The Clean Plate, UP Town center

Thankfully UP town was open today even if it was holy week here in Manila. The Clean Plate had been on the list of my “want to try” restaurants for a few months already, but with my exams happening I couldn’t squeeze a lunch break for this blog entry. Finally today I got to try this!

DSCF6019

Inside where you could buy organic goods and other cute plates and things

Clean Plates displayed on a wall

The exterior of the restaurant was very fresh, there was fake grass on the ground under the cute yellow chairs and brown tables. Inside was a cute shop filled with many plates and organic bottles of things you could buy and the continuation of their restaurant. Because it is always so unusually hot every holy week here in Manila, we opted to eat inside rather than outside.

Their menu had about 7 plates average per section, and it was easy to pick what to eat. We tried the Wonton Chorizo Taquitos Php 240, Rustic Grilled Cheese Php 220, Ratatouille Pizza Plate for Php 303 and the Panna Cotta Sweet Plate for Php 100. I just found it odd that they used different designs of plates per dish they served and we all had different cup sizes. I wonder what kind of theme they were going for with the place? But I guess the owner really wanted to feature all the pretty plates that they had, hence the wall with all their plates and the name “the clean plate”.

DSCF6009

Wonton Chorizo Taquitos Php 240. I loved the Wonton and the Chorizo, this was pretty good considering that it was just Wonton, Chorizo, Tomatoes and cheese. (Free Range Naked Chorizo, Salsa Fresca and Bacolod Caciocavallo)

DSCF6013

Ratatouille Pizza Plate for Php 303, I liked this because of the many mushrooms and eggplants it had. However the lady told me that this was for single serving and I couldn’t finish the whole thing.

DSCF6017

Panna Cotta Php 100. I loved the taste of the panna cotta mixed with the honey and grapes. I never really tasted panna cotta with grapes, a plus for the flavor because it was made of goats milk

I wanted to try a lot of other things such as the main plates the Black Rice Valenciana, Bacon Lechon Kawali, Honey Belly Roast and the Twist Kebab. They had a lot of things on their menu which were not necessarily healthy but definitely sounded very good. On their menu it said that their beef, pork and chickens were mostly free-range or grass fed. Its definitely a place I would like to come back to despite the disappointing Rustic Grilled Cheese which looked like a pandesal which you inserted bega flat cheese into.

The Clean Plate

Facebook: The Clean Plate
UP Town Center, 2nd floor

Marcianos, UP town center

Unfortunately this place is not going to be here any longer. They serve good food here but nothing out of the ordinary. You get your usual pasta and other different fusions of flavors and dishes. For only an amount of Php 2178 we got a set meal which included a side dish, a salad, 2 different kinds of pasta, a pizza, steak and chicken. Pretty cheap, but i guess the business is not doing so well. The location is also pretty bad and it is not so visible to people from the outside.

DSCF5614

Iced tea and water in mason jars. I guess they’re just a thing right now.

DSCF5620

Starters. Calamares!

DSCF5625

Garlic Roasted chicken with mushrooms and gravy, this was my favorite dish of all the dishes.

DSCF5632

Carbonara, just the usual tasting kind of carbonara. The other seafood chorizo pasta tasted better.

DSCF5622

I have no idea what salad this was but it tasted good because of the glazed apple and caramelized onions. Shame though that they didn’t even bother to cut the lettuce. It was in there as a whole so we had to cut it up ourselves.

Our food was good in fact i think that if they would market the place more, people would come here too. But unfortunately they were very empty on a Sunday night as compared to the other restaurants in UP town which were being lined up for. They will be changing their restaurant soon into Sumo Sam according to what the waiter told us. Its unfortunate but at the same time I am confident that people would love Sumo Sam more as people in Manila love Japanese food.

MARCIANOS, UP TOWN CENTER

2nd floor UP town center
Open from 10am-11pm

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen, UP Town Center

I am so happy that UP town center is just as much as a few grand jetés away from our village.  I had been wanting to try Mama Lou’s since it opened here in Katipunan. You’ll find a lot of good reviews about this place especially about their branch in the south. You’ll even find a certification of Mama Lou’s displayed before their restaurant featured in Philippine Tatler as one of its best restaurants in 2014. The best I’ve read about the place is on Appetizingadventure.com they even have a full history and story of how the place started. (Linked in case you are interested)

We were first served with bread which came with pesto and pomodoro sauce. It was free and unlimited, my sister ate a whole basket and even asked for another basket of bread. The menu was comprised of all things Italian of course. They serve Pasta, Risotto, Carne, Pollo, Pizza and Seafood. I like that they have a good menu its not as confusing when you eat Italian food because you can always share!

