Modern Shanghai in MOA

It was a Saturday night and we wanted to have dinner at a different place.  Since we were around the Pasay area, we decided to try Modern Shanghai in MOA.  It was easy to find.  It was located on the By the Bay side, on the 2nd floor.

We were curious with MS, it is part of the Bistro Group and I have read a review on  a newspaper that it was a good resto to try.

When we got inside, we were greeted warmly by the receptionist. All our requests were granted, without much persuasion from us. I loved the modern feel and ambiance of the resto! It was so different from other chinese restaurants we’ve been to.

When it was time to order, the server patiently answered our queries about their dishes. We wanted to try their bestsellers but not those heavy meaty dishes!

First in our list was their house specialty, the Signature
Xiao Long Bao.  It’s a dumpling that has soup inside.  Here’s my 1st and they have an instruction card on how to eat it.

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Here’s how I ate my Xiao Long Bao, I hold my chinese spoon. Put some ginger and black vinegar on it. While holding the chinese spoon, I get a piece with my chopsticks and put it on the vinegar. I sip the soup from the dumpling’s opening. Once sipped, I consumed the whole dumpling together with the sauce. A taste of heaven! Just the right amount of meat inside perfectly steamed dumplings.

This dish is best eaten while hot. But you have to let it sit on your spoon for a while to avoid getting your tongue burned as the soup inside is hot.

We also ordered Pan Fried Shanghai Pork Buns. As the name says, these are buns with ground pork inside. What I liked about it, the sesame seeds under the buns. It made it more fragrant and tastier. Watch out for oil when biting the bun. It really tends to be oily because it is pan fried!

We tried a very expensive bun dish, fortunately, it didn’t fail us. It was a bun folded in half, filled with a slice of smoked ham, a piece of tortilla chip and sprinkled with lotus nuts! Right combination of crisp from the tortilla chip and softness from the bun.

Their Deep Fried Pork Ribs with Spicy Salt & Pepper is also a must try. The meat is very tender and the juice just comes oozing out when you take a bite.

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These 4 dishes are our bets for the night. The other dishes we ordered were just so-so. Fried Rice was normal. Noodles we ordered tasted bland despite the color of soy. Same thing with the noodle in double boiled chicken soup and the dumpling soup, both do not leave a taste.

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The worst thing we ordered was the Home Style Eight Treasure Rice. It was supposed to be our dessert, but we weren’t able to enjoy it. It was hard, like it was cooked ahead of time. We didn’t know if it was supposed to be that way. We just left it there. The good thing was, when we told the manager about it, she gladly took it off our bill. That’s super plus points for good service.

For a group of 4 adults, a 3yr old and a 7month old baby, our bill was kinda expensive. It reached Php 2800.00. Good thing we had the Bistro Privilege Card (which we availed at Krazy Garlic, another fave Bistro resto), we used the 40% off discount coupon included with the purchase of the card. After discount, our bill was only Php 1600.00. Isn’t that the best deal?

As I was writing this review, me and hubby are already planning our next visit, and this time, we definitely know what to order. (Xiao Long Bao steamed, the Shanghai Buns) And there are more items on the menu to try! (Pan Fried Xiao Long Bao, Pan Fried Dumplings, the drinks)

I rate Modern Shanghai at 9 out of 10. Perfect ambiance, very cozy. Good food (just need to know which dishes to order) and most especially, accommodating staff.

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Checking out Movies Star Cafe

In celebration of my daughter’s 6th month mark today and my advance birthday dinner, we are trying out a movie themed restaurant located at SM By the Bay. It’s called Star Movies Cafe. Check their website here.

I have heard a lot about this restaurant, and I hope the whole family will enjoy tonight’s dinner!

I will definitely enjoy taking pictures as the restaurant boasts of memorabilias from movies then and now. They also have entertaining shows and staff dressed as characters from the movies.

A few more hours to go… We have reservations at 6pm. Time to get ready!

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A Date with the Hubby!

While its important to spend quality time with the children, it’s definitely as important to spend time with the husband!
One Saturday night, Hubby and I decided to have a date!  We were supposed to watch the Sarah G and JLC movie, It takes a Man and a Woman, at the Robinson’s Magnolia.  But tickets were already sold out for the schedule we want to watch.  We decided to just have dinner instead then went home afterwards.  We were able to watch the movie the next night though.  
 
We have heard about Yabu months back, but it was only now that we were able to try it out.  
 
