Monday, May 29, 2017

Tolits Restobar and KTV: Marikina's go to place for lutong bahay specialties

This week, I was invited by China of ZomatoPH to try out the food in Tolits: a restobar located in Nangka, Marikina. The ambiance was quite chic, with the look and feel of a modern restaurant. The indoors were well-lit and spacious too. I must say that the place itself was clean and easy on the eyes.

The delicacies were quite affordable and palatable as well. A number of their dishes showcased the unique and delectable Marikeno cuisine. We then tried some of their specialties including:

Tolits Chef Special Salad at Php 180. This was a mix of fresh garden vegetables including lettuce, carrots, cucumber and the obligatory bacon bits. The vegetables were crunchy and delicious; plus the bacon bits gave it more flavor.

Everlasting at Php 310. This Marikina specialty is their own version of meatloaf. The meat was soft and mushy; and it was easily digestible. It was quite tasty, though. 

The place even had a dartboard for those who loved to play darts while drinking.

The interiors were very spacious.

They even had a separate space for the bar.

Pork Sinigang sa Pakwan at Php 320 was another local specialty. It was the usual sinigang save for the watermelons which were cooked to a bright yellow color. It wasn't that sour, though. But, the meat was tasty, and the melons tasted like papaya. 

What a quotation.

Bulalo Steak at Php 300 was their own interpretation of the Batangas specialty. The meat itself was quite chewy and fatty. The gravy, which was made with fat, was thick and tasty.

Beef Sinigagng sa Bayabas at Php 300. I must admit the beef here was very tender. The soup was also delicious; plus the vegetables added another tasty touch.

The interiors had art deco lights.

Binagoongang Platter at Php 220. The main attraction here was the really spicy rice. It was a good accompaniment to the meet due to the sharp, distinct taste of chili and bagoong.

Crispy Kare Kare at Php 350 tasted more like crispy pata. Eating the pork alone satisfied me. The meat plus fat were very crispy. While the servings were small, I still commend the excellent style of cooking employed.

Turon ala Mode at Php 150 was their excellent iteration of dessert. It was composed of a huge chunk of vanilla ice cream on chocolate covered turon with its own choco filling. I must admit that this is the dish I enjoyed the most in the resto.

Tolits Restobar serves lutong bahay Filipino specialties that are quite simple yet filling. It is located in Citi Centre Building, J. P. Rizal Street, Marikina, Nangka, Marikina City.
Tolits KTV Restobar & Events Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Planet Grapes at Shangri La the Fort: an exquisite winebar for intimate gatherings

Planet Grapes is one of Shangri La's best kept secrets. This dimly-lit wine bar has an extensive sampler of the world's best wines in the comfort of their own cellar. 

However, the place shouldn't only be known for wine. It has its own delectable selection of comfort food and other intercontinental dishes which effectively complement the wine. 

Our Zomato Foodie Meetup here was in essence a wine tasting event coupled with a sampler of their flagship dishes.

Their wines were served by the bottle or through their state-of-the-art dispensers. A customer can order a glass which can be full, half-full, or in sips. Their most ordered wines are usually stationed here.

We first had a sampler of the Riesling. It was a variant of white wine with a stony, mineral-like flavor. This is usually drunk to rinse the palate before eating.

We were served with a helping of their classy street food dishes. This one is the BBSM or Baboy, Bagoong, Singkamas, at Mangga. It cost Php 290. The Pork was sauteed with Bagoong (dried shrimp sauce), tomatoes, chili, and garlic. A pungent and tasty flavor emanated from it due to the presence of the Bagoong. It paired well with the unripe mangoes and its sour flavor.

Our foray into sour and spicy territory was cut short by another offering from their street food menu. This was the Cheese Fondue with Puto Calasiao. It was the classic puto dish save for its unconventional sauce: a mix of expensive cheeses melted into a fondue. This rich, sweet dish truly balanced out the spicy flavors we had earlier. The Php 545 price tag was quite steep though.

The Squid Balls and Curry (Php 245) was composed of the classic Pinoy style squid balls albeit with curry sauce. This was quite tangy due to the peppery taste of the curry.

The Sotong Goreng Php 230, was a plate full of glazed, fried squid. The glaze was composed of honey and soy sauce. It had leafy toppings such as lemongrass and kafir lime leaves. The dish was quite sweet with a peculiar leafy flavor due to the mix of leaves.

As a form of intermission, we had another variant of white wine. This one had a lighter taste compared to the Riesling,

Some of their sides included garlic rice and mashed potato. The latter was thick and rich with flavor. It definitely was an excellent complement to the meat dishes.

The Grilled Porkchop Php 390, was the first in the main course meals to come. It was a helping of grilled pork grilled then garnished with vegetables. It was made medium well. This one was a perfect accompaniment to the red wines. Its rich, smoky flavor balanced out the fine bitterness of the drink.

