Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Care for drinks? Try Bar Pintxos

So you’ve clocked out of work and just want to hang out with friends, or maybe want to have a few drinks and take the edge off? Might we suggest Bar Pintxos. 

Currently, the restaurant/bar has three branches located at Alabang, BGC and Salcedo Makati. For the sake of this review, we are focused on doing a quick review of their Salcedo, Makati branch. 

So on to the review! Our three-person group couldn’t specifically pin on Waze where exactly the restaurant was, so we had to take a quick walk around the block. Nestled and what seemed to be, literally, a hole in the wall, Pintxos was recognized thanks to a few wall art or murals.

The restaurant looked small from the outside, and was even smaller on the inside. Cramped but well lit, Pintxos had a few artworks on its wall. A bar was situated on the  further end of the room, with a few dining spaces which, what seemed, could fit around 15-20 people only. 

Our group made a reservation in advance, which was a good decision! Our reserved spot was the ONLY good seating location that was conducive to a meeting, as the place quickly picked up pace as the night went on. 

What we ordered – This being the first time to visit Pintxos, we went for two different food platters (charchuteria), a small plate of paella mixta, crisp eggplant fritters (escalivada), 2 glasses of beer and wine. Over-all, the food and drink were familiar.

Considering the bill we got, for three people at what were considered finger foods, P4000+ was expensive. However, it was all off-set due to the little bit of privacy we got at the far end of the room. As far as the crowd was concerned, seemed like most were working professionals who were in their mid-30’s to late 40’s. 

Will we recommend this place for a business meeting? No. Be ready to sit in a noisy/cramped area if you haven’t had the chance to make reservations in advance. 

Will we give this restaurant another shot? Yes. Pintxos is a restaurant/bar that captures casual dining for those who want a quick bite or drink with friends after work. 

Here with friends, Brandon and Charm (and our wonderful waiter!) 😉

Bar Pintxos, Salcedo Makati branch
Date & time of visit: 17 July 2019, Wednesday, 6PM

Over-all rating ★★☆☆☆

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Relik Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

During one of the many events I attend, I was given the privilege of being invited to a dinner to commemorate the Cinco de Mayo festival. This was just going to be dinner over a few drinks. The event was held at Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge.

Though the place is a tad bit difficult to find, my over-all experience of the place was simply lovely.

Drooling over the presentation alone...
Drooling over the presentation alone…

Oh yes, I love my food porn...
Oh yes, I love my food porn…

From the plush interiors to the very exquisite wine selection, you can always bring a few friends over for drinks, a nice meal or just to hang-out and chat.

SAM_0720

It gives off a very casual vibe but still encapsulates elegance.
It gives off a very casual vibe but still encapsulates elegance.

Another plus point: I like the idea that they have a dress code. It makes the place that more exclusive. Also, just a word of advice, don’t bring food or drinks from the outside. Management discourages it. I had to finish my large milk tea in one sitting, lol.

I appreciate the fact that they have a dress code.
I appreciate the fact that they have a dress code.

DJ got me falling in love again ;-)
DJ got me falling in love again 😉

Relik has its own DJ booth which can be best utilized for birthday celebrations and events (professional or otherwise).

The lights were warm and the place, cozy. You will feel right at home easily.

What's your poison?
What’s your poison?

Ambiance is everything to me and Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge nailed it.

Food staff prepping the place...
Food staff prepping the place…

Meet the head Chef of Relik, Ed.
Meet the head Chef of Relik, Ed.

Relik Tapas Bar & Lounge
Relik Tapas Bar & Lounge

Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge is located at the 2nd floor, Commerce Building, 31st Avenue corner 4th Street, Bonifacio Global City. You may visit also visit their website at www.reliktapasbar.com.

 

Elegant Filipino Hospitality at Elias

I would like to take this opportunity for the wonderful feedback I am getting from my Chic-Boy review. I have been getting a lot of messages that management should really get into training their staff. Who knew a lot of people were feeling the same way?

To my readers: thank you so much for the feedback. Hopefully, the same message would echo to other establishments, so that instead of loosing customers, they would gain patrons!

Since I’ve been starting this website, most of my friends are giving me feedback on what they want featured here. I wish I could accommodate all. Really. But given that I need to attend to other projects, I am constrained to whatever is near me or when I have the opportunity to go out with friends (like the review I am about to show you).

