Yesterday, we were in Bonifacio High Street. Traffic was really bad in EDSA, then we remembered, it was a long weekend plus it was payday, and most probably, some of the working population had already received their bonuses. It was still early for dinner but my stomach was already complaining by the time we got there. There weren't many dining options, a lot of the restaurants were in Serendra. But the long walk from the far end of Bonifacio High Street to Serendra did not seem appealing to hungry tummies and weakening legs. It was a battle between Brothers Burger and TGIF, thank goodness my hubby decided to go with Friday's (I hate Brothers Burger save for their Cheese Steak Sandwich).
We had no problem getting a table as it's still early for the dinner crowd. The restaurant had it's usual dimly lit ambiance and a smorgasbord of decors all over the place, some mounted on the walls and some hanging from the ceiling.
First off, the server asked us for our drinking preferences. While my hubby opted for the usual regular iced tea, I wanted the strawberry flavored one (I love the Strawberry Iced Tea in Fish and Co. and since it's refillable, I could consume 4-5 glasses in one sitting, as with the one in Red Robin in Calgary, Canada, which even had bits of strawberries).
For the appetizer, we ordered Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Quesadilla (P395 +SC). Flour tortilla packed with chicken, tomato-basil mix, bacon and oozing with Monterey Jack Cheese. Coated with Parmesan and pan-fried to a crispy, golden brown, then drizzled with balsamic glazed. Served with marinara. I'm really a fan of quesadillas, and I loved how they did not skimp on the chicken, but I still think it's pricey for just 4 quarters, that's almost P100 for a small slice.
I ordered the Dragonfire Chicken (P425 +SC). A plump, juicy (or so describes the menu) fire-grilled chicken breast glazed with a fiery chili-garlic sauce then served over rice pilaf with pineapple pico de gallo and steaming broccoli in Cilantro-lime dressing. Good thing the server warned us about the chili-garlic sauce being hot, I requested for it to be served on the side instead. And fiery hot it was. I found the chicken to be dry and it just relied on the sauce for flavor. The chicken is better off paired with sun dried tomatoes (I stole a few from my hubby's dish). I did not like the cilantro-lime dressing either, it gives a weird aftertaste for the broccoli.
My hubby ordered Chili Grilled Chicken Breast (P395 +SC). Succulent breast of chicken, drenched in exotic rum-chili marinade and served on a bed of wild coconut rice (read: rice with niyog flavor and not rice in gata). The chicken was indeed juicy, and so were the string beans, however it could definitely use some butter.
All in all, it was still a good meal, a nice change from our usual take out and deliveries. And the better part is, though the food did not seem humongous in terms of serving size, it did the job of silencing our grumbling stomachs until well after midnight.
TGI Friday's Spot: Quadrant B3, Bonifacio High Street Telephone: +632 856.2996 / +632 856.2997
We headed down to Delifrance for lunch. My mom ordered the Tuscan Pepper Shrimp Pasta (P195) and the Red Grape with Whipped Cream shake (P120). The pasta was a bit spicy, but it's got a nice, delicious flavor fit for the shrimp viand. The grape shake was yummy, at least according to my mom (I didn't get to take a sip, she finished the whole thing before I had the chance).
I opted for the Beef Lasagna (which proved to be a poor choice) and iced tea (P220). The lasagna was a little bland, nothing special, lacking in taste. It even looked dry and unappealing. The iced tea was good though, the syrup lends a sweet aftertaste, leaving you thirsting for more.
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Delifrance Spot: Ground floor, The Podium Telephone: +632 687.1608
It's been years since I've last been to the Podium in Ortigas. Mainly because there's not much shops to go around. Another thing, it's too far a mall to go visit, when the stores located there can also be seen somewhere else. Anyway, my mom saw a magazine feature on Living Well Homestore so we decided to traverse the EDSA traffic and check out the place. The homestore carried lots of items, from living room decor, bathroom accessories, beddings and pillows (Sleep Care) to dining sets, cookware and baking needs (mostly Gourdo's stuff). There were also Christmas decorations, some children's books and stuffed toys. Sadly, we walked out of the store empty handed because my mom couldn't find the item she had liked in the magazine article. Walking around the Podium, scouring for my favorite stores but failing to find them, it suddenly dawned on me... I knew there was a reason I hadn't been back in years. And the thought of not coming back for a long time did not seem entirely remote.
Living Well Homestore Spot: Level 3, The Podium Telephone: +632 638.9590
This afternoon, I went to Makati Supermarket in Town (ATC). I went straight to the frozen goods section, it was definitely a sight to see. Up on the shelf, several bottles of Starbucks were sitting, patiently waiting for me to bring them home. And down below in the freezer, a Selecta Coffee Crumble was shining up on me, beckoning in a hypnotic way. Well, seeing as I had no choice (it was that or an endless fight with my craving self), I gathered a few bottles and the 1.7L can and walked happily to the check out counter.
