Casa Verde: Dinner for Giants at UP Town Center

Last Christmas, the family lined up to try Casa Verde. (You can tell by now that they love lines!)  Good thing there's Cotton On there at UP Town Center were we killed some waiting time.

casa verde up town center

They have tables outside only on one side.  They could utilize the space by adding some more on the other.

casa verde up town center
Their ambiance is a cabin style American diner.  It has a cozy soft lighting with wooden vibe.

Food
 
Casa Verde Favorites
brians ribs
Brian's Ribs (250 php)
The Brian's Ribs is so tender that it almost falls of the bone.  The sauce is tasty too.  For the price, it's a fulfilling portion. 

the mighty ton
The Mighty Ton (888 php)
Woah! We were very much surprised with 12-inch The Mighty Ton burger with 1 kilo pure USDA tenderloin beef patty and more!  Check out how meaty it is!  It comes with fries on the side.  You can choose the flavor of your fries: barbecue, cheese and sour cream
 

the mighty ton
The Mighty Ton (888 php)
The burger is complete with the works!  It has cheese, tomatoes, lettuce,sauteed onion, 125 grams of bacon and button mushrooms.  The bun is soft and moist too. Two years ago, the family tried the 12 Wheeler Burger at Garage 88 for the same price.  We were disappointed with it. Well, on the contrary, The Mighty Ton exceeded our expectations!  I highly suggest this as a sharing dish among big groups.

Chicken
golden chicken fingers
Golden Chicken Fingers (248 php)
When my mom ordered the Golden Chicken Fingers, I got the impression that it would be something ordinary.  But, I was wrong!  Among all our orders, we loved this the most.  This plate was swiped clean in an instant.


milky way
Milky Way (345 php)

My friend Berylle recommended the Milky Way as a must try novelty item. And, so we did!  Just like
The Mighty Ton, we were once again awed by the size of this!  To drink from it you have two choices: carry it off the table or stand up. =)  It's a bit heavy so you have to hold it with two hands. But, worry not because the glass is made of plastic.
 

milky way
Milky Way (345 php)
It's basically a deliciously rich chocolate milk shake!  It's very good so we emptied it clean. =D

Other Reviews at UP Town Center
Cafe Shibuya
Dulcelin Gourmet
Ginza Bairin
Lucca Bakery
Tokyo Tonteki


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Casa Verde is a must try American style diner.  Their huge sizes are fun to enjoy!  It gives you a chance to have a giant's feast. =)  The price is very reasonable too.  I'm glad they decided to open here in Manila so we don't need to go to Cebu to enjoy it.  As shown by the long lines, they are very welcome here.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Casa Verde Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2
Menu 3 | Menu 4

Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Casa Verde UP Town Center
Business Address 2/F, Ayala UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue,
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon -Thurs: 11am - 10pm
Fri - Sun: 11am -11pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Casa Verde UP Town Center Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                    

Mad Mark's Creamery & Good Eats: Unbelievably Priced Steak, Man Sandwiches and Ice Cream in Glorietta 5

During our Kapitolyo Christmas food trip, we got to try Mad Mark's Creamery & Good Eats.  But, only the ice cream. 

So when I saw it open in Glorietta 5 just beside Kichitora, I knew I had to complete the experience.

Our visit was a weekday afternoon so we're lucky there wasn't a long line by the counter. 

Compared to their first branch, this is more spacious.  They have tables on the outside too.  They get packed on weekends. 

For ice cream, they have the same chalk board menu.

Compared to the one in Kapitolyo, this branch has more flavor availability.

Food

Man Sandwiches
Mariner (180 php/Half)
The Mariner is a filled with fish fillet, lettuce, tomatoes and marine sauce.  I rarely go for sandwiches because I don't like the dryness but this one has awesome crunch, softness and sauciness that I couldn't stop digging in.

Mad Mark's Grill Works
For the Mad Mark's Grill Works selection, there are three steps:
Step 1: choose your Grilled Entry
Step 2: choose you Grilling Sauces
Step 3:  choose 2 Side Dishes

Signature Steak Regular (200g) (285 php)
Grilled Entry: Signature Steak Regular (200g)
Grilling Sauces: Cream Mushroom Sauce
2 Side Dishes: Smashed Potato and Grilled Corn on the Cob (apparently off the cob)

I'm quite surprised with the price of their Signature Steak.  We had ours cooked medium and it was cooked perfectly so.  We enjoyed the oozing juiciness of our USDA Angus Striploin steak.  This is now on top of my list to go to for steak cravings while on a budget.  (Surpassing Bugsy's Siegel) I don't think any other mall establishment can offer a quality steak at the price they offer.   