Anyway, two of my girlfriends and I tried this restaurant in Fort Bonifacio High Street – Central called Elias.

Come and visit Elias sometime :)
Come and visit Elias sometime 🙂

Have you guys been there?

My friend, who is a foodie herself, said that you can never go wrong with this restaurant choice because the dishes are all Filipino. Again, I was very hungry and anything sounded good.

Dinner with some girlfriends: Joyce and Jade.
Dinner with some girlfriends: Joyce and Jade.

Based from the interiors of the restaurant, the owners wanted to imbibe the “elegance of a 16th century Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period while infusing the modern, classy restaurant of the 21st century.”

Guess what? They nailed it.

If you have been to Vigan and Ilocos, you will know what I am talking about. Years back, I once stayed in an inn at Vigan and that inn still had the remnants of the style and function of a home of what our Spanish/Filipino ancestors once had.

The restaurant brought back memories of my trips to Pagudpod beach, the kalesa rides at the cobblestone streets of Vigan, and the infamous bagnet and sukang Ilocos.

And you can sense the Filipino history from the chandeliers, the names of the dining staff and event the menu itself!

A 16th century Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period...
A 16th century Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period…

When I flipped over the menu, I was tickled pink by the ingenuity of the dish names: Noli Me Talong, Pilosopong Pinakbet, Mi Ultimo Felicidad, Crispin At Basilio.

Obviously, the person who made the menu was quite the Rizal fan.

What we had: Calamares ni Tales, Sinigang Gomez, Enseladang Erehe and Pandan Plain Rice.

Food verdict: Lahat masarap!

Let’s not forget the most important part: customer service. (It’s funny when I talk about customer service and professionalism, some people don’t know that these go hand in hand.)

“It is the service that we are not obliged to give that people value the most.”

My rating: Superb.

This cute little pugo bird was how they gave the bill to their clients. Cute concept.  Wanted to take home my pugo bird...
This cute little pugo bird was how they gave the bill to their clients. Cute concept.
Wanted to take home my pugo bird…

The place (including their wash rooms) was spotless. The dining staff, all smiles and very attentive: all of which reflect the trademark Filipino’s are known for the world over, hospitality.

You want delicious food combined with elegant Filipino hospitality where you can entertain family, friends and colleagues? Drop by Elias.

The Not So Charming Chic-Boy

As much as possible, I don’t like to speak ill of businesses. It just goes against my professional ethics. I don’t like to talk ill of anyone, period. My battle cry has always been about encouragement and inspiration. However, my website is also about excellence and based from that, everything is a level playing field from here on.

Sometimes I am forced to put my foot down because of circumstances that are beyond my control.  Now that I have calmed down, I think I am fully capable of composing this post in a gentler, professional and more reasonable manner.

Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch
Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch

Have you guys heard of the fast food chain Chic-Boy? If you’re Filipino or an expat living in the Philippines, I’m sure you have. In fact, I bet you’re a frequent customer of such chains. They are cheap, fast and the menu easily caters to the Filipino palate and appetite.

Fast food restaurants like this are sprouting like mushrooms. Their menu is composed of barbeque meals/chicken/liempo inasal, etc. If you want a quick barbeque meal Filipino-style, these types of chains are the places to go to.

Personally, I don’t find their food inspiring. Believe me, once you’ve tasted one brand, you’ve tasted them all. I seldom eat out unless I’m with friends (and being health conscious people, we don’t do much fast food). But since I was so hungry, I decided to give it a try.

I came upon the Makati, Pasong Tamo Chino Roces Chic-Boy franchise on April 10, 2013 at 5:30pm (more or less) after my meeting. I was so tired and hungry, with Chic-Boy being the closest, it was a no-brainer for me.

From the outside, I could see that most of the male kitchen and dining crew were all having a ball loitering (at the store entrance nonetheless!) with cigarettes in hand. They were loud and horsing around that I felt I was entering a sleazy beer house.

As I stood in line to order, I noticed that a majority of the tables were still waiting to be cleared. The floor was disgusting, the condiment section was a mess, practically everything was just out of control all the while the beer house boys enjoyed their little brouhaha at the front.

As I was done with my order, I scanned for a spot to settle in. I didn’t feel like sitting near the door (though it was the only available clean area to sit on) because of the smoking loud men who felt like they owned the place.

