Friday, May 30, 2008

Vietnamese Food Trip

My Dear and I had a Vietnamese food trip yesterday, eating at Pho Hoa in SM Manila for lunch and Zao/Dzao Vietnemese Cafe in Eastwood City for dinner. Click here for the review. Here are their scores:

Quality = 7.0
Size = 6.0
Taste = 8.0
Ambience = 5.0
Service = 6.0
Value = P466.63
Price = P250.00
Sulit Rating = 1.87 > 1

Quality = 7.0
Size = 6.5
Taste = 8.0
Ambience = 7.0
Service = 7.0
Value = P682.65
Price = P400.00
Sulit Rating = 1.71 > 1

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lamb Chops Marinade

Bought a load of lamb chops from Rustan's Fresh two weeks ago, one of those buy-one-take-one lamb deals they have. My first marinade was a disaster-- too salty. My second attempt at a marinade, which is my idea of an English-style lamb marinade, turned out pretty well.


olive oil
Worcestershire sauce
coarsely ground black pepper
dried herbs (must include rosemary)

1. Mix ingredients thoroughly. Proportions really depend on your taste, but since olive oil is the base of this marinade it should constitute at least a plurality of the volume. Acidity, which is essential in a marinade, comes mainly from the mustard, with a little help from the Worcestershire sauce. For herbs I used Italian Seasoning, but Herbes de Provence or other herb mixes will also work so long as they include rosemary.

2. Massage the marinade into the lamb and let it marinate for at least an hour.

3. Grill/Pan fry/Broil lamb chops until your desired level of doneness.

Serve with mint jelly and a side of greens.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ababu Persian Kitchen

See my review here.

The scores:

Quality = 5.0
Size = 5.5
Taste = 5.5
Ambience = 2.0
Service = 4.0
Value = P113.55
Price = P100.00
Sulit Rating = 1.14 > 1

Bottomline, despite being hit-or-miss in its dishes, Ababu gives fair value for the little money you'll shell out. Good place for that 2am craving, and for me a convenient place to grab a meal.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Restaurant Uno

Hmmm, now that I'm about to write it, it sounds corny to make a play on Restaurant Uno and Mayo Uno, but I thought I could make some nice pun because that's where we ate today and they both have uno and... . On to the review.

Restaurant Uno, at the corner of Tomas Morato and Sct. Fuentebella in Quezon City, is a quaint and quiet restaurant right across the big Amici and the loud Ratskys. Mainly known for its breads and desserts, it uses food quality to compete with its neighbours' size and flamboyance and remain on the radar screen.

It was actually our second time at Uno, but the first time was all about desserts and coffee. This time we had a proper lunch. Here's what we got:

Sliced sourdough and butter (Free)-- This is the house appetiser, and I have to say the bread was very good-- great taste and texture. Not quite San Francisco sourdough, but so far the best sourdough this side of the Pacific.

Roti canai with onions and Gruyere cheese (P145)-- I'm not usually a fan of fusion but this French-Malaysian combination actually worked, with roti taking the place of a crepe. Pretty obvious substitution, if you think about it, but this is the first place I've seen it. And the serving size wasn't bad either.

Pasta with shrimp, spinach, olives, and feta cheese (P220)-- This was my main course. The ingredients' flavours melded well on this one-- the fresh spinach balancing the strong flavours of the olives and cheese, all playing in a backdrop of shrimp and butter. Serving size was also ok; nowhere near Italliani's or Don Henrico's size, but good enough.

Pasta Alfredo (P195)-- This is pasta Alfredo for purists-- only cream, butter, and a little parmesan cheese on spaghetti, nothing else. Order this dish if you really, really, really like the taste of cream and butter. If you find cream and butter ok but are not so much into them, then this dish is not for you. My Dear and I belong to the latter group so we weren't very happy with this dish; we needed loads of parmesan cheese and pepper to make it more palatable. This dish is only for lactophiles; everyone else beware.

Fallen Chocolate Cake (P55)-- My Dear's dessert, which she described as "heavenly". Unlike my Dear, I'm not such a big fan of chocolate cake, but I say this is pretty good. Basically a chewy and fudgy brownie crossed with a cake. But I still prefer my chocolate as confections.

Lemon Tart (P45)-- This is ok as lemon tarts go-- zesty lemon tart on a sturdy crust. Not the best lemon tart I've had, but pretty good for the price.

Both times we dined at Uno it was daytime, so everything was peaceful and parking was a breeze. Evenings, especially on weekends, might not be so tranquil, with the commotion of its large neighbours spilling onto the streets and the narrow Sct. Fuentebella being on gridlock. So note that my rating for Ambience is only for lunch or merienda. Now for the scores:

Quality = 7.5
Size = 6.0
Taste = 7.0
Ambience = 7.0
Service = 6.0
Value = P559.38
Price = P350.00
Sulit Rating = 1.60 > 1