Location: Eastwood City, Libis
Google Maps: Eastwood Mall
Date and Time: August 15, 8:30 PM
Must Know: Not in the mall, in front of Excelsior Condominium
Ordered from the Menu:
- Super Salad PHP 190.00
- Green Iced Tea PHP 140.00
- Gold Iced Tea PHP 140.00
- Wasabi Soy Fish PHP 280.00
- Lamb Shoulder Steak w/ Fennel - Oregano Sauce PHP 420.00
This place, CBK, made me curious the day it opened. I pass by this place occasionally on my way to get my car and I couldn't help notice the satisfied look on people's faces through their large windows and ambient lighting. Also, a good sign for me is when the usual crowd is families - it means the place has a balanced menu which can keep everyone satisfied and the place has enough staff to support a large group of customer’s demands. Let’s face it, we consumers can be very demanding when it comes to our food.
The place could probably seat 40-50 pax comfortably. The lighting is good, the tables and seats are great, and the staff look fairly courteous.
For starters, we asked for their Super Salad (PHP 190.00) which came out as a really simple salad served with honey mustard sauce and bits of chicken. I was a little bit misled by the word "Super" because it actually turned out fairly plain, but I wouldn’t go too far to say it was disappointing. It was refreshing - just like any salad should be. However, adding the word "Super" to your dish sets the bar high and it was in that aspect that they got me wondering how they would have it served. In the end I believe that for the price, I'd recommend friends to just get CBK's other regular salads. I'm sure it wouldn't be too different from the quality of this one.
The first bite stuns you - and you've got to have another one right away. (Pause) The dish is really flavorful that some may find it too much. For me, however, the combination of the flavors is just perfect! Its taste is a bit oriental and Filipino at the same time. The mild kick of the wasabi tops it off really well to complete the dish’s over-all appeal. I couldn’t keep myself from slicing some more of this that Audrey had to remind me to save some room so I could critic the lamb steak.
After finally gaining control of myself to get away from the Wasabi Soy Fish, I was finally able to move on the next dish. The Lamb Shoulder Steak w/ Fennel – Oregano Sauce (PHP 420.00) is also served with rice, sauce, and the steak sprinkled with herbs and spices. Like the fish, this dish came out very tender. It had just the right texture that it’s not over cooked and not too moist. The herbs add some needed freshness - but personally, I'm not a lamb person. You can already taste the flavors in the meat that there’s no use reaching for the sauce, which is hickory sauce. However, as a critic I was compelled to try it with sauce and I did, but still wasn’t enough to convert me into a lamb lover. Don’t get me wrong, the dish is good because the meat is tender and the flavor is rich. However, for someone who's not a lamb person like me for my own personal reasons, I can still imagine the neutral person getting won-over by this dish 9/10 times.
In the end, Auds ended up with the lamb and I ended up finishing the fish. We were both highly satisfied and would not hesitate to come back.
Here’s how it tallied against the scorecard:
4.5 – Food quality is probably their best trait. No dish is left prepared in a rush or mass produced. You get the impression each dish gets the proper care and attention to satisfy each customer’s dining experience. The flavors are rich and this says a lot.
4 – Ambiance is also good as their setting is not too cramped and the lighting is really relaxing. The only which could be improved is the bare walls which made each table’s conversations amplified that it becomes a little noisy. They could pad the bare walls with some decors to muffle some sounds and make it more relaxing – just my two cents.
4 – Value for money is good because most restaurants these days base their success on repeat customers. If their patrons find their prices appealing, they can count on people coming back – just like I would for this place.
4.5 – Service was also excellent and we were greeted with a server who made it look like he was there for the day to really just serve us. He refilled the iced teas, wrapped our dishes to-go, and even asked if we needed anything else.
+1 – The x-factor for this place is its location which is very accessible to those who don’t want to go through the mall anymore. It’s right beside the Holy Family Chapel in Eastwood and is the perfect location for families to walk-over to right after mass.
Total = 18, I recommend the Wasabi Soy Fish.