A day of family and food. A day of celebration.
I woke up feeling like it's just another day, one... two... three... then I remembered, it was my day. My whole family was still asleep as I began with my morning ritual, after which I headed to my home office, and plopped on my black computer chair.
In my mind, I was planning the day's activities, albeit it wasn't so much about what to do rather than where to eat. I love food is stating the obvious. And celebrating my birthday is the perfect excuse to eat where I want without the guilt of considering if my companions would enjoy the restaurant choices I make for the day.
Two things I know for sure -- I'm hankering for a hunky piece of steak, and no, I don't want to do buffet. Being a food blogger, surely I wouldn't be able to resist taking photos of the whole spread, and I just wanted to have a leisurely lunch and dinner.
I've been planning on going back to Mamou for quite some time. Admittedly, the first time I dined there wasn't too much of a good experience, and I blamed that on poor dish choices. I vowed to try their famous steaks the next time I visit, and I was adamant to do it now.
The light drizzle had already stopped by the time my handsome date and I arrived at Serendra. With my hand tucked into the crook of my husband's arm, I slowly walked across the piazza, sidestepping large rain puddles, careful not to soil my new wedges.
Inside the red-themed restaurant were several empty tables, which were soon occupied by the time we started eating. It's always best to have reservations when dining at Mamou. We opted for steak and pasta. I also wanted to try the RB Foie Gras Open Faced Sandwich, unfortunately, I knew that with such heavy dishes, there was no way I could stuff that one into my stomach as well. Another time, then.
The smell of truffle was so apparent the moment the waiter laid this down on the table. With such heady perfume so near my nose as I was taking close-up shots of the dish, I suddenly didn't care if I took a satisfactory shot of it or not. All I wanted was to twirl it around my fork and put it instantly into my mouth. No meat, not even a trace of mushroom to be seen. It's forgivable if one might be dubious of its stellar popularity based on looks alone. But, we don't eat with just our eyes.
OMG! was all I could say for the first few seconds or so. Why only now?! I silently berated myself for not having tried this dish sooner. The spaghettini were cooked al dente; the truffle flavored cream just divine. Shavings of Grana Padano cheese topped the creamy---both in color and texture---heap. It was just so rich, so bold a flavor, that I couldn't help but sigh in ecstasy. Looks can be deceiving; trust me, there's nothing simple about this exquisite dish.
Heaven on a plate! Best steak in recent memory. Very tender (and juicy) Angus ribeye drenched in oil with a splattering of toasted fat bits. I feared that the char on the strips would have an awful burnt taste, but thank goodness it did not. It was so flavorful, I wanted to cry in delight. No need for steak sauce, though one is provided on the side, along with some sea salt. I did try putting a little of that just for the heck of it, albeit I liked it a lot better on its own.
For the sides, we chose mashed potatoes and white steak rice, which is rice bathed in the steak's fat drippings, and we chose well. Other sides include red steak rice, which uses brown rice, corn pudding and creamed spinach.
I loved our lunch at Mamou. It was a far cry from the last time at Rockwell. Very good choice, if I do say so myself.
Next stop: Alabang, to meet up with my daughters, my parents, and my brother. We were planning on a late dinner so an afternoon snack was a must. After about a decade of not visiting, Café Breton suddenly became one of our go-to places whenever that midday craving sneaks in.
I remember how my best friends and I would spend countless afternoons with a plate of crepe (sometimes two, and usually La Pinay), and share stories about our college life. Café Breton, at that time, was still located at the 2nd floor of Corte de las Palmas in ATC -- our second home. Then it closed down and moved to Westgate, which was less accessible, so that was that.
It was only when we found ourselves one day inside Westgate some time late last year, that we decided to indulge in their crepes once again. All it took is one bite for us to realize that we must not let another decade, nor another year, nor even several months pass without treating ourselves to these delicious French pancakes.
This one was pretty simple, with slices of bananas and condensed milk inside this folded crepe. A scattering of powdered sugar completed the dish. My baby's yaya kept on going how she could make a similar one at home. We may not be able to create a crepe of equal quality, but a very thin pancake batter would suffice. And it did actually, when she made some the very next day, haha. But that won't stop me from going back; I will, however, choose to order crepes with more complex fillings for my kids next time.
We've also tried a couple more crepes on other occasions, one of which was savory. The Excalibur had a treasure of ham, emmental cheese, fresh cream, and asparagus spears, sauteed with onions and mushrooms. It was good, but after a few bites, I suddenly yearned for some meat. The A La Nutella had this hazelnut chocolate spread on top of the crepe with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Too sweet for my taste, but my daughter liked it. Well, she loves Nutella so no surprise there.
And the best crepe of them all -- La Pinay. I think this will be my forever Café Breton staple. Not that other crepes are not worthy of note. It's simply a matter of unwilling to risk ordering a different kind, only to end up regretting not eating this best seller of theirs. So unless I have someone with me who willingly orders a French crepe variant surprisingly more delectable than this, I'm afraid you're stuck with me, French buddy.
