Friday, July 30, 2010

Perfecting Mediocrity at Origami

We decided to give Origami, the newest Japanese restaurant in Greenbelt 5, a try. As I was full from a meal I had earlier, I just ate some maki from the platter our group ordered.

I was able to sample three kinds of maki and found all so-so. Nothing really bad about it but nothing to rave about either. It was safe, ordinary, and forgettable.

As it isn’t fair to judge a restaurant with just one dish, I also asked my friends to give their opinion about Origami.

PRISTINE: I didn’t like the food at Origami that much. The sashimi at Omakase is better while Konbini has better Ramen.

TEEJ: Origami has ordinary food that’s not delicious. Menu was also vague. So unremarkable that I almost forgot that we ate there. SNOOZE. Origami is also expensive when you consider the quality. My Onigiri had too much rice that easily broke when I was eating it.

VICS: 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed the salmon maki. My Tamago however wasn’t as memorable and soft as the one I had at Seryna.

WAMIE: I feel happier eating at Omakase. My order of Uni on Rice had too much rice and too little uni.

It turns out that it just wasn't me as everyone was underwhelmed with Origami. Origami could have fared better in a different location but there’s no bigger crime than having uninspired, bland food in Greenbelt 5 where restaurants that have something to say are aplenty.

Origami is at located at the 1st floor Greenbelt 5 Legaspi St. Makati.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dimsum Promo at Causeway

Curls and I recently trooped to Causeway Seafood Restaurant. We made sure to arrive just in time for Causeway’s dimsum promo which starts at 9 p.m. daily. All orders of dimsum are sold at only 45php!

Curls, who actually arrived earlier than me wasn’t deterred by the long waiting list as she was determined to have her Causeway fix. Good thing we were given a table after about 10 minutes.

Curls taking charge
Causeway has a dimsum cart that goes around the restaurant so that diners can easily pick and eat the dimsum they want.

Our Dimsum Choices

CURLS: 3 Chicken Feet for 45 pesos? Not Bad! I love Causeway's Chicken Feet because it is bigger compared to other restaurants. (Le Ching)

CURLS: Among all we ordered, this Beancurd Roll is what I liked least. It was just ordinary. :(

GLUTTON: Causeway has a very good version of Taosi Spareribs. The chunks of pork were huge while managing to remain tender.

GLUTTON: The Siomai though puny in size was also good. I had no complaints.

GLUTTON: We had to wait a few minutes for the Hakaw to arrive since it was cooked upon order. It was worth the wait as the shrimps were gigantic and fresh.

Here’s a dimsum gluttony tip from Curls:
What I do when I eat dimsum is I make my own sauce. You need the following: Black Vinegar, Chili, Soysauce and Calamansi. Mix it all together and it complements all the dimsums. Yummy!

Curls also ordered a bowl of Plain Congee with Fried Wanton Wrapper (40php).

CURLS: Mix the congee with all the sauces from all the dimsum you ordered and your plain congee turns into a delicious congee.

Overall, we were very happy with our dimsum escapade at Causeway. If Causeway had a more convenient location, we would surely be at Causeway every week as they are lovers of good food enjoyed on the cheap.

Causeway Seafood Restaurant is located at 883 Banawe St. cor Del Monte Ave. Quezon City. Telephone number is 4108690. Causeway also has branches in Tomas Morato and Libis.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I remember disagreeing with Curls when she claimed that Platinum KTV along Polaris is a better karaoke option than CenterStage.

While I haven’t been to Platinum, I just feel strongly about CenterStage’s superiority since I have always been satisfied with my karaoke experience there. A recent celebration at Centerstage Timog has given me the opportunity to defend my case.

A surprise party was thrown for good friend Frank at The Sala Room of CenterStage Timog. The Sala Room can accommodate up to 50 guests.

The mini bar greets guests upon entry. This is a good place to hang out and somehow escape the noise generated by the frustrated singers in the room.

Take note of the green laser lights that add to the party atmosphere.

Here’s where all the singing happens... the karaoke area! It was very comfortable lounging around in this space making me forget that we were there to sing. Truth be told, I didn’t manage to finish a single song that night. 

