Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Cowrie Grill by Manila Hotel: Fine Dining Steak Meal (Promenade Greenhills)

My parents loved telling us their dating tales.  One of their favorite steakhouses back then is Cowrie GrillSo imagine how delighted my little sister and I when we saw it at Greenhills Promenade.

cowrie grill by manila hotel
Cowrie Grill has a simplistic facade.

cowrie grill by manila hotel
But, it has a glass that allows one to view what's its enchanting interiors.  It has a classy bar.

cowrie grill by manila hotel
And, a wonderful dining area with well-cushioned lofts and chairs, crystal lighting and private booths.


Table is set up for a fancy fine dining experience.

Food

Soups and Salads
Who needs a serenade when you can have expert chefs doing their flambe by your tableside.

Watch how our lobster medallion is flambed...

Lobster Bisque (300 php)
before they were tossed in our soup bowls.

Lobster Bisque (300 php)
Although we found it a wee bit salty, we enjoyed this warm and soothing Lobster Bisque.

Next, is our Maitre D' Caesar Salad Prepared Tableside.



The chef was nice enough to explain each ingredient as he placed and mixed them into the big wooden salad bowl. 

Maitre D' Caesar Salad Prepared Tableside (300 php)
This is one glorious Maitre D' Caesar Salad.  It has generous servings of olive oil, greens, garlic bacon and cheese which I like.  Little sister is not as fond of caesar salad as I am so I'm glad she gladly left more for me.

Signature Dishes
Angus Beef Rib US English Cut 280 grams (1,500 php)

The Angus Beef Rib US English Cut 280 grams is served with baked potato, vegetables and sauces.  We really loved how tender this isMy little sister is such a picky eater and she usually eats just a handful portion.  But, she loved this so much that she swept her plate clean.  I managed to finish this too though I can't deny how heavy it was on my tummy.  

As expected, you can request the doneness of your steak.

Cheese and Sweet Indulgence
Baked Alaska (420 php)
We both had high expectations for the gorgeous Baked Alaska 


We also had this flambed by our tableside (haha I guess we find fire displays quite entertaining).

Baked Alaska (420 php)
The Baked Alaska (420 php) is strawberry and vanilla ice cream, sponge cake, browned meringue and flambe with brandy.  Although it appealed to our eyes, it failed to appeal to our taste buds.  The sponge cake was too rough and dry that it failed to harmonized with the strawberry and vanilla ice cream and soft meringue.

Drinks
There are also drink selections which you can enjoy with your meal.


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
We definitely enjoyed our steak at Cowrie Grill.  Now, we understand why our parents love it so much. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Cowrie Grill by Manila Hotel Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2Menu 3 | Menu 4 |  
Menu 5 | Menu 5 | Dessert


Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Cowrie Grill by Manila Hotel
Business Address G/F, Promenade, Greenhills, 
San Juan City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-3pm
6:30pm-10:30pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 800-2,000
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 463-1993
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Kumori Japanese Bakery: Premium Quality and Freshness in Every Pastry (SM Makati)

A few weeks ago, I received a gift box from Kumori Japanese Bakery.  It came with a nice brochure and an assortment of pastries for sampling.

According to my siblings who know a bit of the Japanese language, Kumori means "cloudy".  You can also imply that from their scribbled cloud logo.
kumori japanese bakery
Soft Matcha Bun (48 php), Fuwa-Fuwa Cream Bun (58 php), Salmon Bonito (65 php), Croissant (55 php), Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake (240 php/box)
Kumori is BIG in Japan.  I'm so glad it's now here in the Philippines for us to try.  Kumori offers natural, fresh and quality cakes and pastries.


kumori japanese bakery
The family loved it so much that we actually visited it as much as we could.  They currently have a stall in SM Makati and Landmark.

kumori japanese bakery
Aside from cakes and pastries, there also have puddings.

kumori japanese bakery
While we found some selection to be affordable, there are also expensive ones.

kumori japanese bakery
Soft Matcha Bun (48 php), Fuwa-Fuwa Cream Bun (58 php), Salmon Bonito (65 php), Croissant (55 php), Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake (240 php/box)
Evey thing we tried was good.  My brother liked the Fuwa-Fuwa Cream Bun.  He said "fuwa-fuwa" is kind of a bouncy sound effect in Japanese and that's really what you can expect from this fluffy bun.  All of us loved the Salmon Bonito because of the rich coating and the delicious salmon filling.
 

