Makati


Cantinetta Exteriors

I particularly like the ambience in Cantinetta Pasong Tamo and the Rockwell branch didn’t particulary strike me as something I would want to try out. I only got to try out the Rockwell branch when my family was shopping in Rockwell and wanted to eat in the area. Cantinetta came to mind as something my family might enjoy.

Cantinetta Interiors

Cheese shaving

Parmigiano cheese and prosciuto ham weighing station

Our orders :

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmagiano Reggiano Php590 – The dippings really complemented the cheese but this is way too expensive for a few hundred grams of Parmagiano with Honey and Cream Balsamic. My suggestion is to buy good cheese from Santi’s and enjoy this at home!

Prosciutto

Prosciutto d Sn Danile Php550 – We ordered melon slices to complement the prosciutto

Cantinetta Classica

Cantinetta Classica Php450 – Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Italian Sausage, Peppers and Minced Beef. I’m not raving about the pizza. Had better pizza in other places.

Contadina

Contadina Php440 – Italian Sausage with Mushrooms in tomato sauce. Nothing great about this dish.

Tartufo

Tartufo Spaghetti Php510 – Better pasta dish. The pasta servings are generous.

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco alla Milanese Php 920 – Classic Beef Stew served with Saffron Risotto. I find this expensive for a medium sized piece of meat.

Grilled Pork Chops

Costolette di Maiale Php 500 – Grilled Pork Chops. My first visit in Pasong Tamo was a better pork chop experience. Still I would give this another try.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Php230 – Nothing great.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu Php240 – Not great at all. Not authentic.

Summary : As I’ve said, I particularly liked Cantinetta Pasong Tamo. My first visit was extremely enjoyable, shared a plate of Grilled Porkchops which was juicy and flavorsome. A bottle of good wine was also affordable at 1K. It is obvious that Cantinetta uses ingredients which are fresh and of quality. I  felt that some of their items are overpriced though and you need to keep track of the prices and order the specialties. If anyone has other dishes they rave about in Cantinetta, let me know. So far, I would only re-order the tartufo or the porkchops.

Rating : Chance Visitor
Food   :  Tartufo or Pork chops

Cantinetta
Rockwell Drive, cor Estrella Street
Makati City
Tel – 632 4030145
and
Ground Floor, Karrivin Plaza
2316 Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City
Tel : 632 8929873

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Lunch out among three food bloggers can get pretty complicated. It needs to be a place no one has been to so that we could blog about it, somewhere in Makati for a quick lunch out and someplace all three of us agree on. A few names were tossed around, Coco Cafe, Sala Bistro, a few resto’s in Greenbelt 5. Shella, Hiro and I finally agreed to have a food trip at Gaster’s Deli. Lori’s writeup on Gaster’s Deli helped convince Shella and I to try out the place.

Gaster’s Deli had several impressive wine chiller’s to the left of the main door. There are several stands of deli merchandise such as italian pasta, anchovies, olive oil etc… We were here for the food though. As I sat down, I eagerly scanned through the menu. I already knew what I wanted having ‘researched’ before coming to the place. I scanned through again for the second time… and again… Where is the barramundi? Or the Tenderloin fillet with red wine jus, foie gras and truffle butter OR the osso bucco which Lori had declared as the best in Manila. They were not on the menu and the waiter confirmed that they had been taken out. Too expensive perhaps? Not saleable to the lunch crowd? I saw a lot of pastas, sandwiches and steaks. Not really my cup of tea and I guess Shella did not get too excited with the menu either so agreed to split a pumpkin soup and a wagyu foie gras burger.

 Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup Php116 – Bland, no flavor, spices or saltiness. Grabbed for the salt and pepper shakers to fix it up but it was a lost cause.

 Wagyu Burger

Gaster Wagyu Burger Php600 – This is my half of the burger which I had split with Shella. This tasted like an ordinary burger to me. The foie gras tasted livery and had a tofu texture inside. The aioli was old and had a different color to it already.

 Kurobota Pork Belly

Kurobota Pork Belly Php380 Hiro was definitely luckier. He managed to order a better dish. The pork belly was tender and cooked ‘Chinese’ style braised in soy sauce and sugar. Quite good.

It was good that all three of us were busy chatting away so the food was not my main focus.

Summary : Gaster Deli’s menu has changed. Seems to me that they have gone down the road of compromising their food for commercialness sake.

Rating : One Nighter
Food   : Nothing in particular from what we ordered.

Gaster’s Deli
Ground Floor, 6750 Building
Makati
Tel : 632 8136750

Several new restaurants are opening up in Antel Venue Mall located along Makati Avenue. We saw Contempo right on the corner looking nice and decided to try it out. Contempo presents itself as preparing new asia cuisine. New Asian cuisine has been described as a branch of fusion involving a medley of asian ingredients and techniques but given a modernized, even Western slant in terms of presentation. This is a fair description of the Contempo menu.

Contempo is headed by Chef Booj Supe who had also been the chef de cusine in La Esquina, Splendido

Contempo

Our orders :

Beef tenderloin, enoki and shitake soup

Beef tenderloin, enoki and shitake mushrooms and soba noodles in miso dashi Php 280 – Classic Japanese dashi based noodle soup. Clean flavors, lovely fresh mushrooms.

Caesar\'s salad

Duo of tofu caesar with crisp tofu croutons and warm chicken and capsicum salad in parmesan cups Php 320 – I liked Contempo’s take on the caesar salad. It tasted like a classic caesar’s salad but used interesting ingredients and presentation to achieve the result. Crisp tofu was used on the croutons and parmesan cups used instead of grated parmesan cheese. The innovativeness in the ingredients presented my usual boring ( but my favorite mind you ) Caesar salad in a new way.

Palate cleanser

Refresher – Pineapple, calamansi, mint with mandarin orange – Mojitos without the alcohol! Very very good and we in fact ordered a whole drink after this.

Tomato wrapped gindara

Tomato wrapped gindara with cilantro aioli, ginger cooked in foie gras, and three mushroom pilaf Php 980 – The tomato, gindara and mushroom pilaf matched each other beautifully. The tomato gave a nice tangy bite to the fish and the truffle infused mushroom pilaf added the depth to the dish. The chef said that the crispy ginger bits topping the fish was cooked in foie gras, but for the life of us and no matter how much we concentrated, couldn’t just get the foie gras flavor. If it was there, it was completely overpowered by the ginger.

L\'opera

L’opera with lemongrass and ginger, cocoa nib crisp and blackcurrant – red wine sauce Php 380 – Chocolate based cake with a ginger flavor. I couldn’t figure where the lemongrass was in the flavors.

Summary : We were happy with the food. Modern Asian food in a fine dining ambience. Consistent cooking and very nice presentation. Excellent cutlery had also been used. The main con which I had noticed throughout the meal was the pricing of the food. It was way overpriced. With the proliferation of fine dining restos which just opened this past year such as Cav, Aubergine or Purple Feet, Contempo needs to adjust its pricing to stay competitive. I felt that a lot of the mains were priced Php 200 more than other fine dining restaurants. Gindara at Php 980 is way too much especially when you really can’t see the foie gras in the dish. Php 380 for a cake….I could just shake my head in disbelief. Oh.. and they were playing Kenny G. The music needs to be updated.

Rating : Chance Visitor
Food : Gindara ( at a lower price ) and Caesar’s salad

Contempo New Asia Cuisine
Unit F101, A. Venue Mall ( in front of Aberdeen Court )
7829 Makati Avenue, Makati
Tel : 7571042

The original Old Swiss Inn which is still operating in Paco, Manila has been around since 1946. That’s more than 60 years!!! Old Swiss Inn is famous for it’s authentic Swiss cuisine and their fondues – beef, cheese and chocolate. We would normally visit Old Swiss Inn for our fondue fix. The Waatlander Fondue uses Gruyere and adds oomph with a shot of kirsch, a colorless brandy. The Toblerone chocolate fondue, on the other hand would be served bubbling hot with a plate of fruits, pound cake and marshmallows. Yummm… the best in Manila.

For this visit though, the whole group was starving and we went for a real meal.

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Fondue Bourguignonne Php 895 – Prime beef tenderloin cubes dipped in hot oil, with a carousel of sauces, served with French fries

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Gnagi (Pork Knuckles) Php 450 – Cured pork knuckles, baked or boiled, served with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes

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Peppersteak Swiss Inn Php 450 – Prime beef tenderloin encrusted with cracked peppercorn, with their famous green peppercorn sauce. Served with French fries and young vegetables

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Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb – Tender Australian lamb rack, delicately flavored with herbs, au jus and complemented with the sweetness of rosemary potatoes. Mint jelly on the side.

Serving choices: Lamb Rack for 1 (250g.)(P850.00), Lamb Rack for 2-3 (500g.)(P1500.00), Lamb Rack 3-4 (800g.)(P2150.00), Lamb Rack 4-5 (1 kg.)(P2800.00)

Summary : Old Swiss Inn is comfort Swiss food.  It’s Makati branch is open 24 hours so it’s the perfect place for people looking for a nightcap. A lot of Manilenos probably have fond memories of ending a night (morning?) of revelry in Old Swiss Inn. An old timer and one of Manila’s lasting institutions serving authentic and good food.

Rating  :  Love It
Food    :  Cheese or chocolate fondue

Old Swiss Inn
G/F Olympia Towers, Makati Ave. cor. Sto. Tomas St, Makati City (beside Peninsula Manila Hotel)
Tel : 818-0098, 818-8251
or
The Garden Plaza Hotel and Suites (beside Paco Park); 1030 Belen St, Paco, Manila
Tel : 526-2739, 522-4835-39, 521-3002

Secret Recipe

Secret Recipes is a cafe-cum-bakery which originated from Malaysia since 1997. They offer more than 40 types of cakes and pastries and over 20 types of fusion food – a blend of specialty food from different countries

Irish Lamb Stew  

Irish Lamb Stew Php430 – The menu says its one of their award-winning items. I would not say it really is Irish based cooking , there was a tinge of Chinese influence there. But it’s still pretty good stew with the meat being tender, ditto for the mashed potatoes!