The Spaghetini with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce (Php 365) was one of their two pasta selections. It was a helping of spaghetti topped with Cheese sauce. The sauce itself was composed of multiple variants of cheeses. Every bite was truly cheesy and creamy as I preferred.

The Roast Chicken Dinner (Php 575), was the largest chicken dish in their main courses. The chicken was oven baked in a special marinade. The process usually takes overnight. One can truly see the meticulous preparation done for this dish because of the tenderness of the meat and the flavorful marinade.

The BBQ Spareribs (Php 690) was comprised of fall-off-the-bone pork ribs baked in a sweet barbecue sauce. I must say that I enjoyed this the most. The meat can easily be separated from the bone without any hassle. Plus, the meat itself was tender.

For dessert, we had the Sapin-Sapin in Salted Egg Sauce (Php 215). This dish is one of the more unique iterations of salted egg as a dessert. I enjoyed the salted egg sauce here for its unique taste.

The Turon Trilogy, at Php 165, was a slab of Turon on Langka sauce. It had an overload of sweetness. The Langka sauce had this creamy texture. The Turon was freshly baked and was aromatic too.

For an exciting foray, visit Planet Grapes. It is located in Ground Level, High Street Park, Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street Corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Planet Grapes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Waterside at Solaire: a dining experience that oozes with class

Waterside at Solaire in Pasay City is an exemplary dining experience I have recently tried. The blend of elegance, sophistication, and class in the furniture and ambience was very evident. Moreover, the food never failed to meet my expectations of this posh, upscale place. The name came from the resto's proximity to the pool side. 

The decor and interiors had the best of post-modern and art deco motifs, as well as a dim-lit dining area coupled with a vibrant bar. The food was a carefully selected sampling of Latin American Dishes configured to attract the Asian palate. 

One of their private dining rooms had a rich display of red. It had a view of the other parts of the hotel; plus it had its own blinds for intimate events as well,

One of their lighting set pieces was an industrial art-deco placement that resembled a saxophone.

The bar had a huge lamp-like centerpiece which accentuated their extensive alcohol collection.

Even their dining space had an elegant introduction for their fine guests.

We were then greeted with their invitation to Sangria. Of course, their delectable drink was something we tried for the night. It was a perfect accompaniment for the dishes.

Their sourdough bread was complementary for guests. 

The mixed fruits came first before the Sangria drink. The melange of apples and oranges gave so much flavor to the drink itself. 

The sweet, tangy Sangria was then poured for a vibrant and pleasant-tasting experience. The rich purple color was a testament to the drink's splendor.

The kitchen had its own Iberico ham carving.

The place had its own open kitchen for the diners to see. There was a bright display of metal countertops, premium utensils, and aromatic smells.

The head chef personally supervised the kitchen operations and paid attention to every single detail of the food.

This was the Baby Squid (Left) at Php 220 and the Croquettes (Right) at Php 180. While a bit small in the servings, every bite of these guaranteed me intense flavors. The Squid was juicy and a bit salty at the same time. It came doused in a sweet barbecue-like sauce which balanced out the saltines. The Croquettes had a mushy texture and fully-packed interior. Its core had a cheesy and creamy filling.

Anticuchos at Php 280 was a couple of sticks of grilled chicken cooked to perfection and topped with potato strings. It had dripping avocado based and bechamel sauces accompanying it. I must say that the meat was tender and quite sweet.

Mahi Mahi Ceviche at  Php 200 was a freshly prepared raw fish dish. The Mahi mahi was shredded into thin strips for easier bites. It also had a slightly acrid taste thanks to the vinegar and onions. 

Lapu Lapu Ceviche at  Php 280 was the counterpart to the Mahi Mahi. This one was more exquisite due to its subdued taste yet excellent texture. Every bite had a really soft feel.

The Paella Negra was for Php 1450 a platter good for sharing. It had an excellent serving of special paella with squid ink and seafood toppings. The dominant taste of the dish was quite salty.

The Paella Valenciana at Php 1750 was their flagship rich dish. It had a generous helping of Grilled chicken, prawns, and vegetables which made it a delectable dish.

The Tomahawk Steak at Php 6800 was their heftiest serving of meat in house. The steak was grilled to charred perfection. Every bite was a sampling of meaty magnificence. The marbled texture plus the rugged, meaty taste was enough to bring me to my own version of foodie heaven. It paired well with the Sangria due to the mix of meaty and sweet flavors.

For dessert, we had their special Baked Alaska (Php 190), which was comprised of a ball-like substance filled with strawberries, alcohol, and cream. The fiery glow was caused by pouring alcohol on the cream. What a way to end the night!

Last but not the least, the tres leches cake had meticulously crafted layers of chiffon, cream, and cheese. The layers had a jelly-like complexion which both sophisticated and intricate at the same time. 

Waterside is located at Solare 1/F.

Waterside - Solaire Resort & Casino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato