. . .

April 20, 2016

City life isn't perfect. There are times where after a long week of fast paced productivity, you just want to slow down and take it easy like going to Baguio, to Tagaytay or to the beach. These are hot destinations that are hours away and could be a chore. RED Sandbar aims to bring that relaxing beach vibes to the city! So could Sandbar be the place to be?

Chill at Sandbar!

The Ambiance 

Sandbar isn't particularly huge in terms of real estate but is divided into three sections. The bar, the inner dining area and the al fresco area. The who design philosophy is to resemble a local bar stall that was put up on the beach where you can get some food and drinks while enjoying the ocean breeze.

The beach vibes continue inside!

This is where Sandbar shines. Each little detail reminds us and brings the beach to us. Accents like sand and sea shells, wooden sculptures of lighthouses and boats flock the place to give us that serene feeling of the beach.

For Php 150.00 this serving is too generous!
One caveat I felt was that during the busy hours, the air inside gets dense with the air of deep fried oil. The opening of their huge doors for the al fresco area really helps with this.

The Food

Sandbar offers a variety of All-day breakfast from the classic Silog dishes, Bolognese, Sisig, Sandwiches and Alcoholic beverages!

Let me tell you about that sisig! It fills 90% of the sizzling plate and the pork bits are moist and meaty. I love this because most restaurants serve less portions and with increased fatty bits. The flavor is divine plus that mayonaise on green chili is great way to add more kick to the pork flavor bomb.

90% of the sizzling plate is filled!

Their best selling sandwiches are the Double Decker and the Surfer's sandwich. The double decker is a classic ham, egg, cheese, mayonaise double deck sandwich served with potato chips. The surfer's sandwich is a combination of mayonaise, muscovado fried chicken, cheese and sunny side up egg topped with muscovado! Both are good sandwiches however I wish their choice of chips could be improved.

The Double Decker up close!
The thing about their dishes is that you know that the ingredients are not of the highest possible quality but the food just taste good because of the perfect technique. So their dishes are only limited by their ingredients but are at their best possible state because it has been cooked perfectly.

Muscovado topped egg and chicken!

The Service

The people from  sandbar are an interesting bunch. They have the usual courteous cooks and waiters that are sensitive to your needs. They were willing to answer my questions about each dish and were willing to take feedback.

Though some dishes take longer than the rest, each was presented well and were cooked to perfection.  They are on soft opening so there are things that need refining but I think RED Sandbar will do fine.

Chill out!

The Price

Their dishes start at Php 79.00 and could get up to Php 200.00. At this price point you cannot complain about the ingredients that I mentioned because even though they aren't the best ingredients, they are cooked and presented so well. What Sandbar Offers is the ambiance and the best possible way to cook their dishes.

The Verdict

What We LIKED:

  • Ambiance is the beach vibes you have been looking for
  • Al fresco Area is great
  • Acoustic nights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Dishes are cooked well
  • Price is unbeatable

What We Almost LIKED:

  • Some ingredients like the Potato Chips could be improved
  • During the busier hours, the air inside can get dense with deep fried oil smell

Do you want to Contact 'RED Sandbar?'
Address: Montecruz Plaza, Mercedes Avenue, San Miguel, Pasig City
Telephone number: (0977) 704-6849
Facebook: Red SandBar
Instagram: @redsandbarph
Operating Hours: Mon to Sun 10AM to 12MN

April 17, 2016

Warren Buffet said that building a reputation takes nearly a lifetime while destroying that reputation just takes five minutes. This is especially true if you became famous for your passion and skills. The expectation is there, and the same can be said for the great chefs of Manila. One of them is Chef Jordy Navarra, and when he announced that he will be introducing a new concept, his fans went crazy. 

Steel, glass and wood
The obligatory Twilight food hold!

The Ambiance 

It is called Toyo or Toyo eatery located at a complex at the edge of Chino Roces avenue. The building itself follows a post modern architecture theme where glass, steel and wood combine with simple but elegant results. 

Inside, Toyo furthers this theme with accents of wood and steel found everywhere. When you enter the establishment you find the kitchen at the end of the room and the beverage bar as these two are the brightest part of the room. The lighting for the client's tables are warm and soft evoking an elegant but relaxed feeling. 

Warm and Soft lighting!

The Food

My good friend from Gourmanila.com was kind enough to join me when we visited. Toyo offers the standard ala carte menu and a set menu. We both chose the Php 1000.00 set menu and though it's the more affordable of choices, it was amazing.

Burnt Kalabaza Soup - Perfection in a bowl! 

The first dish were the Lightly battered Espada with Semi-ripe Guava and Kamias Broth and the burnt Kalabaza (squash) soup with sea urchin and orange kamote (yam). The espada's outer layer was glistening and is crunchy to the bite. The insides were moist and soft while the flavor was light but was lingering in your mouth. The technique is there, and this is good.

The three Espadas!

The Kalabaza (squash) soup however was in a completely different level. As the soup touches your tongue, the flavor of the burnt squash quickly explodes which is then complimented by the strong flavors of the sea urchin. Both were strong and were dancing wonderfully for a while in my mouth. This was where the crispy kamote (yam) flake comes in introduce a sweet flavor and crispy texture that gives a refreshing flavor from the lingering sea urchin and squash flavors. It was perfect from when it touched my tongue to the middle and to the end where the kamote shined!

The leaves, the sauce and the chili compliment the bangus loins and bagus belly so well!

Up next were the Toyo Eatery Three cut pork barbecue with Toyo Eatery Silog and the Grilled Bangus Belly and loin with Toyo Eatery Silog. Both the dishes were moist and tender. The flavor of the pork and the fish were the centerpiece of their respective dishes while the Silog served to compliment the pork and the bagus wonderfully.

Pork Barbecue at its finest!

For dessert we were given the Dulce de Leche Bon-bons with cocoa nibs and seared Cassava cake! The cassava cake was soft in texture and in sweetness and the seared outer part served to add a crispy texture to add another layer of flavor to the filipino classic delicacy. 

Dulce De Leche Bon-bons!

The Dulce de Leche bon-bons were like burnt squash soup. It is on a completely different level. From the first bite where the outer chocolate shines and then serves to temper the even stronger sweetness of the Dulce inside. The dance of those flavors are just magnificent. Afterwards comes the wonderful crunchy cocoa nibs that adds a bitter flavor to balance out all the sweetness in a good way. It also added a crunchy texture to again avoid over staying of the sweet flavor from the chocolate and the dulce. It was perfect.

The Crispy Seared outer part adds a layer of texture to the classic Cassava cake!

The Service

Service is unparalled. As soon as we entered, we were entertained by their energetic crew. Noelle and Jussa were there and they catered to our questions, our requests and our needs. They gave us Tocino bread, and tomato and monggo meringue as we were waiting for the menu and the food that we ordered.  

The appetizers came swiftly within fifteen (15) minutes of our order, and our waiters were kind enough to introduce and elaborate on each dish that came our way.

Tomato, Monggo Meringue!

The Price

I highly recommend to try either the Php 1000.00 per person set menu or the Php 2900.00 per person set menu. Ala carte is fine if you find that you would like an extra dish, but for me, I was full as soon as the dessert was devoured. This price is exclusive of the 10% service charge.

The Verdict

What We LIKED:

  • All dishes are unique 
  • All dishes are either good or great
  • The Bon-bons and the Burnt Kalabaza were perfect
  • Ambiance is beautiful
  • Staff service is remarkable
  • One of the best date places!

What We Almost LIKED:

  • The Espada was cooked wonderfully but could be improved in flavor
  • There were a lot of mosquito killing lights that caused some distracting sound when mosquitos were killed

Do you want to Contact 'Toyo Eatery?'
Address: The Alley, Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Ave, Makati, 1231 Metro Manila!
Telephone number: (0197) 720-8630
Facebook: Toyo Eatery
Instagram: @toyoeatery
Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays 6PM to 11:30PM

April 13, 2016

Quick Dish Review

Charlie's Grind and Grill has become one of our go-to burger place. The price and the quality is just unbeatable, and when we heard they launched new variations of their Wagyu and Black Angus cheese burger, we just had to have it! If you have yet to read our review on this amazing burger joint. You can click here.

All those cheese is melting with its gooey goodness!

Five Cheese Burger

With your choice of beef of either Black Angus or Wagyu, the patty is filled with Mozzarella and topped with gouda, cheddar, blue cheese and cheese sauce that is sandwiched by a brioche bun! Each cheese was proportioned so that no cheese will over power the other but would melt and explode in your mouth along with juicy patty! A win for cheese lovers!

That fried egg and mayo from the Sloppy Burger!

Sloppy Burger

Either a Black Angus or Wagyu beef patty with cheddar slices topped with fried egg, chili con carne, jalapenos, and sour cream. This is the perfect breakfast burger as it has that refreshing taste of eggs and meat that I get when I have bacon and eggs or any silog combination. I can't wait to wake up to this.

Arugula is so good!

Foie Gras Burger

A Black Angus or Wagyu beef patty with scattered foie gras and topped with mayo, gouda cheese, caramelised onions, arugula and tomato on a brioche bun. The flavor of the duck liver is distinct while the mayo, the arugula, the tomato and the cheese temper the strong caramelised onions. With each bite, you want more and more until you run out. You are full but you want more. This burger is that good. I just wish it wasn't that pricey!

What We Liked

  • The Foie Gras flavor was well cooked and was intense! Foie Gras lovers will love the twist and the gouda and arugula fighting for your tastes buds' attention!
  • Sloppy burger is the best burger for those looking for the breakfast feel! The egg does wonders!
  • The Five cheese burger takes the idea of multiple cheeses on pizza into a burger that devastates your mouth with five distinct cheese flavors!

What We Almost Liked

  • The Sloppy burger can get extra oily because of the fried egg
  • The Foie Gras Burger can get ridiculous in price
  • The Five Cheese burger could use something to temper all those cheeses
Do you want to Contact 'Charlie's Grind & Grill?'
Address: G/F Ronac Bldg., Madison St. Greenhills San Juan
Telephone number: (02) 477-5021
Operating Hours: Mon-Sun: 10AM to 12.30AM

Popular Lately