Monday 26 November 2012

Spices: Mien San

Along Granada street is a hole in the wall Chinese resto which is always packed with diners no matter what day of the week. Considered as an institution, Mien San has been serving comfort Chinese food for almost two decades now. I came across some old food photos and it reminded me of the wonderful comfort Chinese food found there.

One of my favorite Chinese dishes is the Mapo Tofu. It consists of tofu cubes, ground pork, black beans and chopped chilies in a sticky soy based sauce. Mien San's version was delicious, savory, flavorful and most importantly spicy.

Mapo Tofu - Php188

The different varieties of dumplings found in Mien San are always such a treat to eat. These are always served piping hot and the filling inside is so hearty and tasty.

Steamed Kuchay Dumplings - Php88 for 8 pieces

Different types of Filling

I got to admit, I've tried and tasted better Xiao Long Bao but these are of great quality and tastes pretty good for its price.

Xiao Long Bao - Php 88 for 4 pieces

The Hot and Sour Noodle Soup was so rich and thick, it had the right level of sourness and spiciness.

Hot and Sour Noodle Soup - Php188

The Three Cups Chicken is a named as such because of the way of preparing it. For each chicken a cup of soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil are used to cooked the dish in an earthen pot. This tasted how it supposed to be, the meat was so tender and juicy.

Three Cup Chicken - Php248

The Onion Pancake was thick and flaky compared to the thin crunchy spring onion egg based pancake. Though I prefer the latter, this was really good as well.

Onion Pancake - Php88

Mien San continues to draw in its loyal customers and new diners. It has consistently serve delicious Chinese dishes at a very affordable price and the servings are pretty big. The one place that reminds me of the three qualities (delicious, affordable, huge serving) is the food in Chinatown. With Mien San around, people who live around San Juan and New Manila doesn't have to go all the way downtown to partake on delicious affordable Chines  food.

Mien San
Address: Granada St., Valencia, Quezon City
Tel. No.: 723 0558
Operating Hours: Mon to Sat - 10:30am to 11:30pm
                           Sundays     -  10:00am to 10:00pm

Thursday 15 November 2012

Spices: Lusso

I came across the food dude's list of best burgers in the metro. When I saw and read about the Lusso Demi-Pound Burger, it caught my attention and it made me craved for burgers. Thus one rainy Saturday evening I went to Greenbelt 5 to try the burger out.

Lusso was located at the end of the long row of restaurants, we had to ask the concierge on its whereabouts. The resto is relatively small, there were a few tables inside but the al fresco dining area is pretty spacious.


We started off with the Truffle Potato Crisps. Potato Chips that was fried with Truffle Oil, it tasted ok, it was crunchy and it smelled of Truffle Oil.

Truffle Potato Crips - Php150

The Lobster and River Prawn Roll looked promising. The sandwich was pretty big, served with a simple side salad and potato chips.

Lobster and Prawn Roll - Php450

When I took a bite off the sandwich I was really impressed. Usually in making this kind of sandwich, only small scraps of lobster and prawn are used but this one had huge chunks of it. Mixed together with the homemade mayonnaise, it was creamy and it tasted great.

Lobster and Prawn Sandwich

One thing that my friend pointed out was the crusty crunchy buns used, she didn't liked it. I totally agreed with her, the crunchiness of the bread overwhelmed the tenderness of the seafood, it would have been better if the buns were softer.

When the Lusso Demi-Pound Burger was placed in front of me, I was gladly surprised to see how thick and huge the beef pattie was. There were a few slices of onions on top that was supposed to be cooked with Prosseco (Italian Wine) and served with a side salad, thick cut fries and Cambozola cheese bath.

Lusso Demi-Pound Burger - Php595

I had my burger cooked to medium well, it was perfectly cooked. The pattie is made up of US prime beef and Foie Gras, the combination tasted divine. Though one can't really enjoy the texture of Foie Gras in the pattie, it tasted of it  and it made the pattie SOOO juicy.   It was so moist and tender inside that the juices were flowing out of it with every bite.

