Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Why Ramboy's Lechonan and Restaurant Lost a Customer...

Don't get me wrong. The food remains of top quality. The waiters and servers were nice and happy to be of service. They always served us with a smile... 

Yet, there will always be that employee whose soft skills is--to say the least--missing in action. Frankly, some people in the food industry will always require extensive people-skills training.

Lack of Extended Courtesty CAN Ruin a Good Meal Experience 

That's why I will never eat a Ramboy's Riverside Boardwalk again. Honestly, it shouldn't be a big deal. After all, my overall eating experience was nothing short of satisfactory. Still, I can't get it through my head that Mary Grace not only lied to me, but she just stole away the lingering taste of what should have been a good, memorable meal with my mom. 

Got tired of adding the embedded map. Here's a picture instead.
My mom offered to pay for dinner. She had two five hundred peso bills. I told her we'd split the bill instead (hoping to pay for the entire meal with my credit card). Still, she reasoned out that we needed the change for taxi fare. So, to accommodate her request, I asked the waiter if they could replace our 500 peso bill with 100 peso bills. He went back to the cashier and relayed our request. 

A few seconds later, he came back apologizing, saying, "Ma'am, sorry. Wala." So, I told him, "So, kung mabayad kami sang 1000, wala kamo change?" (So, if we pay you with 1000, you won't have change for it?") With a smile, he went back to her and made a second attempt to Ms. Grace who acted mataray (I think the correct English term that fit that same description would be "bitchy"). Annoyed that she was asked a second time (apparent through her hand gestures and an unforgettable frown on her face), she answered, "Wala gani." 

In short, she would never allow this request. We paid in cash, by the way. And we got the exact change. No hundreds went missing in the making of this post.

Meal for two. Two main dishes, one fried rice, one leche flan, a can of Mountain Dew and a can of Del Monte's pineapple juice. Price is steep. Affordable nonetheless.
I'm not sure if it's the sight of her being annoyed by such request (We were seated near the cashier, and I saw how the entire conversation between them transpired.) or the way she told the guy "wala" in a high-pitched, irritated tone or the way she lied (saying "wala" which means "none" rather than "indi pwede" which means "we can't"), but this really struck a nerve.

Rather than make a scene, I just asked for a name. When he returned with her first name, I asked him if she didn't have a surname. He went back to her again, and she finally peered through the glass display to where we were. I gladly smiled. She wrote it down and passed the piece of paper to him.

Miss Mary Grace Arcenio, smile! You're now Google-searchable.
A good restaurant meal always comes along with two things: good food and good service. If one is lacking, then the experience isn't worth revisiting. 

No matter how great Ramboy's ox tongue, fried rice, and kinilaw na tanguige was, it's a shame that I would never come back to their Boardwalk branch. 

Ramboy's is located at the Riverside Boardwalk,
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blake's Wings & Steaks in Marikina City

We unexpectedly decided to check out Blake's Wings & Steaks House in San Roque, Marikina. We had to wait quite a while before we were seated.

Word of Warning: Parking is limited. They do have a parking makeshift parking area at the street a few meters back.

The steakhouse was relatively cheap. The place itself had a certain Texas charm. I assume the owner poured his/her heart in decorating the place with wood-themed furniture and decorations.

This is the Blake's Wings & Steaks House waiting area.
I just love the restaurant's front. I've imagined witnessing their intense cooking routine beyond the walls made of glass. But enough about the place, lets talk about the food.

Blake's On-and-on Strings
The onion strings were seasoned and battered fairly. I can't say they're as good as Rack's onion brick, but that's just fine-given the price it's being sold at.

Dibs on Ribs. 1/2 kg of Pork Ribs at 350 pesos.
Now, the Pork Ribs, those were unforgettable. I never thought a hint of curry flavor would mesh well with Hickory barbecue sauce.

1/2 kg Wicked Wings for 195 pesos.
Then, there was their Porterhouse Steak. I swear the steak looked like a T-bone. The waiter said it was a Porterhouse Steak, but it had a T-shaped bone in the middle! Kidding aside, the mashed potatoes were really good. I would eat seconds in a heartbeat. The same goes for the leafy greens.

Blake's Porterhouse Steak at 250php.
Overall, our eating experience was okay. Blake's Wings and Steak House is perfect for people who want to enjoy good food on a budget. They're usually full (even on the weekdays), so do be patient while waiting to get seated. 

Blake's Wings & Steaks is located at Mayor Gil Fernando Ave, Marikina, Metro Manila.  You may reach them at (02) 632 71 90 / (+63) 906 904 4919
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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dining at Omakase Japanese Restaurant

We never expected for Omakase to be surprisingly good. The Japanese place is usually caught with empty seats. This, we soon realized, was because people had to wait to be seated--which is completely fine.

Of course, there's also the price point. Four thousand pesos for a group of eight isn't so bad, but it's not the cheapest place to eat Japanese cuisine at either.

Omakase Marikina's Sushi Boat. Don't let the mustard-ish blob scare you. It's good!
On the bright side, be it service, plating, or their food itself, Omakase hit my sweet tooth like a chocolate cake baked to perfection.

Tempura Ice Cream. Vanilla ice cream wrapped in crunchy pancake and doused in chocolate sauce. With a cherry on top!
A most memorable selection includes their Japanese Sushi Boat (920 php), Tempura Ice Cream (105 php), and their cheese-dressed, tuna-filled Maki. If I remember correctly, it's called the American Dream (205 php). 

