Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ramen Bar at The Hub

The recent ramen craze has spawned a number of ramen restaurants in Manila. But it was only last November 3 that I was able to get a taste of this Japanese noodle soup (better late than never!) at Ramen Bar’s latest branch in Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City.

My companion and I ordered R.B.S. # 1, which I suppose means Ramen Bar Specialty. The menu said that is tonkotsu, shoyu, chasyu, kakuni, negi and naruto. From my research, I found out that tonkotsu is pork bone soup, shoyu is soy sauce, chasyu is thin pork slices, kakuni is braised pork belly, negi is spring onion and naruto is fish cake. The serving size is quite big so we requested the waiter to split it. It also has ajitsuke tamago (soft-boiled eggs marinated in soy sauce) and plenty of nori (seaweed). The broth has a rich, meaty taste and liberal amount of pork. The pork has a melt-in-your-mouth quality.
R.B.S. # 1, PhP 380
(this is already half the serving size)

Since I love everything with cheese, we ordered Cheese Gyoza as our appetizer. I just love the combination of ground meat, vegetables and various seasoning. It is crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside. It is served with a mayo dip.
Cheese Gyoza, PhP 180
(already ate 1-piece before photo was taken!)

We also had Ebi Tempura. I did not taste this since I’m not a fan of ebi. But I noticed that their prawns are quite big and has a light and crispy batter. It comes with a tempura sauce.
Ebi Tempura, PhP 380

For dessert, we really don't have much of a choice as only Tempura Ice Cream is available. It is vanilla ice cream thinly wrapped in fried tempura batter, topped with chocolate covered cereal and chocolate wafer stick then drizzled with chocolate syrup. I liked the presentation and it is not that sweet.
Tempura Ice Cream, PhP 150

I was a bit surprised that their ramen and ebi tempura are relatively expensive since the restaurant doesn’t look pricey-- interiors are fairly plain and low-key. Also, Ramen Bar’s air-conditioning system has a problem that day because the place is quite hot--they added electric fans at the dining area to lessen our discomfort. But anyway, Ramen Bar’s staffs are friendly and accommodating. They explain the menu well and allowed us to plug our laptops (plus points!).

Ramen Bar’s menu may only have a few selections, but I guess I'll just go to Ramen Bar to satisfy my ramen craving, which they have successfully done.

For more information, like Ramen Bar The Hub’s official FB page:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chairman Wang’s Prime Beef Noodle House

Chairman Wang’s Prime Beef Noodle House might look intimidating--with its high ceiling, stone walls, Chinese art mural, intricate wood decor and dark wooden furniture--but it captured the look of ancient China with a contemporary feel.

Opened in Molito, Alabang February of this year, Chairman Wang’s offers predominantly Schezuan-style cuisine. I’m a Chinese food fan but I’m used to Cantonese-style so Chairman Wang’s is like a “breath of fresh air” for me. It is actually my second time here (at three weeks interval), and this time, for my friend’s birthday celebration.

Here's what we had:

Beancurd Roll- Steamed beancurd rolls filled with ground pork and mushroom and topped with sauce. I think Chairman Wang's version has shrimp. This dimsum classic is also one of my favorite items on their menu.
Beancurd Roll, PhP 150

Fragrant Chicken with Spicy Eggplant – Salty (soy sauce), sour (vinegar) and spicy (chilli, pepper) come together in this dish. 
Fragrant Chicken with Spicy Eggplant PhP 280

Chairman’s Braised Beef with Garlic Coriander – I also had this last time and it has became a favorite because I like the tenderness of the beef. It has a bold garlic flavor.
Chairman’s Braised Beef with Garlic Coriander, PhP 350

Five Spice Salt and Pepper Pork Ribs- Boldly-flavored pork ribs marinated in salt, pepper and five spice, a popular Chinese seasoning.It also comes with a dip.
Five Spice Salt and Pepper Pork Ribs, PhP 320

Chinese Sausage Fried Rice - I’m fond of anything with Chinese sausage (chorizo) and this one has plenty of it!
Chinese Sausage Fried Rice, PhP 280

Iced Lemon Tea – A refreshing blend of black tea, lemon slices, honey and mint leaves.
Iced Lemon Tea, PhP 180 per carafe

Chairman Wang's staffs were so nice that when they heard that my friend is celebrating her birthday, they gave Chilled Coconut Milk Soup with Sago and Fruits. It is coconut milk mixed with tapioca and various fruits like mango, etc.
Chilled Coconut Milk Soup with Sago and Fruits, PhP 95 per bowl

And I just have to add this—Braised Beancurd Skin with Soy Tofu. I had this appetizer the first time I dined at Chairman Wang’s. It is quite interesting to eat—wrinkled sticks that is crispy, a little bit spicy and has a meaty taste.
Braised Beancurd Skin with Soy Tofu, PhP 150

Prices are reasonable but I find Chairman Wang's serving size “small.” An order of a dish could only serve one to two persons. Chairman Wang's lay-out is “narrow” and tables are “too close” to each other. Good thing they have a second floor for small private functions.

I’ll definitely come back here as Chairman Wang's has interesting dishes that tastes good, plus I haven’t tried their signature dish yet--the Chairman’s Prime Beef Noodle Soup.

For more information, like their Facebook page:

Friday, November 07, 2014

A coffee shop or a Thai restaurant? It’s Black Canyon Coffee!

When Black Canyon Coffee, a popular chain in Thailand, opened in the Philippines two years ago, my friend kept on prodding me to try it out since it is one of her favorite restaurants. Finally, last October 25, I was able to dine at Black Canyon Coffee’s first branch in the country—at the Food Strip area of SM Southmall, Las Pinas.

Inside, there’s a relaxing and comfortable ambiance of a coffee shop. But looking at the menu, Black Canyon Coffee has the "extensiveness" of a restaurant. Aside from various coffee concoctions and beverages, they also have ample Thai international cuisine to choose from.

My friends and I ordered the following:

Chef Salad – Nice combination of greens, carrots, shrimps, slices of boiled eggs, green apples and cheese. It came with a Japanese sesame dressing. Other dressing options are chili lime or salad cream.
Chef Salad, PhP 206

Spicy Glass Noodles with Grilled Salmon Salad – We asked the water to have it served “less spicy.” The combination of glass noodles, grilled salmon, peppers, peanuts, onions in a vinegar-based dressing creates a play in your taste buds.
Spicy Glass Noodles with Grilled Salmon Salad, PhP 242

Stir fried Pasta with Ham and Tomato Sauce – I was supposed to order Fish Steak but when I saw the photo of Stir fried Pasta with Ham and Tomato Sauce, it looked so enticing so I changed my mind! It is fusilli pasta loaded with mushroom, ham, green peas, onion, bell pepper and what seemed like scrambled eggs in tomato sauce.
Stir-fried Pasta w/ Ham & Tomato Sauce, PhP 212

Grilled Salmon with Spicy Apple Salad and Coconut Rice – As my friend said, “you can never go wrong with salmon” and their tender salmon tasted just right. I liked the combination of peanuts and apples on the salad. It was also my first time to try coconut rice and I loved it!
Grilled Salmon w/ Spicy Apple Salad & Coconut Rice, PhP 242

For the drinks, we had Lemongrass Juice, Blueberry Delight and Thai Iced Tea with Milk. Even though the Lemongrass Juice tastes weird, it is refreshing. Blueberry delight is blueberries mixed with yoghurt. Thai Iced Tea with Milk is one of Black Canyon Coffee’s popular drinks.
Lemongrass Juice PhP 80, Blueberry Delight PhP 130, Thai Iced Tea with Milk Php 90

Our total bill was PhP 1,405.04 (inclusive of 5% service charge) so I can say prices are reasonable. The downside is, their serving size is really small. But definitely, Black Canyon Coffee will be on my list whenever I just want to have coffee or maybe, even have a full meal.

Black Canyon Coffee Philippines official website:
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