kumori japanese bakery
Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake (240 php/box)
But, what really blew us away was the Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake which comes in original and chocolateAs you can see the packaging for take out is superb.  It even has a cool pack beneath.  

kumori japanese bakery
Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake Original (48 php)
The Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake Original is a half-baked Japanese style cheesecake that is perfectly in harmony with different textures and consistency: light, fluffy and cream.  Seriously this is a MUST TRY!  You haven't lived your life if you haven't tried this.  I can't have enough of this and want more of it! =p

kumori japanese bakery
Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake Chocolate (48 php)
The Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake Chocolate is just as good.  The chocolate is not sweet but bitter sweet - just the way I like it.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
I'm so glad Kumori Japanese Bakery is here.  I now know where I can go when I have a Japanese Cheesecake craving.  I hope they offers discounts, frequency cards or bread sales though as some items can be a bit pricey and I still want to try them.  We'll surely try their cakes for our future occasions.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Kumori Japanese Bakery Pricelist
Packaging
Taste
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Kumori Japanese Bakery
Business Address SM Makati Basement
Makati Metro Manila

Landmark Makati Basement
Makati Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Product Price Range 30-800
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Estancia De Lorenzo: Beautiful Affordable Farm to Table Restaurant at El Dia Farms San Mateo Rizal

The farm to table concept is quite new for me.  But as previously stated, I all in for it!  So when I was invited by the Estancia De Lorenzo team to try and critic their dishes, I was thrilled. 

estancia de lorenzo

Upon our arrival, I instantly fell in love with this place.  Who could have thought that such a beautiful place is hidden inside El Dia Farms in San Mateo Rizal.  


estancia de lorenzo
Check out the interiors!  It's just like your dream house depicted in some foreign interior magazine right?


estancia de lorenzo
Eveything is so lovely that I couldn't help but rush in to check it out more.  The staffs are all full of smiles and politeness as we were greeted and accommodated kind-heartedly.


estancia de lorenzo
Each table is completely set up with complete wares. 


estancia de lorenzo
Every detail is fascinating even the centerpiece.

Since they are currently on their soft-opening phase, the fresh plant crops still outsourced.  But once the're organic garden is constructed, they will offer their diners a one-of-a-kind experience by allowing them to pick their own ingredients.  The meats are directly sourced since they have their own free-range chicken, shrimp, tilapia and peking duck farm so they are offered fresh and affordable too.

This is just one part of El Dia Farms by the way, they also have an Aviary and Crocodile Farm.  Within a year and a half, this will be a full-blown tourist recreational area with an event place and adventure activities.  I'm very excited for that.  But right now, I'll share with you their awesome dishes that are currently offered.

Food

Our Bowls
50/50 champorado
50/50 Champorado (120 php)
You can have the 50/50 Champorado for breakfast or dessert.  It's called 50/50 because it has 50% oatmeal and 50% brown rice.  It has a nice rich creamy layer of chocolate on top of the oatmeal and brown rice then meringue frosting and served with a cookie.   

From the Greenhouse
taro bamboo shoots
Taro + Bamboo Shoots (150 php)
The Taro + Bamboo Shoot is an interested dip dish.  I love the ingenuity.  It's also very addictive! The dip is a mix of many ingredients:  taro leaves, bamboo shoots, confit garlic, taro root chips, sour cream and cheese.  It is served with grilled crispy flat bread and buttered toasted bread. 



edl house salad
EDL House Salad (180 php)
The EDL House Salad is one of the best salads I've ever had!  It has a perfectly cooked runny organic duck egg, pulled duck bits, roasted beet cubes (I know I've stated that I dislike it but I ate every piece I got because it blends well with the salad), pomelo bits, sweet potato chips, santan flowers, mixed greens and tamarind vinaigrette.  It's so good that even non-veggie lovers will praise this!

Our Boards
estancia duck burger
Estancia's Duck Burger (200 php)
The Estancia's Duck Burger is an organic thick duck patty with local greens, pickled onions and aioli sandwiched between potato buns.  It is served with their Papaya Ketchup (or Sriracha if you want it spicy like me) and mixed fries.  The sweet potato buns are soft and moist!  The duck patty is very savory and tender to chew.  

sriracha
Sriracha
They make their own fiery Sriracha and sweet Papaya Ketchup!  Both are really good.  But since I enjoy the hot stuff, I liked their Sriracha more.  It's so good they can these by bottles.


