February 2009

Las Paellas' Rollback

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pin It It's good to know that not only gasoline prices and jeepney fares can offer rollbacks. Las Paellas have a few dishes whose prices were reduced, one of which is the Baked Eggplant (P160). This eggplant, tomato, spinach and anchovy topped with mozzarella dish used to be P180 for an order. I love how this dish is generous with mozarella without drowning out the eggplant. It's a great appetizer or entremet.
Las Paellas baked eggplant
Another viand whose price was knocked off is the Seafood Platter (P215) which used to be about P375, if I'm not mistaken. The seafood consists of shrimps, calamares and fish fillet served with tartar sauce and yellow mayo. It's good for 2-3 people and is actually quite filling even without rice.
Las Paellas seafood platter
Las Paellas
Spot: Promenade Entrance Festival Mall, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang (across Starbucks)
Telephone: +632 842.6919

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Another Taste of Las Paellas
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Heaven Came in 30 Thin Packages

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pin It What can I say, it really is addicting. Royce' that is. 'Maybe it's a phase' hopes my logical left side of the brain (it better be, everyone's penny pinching, stop splurging on the sweets... plus think of all the calories). 'Stop worrying about it, just enjoy the artistic creation that delights the palate' my creative right side of the brain replies (it's worth every penny anyway).

So the right side wins, and I again find myself purchasing a different selection. This time, I try the Prafeuille Chocolat (P540). It comes in Caramel, Honey and Coffee.
Royce' prafeuille chocolat
I chose the Caramel. The box comes with 30 individually wrapped thin, square bars of chocolates. As you take a bite, a shot of caramel oozes out. For something with caramel, it isn't sickeningly sweet at all. And the thinness of the chocolate makes you crave for more. I was halfway through the box when I remembered I have to leave some for my mom lest I want to pick a fight (hmm.. what's a fight compared to these little, thin heavenly bites? kidding mom!).
Royce' prafeuille chocolat inside
Royce'
Spot: R3 Rockwell Center, Power Plant Mall
Telephone: +632 492.5051

Related Post:
Power Food Finds at the Power Plant (Part 2: Royce')
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Suzukin BF Branch

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pin It After a long wait, our lunch at Suzukin's BF branch was highly disappointing. It didn't measure up to its Kamagong counterpart, and it was sad knowing that we still have to traverse a highly populated highway just to get a taste of the original dining experience we have come to love.

The restaurant was nice and clean, although it lacks a homey feel. I was slightly surprised to see it empty of dining customers. I heard that during its opening season, the place was always packed especially during lunch time. My eyes have not witnessed that statement.
Suzukin interior
As soon as we sat down at our table, our waitress - the bearer of bad news - informed us that the Oyster Butter and Tuna Sashimi were not available. Great! It was the main reason we decided to eat here. What a nice way to make a lasting dining impression.

We were already hungry and so we resisted the urge to get up and leave and instead, ordered anyway. Their California Maki (P168) was the usual crab meat, mango, cucumber, ebiko and sushi rice rolled in nori with special mayo. Not the best Ive had, but not the worst either.
Suzukin california maki
You can order their Ebi Tempura (P160) Teishoku (P200) style which comes already with rice and soup, together with 5 pcs. of deep fried shrimps. The tempura was a bit dry and short on flavor. The breading made up the majority of the taste.
Suzukin miso soup
Suzukin tempura
Their Beef Garlic (P142) was delicious, it was always one of my favorites. Though I wish they wouldn't skimp on the serving amount. The thinly sliced beef stew wouldn't even be enough for one hungry person. This doesn't come with rice, we just opted to order some fried rice to fill our stomachs.
Suzukin beef garlic
Suzukin fried rice
We also wanted to try their Sukiyaki (P175). Thinly sliced beef with tofu and mixed vegetables in sotanghon rice wine soup. At this point, I wasn't surprised to find it bland. It wasn't presented well, no fusion of colors from meat and different vegetables. The aluminum container even looked like it had gone straight from the stove top to our table, with no one bothering to transfer it to a presentable serving soup bowl.
Suzukin sukiyaki
Their Gyudon (P129), composed of thinly sliced beef with sotanghon and beaten egg on rice was yet another letdown. It was deficient in taste, the whole meal made me want to cry. I had waited for months to try this place. I'm not sure if they were just having an off day but I guess the empty tables during lunch hour would have to account for something.
Suzukin gyudon
We had to force the food down with some drinks. It wasn't entirely bad... if you had no expectation whatsoever and have had no previous dining experience with its flagship restaurant.
Suzukin drinks
With the BF branch's replication of Makati's falling short of expectation -- though the ambience was better, the food presentation and taste proves to be more important in this case -- safe but sad to say, I won't be revisiting this Southern branch for a while.

Suzukin
Spot: A. Aguirre Ave. BF Homes, Paranaque City (near J. Elizalde St.)

Related Post:
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Tempura Revisited

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pin It I had previously done a post about Tempura around 3 months back. I just wanted to share a bit of my dining experience with a few more menu items. Let's start off with some maki.

Seeing as they had new selections of rolled sushi, I decided to deviate from my usual California Maki and order a Caterpillar Roll (P140) instead. Rolled maki with unagi (eel), Philadelphia cream cheese and mango strips. It was so-so, the cream cheese drowned out the unagi and I couldn't quite taste the mango.
Tempura caterpillar roll
Next was Uncle Sam's Maki (P180). Rolled maki with shrimp, Philadelphia cream cheese, cucumber strips and mango topped with bacon and mayo. Even if the cream cheese overpowered the shrimp, having the crunchy bacon helps balance the meat with the cream.
Tempura uncle sam's maki
The Hawaiian Maki (P135) was my favorite among the three. Maki with pineapple chunks and spicy crunchy salmon bits. The crunchiness of the salmon bits and the creaminess of the mayo makes for an interesting, but tasty fusion of textures in your mouth. No overbearing cream cheese this time so you're sure to taste every bit of flavor.
Tempura hawaiian maki
This next type of maki isn't actually under the Sushi/Maki selection, but is under the Appetizers. It's Tori Chizu Maki (P150). Deep-fried breaded chicken fillet filled with Philadelphia cream cheese, asupara and carrots. Again, as much as I like cream cheese, they put this dairy way too much on their food. I can't even taste the chicken. I know there is because I can feel my teeth grinding on some meat, but I can't be too sure. I wish they'd ease up on the cream cheese to bring out more flavors for the palate.
Tempura tori chizu maki
For the main course, we had the Ebi Tempura 3 pcs. (P170) 5 pcs. (P250) 8 pcs (P395). Deep fried tiger prawns in crispy batter. Their version of the breaded shrimp is as good as it gets. It's even fortified with Omega-3 to promote a healthy heart.
Tempura ebi tempura 5pcs
There's also the Tori Teriyaki (P170). Grilled boneless chicken leg with sumptuous teriyaki sauce. If you prefer sweet sauces, I say go for the teriyaki variety of the meats. If you'd rather have stir-fried meat with lots of bean sprouts, go with the teppanyaki. This dish is nothing extra ordinary though, it's just your safe I'm-not-in-the-mood-to-risk-trying-something-new dining choice.
Tempura tori teriyaki
The Spareribs Sansho Yaki (P225) is grilled spareribs cooked in house specialty sauce served with vegetables and sprinkled with Japanese pepper. I appreciate the tenderness of the meat complemented by sporadic portions of fat. Although a bit chewy, it does not wedge itself in between your teeth. The sauce is a bit too flavorful, be careful not to drench the meat too much.
Tempura spareribs
The Unagidon (P255) is teriyaki style grilled eel topped on rice. Personally I like this dish because I love Unagi sushi, and having a generous amount of that in a bowl makes me drift away to sushi heaven. The eel is tender, soft and almost melts in your mouth.
Tempura unagidon
The Buta Shogayakidon (P160), on the other hand, is pork strips with lightly gingered Japanese soy sauce topped on rice. This rice toppings lacked flavor. The pork strips were a bit rubbery. I guess I should have known the second I saw that the menu picture was more appetizing than its actual counterpart, this dish is not worth a second try.
Tempura buta shogayakidon
I love, love their Sukiyaki (P250). Sukiyaki sliced beef tenderloin with mushroom, tofu, vegetables and vermicelli in sukiyaki soup. This is good for two people. I like how they achieve the right amount of sweetness for the soup. Generous amounts of meat and vegetables adds to the value-for-money attribute of this viand.
Tempura sukiyaki
Aside from softdrinks and iced teas, Tempura also offers shakes like this Banana Nut Shake (P65). Other flavors are Mango, Watermelon and Four Seasons.
Tempura shake
Tempura
Spot: Ground Floor, Cinema Area, Alabang Town Center
Telephone: +632 8502136 / +632 8501273
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Power Food Finds at the Power Plant (Part 2: Royce')