The Huge Beef and Foie Gras Pattie

The Super Juicy Center of the Burger

The burger was already so good as it is but pouring the cheese bath over it took it to the next level. The creamy and tasty Cambozola (made up of triple cream cheese and Gorgonzola) adds another layer of texture and flavor to the burger.  This is no doubt one of the best burgers in the metro. And to those who plans to try it out, No Ketchup Please!!!

Burger with Cambozola Bath

We ended our meal with a beautifully brewed cup of Lavazza coffee.

Lavazza Brewed Coffee - Php100

Address: Grouind Floor Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati
Tel No: 756 - 5893
Operating Hours: Mon to Sun - 10am to 12mn

Monday 5 November 2012

Spices: Old Swiss Inn

Upon mention of Cheese Fondue, Old Swiss Inn is arguably the best resto who makes and serves it. One can even say that Old Swiss Inn is synonymous to Cheese Fondue.

Old Swiss Inn

I've regularly visited this resto whenever I get a craving for anything with cheese. And what a great way to satisfy this craving with a bubbly creamy cauldron of gooey cheese.

A Bubbling Cauldron of Cheese

Dining During Earth Hour

There are two kinds of cheese fondue that resto serves. The first of which is the Waatlander Fondue, made up of Gruyere and Emmental cheese with a splash of Kirsch. Kirsch is a kind of brandy made from cherries. Served with bread cubes for dipping.

Waatlander Fondue - Php650

Bread Dipping Time!

The second cheese fondue is the Walliser Fondue, made up of Gruyere, Emmental, Raclette cheese with Swiss Wine and chopped tomatoes. Aside from from bread cubes, there's also a plate of vegetables which consists pf potatoes, carrots, string beans and cucumber.

Walliser Fondue - Php750

Dipping my Carrot In

Aside from being delicious, there is a certain fum factor and camaraderie among the dinners when you dip and share the whole cauldron of cheese. Though both cheese fondue are addicting, I liked the Walliser Fondue better. The melted cheese tasted a little sweeter compared to the Waatlander Fundue.

Old Swiss Inn is an institution, it started its operation since the 1940's and still is going strong. One thing is for sure, I'll be coming back over and over again.

Old Swiss Inn
Address: Ground Flr. Somerset Building, Makati Ave., Makati City
Tel No: 818 - 0098
Operating Hours: 24/7

Paco Manila
Address: The Garden Plaza Hotel, Belen St., Paco, Manila
Tel No: 526 - 3729
Operating Hours: Mon - Sat from 6am to 11pm


Friday 2 November 2012

Spices: Parmigiano

I saw an advertorial about this restaurant in the papers, it boasts of serving authentic Italian Pizza. When we visited Resorts World to catch the Drum of Tao show, I grab the chance to try it out in Parmigiano.


The place was pretty nice, the yellow lit lamps and the varnished wood panels made you felt like eating inside a log cabin.

Inside Parmigiano

Complimentary warm bread with two kinds of dip was served, a Balsamic Vinegar with Olive Oil and Tomato Salsa.

Complimentary Bread and Dips

We started our meal with the Pasta di Frutti di Mare. The dish looked so promising, on a plate of spaghetti  two huge peeled prawns with its head still intact was placed on top, chunks of fish and mussel with clams made up the whole thing. Each seafood was perfectly cooked, the pasta was al dente. Everything would have been great if not for the sauce. The tomato sauce tasted sweet and how they artificially sweetened the sauce was so evident. The sauce ruined the whole dish.

Pasta di Frutti di Mare - (Piccolo)  - Php395 

Next up was the Margherita Pizza. Just like the pasta, the pizza looked so promising. From how it looked, there's a generous amount of cheese on top plus the chopped basil leaves made it more appetizing. But as soon as I lift up a slice, it turned into a disaster, the slice drooped and sagged. As I suspected, the crust didn't have any crunch in it, it was just terribly soggy. The pomodoro based tasted artificially sweet again and the only redeeming quality about the pizza was the thick layer of cheese on top.

Margherita Pizza - Php300

The quality of the ingredients were of excellent quality, I do hope they improve their recipes so that the ingredients used wont go to waste .

Adress: 2nd Floor Resorts World Manila, Newport Mall, Pasay
Tel. No.: 659 - 8295