Bulalo Republik

As I write this down, the country is being ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda, dubbed as the world’s most powerful typhoon. I am praying that everybody will be safe and spared from her wrath.

Yolanda brings back memories of storms which hit our country earlier this year. It was mid-June, and I was still very dedicated in attending my Bikram Yoga classes. Attempting yoga in a very heated room is particularly enjoyable when it’s raining hard outside. The BYM studio in Quezon City has floor-length windows and you could gaze upon the lighted streets of Timog and Tomas Morato.

As soon as class started, it started raining really hard. It only took that whole class or 90 minutes for the flood to quickly rise. I was stuck in the studio since nobody dared braved the floods to pick me up.

Nobody, that is, but Francis a.k.a. my knight in shining armor. Never mind the rain! Never mind the traffic and the floods! I just have to sit tight and wait because he will pick me up.

It took him over an hour to reach the studio. He was tired and fed up from the traffic, while I was just plain hungry.

My knight in shining armor wasn’t going to take me home all starving, so he gallantly took me to Bulalo Republik in Roces. The place was small and has no air conditioning, but given the weather, it was great to dine al fresco.

My 90-minute workout (and probably even more!) went out the drain with that one meal, but it was totally worth it.

ImageTheir Family-Sized Bulalo was absolutely delicious. It was served steaming hot and so perfect for the weather! They weren’t stingy with the ingredients either, and this made for one very satisfying soup!

ImageTheir Sizzling Pork Sisig is another delight. It was crunchy and flavorful; it was a shame I had to share this dish with my knight in shining armor, otherwise I could have happily finished it off myself!

ImageFrancis being Francis just had to order some vegetables, and that night he decided on their Laing, which was a yummy coconut dream.

Naturally, we each had a single serving of rice, which was very bitin! We never had the chance to go back, but hopefully our next meal here would be soon. I would like to give their Sinigang na Bulalo a try!

 

Bulalo Republik is located at 97 Don Alejandro Roces Street, 1103 Quezon City.

Telephone: (02) 5859348

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Spätzle Euro Market Cafe

Shangri-La Plaza Mall’s East Wing is the new “eat” place to be, with several hot new restaurants dominating the scene. But it seems like every time we go there, we end up eating at Maple. Not that I’m complaining, though. I love Maple. But one particular evening, before watching Captain Phillips, we decided to try out Spätzle Euro Market Cafe.

We decided it would be a quick, light dinner. It was half past 5 p.m. when we got there, and Spätzle was already half full. It looked both rustic and modern at the same time, with wooden tables and some matching wooden chairs, some black-and-white deco chairs. The restaurant is brightly lit and looked like a well-stocked pantry.

They have provided each table with their very own hand sanitizer, which was very thoughtful of them. But no matter how clean my hands were for the meal, it didn’t help that there were wood flies?? or whatever those tiny flying things are called everywhere! Spätzle tried to shoo them away and provided our table with candles. But they just didn’t leave us alone! Those darned flies were the only downside to our meal.

ImageFrancis and I ordered the New Potato and Mushroom Chowder Soup for starters. It wasn’t served hot, but the soup is a refreshing take on chowder.

ImageWhen I saw this, the first thing that crossed my mind was John Keats’ “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” And isn’t their Monte Blanc Tarte Flambe just one of the most beautiful things ever??

Another question: How can you make people love a certain dish more? By adding potato chips to it, that’s how!

Our waitress said that this item isn’t on their menu yet, but I sure hope they add it soon. This potato chips masterpiece has a very thin, crunchy crust, topped generously with cheese, mushroom, spinach, sausages, and bacon bits. You can’t go wrong here – it’s my favorite from Spätzle! Francis won’t admit it, but he loved this too, since he ate more than half of his share!

ImageThese Artisanal Sausages are also something new, and not in their menu yet.

According to our waitress, Spätzle’s sausage platter features a curry sausage, Italian sausage, and the Thuringer (did I get this right?) served with a side of fries. For its sauce, they gave us mustard and horseradish.

The sausage platter was just okay for us. I liked the traditional Italian sausage the best; I guess the other sausages were too complicated for my liking. But if you want something to fill up your tummy and fast, go for the sausages.

ImageThe Homemade Italian Meatballs Roesti gave me another John Keats moment. I’m really a sucker for potatoes, particularly the fried kind!

The roesti is a national Swiss dish, and I think it best to describe it as a fried potato pancake. They eat it for breakfast, but I think it’s good any time of the day!

Spätzle’s version is fun to eat. It’s crunchy and goes well with the sour cream drizzle and gravy on the side. If I were to eat this at home, I would drown it in sour cream and gravy. Or I would eat it with a McDonald’s cheeseburger or as a side to pumpkin and tomato soup.

Aside from meatballs, you could order your roesti with sausages, chicken and fresh mushrooms, or just have the plain roesti with sour cream and lemon. I forgot how the meatballs tasted like. I was too enamored with the roesti.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about Spätzle, and I’m glad our experience here was a positive one. Next time we eat here, we’ll be sure to order something different. With the exception of the Monte Blanc Tarte Flambe, of course.

