Capricious Indulgence: CASA ITALIA Gelato Café

Location: Shop 5, Burgos Park Building, Forbestown Center Fort Bonifacio, Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Casa-1Facade, Casa Italia Forbestown

I was walking with three members of my family along Forbestown Road in BGC and was craving for a good place to have coffee and dessert, when we chanced upon CASA ITALIA GELATO CAFÉ and decided to try their gelato1 and coffee.

The original owners are Italian, but this is now a franchise of Gelateria Italia, Singapore’s successful gelato chain established in 2010. Recipes were developed by Chef Donato Mazzola.2

Casa Italia Forbestown opened on December 2015, and is a modern-casual, two-storey, gelateria- café, with a seating capacity good for about 100 people. Kristoffer Kevin Pantaleon is the Business Development Executive.

Casa-1JGround Floor Dining Area, Casa Italia Forbestown

It has a cozy, homey, Italian interior ambiance, great for quiet dining with family/friends or just being alone, enjoying free wi-fi with a gelato or an Italian treat.

Casa-1BIt also offers al fresco dining for about 22 people.

It is open from 9AM – 12AM (Sunday-Thursday) and 9AM – 1AM (Friday-Saturday). I was told that there is paid parking in the basement of the building.

It is also kid-friendly since the gelato is produced using only fresh milk and natural sugar from the ingredients, according to the Forbestown Branch Supervisor, Mhark Daren Gavis Mata. Kids can also enjoy babyccino, Casa Italia’s own version of steamed milk with a dark chocolate powder garnish.

Casa-2-gelati-display-okGelati Display, Casa Italia Forbestown

Upon entering the door, to your left are two big glass display cabinets packed with a wide selection of gelati. My eyes feasted on all the yummy flavors and I could not decide on what to order. It was good that the server was willing to give us free samples of different flavors, so we kept on pointing to a lot LOL! However, all tasted so good that in the end, I still could not decide!

Casa-1EGelati Selection, Top (l-r): Mama’s Cookies, Hazelnut, Brente Pistachio, Formaggi, Japanese Matcha; Bottom (l-r): Mama’s Cookies (almost gone), Salted Caramel, Cookies & Cream, Whiskey

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Gelati Selection, Top (l-r): Formaggi (yellow color), Japanese Matcha, Earl Grey Tea, Red Velvet, Apple Pie; Bottom (l-r): Whiskey, Baileys Irish Cream, Tiramisu, Strawberry Cheesecake, After 8 (Mint)

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Gelati Selection, Top (l-r): Nutella, Dark Truffle, Banana Split, Snickers, Oreo Choco Berry; Bottom (l-r): Guanaja Chocolate, Dark Truffle (almost gone), Crunchy Mocha, Cappuccino

Casa-1H

Gelati Selection, Top (l-r): Snickers, Oreo Choco Berry, Forest Berries Yogurt, Raspberry, Forest Berries Sherbet; Bottom (l-r): Coconut, Melon, Philippine Mango, Strawberry

Casa-1ZTheir premium, handcrafted gelato comes in 5 sizes: Piccolo (1 scoop, PHP130), Medio (2 scoops, PHP195), Grande (3 scoops, PHP260), ½ Vaschetta (200 grams, PHP600), and Vaschetta (400 grams, PHP1,150).

Casa-1IOne can also enjoy Liquorato – gelato with a kick, i.e., with one or two shot/s of liqueur/liquor (Bailey’s Irish Crème or Black Label Whiskey) for PHP 160/190.

Casa-1MNon-alcoholic Beverages, Casa Italia Forbestown

Casa-1LAlcoholic Beverages, Casa Italia Forbestown

Casa-1DThe Charming Barista, Casa Italia Forbestown

Beverages offered range from non-alcoholic: sodas, sparkling water, home-blend teas, juices, bottled water, teas, hot or iced specialty coffee/chocolate/babyccino in three sizes (piccolo, medio and grande); to alcoholic: local and imported beer (PHP90-130) and red and white wines, by the glass (PHP225-275) or by the bottle (PHP700-1500).

Casa-1CTempting cakes and pastries, best enjoyed with coffee or tea, are also on the menu.

Casa-1YWall Menu, Casa Italia Forbestown

And for bigger appetites, Casa Italia serves Italian cuisine: appetizers (PHP125-380), panino (Beef Steak Baguette, PHP335), pasta (PHP220-275), pizza (PHP250-355), and main dishes (PHP305-995).

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Casa-1Q

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Casa-1VA weeknight (Monday-Friday, 6PM till closing time) promo is a local beer bucket (6 bottles) with a Nacho Italiano or Quattro Formaggi Pizza for only PHP580, to “wine and dine the night away”.

We already ate in a nearby restaurant, so we just wanted gelato and coffee during this visit. I was craving for something not so “sinful” and I finally opted to order just one scoop of Forest Berries Sherbet. It was so refreshing, not sweet at all, and berry-licious!

Casa-1TForest Berries Sherbet, Casa Italia Forbestown

Casa-1UPartially consumed Philippine Mango Gelato, Casa Italia Forbestown

My companions ordered a scoop each of Philippine Mango, and Dark Truffle, and one ordered a brewed decaf coffee. I was able to taste all orders. The Philippine Mango gelato was so yummy and the Dark Truffle one was like eating genuine, rich chocolate in cold form. All gelati ordered were just right in terms of sweetness. The brewed decaf coffee was also delightful.

Service was prompt. The staff were so accommodating and cheerful.

Casa-1XCasa Italia Forbestown’s Branch Supervisor, Mhark Daren Gavis Mata

Truth be told, I returned alone the next day for the same order!

I paid for all orders and all comments are personal.

Next time, we will try other gelato flavors (like Pistachio, Salted Caramel, Crunchy Mocha, Coconut, and Mango-After 8 combination) as well as their Italian treats.

Contact details: telephone number: (02) 753-6263, 813-8138; website: http://www.casaitalia.com.ph/; Facebook: CasaItalia PH; Instagram: @casaitaliaph

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1Gelato is a dense, rich, Italian-style ice cream made from milk, cream, sugar, and flavored with fruit and nut purees and other flavorings. It is generally lower in fat than other ice creams, and typically contains less air and more flavoring than other frozen desserts.

2www.news.abs-cbn.com

THAI BBQ ORIGINAL RESTAURANT: Tasty Thai Treats

Location: Ground Floor (beside Glorietta 4 mall entrance), Glorietta 4, Ayala Malls, Ayala Center, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

2-ThaiSawatdeeKah! Hello from THAI BBQ ORIGINAL RESTAURANT, Glorietta 4!

This casual dining, family-style, Thai restaurant, originally from Los Angeles, USA, was established by Pat and Tammy Ngamari in 1978. In the website www.thaibbqla.com, they claim that their family has been perfecting recipes and styles of Thai cooking for three generations, spanning over 50 years. This restaurant was awarded Thai Select* for authentic Thai Cuisine by the Ministry of Commerce, Thailand.

3-ThaiGround Floor Entrance and stairs to 2nd Floor, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

However, I was not in LA last April, dearest Seniors, I was in Makati City! Thanks to No Limits Food Inc. – a food and beverage company based in 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City – which obtained the franchise, we can all enjoy another Thai restaurant in the metro! Yes, it is the same local company behind KPub BBQ, Modern China, Modern Sichuan, Ogawa Traditional Japanese Restaurant, Oppa Chicken, and Tony Roma’s. Visit its Facebook account – No Limits Food Inc.

4-ThaiSecond Floor Dining Area, right next to the stairs

This is the fourth branch (see the three others below) in Metro Manila. It had a soft opening on December 17, 2017 and is operated by Roasted Meat Concepts Corporation. It is open daily, from 11AM – 10PM.

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14-ThaiMenu Card, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

The menu is extensive: appetizers (PHP280-420); soup entrees (PHP320-380); salads (PHP280-380); beef entrees (PHP380-640); chicken entrees (PHP340-640); pork entrees (PHP380-640); seafood entrees (PHP420-900); noodles (PHP320-420); rice (PHP70-420); vegetables (PHP280-380); desserts (PHP180-420); and, beverages – iced teas, beers, shakes, mineral water (PHP90-140).

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S2JT01525352956Beverage Menu, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

It also offers the following House Specials served with Shrimp Fried Rice, and – except for those items marked with an * — with Cucumber Salad and Peanut Sauce: BBQ Spare Ribs Dinner* (PHP680), Beef/Chicken/Pork Sate Dinner (PHP580-740), Sate Combination (PHP580-720), Gaiyang (BBQ ½ Chicken) Dinner* (PHP620). Just in case you want to order Cucumber Salad along with the marked specials*, add PHP120.

5-ThaiSecond Floor Dining Room, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

My group of five arrived early for lunch. We opted to dine at the second floor and were warmly greeted by a waitstaff in Thai attire. The tables are good for four or more, and the chairs are comfortable to sit on. Menu/Drink cards were immediately given to us.

Orders were served promptly and efficiently by the attentive waitstaff. The house specials have generous portions that seem to be intended for sharing. So, dear Seniors, it would be best to bring your family or friends along.

10-ThaiSpring Rolls, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

The SPRING ROLLS (PHP280) were served hot. They were crisp, flavorful, and best enjoyed with the accompanying vinegar dip.

8-ThaiThe COMBINATION SOUP (PHP320) was served hot and was tasty.

9-ThaiPomelo Salad and Lemon Grass Iced Tea, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

The POMELO SALAD (PHP380), with its dressing, offered a combination of texture, and sweet-sour taste, as well as a bit of aromatic kick from the cilantro. I had to ask for additional cilantro! Personally, this was the ideal dish to eat before the House Specials were served.

11-ThaiGaiyang, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

The GAIYANG (PHP620) is a Thai mild-spiced, tender, barbecued chicken, that was well complemented by the honey sauce. It was served with a generous portion of Shrimp Fried Rice.

12-ThaiSate Combination, Thai BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4

The SATE COMBINATION (PHP720) is an excellent choice for sate lovers since this savory order offers three kinds of tender and flavorful sates – beef, chicken and pork. The accompanying Shrimp Fried Rice, peanut sauce and cucumber salad were good counterpoints for this dish. The marinated and grilled meats were cooked just right and were flavorful and mildly spicy – perfect for seniors and kids.

I enjoyed sipping the refreshing LEMON GRASS ICED TEA (PHP120) in between courses. It had a good balance of sweetness and lemon grass taste.

Overall, I would recommend this restaurant to satisfy your Thai food cravings. The food is good, and the prices are reasonable since servings are generous enough for sharing.

Prices quoted were as of April 2018, VAT inclusive and subject to 10% service charge. I paid personally for our meal and all comments are personal.

Cash and credit cards are accepted. Table booking is recommended. Contact details: (02) 751-9008/2903/2371; 09171112121; Facebook – THAI BBQ Original Restaurant Glorietta 4; IG – #thaibbq.manila

There are three other branches in Metro Manila: (1) Ground Floor, The Fort Entertainment Complex, 5th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City – M-Su: 11 am-3pm; 5:30-11pm – (02) 846-0000, 09178950000; (2) 2/F, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Triangle Exchange, North Avenue, Quezon City – M-Su: 11am-10pm – (02) 364-0068; (3) Level 5, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Main Wing, Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City – M-Th: 11am-9pm; F: 11am-10pm; Sa: 10am-10pm; Su: 10am-9pm – (02) 246-9069 ext. 886.

I will return to taste their Fried Calamari, Yum PlaDook Foo (Catfish Salad), Pad Thai (Fried Noodles), Tom Yum Goong (Thai sour shrimp/prawn soup), Crispy/Honey Duck Dinner, BBQ Spare Ribs Dinner, Panang Beef Curry, Pineapple and Bagoong Fried Rice, and Thai Milk Iced Tea. So many reasons to return, definitely another cheat meal for sure!

Did you find this post informative? I have not been to the original LA outlet of Thai BBQ Original Restaurant. Why don’t you tell me if the quality and taste are the same as in Metro Manila? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the top right part of this post and click “Leave a comment.” Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

You might also like to read about a Greenbelt Thai restaurant which I posted – SIMPLY THAI: Simply Delightful!

KhobKhunKah (Thank you)!

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*Thai Select is a program of the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, the Royal Thai Government, that certifies and promotes authentic Thai cuisine worldwide, as well as the appropriate hospitality and ambiance. Good for three years and renewable, it is a seal of approval granted to Thai restaurants outside of Thailand that serve authentic Thai food, and to companies that produce Thai food products. It aims to increase the recognition of quality Thai restaurants and processed Thai food products, as well as to encourage Thai restaurateurs and food producers to raise their quality and authenticity. www.thaiselect.com

Mary Grace: Homemade Goodness

Location: Upper Ground Level Corte de Las Palmas, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila, Philippines

My husband and I had some errands in Metro Manila and a nephew had an early morning appointment at Alabang Town Center in Muntinlupa City, so we decided to accompany our niece for breakfast at Café Mary Grace, a homey café, while waiting for our nephew.

This branch in Alabang Town Center is open 8am-10 pm (Monday-Thursday) and 8am-11pm (Friday-Sunday). You can contact (02) 828-8476 or cell no. (0917)515-7524.

Historically, this café started with its first kiosk in 2002 which offered Mary Grace’s freshly baked ensaymadas1 and cheese rolls daily. I have tasted its cheese roll, and will taste its ensaymada, and other baked products, and make a post about it too.

Z-MG-3Ensaymada-Cheese Roll-Hot Chocolate selection, Café Mary Grace

You might be asking, dearest Seniors, who is MARY GRACE? Well, here is a brief biography. Mary Grace Dimacali, the founder and president of MARY GRACE FOODS, Inc., is a wife and mother of five children. She took AB Psychology, and graduated Cum Laude, from St. Scholastica’s College Manila in 1978. She loved baking and pursued a 12-month baking and bakeshop management course in the USA in 1991. She also finished Masters in Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management in 2001.

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Ensaymadas and cheese rolls were her signature products and offered them in her first bazaar in 1994. She opened her first Mary Grace kiosk in Glorietta 4 in 2002. The first Café Mary Grace was established in Serendra in 2006. Her immediate family is involved in the business. Go to the bottom of this post for the list of outlets, other than this branch.

Visit Café Mary Grace’s website: www.marygracecafe.com. For its menu, simply click “menu” or “download menu”. All food items are made in a commissary. For a complete list of outlets, locations, operating hours and contact numbers, click “shops”.

The café exudes a homey and cozy atmosphere. It is a comfortable place to have meals with family/friends, and to talk endlessly while savoring food and beverage orders. Books were displayed, and I noticed that these were covered with plastic (the way I used to cover my school books)and were not new. I am sure they were read and treasured. There were also thank you notes from previous customers. I think this restaurant is a relaxing place to dine alone, with a companion, or with one’s family.

Z-MG-2breakfast menu, Café Mary Grace 

The restroom is clean and has all the necessary supplies, a feature that I appreciate a lot when dining out.

We chose three kinds of homemade breakfast orders(which they claim to be marinated fresh daily and without preservatives): Fried Boneless Bangus2, Sirloin Beef Tapa3 and Vigan Longganisa4.

Z-MG-8Fried Boneless Bangus, Café Mary Grace

The customers are given a choice for the eggs included in the order: either scrambled eggs or sunny side-up (for a total price of 320 pesos, 398 pesos and 380 pesos, respectively), or omelette: smoked ham and cheese, or mushroom and cheese (for a total price of 387 pesos, 460 pesos and 458 pesos, respectively). Prices are inclusive of VAT5 and exclusive of service charge.

 

Z-MG-7                                              Sirloin Beef Tapa, Café Mary Grace                                                  (notice the guest’s note inserted under the glass)

The orders are served with either the Signature Rosemary Fried Rice or Garlic Fried Rice, along with coffee and 3 accompaniments(a dip of seasoned vinegar, and 2 kinds of relishes:tomato-wansuy6 salsa7 and homemade pickled mangoes).

Z-MG-9                                                Vigan Longganisa, Café Mary Grace                                                   (notice the guest’s note and stampitas inserted under the glass)

We all ordered sunny side-up eggs, Signature Rosemary Fried Rice and coffee. Next time, we will try the three other kinds of breakfast items: Brioche8 French Toast with grilled peaches, cashews and cream (305 pesos); Chicken Inasal9 (305/398 pesos), and Pork Tocino10 (305/398 pesos).

I studied the menu while waiting for our orders. It is quite an extensive menu. This café also offers:

  • Perfect Plates (a combination of pasta, salad and the dessert for the day; i.e., Chorizo Plate, Dory & Saffron Cream Plate, and Fresh Tomato and Herb Plate, with prices ranging from 420-440 pesos); they can be paired with an additional soup(Summer Squash or Wild Mushroom) (80 pesos);
  • Savory Starters (168-262 pesos) and Hearty Soups (170-190 pesos);
  • Fresh Salads with homemade dressings (205-390 pesos);
  • Sandwiches served with homemade potato chips and dip (248-305 pesos); they can be paired with an additional side salad or soup (70-80 pesos);
  • Flavorful (Cream-based, Oil-based, or Tomato-based) Pastas made with 100% extra virgin oil, real stock, and served with garlic bread and Edam cheese garnish (310-420 pesos);
  • Pizzas with fresh dough made daily, premium mozzarella and homemade tomato sauce (498-540 pesos); and,
  • Beverages: Homemade Iced Teas (using Mary Grace’s original recipe made from scratch using premium tea leaves and fresh fruit juices, sold by the glass for 95 pesos or by the pitcher for 285 pesos; Premium Coffee and Teas (95-185 pesos).

All orders were served at the right temperature. Service was reasonably fast, and the servers were courteous and even inquired if we enjoyed our orders or wanted additional items.

The enjoyment of our breakfast orders was enhanced by the dip and relishes. I personally savored my order because of the two relishes: the tomato-wansuysalsa7 and the homemade pickled mangoes. The eggs were cooked just right. Portions were generous for Seniors, but I think they would be just right for an average customer.

Z-MG-4Order Confirmation Slip given before payment to check accuracy of orders

 

Z-MG-6Official Receipt presentation after payment, Café Mary Grace

I paid for our orders and all the comments are based on my dining experience. I will definitely go back to try the baked products!

While some might consider this place a bit pricey, I personally feel that I got my money’s worth in terms of quality of food and service.

Café Mary Grace has many branches (cafés* or kiosks**), other than the branch I went to: SM Southmall* in Las Piñas, Makati (Cash and Carry**, Century City Mall*, Enterprise**, Enterprise Center*, Glorietta 4**, Greenbelt 2*, Makati Medical Center**, Power Plant Mall**, RCBC Plaza** and Steps Dance Studio*), Mandaluyong (Robinsons Galleria**, Shangri-La Plaza* and SM Megamall**), Manila (Robinsons Place Manila*, Lucky Chinatown Mall*, SM Manila* and SM San Lazaro*), Muntinlupa (Festival Supermall*), NAIA Terminal 3 (Level 4*), Parañaque (Okada** and SM BF Parañaque*), Pasay (MAAX Bldg Mall of Asia* and SM Mall of Asia North Wing**), Pasig (Estancia Mall*, Rockwell Business Center* and SM Hypermart**), Quezon City (Ayala Fairview Terraces*, Eastwood Mall*, Gateway Mall – Ground Level** and Upper Ground Level*), SM North EDSA*, SM Fairview* and Trinoma*), San Juan (Unimart*), and Taguig (Serendra*, SM Aura*, St. Luke’s Medical Center*, Uptown Mall* and Venetian Mall*). Wow! Definitely a lot to choose from wherever you are in the Metro!

Please note that the information in this article was around January 2018 and may differ from the latest information. Visit its website: www.marygracecafe.com.

Did you find this post informative? Did you dine in any of the outlets of Mary Grace? Would you like to share your dining experience? I would like to hear from you. Simple scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” bar at the bottom right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

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For foreign readers, I hope these footnotes will help you understand the terms used:

1Ensaymada is a soft, fluffy pastry made with butter, topped with granulated sugar and upgraded with a generous topping of finely grated cheese (using even queso de bola11 during Christmas season), butter cream, and sugar. It is a popular Filipino snack, introduced by the Spaniards (associated with the Spanish town of Majorca).

2Bangus is the Filipino term for milkfish, the national fish of the Philippines. Dagupan City is known for producing quality bangus. It can be fried, smoked, fermented and further processed (bottled, canned or frozen). The boneless version is popular to save the trouble of removing (especially the small, finer) bones while eating.

3Tapa refers to the thinly sliced, tangy, sweet-salty, Filipino dried beef, which is cured using salt and spices. Chicken, fish, horse meat, mutton, pork, or venison may also be used. It is usually fried but can also be grilled, then served with garlic fried rice and fried eggs for breakfast.

4Vigan longganisa is a (2-inch) small, plump, spicy, tangy, Ilocano pork sausage delicacy made with lots of garlic and spices. It is not sweet and is typically made using sukang Iloko (a native Ilocano vinegar). It is then fried before serving and is best enjoyed with fried rice and fried egg for breakfast or with sliced salted eggs and tomatoes.

5VAT stands for value added tax, a type of sales tax which is levied on the sale of goods, services or properties. In the Philippines, twelve percent (12%) is added to the selling price of a local/imported product/service or sale/lease of properties.

6Wansuy is the Tagalog term for the herb called coriander, Chinese parsley or cilantro.

7Salsa is a spicy/piquant sauce made of chopped, usually uncooked, vegetables/fruits (e.g., chili peppers, onions, tomatoes), commonly served with Mexican food as a condiment.

8Brioche is light-textured, soft, slightly sweet, French yeast bread, typically formed into a small, round bun/roll, and made of butter, cream, eggs, flour, milk, water and yeast.

9Chicken Inasal is a Filipino variant of roast chicken marinated in a mixture of annatto, lime, pepper and vinegar, then grilled over hot coals while being basted with the marinade. It is enjoyed when served with rice, (sinamak12 or white) vinegar and soy sauce. It is a specialty of Bacolod, a highly urbanized city and the capital of the province of Negros Occidental in the Western Visayas Region (Region VI) of the Philippines. “Chicken Inasal,” accessed March 12, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_Inasal.

10Tocino is a Filipino-style cured meat, often sweet, and is usually made of pork, but chicken and beef can also be used. It is fried and served for breakfast along with fried rice, and even with fried egg. It is traditionally colored red using saltpeter.

11Quezo de bola is a popular, pale yellow cheese with a red rind/coating made of red paraffin wax, served during the Christmas season in the Philippines (perhaps due to its red rind) and is a traditional treat for Noche Buena (the traditional midnight feast with one’s family at home during Christmas Eve), similar to the Netherlands’ Edam cheese. It is usually served with cured ham and hot pan de sal (a traditional yeast-raised bread, rolled in fine bread crumbs, served during breakfast in the country).

12Sinamak is a kind of vinegar infused with lots of garlic, chili peppers and langkawas (a kind of ginger), according to the Wikipedia page “Chicken Inasal”.

SIMPLY THAI: Simply Delightful!

Location: Level 1, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Mall Center, Legaspi Street, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

B-1-facadeI was back in Makati to do some errands, accompanied by a niece last Friday. It was lunchtime and she suggested we eat at Simply Thai in Greenbelt 5. It was chosen as one of Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurants in 2016 and 2017. So off we went!

B-2-ceilingWhen seated, I looked up and appreciated their orange hanging lamps.

B3-dining rmThe simple, yet cozy, dining ambiance, along with the cheerful wait staff was a welcome treat for me.

This casual Thai restaurant basically offers classic Thai dishes. Menu cards and beverage lists were given to us. Simply Thai has an extensive menu (offering soups, appetizers, salads, main dishes – house specialties, curries, stir fries, vegetables, vegetarian dishes, rice and noodles, desserts) and drink list (branded water, canned sodas, juices, shakes and cocktails).

v9Nmq1521103434Soup and Appetizer Selection, Simply Thai

2-appetizer-saladAppetizer (continuation) and Salad Selection, Simply Thai

3-salads-house-specialtiesSalad (continuation) and House Specialty Selection, Simply Thai

4-house specialties-curries-stir-friesHouse Specialty, Thai Curry and Stir-Fry Selection, Simply Thai

5-stir-friesStir-Fry Selection (continuation), Simply Thai

6-stir-fried-vegs-rice-noodlesStir-Fried Vegetable and Rice-Noodle Selection, Simply Thai

7- rice-noodle-vegetarianRice-Noodle and Vegetarian Selection, Simply Thai

This restaurant is also VEGETARIAN-friendly since it offers a selection of vegetarian dishes: Tom Yum Tofu Soup and Tom Khaa Tofu Soup (P180 each), Pomelo Salad (P295), Green Mango Apple Salad (P270), Grilled Aubergine with Tofu Salad (P275), Green Papaya Salad (P280), Golden Tofu with Tamarind Sauce (P230), Mixed Vegetables in Yellow, Green or Red Curry Sauce (P275), Stir-Fried Bokchoi and Mushrooms (P275), Vegetable Medley in Garlic and Lemongrass Sauce (P275), Vegetarian Phad Thai (P310), Pineapple Fried Rice (P310), and Vegetable Fried Rice (P310).

8-dessertsDessert Selection, Simply Thai

B-4-barYes, Seniors and non-Seniors, Simply Thai has a bar for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages! However, we did not order any beverage since we wanted to concentrate on food orders. Anyway, for Seniors who want to indulge in an occasional Happy Hour once in a while, Simply Thai offers Bottomless Cocktails daily from 4:00-7:00 pm for only P299! Just drink in moderation, ok dearest reader?

Here are our orders, opting mostly bestsellers:

7LBfw1521103134TOM YUM KUNG, the hot and sour prawn soup (P185, good for 2 Seniors) – This soup was served hot. We, Seniors, requested it to be slightly spicy but we still found it too spicy for our taste so the waiter gave us coconut milk to temper the spiciness and we were satisfied.

A-3-chickenPANDANUS CHICKEN, coconut-marinated chicken fillets wrapped in pandan leaves (P385 for 5 pieces, good for 2-3 Seniors) – This chicken dish was tender and tasty.

A-2-porkCINNAMON PORK RIBS, barbecued honey-coated cinnamon ribs (P300, good for 2-3 Seniors) – This house specialty was very tasty and so tender that that meat falls off the bone. This is a flavorful dish and the consistency and amount of sweet-smokey sauce was just right for the very tender ribs.

A-6-vegetablePAT BUNG WITH CRISPY PORK, morning glory (swamp cabbage) with garlic and shrimp paste and crispy pork (P310, good for 2-3 Seniors). This dish was simply stir-fried kangkong with bagoong (what we Filipinos call morning glory and shrimp paste) and the thinly-sliced pork was delightfully a bit crispy.

9wMqu1521102801KHAO KLUK KAPI (Thai Bagoong Rice), fried rice in Thai shrimp paste, with sweet pork, shreds of scrambled egg, thin slices of fresh green mango, chillies and cucumbers (P365, good for 2-3 Seniors) – The fried rice was served separate from the other major ingredients and the waitress cheerfully mixed it for us but we requested her not to include the chillies (and just place them on one corner of the serving plate).

A-4-riceTHAI SALTED FISH FRIED RICE (P280, good for 3-4 Seniors) – This fried rice order was pleasantly appealing and seasoned just right.

A-7-dessertHOMEMADE DURIAN ICE CREAM (P185, good for 2 Seniors) – My husband loves Durian Ice Cream from Davao so I ordered this dessert and asked to share it with him. We personally feel that this dessert can be improved. The durian was pureed and so pure and does not have to be so dominant or strong but, instead, can be developed into a creamier ice cream with just the right amount of durian flavor to delight both durian lovers as well as newbies to the durian taste.

The manager and servers were cheerful, very efficient and rendered commendable service, with a keen eye on the needs of diners, like refilling glasses of water and bussing out empty dishes.

Simply Thai offers both indoor airconditioned dining as well as an outdoor dining area. The comfort room is communal yet decent and clean.

Food servings are ample and for Seniors, orders can easily be shared among 2-3 persons. For Seniors who are not fond of too spicy dishes, simply request the order taker to tell the chef to adjust the amount of spiciness.

Prices quoted were as of March 2018, VAT inclusive and subject to 10% service charge. I paid personally for my meal and all comments are personal. I find the prices reasonable since serving portions can be shared, especially among Seniors.

This restaurant opens 11 am (except Monday at 3pm) and closes (9:30 pm Monday, 11 pm – Tuesday till Thursday, 12 am – Friday till Saturday, and 10 pm Sunday).

Here are the contact details for Simply Thai Greenbelt 5: landline: (02) 7296860; telefax: (02) 7290860; mobile number: 09178380487. For now, their Facebook account is down but you can email: simplythairesto@yahoo.com or call the manager, Mr. Armani Zamonte II at 09560747696.

Of course, nothing beats authentic Thai cuisine in Thailand but overall, if you crave for Thai food in the Greenbelt area, you can try Simply Thai.

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Why not go to my others related posts?   JASMINE: IRRESISTIBLE CHINESE FOOD

and       TAO YUAN RESTAURANT: YUMMY CHINESE-SINGAPOREAN TREATS

TIM HO WAN: MICHELIN-STAR DIM SUM AND THEN SOME

Location: Ground Floor, Uptown Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Uptown Bonifacio Complex, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

I was shopping with my husband and 3 relatives early evening in Uptown Mall at the Uptown Bonifacio complex in the northern part of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) when we all decided to eat dim sum in Tim Ho Wan.

Tim Ho Wan is a Chinese dim sum restaurant chain, established on March 2009 by Mak Kwai-Pui, located in Mongkok, Hong Kong. It is the first and only Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant in the world and has been in the Philippine since 2014!

Z-2-facadeTim Ho Wan Uptown Mall facade

It currently has 45 locations in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam. It is called “the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant” since it earned one-star in the 2010 Hong Kong and Macau Michelin Guide, then 3 other locations also received one Michelin star in 2015.

 

Z-3-outdoor-adsTim Ho Wan Uptown Mall outdoor advertising

This Uptown Mall branch was almost full but we found a table. The dining area had a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. The glass wall overlooking the exterior showed a beautiful water-and-light-show and we enjoyed it while waiting for our orders. A young juggler/mime was also within the area showing his various tricks which enthralled the kids passing by and those inside this restaurant.

Tim Ho Wan has a typical Cantonese dim sum menu to satisfy your palate, dear Senior Citizens (SCs). It claims to have the same menu as its original Hong Kong outlet. It offers small, individual portions, just right for one person or for sharing (for us, Seniors).

Z-4-order checklistTim Ho Wan order checklist

The table has an order checklist and ballpen, so we indicated the items and quantities we wanted, and handed them over to a waitress who clarified our orders just to be sure that what we wanted would be served. I asked for the waiting time and it was met.

Z-5-placematTim Ho Wan placemat

For the budget-conscious SCs, just don’t be carried away with your orders. The price range per dim sum order is 120-200 pesos and drinks are 50-60 pesos each. For a quick look at the dim sum selection, first time SC-customers, look at the paper placemat menu which is complete with colored pictures of each item and corresponding prices.

For Seniors like us, I recommend sharing an order with another person so you can try different items in one visit. It is very easy to re-order once you want more of a particular item. For noodles, ask for an extra bowl. If you have difficulty using chopsticks, ask for a fork and spoon. Remember, orders are all served hot and best enjoyed hot, so dig in once they are served. Just blow at little before you put a biteful in your mouth to be sure LOL!

Tim-Ho-Wan-Baked-Bun-BBQ-Pork             Baked Bun with BBQ Pork                           The poor bun after I compress & bite it

Of course, on top of our list of dim sum orders is the Michelin-recognized BAKED BUN WITH BBQ PORK (3 pcs. for 145 pesos). It was delicious indeed! The bun was crusty and the pork barbecue filling was delightfully savory. For seniors who prefer it spicy, I suggest you bite into the bun then add some chili sauce to the filling inside, or add a little sauce for each bite you take.

Z-8-wasabi-dumplingWasabi Salad Prawn Dumpling

The WASABI SALAD PRAWN DUMPLING (3 pcs. for 140 pesos) is a very good choice for those who like the taste of wasabi. It’s like enjoying a deep-fried prawn dumpling with just the right amount of kick from the wasabi-Japanese mayo topping.

Tim-Ho-Wan-Vermicelli-Pork-Rib-Spare-RibsVermicelli Roll with Shrimp   Pork Rib with Black Bean Sauce     Spare Ribs Rice

We also enjoyed the flavorful VERMICELLI ROLL WITH SHRIMP (3 pcs. for 190 pesos), PORK RIB WITH BLACK BEAN SAUCE (120 pesos) and SPARE RIBS RICE (170 pesos).

Z-9-pork dumplingsPork Dumpling with Shrimp

PRAWN DUMPLING (4 pcs. for 160 pesos) and PORK DUMPLING WITH SHRIMP (4 pcs. for 150 pesos) were served hot, steamed in a bamboo basket, and were tasty with the dips.

Tim-Ho-Wan-Beef-Brisket-Beef-Tendon-Noodles                  Beef Brisket Noodles                                              Beef Tendon Noodles

We also ordered two kinds of noodles: BEEF BRISKET NOODLES and BEEF TENDON NOODLES (190 pesos each). The flavorful broth for each order was served hot in a bowl, separate from the plate with the noodles, vegetable and beef item/s with a generous amount of viscous sauce, decorated with spring onions. Both noodle dishes were good. The beef brisket and even the tendons were tender. However, my husband wanted more tendons LOL!

Tim Ho Wan does not offer alcoholic beverages but you can order: iced tea, hot or cold barley water, sodas in cans, or jasmine and oolong teas. I recommend you to order tea (60 pesos per pot), sipped in between bites of the various dim sum you will order.

Service was a bit slow due to the volume of customers but we were told about the waiting time and when the dishes were finally served, they were really hot so it was worth the wait while we gazed outside at the water-and-light-show and talked endlessly.

Call 02-7764549 for table booking to be sure you will be seated due to the popularity of this restaurant. Bring cash for payment. Prices quoted were as of December 2017, VAT inclusive and subject to 10% service charge. So, budget-conscious SCs, better check prices before visiting or ordering for your 2018 (and beyond) visit/s, just in case they will be changed.

This outlet is open from 11 am till 3 am daily. Yes, my dear SCs, you read it right! This Tim Ho Wan branch is open till early morning. So, when you get hungry and crave for a quick Chinese meal, you can walk to this outlet after your last featured movie in Uptown Mall, or if you are at home, cannot sleep and it is midnight/early morning, you can drive to the said mall to pamper yourself to a dim sum noodle treat.

Aside from Uptown Mall, Tim Ho Wan has 5 other outlets in Metro Manila: Makati (Glorietta 3), Mandaluyong (SM Megamall), Manila (Robinsons Place Manila – Ermita), Pasay (SM Mall of Asia), and Quezon City (SM City North EDSA). Type Tim Ho Wan, Metro Manila in www.zomato.com, choose the outlet, check out their operating hours, and click on the menu to view the selection with corresponding prices.

Tim Ho Wan is definitely the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in the Metro! No wonder it is very popular! Oh, SCs, do not forget to give your SC cards when you ask for the bill, ok?

Our tummies were finally “happy”. Looking back, we only tried one of their “Big 4 Heavenly Kings”: the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork. So, for our next visit, we will try the 3 other “heavenly” items (Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork & Shrimp, Pan Fried Radish Cake, and Steamed Egg Cake) as well as their congee, dessert, vegetable, and other rice, soup, stir-fried, steamed, and vermicelli dishes. Definitely, these are reserved for another cheat day! LOL

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced dining in Tim Ho Wan Uptown Mall or in any of its other branches? How do they compare with their Hong Kong counterparts, especially the one-star Michelin rated Baked Bun with BBQ Pork? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to the upper right part of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Also click “Follow” at the bottom-right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

Visit my other posts:

JASMINE: IRRESISTIBLE CHINESE FOOD

and

TAO YUAN RESTAURANT: YUMMY CHINESE-SINGAPOREAN TREATS

 

 

 

 

 

 

JASMINE: IRRESISTIBLE CHINESE FOOD

Location: Level 2, New World Makati Hotel, Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue, Ayala Center, Makati City, Philippines

My group of five were in the Greenbelt area and I was craving for Chinese food and salted egg so off we went to New World Makati Hotel’s Jasmine, its dining outlet at Level 2. Jasmine is open for lunch (11:30 am – 2:30 pm) and dinner (6 pm – 10:30 pm).

Z-1-Jasmine-facadeThe entrance to the main dining room was so inviting. We arrived at a little past noon and most of the tables were occupied.

Z-1-Jasmine-interiorThe Chinese Art Deco interior was cozy and simply elegant. It is my second visit to this Chinese restaurant and this will definitely be a “cheat meal”! LOL

Jasmine offers authentic Chinese dishes created by renowned Hong Kong chef Wong Kam On: a wide variety of Cantonese baked, fried, steamed and vegetarian dim sum; chicken, fish and pork century egg congees; rice rolls (served only for lunch); Peking Duck; seafood specialties; barbecued appetizers; soups; live fish and seafood (with your choice of cooking method); poultry and meat dishes; bean curd, noodle, rice, vegetable and vegetarian dishes; desserts; and different kinds of tea (along with Jasmine Tea and Jasmine Chrysanthemum). Set menus, priced per table of ten persons, are also offered.

Z-1-Jasmine-menuOn our round table was a menu for unlimited  yum cha (traditional Cantonese brunch consisting of dim sum and Chinese tea), for 988 pesos per person. It was so tempting but we settled for a la carte orders for the group so we could savor the salted egg dishes which I have been craving for.

Z-2-JasmineWe ordered 4 kinds of dimsum. The BARBECUED PORK PASTRY was a welcome treat because the pastry was so flaky and the pork filling was delicious. The generously-sized PORK XIAO LONG BAO looked so enticing: steaming hot with its delicate folds and thin, white casing. Its yummy mild broth was just right for the well-seasoned pork filling.

Z-2-Jasmine-hargaoThe HAR GAO was served hot, the dough shell was soft and delicate, and the seasoned shrimp filling was tasty and juicy.

Z-3-JasmineThe PORK PASTRY SPRING ROLL was a delightful appetizer as well.

We enjoyed sipping the hot JASMINE TEA while we savored the various dim sum as well as succeeding courses.

SPINACH SOUP was requested by our 5-year old picky-eater-grandson and he finished it all so that says a lot about this soup! This healthy soup was served at the right temperature and was pleasantly seasoned so the kid enjoyed it till the last drop.

