15 July 2012

Barcino Restaurant Review

I'm not a wine connoisseur so I won't talk about the wines in Barcino (a wine resto bar). But since I'm a foodie, what I can talk about are Barcino's food items. And what I can say is even if you don't drink wine or alcohol, you can still enjoy Barcino because of its gourmet food:

Gulas Al Ajillo (Php650 + SC)

  • I never thought eel can actually taste this good. Its texture is very much like really soft squid (i.e., not a hassle to chew). This appetizer, which is made of baby eel that is sauteed in olive oil, garlic and chilies, is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Tapas Gourmet (Php725 + SC)

  • How can you go wrong with a combination of Manchego Cheese, Jamon Serrano, Ensaladilla Rusa, and Chorizo Pamplona?! Another HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Tortilla de Patatas (Php315 + SC)

  • This appetizer, which is basically Potato, Onion and Chorizo Omelet, was unexpectedly good. Well-recommended!
Patatas Bravas (Php190 + SC)

  • This is a great variety for your usual French Fries. It's made of fried potatoes with allioli and mildly spicy sauce. 

Pollo Empanado Con Queso (Php350 + SC)

  • I can't remember if this dish was good but I would guess it was at least fine because this breaded chicken is stuffed with Manchego cheese and caramelized onions. 

While most people may find Barcino a bit pricey, this is mainly because it uses ingredients that have to be imported from Spain (e.g., Manchego Cheese, Jamon Serrano, etc.). I would definitely recommend it to those whose taste buds are seeking for variety.

List of Branches:

Greenbelt 2 Branch
Greenbelt 2, Ground Floor, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. No.: (+632) 501.3250

The Fort Branch
Unit 101 Forbeswood Heights, Rizal Drive, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Tel. No.: (+632) 900.0726

Ortigas Branch
2nd Floor City Golf Plaza, Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas, Pasig City
Tel. No.: (+632) 636.2963

Greenbelt 5 Branch
Lower Ground Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. No.: (+632) 756.0965

Rockwell Branch
143, R1 Level, Power Plant Mall
Tel. No.: (+632) 846.9423

Alabang Branch
FB006 Ground Floor, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
Tel. No.: (+632) 869.3612 / (+632) 869.3804

Related posts:
- Village Tavern at Bonifacio High Street Central -
- Krazy Garlik Restaurant Review -

14 July 2012

Krazy Garlik Restaurant Review

Because I couldn't imagine eating in a restaurant where most (if not all) of the dishes are cooked in garlic, it took quite awhile before I decided to try Krazy Garlik. To my surprise, it became a big hit when I was asked by my teammates to decide where we will have our dinner. In fact, we had another dinner here a couple of weeks after that. 

Here's what you can expect if you decide to try Krazy Garlik in Greenbelt or Newport  Mall:

Shrimp Maramonte (Php450 + SC)

  • This is a personal favorite. If you're looking for a tasty pesto (because some pesto dishes are rather bland unless you put parmesan cheese), this one's for you.

Stuffed Pechay (Php295 + SC)

  • This was among the favorites of our group. The stuffing, which was composed of ground pork and smoked fish, was really tasty. Plus, the coco chili cream sauce was a very good complement.

40 Kloves Chicken (Php695 to share; Php395 regular + SC)

  • All I can say is: This dish made me want to return to Krazy Garlik! Need I say more?! Tip: Best eaten with Smoked Salted Fish Fried Rice.

Smoked Salted Fish Fried Rice (Php365 to share; Php245 regular + SC)

  • This rice does not lack in taste at all... and the combination of smoked fish, chili garlic paste and dried shrimp explains it! It was a very good complement to the 40 Kloves Chicken.

Korean Style Garlic Sesame Beef (PHP 275 + SC)

  • This was the last dish I tried but I realized I should have tried it earlier. It was surprisingly delicious for a Non-Korean restaurant.

Garlic Snowflakes (Php495 + SC)

  • This has been a big hit for our group that I wasn't unlucky to get a piece during our second time. It has shrimps, pineapple, and of course... garlic!

Rouge Seafood Coconut Curry (Php415 + SC)

  • This one's made of shrimp and squid in curry sauce. One of us particularly liked it. It was just so-so for me... but a good taste differentiator when all your dishes are garlicky. 

Asian Spring Rolls (Php225 + SC)

  • It's your usual spring rolls that is to be dipped in sweet chili sauce. It was good but I find the wrapper quite thick.

Thai Tea Booba Drink

  • This was a great hit among us. The Thai Tea base was good and the drink had "bursting bubbles" (i.e., not your usual pearls because this one bursts juice inside your mouth when bitten). 

Honeydew Booba Drink

  • I'm not exactly sure if this was good but I believe it was since our group either had the Thai Tea Booba or the Honeydew Booba... and no one said their drink wasn't good. 

My Krazy Garlik experience was "better late than never". Though it was quite late in the game when I tried it, the important thing is that I liked it when I tried it. I won't surprised if I eat here again sometime soon.

Related post:

07 July 2012

A Trip to Atlantis The Palm Dubai

Before I went to Dubai, I can only associate the word "Atlantis" to two things: 1) The Atlantis Hotel in Bahamas; and 2) the lost continent named Atlantis. When I learned that there was an Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, I felt the need to go there because I'm not sure if I'd get the chance to see its Caribbean counterpart. 

