Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Peri-peri Reasonable

Had dinner at Peri-Peri Chicken at Promenade in Greenhills. Was surprised at how reasonably priced their chicken was, considering the place was a casual-dining resto (there are waiters and servers so you don't have to fall in line to order). A 1/4 piece of chicken with two side dishes was only P145! That's even cheaper than Kenny Rogers, where you have to queue.

The resto's claim to fame is the peri-peri, which is actually African bird's eye chili, so this place is definitely for lovers of spicy food. It's the kind of spicy that you feel in your throat instead of in your mouth. You get to choose between "mild" and "hot" (H and I tried both), and you're given two bottles of the house sauce to adjust the taste as you please. The chicken is roasted over a spit fire, so you can bet it's healthier than your run-of-the-mill fast-food fried chicken.

(From top) My "peri mild" chicken served with corn and carrots as well as mashed potatoes; H's "peri hot" chicken (but it's bearable)--another side dish we ordered was the tortilla wrappers (or what looked like 'em--a hint of the basket they were served in can be seen) with salsa; bottles of the hot and mild sauces--the mild one actually seems more flavorful.

They've also got this prawn pasta that I didn't get to try, but which is supposedly one of their bestsellers. There were other tempting things on the menu, but I wanted to taste the stuff the resto was named after.

It's a good place to hang with friends when you wanna meet up without having to spend a bundle. And as you exit, the servers will see you off with a "Thank you peri-peri much!"

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Real-time Blogging: Lunch in Tagaytay

A cameraless me is currently at Restaurant Verbena in Tagaytay, enjoying the tail-end of lunch. It's a bit pricey, but the service is great. (And mumsy's paying. Hehe.)

We had the chicken duo, which, as the name suggests, is chicken cooked two ways: one grilled, one a braised leg "ballotine" with an aromatic "jus roti" (P390). No idea what that means, but mumsy and I split it. The braised one had a somewhat sweet sauce which tasted a bit like raisins. We chose the pureed potatoes over the rice pilaf or roasted potatoes. We also split the crabmeat and grilled corn ravioli (P360), which had this basil sauce--sort of like creamy pesto. Both were quite filling. But since we decided to stay around a while to take advantage of the wifi, we ordered the panna cotta (P220) to finish things off. They lied--it's not good for two. It's in fact good for three! It's three domes of panna cotta, one drizzled with raspberry sauce, one with oranges and a sugary sauce, and one with crushed nuts on top--it tasted like it was mixed with crushed toffee or caramelized sugar. The raspberry one's interesting--it's got black peppers on it so it's got a bit of a spicy after-taste.

It's a nice place to visit, if you've got a bit of extra cash. (The stuff we ordered are actually at the lower end of the entree spectrum.) It's got comfortable chairs (try to get a table outside) and a good view of Taal.

I'm realizing one thing I like about Tagaytay is that you don't run out of good places to eat at. Man, I'm full.

Restaurant Verbena is located within Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay, 300 Calamba Road, San Jose, Tagaytay City, tel. (046) 413-4567.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

A New Fave Resto

I lost a stupid bet with H, so I had to treat him to dinner. We'd been planning to hang out at Serendra, so I decided to treat him to Conti's, which is probably the cheapest resto you could find in the area.

We had never eaten there before; all I knew about Conti's was that 1) they made a mean mango tart, which I attacked when Tita Grace brought it to one party, 2) they seemed to have a great selection of desserts (cakes and pastries are their specialty), and 3) my mom would order stuff from there when she'd have some pot-luck party. It's actually been around in Parañaque for about a decade, but it's only in recent years that us QC folks gained access to it via its Greenhills branch.

We decided to have an early dinner on Sunday, but at 6:00 pm there was already a queue! So we had our names listed and headed to A Different Bookstore to kill time. It didn't take long before we had our own table (though there were probably five or six other groups on the list), so yay!

Mental lapse: I wasn't able to take pics, forgetting that H actually had a high-tech phone. (Since my phone got stolen, I'd forgotten that cameras actually came with phones. Haha.) But anyway...

H ordered the roast beef over mashed potatoes, while I opted for the chicken marsala with potato salad. Both were less than P200. And I'm totally ravin' about the chicken marsala! It's pieces of chicken breast and mushrooms cooked in this white sauce with marsala wine. Divine! I actually looked forward to every bite, and each one was still as surprising as the last. It's rare that I would get that excited over eating something--I wanted to just gobble everything up, but at the same time, I had to restrain myself because I wanted the experience to last forever! I just didn't expect it to be that good, and was kind of sad when we polished the last bits off my plate. (H loved it as well. Give him anything cooked with wine and he'll sing praises.)

The roast beef was quite tender, but the serving was too little for my carnivore. (I learned that he's actually gained about 20lbs since we got together. I wonder if I had anything to do with it.) Our mouths watered upon seeing the baked salmon served to a table nearby, so he made up his mind to order it after finishing his roast beef. The baked salmon, about P250 more or less, is one of the bestsellers. On top, it had melted cheese and hints of garlic--sort of like what you'd put on baked tahong. And the best part was H paid for it. Hehe.

There are loads of other stuff on the menu--paella, lengua, Pinoy favorites, I think even pasta. He was too full for dessert and, sadly, I was still off the pastries, so all I could do was look longingly as the bestselling mango bravo was served to others. It's this HUGE slab of frozen cake for only P85! We were actually surprised at how reasonably priced the desserts (and everything else) were. I'm guessing this is one of the main reasons that the resto had a queue! It's found a place in my list of favorite restos, so I am definitely going back! In fact, I can't wait til my next birthday (a good nine months away) just so I'd have a reason to take my family there!

Note: The Serendra branch has gotten a lot of smack, supposedly because of bad service. But the servers were attentive and we got our meals promptly. It took a while for us to get our bill though, but after that good meal, it was no big deal. I dunno if they've improved or if we were lucky.

Conti's has branches at Shops at Serendra, the Fort Global City, Taguig; 61 President Quirino Ave., BF Homes Commercial Center, Parañaque (tel. 850-5852); and 53 Connecticut St., Greenhills, San Juan (tel. 744-4184).

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