After watching a movie and eating lunch, you have to have dessert. And on a hot, sunny day, nothing beats ice cream for one. There's a fairly new ice cream station in Alabang Town Center, Cold Rock Express. We first came across it a couple of months ago while walking around ATC's activity center. It's the one outside CPK and Gift Gate, beside the Smokey's booth. When we had inquired how much was for a small cup serving, the price the lady had given came as quite a shock, it costs as much as Haagen Dazs. And so we moved on.
A couple of weeks ago though, my daughter suddenly craved for ice cream and pointed to Cold Rock Express. I told her that we would just buy ice cream, a bigger one, a whole gallon, in the grocery store, but she kept on insisting that she wanted the bubble gum and strawberry flavor from Cold Rock. Her daddy caved in to his little girl's request and so they went ahead to get one. When I tasted it, oh goodness, so THIS is why their prices are higher than the usual Magnolia or Selecta. The ice cream tasted absolutely heavenly, very well worth the price. It's like premium home made ice cream, only better. The flavors are not too strong but still rich, you'd want to lick off every ounce of it from the spoon to savor the sweet, cold sensation of this delicious dessert.
When we went to ATC again last Thursday, I made sure to take a picture of it so I can share it with you all. Next time you want something to cool you off (or even not), you definitely have to try this. It's really quite addictive. You can have two scoops for the small cup plus 1 mix-in (P140.50), and three scoops for the big one plus 2 or 3 mix-ins (P229.50). Yeah I know, why do they have to have P0.50 on the price. I asked their crew, they don't know either. Anyway, you'll forget all about it as soon as you taste the ice cream.Their best sellers are the Belgian Chocolate and Vanilla. But I also like their Bubble Gum and Chocolate Mint as well. They actually have a whole range of mix-ins (familiarly known as toppings, only they mix it in with the ice cream instead of just putting it on top, hence the term), from chocolates to cookies and fruits to candies. They add to the texture, giving you an indulgent experience of a chunky, but smooth excellent dessert. How to Get Your Own Cold Rock Experience: 1. You pick two or three flavors for the ice cream, depending on the cup you want to get. 2. Go to the other side to pick your mix-ins. 3. Watch the crew as they mix all of it on top of a granite counter.4. Pay for it. 5. Voila! You now have your own Cold Rock. Enjoy! Cold Rock Express Spot: Ground Floor, Activity Center, Alabang Town Center Telephone: +632 9063936
Next stop, a Japanese lunch. A few meters away from the movie house, you will find the Tempura Japanese restaurant, beside Pho Hoa, across Gerry's Grill. It's concept is similar to Teriyaki Boy, the prices and menu selection are in the same range, but personally, I prefer Tempura than the former. Here's a look at Tempura's menu. Click on the picture to view a larger image.
I ordered my favorite California Maki, 8pcs of course, all just for me. I wish they'd serve more, I could eat a couple of plates. I love that their Maki's have the white mayo sauce on top. I first came across this style in Bon Appetit, because it used to be that Japanese restaurants served California maki with the mayo spread only inside the maki itself. The added mayo gives more flavor and smoothens the texture for easier swallowing. Their version of the maki is good, really good. I think I want some more. My daughter wanted chicken and so I ordered the Tori Teriyakidon for her. The sweet sauce of Teriyaki is more pleasing to kids rather than the Teppanyaki. The sauce was fine but the chicken skin was a bit overcooked and my daughter rejected the bitter taste, so I had to remove all the skin and let her eat only the meat. We didn't order much because we wanted enough room for dessert.Tempura Spot: Ground Floor, Cinema Area, Alabang Town Center Telephone: +632 8502136 / +632 8501273
By "Town" I mean, Alabang Town Center. First stop, the movie theaters. This year, they had the cinema lounge renovated, and the outcome was that of a classier, stateside feel.It comes complete with a red carpet gracing the front of the ticket booths. Ticketing is now computerized with screens showing the movie schedule.As for the food, the movie house comes equipped with its own snack bar called Taters. If you don't feel like eating popcorn, there are a lot of other food choices around too.There's good old Smokey's, the best choice to grab a quick take out for the we're-already-late-for-the-movie-but-I-want-something-heavier-than-popcorn type of crowd.There's Oliver's Super Sandwiches for the girlfriends who while away the time, having 15 minutes to spare before the movie starts.If Oliver's is for the women, there's Burger King for the men with big appetites.There's even a Starbucks for the boyfriend who wants a fixer-upper so he can stay awake through the cheesy romantic comedy film his girlfriend blackmailed him to see.The Fuzion is actually for anyone who got more than 15 minutes, not to mention a grumbling stomach, to kill before the film starts rolling.After the movie and you're still hungry, you could always head out to Brooklyn Pizza for some Italian dishes, New York style .Other restaurants in and around the cinema area are Pancake House, Shabu-Shabu, Sugar House, Gerry's Grill, Pho Hoa, Tempura and North Park. With all the eating spots a few steps away, there's no reason to go watch a movie on an empty stomach.