Sweet corn and crab meat soup - a deep three-legged bowl, lots of crab meat and the asparagus added another dimension of flavor. Hot prawn salad - huge prawns. Tenderloin cubes with black pepper sauce - truly tender, juicy, tasty beef. Steamed lapu-lapu - crunchy freshness. Fried rice with diced chicken and salted fish - rice pa lang ulam na. Scallops with spinach - vegetables even a certified carnivore would love.
The kung pao chicken and noodles did not reach the level of excellence of the other dishes but were still very good.
The staff was knowledgeable, very helpful and amiable. And of course, the Makati Shangri-la is still the best hotel in town.
Elbert's is hidden inside an office building. There is no signboard, no directional sign, no indication at all that it exists in there. It does not advertise. So, when you do find it and finally walk in, you experience the thrill of enjoying a secret, very exclusive privilege. That alone would make this place special. But then you taste the steak and you know that Elbert's is extraordinary.
We were looking forward to a big celebration of Thai flavors--we had ordered Tom Yum soup, green curry chicken, black pepper beef, shrimp cakes, chicken basil and pad thai. Everything came out bland. The kitchen was stingy with the more expensive ingredients and heavy on extenders. What a disappointment. To make matters worse, the service was generally slow and indifferent.
You must make a reservation in advance, especially for Sunday lunch.
I was a fan of this place at its old location in Glorietta, but it had become a little run down over the years. The new Peking Garden at the top of Greenbelt 5 is beautifully set up. In fact, I think it's the best looking Chinese restaurant in town now.
And the food generally lives up to the promise of the interiors. The Peking Duck here was better than the duck at Hai Shin Lou. The corn and crab meat soup was better than the soup at Gloriamaris. The steamed lapu lapu was better, period. But all these items were not quite better than the Hong Kong versions. Sorry.
Try the soups to start. I was annoyed by something outside the restaurant when I arrived, but the corn soup with a unique twist changed my outlook in life and renewed my faith in humanity. The Monster Burger LOOKS impressive, but the taste is not at all spectacular. I've had better. The Hungarian sausages, on the other hand, don't look like much, but taste delicious.
The place feels a little crowded. The waitresses are still learning the ropes, but they seem to be trying their best. And as I said earlier, the soup and the sausages make up for all the shortcomings of everyone in the universe.
I never had the opportunity to eat at the Benpres building location, but I had heard many good things. Unfortunately, the ATC restaurant was a major disappointment. The menu was very limited and the food, when it arrived, was unremarkable both in taste and presentation.
If you think you like Yellow Cab's Dear Darla, you will love the panizza at C'. It's definitely out of the way if you live and work in Metro Manila, but--and I don't say this lightly--the panizza and pasta are worth the 2-hour trip.
There aren't many options in the new wing of SM North. Holy Cow at least looks good from the outside, and there are a lot of waiters in cowboy/cowgirl duds. But the food is terrible. I have never seen a punier porkchop. And you have to drown it in gravy to taste anything. You're better off getting your steak at the food court where you don't have to pay for the waiters.
If you have heard of or tried Aubergine at Fort Bonifacio, well, Toki is in the same building and it can hold its own against its better known neighbor.
Manager Kawasaki, who spoke Filipino charmingly well, helped navigate through the menu and even recommended excellent sake to go with our food. The waitresses were equally knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The star of Toki, however, was Chef Yonekawa's food. The wagyu was very high grade, tender, succulent, deliciously fatty, perfectly done . . . I don't have enough words. Had we not ordered the beef, I would have been very happy with the hamachi.