Creolle Grilled Chicken (195 php)
Grilled Entry: Creolle Grilled Chicken (200g)
Grilling Sauces: Roasted Nut Sauce
2 Side Dishes: Garden Grains and Bacon Potato Salad

The Creolle Grilled Chicken is a healthier option but as satisfying.  The chicken meat was tender and moist.

Ice Cream
Apple Saigon Cinnamon (85 php/single scoop)
If you're a fan of apple pies like me, you'll surely fall in love with the Apple Saigon Cinnamon.  This is the best flavor at Mad Mark's for me!

Banoreo (150 php/double scoop)
Being an ultimate Oreo fan, I also enjoyed the Banoreo which is banana ice cream with Oreo bits.

Half-Baked Madagascar (150 php/double scoop)
The Half-Baked Madagascar was not mixed nicely so it had inconsistent texture... Surely, I'd love to give it a second try though.

The Rolling Dutchman Ice Cream Sandwich (150 php)
The Rolling Dutchman Ice Cream Sandwich flavor that day was nutella and cookie butter with madagascar vanilla bean.  Wow!  It was really good!  The bread is warm and soft.  This makes the ordinary pandesal ice cream sandwiches seem like the lamest thing.  And, what better spread could there be then nutella and cookie butter right?  They complement the madagascar vanilla bean wonderfully.

Other Reviews at Kapitolyo Pasig
Bullchef
Lia's Cakes in Season
Nav Modern Thai Cuisine
Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Mad Mark's Creamery & Good Eats is a place I could dine at over and over.  The food is great and everything is unbelievably priced! 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Mad Mark's Glorietta 5 Menu
Ambiance Menu
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Mad Mark's Creamery & Good Eats
Branches Kapitolyo
23 East Capitol Drive Brgy. Kapitolyo,
Pasig City, Metro Manila

Glorietta 5 
2/F Glorietta 5, Ayala Ave Ayala Center, 
Makati, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10 am- 9 pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 150-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 579-5661
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Mad Mark's Glorietta 5Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Green Pastures: Organic Farm to Table Concept in Shangri-la Plaza East Wing

My family likes to join the hype.  Whenever they'd see a restaurant all packed with long lines, they'll make sure to try it out too!  And so for the past few 3 weeks, we've been trying to reserve a slot in Green Pastures at Shangri-la Plaza East Wing to no avail.  Alas!  Somehow, we managed to dine in last week. 

green pastures

I've always been a fan of Chef Robby Gocco's restaurants.  And, I'm also an advocate of healthy and natural living.  Just to share with you, one of my best guy friends eats only organic and natural foods and I've witnessed his drastic improvement in a short span of time.  Ever since, I've been trying to make my way to that heathy road as much as I can but errmm... living with a family who believe in the YOLO (you only leave once) principle makes it quite tough.  Finally, there's a midway to it with this first organic farm to table concept.  I hope more restaurants adopt this so it will encourage farmers to go organic and thereby creating a wider and more sustainable organic supply chain.  Well, anyway I'll proceed with the food.  For more information on organic farming, check out Spread Organic Agriculture in the Philippines.  It's a cool non-profit group. 

Food

Soup
I'd like to note that I did not appreciate the plating of the soup.  It took too much space being big and flat.  It also made the soup colder in a quicker amount of time.

green pasture minestrone
Green Pasture Minestrone (190 php)
The Green Pasture Minestrone is a clear soup with zuchinni, yellow squash, cannelinni beans, kale, cabbage, parmigiano, rinds and extra virgin olive oil.  As expected from Chef Robby's restaurants, its always simple yet with the freshest ingredients.  You could taste a refreshing sweetness of nature with this dish.  


harvest chowder
Harvest Chowder (185 php)
The Harvest Chowder was a river shrimp, squash, bacon, potatoes and corn in light cream.  We all preferred the Green Pasture Minestrone over this perhaps because it seemed good but no impact.

Small Plates
ricotta stracciatella
House Made Cheese (560 php/2 cheeses)
Our server recommended that we try the House Made Cheese.  We chose 2 out of their 3 options.  We got the Ricotta (cow's milk, made fresh daily with onion jam and roasted garlic) and Stracciatella (Buffalo milk pulled fresh daily with extra virgin olive oil and arugula).  To enjoy your toast, apply the roasted garlic on your toasted bread before adding the Ricotta.  This had a sweeter notes to it because of the onion jam which is similar to a caramelized version.  The Stracciatella was highly praised by everyone.  It worked wonderfully with the arugula too. 