And my final suggestion: a glass of their bottomless Iced Tea (75 php). You can get refills for both Wild Raspberry and Panama Orange in Omakase Marikina--whichever you choose to order.

Sorry, I had to use another Store's Map. Omakase is located in the same building.

Omakase is located in ESJ Building, Gil Fernando Avenue, San Roque, Marikina City. You may call them at (632)631-6588. Check out there menu at Zomato.
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Chevy Burger in Marikina

Hamburger House. Self-service. Pay as you order.
After a few months of wondering why Chevy Burger was always filled with customers, I finally struck gold when my sister decided we go try it.

The large Chevy Burger sign greets incoming patrons as they enter the small joint.
Indeed, the place is small, but the taste is nowhere in comparison to the crowded seats and the overwhelming abundance in ingredients.

This newly opened Chevy Burger is situated along JP Rizal, across Malanday's South Supermarket.
As you could see, the place is jam-packed. When we entered, they were full. For a brief moment, the seats emptied. A few minutes later, it's like this again.

I second this caption. They definitely know their stuff.
Chevy Burger reminds me of Iloilo Glor's Burger or the old American Legacy. They serve good burgers at an affordable price. Getting the Messy Melt at 75 pesos and a tall glass of Iced Tea for 25 pesos is quite rare.

This Messy Melt Burger oozes with "house-blend" cheese sauce. Each bite was filled with meaty goodness.
I just love that the Messy Melt burger had mushrooms. But then, there was the nachos with cheesy abundance.

Nachos!!! Mmmm....
Overall, the #ChevyBurger experience was worth the wait. It was always full and far. So when they opened a branch more accessible to me, I was ecstatic. I think I've blurted out their name a few times than anticipated.

One of Chevy Burger's newest branches is situated along J. P. Rizal Street, Marikina, Metro Manila. They're open from 2:00 PM - 11:00 PM.
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Saturday, April 11, 2015

GT Academy Invades the Philippines

Are you a Gran Turismo veteran?

Do you like that adrenaline rush pumping through your system when you overtake fellow online racers?

Do you want to make that virtual challenge a reality?

Well, now's your chance. Nissan, in partnership with Playstation, is bringing this experience of a lifetime to the Philippines. The GT Academy, launched in Europe last 2008, is now looking for the best Filipino Gran Turismo 6 players to compete in live events. 

From the Philippines top 20, the final 6 will get to compete internationally with other Asian-based players.

Nissan's GT Academy Media Launch last March 25, 2015
Save the date!

April to June 2015- Nissan's GT Academy recruits the top 20 Filipino players to compete on the National Finals

Nissan Philippines, Inc's PR Officer Sara de Guzman deadly in black and ready to race.
July 2015- National Finals 2015. Philippine's top 20 will race against each other to determine the top 6 finalists who'll compete against the best Gran Turismo drivers in Asia.

International Race Camp Week 2. Experience the speed inside an actual Nissan sports car.
August 2015- Race Camp Week commences. Players will be tested for their stamina, strength, mental agility and driving skills against Asia's best in UK's Silverstone Racing Circuit.

An Experience of a Lifetime
Driver Development Program. The new GT Academy Champion in Asia will join other GT Academy winners in an intense pro-race training program under the guidance of professional coaches and racers at the Silverstone Racing Circuit.

Graduation. After passing the Driver Development Program, graduates will receive an International C License. This will allow them to compete in a prestigious international racing event.

And the grandest of grand grand prize?

A spot on the Nissan elite racing team.

Riccardo Sanchez, winner of the GT Academy International 2014 
So what are you waiting for?

Give it a try... You'll never know until you enter the GT Pod and take the time trial challenge during their live racing event.

Interested in the program? Visit Nissan Philippines' Facebook Page

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Nokinoc: Dining Spot in Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan

So, this is one of my Palawan Treasures segment. Situated in Palawan's center (beside Corazon Tourist Inn) is Noki Noc.

Noki Noc Savoury House
A Palawan staple whenever I'm at Puerto Princesa because the food is affordable, relatively cheap and good. 

When I say cheap, I mean fastfood cheap. The prices are fair in relation to its bountiful serving.

Chicken and Palabok combo for 99 pesos.
You get a quarter of a chicken (e.g. an entire leg), some atsara, and a cup of rice for 99php. Fried chicken combo with Palabok also cost 99php. Not bad, right? 

And--not that it matters--water is free.

Water's free...
Oh, just a word of caution while eating their liempo meal: get a knife. I had a hard time slicing through the piggy portion when I ordered it (along with baked mac).

If I remember correctly, this probably cost between 99 php to 129 php
Mmmm... Baked Mac.
If there's one thing I didn't like while eating at Noki Noc, it's the Chocolate Mousse (95 php). It was just too rich and too sweet for me. I could barely finish half the cup.

It's a little too sweet for my taste, but I'm sure couples and groups of three would be fine finishing this large cup of Chocolate Mousse.
This said, I wouldn't mind gorging up a dozen Silvanas (35 php) because they got it made just right.

My favorite Noki Noc dessert cost 35 pesos and is worth every penny!
Bottom Line

Noki Noc is definitely a nice and convenient place to eat at. Sure, it's no Kah Lui or Kinabuch's, but the wide viand selection should put the pickiest eater at ease. It's cheap. It's bountiful, and the food's not bad.
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