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THE QUIET DINER

Red-hot Latin American food in Las Piñas; classic Chinese in Makati

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A new restaurant’s name, Brasas, means hot, while a Chinese restaurant in Makati may very well be called House of Crystals.

Two new eateries on two ends of the metropolis, serving different cuisines, each capturing the palate of the city’s dining crowd.

Brasas

Evia Mall, Daang Hari, Las Piñas; tel. 5176532

This restaurant offers red-hot Latin American street food. New in the neighborhood, it is tucked behind the Rustan’s building.

Dining area—Done in the rugged Latino way, in hardwood and black paint. The wall proclaims that its cuisine comes straight from Peru and other Latin American countries. Chairs and tables are all made of wood.

Service—A bit slow; it had just opened when we chose to have lunch there. No one could tell us what brasas meant, until the manager came by and said, “red-hot.”

Staff—Needs more training.

Suggested orders—Go on a tour of Latin America and enjoy its many flavors. Try the Puerco Asado from Cuba, crunchy-skinned pork belly with beans, and South American slaw, for starters. Follow up with the soothing Columbian chicken soup with tortilla strips, and then any of the mains—Pescado con Coco from Dominican Republic, with rich cream sauce, the seared catch of the day with Sofrito sauce blending well with Spanish rice.

Or have the multitextured medley of beef, pork and chicken in Uruguay’s Chivito al Plato, served with Chimichurri. Portions are big and can be shared. Some dishes are really hot, but you can ask the chef to make your choice milder.

For dessert, order the Alfajores, rich butter cookies filled with Dulce de Leche and drizzled with dark chocolate. Other than the usual beverages, wine is served.

Government taxes and service charge are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.

Rating: 2 Spoons

Lugang Café

New Glorietta 2, Ayala Center, Makati City; tel. 4555879 and 4033303

The popularity of its original outlet in Greenhills has rubbed off on the resto’s new branch. Lines form every day at lunch, up until about 2 p.m. Get hold of a table early when you plan to dine there.

Glorietta has taken on a new face, and so has this Chinese restaurant, which now sports an all-crystal look in its newest location. It gives depth to the place.

Dining area—Deep and longish. There are fake palm trees separating the sections. There are banquettes for semiprivate dining, and cubicles.

Service—Kitchen is efficient, fast.

Staff—In the two times that this diner went there, two different waiters did not get one of our orders right—the Xiao Long Bao, considering that this is one of the resto’s signature offerings.

Suggested orders—Like our group, go through the menu very carefully to choose delicious fare that are of moderate prices. Start with the famed Xiao Long Bao and slurp it. Follow up with the dry, subtly flavored Noodles with Mushrooms, then the tender Chicken Nuggets with crispy greens, and finally the fresh Oyster Omelette.

Your bill for this will surprisingly be below P500 each—for a party of four.

Government taxes and service charge are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.

Rating: 2 Spoons


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  • WeAry_Bat

    Brasas is also in SM Aura, one late night I had for movies.

  • xMinesweeperx

    please post pictures, really appetizing specially the Uruguayan food.



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