Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Burger Lab: From Double Patties to Smoky Servings

New restaurant time! Another restaurant recently opened in Two E-Com, just beside Up Rice - also a recently opened food place, that we tried a few weeks ago. And just like Up Rice, online discount vouchers were available too. So we tried out The Burger Lab.

There were some flasks and beakers on display to add to the lab theme. The highlight of the store is that you get to build your own burger and experiment with combinations of toppings and patties. But unfortunately, the discount vouchers we had were not valid for the build your own burger. Instead, we ordered two burgers with the chef's recommendation icon on the menu plus one order of fries.

The Cardiac Burger

Double decker patty of chuck, rib, and fats, plus cheese in between. Plus an onion ring and bacon on top. Plus potato chips on the side.

The patty had a beefy taste and some beefy oils but it had some tough parts. I prefer my burger to be well-ground and more tender. It was very filling. I wonder how full I would have gotten if I ordered a milkshake.

The Smoked Gun Burger

Described as a burger with smoking BBQ flavors, this burger was served smoking - literally. The burger and the potato chips was housed in a transparent dome clouded with smoke when it was served on our table. For a while I wondered what the dome was for since the other burger was served normally. Then, our server slowly removed the dome to release the smoke and reveal the burger and chips.

The texture of the patty itself was quite similar to the cardiac's patty with some chewy parts here and there. The difference is that everything tasted smoky - the burger, the bread, the coleslaw, and even the potato chips.

We wanted to try out their mushroom burger but it was not available...Hope to try it when we use our remaining discount voucher.

Branch visited located at: Two E-com, MOA Complex, Pasay City

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Up Rice: Rice Toppings and More

A good time to try out new food places is when there are discounts offered. We bought online discount vouchers to try out Up Rice. This place opens as early as 5:30 AM and closes around 1:00AM the next day which makes it a place to get breakfast, lunch, and (late) dinner. But it is closed in the afternoon around merienda time.

House Corned Beef

Looking at this made me feel like I am starting a new day even if it is already lunch time. The meat and runny sunny side up egg characterized the usual breakfast. Salty-sweet, their house corned beef is generally tender and easy to take apart. Although I am not a fan of the tougher parts of the meat/tendons. Crunchy shoestring potatoes were served on the side. The potatoes can also be ordered separately.

Sausage and Red Pesto

A good thing about this was it was generously showered with parmesan cheese. Sun-dried tomatoes made up the red pesto sauce that coated the al dente pasta. It was not really a saucy pasta. The sausages provided the protein and were just okay.


Meringue that looks like a churro on top of a brazo de mercedes cupcake spells a sweet dessert. I loved the meringue. The brazo part was really sweet (a bit too sweet for me) and sticky which made it quite difficult to eat if you were trying to bite into it like a cupcake.

Dark Chocolate Brownie

Oh no, the ice cream melted already. We should have had the desserts served after we ate the main dishes. The brownie itself was soft, chewy, and chocolate-y.

Branch visited located at: Two E-com, MOA Complex, Pasay City

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Manam: Filipino Food Twists

Off to try more food with twists, we went to Manam. Their menu is already divided into two sides - the classics side and the twists side. Everything we ordered on this visit was from the twists side of the menu.

Sinigang na Beef Short Rib with Watermelon

Fruity sweet with a hint of sour - this sinigang is not the conventional strong sour soup.

The sinigang, as its name suggests, had watermelon in it which gave it a red color and fruity taste. I kind of wondered whether I was slurping sour fruit juice. It also had some tomatoes. The beef was okay, but not the melt-in-your-mouth type of tender.

Seafood Bounty Kare-kare

A bowl filled with seafood was served - crab, squid, fish, mussels, and shrimp on top. The sauce itself was nutty and had actual peanut chunks in it. I just hope there was more crab meat in the crab shell. Bagoong was also served on the side

Pancit Canton

Purple cabbage and orange sweet potato served as colorful highlights to the common noodle dish. Though the noodles were a bit salty for me, the sweet potato neutralized it. Toppings also included pork, string beans, and fried tofu.

Turon with Mango and Kesong Puti

Usually, turon has a crunchy deep fried, sugary coated wrapper that is filled with banana. This one has mango and cheese in it.

The mango was a little sweet and a little sour that is just right to balance the sweetness covering the wrapper. There was definitely some creaminess in there but I did not really taste much of the cheese. Let me describe this dessert with four words - crunch, cream, sour, and sweet. This is my favorite among what we ordered.

Overall, their viands would go well with rice. (It was a little salty, but I think I have lower tolerance for salty food than most people haha.)

Branch visited located at: Ground floor, Mall of Asia, Pasay City

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Italianni's: Bistro Dinner

Here’s part two of the Bistro day series. After lunch at T.G.I. Friday’s, we had dinner at Italianni’s. Just like in T.G.I. Friday’s, we used our free appetizer coupon and ordered a main dish.

Complementary bread while waiting for our orders.

Italianni’s Fritti

For the appetizer, we had Italianni’s Fritti which was described as mozzarella sticks on the menu. Mozzarella blocks is more appropriate, I think. Not just nuggets, blocks, because of its size. We have been having cheese as an appetizer today. This time, it was pure cheese coated with breading. I would have loved it more if it was melted enough to be soft and stretchy. But maybe I just arrived a little late and it got cold already. My fellow gastronomer ordered this and was already on our table when I arrived.

Indeed we were served cheese with coating and not coating with a little cheese inside. Just look at the thickness of that slice. The stretchiness of the cheese was not very evident but the chewy factor was there.

We took some pieces home and heated it in the oven. Then there came the stretchy chewy cheesy snack.

Fettuccine Beef Ragu

Back to the dinner, we ordered Beef Ragu pasta as main course. It had a tomato based sauce on thick fettuccine noodles. Plus points for the tender beef ragu on this dish.

And with that, we exhaust our free appetizer coupons that came with the Bistro Card we bought last year. This discount card introduced us to the casual dining restaurants of the Bistro group.

Branch visited located at: 2nd floor, Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia, Pasay City

Saturday, June 6, 2015

T.G.I. Friday's: Bistro Lunch

We still had two free appetizer coupons from our discount card that was purchased last year. The expiry date was getting nearer and so we decided to have lunch and dinner at Bistro group restaurants. This is the first part of the series. For lunch, we ate at Fridays.

Beef Queso Dip

Our appetizer was characterized by strong tasting cheese with ground beef. The dip serving was more than enough for the nachos. We needed more nachos! Crunch and cheese combination is perfect for an appetizer.

Miami Cubano Chicken

Next up, we ordered Miami Cubano Chicken. Two fried chicken fillets sandwiching ham, mozzarella, and mushroom composed the main dish. This reminded me of cordon bleu. It also came with flavored rice.

Our next story at Italianni’s, coming up next!

Branch visited located at: 2nd floor, Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia, Pasay City