Tuesday, February 28, 2006

KFC @ Greenbelt 1

It's finger lickin' good!

After a few days hiatus for the brunch club, off we went to Kentucky's Fried Chicken at Greenbelt 1, Makati.

We shared a bucket meal that consisted of 8 peices of chicken (mixed: original and hot and crispy), 4 sidings (3 coleslaw and 1 mashed potato), 4 rice packets and 4 regular sodas.

I had 2 peices of hot and
crispy chicken, a leg and a wing. The hot and crispy chicken peices were small (a leg and 3 wings) compared to the original recipe (3 breasts and a leg). Mashed potato is always good. I consider it one of the best mashed potato in the Philippines and with the bottomless gravy, it was the absolute best!

The only bad point against this dining experience? The girl behind the counter. She took down our order wrong, twice! We told her "2 mashed potatoes and 2 coleslaw", then she repeats "2 coleslaw, 1 mashed potato and 1 macaroni". And again, we told her "1 Pepsi, 1 Mirinda and 2 Mountain Dew" she then goes "1 Mountain Dew, 2 Mirindas and 1 Pepsi"... DUH!

Anyway, that didn't stop us from enjoying the yummy chicken.
-- Leigh

When God created chicken, seems like Good Ol' Kentucky Colonel was right there to catch them all! KFC is like home. Comfort food abound.

I never get tired of their timeless Original Recipe chicken, juicy and sumptuous chicken meat in every bite. Their gravy is incomparable to none. It's simple divine.

Today, we had a bucket load of chicken. Not really a fan of spicy food, I had the original recipe with a matching fix-in of coleslaw. Their coleslaw is an old favorite of mine as well. Their version has a crunch to it, unlike some of the soggy ones out there.

KFC is Fried Chicken at its finest. - Lean

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Binalot @ Greenbelt 1

With only three club members today, we decided today to eat at Binalot, a third-round pick after vetoing Big Buddha for distance and cost and David's Tea House for no apparent reason. At least for Leigh and me, we would soon find this decision an appalling mistake.

Binalot Greenbelt specializes in traditional Filipino foods wrapped in banana leaves, which does provide for an appetizing aroma and unique presentation. I ordered myself a sisig, which you can see directly below. Can you see it? No? Well, that's gripe #1. The servings were quite small. The sisig let me down, being both dull and flavorless, needing salted eggs, fried eggs, and other condiments to give it some semblance of taste. Yech.

There are little pros for this Binalot, despite its long line testifying to its popularity. The restaurant is cramped, and tables are ridiculously small, given that we have to open our meals wide (they are, after all, wrapped in banana plant leaves). Their service was reasonably fast, but the meals were unmemorable.

Ultimately, I don't see myself returning to Binalot Greenbelt, even for takeout. Why suffer through the indignance of bad food and ambience for Filipino food? There's Rodick's, Tapa King, and a slew of other restaurants that can give me equally good food, with space to stretch my legs and enjoy my eating time with friends. - Ganns

I love almusal food. Anything "silog" appeals to my appetite.
So today, we opted to eat at Binalot. This teeny tiny place located at the back of Greenbelt 1, which serves anything from "silog" faves to more contemporary stuff like their Sisig na Makisig.

The downside. Portions are not consistent, so I ended up finishing my meal before I knew it. To match the teeny, tiny place are their even teenier, tinier tables. If you are out on a lunch date with your boyfriend, your food ends up overlapping with each other's paper binalot.

Their sago gulaman is quite okay. So-so. Nothing fancy either like those of Via Mare's.

In totality, a so-so lunch experience. - Lean

Let's start with the good things, service was fast. Okay, that it.

By far this is the least satisfying meal I have ever had since the beginning of the MBC. This was also a first for me at Binalot but from seeing the long lines at its Greenbelt branch every lunch time, I thought the food would be good.
It was a big disappointment. For one, the cashier didn't take down my order of iced tea so I had to line up twice. Then she got my order all wrong. Instead of exchanging my plain rice for Tapa Rice, she punched in an extra order of Tapa Rice. So I had left over plain rice from the meal. That's my "combo" meal at the right. I ate the Tapa Rice and transferred by Bongga Longganiza (it wasn't so bongga), salted egg and tomato there.