Fun Health Fact: (Told you I'm a health geek) Buffalo or carabao milk has less cholesterol than cow's milk so it's a better option for those who have cardio-vascular problems.  It also doesn't trigger food allergies as much. 

pinoy egg
Pinoy Egg (125 php)
I've heard a lot of raves over the Pinoy Egg so I insisted that it be ordered.  The Pinoy Egg is a 5-minute free range duck eggs wrapped in homemade longanisa over fiddlehead fern salad.  It is probably a pinoy interpretation of the Scotch Egg
pinoy egg
Pinoy Egg (125 php)
I really loved the Pinoy Egg.  It was cooked runny too.  Lucky for me, my family didn't like it as much so I swiped two plates of this clean.  Yes, even the fiddlehead fern salad was delicious for me!

Fun Health Fact: Duck eggs are superior to chicken eggs in terms of nutrients.  It is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids and alkaline too.

Signature Salads
farmhouse salad
Farmhouse Salad (550 php)
The Farmhouse Salad is a big wooden bowlful of shredded kale, chopped romaine, konbu roast chicken, mambo goat cheese, hard-boiled eggs, dinelli bacon, corn, ripe mangoes, grape tomatoes in honey mustard dill vinaigrette.  Through the years, my mom has chanted Cyma's Roka Salata as the best salad for her.  But from that dinner on, it is the Farmhouse Salad.


Fun Health Fact: Our human body is designed to appreciate variety in food so we can gather an assortment of vitamins and nutrients so the more new stuff we intake, the more we are rewarded with dopamine pleasure.

Meat and Bread
vegetarian burger that doesnt suck
Vegetarian Burger that Doesn't Suck! (295 php)
The Vegetarian Burger that Doesn't Suck! is made of organic chickpea, mushroom, leeks, celery, battered eggplant, homemade cheddar cheese and lettuce. It is served with potato fries.  Well, it didn't live up to its name for me.  I didn't like its dryness.  Well at least potato bun was soft. 

Commandable Mains
roast organic chicken
Roast Organic Chicken (595 php)
The Roast Organic Chicken was lightly sweet and refreshing.  It was so juicy and oozing with juicy and so soft that it almost falls of the bone.


braised oxtail
Braised Oxtail (525 php)
Well, maybe not the  Braised Oxtail is not the healthiest option but we loved this!

Organic Coffee

mt matutum
Mt. Matutum (105 php)
Mt. Matutum from south cotabato coffee beans has a nice light spice to it. 



Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
We really enjoyed our healthy dinner at Green Pastures.  I'm totally in for their growing success.  Their dishes are truly the finest and freshest quality.  Serving size is good for sharing so bring some company.  The dishes were served all at the same time without much waiting time.  But, it was difficult to find follow-through assistance.  It would have been nice if they were attentive enough to get their big empty plates from time to time. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Green Pastures Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 | Menu 3
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Green Pastures
Business Address 4/F Shangri-la Plaza East Wing
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 11 am - 9 pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 700-1,500
Free WiFi No (for internal use only)
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 654-3219 / 0922 633-4687
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Green Pastures Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Mangetsu Japanese Fusion Restaurant: Extraordinary Twist to Traditional Japanese Cuisine

Last Mother's Day, my aunt spontaneously wanted to treat all of us out and tasked me to look for a place for last minute reservations.  I just had an inkling for fusion this time and see if the family will like it.  I chose Toki Japanese Fusion & Fine Dining Restaurant as a first option but they were fully booked so we decided to go for Mangetsu Japanese Fusion Restaurant instead.  Reservation for a private room required a spending of at least 700 php per person.  Well from our experience, we greatly exceeded this. 

mangetsu japanese fusion restaurant
Compared to the seating capacity of the restaurant, the parking space available is inadequate but the guard will assist you in looking for one. 

mangetsu japanese fusion restaurant
The first floor has a casual dining ambiance with wooden chairs and tables.

mangetsu japanese fusion restaurantmangetsu japanese fusion restaurant
Private rooms are located on the second floor. 

mangetsu japanese fusion restaurant
This is what a typical private room looks like.

Food

Sake Accompaniment
sashimi
3 Varieties of Sashimi (650 php)
The 3 Varieties of Sashimi depending on the catch for the day.  I guess we were lucky because we were served our favorites: Salmon, Tuna and Hamachi (yellow-tail).


hamachi
Hamachi (Special Order)
I guess the reason why we have a hefty bill is because my relatives has a knack of making special orders or orders not on the menu.  I don't advise this because they dictate the price.   To give you an idea... They ordered the Kabutoyaki (grilled fish head) which came only after we finished eating so we had it for take out instead, it had a special price of 1,300 php.

tuna salmon carpaccio
Tuna & Salmon Carpaccio (520 php)
The Tuna & Salmon Carpaccio with fish sauce gained a lot of praise.  This is an interesting twist to the usual sashimi.

