Anticipating the rich and heavy food that will be served during the holidays, we opted for light but satisfying and healthy meals in two newly discovered dining outlets. We came out satisfied.
Crimson Hotel, Manila Entrata Urban Complex, 2609 Civic Drive, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City; tel. 8632222.
As its name suggests, the restaurant is on the eighth floor of the hotel, the latest five-star to join the emerging hotel grouping in the south.
It’s accessible through the fourth-floor parking area by taking the lift from there to the eighth.
Dining area: A huge hall is on the left side of the expansive hotel lobby. It is dominated by a Cold Buffet table in the center and a Hot Food display on the side. Typical of hotels, tables are set for four but could be expanded for bigger groups.
Service: Number of staff is comparatively bigger than the average. Because this is a buffet outfit, service is fast, drinks are served quickly.
Staff: Attentive young men and women in crisp uniforms, who can make sound suggestions. They remember diners— our group was welcomed back on the second visit. They constantly check on what the diners need.
Suggested menu: Diners are given a choice: the Half Buffet of the cold but substantial selection of Japanese Sushi/Sashimi Bar; the humongous dessert array, breads and cheeses; or the Full Buffet of heavy meats such as Chinese Dim sum and Osso Bucco. The former costs less.
Because our group wanted a light meal before the indulgence of Christmas, we had the Half Buffet.
We started with the sushi and sashimi with hot cups of tea. The Salads came with different dressings, made more filling with bits of meat and nuts.
The other attractions were Roast Duck with Cucumber in Sesame Oil, Grilled Eggplant and Tomatoes with Lemon Olive Oil, Char-Grilled Squid with Carrot Leek Julienne and Tomatoes.
Then we had our fill of Manchego, Ementhal and Blue Cheeses, with grapes and soft and hard rolls.
The sweet tooth was challenged by the daunting dessert array, but this diner chose to order a crepe from an attendant in the counter. The filling, bananas, was specified, laced with chocolate syrup. Great.
Then we were ready for a cup of strong brewed coffee.
Government and service charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.
Rating – 2 Spoons
Yushoken Noodle House
Unit 20, Cluster 3, Molito Lifestyle building, Zapote and Madrigal Avenue, Muntinlupa City; tel. 8087424.
If it is comfort food one is craving for, this is the place.
While it opened without fanfare, it has become popular and is often full at lunch. Diners are likely to wait outside, since there is no waiting area in the restaurant. Come early then.
Dining area: Done in blue and orange, it has high ceilings with Japanese lanterns. A blue statue of the octogenarian founder, called the “Ramen God,” is on the shelf. He still visits the restaurant to ensure the quality of service and food.
Service: Once seated, diners are handed a sheet of paper with the menu and a backgrounder on the resto and its offerings.
Staff: They seem enthusiastic and work fast.
Suggested orders: One may order any of the ramen noodle soups, hot or cold, each with slabs of pork and bamboo shoots.
The diner has a choice of dipping sauce (broth): Shio which is most basic; Shoyu or soy sauce; Tantanmen, made of sesame paste and chili with ground pork; and Miso, with soy bean paste.
The broth is flavorful, made with meat bones and vegetables boiled for hours.
There are side dishes: Tamago, marinated eggs; Gyosa, pork dumplings; Karaage, fried boneless chicken thigh; and Chahan, mixed fried rice.
Our choice beverage was the Sola Ice Tea; it was apple-flavored.
It is suggested that one slurps the soup, to cool it, as it is supposed to improve the flavor. Sharing or splitting the order is not recommended; one must have his/her own bowl of noodles.
There are no spoons and fork, only chopsticks, in other words, eat like a true Japanese native.
This diner enjoyed the comforting lunch. We plan to visit again.
Service and government charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.
Rating – 2 Spoons.