I chose a spot near the cashier. I didn’t sit down unless my table was cleared. So I guess the waiter took the hint that unless he cleared it, I wouldn’t sit down to a messy table.

I guess this waiter (Marky) was having a rough day. He seemed annoyed at everybody since he didn’t talk to the other guys poking/making fun of him. He was also doing a lousy job of cleaning the table (how hard can cleaning the table be, seriously?): he was just throwing the dirty dishes/utensils/cups in his little tub, spreading the grease more instead of actually wiping the table fresh, and he was taking out his annoyance on me?!

I said sternly, “If you don’t like what you’re doing, I’ll be glad to do it”. I think he got my point when I stared back at him.

But after a while, I cooled down. I just hate having to talk to people like that, in general. It’s condescending. So I guess Marky, just a word of advice: next time don’t bring your troubles to work. We all have our days.

When I left the place, I think I stepped on something squishy under the table (could be a piece of chicken skin, I don’t know, I just shook it off while I walked out) — and yes, the floor was that dirty.

Question: Chic-Boy franchises, right? So I take that their staff has undergone customer service training?

Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch
Chic-Boy Pasong Tamo, Chino Roces branch

I worked once for a restaurant whose business and income evolved around setting up franchises. Their standard operating procedure was to rigorously train their personnel and staff (both on technical skills and customer service) before they were deployed to their respective areas.

I guess, from what I’ve experienced, Chic-Boy is not so serious about their personnel and staff training. It could also be an area to work on by management.

To tell my readers not to support this specific Chic-Boy franchise is totally their decision, but know this: You have lost a customer.

Comfort Food for the Hungry Soul

March 15-16 2013 – For the past two days, I have been out with some girlfriends drinking up the sights and sounds of Makati City.

For day 1, I went out to grab some grub at Mercato and watch a film called Movie 43.

My over-all experience when it comes to Mercato is always fun. Not only is there a lot of food choices but it is unpretentious and very laid-back (we had a little picnic, too!).

With the exceptions of balot and penoy, I absolutely love street food (but please don’t tell my doctor any of that, haha).

Before heading out, I brought with me a pint of bottled water because I knew I was going to need it ;-). Because of the lack of light, I was unable to get a good picture of my meal which was Garlic Chicken and Tinapa Rice.

And for dessert?  What better way to gorge down a sumptuous meal but brownies!

A big batch of brownies...What more can a girl ask for?
A big batch of brownies…What more can a girl ask for?

Oh my goodness… comfort food, indeed!

My Mercato food adventure = A++

(However, I wish I could say the same about my movie experience.)

Movie Review:

Film: Movie 43

Despite the star studded cast, the movie was disgusting. A girl friend of mine said they pushed the envelope to the extreme, exaggerating some issues on race, parenting, sex, etc.

There was a lot of toilet humor used (which, I think for some, is an acquired taste).

Will I watch it again? No way. This was an epic fail for me.

Day 2, on the other hand, was nice. My recent food choices have been excellent so far ;-).

Restaurant Reviews:

Lorenzo’s Way

Dish I had: Lengua Estufado

Lengua Estufado by Lorenzo's... Super comfort food... oooh  my gulay...
Lengua Estufado by Lorenzo’s… Super comfort food… oooh my gulay…

The girl loves her pasta. Here with my dinner date, Ces ;-)
The girl loves her pasta. Here with my dinner date, Ces 😉

Ambience: Very homey and warm, gorgeous interiors.

Service: Excellent

Will I go there again? Definitely!  I loved it!

This was taken after we practically cleared our table of grub at Lorenzo's.
This was taken after we practically cleared our table of grub at Lorenzo’s.

Final verdict: The perfect place if you want to try really good Filipino food. My meal was well done and tender. Plus the service was excellent, along with its cozy interiors.

 

 

People’s Palace

Dish I had: Squid calamari

Ambience: Chic, club-like interiors.

Service: warm and friendly

Will I go there again? Yes. But I will most probably like to try other places as well.

Final verdict: It was okay. The place you go to if you want to grab a few drinks with a friend.

Taken at Peoples Palace. Hope you all had a "filling" and great weekend as I did. Talk to you soon :-)
Taken at Peoples Palace. Hope you all had a “filling” and great weekend as I did. Talk to you soon 🙂

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