Thursday, February 28, 2008

Super Mario Galaxy Fini....ARGH

So I thought I finished Super Mario Galaxy. And now I realize that you actually have another 120 stars to go through with Luigi. I wanted to be done with this game already. My only consolation is that it will only take less than half the time to do it the first time because everything will exactly be the same. It's just frustrating I have to redo it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jeffrey's Manila Restoreview Roundup

Angels Kitchen, Connecticut Ave, Greenhills

This restaurant has an identity crisis. The restaurant's walls are bare. The back wall is painted green, but the side walls are white. There's a couple of old 70's style floral leafs, and some mirrors, but other than that, the restaurant has no attitude or message to convey to say "This is who we are".

The thin bread crisps they serve as munchies are bland and not crunchy enough. They taste like they're old and given to you just because they don't want to give you fresh ones. Granted, they serve pate with the bread crisps, but the pate itself is quite tasteless. Even ;
The Pumpkin Soup was decent. However, it was inconsistent as we ordered it twice, and it was good on the first order, but the second serving tasted bland.

I tried the Lamb Chop Curry? It was alright, nothing spectacular. Nothing to write much about. It's pretty standard. Lamb... covered with curry.

Their "Fruit Splash" is more like "Not Enough Fruits mixed with too much ice". I could barely taste anything. It was mostly watery and made me feel like a retard for drinking something with no flavor.

The cuisine is mostly home style cooking. Home style Filipino, and other regional home style dishes in general. It's mainly Filipino cuisine, but not limited to, there are some select dishes from different regional cuisines, like Malaysian, and Indian. It's more of a potpourri of dishes anyone can prepare at home.

The one thing that does redeem this restaurant is its desserts. The Banana Chocolate Cream Pie is deeeelish! Not enough chocolate though, or else the balance is perfect.
The Apple Pie covered in caramel was quite scrumptious. Incredible crust! Oh my! The one issue I had is that the pie is served cold. The waitress also told us not to get it a a la mode for the pie because it's already covered in caramel. She was wrong, customer's always right. It tasted better after we got the vanilla ice cream anyway, but the pie would have been even better served hot.

Overall rating: 4/5

Zucchini's Vinotek and Grill (Redux)

Strike, the lunch menu is exactly the same as their dinner menu.
Have I ever mentioned that their Apple/Pumpkin Cream Soup was excellent? No? IT IS EXCELLENT. Can you hear me now? IT'S EXCELLENT.
Their Tomato Soup is also top notch. This is the first time I've tried their French Onion Soup, and now I've come to the conclusion that the soup entrees are Zucchini's best offerings.

The Duck a L'orange was tres excellente. Duck is one of those dishes where you either cook it right, or it tastes like crap. I was delightfully surprised with the texture, but mostly the Rosti Potatoes that came underneath the duck pieces.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Cyma Estiatorio, 1/F Greenbelt 2 Ayala Center, Makati

Attitude! This place is overflowing with it. With the unified "Opa!" from the staff upon lighting of an order of "Flaming Cheese" and the white stucco walls and chic modern Greek hybrid murals and lighted glass, it's a very relaxing dining atmosphere.

I've forgotten what I ordered, but most of the dishes were pretty good. The salad is excellent. The one thing I didn't like was their lamb, and the Greek potatoes, they weren't sour enough. But it's not fair for them, any Greek I taste has to go up against my experience with food at The Mad Greek.

Overall rating: 4.2/5

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jeffrey's Manila RestoReview 2008: Florabel

Florabel, The Podium

The restaurant's contemporary wooden design with dimmed lighting is accentuated by simplicity of the plastic table lights. I would probably say that any type of electric lighting is cheesy, but the smooth, curved plastic-shelled lights they use as table lighting actually gives a statement of the restaurants simple, but elegant atmosphere.

The appetizer I ordered, the 'Duo of Tuna & Sashimi' is sheer genius. I would have walked out happy just having eaten that appy.
It was a very well rounded presentation of seared tuna sashimi, a risotto mixed with tempura chunks and morsels of tuna sashimi, and mesclun salad.