Lean's right, the tables were way too small for the huge Binalot paper AND banana leaves. We had trouble arranging our stuff (which consisted of 2 wallets and a camera -- no bags!) to be able to eat comfortably.

Overall, the speed of getting our orders were good (probably coz all they had to do was assemble the "binalot", everything else was pre-cooked), the food was so-so, the place was bad. I'd probably try Binalot again just to try out the other items on the menu. But, only for take-out!
-- Leigh

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Shakeys @ Greenbelt 1


Oh how I love your potato mojos, creamy corn soup, chicken and pasta.

For today, I had all of the above! :) Takaw me...

Shakey's has been a favorite diner for me ever since my college days. I remember the times when me and my friends would just let the time pass by there, bottomless mugs of iced tea at hand, waiting for our next class. Of course, this was a different outlet altogether.

What can I say. I simply love it until today. - Lean
Shakey's will always be a memorable place for The Brunch Club because it is where the idea was first discussed and acted upon. Over the pizza and pasta we listed down all the restos in the area where we'd like to eat (and review as it turns out!).

Anyway like then, I ordered thin-crust Pepperoni Crunch. Yummy as always. Just love the potato strings on top of the pizza which gives it the extra crunch. My gripe about it? It's smallest size (for all thin-crust pizzas!) is the regular which is way too much for one person. So everytime we go to Shakey's and I order it, we always have enough left over for snacks that day, which I admit is still a good thing.

Oh, and their mojo's are THE BEST!
-- Leigh

Okay, for the record, I love Shakey's. I remember when I was a little boy, my father would take my brother, my mother and I out to Shakey's Greenbelt, back when it used to be on the corner of Makati Avenue and Greenbelt Drive, with Pizza Hut opposite it, and the Landmark across the street. Those days, of course, are well gone, and now there aren't that many Shakey's around, even among restaurants in Makati.
It's a man's restaurant, really, if you think about it: pizza, chicken, and beer? Mojo potatoes and shrimp? Come on, bring on the beer bellies.

This brings us now to Shakey's Greenbelt. I love Shakey's, and this Shakey's restuarant in Makati does not disappoint. Don't expect healthy food too much, because this place is synonymous with grease and salt. I had the Shakey's Bunch of Lunch, which was a spaghetti, a chicken piece (in this case, a leg), two mojos, a slice of pizza, and garlic bread, all in for the handy price of P101. Good value, yep. The chicken was, as always, delicious, the pizza crust soft and flavorful, the mojos heartbreakingly bitin. I was not satisfied - I wanted more, but since my pocket couldn't handle much more, that was all I could have. Ambience-wise, the place is relatively inviting, with good lighting and memorabilia of Shakey's heritage all around. The service left much to be desired, insofar as getting refills of iced tea was concerned for Leigh, and they got our bill wrong - TWICE. Other than that, I'm pleased and punch with Shakey's Greenbelt and it will always be one of my favorite restaurants in Makati. - Ganns
When I was younger, Shakey's seem to be the only place to go when people crave for pizza. In my grade school days, whenever my family craves for pizza at 12 midnight, we would hop into our car and go to Shakey's in Greenhills, although there's one nearer to where we live. And then we stopped...I guess because we grew up and preferred to spend late nights with friends instead.

These days, my brunch buddies and I would go to Shakey's in Greenbelt when we can't think of any other place to eat. Obviously a favorite among The Makati Brunch Club members! More so now as this is the place where The Makati Brunch Club was conceptualized.