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We checked out their menu and here are what we chose for the night, the Menchi Katsu Set, the Seafood Katsu Set and the Tonkatsu Set. All sets are served with unlimited Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, cabbage with sesame dressing and a bowl of fruit.  Upon checking their official website, Yabu.ph, the Menchi Set is a delicious mix of minced premium beef and pork covered in crunchy panko filled with oozing creamy cheese.  Its definitely a must-try for cheese lovers like me!  We tried the Soft Shell Crab under the Seafood Katsu Set Category, it is composed of one luscious Japanese soft-shell crab, coated generously with fresh panko, fried to crispy perfection.  This one’s very yummy!  Imagine, you can eat the whole crab!  For the Tonkatsu set, we chose the Rosu Set, it’s a 3/4 inch-thick Rosu (porkloin), with a sliver of glistening fat trimming its edges and deep-fried in crisp golden panko.  This set is nothing out of the extraordinary.  But still yummy too!
 
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For an average eater, eating at Yabu can be very overwhelming!  I love their concept of everything unlimited.  You can really eat to your satisfaction!  I also love that you make your own sauce.  Its like you play and pound the sesame for fun first before actually using it as sauce to eat your Katsu!
Really a place to check out.  Worth every peso you’ll spend!
 
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Voucher Review – Ensogo – Buffet 101

When:  February 1, 2013

Where: Buffet 101 at SM By the Bay or Robinson’s Magnolia

What:  Lunch Buffet with Drink All You Can

Price:  Php 550.00 valued at Php 699.00 / savings Php 149.00

Groupon Site: Ensogo / Deal Here

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Charlie’s Beef Mami

Charlie’s Beef Mami

Charlie’s is located at Haig Street, San Juan.  It’s an old restaurant that specializes in Mami or Noodles.  Their best seller is their Beef Mami.  One of the best I tried, if not the best! The saltiness of the soup is just right.  The serving of the noodles will really make you full.  The serving of the beef is also just right, plus it’s really tender.  The price? It’s easy on the pocket! So what are you waiting for?  Visit Charlie’s now! 🙂

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Voucher Review – Cash Cash Pinoy – Gloria Maris

When: October 13, 2012
Where: Gloria Maris – Podium Branch
What: Set Menu B for 8 Persons
Price: Php 2295.00 valued at Php 4590.00 / savings: Php 2295.00

Groupon Site: Cash Cash Pinoy / Deal Here

There were actually 3 Set Menus to choose from, we chose Set Menu B.  The price is not that bad since it’s 50% off!  I’ve already made reservations for next Saturday at around 8pm.  We will be celebrating my mom’s birthday.

The Set Menu B consists of:

Eight treasures shrimp soup


Crispy Fried Asado roll


Seafood with Gold mushroom XO sauce


Steamed Lotus leaf glutinous rice with chicken


Fried spareribs with Shrimp sauce


Fujian fried noodles


Taho

 

Additional Dishes Ordered:

Sweet & Sour Pork

 

Chicken & Prawn Salad (should have been named Chicken Salad only, since there were only 2 prawns included in the dish!)

Update:  We were quite disappointed with the turn out of our dinner.  For the price, even if already at 50% off, we think it wasn’t worth it!  We could have gotten more of what we paid for in other Chinese restaurants.  Maybe we were just expecting too much!  The taste of the dishes was just so-so.  It’s like we’ve eaten at a non-Chinese restaurant.  The serving wasn’t the normal size that would be enough for 8 persons.  So we decided to order 2 more dishes.  That night, even a Saturday, there weren’t too many people dining at the Podium Branch, so you guessed it, service wasn’t that good either.  They served everything all at the same time.  In a hurry?  Isn’t lauriat supposed to be served one after the other?  Or at least, they let us savor the dish first before serving the next.  Even the trademark Taho wasn’t good!  Our neighborhood Taho vendor serves taho better!

There were only 2 things I was happy about with this experience.  First was that they didn’t charge us for the cake we brought in.  Lastly, they didn’t ask us to leave when they closed.  (We were the last diners there!)

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate this voucher a 4!  And I wouldn’t recommend this branch to anyone.  I still prefer the original Gloria Maris in Greenhills, San Juan.

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The Shang Palace Experience at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

When: September 1, 2012

Where: Shang Palace at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

What:  Set Menu. Dinner 

Price: Php 8,500.00 per person

Shang Palace

In my previous post, I have mentioned that our company is hosting private dinners for valued clients. Like the one I had with Inagiku, here’s another experience I might remember for the rest of my life.  Just last night, I had a great dinner at the Shang Palace, a Chinese restaurant located at the 2nd floor of Makati Shangri-La Hotel. 