DSCF5464

Quatro Formaggi Pizza Php 325 small size 12″. I loved the blue cheese in this pizza. It’s probably the first time I ever thought “wow” on the first bite of a pizza.

DSCF5471

Lasagna, Php 295. Wow that cream sauce is something to come back for.

DSCF5473

Spaghetti Seafood Olio, Php 315. This was one of my favorites, if you love seafood you will love this. This pasta was cooked perfectly.

DSCF5475

Amatriciana, Php 275. SPICY! But it was really good. I love the homemade pomodoro sauce that they make here. It was definitely a good spaghetti!

DSCF5479

I got a free Tiramisu cake when my mom mentioned that I would blog about the place. This cake was really good and it was wet. My mom said that Italians like to put a lot of syrup in their cakes. I really just enjoyed the really good free dessert. They know what to serve and how to make “sip sip” 😉

The staff were a bit all over the place at first but I think food wise this place really impressed me. For the price we paid it was really worth it. My parents also mentioned that the pasta was cooked Aldente. A lot of restaurants here in Manila make the mistake of overcooking pasta. I guess it’s really easy to mess up the cook on pasta noodles.

They have a best seller, the Risotto. That I’ll surely try when I come back here. It’s a good place for some pasta and comfort food. Its a very friend and family friendly place. Definitely a new go to place for me here in the north.

MAMA LOU’S ITALIAN KITCHEN, UPTC

Facebook: Mama Lous Italian Kitchen
Twitter: @mama_lous
Instagram: #mamalous

Nic’s Bakeshop, UP town center

One of the first few places that opened up in the new wing of UP town center is Nic’s Bakeshop. I never heard about it until today and I did not find the food expensive but I found their pre packed lasagnas and cakes pretty pricey. It doesn’t seem to be a restaurant, I think it’s just more of a place you’d pass by to buy pre packed meals for parties and cakes. They have lasagna for about Php 1000 something and a whole bunch of cakes for about 800php. I just wanted to give the food a try today and look around for what else they were selling in their shop.

DSCF4405

Here’s the menu and some of their cakes. I heard that the mango cake? It looked really good was one of their bestsellers.

DSCF4435

Here are some of their cakes I saw being displayed in the shop

I asked the lady at the counter about their best dishes and the first of what she recommended to me was this Chicken Parmigiana and the next was the Sirloin Tapa meal. So that is what we decided to go with. Unfortunately we were not able to try any cakes after that since we were so full, so we’ll save the cakes for another day.

DSCF4429

Chicken Parmigiana, Php 295 was recommended to me by the lady at the counter.

DSCF4418

Sirloin Tapa, Php 195. The beef was the sweet kind. Typical kind of tapa meal. Not the best tapa that I’ve tasted but still good.

The Chicken Parmigiana was okay, I was expecting it to be softer and not so dry? I think its easy to overcook chicken and it becomes kind of dry. The meal as a whole however tasted good. Their meals have this homey feel just like how the restaurants vibes are. The Sirloin Tapa was good but it wasn’t really all that special, just the typical kind of tapa that you could make at home. I’m still biased when it comes to Tapa meals and the such I would say Rodic’s will still be my favorite place to be eating Pinoy breakfast food.

DSCF4408

They also had an array of displays and samples of some of their sweets and dips. I was able to try this and their lemon square bar. I enjoyed the lemon square bars.

DSCF4398

Here’s their menu. Click to enlarge.

I did enjoy eating here though as the staff were very friendly and when asked about the food I explained to them about the chicken and the pasta and they did take my suggestions in. I really like places that give good ambiance and service. I might get some of their ready made party food from here next time and some of their cakes of course.

Nic’s Bakeshop

UP Town center, First floor across cotton on
Facebook them at: Nic’s Bakeshop

Backyard Manila, UP town center

I liked that the place had a backyard theme and the bucket lamps were pretty cool too. I saw how much likes and people were coming here so I wanted to check it out for myself. There’s a new kind of trend going around restaurants these days, the wood planks and curved walls. (HAHA)

DSCF4328

I found the bucket lamps cool.