Here's a glimpse of what you can expect to see if you decide to take a trip to Atlantis Hotel Dubai:

The Infamous Facade

I was lucky enough to have the chance of taking a photo of Atlantis' infamous facade at both night and day. Simply iconic!

Gold ATM 

Yes, this is a Gold ATM. The machine is covered in gold leaf and is tested with explosives to prevent theft. 

The Lost Chambers Aquarium

For AED100 (Php1,200 or USD30), you'll get the chance of seeing a really huge aquarium, a large number of other specialised aquariums, and a wide variety of sea creatures (from sharks, to manta rays, to jelly fish, to lobsters, etc.). This is worth the fee!

Oceanic Feel

The hallways are designed to give the "oceanic" feel of the lost continent... and this extends to the toilet!

Other Attractions

The hotel offers a lot of other attractions and since I can only afford to spare a few minutes in The Atlantis, I wasn't able to cover them all.

Atlantis The Palm Dubai is certainly worth squeezing in anyone's Dubai trip. The best part is you can enjoy a lot of its attractions even if you're not a guest. 

06 July 2012

Village Tavern at Bonifacio High Street Central

Because I'm such a foodie and because I haven't been traveling lately, I realized that I might as well start sharing my food adventures in Manila. First on the list is the recently opened Village Tavern at Bonifacio High Street Central.

You may find this place pricey but once you've tried it, you'll agree it's worth your buck.

To make things a bit different, I'll start with the dessert: Banana Crepes

Banana Crepes (Php395 + SC)

  • Yes, I know it's too much to pay for a dessert... but please do yourself a favor and order this!!! It's definitely worth the price and it can be shared by two, three, or even four people (though four may be a bit too much). I know it looks good on picture... and let me tell you that it tastes as good as it looks. How can you go wrong with Caramel, Ice Cream, Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Sauce, Crepe, etc. altogether?!?!

Crispy Chicken Tacos (Php475 + SC)

  • The Crispy Chicken Tacos may not be too appealing on the picture, but it's really really good! Don't hesitate to squeeze in the rice and the beans (the beans will neutralize the spiciness of the chicken) as they get along well together. 

Maryland-Style Crab Cakes (Php550 for 1 pc or Php695 for 2 pcs + SC)

  • All hail the KING of all Crab Cakes!!! If you have a thing for crab cakes (or if you don't have a thing for it, this one might just change your life), you must try this! It's like fresh crab meat, taken out of the crab, put together, and made into cake form for you. It's the most authentic crab cake I've tried.

Grilled Chicken Penne (Php425 "regular" or Php675 "to share" + SC)

  • This may look like your regular Penne with Cream pasta but there's an eruption of flavor (a good one) once you taste it. The unique taste makes me want to try it again.

Cowboy Burger (Php595 + SC)

  • I made a mistake not of ordering this but of having the burger split because having it split hindered the picture from justifying it's goodness. An order may already be enough for two persons since it's made of nothing less than half a pound of Rastelli's Pureland Black Angus Ground Chuck. This high quality patty is joined by applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and barbeque sauce. A bit too pricey for a burger but having half a pound of good quality Angus Beef explains and justifies it.

Gruyere & Applewood-Smoked Bacon Flatbread (Php495 + SC)
  • The "Applewood-smoked" make combined with Caramelized Onions makes this flatbread worth a try. This dish is exceptional in itself but the other items I tried are such stand-outs that keeps this one from being a "first-in-mind" recommendation.

I will not hesitate recommending Village Tavern. After eating here twice in two consecutive days, I came back to have dinner with college friends, and they all raved about how great my choice of restaurant was. You better not think twice.

23 June 2012

Hotel Review: Number One Tower Suites Dubai

Related post:
- A Trip to Atlantis The Palm Dubai -

When I was offered a free trip to Dubai, I couldn't turn it down because it would have costed me at least PHP70K (USD1.6K) for tickets and accommodations alone:

Room: AED380/night x 3 nights = AED900 (PHP14K)
Flight: USD1,300 (PHP56K)
Visa: I don't know the cost since it was arranged for me

I was glad I took that trip because I find Dubai REALLY REALLY BEAUTIFUL. I will write the reasons why on a separate entry, but for now, I will share my experience with the hotel (Number One Tower Suites Dubai) which I liked for a couple of reasons:

1. Location:  It was right beside the train station and it was very central such that hailing a cab was not a problem.

Views from the hotel grounds

2. Room: The suite was spacious enough for a single person, the kitchen looked modern, and the beddings were REALLY COMFORTABLE.

3. Food: Their buffet breakfast which composed of various cheeses and other comfort foods such as sausages, croissants, waffles, hashbrowns, and donuts among others was good enough for me. I highly recommend the Haloumi Cheese!  

3. Amenities: While the hotel wasn't very posh compared to Dubai's famous hotels, it had pretty decent amenities like the gym and swimming pool.

4. Service: I find their service good but this may be because they had Filipino staff who are famous for their natural hospitality.

Cafe near the lobby


Overall, I would consider Number One Tower Suites Dubai as great value for money. If you are about to visit Dubai and would want to make the most out of your money (by not staying in fancy hotels), Number One Tower Suites will be a great option.