Prawn Macaroni with Cheese 

Prawn macaroni with cheese Php280 – I liked it. Butter and cheese based. Didn’t scrimp on the gooey cheese and prawns on top of the pasta.

 Tom Yum Goong

Noodle in Tom Yum Kung Php240 – I’m impressed. For the price of Php340, the tom yum goong comes with two king sized prawns. Noodles are al dente, I like them this way! The soup broth has also the right mix of herbs to give it an authentic taste.

Tom Yum Spaghetti Php180 – Tom Yum lovers would love this. Its Tom Yum flavored meat sauce pasta which is very intriguing.

Secret Recipe Cakes

Banana Chocolate cake Php110 – Multi layered sponge cake with banana bits in between mixed with banana flavored choco mouse. Very interesting mix and good.

Marble Cheesecake Php110 – Our waiter recommended this saying the marble cheesecake is the base for all of their cheesecakes. Balanced flavours, not too sour , not too creamy. The base of the cheesecake is made of oatmeal.

Secret Recipes imports all their cheesecakes from Malaysia. I guess they really are secret recipes! Only the sponge cakes and bars are baked in Manila.

Summary : Secret Recipes is someplace I would go to for good cakes and Asian meals with a twist. Prices are affordable without scrimping on the quality. They have around 100 branches already in Asia so they must be doing something right. The food is consistent. It tastes the same as when I tried out Secret Recipes in Malaysia.

Rating : Like It

Food   : Marble Cheesecake

Secret Recipe

Fort Bonifacio/ Robinson’s Midtown/ Shangrila Plaza Mall

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 I was craving for a Japanese burger after I had my Japanese Freshness Burger in Hongkong that I decided it was time to try out Sango burger which was located along Milelong Makati.

I felt like I was transported to a different place when I stepped inside Sango. The place is well-lit and had a Japanese feel into it. Shelves of Japanese books and magazines  lined one wall and there was an LCD TV on another wall airing some Japanese program. There where some Japanese couples lounging around the sofa set placed near the entrance.

Naturally, I ordered the specialty which is the Master Cheeseburger Php 148. The burger came with a thick slice of tomato, chopped white onion mixed with cheese sauce, a slice of cheese and oozing with the special meat sauce. The meat sauce reminded me of sweetish spaghetti sauce. I actually had mixed feelings with my burger. I didn’t like the buns too much. I felt that it was too hollow, had too much air in it.  I have had Japanese burgers before from MOS burger and more recently Freshness burger and my Sango burger tasted different from the other Japanese burgers that I’m used to. I also thought the meat sauce was a bit sweetish. But the burger actually kinda…. grew on me. I finished the whole thing off! It might not be a really great Japanese burger but I’m such a sucker for sloppy joe burgers that I would most probably come back for this again.

Macha Azuki Php75 – green tea soft serve ice cream topped with cornflakes, red bean and two pieces mochi balls. Bit disappointing for me. The green tea ice cream was watery and so didn’t give a creamy taste to my dessert . Kozui’s Anmitsu is way better than this.

Summary : Try this out for an alternative burger to what the normal fast food chains offer.

Rating : Like it

Food   : Burgers!!!

Sango: The Burger Master

Room 5 G/F CreekSide Mall

Amorsolo St. cor Legaspi Vill. Makati

830-0391

It’s my first visit to Fat Michael’s. I know, how could I have missed this much talked about place for years. It’s just that every time I come up with the suggestion of visiting Fat Michael’s, my companions would have another excellent suggestion which overrules mine as the place is a bit out of the way.

Fat Michael’s is located along Bangkal Street Makati which is a residential area. The restaurant itself is a house which has been converted. Stepping inside, the house is eclectically charming. Ornaments, bric-a-bracs in such a small space with warm yellow light bathing the place.

Written on the menu, ‘We cook slow, live with it” gave me an indication of the general philosophy of the place. I have heard a lot of feedback about the place, some good and some bad that the place has constantly piqued my interest through the years. I heard horror stories of how the owners could be so rude but from my experience, I would describe it as abrupt and straightforward and I could understand where other people might take offense. I didn’t have problems with it.

Squid Salad

Squid Salad – The squid was nicely cooked and not overdone. The balsamic vinaigrette gave a nice bite to the salad.

Pizza with Kesong Puti and Tomatoes

Pizza with Kesong Puti and Tomatoes – The crust of the pizza is thin, not Italian thin but more home-made thin. The thickly cut tomatoes were juicy and the kesong puti (goat’s cheese ) gave the pizza it’s creamy flavor. I liked it.

Summary : Fat Michael’s is a nice place to hang out in with friends for a laid back night. The food has the taste of good home-style cooking. Make sure to call in for reservations though as the place can only seat 20+ people.

Rating : Chance Visitor
Food   : Pizza with Kesong Puti and Tomatoes

Fat Michael’s
115-A Rodriguez Avenue  cor Gen. Lacu
Bangkal , Makati City
Tel : 843 1953

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