My Reviews

Genki Sushi

3.0 Stars
Japanese

I have read about this from blogs and decided to try it first before I bring the entire family.

The overall experience was ok but not that great.

Ordering on a touch screen isn't really new, but the way they had the screen on the wall, with small images of the sushi, sashimi, etc., made the user experience unpleasant. Even with a bigger poster of everything (almost) available on the menu on the wall, the entire process made my neck ache.

The food came in via their automated tray (shaped like a train or was that a ship?). The first time was entertaining, until you get to figure out that your food passes through the other customer's tables before it gets to you (no, they don't get to touch it - unless they would, BUT one sneeze and that's it!). Well, not different from the other sushi place where plates are on a conveyor belt! :)

As for the food - a tad expensive but nothing special. One thing good is that they have a variety of choices, but again, nothing special.

Verdict - nope, won't bring my family there. Too expensive.

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Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

3.0 Stars
Dessert

The first branch in the Philippines is surprisingly at UP Town Center -- so there's no excuse not to check it out.

My wife and I checked it out and figured that it is on the expensive side - a caramel apple for a little less than PhP300! (US$6!). Well, a friend of mine, who's familiar with the chain, already told me about the prices so I wasn't surprised. However, the other chocolate treats, like the pecan bears (and cashew, almond and peanut) are priced at PHP350 per 1/4 pound! Yeah, expensive, but I had to try them and see if the price is worth it.

I ordered a pecan, almond and crispie bear that totaled around PHP600! I added a cup of cappuccino, which costs PhP120.

So was it worth the price? Well, the almond bear is just almonds on caramel and dipped in dark chocolate (you can choose milk chocolate if you wish). Frankly, too overpriced for my taste!

The cappuccino was bland, too. I don't know, but it might just be the "barista" as it took her more than 10 minutes (and a couple tries).

Overall, it was overrated! If they had dark and unsweetened chocolate, then maybe I'd return for more.

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La Maison Rose

3.0 Stars
French

Had dinner here with the team and some friends. The restaurant is at a converted residence and tries to provide a full French ambiance. Since we were a large group, we got one of the private rooms to enjoy our dinner.

Had nicoise salad and duck confit (PhP550!) for dinner. The salad was a bit of a surprise as I was expecting tuna instead of anchovies, and I didn't like the way the anchovies were prepared.

The duck confit lacked flavor as I was expecting some duck fat on the dish. Their twist of this dish left it a bit dry and needs a bit of seasoning.

Overall, it was Ok, but not enough for me to rave about.

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Ramen Nagi

4.0 Stars
Ramen or Noodle

Our kids' favorite ramen place here at UP Town Center. Love that you can customize your ramen from the four base ramen that they have. Favorite is the Red King with lots of freshly crushed garlic. This time, I just stuck with their Butao with lots of garlic!

One thing that they need to do is to offer more choices on their menu -- and that will get them to earn that extra star in my book.

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Red Ginger

2.0 Stars
Asian

Was looking for a place to have a quick dinner without going to the buffet table and chose this as I saw a lot of families dining.

Ordered their Caesar Salad with a Vietnamese twist and their Angus Beef Satay (which comes with rice).

First, the salad was nothing spectacular. It was ok, but nothing to rave about it. Got it five minutes after ordering.

However, the Angus Beef Satay was taking forever. Forty minutes in and the order never came. How difficult is it to grill the beef?

Finally decided to cancel and just get out of this restaurant with such a lousy service. Talked to the manager and informed him that I will no longer wait for the order. He generously waived the salad and even offered the satay for free. Left instead.

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SumoSam

3.0 Stars
Japanese

We missed Sumosam after our favorite branch in Trinoma closed in favor of another Filipino fusion restaurant.

This branch, however, is smaller - probably has 25% less dining capacity. However, the crew here is way slower! We waited for our food for more than half an hour -- almost twice as long as we normally wait for at the Trinoma branch.

Anyway, I don't know if this is an overall change in the way Sumosam is being managed, or maybe it is just this branch only. I guess we will have to see -- after we get to try another branch again in the future.

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RUB Ribs & BBQ

3.0 Stars
American

The place was packed but we were able to get a table for seven after 5 minutes.

Ordered the Family Brunch and the Duo ribs for the 6 of us and the pasta with meat sauce for the youngest. Also has Caesar salad. The salad was served rather quickly, along with the pasta. The salad was plain and nothing special.

The serving size of the pasta was a bit disappointing - well, maybe because my daughter can eat twice the amount that was served. In the end, my daughter likes it except for the serving size.

The ribs were ok - nothing fancy either. The price, however, is great, I.e., very affordable.

Service, however, sucks! They served the two sets of ribs 5 minutes apart. Disappointing.

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Book & Borders Cafe

3.0 Stars
Café

Tomas Morato has another cafe currently on soft-opening status. Family decided to try it out and see if the coffee is any good and if they have a good collection of books for kids.

My two daughters decided to get their smoothie but was told that it wasn't available. Bummer! They settled for the 16oz Iced Mocha and had it split into two. The wife ordered a 12oz Iced Mocha for herself. I got myself a Flat White and a Tiramisu donut, my two other kids shared a slice of chocolate mousse with banana rum, and my youngest son got a manglicious donut.

First the coffee - the Flat White was served in a glass, instead of a cup. I thought that they didn't have cups or mugs as they were on soft-opening, but they did have cups and mugs. Would have been easier to drink a hot drink on a cup than on a glass. Anyway, there was no sugar or cream served with the coffee, but you can help yourself and get a couple of sachets from the counter near the unisex comfort room. Well, I don't put sugar in my coffee anymore, so it wasn't a big deal.

The Tiramisu donut, OTOH, wasn't that sweet. The filling, however, was too watery -- don't know if it was overheated or something.

The Iced Mocha drink came with a rock solid frozen milk. It was a great idea but my kids didn't like it - as they didn't have the patience to let it melt and mix with the mocha.

Now the book collection - the kids loved it. It is a great place to while away the time. It was quiet and conducive to reading and studying. There were a couple of customers with laptops plugged in. I didn't manage to check the wifi, but 3G/LTE signals from both Smart and Globe are pretty good.

Overall, it's a pretty decent cafe with ordinary coffee and pastries. Worth a second visit? Probably not for me and my family.

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Recovery Food

2.0 Stars
Filipino

Last time we went here, I had one of their noodle dishes. Today, I tried their Spicy Sweet Tuyo dish with fried egg on brown rice.

First off, I forget that this isn't a fancy restaurant. I asked for the egg to be crispy on the outside while the yolk is still runny. I ended up with an egg that looked like it was cooked an hour ago!

As appetizers, we ordered their Barcia pork strips, which looked more like deep fried pork mince!

Overall, not a great experience.

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Relish

4.0 Stars
Fusion

Went here for an early dinner and just ordered a bowl of New England Clam Chowder along with the Relish Chef Salad. My wife and kids ordered their beef belly.

Anyway, the salad was ok - nothing really special. It came with two hard boiled egg quarters, sweetened apple slices, cucumber, lettuce, two tomato halves and bits of feta cheese. The serving is good for one to two persons, but I shared it with six others -- kids! :)

As for the clam chowder, was told that it was good for two, but it wasn't. It was creamy enough with a generous serving of croutons. Unfortunately, it was a challenge finding the clams! :)

The place has a home-y feel - perfect for families. However, it was a bit warm (air coolers and electric fans are all over the room on the ground floor) during our stay.

Overall, it's a good place for a quick meal.

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