Instant Roast Beef for family celebrations, thanks to Chef Resty!

To me, roast beef is in the same level as lechon .  It simply adds something extra to the celebration or family meal.  When I hotel or restaurant buffets, I would ignore some of the food items but definitely not roast beef.

There are times when I would crave for it or would like to serve it during a holiday meal but it’s a bit hard to DIY, or at least achieve the taste and texture that I’m looking for.

That’s why I’m ever so thankful that Chef Resty’s Roast Beef Carving Station reopened its stall in SM Hypermart Pasig.  With this stall so conveniently located near my place, I can order some roast beef for take out to enjoy at home after a bout of grocery shopping.

What I like about Chef Resty’s roast beef is its right blend of texture and flavor, brought about by several factors: high-grade Angus beef brisket marinated in herbs and spices then slow roasted for hours to achieve a juicy and tender meat.  Its rich buttery gravy was also made from its pan drippings, a perfect foil for the roast beef.  I usually order a side of

For a family meal, I usually order 700 grams of roast beef (at Php130/100 grams), sides of herbed marble potato and corn and carrots (Php20/serving) and just have rice prepared at home.

This way, the family gets to enjoy a gourmet roast beef meal at less than Php1000.

Chef Resty’s Roast Beef Carving Station Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Katsu Teishoku at Zipang, Tomas Morato

My daughter (aka #ExhibitA) has been hankering for Japanese food since her work immersion in Quezon City started. On our way home from her last day of work immersion, I decided to take her to Zipang.

Located at the corner of 11th Jamboree and Scout Fuentebella in Quezon City, this Japanese restaurant features a cozy seating area with modern Asian aesthetic that gives the place a Zen vibe. It also has an open kitchen where you can see the resto’s Japanese chef in his domain, working on his food creations. The servers are polite and attentive to the diners, as well as deferential to the chef.

Upon entering, we were greeted by the staff in Japanese and ushered into a nearby table. We were given warm oshibori (wet towels) to cleans our hands.

Zipang is an antiquated name for Japan. In a way, it contrasts with the resto’s food concept, as its offerings are stripped down to the basic and the modern.

As we were both quite ravenous by the time we got there, #ExhibitA and I decided to order Teishoku Meal Sets: mine was of Pork Tonkatsu (Php230) while hers was of Chicken Katsu (Php220). The centerpiece of these dishes were the tender and juicy meats covered with flavored batter and panko breading, then deep-fried to a crisp golden brown. They were accompanied by a mashed sweet potato appetizer, a subtly-flavored miso soup, and refillable rice.

With both of us having well-sated appetites at less than Php500, I wouldn’t mind returning with a more adventurous set of orders.

Zipang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Surprisingly affordable Japanese fare at Isaribi, Tomas Morato

Somewhat hidden among the old and new eateries along Tomas Morato is Isaribi. Opened a mere 8 months ago, it is the second branch of the Japanese chain in the Philippines, with the other branch located in Legaspi Village, Makati.

Together with a group of officemates, I ventured to this restaurant right across Vitto’s along Scout Lozano Street to satisfy our gang’s craving for Japanese food.

“Isaribi” translates to “fishing fire,” a fire used to lure fish at night. It was taken from an ancient Japanese poem by Kakinomoto Hitomaru in the Manyoshu, a collection of writings reflecting 7th and 8th century life in Japan.

When we entered, we were welcomed by greetings from the servers accompanied by some beats from a drum. The place was quite spacious with tastefully laid out tables with built-in grills. When we sat down, were offered cold oshibori (“wet towels”) to clean our hands. Points of interest also include the walls decorated with what appeared to be sake bottles. All in all, the decor and the rituals contributed to a premium and authentically Japanese feel to the resto.

While my coworkers took advantage of rice meals that come with eat-all-you-can rice and soup (a really tasty miso broth), I decided to give in to my ongoing ramen phase. Our orders consisted of:

  • Tonkotsu Ramen (Php300). Milky-white pork-broth with firm ramen noodles, thin slices of green onion, half of a tamago (soft-boiled soy-tinged egg), and slivers of cha siu pork belly. While the pork slices are not as melt-in-your-mouth tender as I usually prefer, the broth had a strong garlicky taste which sets it apart from similar ramen I’ve tasted from other Japanese restos.
  • Gyudon (Php280). The Japanese beef bowl, with tender and slightly smoky-flavored grilled beef and a savory-sweet sauce.
  • Katsudon (Php280). A bowl of rice topped with sliced pork cutlets coated with flavored egg.
  • Tendon (Php280). Rice toppings with shrimp and vegetable tempura.
  • Tonkatsu Teishoku (Php280). Pork cutlet covered in panko and flavored batter, served with salad. This took some time getting to our table.

I look forward to coming back here to feast of the sashimi and grilled beef offerings.

Isaribi is located at the Belfrant Building along Scout Lozano. The street is one-way going towards Tomas Morato so plan your trip accordingly. For reservations, call 02 4415302.

Check out my previous reviews of Japanese restaurants:

Isaribi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Unwinding at Manila Hotel’s Tap Room

Taking advantage of a credit card promo, my mother-in-law treated us to dinner at Manila Hotel’s Tap Room to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday.

Manila Hotel is a historic 5-star hotel located along Manila Bay. Built in 1909, it is the oldest premiere hotel in the Philippines.

The Tap Room is Manila Hotel’s English pub-inspired bar. Its dim lighting, dark wood interiors, plush seating and soothing jazz music from live performers make it an appropriate place to unwind in with your favorite drink.

While waiting for our orders, we were served with salted peanuts and green peas to go with our drinks (mine was, of course, a double shot of Bailey’s).