This time, I ordered Chicken 'n Pasta, which is fast becoming a favorite -- its cheap and it has spaghetti and fried chicken! :-) Although I think it would be better if the spaghetti has some meatballs. I wonder if they can make smaller meatballs to go with combo meals... I wanted to order 1 but it would cost me an additional P49, which I think is a bit expensive. So I had to pass on that. :-(

So there... our Shakey's experience... btw thanks to Lean for the mojos! Super lov 'em with caesar dressing! Yummy!!! -- Idj

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Max's @ Greenbelt 1

The House That Fried Chicken Built or commonly known as Max's was our next stop for this week. I ordered their Budget Chicken Meal which comprised of a quarter of a chicken, rice, macaroni salad, caramel bar and iced tea (or soda). I also ordered my favorite, Fried Lumpiang Ubod which was supposedly my appetizer but with such fast service, they arrived seconds after each other.

lumpiang ubod was yummy as always. The chicken was good but since I got the white meat part, it was dry. The extra's were very good - the macaroni salad and the caramel bar (it was a little small that it should have been called a caramel bite).

The place was clean, the service was fast, food was okay. Overall, it was a good and filling lunch.

-- Leigh
As Papa Piolo said, "Sarap to the bones!"

And indeed it was. At your right is actually my plate. Same as Leigh, I ordered their Budget Chicken Meal. I requested for the leg part since I also hate white meat. I know, I know, it's healthier. But because it's the healthier choice, it's also the blander one :)

Anyhow, I love chicken. I adore everything chicken. Fried, adobo etc. So naturally, when
Max's was picked, it was a no-brainer for me not to veto it.

Their sidings aren't bad too. The macaroni salad is cutely presented and is yummy as well. Too bad the caramel bar is tiny.

Wait for us Papa Piolo...soon we will back! - Lean

My first time to post a review! Yey!
Anyways, like my brunch buddies, I also ordered budget chicken meal. I'm not adventurous enough to try other items on their menu, only to find out later on that I didn't like what I ordered. So to be on the safe side, "I'll have the same please." With 1/4 chix, a cup of plain rice, super tasty macaroni salad, tiny caramel bar & a drink of your choice, paying P135 for the set is not bad! Add to that the great service rendered by the staff -- I'd say it was great value for money!

And now I have to sleep... can't wait for tomorrow's brunch adventure! - Idj

Monday, February 20, 2006

Delifrance @ Greenbelt 1

Delifrance is one of the staple food during meetings at my previous work. Having lunch there is reminiscent of long hours doing ad copies and endless revisions of newsletters and print ads.

On our lunch there, I had their Baked Pasta. Always a top choice for me, partnered with their cool and refreshing Orange Juice. Their food, whether pasta or sandwiches, are great for lunches or heavy snacks.

This particular outlet, though, is old and has that musty smell to it. Much like going in an antique shop rather than a deli store. Their interior is quite nice, much like a country house and they have a waterfalls wall outside.
All in all, if you have that Italian craving, Delifrance is a runner-up. - Lean

I like Delifrance's food. My two favorites: Chicken Mushroom Linguine (which I ordered for lunch this time) and their Supreme Cheese Roll.
For their Chicken Mushroom Linguine, I love the taste and the portion, not too big and not too small - just perfect for my appetite. Their Supreme Cheese Roll is quite good. Very cheesy, hence the "supreme" in the name. Whenever my sister-in-law and I were out shopping, Delifrance's Supreme Cheese Roll was always a good choice for mid-shopping snacks. Their orange juice is also good. Don't know if it's freshly squeezed orange juice but it sure does taste like it.

The bad thing about this trip to Delifrance? The place itself. The Greenbelt 1 Branch is very old. Looks old, smells old.. it's old. Lean's right, it has this really musty smell that just irritates your nose when you walk in to their place. It smells like my grandmother's old closet. The place was also very rundown -- torn seat covers, broken wood panellings, dripping aircons and wobbly sticky marble-top tables.

Thumbs up for the food and quick service but thumbs down (way down) for the interiors and ambience.
-- Leigh

Delifrance is one of my favorite restaurants, but the Delifrance in Greenbelt 1 leaves much to be desired. As the girls already mentioned earlier, the place is decrepit. There were ants crawling alongside the bar and in the utensils area (not even black ants, but red ones!). The seats were ratty and worn, and don't even get me started on the feel and texture of the tables. Terribly disappointing ambience for the food.

