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.
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.
Seldom do I like buffets, especially the ones that offer tons of food that do not really have much value for money.
Recently I ate here with my family and was pleasantly surprised by the selection. Yes, there were lots of different choices from different cuisines, and yes it has its fair share of "fillers" (cheap food meant to just fill you up), but it was the premium items that I found memorable.
What really made it special was it's carving station. You have your standard roasted rib eye, baby back ribs, and very nicely cooked rack of lamb!!!
I ordered two racks, that alone is almost worth the 2k price tag (less than 2k actually). The rest for me is just icing on the cake.
I was able to get a voucher from a group buying site so I ended up paying only 50 percent of the current price.
At 200+ I enjoyed the show. The food on the other hand was just ok. I really wouldn't want to complain because I could easily spend that amount and more for just a coffee or a satisfying meal at a fast food place.
I sympathize though with the customers who had to pay full price. I would really feel ripped off if I too paid 500+. Simply not worth it even if they have a cultural show.
I would definitely not recommend Barbara's nor eat their again at their current offering.
Assad Cafe is a cozy little Indian restaurant along UN Ave., Manila. They have two menus: one featuring regular cafeteria fare (i.e. not Indian), and the other with authentic Indian cuisine.
The restaurant is clean and air-conditioned, with a few tables available for customers and a counter at the far end. Customers go in, take a seat, and wait for the staff to come take your orders. The staff are generally friendly and welcoming, but if you come at lunch time, the place is crowded and so the staff might not be able to immediately accommodate you. It's best to come here if you have the luxury of time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the delicious food.
And of course, the food. Assad Cafe serves a lot of the usual Indian dishes but in true Indian style, seeing as the store is owned by a Pakistani immigrant (who owns Assad Mini-mart nearby, as well). We ordered mutton biryani, Kashmiri fish curry, and mutton quorma. The order taker will ask how spicy you would like your food as well so if you can't handle spicy food, you don't have to shy away from the curries.
Unfortunately, while we were there, they ran out of chapati and naan, as well as chicken and beef, perhaps because of the holiday. (This never happened during my previous visits so I'm pretty sure it's not a common occurrence.) Despite this, we still had a good time because we liked their other dishes anyway.
Assad's version of biryani is excellent, as the rice is light and flavorful without being too oily and heavy on the stomach. The meat is tender and doesn't give off the usual pungent aroma of mutton that may be discouraging for some.
Kashmiri fish curry is a tangy curry dish made with battered fried fish fillet and pineapples, which provide an interesting sweet and sour contrast to the curry spices.
Quorma is another curry dish which you can order with beef or mutton. The sauce is thicker and creamier as well, with the addition of yogurt or coconut milk; it would go great with some chapati!
Mango lassi is a yogurt shake, which is nice and refreshing especially as a complement to the spicy curry. You can also order it plain (without the mango) in sweet or salty.
All in all, it was a great and affordable meal. The servings are pretty big, and the korma even came with rice.
(Visit "The Lunch Buddies" for photos! http://thelunchbuddies.blogspot.com/2010/11/assad-cafe.html)
I have read the reviews for this restaurant, months ago even before i went there myself to really prove who says the truth. I should say, the food was really good, although only a few entries compared to other buffet which has wide array of choices but those few entries are the best. Service is good, staff are very warm and welcoming, very polite too. The place...superb! And the highlight of my visit is the cultural dance show. Very entertaining. With that warm and cozy place, the nice staff, very delicious food and the very entertaining show, i would definitely come back and even pass that good information to my friends and relatives so that they can experience it themselves..
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.
My family and I went for a Sunday lunch buffet using our ensogo vouchers. We arrived at 11:30 to avoid the crowd. The spread was ordinary. The food was cold. There was no wasabi for the tuna sashimi/sushi spread! When I asked numerous persons in charge about it, they said, "Kahapon pa nga wala e." The line for the grilling station took forever. Hindi ka maaasikaso kung hindi mo tututukan. Many of the people manning the counters seemed to be doing practicum because they appeared to be unsure of what they were serving and doing. I do think they are NOT to blame, however. Ultimately, the manager/s are suppose to be on top of things. Hindi sulit, kahit na 50% off pa ang vouchers. This is a mediocre buffet. Sayang ang perang pinaghirapan.