DSCF4337

I was a bit bothered though by this dirty ladder and the lamps that were a bit off the theme of the “backyard”

DSCF4324

Menu of Backyard

I felt that the menu had no certain theme. There was an Uni Carbonara and then suddenly Papaya coconut soup and then Waffle breaded fried chicken. I would say that this place seems more like a place that will be packed with a lot of college kids or adults who want to drink once the bar is finished and they have a menu for drinks.

Their house blended iced tea. I saw the waiter put in lipton lemon bags in the cup while making the tea... Hmm.

Their house blended iced tea. I saw the waiter put in lipton lemon bags in the cup while making the tea… Hmm.

DSCF4334

Salted Egg Chicken Skin, Php 205 I found this a bit expensive as you can buy chicken skin for like 10Php around the streets.

DSCF4336

Nose to tail fettucini (all the good stuff) Php 275 pork cheek, beef brisket, ox tripe, chicken liver, tomato sauce fettucine.

I wasn’t so impressed with their food, maybe I didn’t try the right dish yet? The nose to tail pasta was good since I liked the cook of the noodles but it tasted like Menudo noodles, they should have just called it that. The Salted Egg chicken skin was really too pricey honestly for Php 205 you can buy a whole bag of chicken skins on the streets here around Manila. Then you just buy salted egg and eat them together, It’s the same thing really. Plus the salted egg was not in all the chicken skins so I felt like I got ripped off.

When I asked the waiter for what they would recommend this is what they told me to try so I was really expecting it to be the two most special dishes. Apparently not. Maybe when they finish their soft opening stage they would improve their menu? I am not so sure though it might just be another hangout place for people to drink in and eat small “pulutan” kinds of food.  As the vibe of the place is what most people would call it  “chill”.  I guess its still their soft opening so they still have a room to improve and I will just have to come back again in a few months.

Backyard Manila

UP town center, 2nd floor new building
Facebook them at: Backyard Manila

Liberty New York Steakhouse, UP Town center

I was expecting really good food here at Liberty Steakhouse since I have read tons of good blog reviews on this place, but I was left disappointed from what I was originally expecting. Although my friend and I did not try their steaks we did try their Philly cheese steak pasta. I was really disappointed with the pasta, not only was it bland but the steak was so hard and rubbery. They did not even ask us how we wanted the steak in our Philly cheese steak pasta. I was also expecting that the spam fries was something special since 260 pesos for something I could clearly make at home was not worth it at all. Also the Dorito Nachos I could easily copy and do myself. For a price of 320 pesos and only that small amount of Doritos was really expensive. I mean how much does a bag of Doritos really cost right?

SONY DSC

Dorito Nachos Php 320

SONY DSC

Spam Fries Php 260 pesos with Mustard dip, Ketchup and Kimchi dip

SONY DSC

Philly cheese steak pasta Php 375

I’m sorry to say that I don’t think that I will be returning to this place unless maybe to try their steaks and or burgers to see what the other bloggers are actually raving about. Personally I found it expensive that we spent 1000 Php just for all of this that I think could have actually cost cheaper. I was expecting the spam fries and Dorito nachos to be served on a bigger plate but instead for that expensive price we only got a small platter of each of the dishes.

The Primary kitchen and bar, UP Town Center

The best time to come here if you would want to eat is during lunch time because of their promos. However if you are looking to socialize with good food. You should try coming here during dinner. I went here for lunch the other week and tried their menu. They had a good mix of Mediterranean and Spanish food. During lunch time they also have a promo that for the price of only Php 299 you get an appetizer, Salad and Pasta of your choice from the menu. Their menu I would believe is a really good menu. I was able to speak to one of their staff and she told me how the manager was health conscious therefore making their menu really different from a lot of restaurants I have eaten in.

SONY DSC

Spanish Caprese Salad Php 360

SONY DSC

Tuna Salpicao Php 260

SONY DSC

Yogurt Shake Php 119

 I asked for something light and It was indeed a great meal! I felt like they used good oil as well and they seasoned the food really well. Not too strong and not to salty. The Spanish Caprese Salad was really something, and their yogurt shake was really good. I would recommend coming here to try their Paella as well, during lunch they also have a promo for their Paella. If you come here during evenings it is usually packed with people drinking and socializing. It is a great place to come to with your friends and to meet new people. I would love to come back here to try the rest of their menu.

The Primary second floor UP town center

Recommendations: Spanish Caprese Salad, Yogurt Shake

Price range per person: 500-700 Php more or less for 2 people

8 cuts burger blends, UP town center Katipunan

SONY DSC

Speculoos Cookie Butter Shake

I’ve tried this burger store once a month ago at SM megamall. I just can’t get enough of their onion rings and their shakes. Although this time I wanted to try their burgers. This time I brought Carlo Along with me! In this picture is the Speculoos Cookie butter shake and although I wasn’t able to try the shake, I noticed that almost everyone orders this. I am however not a fan of Cookie butter I’d like to try this the next time that I visit again maybe.

SONY DSC

Lamb burger Php 385

SONY DSC

Cheeseburger Php 195

SONY DSC

Onion Rings! Php 65

SONY DSC

Sweet Potato Fries, Php 65

SONY DSC
Nutelloos Shake, Php 220 for the 12oz

It wasn’t exactly what I’d call super special. I’ve eaten better burgers. Not bad but not good either, but good enough to satisfy your burger cravings. My friend mentioned though that their “lamb” didn’t exactly taste like lamb at all. My cheeseburger although good just tasted like a regular cheeseburger. Maybe if we tried something other than what we ordered we would have liked their burgers. They were made well but I think we had higher expectations of the place.  The onion rings though are something that I’d go back for again and the Butterfingers and Nutella shakes.

SONY DSC

Go after 5pm if you want some booze. It gets pretty crowded during the weekends.

Price range: Php 500-800 per person if you’re planning to get a burger, starters and a drink.

Recommendations: Onion Rings (definitely a must try!) Any of their shakes. (Butterfingers is still my favorite)

Located at: UP town center, Second floor right side

Visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/8cutsburgerblends

Steveston Pizza, Up Town Center

SONY DSC I’ve been wanting to try Steveston Pizza for a while now. I’ve heard a lot about its world famous Pizza which is originally from Canada, and is the winner of Best Pizza by the Richmond Review from 2008-2011. (http://www.clickthecity.com/food-drink/a/20530)

So this morning without much thought I went to try their Pizza with a friend of mine. We chose to order their “blue” pizza. This pizza was topped with rosemary smoked bacon, caramelized onions, mushrooms, baby spinach, and Stilton blue cheese mousse. It is said to be a best seller here. I think that anyone who loves blue cheese would enjoy this pizza with some hot sauce. For myself though, I would probably have liked to try something less salty. The pizza’s here range from Php 399-1299 and could be shared at least for about 3 to 4 people. For my friend and I though we were easily able to eat the 12′ inch pizza because we had not eaten that day. What was great about the pizza was the fact that it was not oily at all. I did not need to dab any oil out with a tissue or wipe my mouth after eating the pizza and the crust was very good. I would definitely recommend anyone to try the other flavors of their Pizzas. There are a lot more to chose from, and don’t forget to bring your friends with you!

Price range: Php 399-1299 per pizza ( usually good for sharing for about 3-4 people)

Located at: UP town center, First floor on the left side.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevestonPizza

SONY DSC

Tokyo Tonteki, UP Town Center Katipunan

     Screen shot 2014-02-23 at 10.31.14 PMTokyo Tonteki opens its first branch outside of the country and is located in UP town center, Katipunan. It is a well known restaurant in Japan for its soft meat.

We ordered 6 different meal sets and 2 side dishes. The Tonteki set and the Pork loin and steak was my dads and my sisters orders. These two actually were just the same, except for the pork loin was cut into small strips. The ginger pork loin set on the other hand was really delicious except for itSONY DSC was a bit harder than expected. The cream croquet was good except a little on the Filipino taste of sweet. It tasted a bit more of like a desert. The best of all the sets we ordered was the Tonburg Steak, Stir fried mushrooms and the Sandubu. The Sandubu was actually my most favorite of the 3 favorites. The meat was very soft and it was cooked very well and the spice complimented the contents very well.

My mom noticed though from the open kitchen that most of the meals were pre set. Which is why the orders were coming in so quickly and people were coming and going in an instant. It is very Japanese like service. Except for the mushrooms, she saw that they were freshly made there. I have yet to try the Tokyo Tonteki in Japan. SONY DSCMy mom mentioned to me that maybe the beef was not so soft because they are using locally made meat here. Nonetheless it was pretty good, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new place to eat. Another plus is that your order comes with unlimited RICE and VEGETABLE refils. For what its worth, Its definitely a good price.

PRICE RANGE: 350-500 per set meal per person

RECOMMENDATIONS: Sundubu, Tonburg Steak, Stir Fried Mushrooms

LOCATED AT: First floor left side, UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave

FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/tokyotontekiphilippines