The food, however, is still topnotch. I ordered a similar dish to Lean's: baked pasta that was both flavorful and hot. The garlic bread could have been a wee bit softer; there is such a thing as too crunchy.

Will I go back? Most probably, but it won't be on a regular basis. With Piadina a few steps away, I know there's access to quality pastas without sacrificing the eating experience. - Ganns

Friday, February 17, 2006

Oliver's Super Sandwiches [Glorietta]

Situated on the second floor of Glorietta, Oliver's Sandwiches competes well among the other restaurants besides it because of its nutritional quality, appetite appeal, presentation, ambiance which reflects the freshness and natural ingredients they used. They have a wide assortment of gourmet, deluxe & grilled sandwiches, gourmet salad, baked potatoes, pasta, fruits and cakes! :) It's quite small and it gives the impression of a quick serving for people on the go. For health buffs, they have an array of salad.. They usually substitute cream with cream cheese instead. Yummy. Their multi-grain sandwiches are really heavy. That's why we left the edges. My smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato choice of sandwich soothed my craving for their carrot cake! Other words, heavy. Enough to keep me going the whole day! <---- Tina---->

I love bread. Except wheat bread. Actually tastes like sand to me sometimes because of all the grains it has.
Oliver's though is an exception. Ever a fanatic of egg salads, their Egg Mayo always tops my choice. Well, all their Mayo in fact. Today, I had Chicken Mayo with cheese. Both healthy and unhealthy at the same time. Mayonaise, cheese and then veggies and wheat bread.

Nothing beats the price of these type of sandwiches as well. - Lean
I've always liked Oliver's. The fact that their sandwiches and pastas are significantly less pop-oriented than Subway's is always a plus, even if there are no chips or cookies that go with a typical Oliver's sandwich.
That said, I ordered a High Protein sub, which is a roast beef sandwich with vegetables and cheese. High protein and high fat, but relatively low-carb, save for the bread of the sub itself. The wait was long (eight minutes), but the sandwich was worth it. Delicious and filling.
The ambience is very inviting, very chichi. My only gripe? You can't bring cameras into the store. Grrrr. How are we supposed to show off their amazing sandwiches if we can't shoot them, huh?
Will I go back? Certainly, and with the wide menu, I can be sure I'll return for seconds, thirds, maybe more. - Ganns

I love sandwiches! I personally prefer bread over rice anytime. This time I ordered Country Style Ham with Cheese on Wheat. I had asked them to hold a little of the lettuce but it seemed that they forgot about my request -- probably because the place was packed. But that didn't stop me from enjoying my sandwich. What I love about Oliver's is the quality and quantity of the sandwich. For the price it sells, they don't stinge on the ingredients. There were several slice of ham, huge slice of cheese and they used those "premium" tomatoes. Those big, juicy ruby-red tomatoes that you'd just love to bite into like an apple. Yum!

The sandwich was perfect. My drink, Nestea Iced Tea, was pricey (Php 38) and they only had one selection of bottled water and unlucky me it was my second hatest brand of bottled drinks -- Nestle Pure Life. (The worst bottled drink I have ever tasted was aptly called
Pocari Sweat -- yes, SWEAT!).
-- Leigh

Chubby China @ Greenbelt 1

Next stop, Chubby China - always a safe choice when in need for yummy food with fast service. This time I ordered Taosi Spareribs (their Chicken Curry is also a good choice). I assume this is a best seller because the combination of a hefty serving of good tasting food with a reasonable price (Php 79!) is unbeatable. The taosi spareribs was yummy and for the rice-lovers out there, it was served with a lot of rice. However, the balance between viand and rice was not bad. You will have enough of the Taosi Spareribs to go with the rice.

