Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Old House, New Life: In-Yo

In-Yo's a relatively new old-house-turned-resto serving "fusion cuisine." It'd make for a great date place--romantic and cozy, nothing too fancy, but not too casual; not food-court-budget level but not anniversary level (when people are "expected" to splurge) either. The house/resto is set back some meters from the gate, leaving some parking space out front. The resto itself occupies two floors; the area on the second floor (where we stayed) must have been a bedroom once.

It's been so long that I can't quite remember what we ordered and I seem to have misplaced my notes--as far as I can recall, I had gindara with some honey sauce and it was pretty good--sweet and tender. H had salpicao, good but nothing spectacular. The place is interesting though in that they often change their menu, we were told. So drop in every few weeks or so to see what's new.

From top: In-Yo at night...OK, so it looks a bit like a haunted house in this picture, but it's actually quite pretty. There are vines dripping from a big tree bedecked with lights (that is, if it held up against Milenyo); water runs under a little bridge you have to cross to get to the entrance. Gindara on a bed of mashed potatoes (they kinda look like little footprints, don't they?). Salpicao served with rice and fried egg.

In-Yo is located at 66 Esteban Abada Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Contact them through (02) 426-0301 or 0920-9607202.

P.S. I heard Cafe Xocolat also opened in the area, also in an old converted house. Maybe head over there for dessert afterwards--a fondue for two, perhaps?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Meeting Forrest Gump

Forrest, Forrest Gump (as my friend would say, Bubba Gump's version of Ronald McDonald) was in Manila recently as the local Bubba Gump launched their new offerings. We got to meet the man who said that he had "a bad haircut and no girlfriend." Haha.

My first and only time at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. prior to that was a couple of years ago, when my clan (mom, tita, cousins, in-laws, nephews, and nieces) and I were checked in at New World Hotel for New Year's Eve. We heard mass at the Greenbelt chapel before heading off to Bubba Gump--this was one of those New Year's Eve family things that I fondly remember. Hadn't been back since then because my constant eating companion, H, is unfortunately allergic to shrimp. (They do serve non-shrimp stuff though, but I guess I thought what's the point of going to Bubba Gump if you can't have their specialty, right?)

The resto has some new stuff on their menu, which we got to sample:

Shakin' Shrimp Cocktail (left) - Chilled shrimp, cilantro, tomatoes, onion, avocado, and habanero all shook up in a martini shaker (or whatever it is you call those silver shaker things--btw, won a plastic Bubba Gump one when I correctly answered what Forrest's boat was called) and served with homemade tortilla chips. Shrimper's Heaven (right) - Three different kinds of shrimp: coconut shrimp, fried shrimp, and hush pups served with dipping sauces (I liked the pinkish one) and fries.

Tropical Pasta Salad - Available only in the Philippines! It's an Asian-inspired chilled pasta with sweet vinaigrette dressing and bits of mandarin orange (available with or without shrimp).

"...Of Course We Have Scampi!" (left) - Tender shrimp sauteed with capers in lemon garlic butter, served on linguini. "I'm Stuffed" Shrimp (right) - Large shrimp stuffed with crab, baked in garlic butter, and topped with Monterey Jack cheese. It's served with Jasmine rice.

We also got to try one of their bestsellers: Dixie Style Baby Back Ribs, which are slow-roasted ribs served with fries--kept me from going into shrimp overload. And they were mighty tender! The meat slid right off the bones. Sadly, we didn't get to try their desserts, which include:

Alabama Mud Pie - Cool layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chunks of Snickers topped with caramel and chocolate syrup, and smothered with chunky peanuts.

Sparklin' Apple Cobbler - A new dessert: warm apple cobbler topped with whipped cream and some special sauce.

So, yeah, I discovered that Bubba was right--there are so many ways you can cook shrimp!

Photos courtesy of Bubba Gump. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is located on the 2nd level of Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center Makati. Call (02) 757-5154 for inquiries.