Sushi
sushi tokujo
Assorted Sushi Toku-Jo (980 php)
The Assorted Sushi Toku-Jo is a platter of 12 kinds of sushi.  The ingredients are the freshest quality as expected by its hefty price tag.  I really liked their smooth and custard-like tamago (egg). 

Salads
spicy tuna salad
Spicy Tuna Salad (410 php)
The Spicy Tuna Salad is different from the traditional because the marinade is sweet.  It's is balanced by the crunchy greens.  It was good enough for me but my cousins fond it too odd for their taste.

Deep-Fried Dishes
pork gyoza
Pork Gyoza (295 php)
The Pork Gyoza awed as in terms of visual appeal.  Texture and taste-wise, it was quite competitive too.

 
Chicken
karaage fried chicken thighs
Karaage Fried Chicken Thighs (430 php)
The Karaage Fried Chicken Thighs with 3 Kinds of Salt is delicious!  All of us, adults and kids, loved this!  The golden brown coating is crunchy and the chicken meat was tender and spewing juices in every bite.

Shrimp
shrimp rice gratin
Shrimp Rice Gratin (520 php)
Although I'm not fond of gratin dishes, I enjoyed the Shrimp Rice Gratin.  This is an exemplary fusion dish with rich shrimp flavored rice in partnership with cheese. 


shrimp tempura
Shrimp Tempura (3 pcs.) (510 php)
Other than the steep price and good presentation of the Shrimp Tempura with salt & tempura dipping sauce, I don't find extraordinary about it.


Egg
sea urchin omelet
Sea Urchin Omelet (380 php)
The Sea Urchin Omelet with thick chicken broth sauce is something interesting to try!  I love the savory and briny flavor together with the thick sauciness.

tuna omelet
Tuna Omelet (360 php)
The Tuna Omelet is the classic okonomiyaki (Japanese omelet) filled with canned tuna chunks and embellished by Worcestershire sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and bonito flakes.  Flavor is alright but I'd prefer a fluffier version.

Hibachi
beef yakiniku
Beef Yakiniku (890 php)
The Beef Yakiniku grants an fun mini charcoal grilling experience.  The quality of the beef short ribs is just good enough.  It is tender with the proper grilling time.   It is served with sesame and ponzu sauces and calamansi. 

Japanese Pasta
sea urchin cream pasta
Sea Urchin Cream Pasta (310 php)
The Sea Urchin Cream Pasta would have been better had there been more Sea Urchin on it.  They are so few that they are hardly distinguishable in terms of taste and flavor.  

Rice
egg and leeks chahan
Egg & Leeks Chahan (240 php)
Just to have a staple, we ordered the Egg & Leeks Chahan.

Desserts
uji matcha ice cream
Uji Matcha Ice Cream (320 php)
The menu indicates the Uji Matcha Ice Cream as green tea flavored ice cream.  The menu photo shows a vanilla ice cream covered in a heap load of matcha powder but what we got is so scarce of it.  While I enjoyed the twist they did with the conventional red beans, this turned out to be disappointing.

 
honey tofu ice cream
Honey Tofu Ice Cream (275 php)
The
Honey Tofu Ice Cream is composed of two blocks of tofu glazed with honey and topped covered in soy flour.  It is also served with a chocolate wafer stick and vanilla ice cream.  This is a simple and light yet surprisingly refreshing dessert.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Mangetsu Japanese Fusion Restaurant is a good experience especially when you want to try something new with Japanese Cuisine.  I noticed that not all dishes are interesting though.  Some are almost the same as the classic.  While others are extraordinary but does not appeal to our preference.  As the dishes are hit or miss, I'm not convinced with its very steep pricing. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Mangetsu Japanese Fusion Restaurant Menu
Ambiance Lunch Menu | Sashimi | Sushi |
ChickenMeat | Pork | Shrimp | Egg
Fish | Vegetable | Salads
Cheese | Deep-FriedChar Grilled | Donburi
 Pasta | Noodles | Rice | Soups
 Desserts | Beverages | SakeSake 2
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Mangetsu Japanese Fusion Restaurant
Business Address 38 Jupiter St., Bel-Air Village, 
Makati City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon - Sat: 
Lunch: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm 
Dinner: 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Sundays


Lunch: 11:30 am - 3:00 pm 
Dinner: 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 800-1,500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 478-3292 | 576-5034
Other  Website
Mangetsu Japanese Fusion Restaurant Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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