Z-4-JasmineWe ordered five main courses. Finally, I will satisfy my salted egg craving! The SOLE OF FISH SALTED EGG YOLK hit the spot! I definitely rave about this dish and, dear Seniors, this is definitely a MUST TRY! The tender fish was fried with just the right amount of yummy salted egg.

Z-5-JasmineThe crispy DEEP FRIED PRAWNS SALTED EGG YOLK was likewise delicious, accentuated by the salted egg coating.

The CHINESE STYLE PAN-FRIED BEEF TENDERLOIN was topped with Chef Wong’s special sauce. The beef was so tender. The flavor and texture of the sauce enhanced the enjoyment of this dish.

Z-6-JasmineOur picky-eater requested BROCCOLI WITH OYSTER SAUCE. The broccoli was cooked just right and the sauce was tasty, but not salty.

Z-7-JasmineThe EGG WHITE SEAFOOD FRIED RICE with conpoy (a type of pungent Cantonese dried scallop) and pine nuts, with its subtle, yet flavorful blend of ingredients and seasonings, aptly complemented our a la carte orders.

Z-8-JasmineMango Pudding, Jasmine, New World Makati Hotel

Finally, we ordered two kinds of desserts: Mango Pudding and Mango Cream-Sago.

Z-9-JasmineMango Cream-Sago, Jasmine, New World Makati Hotel

Both desserts were a refreshing treat after all the dimsum and main courses we enjoyed.

The staff were so accommodating and gave personalized service. They changed the plates as needed, replenished our tea and water, and asked if we enjoyed the meal and what else we needed.

We will definitely come back for more, what with their December promo called “Feast on Festive Treats”: (1) a Yum Cha Buffet Lunch consisting of baked, fried and steamed dumplings, buns, rolls and noodles, at 1,388 pesos per person; and, (2) a choice among three 10-course set menus for December 24, 25, 31, 2017 and January 1, 2018, featuring Chef Wong’s signature dishes like Suckling Pig, Braised Abalone with Black Mushrooms, Pan-fried Lamb with Black Pepper Sauce, Pan-fried Scallop with Egg White and Black Truffle Sauce, at 9,888 pesos for a group of 6 persons.

Private dining rooms are also available for your intimate get-togethers, dear Senior Citizens. You can inquire/book at (02) 811-6888. Visit their website: www.manila.newworldhotels.com. You can view their complete menu at www.zomato.com, just type Jasmine – New World Makati Hotel Menu.

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced dining in Jasmine? If so, what were your favorite dim sum and ala carte dishes? I would like to hear from you. Do scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” bar at the bottom right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

 

 

TAO YUAN RESTAURANT: YUMMY CHINESE-SINGAPOREAN TREATS

Location: 2/F Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City, Philippines

A niece of ours brought us to Resorts World Manila (an integrated resort*) in Pasay City and since it was almost lunch time and we were already hungry, she suggested we try this Chinese-Singaporean seafood restaurant at the second floor of Newport Mall. We said we were willing to try it and here is our dining experience for four.

The dining area was spacious, the air conditioning gave a comfortable ambiance and the head receptionist was very accommodating who led us to a table and graciously took our orders. I appreciated coming early for lunch because I heard that this place is popular and crowded during lunch and dinner.

1-Tao Yuan
Singaporean Fried Fish Skin

Our appetizer was Singaporean Fried Fish Skin and this is to die for!  The salted egg taste along with the crispy fish skin was so yummy so I told myself, this is definitely a Cheat Day for me due its generous portion and this was just for starters! It was worth 328 peso. We were not able to finish it so we asked this to be wrapped and we continued to enjoy it at home after being heated in the microwave, and was still so yummy!

2-Tao Yuan
Scallops with Minced Vegetable Soup

We just had a small order of Scallops with Minced Vegetable Soup and it was served at the right temperature, subtle yet delicious. The texture and delicate taste made this dish a delectable treat at 498 pesos.

3-Tao Yuan
Hainanese Chicken

We had half an order of their Singaporean Boneless Hainanese Chicken, a favorite among its customers. Now I know why! It is so tender and its delicate taste, along with the accompanying dips, makes you want to dig in for more. The 750 price was worth it.

4-Tao Yuan
Salted Fish and Diced Chicken

The Fried Rice with Salted Fish and Diced Chicken was tasty yet complemented the dishes we ordered so I enjoyed them all together or even just the fried rice alone! A small order costs 398 pesos.

5-Tao Yuan
Roasted Crispy Pork Belly

The Roasted Crispy Pork Belly was a winner! The crispy skin yet tender meat with its dip was just right for meat lovers. It costs 428 pesos.

6-Tao Yuan
Scallops with Broccoli Flowers

Scallops with Broccoli Flowers was ordered for someone craving for vegetables. Even the kid with us enjoyed this dish. The contrasting texture of the broccoli along with the smooth and the pleasantly-flavored scallops was a great combination. A small order costs 980 pesos.

We were given a complimentary dessert of almond lychee and it was refreshing with just the right sweetness, after all the dishes we enjoyed!

I just want to say that I paid for our meal and these are my personal comments based on the orders we made. It is a bit pricey but we had value for money and we were very satisfied! Happy tummies!

We will definitely come back to this restaurant and try their other dishes. I was told that dimsum is served in their other branch and would like to try it too.

Did you find this post informative? Have you also experienced dining in this restaurant or in any of its other branches? Do you know other Chinese restaurants you want me to feature? I would like to hear from you. Do scroll to the upper right corner of this post and click “Leave a comment”. Follow me by clicking the “Follow” bar at the bottom right corner of your gadget. Thank you!

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*An integrated resort is a type of resort which features lodging, gaming, convention failities, entertainment shows, fine dining outlets, high-end retail outlets, and theme parks.