Our food orders included:

  • Pizza Manila Hotel (Php550). A thin-crust pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, Laguna cheese and olives.
  • Slider (Php550). Two cheese-stuffed mini burgers with guacamole and barbecue sauce.
  • Chicken Shawarma Wrap (Php450). Roasted chicken wrapped in a toasted flour tortilla and served with tahina dip, garlic sauce, pickles and French fries.
  • Fried Fish and Chips (Php750). Battered fish fried to a crispy golden brown and served with large cut fries.
  • Deep-fried Calamares (Php450).
  • Buffalo Chicken Wings (Php450).
  • Sizzling Pork Sisig (Php450).

Being located in a 5-star hotel, the Tap Room’s service was top-notch.  The wait staff was elegantly dressed, very accommodating and helpful.  They even brought out a slice of chocolate mousse as a birthday treat for my sister-in-law.

The food was well-presented and well-flavored.  However, given the pricing, hanging out at the Tap Room for dining or drinks is not something I can do too often.

Tap Room - Manila Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Festive Feast ala Lucban, Quezon at Buddy’s, Cubao

Lucban, Quezon is famous for the colors of its Pahiyas Festival, the pancit habhab and longganisang Lucban.

All of these are in full force in the Cubao branch of Buddy’s.

Located at the Shopwise Arcade in the Araneta Center, Buddy’s brings the festiveness and Filipino flavors to Cubao shoppers.

When hubby and I found ourselves stuck in the Cubao area, we decided to have lunch here.  The place was quite spacious, with seating in two floors.  The decor is very cheery, with colorful leaf-shaped kiping all over the place as well as floor-to-ceiling pictures of Lucban scenery and people.

We ordered the following to share:

  • Pancit Lucban (Php209)
  • Longsilog Lucban (Php130)

Apparently, these were too much for just two people and we ended up not finishing our food.  We also found the continuous loop of whatever Pinoy novelty song blasting in the background quite bothersome.

Buddy's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Want to learn more about Filipino cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Affordable dining at The 2151 Joint, Pasig

The 2151 Joint is a hole-in-the-wall eatery located at 2151 Residences along C. Raymundo in Pasig City.

My brother recommended this resto to me, singing praises to its tasty dishes and affordable price.

One Saturday, I dragged the fam here to sample its offerings.

We arrived at midday, apparently not a peak time for this establishment since my family and two other people are the only ones there. However, the waitress did inform us that they closed for the night at 4am earlier because there were still a lot of patrons until that time.

The resto’s decor is certainly interesting: it has various toys and bric-a-brac displayed in glass cases and shelves that line the walls; its tables are decorated as board games such as Snakes and Ladders, and Scrabble.

Strangely, though, when I questioned the waitress on the concept behind the resto’s decor, and whether the table tops were actually used for games, she said that the decor was just the preference of the owner. There are no Scrabble pieces or dice and tokens to play Snakes and Ladders.

To me, this is a wasted opportunity because the place could appeal to a younger market who can frequent it from late afternoon to early evening for gamer meet-ups.

Furthermore, the upholstery of many of the couches are cracked, giving the place a dingy look and feel.

On the other hand, The 2151 Joint’s food offerings did live up to my brother’s praises. For my family’s lunch, we ordered:

  • Tokwa’t Baboy (Php80)
  • Crispy Kare Kare (Php130)
  • Sisig (Php110)

These down-home Pinoy dishes tasted better than I expected given the surroundings and their prices.

I hope the resto invests a bit more to improve its interiors, if only to appeal to a more wholesome crowd.

The 2151 Joint Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Want to learn how to cook your favorite Filipino dishes at home? Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

A new Korean haunt at Every Samgyeop, Tomas Morato

Sometimes, something as simple as a new Korean restaurant opening nearby can get me all excited. There are quite a number of Korean restaurants along and near Tomas Morato (Hwaroro and Leann’s Teahouse are among my favorites), but most of them are quite some distance from my office.

Every Samgyeop opened its doors right across the street from my office just a couple of weeks ago. Similar to other Korean barbecue joints, its menu consists mainly of grill-able marinated or unmarinated meats cooked right in front of the diners.

It provides another variation among the cuisines boasted of by the compound of restos where it is located: comfort food and desserts at Mom & Tina’s, Italian pastas and rolled pizzas from Pazzo Rollio, steaks from Melo’s, and now Korean barbecue from Every Samgyeop.

For about a week now, my daughter and I have been looking forward to trying this Korean resto out, and tonight, we had our chance.

Upon entering, we were greeted by the sight of spacious and brightly lit interiors, clean surroundings and an overall cheery vibe, helped no doubt, by the K-pop music from the Korean TV show playing in the background. Being new, the place does not have the smoky smell that permeates other Korean barbecue restos (and, later on, one’s clothes!) yet.

The staff are friendly and accommodating, especially with our requests for refills and picture-taking.

We ordered our all-time favorites:

  • Samgyeopsal (Php300), thick juicy slices of grilled pork belly.
  • Woosamgyup (Php380), thin slices of grilled beef brisket.
  • Bibimbab (Php300), Korean mixed rice with vegetables and fried egg.

These were served (quite promptly) with side dishes such as kimchi (which my daughter greatly appreciated), sweetened baby potatoes, and Korean vegetable salad, among others.

To be honest, the quality of our orders in terms of taste and texture is at par with other Korean restos we usually frequent. What will get us to come back here would be the continued cleanliness of the place, the promptness of the service and the friendliness of the staff.

Every Samgyeop is located at 58 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Every Samgyeop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato