I would not have ordered the Omakase meal and should have ordered a la carte instead. There were so many other dishes that I would have wanted to try. Oh well that means I have to go back there again soon....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Robuchon a Galera, Macau

This restaurant was the first one we went to during our Hong Kong-Macau trip. I have to thank a friend, T, who told me about this restaurant during his last trip to Macau. I had planned my one day trip toMacau from Hong Kong tohave lunch in this restaurant. We took the morning ferry from HK to Macau. We got therre at around 11:30 and we took the free shuttle to Hotel Lisboa, where Robuchon is Located.

As soon as we were seated, I knew that I was going to have a great lunch. The interior was very elegant and classy. We were seatwed in a nice table by the window so I was happy that we had natural light, although the place was vey well lit. They brought us the menu which was set lunch menu. I had checked the website before going and saw that for the meat choices, they had steak Tartare, but looking at the menu they had given me, it was not here...horror.... I called the restaurant manager and asked him if it was possible for me to have the steak tarare and after checking with the Chef, he said that it was possible. At that point, I was in heaven...

They brought to our table the bread trolley with more than 30 kinds of diferent breads to choose form. We were so overwhelmed that we just askled them to prepare a basket for us. Then ordered our appetizers and our main course. I had the Lightly smoked foie gras and top of marinated mushroom with virgin olive oil and my wife had the White mushroom veloute on top of light bacon royale and parsley julienne. For the meats I had the Steak tartare specially made for me by the chef and my wife had the Hanger steak in french style with sauteed shallots and sauteed young potatoes.

All dishes were absolutely wonderful. The soup was so tasty I think it had some truffle oil. My dish was the mushroom which was very thinly cut and topped with foe. The crunchiness of the mushroom went very well with the taste of the foie gras. For our second dish, what can I say? The tartare was probably the best I've tried (I've only eaten a few but for me this was the best so far that I have tried). It was served with french fries and bread. It was not spicy at all and it had very small bits of crunchy bacon. Unlike other steak tartares I've tried, you could hardly taste the tabasco or mustard on this one, and it seemed to have some sort of cream. My wifes steak was also good and very tasty but at that point, all I could think about was the tartare...

After our main course, came the desserts (and more trolleys...) a total of 3 more trolleys were wheeled to our table. First they came with the dessert trolley. Then they came with the cheese trolley and to top it all off they came with the confectionaries trolley. At that point we did not even know what to choose so we had some few desserts and candies. They were forcing us to get more but we politely declined.

This was the first and probably the best meal we had during the trip. We had 2 other dinners (Nobu and Mortons) which I will post in a separate blog but value for money and quality, Robuchon was by far the best.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pepper Lunch, Makati Philippines

This is actually not my first time to eat in this restaurant, but this is the first time I decided to take pictures of the food and blog about it. So what is this place about?? From outside it looks like any regular fast food, specially when you see the long lines that are formed outside during lunch time.

The concept is a DIY (Do-it-Yourself) fast food steak house. What's their secret? Good steak, a special kind of butter and PEPPER, lots of PEPPER. Another "secret' is their hot iron plate, which will heat up to 270 degrees in 70 seconds and will remain hot (80 degrees) for 20 minutes. Meat grilled at this temperature remains tender and juicy.

src="" border="0" alt="" />
The dishes are served to you in the iron hot plate with rice and corn. The meat is raw and thinly sliced. You then have to mix quickly the meat with the rice (or vegetables) so that it cooks. Then you add the sauce of your choice (Honey brown sauce or garlic soy sauce). The only downside is that you have to wait a few minutes before you can actually eat the steak because the plate is so hot. I always burn my tongue when I eat there...

Aside from the Beef Pepper steak, we also tried the SHIMOFURI Steak (which means marbled steak) since we wanted to try other dishes in their menu. For the price of the steak, it was actually very good and tender.

This place is definitely in my favorites list. If you want to have a quick and cheap lunch, this is highly recommendable. Again I apologize for the low quality pictures. I was using my cellphone.

Monday, July 14, 2008

KIKUFUJI Restaurant, Makati Philippines

Had lunch with my friend E in this Japanese Restaurant. One of my favorite Japanese restaurants in Manila. The food is always fresh and place is always full of Japanese so thats a good sign.

Ive probably eaten there more than 10-15 times in the past year and I always order the same dishes:

-Special Kani salad
-Spicy Tuna Sashimi
-Sashimi (salmon, tuna and tamago)
-Grilled shake (salmon)

The last 2 are meals (they come with appetizers, miso soup, salad and dessert). All this just cost us 1,000.00 pesos

The food here is so simple and very very fresh. The salmon sashimi is one of the best and what I like most about this place is the wasabi they serve is fresh wasabi (not made from powder). Fresh wasabi is different from the powdered one. Its not as strong and gives a better taste to the sashimi....and you can eat much more without tears coming out of your eyes or clearing up your sinusitis :)

Its funny how some time ago I did not like wasabi and salmon sashimi at all (since I lived in Spain, there were very few Japanese restaurants there and they were very expensive). When I moved back to Manila, I started appreciating more and more japanese food since its so readily available here.

Below is a picture of the sashimi platter I had.

Chunks of fresh Salmon and Tuna are displayed and cut fresh as you order.

Apologies for the quality of the picture. I didnt have my camera so I used the camera in my Phone.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cafe Juris, Malate Philippines

Cafe Juris along MH del Pilar
(Photo taken from their website)

My obsession with Steak tartare brought me to this small Pub/Restaurant along M.H. del Pilar street in Malate. I had heard from a friend that read my blog that this small place served very good/fresh steak Tartare. So we decided to try this place with M (a fellow tartare lover) and E (his first time to try it).

As we arrived, we were welcomed by the owner, Rinus. A very nice Dutch fellow. I told him that I was there specifically just to try his Tartare. He said that its a popular dish among Expats but not so popular among the local crowd.

We asked Rinus what he could recommend that was typical Dutch food since this was a typical dutch pub so he recommended the Herring and Bitterballen as our appetizers.

Herring - I think this is called Hollandse Nieuwe) which is raw herring slightly salted served with raw onions, This dish was very tasty and very fresh. Rinus told us that this is flown in from Amsterdam and is always out of stock, so we were lucky to try it.

Bitterballen - rolled beef balls with bechamel sauce deep fried. This dish as per Rinus is typical dutch. It twas ok but I would have preferred to have an extra order of Herring instead...

Then came the main dish....Steak Tartare. They brought out 3 plates of the raw meat with all the ingredients and the owner himself mixed and prepared it for us (all restaurants should serve this like this to guarantee quality and freshness). His mixture was very simple, it only had brandy, egg, capers, onions, Lea & Perrins, A1 steak sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Other steaks I've tried have mustard, anchovies, cornichons but they told us that they prepared it this way so that we could really taste the meat. I would consider this more like a very traditional Tartare with not too many ingredients. It was served to us in a large plate with french fries. I also asked fro some crackers or bread because that's how I normally like to eat it.

The dish was very good and I enjoyed every single bite of it. The meat (tenderloin) was very fresh and tasty, finely chopped by hand into small pieces. It was E's first time to try it and i think he liked it. M and myself also enjoyed it very much although we added more Tabasco to it...

For Dessert we ordered a cheese platter with 4 different french cheeses (I was disappointed they did not have any Dutch cheese like Gouda or Old Amsterdam).

I really enjoyed the food and the ambiance of Cafe Juris and do plan to come back there soon to try the other dishes they have in their extensive menu....

I apologize for the quality of my pictures. I just had my small point and shoot camera and could not figure out how to shoot the dishes without the flash on...