Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Red Ginger: City of Dreams' Southeast Asian Delicacies under one roof

Red Ginger is City of Dreams Southeast Asian-themed restaurant. It has a vibe and feel for the region's flavors and palates. I'm not so keen on this cuisine, but the food was still pretty excellent.

The interiors had lots and lots of wood. 

Some of their dishes included:

Popiah. This was a fried roll composed of braised duck in thick sauce and wrapped in iceberg lettuce/ It came with a chili sauce for dips. The duck was pretty tasty.

The Singaporean Crispy Grouper was composed of a huge grouper fish deep fried with breading then garnished with onions, garlic, peppercorns, and chili sauce. Every bite was filled with a lot of fresh taste. 

The Baby Squid in Lemongrass and Lime Soy was a conservative helping of baby squid cutlets garnished with egg and a tangy lime soy sauce. It wasn't so remarkable; but I must say that the squid was fresh. 

The Grill Platter was composed of a sample of their best viands, such as the Glazed Pork Belly, the Angus Beef Satay, and the Salmon Fillet with Red Curry and Thai Basil. The Satay had a herb-y and tangy flavor. The salmon was tender and brimming with juice. The pork belly was pretty sweet.

The Salt and Pepper Tofu was composed of deep fried tofu with garlic, shallots, and black pepper. It had a buttery flavor due to the abundance of butter in the recipe.

The Nasi Goreng Jakarta was the restaurant's flagship dish. It was 45% of their daily sales. It was a simple yet elegant mix of shrimp paste fried rice, chicken satay, egg, crackers, and pickled vegetables. It was the ultimate accompaniment to their magnificent viands.

Our dessert was started by the Chocolate Caramel Custard. It was a round of chocolate pudding atop jackfruit puree. I'm not a lover of jackfruit; but I must say that the chocolate pudding was excellent. It just didn't match well with the jackfruit puree, though.

The iced avocado condensada was heavenly. It was their version of our halo-halo, except that avocado was used thoroughly. It also came with coco jelly, red bean, mango, and pinipig.

The Peanut was a ball of peanuts, vanilla ice cream, lime meringue, and salted caramel peanut butter rolled into a huge ball with a heavy peanut taste. 

Red Ginger is located at Upper Ground Floor, City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Boulevard Corner Macapagal Avenue, Entertainment City, ParaƱaque City. 

Special thanks to Miss China for the invite. 

Red Ginger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, June 26, 2017

Eat n' Meet Restaurant Marikina: Steak galore at affordable prices

Our visit to Eat N' Meet Marikina was filled with an abundance of steak. From their most humble selections to their finest ones, every meal was served with their best effort. Apart from their steak, they had other dishes that catered to my appetite. 

The interiors were a bit homey and rustic, typical for Marikina restaurants. However, these were also spacious and well-lit. The food was mainly composed of meat; hence it was suited more for the younger crowd and families who want steak.

Some of their favorites were: 

The T-Bone steak at Php 189 was part of their sizzling plates. The price was just right for some of this medium well meat. It was firm, tender, and fatty to an excellent degree. 

This was their on the rocks steak. At a much higher, but relatively cheap price, we were able to try their steaks which were cooked on the spot. The stone was first heated then served to the guests. This was akin to the ones used in high end Japanese steak diners. 

Some of their on the rocks variants were the Australian Ribeye at Php 349, the USDA Angus Ribeye Steak at Php 499, and the U.S. Porterhouse at Php 425. I enjoyed the Australian for its soft, flavorful taste.

The U.S. Porterhouse being cooked. 

The Pasta Negra at Php 185 was made with real squid ink. It made my lips a bit black when I ate some; but the taste was top notch. It was the right combination of saltiness and sweetness.

The Pork BBQ Ribs at Php 199 was a huge platter of pork ribs glazed in barbecue sauce. I twas amazingly sweet.

This one was the Pinoy Ribeye at Php 219. It was a perfect substitute for those who want freshly cooked yet affordable steak. 

The interiors had a lot of signages and Americana decor.

The Lemon Yakult was a sour addition to the meaty meal.

Lots of Americana signage.

The quaint exterior.

We then tried their lemonades and iced teas. 

For seafood lovers, they had the pinaputok na bangus. This was fresh milkfish cooked on their heated stone plate. The meat was tender and juicy as well.

The raw Australian steak to be prepared for cooking.

The porterhouse at Php 199 was a budget alternative for families and diners.

The nachos at Php 245 was excellent for groups who want a heavy snack. It was composed of tortill chips topped with steak bits, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese dip. 

Eat N' Meet is located at 90 Katipunan Street, Concepcion Dos, Marikina City. You can go there for your steak fix! I truly never had a dull moment during my experience. 

Special thanks to Miss China of Zomato for the awesome invite.

  Eat & Meet Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Albay and Its Historic Sites, Events, and To Do's

Albay is one province with many hidden and known beauties, it bears beauty that is pure, basic and grand. Albay has a certain charm that will sweep you off your feet and bring you to the time that was or give you a majestic feeling that is simply indescribable. With fifteen 15 municipalities and three 3 cities, Albay bears so many things to see and experience.

Governor Al Francis Bichara was a gracious host as he welcomed us to his place. Hospitality reflected on the people, from the people and this was reflected by the people of the various local government units (Dept of Tourism and Dept of Agriculture) and that of Human Explore Travel and Tours.

The tour given to us was both informative and time worthy. Tiring as it may be BUT truly worth every moment. Our gratitude to Ms. Dorothy Colle and her people from the Department of Tourism Provincial Division Region V – Albay, Ms. Che Rebeta of the Provincial Agriculture Department and Ms. Farah Sobremisana – owner partner of Pepperland Hotel. They truly made our visit such a wonder thru their efforts and time generosity.

Albay is filled with old churches, old craft making, worthy places to go to, old houses, natural beauties and beautiful festivities. With magnificent places around the majestic Mayon Volcano, if you do a whole 360 tour like the one we did ours, one would get to see this natural wonder in all its beauty. Try to learn also the story behind this famous volcano and and unconver the Daragang Magayon mystery.

From the ruins of Cagsawa (with a average guest of 150pax per day) to the churches in Camalig, Ligao, Sto. Domingo and Daraga, to the calm Sumlang Lake and the historic Japanese caves in Quituinan Hills, to the traditional way of metal smiting in Tabaco, farms and various beautiful parks and landmarks all over Albay, you will never have a dull moment when you decide to do a full exploration of the province. It is also filled of noteworthy food places that you could and should try out (story and review in another write-up). Albay also has spring resorts with water source coming from near the volcano or underneath the ground making it cool or even cold depending on the time of the year – such resort is D’ Hacienda Spring and Nature Resort in Guinobatan, Albay.

 For active people, I would highly recommend for you to try out the Japanese tunnels/caves in Quituinan Hills. The trek is not that stressful but the crawling (should you be adventurous enough) is like having an archaeological dig. For historical buffs, try seeing the various churches of the different municipalities and compare notes in terms of its style and story behind it.

Should you wish to see various craftsmanship of the place, go to Sumlang Lake to see the woven beauties of Albay, the metal smiting of Tabaco, pottery shops in Tiwi and pili delicacy making in Legazpi. Don’t forget to visit the various farms in the province that show the resiliency of the people as reflected in their farms – some of them are IG worthy too. Experience Albay and, you get to see this natural beauty in all its grandeur. With clouds or without, Mayon will surely captivate you may it be morning, noon, mid afternoon or sunset. With its romantic yet tragic story behind this beauty, you will definitely want to be welcomed by it every time you are in the said province. Albay is truly beautiful! The people reflect their place and the place live through its people.

PRESS RELEASE by: Arnold “Arnie” Alesna 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

After All Bar and Restaurant: a quaint and comfortable place for good food and drinks in Makati

After All got its name from Peter Ceterra's hit single. It was started by a group of friends who graduated from the Asian Institute of Management. All of them have come from distinguished careers. They decided to open a bar just last month with a menu including their personal specialties.

After being open for a month, the bar already has its own set of patrons and regular customers.

The bar is located in the first floor of SM Jazz Makati. It was pretty strategic since it was the only bar in the immediate vicinity. Plus, the condo residents can have a nightcap there every once in a while.

Their Banana Colada was composed of rum, bananas, and coconut milk. It tasted like the good old pina colada, albeit with bananas. One can only grasp of faint taste of the alcohol. Which, for one, made me drink the entire glass with ease. This was a truly fine pre-game drink. 

Their special Spanish Caldereta was cut into menudo sized chunks. The beef was prime grade, and the potatoes were those bite sized types. I must say that the tomato sauce was very savory. 

The Buffalo wings wasn't the crispy type. But, the sauce was excellent. It was a sweet honey garnish. The skin was easily taken off the bones. Servings were a bit disappointing; but the taste was well worth it.

The Crispy Pata was their crowning glory. It was a deep fried goodness of pork thigh with crispy skin and a fatty under layer. I enjoyed every bite because of the crispy skin while dipped in vinegar. 

Their Seafood Teppanyaki was a healthy mix of salmon, squid, shrimp, and clams marinated in special sauce. The servings were quite generous.

The Saikoro Steak Skewers was their version of the Japanese steak craze. It was composed of two sticks of tender, cubed Wagyu beef and served with toge and carrots. I would have wanted more servings, though.

Prawn Tempura Melange was the seafood dish I liked the most. The breading was very, very crisp. The prawns were also huge. 

Crunchy Pork Sisig was also one of their meat specialties. It was a piping hot serving of pork innards and meat fried to a crisp and topped with chicharon. The egg added extra texture and flavor.

Just look at that fatty goodness.

They also have a vast selection of wine and hard drinks for those who like their alcohol unadulterated.

Buko Melon Freeze was a mix of melon and buko juice and vodka mixed into a sherbet like drink. Just look at the texture. Every sip had quite a kick which was tempered by the sweet melon and buko juice.

The taste of alcohol was barely there. I got an overload of fruity taste with every sip.

Their Signature Chocolate Cake had a small syringe for an alcohol infusion. The idea there was to combine the sweetness of the cake with the full bodied flavor of whiskey. I liked the concept and the unique touch of the dessert.

They even have a live band performing every night. The performers for the night were very vivacious!

This is the look of their interior with the lights on.

Our post-game event was met with the Honeydew Mojito. Their version of the Mojito was spiced up with the seasonal Honeydew Melon. The Melon was quite tangy and sweet too. And like their other cocktails, the alcohol taste was also very faint.

The place without the lights on.

Calibre was their in-house version of the traditional Cuba Libre. This version had a specially blended cola and rum mix that takes hours to prepare. The glass was lined with salt for that extra tanginess.

After All is located in SM Jazz Mall, Makati.