Chunky pieces of chicken was used in the salad, which was then smeared on a bed of lettuce and asparagus. I wished their asparagus spears were bigger, kinda like the ones in Pancake House's Chicken Asparagus Sandwich; the better to enjoy them. Nonetheless, this was pretty okay, and the light salad on the side was a nice touch.
Their Spaghetti was good, nothing extraordinary, but enough to satisfy a simple craving for comfort food. I have to say, still way better than fast food spaghetti.
Juicy beef patty with melted mozzarella, all covered with button mushrooms. As with their other snacks and sandwiches, it was pretty good, but nothing mind-blowing that you would actually crave for it. Oh, and the side salad was again a nice touch.
Overall Café Breton is a good one-stop shop for your little sweet and savory cravings. They have Rootbeer Float and they serve coffee, so yeah, I'm fine with that.
After a little malling and shoe shopping, it was time for dinner. And despite what I had already consumed, I felt famished.
For several months now, I've been eyeing this restaurant. It's near our place so I would pass by it as I bring my daughter to school, go to church or to the mall. The fact that it had these mouthwatering photos of steak and burger plastered on their windows only increased my determination to finally check it out.
The Farm Resto prides itself in serving only certified organic beef products that come from The Farm Organics. I don't have much experience when it comes to eating organic food, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I did know though, that they could be more pricey since the volume produced is smaller, and production costs are typically higher since they use alternative production processes. I'm about to find out that this isn't always the case.
We started with a salad. I was a bit disappointed to see only four pieces on the plate. That was soon forgotten the moment I took in a blob of melted kesong puti drizzled with olive oil (?), sandwiched between a basil leaf and a slice of tomato. Lovely!
Oh my! The bone marrow was so rich and just bursting with flavor. Not to mention quite deadly, too. I hated the fact that if you scraped the whole thing off the bone, you'd find just a small amount, much smaller than you would like. But, looking at it on a positive note, I think it's just right lest you might find yourself visiting your doctor soon enough.
With the burgers being tiny, P130 a pop did look pretty expensive. My daughters, especially my older one finished hers though, and that says a lot 'coz she is one picky eater. Her only complaint was that the top bun had burnt grill marks, but she certainly enjoyed the beef patty and cheese. To quote: "It was so yummy, Mom!"
Now that, is a burger. Simple, no frills, yet the goodness is apparent. Unfortunately for me, I didn't even get the chance to take one measly bite. I was assured it was really good, though. Yeah, right, as if that description would be enough to make me feel better. I knew I should have cut a piece after taking a shot of it, before I handed over the wooden board it sat on.
The steak wasn't tough, albeit it wasn't as tender as I would have preferred. The flavor was there, though it could use more. Or perhaps, this nitpicking was a result of just having had Mamou's steak earlier that day, so comparison was pretty much a given.
My mom enjoyed this one immensely, her hogging the whole platter after my dad and I grabbed just half a piece each proved that point. It was large, for crying out loud! Supposedly good for two people at the very least. But no, she wouldn't budge. Even if it was my birthday. I had to order another, and I opted for the tenderloin to try something different.
This was a lot more tender than the rib-eye, although a bit blander as well. Even the accompanying mashed potatoes had more salty-savory flavor than the steak. But nothing a little steak sauce can't fix, if they have one. I actually hadn't thought about asking, I was too busy scarfing down the strips. I told you I was hungry.
I'm not sure if they do that on purpose, lessening the seasonings or marinade or something, because when I asked the servers what the difference was between their three steaks---Rib-eye, New York, and Tenderloin---they straight up told me that the rib-eye was the flavorful one, the new york was the lean cut, and the tenderloin was the most tender. I'd be happy if they had one that's both flavorful and very tender. Never mind the lean part, give me all that fat! On second thought, the salt and black pepper on the table may be an indication that they let diners season the meats according to their taste.
I'm not a fan of dense cakes, but this was different. It was rich, but had the decency not to be cloying. The strawberries were clustered toward the center of the cake, but the flavor lingered all the way to the back. It was so good! With a little shame, I handed the sorry-looking remnant back to my brother (it was his order), who repaid me with an if-looks-could-kill face. And if it weren't my birthday, I'd say that idea wouldn't be so remote.
Admittedly, I was initially shocked to see that our total bill set us back several thousands of pesos. In hindsight though, when I carefully thought about it, the prices were okay considering the food was organic. The average price per person turned out to be about P500; some had steaks, some had burgers. If all of us had steak, raising it to about P600-P800 average, it would still be considered a steal compared to other steakhouses. And when you think about how it's better for your body, then that's a major plus.
Spot: G/F Serendra 26th St. Bonifacio Global City
Contact Nos.: 856.3569 / 909.5741 / 0917.816.2668
Spot: Space C-806 Central Precinct, Westgate CTR, Filinvest, Alabang, Muntinlupa
Contact No.: 771.1214
The Farm Resto
Spot: G/F One Legacy Place, Don Jesus Blvd. Alabang Hills, Muntinlupa
Contact No.: 556.2478