Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Spices: Allium (Closed)

We wanted to veer away the noisy mall restaurants in Glorietta and Greenbelt thus we ended up in Allium, a restaurant tucked away in one of the small streets in Legaspi Village. I found out about the resto thru reading my cousin's blog ( Upon reading that she enjoyed her meal here, I had nothing but high expectations.

Upon being seated a basket on what looked tiny dinner rolls was served. I took a piece and popped it in my mouth, it was warm, slightly salty, soft and chewy. Little did I know I was popping one piece after another, we had to ask for another round of complimentary bread. And another...

Bread Basket

They have a good list of wine offerings on their menu, we picked the Chillean Camenere reserva to go with out meal.

Casa Silva 2010 Carmenere Reserva

We opted to go for their degustation menu as it looked more affordable than going for ala carte. For 3 courses it cost 1,400php while 4 courses cost 1,800php.

The first starter we had the Butter Milk Fried Oyster - Chili Honey Yuzu. I have mentioned before that I prefer my oysters fresh and raw but Allium's fried oysters were really good. It was lightly breaded, the oysters still had that slimy fresh texture and the chili honey yuzu sauce was such a delight.

Butter Milk Fried Oyster - Chili Honey Yuzu

The next starter was the Hokkaido Snow Crab and Sea Prawn Fritter - Madras Curry Aioli-Piquillo.  The fried fritters dish was absolutely amazing, perfectly cooked seafood plus I really liked how the chef incorporated the stubtle curry  flavor to the aioli. It made it taste extra special. Between the two fried breaded seafood starters, I liked this better.

Hokkaido Snow Crab and Sea Prawn Fritter - Madras Curry Aioli-Piquillo

We had to pay a supplementary fee of 325php for the Special Nigir Plate, it consists of Shinma Aji Belly, Chutoro, Otoro and A5 Wagyu Tataki. The extra fee was so worth it, everything on that platter was top notch. I liked how the chef placed the sushi platter in order where you will start with the Shinma Aji Belly and end with the Wagyu Sushi. I remember starting with a 'uhmmm' with the Aji and ending with at a 'wwwoooowww' with the Wagyu.

Shinma Aji Belly, Chutoro, Otoro and A5 Wagyu Tataki

For our mains, we started with the Norwegian Salmon Micult - Hokkaido Scallop - Giant Prawn - Prawn Jus - Asparagus. It only takes two words to describe the whole dish, simple perfection. Everything on that plate was cooked and grilled perfectly, simple jus with no complicated flavors. We savored the freshness of each seafood, the way it's supposed to be. Special mention to the giant prawn which was so tender and juicy, usually grilled prawn as big as this gets tough and rubbery.

Norwegian Salmon Micult - Hokkaido Scallop - Giant Prawn - Prawn Jus - Asparagus

The Iberico Boneless Baby Back Ribs - Celeriac - Peach - Brussel Sprouts - Carrots was of excellent quality. The chunks of pork was so tender that you don't even have to use a knife. I enjoyed the char texture and flavor of the ribs. My only gripe is, I found its too sweet to my liking. Good thing the celeriac and the wine was on hand to cut off the sweetness.

Iberico Boneless Baby Back Ribs - Celeriac - Peach - Brussel Sprouts - Carrots 

I was really surprised to see only three dessert choices. We decided to go for the Peanut Butter - Valrhonna Napoleon and the French Apple Pie - Cinnamon - Chantilly. I'm really not much of a dessert person but I found the desert missing 'oomph', both dessert was kind of dry and lacking in sweetness.

Peanut Butter - Valrhonna Napoleon

French Apple Pie - Cinnamon - Chantilly

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal in Allium, the place looks great, it's relatively quiet and most importantly the food was of great quality and delicious. The place is a great alternative to the restos in Greenbelt and Glorietta.

***Sadly the restaurant has closed its door this year but good news is on their facebook page, they are planning to open up another restaurant. Something to look forward to.***

Address: Ground Floor Grand Midori, Bolanos St., Legaspi, Makati City

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Spices: Grande Torino

After a few weeks of its opening, we decided to give the Italian restaurant a try. Reading and hearing that the place is run and owned by an Italian. I had nothing but high expectations of the place.

Grande Torino

While choosing our wine, one of the owners and wife of the Italian chef/expat approached us and helped us choose the wine. While doing so, she informed us that her husband was not around to prepare the food but the kitchen was manned by cooks that was trained by her husband. We were so glad that we followed her recommendation for the wine. We had a bottle of the Clevasana Langhe Nebiollo wine. The wine was really good, aromatic, bold and has a good length.

Clavesana Lan Nebiollo - Php1,600

Flavor wise, the Arabiatta was good, really simple and made well. But the biggest problem was the linguine pasta, it was way overcooked. The sogginess of the pasta totally ruined the whole dish.

Arabiatta - Php280

The Margherita Pizza was decent but not impressive. The size was quite big and they didn't scrimp on the cheese. Though, I would have wanted the crust to be crunchier, it needed a few more minutes in the oven. I would also like it better if there were more fresh basil leaves on it.

Margherita Pizza - Php325

The Filetto di Tonno was a big disaster. The tuna fillet was way overcooked, so overcooked that it had turned rubbery. The parsley sauce tasted good but I felt that it overpowered the natural flavor of the fish. I think it would be better if they serve the sauce on the side instead.

Filetto de Tono - Php364 /

We were contemplating if we should have dessert after the below average meal. But when the server told us that the Tiramisu was prepared by the Italian chef/owner, we decided to give it a try. The Tiramisu was really good, the flavors of the rum soaked lady fingers and mascarpone cheesed were balanced and spot on. Something worth going back for.

Tiramisu - Php190

After dining in Grande Torino, Ive read mixed reviews about this place. If based on what I experienced, I would have second thoughts of going back but after trying the Tiramisu, tt made me wonder. If the the Italian chef was around, would the food taste different? I guess next time if I do decide to give the place another shot, I'll make sure that the Italian chef is around.

Grande Torino
Address: 59 West Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Tel No.:  +63906 5776438
Operating Hours: 10am to 12am