The only bad point (for me at least) was the fact that their bottomless iced tea was pricey (Php 55).
-- Leigh

Chubby China's beef brisket noodles were the perfect answer to the otherwise bad mood I was in. I thoroughly enjoyed the heat of the noodles, with enough flavorful vegetables and heapings of delightful beef chunks. Very, very, very good. The place itself is relatively cramped, and the small size of Chubby China didn't help make the dining experience any easier. The free wanton chips made it a little better, and the service was moderately good (Leigh had only one refill, and we never got our receipt after having paid. - Ganns

Taosi spareribs....dimsum.....Chinese food is always comfort food. Chubby China is always a dependable choice for us. Food is cheap. Quality is good. Serving is not bad. Ambiance is cool too.

Looking forward to more..... - Lean

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Recipes Greenbelt by Cafe Metro

"Recipes by Cafe Metro provided a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of otherwise frantic Makati City lunchtime. Despite its sandwiched location in the heart of the 2nd floor strip of Greenbelt 3 restaurants, its relatively austere interiors and stone walls provide a change from the sensory overload of its more celebrated neighbors.

This was the first time the Makati Brunch Club ate as a complete group (Lean, Leigh, Tina, Idjea, and myself). Lean led the ordering of three entrees that we shared:
gising-gising, which is a lightly spiced vegetable melange in coconut milk; deliciously crisp deepfried milkfish, and general chicken, which is sweet and sour chicken with eggplant. The unique flavors mixed well together, and it was a memorable selection.

I feel the only negative side, unfortunately, was pricing: we spent around P180 each, and the portions we got simply weren't worth the P180, which could fetch a completely filling meal at other Greenbelt restaurants. Will I return? Certainly, but with portion sizes as they are, sharing seems an illogical choice." - Ganns

Recipes by Cafe Metro is one restaurant close to my heart. Not only am I a "suki", but I also ended up bringing friends and family there for the first time. Kind of a hostess, as you may say.
Their gising-gising, a take on Bicol Express, is simply to die for. A must-have on every visit. I can never seem to get enough of it. Every bite is like tasting it for the first time.

It's partner in crime is the Crispy Tilapia. Homestyle cooking, comfort at its best. Who would have thought that this ever reliable fish can take a different form...hehe - Lean

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Flamers Greenbelt

Second stop...Flamers...
Choosing from a wide array of American food - from cajun chicken fingers to "flaming" burgers - one has to really make the right choice.

I've chosen the Cajun Chicken Fingers. First and foremost, I'm a perpetual chicken fanatic, so I did like their version. Secondly, the fries aren't bad. I actually love their fries, with a sprinkling of what I'm assuming is some kind of a cajun pepper. Thirdly and probably what I despised amongst everything, is their supposedly "coleslaw" has a really weird taste to it. I don't think vinegar "dressing" should be considered coleslaw.

All in all, it is still a recommendable place to eat (on my end, that is). Prices aren't particulary high and the feel of eating at an outdoor patio makes it all worthwhile. - Lean

"Flamers is one of those restaurants where the quality can be really good - and really bad. It's the inconsistency of this otherwise enjoyable restaurant in the Greenbelt area that serves as its major flaw, and one of the reasons why dining there regularly is not on any of our menus.

"The Chicken Fingers we ordered were adequate, flavorful and fresh, and the French fries were delicious, but cabbage in vinegar does not qualify as coleslaw, and the buttered vegetables were woefully inadequate.

"Overall, a passable experience, but I don't see myself returning to Flamers unless other restaurants at which I wish to dine are full. Chances of that during lunch hour are good, so Flamers can thank its lucky stars for that.
- Ganns

Café Bola Greenbelt

Cafe Bola was a great start to the Brunch Club. My favorite thing about the place itself was the fact that it was spacious. Tables were set far apart enough for you to not smell the orders from the other table or feel like an eavesdropper because you can hear what the other table was talking about.

Now for the food. My order: Beef Bola on Rice with Spicy Green Curry. Now this, I admit, would be a tricky review. For one, I absolutely love curry and I know what good curry (for me at least) should taste like. Second, I love spicy dishes and it takes a lot for me to consider something spicy since I have a high tolerance for it. What for some people think as spicy would for me, be bland. