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Contrasting ambiance, equally good food

This diner visited two restaurants, each with a different ambiance, but was pleased that both offer food worthy of a second or even third visit. One is in Tagaytay amid old trees and shrubs that evoke a tapestry for an almost “Gone with the Wind” feel, while the other is located in the very busy Greenbelt 5 in Makati, always teeming with apparently hungry men and women, of various ages and calling.

Antonio’s Breakfast—Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, tel. (046) 4130975. One descends the hilly terrain to get to this near paradise of towering trees and a profusion of plants all around. This is actually below the main restaurant, Antonio’s, which has been bestowed a prestigious culinary award by an international body.

The breakfast unit is open for meals, not only breakfast fare, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. They are closed on Mondays, except holidays. One is awed by the imposing ‘Old World’ building, an architectural masterpiece, conveying the past of grand mansions and expansive estates. The ambiance is elegant yet homey. Having a meal there is like dining in some heritage homes with period décor.

Service—Genteel. Quiet. Unobtrusive but efficient.

Staff—Males are all in white while the ladies are in collared and aproned outfits reminiscent of those serving the “Dons” and “Doñas” of a bygone era. They are attentive and quick to respond.

Suggested menu—Visited mostly by people who love good food with efficient service, the menu will satisfy the discriminating diner/s. Try the New Zealand salmon served with wheat bread, cream cheese and eggs. Go for the fried cheese sandwich using mozzarella and gruyere, or feast on foie gras raclette. Whet your Filipino appetite with Beef Sinigang on rice noodles and Daing na Gindara. Peruse the menu and find the Seared Angus Sirloin Steak, for which one can ask for extra gruyere. Or watch your wellness and dine on homemade yogurt with lemon, strawberry, mayo or apple. Crepes and pudding are on the dessert list.

Regular service charges and government taxes are collected. Senior cards are honored.

Rating ***

Yakimix Japanese Sushi Smokeless Grill Restaurant—3/F Greenbelt 3, Makati City, tel. 9649931. If you don’t come early for lunch, like at 11 a.m., you will have to wait and join a long queue for a table. That is how popular this restaurant has become. A trick is to send one to sit/occupy a table and wait for the rest of the group to come.

Dining area—Very modern in design and colors. There are nooks. The buffet spread is daunting to say the least. It starts from one side of a huge hall and weaves around, in a circle, through the other end of the hall. Each table has a built-in smokeless grill.

Service—What can be faster than a buffet?

Staff—Immediately, a staff lights the grill. This is a serve-yourself restaurant, but waiters graciously accommodate requests for refills or other items  guests  might want  more of.

Suggested orders—The menu combines what are popular and special in Japanese, Cantonese and Korean cuisines. Can a diner ask for more? There is sushi and sashimi aplenty, teppanyaki beef, rare fish, bulgogi and noodles, chicken and pork dishes. This diner noted some rare shells and seafood, greens and condiments. Go check and be amazed.

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

Rating ***

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Tags: dining , Food , Lifestyle , Restaurants

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