Two dining places, recently discovered, offer two different types of cuisines, each combined with efficient service and near-perfect ambiance. They are located at two districts, one in Alabang and the other in Bonifacio Global City.
Misato, Japanese restaurant, Molito Mall, Acacia road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City; tel. 8504246. This place has remained quite unknown, even to residents of Alabang and the neighboring areas, for the last three years. It did not create a stir until Molito Mall started operations. Now word has spread and it is always full; therefore, one needs to make reservations.
Dining area—Small but there are two levels, ground and mezzanine. Nearly every day, diners come to fill up the place. There are Shoji screens on the second level arranged against the wall and Japanese dolls on display downstairs. The sushi bar is in full view of customers. Tables are so close to each other, it is quite difficult to move.
Service—A receptionist greets customers, who are seated immediately—that is, if reservations have been made or if a table turnover happens. Otherwise, there’s waiting time.
Staff—Accommodating. On a full house, they manage to please the waiting customers by assuring them of help in finding space either upstairs or on the main floor. Guests are not likely to be irritated and leave.
Suggested menu—The usual Sashimi and Sushi are fresh. The Sukiyaki, multi-flavored with greens and slices of tender beef in broth, is a big one and can be divided (the staff can do this) among three diners. The bentos and packaged meals are deliciously marinated. Of course, the Tempura (shrimps or vegetables) is a big seller.
The resto adds 10-percent service charge and honors senior cards.
Chuck’s Deli, G/F, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City; tel. 5764210, 8461434. If you are a sandwich person, one who will not crave for rice for a main meal, this is the place to visit. It’s a tiny dining place inspired by delis abroad. The owners make the offerings from scratch and have a creative way of serving them.
Dining area—Very young, very now. But the more mature customers need not feel out of place. It is a refreshing sight to look at the blackboards with handwritten messages from clients who have enjoyed the place and its food. Décor is mostly black.
Service—Efficient and informative
Suggested menu—Everything is freshly made by the owners, who have a good background in their type of food from having trained abroad. Sausages, sauces are all done in-house. The place has fun and original names for the variety of sandwiches (mostly served on slabs of wood): Slabwiches, served in 10-inch-long ciabatta; Buffy, chicken and coleslaw; Flatwiches of Parma ham and salmon; Subwiches served on hoagles, like the Big Ben of English sausage and Philly Cheese steak; and the “pounders”—the Ruedi of US Angus Beef and Swiss Cheese.
Complementing these are Greens and Quenchers. The sandwiches can be ordered either in half slabs or whole. Whatever, they don’t make a big dent on the pocket.
One of the lady owners comes from the family behind Arce Ice Cream, so Chuck’s Milkshakes, made of three scoops of Arce Ice cream blended with fresh carabao’s milk in different flavors, are available.
Anybody who faces the Chuck’s Challenge—that is, who finishes a whole slab of Buffy in five minutes or less—eats free and gets a T-shirt. Some who have succeeded have their names on the wall.
Service charge is added with government taxes. Senior cards are honored.