Servings are large. Meat is tender. Facilities are clean. Al-Fresco dining with native motif appealing but better when windy, so closed in daytime. Distance from Malate hotspots and a stage empty of performers foreshadow financial woes, but makes it an ideal place for private functions.
A friend of mine recommended a certain restaurant over at Trader's Hotel along Roxas Boulevard. He said it offered a good breakfast buffet for less than 1000 pesos. A little research gave me the name of the place: Latitude.
I soon found out why he had recommended it. The line-up is appetizing, compact and just about right for me. The fluffy scrambled eggs (which taste suspiciously like Mom's cooking) sumptuous French toast with honey and refreshing fruit juices all deserve special mention.
People may note the fact that the buffet line is smaller compared to other hotel buffets, yet that is exactly what makes it so compelling: you don't get that feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of it all. To me, its simpler nature makes it feel warmer and more inviting, just like the presence of an old friend.
Combined with the presentation of the food, the restaurant's service and ambiance make the place feel even more homey. Comfy chairs and moderate lighting make for a pleasurable dining experience. From the beginning, the manager entertained my questions and even offered to book my reservation. The rest of the courteous staff even gave me a plate of succulent mangoes on the house.
To date, Latitude has yet to disappoint me. I pray that things will stay that way. It's a great place where one can relax, unwind and refuel on a slow, weekend morning.
My friends and I decided to try Tao Yuan at Lucky Chinatown Mall. There were others that we wanted to try, but we ended up with this one, since we enjoyed their shabu-shabu in Mabini.
Per recommendation of the "order-taker", we decided on Mixed Mushrooms with Ox Tongue in X.O. Sauce and Beef Brisket.
When our Mixed Mushrooms dish came, we saw there were a lot of thinly-sliced beef together with the mushrooms. Nowhere in the menu mentioned beef. We looked at each other and said "Where's the ox tongue?" We started to eat mixed mushrooms dish, but after several spoonfuls of it, we weren't able to taste any of the, supposedly, Ox Tongue in our order... just beef and mushrooms.
We asked the order-taker to "point" or tell us which of the ingredients is the ox tongue. He went to call someone else. After about more than 5 minutes, a tall guy came, who we think is the chef, used the fork and pulled out what we say is one of the mushrooms. He said that THAT is the ox tongue. We told him that we know the texture of ox tongue is and how tasted like. And we told him, it's neither. We told him it's more like bamboo shoot or mushroom that's a little "crispy". He went away. And after another 5 minutes, an elderly lady came to us. Here's her explanation:
"This is the ox tongue. It's because it's thinly-sliced that the ox tongue is a little "crispy".... Say whaaaat????
We told her that we've tasted ox tongue before, and we love ox tongue. Never had we tried "crispy" ox tongue. We told her the texture is more like mushroom or bamboo shoot. It was smooth, and no "lines" were on it. She again repeated her explanation. We shook our heads, not looking at her, and said "ok". She walked away.
Can somebody tell me if ox tongue can be crispy, especially if it's sliced thinly? And should ox tongue be smooth?
I'm not sure if my friends and I are going back to Tao Yuan because of this kind of service. =(
Though I've only been here thrice, I could say it's one fine-dining joint I'd always look forward to going to. It's ambiance is perfectly Old Manila and the food is impeccably succulent. Located perfectly within the Adriatico Circle area, it definitely is rated A cafe.
From the main entrance downstairs to the display cabinets and frames lining the walls, this cafe exudes a distinct charm that brings back nostalgic memories or a glimpse of a bygone era.
The menu was simple, the food unpretentious. Prices were fair (250-400 for some dishes 600-1200 for steaks) and servings were generous. We tried the pasta which was good but really enjoyed the Gambe Chilli (Shrimp in mash potato with a spicy salsa). We ordered ours a bit mild so the burn was just right. Again, the portions were generous and the three of us left the place quite full indeed.
Note: It takes them an hour to cook the Paella (according to the waiter) so better order in advance.
This was the downer for the night. It was still early (9pm) and yet the waiter kept on interrupting our meal by taking away the glasses and dishes (and they weren't even empty yet). The definite low was when the waiter took the baked penne pan, scraped the few remaining pieces of pasta and gesture to ask to whose plate should he dump the food in! We were enjoying our time so we just laughed it off.
giving this place a thumbs up!
i just love taking my time eating here. do try the Osso Buco, Linguine Ala Salsiccia, Gallina Alla Parmigiana :)
read more about the place : http://www.blogster.com/rica/cucina-rusticana-says-thank-you
Food: Delicious! I didn't get to actually try the meat dishes since I was trying hard to restrict myself to a vegetarian meal, but I know it tastes good. The vegetables were good as well! Especially the Teriyaki Tofu!
