Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shin Dang Dong Korean Restaurant

I'm not really a fan of Korean food, but my foodie friend insisted that we visit a Korean restaurant and try out something Korean for a change. She was excited. In fact, due to her excitement, she had already listed down all the possible Korean restaurants to go to. She was, of course, looking for one with a name that starts with an "S" and it was pretty difficult. Sorabol was our first choice, but since we can't locate it, we resorted to Shin Dang Dong instead.

It wasn't a bad choice at all, actually. The place is a bit small, but it has a very happy ambiance. At last, I've seen a place that's really happy unlike all the other supposedly happy places, which do not turn out to be happy. 

The restaurant looks like a huge collage of photos. There are plenty of pictures posted side-by-side on almost every part of the store's interior walls. These photos are, interestingly, of their customers. Talk about them having a souvenir instead of their diners. Haha! And, yes, the waiters also took a photo of me and my friend, so I would not be so surprised to see our photograph posted there as well in the next couple of weeks. =)

Teokbokki (P 590.00)
For this meal, we only tried the Teokbokki, which came with a pitcher of Iced Tea, some Kimchi, and a bowl of their house soup. It was a really interesting dish, freshly prepared in front of us by the waiter. I did some research and I found out that this dish is a popular snack in Korea.
There were actually a lot of stuff in the Teokbokki. Apart from the noodles, there were also some veggies and Korean dumplings.

There's also some cheese in there. 

It's like a mix of everything.
Anyway, this dish is really HOT! I mean, really spicy and hot! There's an option to make it less spicy but even if this was already the "light hot" version (the least spicy one), it's still too spicy. Coupled with it being freshly-cooked and piping hot, this was a little hard to eat. Good thing there's iced tea to douse our burning tongues with or else we would have breathed fire right after our very first spoonful!
Nonetheless, albeit being hot, it was okay. I really loved the rice cakes and fish cakes in the soup. They're so yummy. The serving was also big. It can easily be shared by at least four people. The only down side is that it can get cloying eventually when you've eaten too much. 

Kimchi (Free)
The free Kimchi was okay, but I wouldn't say that it's the best I've tried. 

Free Soup
But the soup was not edible. It had a really weird taste. 
Overall, the meal we had here was very happy. The waiters were also friendly. It wasn't the best restaurant we've eaten at, but at least we had an enjoyable and filling meal here. The food was almost impossible for the two of us to consume. Next time, we're going to have to take with us some back-up. =)

Ambiance - 3/5
Food - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Value - 5/5
TOTAL - 4/5  

Shin Dang Dong Korean Restaurant

(02) 728 0506
A. Venue Mall, Makati Avenue
Poblacion, Makati City, Metro Manila

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Red Garlic

I had my colonoscopy a few days ago and it was a terrifying and rather embarrassing experience. The doctor had me down two huge bottles of this ill-tasting oral preparation that's supposed to purge my entire gut of everything that's in there - good or bad. And it was a totally miserable and enervating experience. Thankfully, my doctor found nothing major and I am happy that I can continue eating what I want to eat.

Anyway, before the procedure, I feared that I have a condition that would put diet restrictions on me, so before I had those probes stuck up my gut, I made sure to have my supposedly "Last Supper" somewhere. I decided to just go to a place close to our house as I was feeling a bit weak and, well, sick this day, and thought that Red Garlic's probably the best place to visit.

Red Garlic has this very cool and relaxed ambiance, and it's pretty nice to know that you can just linger here a bit and read some while drinking a cup of coffee or having a hearty meal. However, I was so disappointed with the service here as the waiters literally ignored me when I walked inside the restaurant.

I had to raise my hand a couple of times, wave at the waiters who were happily chatting with each other, and shout at one before being noticed. That was just outrageous! I felt discriminated. I almost left the place because there was literally no service. But I stayed since I was hungry and I was sick (I didn't want to travel much).

I was handed their menu and I immediately ordered in straight English to make the waiter realize that I am educated and I can pay for my meal. However, I was so annoyed at the fact that the waiter didn't even list down what I said as if he is gifted with some sort of eidetic memory. Alas! Because of his idiocy, he forgot everything I said and had me repeat my order, which was extremely irritating! 

Anyway, let's not dwell too much on their poor service and head on to the food.

Napa Valley Salad (P 299.00)

I started the meal with this interesting salad they call Napa Valley salad. The menu says that it is composed of assembled layers of fresh watermelon, ripe mangoes, chicken breast, and fresh baby romaine served with their Peppermill Signature Dressing. There's also a lot of cheese on top of this salad, but the menu does not say anything about that. 

Surprisingly, I found this salad very pleasant and refreshing. My meal started right because of this dish. It's different but in a wonderfully good way.The serving size's also big and is good for sharing. 

Bologna (Beef Lasagna) (P 385.00)

Next off is the Bologna, which is just a typical baked lasagna dish. Indeed, it was so typical that I got bored eating it. It's also a bit weird because it looked greenish and the pasta was soggy. I am not sure if there's too much sugar on this dish, but I felt like this one had a sweet-and-spicy Filipino edge or something. This does not even touch Mom & Tina's heavenly Chicken Spinach Lasagna, though I have to admit that I loved the idea of putting nachos on the side in place of garlic bread. 

Tomahawk Grilled Pork Loin Chop (P 535.00)

The menu says that their Tomahawk Grilled Pork Loin Chop is highly recommended so I ordered it straight away. This one's a thick slab of pork glazed with their special Mango Chipotle sauce. It looks really nice but tastes really bad. I had to check if it was really Grilled Pork Loin or Tocino I'm eating. It was too sweet! I was expecting more from the 30-minute cooking time, but it was just, well, blah! It was also too tough. Slicing this loin without a chopping board is almost an impossibility! This is even worse than Burgoo's pork chops! I didn't bother finishing this meal and went ahead with the dessert immediately. Yep, that's 500 bucks down the drain. 

New York Cheesecake (P 180.00)

For dessert, I had a slice of cheesecake. This one's nice and dense, but clearly an ordinary cheesecake. It's also too hard to consume, being too sweet and heavy. But it's baked so that exempts it from being a disastrous dessert.

Panna Cotta with Fresh Fruits (P 135.00)

To finish off the meal, I tried their Panna Cotta with Fresh Fruits. It was so pretty to stare at but, to be honest, it was so bland and tasteless. I think I can make a denser, creamier, and better Panna Cotta than this one. Their recipe's got too much gelatin, and this felt like eating Jelly Ace with fruits. I hate to say this but this is even worse than Tokyo Tokyo's Mango Panna Cotta.

So, that ends my last supper and hopefully my very last meal in this restaurant. This is completely banned from my book. Their bad service coupled with their generic if not excessively sweet food is just not worth coming back to.

Ambiance - 4/5
Food - 2/5
Service - 1/5
Value - 1/5
TOTAL - 2/5

Red Garlic Bistro, Blue Ridge
(02) 682 1860
218 Katipunan Ave, Blueridge A
Quezon City

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