Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shinjuku Ramen House, Makati

Name: Shinjuku Ramen House
Location: Pasong Tamo, Makati
Google Maps: Little Tokyo
Date & Time: July 28, 2010 Dinner Time
Must Know: No Service Charge

Ordered from the Menu:
Tenshinmen Ramen PHP 295.00
Tofu Agedashi PHP 185.00
Sauce Yakisoba PHP 240.00

28 years ago, I was born as Jun and Eloisa's 2nd child. And the world was never the same, for the good I hope...

I was supposed to have dinner today with my family and loved one but due to schedule and logistical difficulties for today, we decided to move it to the 29th instead. Tonight, it will be a simple dinner with Audrey in a place I've been curious about.

If most of you don't get the chance to pass by along the string of Japanese restaurants along Pasong Tamo, I don't blame you. This place is known for notoriously incomprehensible jeepney drivers who seem to think that counter flow is a right when driving. True, it is quite a challenge to maneuver a vehicle here for average drivers on rush hour, but I've always wanted to try one of these authentic J-restaurants so curiosity fueled the courage to brave it on a day like this.

Tenshinmen Ramen PHP 295.00

The Tenshinmen Ramen is served as ramen soup with scrambled egg on top with a splash of sauce (which I don't know) and all the warm tender noodles can be found below. The bowl is also served with crab meat and some garnishes that add to the over-all flavor. As soon as I sipped the warm soup, I immediately knew this soup wouldn't taste like any normal ramen served in most Japanese restaurants. It tasted more authentic and the sauce is something I still can't figure out, the noodles was tender and thickness was just right. I enjoy ramen personally, but this one just seemed to average as the main topping, which was crab, really didn't succeed in creating an identity for this dish to make a lasting impression. Over-all, I thought it was very average.

Sauce Yakisoba PHP 240.00

Moving on on the Sauce Yakisoba, I thought immediately that it was normal. It consisted of noodles, veggies, meat, shrimp, peppers, and bean sprouts. It's wasn't swimming in butter like most Japanese restaurants do to their vegetables, this one tasted healthy and refreshing. It was simple and I believe there really is nothing more to say about this dish.

Tofu Agedashi PHP 185.00

Last on the menu was the Tofu Agedashi which was served with some batter to hold it together and some ginger sauce similar to what is served with tempura. What can I say? It was really basic and I can't go one adding more sentences to what is a plan and simple tofu fry.

Over-all, the place's location is not the best as Pasong Tamo has the most notorious jeepney drivers. Parking is sufficient though and you'll find it easy once you've gotten in front of this place, getting there is the hard part.

I thought it was disappointing, simply because I had high expectations. Here's how it ranked on our scorecard.

3.5 - Food Quality is high using fresh ingredients, no aftertaste.

3.0 - Ambiance is okay, but I think it caters to no-none-sense Japanese nationals.

2.5 - Value for Money is pricey for the food you're getting. Nothing great for above average prices.

3.0 - Service is nothing special, nothing bad as well.

12 - Total

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sango Burger, Filinvest, Alabang

Name: Sango Burger
Location: South Super Market G/F, Filinvest, Alabang
Google Maps: Link
Date: July 22, 2010 Lunch Time
Must Know: Small Burger Joint, Pay-as-you-order

Ordered from the menu:
Chicken Teriyaki Burger Meal PHP230.00

The meal is a combination of Chicken Teriyaki Burger, Regular French Fries, Honey Dew Soda.

The place is located in South Supermarket in Filinvest, Alabang. The theme is like a regular burger joint but you'll find that it's more Japanese than American. The flatscreens inside show J-Pop music videos and there's even a collection of Japanese comic books or anime which you can read through your meal. I didn't browse through any of the materials as it's not in my interest, although I know a few people who are into this kind of thing who'd enjoy this place. Over-all, the place is not bad for casual snacks or grabbing a quick fix.

The meal was served and I started with the fries. As expected, the fries are big but I already knew it would taste like synthetic fries. It does remind me of Burger King, it has the same taste and texture but you can still taste the graininess of this manufactured potatoe.

The Honey Dew Soda is carbonated with a hint of lime. I found it very refreshing and reminded me of the 'Fanta' sodas we used to have a few years back.
The main course is Teriyaki Chicken Burger. It had a lot of fresh lettuce, chicken teriyaki strips, and a hint of mayo. Although this is a burger, you get the feeling you're eating a healthy sandwich. The lettuce is planty and crispy while the right about of mayo complimented it well so as not to give a too dominant taste. The teriyaki chicken serving was little but for a healthy burger, it's just right. This is not the type of place you'd go to stuff yourself, not unless you'd want to order the double patty burger.