Service: No bad service on this end! :)
Ambiance: This was actually the first time I've ever been in an uncrowded buffet style of service restaurant. It has the feel of a fine dining setting but you can eat to your heart's content.
Value: I rly can't say anything abt the value since somebody else paid for our meal, but since it's in a hotel, prices above Php500 are acceptable on my standards.
FINAL VERDICT: Definitely worth a return trip. ^^,
i treated my officemates for lunch/merienda here last March 15... my first time in yellow cab... they say its expensive... it turned out its just fine... the food was great! i just over spent because i ordered too many for us... i prepared more that enough... :-) we had to take home a lot. hahaha... i'll be back for more take homes for my family. ;-)
5 for food;1for service and ambiance though, 3 for value.
this resto has been around for years. good food, yes.. great beef stew & bbq! i guess management became lax because its still packed with diners during meal times. there are a lot of things to improve though:
1. customer service - i know it was during peak hours when we were there but cant the staff at least smile a bit?!? when we asked for something from one of the waitresses, she smirked and called the waiter assigned to us.
2. cleanliness/sanitation - there was hair in one of the dishes
3. comfort rooms - need to be cleaned regularly esp during peak times. for a resto that's a bit pricey, we expect much cleaner, more maintained rest rooms.
My rating: C-
not going back unless someone invites & pays for the meal!
We weren't seated when we came in. There were 5 of us and we were given a table for 4, with the staff telling us that he would get an extra seat. My husband stood beside a table where the kitchen manager was seated, and he did not even bother to offer a vacant seat from the table. He simply ignored us, and it was my husband who ended up getting the extra seat. We didn't feel welcome.
The kitchen manager was the one who got our orders. We kept on clarifying to him that my son wanted the barbecue ribs only and not the combo, and he kept on repeating that order as combo.
It struck us that the staff of this particular outlet was very unprofessional.
There was a time when the manager was chewing while attending to us.
Staff was noisy and did not speak in a soft manner in front of customers.
Plates were not given for the appetizers. This resulted to really messy tables as the crumbs kept falling on the table. We had to ask for the plates, otherwise they would never have come.
The kitchen manager, yes him again, went to our table after we got our bill, grabbed my BGC card, and said: This is someone else's card. I gave yours to the wrong person. But it was my card. I saw my name on it, yet he still pulled it away. He didn't even apologize. (See my comment below on still the same kitchen manager about what he did to our bill.)
It took a long time for the food to be prepared.
Food was very greasy.
The presentation was not good and far from impressive, somehow matched the surroundings.
Premises were very dirty. Couch cover very dirty and had a lot of black stains.
Plastic bags on top of counters. Smelled quite bad.
The moment we entered, we kind of doubted if this was really a BGC restaurant.
THE BGC CARD
20% discount was not applied to all food items. Other outlets are very transparent in adding everything then deducting the bgc discount at the end of the bill. The kitchen manager only applied the 20% off to some food items. This was the first time I saw it done this way. I called on another crew member to make the corrections. Neither the manager nor the crew member apologized for the mistake, and the difference between the 2 bills was significant.
What a disgrace to BGC this place was. I will never eat in Flapjacks again nor recommend this to anyone.
Upon dining there last night, I along with my party had a thoroughly unpleasant dining experience. Upon ordering their "unlimited iced tea" for P70 we were served one pitcher. Upon asking for a refill, we were then informed that that one pitcher was the extent of the order's "unlimitedness." Upon complaining to the staff, we were met with a response that basically said "Eh ganun po talaga. For one person lang po kasi yan. Three glasses per pitchel." Oh. Apparently there's a new definition for the word unlimited? And personally, one person can easily finish more than three glasses of iced tea. We were also under the impression that one order was for one person but upon being served two glasses of ice and no clarification, we poured for two. Add that to the fact that the food was expensive for what they served us.
Despite our apparent and verbalized displeasure, we were offered no solution and none of the staff approached us to offer any other explanation or remedy until we finally decided to abandon our half-finished meal altogether. Safe to say we had lost our appetites. We were basically sent the message to suck it up, pay, and leave. Altogether, a very displeasing and highly disappointing experience and rest assured that we will never eat here AGAIN.