It was also a nice touch to have members of The Beatles and Elton John as the backdrop of this space. Those who are not musically inclined will find themselves in a singing mood when they see these music legends.

At first I thought that the Sala Room had two areas reserved for karaoke fun but soon learned that another TV screen was meant for playing Wii. Unfortunately, the Wii console was not available during our celebration and we were instead given different sets of board games as an alternative. I don’t know what they were thinking but at least they tried.

The Sala Room at Centerstage Timog is a good venue for big groups to celebrate any occasion. Aside from the superior facilities, CenterStage also offers decent food and drinks, all at reasonable rates. I also heard from birthday boy Frank that CenterStage was responsible for dressing up the place with balloons and other birthday paraphernalia which helped set the tone for the night. CenterStage certainly goes the extra mile for the ultimate party experience.

CURLS, may ganito ba sa Platinum KTV???

CenterStage party packages start at 6,000php good for 10 people. Inclusive of food, drinks, three hours of karaoke, bottle of wine or cake, room decor, and free corkage for 3 bottles of liquor.

CenterStage Timog is located at 2nd Flr, CTTM, Timog Cor. Tomas Morato QC. For more information and their Jupiter location, pls. visit

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hits and Misses at Chelsea Podium

Whenever my family is in Podium, we usually eat at Terry’s or Arya given the limited dining options there. Thus, we were thrilled to see that Chelsea Market & Cafe, a Serendra pioneer, has finally opened its doors to Podium shoppers. We, of course, had to have our dinner there for a change.

Chelsea at Podium has managed to maintain the restaurant’s signature charm with its warm lights and deli vibe. Wines, cheeses, breads, etc. are still for sale consistent with its market concept. It’s basically just a roomier version of the Serendra branch with its high ceiling and upstairs space to accommodate more guests.

Chelsea's Signature French Onion Herb (250php)
I know how laborious it is to make this kind of soup and Chelsea’s stock didn’t disappoint. It had a good onion flavor without completely overwhelming the palate. I was disappointed with the bread and cheese though since I felt that it needed more time in the oven. I also wondered if they really used gruyere cheese as the cheese tasted more like those commercial cheese slices found in the grocery store.

Grilled Roasted Herb Chicken and Crispy Bacon (420php)
The vegetables were fresh but this was just ok. The only thing that made this dish interesting was the almonds. The irony of pairing vegetables and grilled chicken with bacon was also not lost on me.

Duck Confit and Chorizo Bilbao Pizza (10" at 450php)
I give props to Chelsea for coming up with a unique pizza combination but I couldn’t decide if I liked this or not. My parents did enjoy this though. 

Baked Herb Chicken and Spinach Gorgonzola Rigatoni (495php)
I would have considered this dish bland if not for its very creamy texture and the generous amount of spinach it had. This, however, didn’t blow my mind.

Char-Grilled Pulling Off the Bone New Zealand Lamb Ribs (500g at 695php)
The lamb was indeed very tender but I had problems with the roasted fire sauce it was paired with. It didn’t complement the meat making me prefer to eat the lamb without sauce. Good thing the lamb was flavorful enough that it managed to stand on its own. The rice that came with the dish was also good.

I was surprised that Chelsea in Podium gave us a fair share of misses resulting to a very unimpressed family. Here’s hoping to more restaurant choices in Podium as I’m running out of options.

Chelsea Market & Cafe is located at the G/F, The Podium Mandaluyong City. Visit here for more details.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Osama is King

I had my first bite of Osama’s awesome shawarma in a Rockwell bazaar a couple of years ago. I’ve been haunted ever since. You see, Osama's had no permanent stall and I was often left tortured whenever an Osama craving hit as I had to wait for another bazaar just to have my fix.

Thankfully, this dilemma is now a thing of the past as Dum recently shared the good news that Osama’s Shawarma has finally found a permanent home in Agno St. near De La Salle University-Manila. Aside from being the favorite smoking spot of students, it is also in Agno where some of the most delicious yet affordable food in La Salle can be found. A perfect location for Osama’s if I may say so myself.