Over-all, this place is not bad. The place is not crowded so I'd recommend it for a quiet afternoon snack.

3.5 - Food quality is not bad. They cook the food when you order to make sure it's fresh and the lettuce was really crispy.

3.0 - Ambiance was okay, diner style no fuss. Place was clean.

3.0 - Value for money is just right. This is a Teriyaki Burger, not a typical burger like McDonalds or Jollibee which gets prepared ahead of the order. The premium is for the freshness.

3.0 - Service was also okay, staff was courteous but the serving time was not too long and not too fast.

12.5 Total.

Heaven & Eggs Rock N' Roll, Eastwood

Name: Heaven & Eggs Rock N' Roll
Location: Eastwood City, Libis
Google Maps: Eastwood City Walk
Date: Late dinner, July 20, 10 PM
Must Know: Country-style meals, 10% SC

Ordered from the Menu:
Country Fried Chicken PHP265.00
Jeprox Slammer PHP400.00+

Another late night quick-dinner before catching the last full show of the box office hit 'Inception' starring Leonardo di Caprio. I had rushed from the office, leaving at around 9PM but the rain bogged-down traffic on EDSA and it took me almost an hour to get to Eastwood and settle down for dinner. My date had ordered ahead for both of us after having arrived earlier. When I got there, I had thought to myself of giving this place a review since I'm here anyway.

I've eaten her a couple of times already when it was just Heaven and Eggs without the Rock n' Roll concept. Honestly, the redecoration is not bad - it just probably suits another generation. I remember this place having more of a countryhome ambiance with the feeling of green meadows and endless valleys outside. Now it more or less felt like - hard rock cafe. I prefer the country style concept but I guess its management decided to take another direction.

The dishes arrived together shortly and we had every intention of sharing it so the Country Style Chicken  (PHP 265.00) dish found its way to me while the Jeprox Slammer (PHP 400.00+) had faith destine it towards my lovely date.

Okay, so let's get down to business. This review better be snappy so I can catch the 11PM showing.

The Country Style Chicken is served as a boneless chicken dressed with gravy with sidings of scrambled eggs (although I believe you can choose sunny side-up if you wish), garlic rice, steamed veggies, and some ketchup. I'm not a big fan of ketchup, unless it's home-cooked chicken, so I sort of assumed it would taste something like home-cooked chicken. The meat is a little tender and not too hard to slice off so I got a small portion, took a chunk of egg and ate it like breakfast. Honestly, the chicken tasted a little bland for my liking so I tried mixing the ketchup but nothing still stood-out. The veggies, I wouldn't recommend as it tasted like it had been steamed ealier that day and it was not fresh at all. However, the garlic rice was so good it would be impossible to turn down, even for carb-evaders. The meal is decent, I'll tell you that. It sure hits the stomach, but it wont excite your taste buds if your main intention is some fantastic gastronomic experience.

Country Style Chicken (PHP 265.00)

Moving on, I tried moving on to try the Jepprox Slammer.
The Jeprox Slammer is like a sampler of most Filipino breakfast dishes. If I remember correctly, there's beef tapa, longanisa, scrambled eggs, shredded strips of fried adobo, atsara, and a pseudo fried rice which didn't taste like anything at all. This was a lot better and the dish had its own strong identity. No one serves all of these things together, at least that I know of. The longanisa was great, just the right crisp but still tender to savor the meat flavor. The beef tapa is by far the best element of this meal, I didn't even use the sauces. The adobo flakes was really thin and crispy, not bad at all. The only thing that could improve on this meal was that they could've used more eggs as there's so much viands that you could use more eggs to compliment the entire array of meat. Over-all, I really liked this dish.

Jeprox Slammer (PHP 400.00+)

Here's how it ranked against our scorecard.

4.0 - Food quality is excellent, their cooking is really country style and rich in flavor.

3.5 - Ambiance is not for me although I know there's a crowd for this type of design. Just not my age group.

3.5 - Value for money is reasonable. I found the Jeprox slammer a bit expensive although I understand it's a signature dish.

3.0 - Service was normal. Not a lot of people that time so it was not optimal.

14 - Total. I'd recommend the Jeprox slammer and it would also be good for sharing. Heaven N' Eggs is a good place to spend time with family and friends. It's cozy but also small enough to feel private.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

On the Agenda: Mamou, Serendra

Added Mamou, Serendra to the agenda. Let me know if you have comments/violent reactions.