For this night though, since there were a few groups of clients and their families, we didn’t join them for dinner anymore.  Instead, together with my Branch Head and an Officer from the Head Office, we had our own private dinner just outside the VIP Rooms.

 Here’s how the Shang Palace VIP Room looked like.

Shang Palace VIP Room

And here’s how their table setting looked like. Gold Plated plate. Wine Glasses and complete cutlery.

Same drink list from the previous dinner at Inagiku.  But since this is a different resto, there’s a different Menu.

Shang Palace Dinner Menu

For a closer look at the Menu

 First of the list was the appetizer, Chilled Sliced Lobster with Fresh Fruits Salad and Fried Taro Puff.  One will just have to read the name of what’s to be served, and you’ll be drooling already.  There were a few slices of lobster on top of the fruit salad.  On the side was the fried taro puff.  The taro puff was crisp on the outside and so soft on the inside.  The fruits and the slices of lobster matched perfectly. Can you spell yumminess?  And it’s just the appetizer / salad!

Chilled Sliced Lobster with Fresh Fruits Salad and Fried Taro Puff

When eating at a Chinese restaurant or a Chinese event at that, the soup will never be missed out.  It’s like part of the whole lauriat meal.  This soup is a mixture of different types of mushrooms, dried scallops (both of which are staple of chinese cuisines), some asparagus and of course, fish lip.  Oops, before you react, it isn’t literally the lip of the fish.  It’s a part of the fish where all the vitamins are located.  So when you eat that part, you’re getting all the nutrition from the fish.

Dried Scallops with Asparagus, Fish Lip and Mix Mushroom Soup

 Just the salad and the soup made me so full already. However, we’re not about to stop there.  This is, after all, a SET dinner.  So let’s continue.  Up next is one of the 3 main courses, Stew Pork Ribs in “Mosiak” Style.  I’m not so sure about this “Mosiak” Style, I tried to search it on the Internet, but I didn’t get any hits at all.  Maybe, this is the Chef’s own style of cooking.  Since the pork ribs was stewed, the meat was already very succulent.  It has this melt on your mouth feel.  The sauce was kinda sweet tasting (but not too sweet).  Maybe because almost half of the slab was mostly fats, the natural oil from the pork already mixed with the sauce.  The mixed pickeles on top of it also made this kinda sour-y taste to complement the sweet taste.

Stew Pork Ribs in “Mosiak” Style

 After the very meaty experience comes another main course, this time a healthier choice.  My favorite fish of all time, the Lapu Lapu.  Again, the Chef cooked the fish in another style, the “mui choy” cantonese style.  According to http://original-chinese-recipes.blogspot.com/2009/08/chinese-recipe-steamed-mui-choy-with.html, “Mui choy is preserved (pickled) chinese cabbage that has undergone a fermentation process. It is a traditional preparation method used to preserve food after the harvest for winter months and consumption at the later time. It is commonly used in braised dishes (such as pork belly) and other Chinese dishes.”  “There are two types of Mui Choy, one is salted while the other one is sweetened…”  I’m not so sure which of the 2 types the Chef used.  All I remember is that the fish tasted really good.

Steamed Lapu-Lapu Fillet with “Mui Choy” Cantonese Style

After the fish, I was so full already that I had to take the next course home.  The beef itself is a task to take, what more the sticky rice with some sausauges and mushrooms.  I will have to ask my husband about the feedback on the food.

Pan-Fried Beef Fillet Bed on Glutinous Rice with Chinese Sausage and Mushroom

Since I didn’t consume the last of the 3 main courses, I was able to breathe for a while and get ready for dessert.  There’s one problem though, the original dessert on the menu has some XO Liquor on it, take a look.  I asked my boss how it tasted.  It was yummy!  Hmm.. too bad…

I asked the server who was gracious enough, to serve me another bowl of dessert.  For a safe choice, I choose the Mango Sago.  Fortunately, it was yummy too!  The juice was made of Fresh Mango Shake and there were a lot of fresh fruits under the bowl, aside from the many many tapiocas floating!

Another night to remember, one to charge to experience. I thank my company for the opportunity.  Not only was I able to taste great food and experience great service, I was also able to chitchat with some of our most valued clients, and on a more personal note.