I didn’t wait long and trooped to Agno the first chance I got with the sole purpose of being reunited with Osama’s.

Just like what I remembered, Osama Explode (65php) didn’t disappoint as it’s everything that I want in an all beef shawarma with cheese. The beef was very flavorful with just the right amount of fat pieces to make it extra delicious. The cheese was also a melt-in-your mouth wonder which left me wanting for more. They were right in naming this shawarma Osama Explode, as strong garlic flavors completely exploded in my mouth thanks to Osama’s addictive white sauce. The pita bread was also properly heated and singed much to my delight. I can go on and on about Osama Explode as this truly is the best shawarma for me.

Aside from shawarma, Osama’s now offers Siomai Bin Laden (35php) which I also tried. Siomai is one of my favorite Chinese delicacies and I was pleasantly surprised with Osama’s version. Aside from the decent size, the siomai had real meat and could easily pass off as coming from an authentic Chinese restaurant. It also didn’t have the commercialized siomai taste which often plagues siomai stalls that have mushroomed all over the metro. Definitely, a new must try in Osama’s!

For those who find the La Salle location out of the way, a perfect opportunity to try Osama’s goodness is this weekend as they join the Rockwell Urban Bazaar from July 9 to 11 2010. Don’t miss the chance to have a little Osama in your life!

Osama’s Shawarma is located at Agno St. near De La Salle-University-Manila. For more information about Osama’s Shawarma pls. join their facebook page !

Friday, July 2, 2010

Off the Beaten Path: Santis in Silang

During the tail-end of summer, I together with a group of friends went to Batangas for one last hurrah. On the way to Batangas, we made a sidetrip to Santi’s Delicatessen-Cafe in Silang for lunch upon the suggestion of Zho & Nellie.

Stepping inside Santis in Silang, it’s as if one has never left the comforts of the city as this branch is very similar to the Santis found all over the metro. Though in the middle of the nowhere, a decent selection of hard-to-find ingredients and fresh meat can be found here.

The Silang branch is positioned as a deli-cafe offering a wide selection of dishes to satisfy diverse food preferences. One can even order meat from the deli and have it cooked in their kitchen for a reasonable fee.

My friend Curls only had soup as she was full from brunch that day.

French Onion Soup Gratinee (235php)
I also wanted something light in anticipation of all the food we will consume during the weekend.

Sashimi of Tuna with Wasabi and Soy Sauce (360php)
The dish was just ok. Not as fresh as I would have wanted it to be but a dip in soy sauce easily fixed this problem.

Here are some of the other dishes the group had for lunch:

After lunch, Zho and Nellie also bought sausages and cheese from Santis which the group enjoyed later that night.


CURLS: I never thought that I would actually enjoy pairing sausages with wine. Among all of us, I think I ate the most number of sausages. It was very delicious. The jerky chorizo was delicious as well but my only complaint was it was quite hard for my braces.

GLUTTON: Thank goodness I didn’t have Curls' dilemma as the sausages were indeed divine! Santis sausages were actually even better than some of the sausages I’ve tried in established restaurants. Aside from wine, the sausages were also good when paired with beer.

Gruyere Cave Aged Cheese

Sheep's Cheese

CURLS: The glass top display of the cheeses in Santis is the same with what I saw in Melbourne last Holy Week. The cheeses were very fresh and creamy. I greatly recommend cheeses, sausages, and the ice cold beer to any outing.

GLUTTON: I loved both cheeses and can’t decide until now which I prefer. The cheeses had distinct flavors which were further enhanced when enjoyed with red wine. I agree with Curls in saying that outings will now never be complete without these treats from Santis.

Santis Deli-Cafe is a welcome break from the crowds and commercialization of most Tagaytay establishments. It’s also a good place to buy last minute produce for those who are on overnight trips. If you have an hour to spare and would love to have an off-the-beaten-path experience, make the sidetrip to Santis Deli-Cafe in Silang. 


Santi’s Deli-Cafe is located at Km. 52 Lalaan II Aguinaldo Hi-way, Silang, Cavite. (near Ilog Maria). Tel. No:(6346) 414-0209, 414-0613. Do visit for more information.
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