 

Spätzle Euro Market Cafe is located at the 5/F East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA corner Shaw Blvd., Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City.

100 Revolving Restaurant

We literally had very high expectations for 100 Revolving Restaurant, probably the only revolving restaurant in the country. Newspaper writers and food bloggers have been raving about its French food and ambiance, and we figured that a lot of careful thought and preparation have certainly gone into both.

Since the restaurant is located near Eastwood mall, we window shopped a bit first to build up an appetite. But we (or okay, it was I for the most part) were just too excited and went up the 33rd floor of the MDC Building an hour ahead of our reservation schedule.

There were a couple of diners there at 6 p.m., with a huge group seated at the non-revolving area. They only turned on the revolving area when we got there. It was fun, at first. Like a kid, your eyes will automatically grow wide in amazement, and you will smile to your date as you say, “We’re moving! We’re really moving!”

At least, that’s how it was for us. He he he!

But then, you start to feel every single jerk. When the waiters come to get your orders and serve your food, you feel their footsteps. The movement of the revolving restaurant isn’t smooth.

ImageHere’s Francis still enjoying the sensation of the revolving restaurant. The photo’s blurry, not because the photographer’s pasmado, but because of the movement of the restaurant.

ImageSee? Even the photo taken of us is somewhat blurry!

Anyway, the wait staff of 100 Revolving Restaurant are really very warm and attentive. No sooner after we ordered that they served us water and fresh bread.

ImageComplimentary bread served with their special sauce.

ImageFirst up is their French Onion Soup. It really set the right mood for the next few dishes. We asked them to serve their bestsellers, with one exception.

ImageThey highly recommended the Seared Tuna Salad, which was very light and fresh. It had roasted nuts, nori strips, and parmesan flakes, all coated generously in wasabi vinaigrette.

ImageI had high hopes for the Chilean Sea Bass with Goose Liver, but I think I expected too much. Though it’s really good, it fell short of what I had in mind for the restaurant.

ImageFrancis ordered the Braised Pork Belly. They had him at the “nuts” description. I try to avoid making criticisms, but for the price of this dish, it is totally not worth it.

ImageFinally, the Pasta ala Jessie, a dish with prawns, scallops, and sun-dried tomatoes. Just okay.

Actually, that sums up our whole 100 Revolving Restaurant experience – just okay. The special, romantic ambiance is already there, and with that setting, you just expect to be blown away by the food as well. But we were not. And everything is so pricey, to boot.

But maybe we are alone in our thoughts, because everybody else seemed to enjoy their 100 Revolving Restaurant experience. If you decide to eat there, or have eaten there already, let us know your thoughts!

 

100 Revolving Restaurant is located at the 33rd Floor, MDC Building, C-5 corner Eastwood Drive, Bagumbayan, Quezon City.

Telephone: (02) 9621016

go-en Ramen

It was a typically hot and humid night when we went out for dinner. I thought we’d go straight to Mister Kebab because we’ve been talking about it for days. But then Mr. Predictable himself asked, “How would you like to try out the best ramen in QC?”

It’s not always Francis suggests new restaurants to try. And with a statement like that, how can you say no? So I bid images of my special beef chelo kebab, oxtail brain (long story here), and yogurt shake goodbye, and instead conjured up thoughts of a hot, steaming bowl of soup. Never mind that the weather’s extremely hot.

But you know how Fate works sometimes, don’t you? Even for small things like this, Fate pulls through for you. On our way to go-en Ramen, it started to rain really hard. It only took a while for the temperature to shift drastically. Suddenly, it really was the perfect weather to have ramen.

go-en Ramen was empty when we got there for dinner. Sometimes it’s awkward eating at a restaurant if there’s no one else around, but here, it actually felt homey. I was even kidding how it felt like we reserved the whole place ourselves.

The menu had a sense of humor, and it was fun choosing our dishes for that night.

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It was also fun waiting for the food to arrive, because they had toys and an assortment of manga. The only manga I’m familiar with are Sailor Moon and Hana Yori Dango, and they don’t have it. But I’m sure avid manga readers can find something they like from their selection.

They also have this toy called the Kendama, which is basically a wooden spike with two cups and a string with a ball connected to it. To play the kendama requires balance and a good eye and hand coordination. It only took me three tries to get it right (promise!!)

ImagePhoto taken from Wikipedia.

ImageHere’s the alleged well-balanced Francis attempting to play the kendama sitting down. Feeling! It took him X number of tries to get it right. He he he!

ImageAnd here he is attempting to play with the traditional yo-yo. The frown indicates unsuccessful attempt. I should have showed him how it was done! *evil laugh*

Anyway, on to the food. My order of Kara Miso Ramen arrived first. My eyes grew wide when I saw the butter. Yum!! Aside from butter, the ramen was filled with corn, chashu, nori, menma, moyashi, hosomen, nanganegi, egg, and naruto.