I was a little less impressed with my main entree. The 'Pan Seared Prawns and Scallops in Lemon Caviar Butter' with risotto had a very weak taste. It relied too much on the butter to give the rice and seafood flavor. The scallops were seared perfectly. Just enough to give it a crisp texture. Just enough that it was still soft inside. The risotto was a little too hard for my taste, it could have been because it was made with wild rice, but I still disagree with it. Risotto should be soft enough so that it feels like it melts in your mouth.

My disappointment was short-lived. For dessert, I ordered their Chocolate Souffle with Yuma, accompanied by vanilla ice cream, and fruit compote. I didn't mind having to wait the 20 minutes for them to prepare this because ultimately, it's chocolate ecstasy. Oh how the warm, hot soft chocolate souffle just melts on your tongue. MMMMM

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blogging drought

I have been without internet for the past few days and with all the preparations for my grandma's funeral, I've been busy.
I'm tired, exhausted, and when I get back to Canada, I'll be overwhelmed again with the load of things I have to do.
My brain is bursting with exclamations of incomprehensible jargon as my mind is struggling with the load of responsibilities and obligations.

The one respite I have I guess is watching some Discovery Channel here. I have nothing to do at my house when I'm at home so I can actually watch television. One really interesting show I saw this morning was a special on Ayurveda. It is the traditional, or rather, aliopathic, form of medicine that is used in India. I think these forms of natural medicine should be considered more seriously in modern medicine on the basis of having been used and been effective for a long time. They have existed before the invention of modern scientific standards and really have no reason to be ignored. Besides, it's much more fun being rubbed down with oil rather than popping a few pills.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I felt bad in December when I didn't come back to Manila when my grandfather passed away.

My conscience is a little less guilty since I came back to at least see my grandmother before she passed away. I've been busy for the past few days because of the funeral arrangements for my grandmother. It's a little complicated with Buddhist customs, so I'll outline it later. But I'll be here at the funeral home(?) for at least 4 more days until her body is cremated.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Jeffrey's Manila RestoReview 2008: Duo

Duo Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Serendra Piazza - Fort Bonifacio Global City

Their menu has a good selection, but there is no creativity at all.
We started with the Tessie Tomas salad for appetizers. It was very good. The shiitake mushrooms gave it an earthy flavor while the seafood lightened it. The cheese was a little too strong for salad though.

The Steak and Foie Gras was excellent. The steak was cooked to tender and moist medium rare perfection. The Foie Gras was a little bland though, the lack of flavor made the dish completely about the steak. I don't know what the chefs at Duo are thinking, but trying to fool the customer is a no-no. Sneaky attempts at trying to mix people's perceptions, by mixing the meat and potatoes into a single mound so they all look alike, is down right devious.

The Mint-crusted Lamb was ho-hum. The mint-crust was something new for me. But the preparation was sloppy. The meat was not consistent for each lollipop, and the garlic mash was too salty.

The waiters were unprofessional. We brought a birthday cake, and yet, when they came out with it from the kitchen, the waiters held it for a little girl to look at. I would have said nothing if the child was from our party, but she wasn't. And if the cake is ruined, how the heck are they going to make up for it?

The menu is lacklustre. The overall generality of dishes allows the chef to do whatever he wants with a dish on that day. There is no focused vision on the flavors of the restaurant. The plating and originality of the dishes is a complete disaster. I know it's a steakhouse, but the chefs should still have pride in making each entree distinct and visually identifiable. From what I saw, the dishes were prepared just to spec to match the menu description.

Overall Rating: 3/5

This was my first trip to Serendra out at Fort Bonifacio.

I was looking for a website for Duo, but I found a review instead. I love his style. He's a professional travel writer/critic so he has experience writing polished articles. I need to get a new camera so I can actually do that, my DSLR is way too bulky to carry around. Some day, I hope I can improve my writing and be able to write a little more professionally. I'd love to be a pro food critic. That'd be the funnest thing to do. Eating for work. =D