Saturday, February 7, 2009

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Royce' facade
I've been hearing about Royce' for a time when they finally opened up a local branch in Rockwell. When I first visited the place, I was shocked at the prices. The only available ones were the Nama Chocolates (P580), all the others have been sold out as of that instance (I wondered if that was a ploy to make customers think that their products are good enough to be sold out, but succeeding visits proved that it was just an isolated case of under stocking). With one eyebrow higher, I began my internal debate about the rationality of expending over 500 bucks for a small box of chocolate. With eyes now closed, I pointed to the White Nama Chocolate, walked over to the counter and plunged right into saying goodbye to Ninoy.
Royce' Nama
Watching the crew wrap the chocolate in an insulated bag complete with an ice pack, piqued my interest. Surely this chocolate must be something else for it to be treated with such great care. As soon as I got in the car, my curiosity got the better of me. The box contained 20 mini bars (my mind started to calculate how much was it per bar -- ugh, this better be good). After taking a few shots amidst the bumpy ride, I opened the package and cut a slice. The first word that comes to mind as I took a bite is "Heaven!". The explosion of the cold, creamy chocolate leaves something to erase all thoughts until you've finished the little bar. In hindsight, I began to analyze the fusion of flavor and emotions in that single act of ingestion. The first thing you taste is the powder, then comes the cold sensation and before you begin to decipher the taste, the chocolate begins melting in your mouth, and that's the time you identify the sweet goodness of white chocolate, and wonder how in the world someone makes a chocolate this unbelievably good. The silky texture makes you think of butter and before you start counting fats and calories, you are pulled by its force to take in a couple of more bites, and then some.
Royce' nama white collage
After a dozen bars, it began to be too sweet for my palate. I'd appreciate it more if I were to save it and eat it for another time. You can't let it wait for too long though, it expires rather quickly and is really best eaten fresh. I also tried the Champagne Nama Chocolate, and I found it even more heavenly than the White (maybe because I'm rather fond of chocolates with wine, champagne and rum inside). This one I can continuously consume until I finish the whole box. The flavor isn't too sweet and the champagne does not come on too strong like usual liqueur filled chocolates. It's like my own personal haven, that befits me depending on what I need. It can act as a comfort food set on letting you forget the stresses of the day. It can also be a rewarding toast to an accomplished task or goal. This melt-in-your-mouth confection leaves a lasting impression, enough to make you forget about belt-tightening in times of global recession. Other variants are the Au Lait, Bitter and Mild Cacao.
Royce' nama champagne collage
There's also the Pure Chocolate (P540 / P580), a combination of two flavors in one box. There are 20 individually wrapped, thin, round pieces for each chocolate flavor.
Royce' Pure Chocolate
I opted to try the Creamy Milk & White Chocolate (P540). Though it doesn't melt immediately as does the Nama, the same smooth and creamy texture can be expected from this variety. This is actually less sweet than the Nama. I think it's the thinness and fineness of this chocolate that leaves you yearning for more. Other variants are Sweet & Milk (P540), Caramel Milk & Creamy White (P580), Venezuela Bitter & Ghana Sweet (P580), and Mild Bitter & Extra Bitter (P580).
Royce' pure chocolate collage
Other popular selections are the Potato Chip Chocolate (P540) large (P990), salty, crispy chips dipped in smooth milk chocolate; the Bar Chocolate (P250), their original bars in classic variations: dark, white, milk, creamy milk, almond and rum & raisins; the Truffe Chocolates (P450) in Orange, Kirsch and Praline variants; and the Prafeuille Chocolate (P540) in Caramel, Honey and Coffee. There are a lot more as can be seen in the display glass cases below, so better head on there to discover them.
Royce' chocolates 1
Royce' chocolates 2
This coming Valentine's, this would surely be a big hit with your loved ones, a box or two will earn you brownie points. This bag alone strapped on your hand, will cause your wife's or girlfriend's arms to wrap around your neck.
Royce' bag
Royce'
Spot: R3 Rockwell Center, Power Plant Mall
Telephone: +632 492.5051

Related Post:
Heaven Came in 30 Thin Packages
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