If you’re looking for a Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace is definitely on top of my list!  Never mind the bill to come, it’s definitely worth it!

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The Inagiku Experience at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

When: August 28, 2012

Where: Inagiku at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

What:  Private Teppanyaki Dinner. Set Menu 

Price: Php 8,500.00 per person

Our company is hosting private dinners for very valued clients and their families until next month.  I was lucky enough to have had the chance to dine with one of these very special clients and her family and at a very classy restaurant!

Inagiku is a very pricey Japanese restaurant located at the 2nd floor of Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Have a look at my table setting.

Setting

Here’s the Drink Menu made specially for our clients.

I wasn’t able to try any of the specialty drinks since I’m preggy and I can’t drink any drinks with liquor in it.  I opted for the Pineapple Chilled Juice and it was nothing special.  Well, they said the white and red wine were great. So, it was just me who didn’t enjoy my drink.

Here’s our Set Menu for the night and it did look yummy the first time I read it.

Teppan Course Menu

Let’s start with our appetizer.  The meat under the green beans was smoked duck. Under that was like Egg Jelly with Tofu on it.  On the little saucer was Mushroom in a Jelly.  The fried fish with crab roe on top sits beside the beans.  I liked the smoked duck the best.  The others were just so-so for my taste.

Appetizer

Now, the Green Salad was just that, Green Salad. The whole bowl was full of chopped greens.  Though the crunchy stuff on top of it made the texture different and the dressing tasted yummy.

Green Salad

Before the main course was served, the Teppan Chef started his Teppan cooking.  By the way, this was how the room looked while it was still unused.

Teppan room

The Teppan Chef made some entertaining moves when he cooked the fried rice with beef. He shaped the fried rice into a heart, and he made the heart beat with his pan.  He also made some sounds using the seasonings. But that was it, after that he just kept on cooking the other food.  I had a chance to dine at a Teppan Resto before (but it’s closed already), and the Chef there was much entertaining.  Well anyway, the smell of the butter and the oil mixed with the fried rice made the whole room smells good.

Beef Fried Rice

After the Rice, we were served our Miso Soup. I just had a taste of it, the smell’s very strong.  I can’t take it.

Miso Soup

Here comes one of the best parts! The Seafood Plate. Panfried Salmon, Tiger Prawn and Scallops.  The Teppan Chef  flamed the prawn and the salmon to have that smoky taste.  The Salmon’s very fresh, it doesn’t have that fishy taste.  The Scallops’ yummy also! The size is not so big, not so small.  Tender and juicy.  And last but not the least, the Tiger Prawn tasted so good.  It’s just too bad that it’s only 1 piece.  Bitin much!

Seafood Plate

Oh, I forgot to mention that they made this special seafood sauce also.

 

Scallops

And now we’ve come to the Super Main Course.  The US Kobe Beef. I’m not much of a fan of beef, but I must say, this Kobe Beef really tasted differently.  We asked the Chef to cook it Medium Well, but we all thought he overcooked it.  Some bites were just right, some were chewy.  But since it’s US KOBE BEEF. We couldn’t complain more, right?

US KOBE BEEF

After that very satisfying beef meal, comes our dessert.  It was supposed to be a choice between Fruit in Season Jelly, Coffee Jelly and Ice Cream.  But the server forgot to ask our personal choices, he served the Fruit Jelly for all of us.  We complained that we wanted a different dessert.  So he willingly obliged and asked us our personal choices.  I wanted to try the Green Tea Ice Cream and the Coffee Jelly, but I can’t.  So for dessert, I had Fruit in Season Jelly and the Red Bean Ice Cream.

The Fruit in Season Jelly is nothing special.  The watermelon even had some seeds.  The jelly didn’t taste anything.

Fruit in Season Jelly

The Red Bean Ice Cream however tasted good.  The Ice Cream was Vanilla Flavored, mixed with some red beans., which you almost couldn’t taste already.

Red Bean Ice Cream

Overall, the Inagiku experience was good. The whole menu would make you really full, especially if you will consume the whole bowl of fried rice!  The Seafood Plate and the Beef would make up for the whole set.   The server and the Chef made sure that we got what we need.  The service was really great.  Come to think it, it should be as we are dining inside a very pricey Japanese restaurant in a 5star hotel.  If you’ll ask me though if I would be willing to pay Php 8,500.00 for that meal, I definitely would not think twice, I would not pay that much.  I just don’t think spending that much money for a meal is worth it.  But if you have the means and the moolah to do so, why not?

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