Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dining at the Old Vine Grille with good old friends

Me and my old friends (or let me say former high school classmates...does that sound better?) rarely meet up so it was nice seeing them again. Two of the more successful ones treated the underdogs (in other words...the less fortunate ones) and that included me at Old Vine Grille in Eastwood. 
Instead of ordering ala carte, they decided to try the buffet which I think is a good choice because their dishes are quite expensive. For P595, you can eat all you can! If I only knew, I would have starved myself all day...LOL.
I was still full so the waiter just served me Tom Yum soup which I thought was seafood sinigang because it tasted like that. Not much authentic flavor in it and spices. (pardon me with the dark pic)
This was followed by a delightful green salad and salmon carpaccio! I topped the salad with croutons, parmesan and ceasar salad dressing. It has cherry tomatoes and chicken bits. It matched the salmon perfectly...very light and tasty! I am not a big fan of salmon because I have tasted some before and I get that icky raw after taste but this one was different.
Now for the main course, I chose baby back ribs, shrimp and rice. The baby back ribs are good but it is not that tender. I have to struggle a little taking out the meat from the bone. The shrimp was bland so I asked for vinegar for me to enjoy it. It would be better if they would have cooked it with lots of garlic and butter  then with a dash of worcestershire sauce. The mixed rice was good.
Since their specialty are grilled stuff, we chose from a row of raw meat and seafood for them to grill. I decided to get some stuffed squid and garlic beef. I was disappointed with the taste...and again vinegar and soy sauce did the trick. I was expecting to see bigger squid and not tiny ones and the beef lacks marinating. 

I was quite full and craving for some sweets  so I decided to try their desserts. I got pandan cake (not sure if there was macapuno in it because I did not taste any), ube creme brulee and truffles. I was not able to try the mango with small sago dessert because it would get messy on a plate. They should have placed it in small cups already so it would be easier for guests to get it. The verdict! Tada, I did not enjoy all the need to explain further because it really was not that good and no more room for improvement. LOL. But if you are hungry then I am sure you will eat it just like what I did.

Since I was not satisfied with the desserts, I decided  to go back at the buffet table to eat something that would make me happy before I go so I tried the roast beef since they told me it was good and my fave salad again. I did not try their pasta anymore because there were only two choices...oriental sauce (too sweet for me) and the white sauce (still waiting for it to be refilled). The roast beef  was not that great but better than the other dishes. The salad was my last hurrah and because that was the taste I would like to remember. 
If I was the one who paid P595 for the buffet, I would be really pissed because I did not get my money's worth...but since it was my friends' treat, I am quite happy with what I had and grateful too. I hope that next time, I would be the one treating them to a fine restaurant :)

I took some pics of the menu but not sure if you can read them...sorry for a lowtech camera and bad lighting since we sat outside the resto. 

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Red Mango Wins By A Landslide Over California Berry

My first yogurt experience was with White Hat and I actually wrote about that already in my blog...I think 2 or 3 years ago. I was not really a big fan of yogurt but when my friend asked me to try frozen yogurt knowing that it is much healthier than ice cream...I did give it a try and my first taste of it was like heaven! I was glad that I chose the right combination of blueberry and cheesecake and since then that's what I choose for my toppings. 
Trying new food label or brand is easier if you get I right? So I tend to buy vouchers giving away up to 50% discount on products. I bought 4 vouchers of california berry at ensogo:
Only P65 on a Medium-sized California Berry Yogurt (plain or seasonal flavor) with 3 toppings at California Berry, multiple branches (valued at P130)
Sounds like a good deal right? So I bought it to see if this could match White Hat. First visit, they don't have plain yogurt so I was forced to eat the coffee flavor so I chose to add choco bits and small mallows...not that good. Next visit, I was expecting a better deal...I chose my fave blueberry and mangoes since they don't have cheesecake and again it easily melts, tastes a little sour and the toppings are not good. Even my kid did not enjoy it as you can see from his face..LOL.
The second yogurt voucher I bought was at Red Mango and I have heard a lot of good reviews from it so I was excited to get a taste of it to see if it would match White Hat. 
Indulge in P300 worth of Red Mango for only P150, a delicious steal exclusively for Deal Grocer members.
Now this was a real treat! So I exchanged my voucher to gift certificates so I can use them in any branch. I liked the cozy design of the store in Trinoma located near the entrance. I ordered my favorite combination of blueberry with two cheesecakes just to consume my P300 (paid P150) which is good for 2 people. 

Oh yes! First bite and I already fell in love with it just like what I felt when I first tasted White Hat. Everything blended perfectly..the taste, the texture and the fruity toppings. My mom agrees with me and my kid loved it also! Too bad I only bought 2 vouchers. I can't wait to use my remaining vouchers there and be happy again. 
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