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The menu promised that it would be a miso-based soup with a spicy kick, but I personally thought it wasn’t spicy enough. What it lacked in spice, it made up in flavor – all the ingredients blended beautifully with the soup. I particularly loved their boiled egg.

ImageFrancis ordered their Tsukumen Ramen. He found the fish soup too maalat at first, and it was a good thing go-en provided him with clear soup to balance the flavor he suited.

ImageI loved their gyoza, with its crunchy texture and an explosion of flavors on the inside. Needless to say, I was the one who ate three of these.

ImageOur order of go-en Maki actually came in late. Francis was eyeing it earlier on, decided not to be takaw-tingin for once, but then gave in to impulse.

The go-en Maki consisted of tiny pieces of kakuni and leeks in sushi roll, replete with the restaurant’s special sauce.

Now on to dessert.

ImageThis cute little fish is called the Taiyaki – a stuffed mongo waffle. It’s basically a bigger hopia.

ImageI forgot what this dessert was called, but we loved it because it was light and simple – not sweet at all!

Granted, there aren’t many ramen places in QC. Others we’ve tried haven’t lived up to the hype, and this is what makes go-en such a gem. It’s unpretentious and earns its customers based on word-of-mouth rather than flashy marketing.

go-en Ramen is almost like QC’s very own secret Japanese restaurant. If you want to eat there, you really have to seek it out because it’s not one of those restaurants you normally see as you pass/drive by. That Friday night, we sought it out and went home with our tummies full and a new discovery we’d go back to again and again.

go-en Ramen is located at Jardin de Zenaida, Unit B1, 34 Sgt. Esguerra Ave, Quezon City 1103
Telephone: (02) 441 4636

Sarsa

And… we’re back!!

Truth be told, I sort of lost the drive to continue writing after a dear pet passed away. It was such a painful experience I would wish on no one. And after being stagnant for months, I figured nobody would bother reading The Amazing Eat List again. But Summer the mini schnauzer lived a very happy life, brimming with so much love for her family and food. Every time we eat out, I still think of her and how much she’d love certain dishes. It’s only a fitting tribute to continue this blog, born out of a deep appreciation for good food, for the dog who shared the same zest for food.

Summer, this is for you.

Over the long weekend, Francis and I really pigged out. And the best, cholesterol-loaded meal we had was in Sarsa Kitchen + Bar. We got there around 12 p.m. on a Saturday, and we were fifth in line. I could tell Francis was pretty excited about the restaurant, because he picked me up earlier than our agreed time (and this happens RARELY).

We were able to get in ahead of the others because there were only two of us and we agreed to sit by the bar. Francis ordered everything I wanted, and so we waited happily. And we were happier because we didn’t have to wait very long, given the huge crowd.

The first dish to come out was the Sarsa Batchoy, made with egg, bone marrow, and bacon-cut liempo.

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The soup was warm, hearty, and filling – just the way a batchoy should be! I always have a craving for Ted’s La Paz Batchoy, but this is an upgraded version of it!

Next came the Bugtaw-Bugtaw – Gising-Gising, which surprisingly became my 2nd favorite dish among all those we ordered.

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As far as veggies go, this dish is a winner! We finished the whole thing in record time. So creamy and flavorful, it was quite an effort to eat rice sparingly with this because we wanted to save the rice for the other dishes…

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The Isaw (Chicken Intestines) came next. No rice needed for this. Though yummy, I think I’ll just stick to the street food versions. Good luck in making Francis eat street food, though! He he he!

After this arrived the ULTIMATE, MOST GUILT-INDUCING dish from the resto. I feel I need to roll out the red carpet for this one…

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Our picture doesn’t even do the Sizzling Kansi (Sizzling Bulalo) justice. If you have to order just one dish from Sarsa, let this be it.

The meat is so tender, coated generously with their special Batwan Gravy. It truly embodies the name of the restaurant, which means sauce.

And let me just say, this would definitely be Summer’s favorite as well. One whiff of this amazing dish, and she’d go bonkers!

Our chicken orders came in last, and by this time we were already stuffed. But we managed to make room for more. He he he!

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Francis got the Pecho while I got the Paa. He admitted that he normally doesn’t like eating chicken inasal, but the ones from Sarsa are a delight to eat.

With such a satisfying meal behind us, I had to do some research. Apparently, the restaurant is the baby of Master Chef Pinoy Edition winner Chef JP Anglo, who hails from Bacolod.

Chef Jayps sure did Bacolod proud. I’m pretty certain everybody who has tried his resto in Manila has developed a new love for Filipino and Negrense dishes. We sure did!

And the dishes are all so reasonably-priced, too! You really can’t go wrong with Sarsa.

 

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar is located at Unit 1-7 Forum South Global, Federacion Dr. corner 7th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Telephone: 0927-7060773