Classic Farm Breakfast (includes 2 free range eggs any style and garlic fried rice)

estancia duck tapa
Estancia's Duck Tapa (180 php)
Every one was exclaiming oohs and aah with glee over the Estancia's Duck Tapa.  I've always been a tapa fan but never have I encountered duck tapa before.  Wow!  It was really good!  This is definitely a must try.  The texture is like meat and the blend of flavors is simply delightful.  This one hefty meal too.  Ladies can opt to share this.

free rang chicken tocino
Free Range Chicken Tocino (160 php)

The Free Range Chicken Tocino is also good.  It's not too sweet and the chicken was tender and juicy.  But if you've tried the Estancia's Duck Tapa, this will just be the next best thing.  But if you're a fan of tocino dishes, this is for you.

From the Pond
Tilapia + Shrimp Gyoza (140 php)

The plating of the Tilapia + Shrimp Gyoza is so beautiful that I almost didn't want to eat it.  But, a bite of the gyoza made me want to swipe this plate clean.


Tilapia + Shrimp Gyoza (140 php)
I've tried a lot of gyoza before (beef, pork and chicken) but my golly this Tilapia + Shrimp Gyoza
has left me stupified.  Just by the look you could tell that it's cooked with precision promising a wonderful crispy and softness in every bite.  The ground tilapia and shrimp is very tasty.  They are in perfect harmony with the mango butter, sour cream, shriracha cashews and sweet potato curls. 


Smoked Tilapia Fish Cake (180 php)
To eat the Smoked Tilapia Fish Cake, you crush the smoked tilapia fish cake until it crumbles into grinded bits and mix it together with the green onions, 64 degrees poached egg, linguine pasta in red sweet seafood tomato bisque.  It also has crispy tilapia skin flakes on the side.


Beer-Battered Catfish (180 php)
Steering away from the usual Fish and Chips, Estancia offers the Beer-Battered Catfish laid on top of a squash brown cooked like a roesti and swimming in a pool of coco cashew cream with sayote tops and crushed cashew.  It's the first time I've tried a catfish fillet.  What a great idea!  I've always loved catfish and I'd certainly prefer it over the dory.

Duck Ragu Bolognese (250 php)
Rarely do I encounter a ragu pasta dish.  Boy am I glad they have the Duck Ragu Bolognese.  Yes, its a linguine pasta with less tomato sauce as its emphasis is to bring out the bold flavors of the ground duck meat complemented by the lightly salted duck chicharon.  It also comes with fried battered squash blossoms. 

Desserts
Pandan Cheesecake
The Pandan Cheesecake is to die for!  A taste of this wonderful masterpiece will make you hear the trumpets of heaven.  It's a rich, smooth, creamy and slightly dense pandan cheesecake served with a scoop of ice cream, sweetened kamias, macaroon bits and meringue. 


Drinks
I rarely insist on ordering drinks.  But, really you have to try at least one of their drinks.

House Blend Iced Tea
Pandan Water
This is the best Pandan Water I've tried yet!  This even beats the specialty beverage Pandan Tea of Ilustrado.

Chili Mango
The Chili Mango will definitely capture the hearts of spicy lovers like me.  The combination is so nice because the refreshing sweet note and fiery spice is a nice contrasting yet equally balance and matched duo like fire and ice or like yin and yang.

Cucumber Basil
The Cucumber Basil is another must try!  This a refreshing drink is so cool and cleansing that you'll enjoy every sip.

Tomato and Orange
The Tomato and Orange is a very nutritious beverage that will boost your immune system.  It is served with syrup so you can make it sweeter depending on your preference.  I'm a frequent tomato juice drinker so I'm used to the taste of tomatoes so I enjoyed it even without syrup. =)


Dalandan Lime Soda
No, this is no mojito.  The Dalandan Lime Soda is a mocktail perhaps as it is a nice sweet fizzy citrus drink.


Estancia De Lorenzo Farm to Table Restaurant Team
The Estancia De Lorenzo Farm to Table Restaurant Team who served us.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Estancia De Lorenzo won't be opening till the El Dia Farm is completely developed and open to the public.  However, I have yet to receive of an update.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Estancia De Lorenzo Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2
Menu 3 | Menu 4
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Estancia De Lorenzo
Business Address 26 Aquarius St. Bancom Subd. 
San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines
Business Hours

Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 150-1,000
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact
Other 

Disclosure: Everything I had was sponsored by the owners as guests.


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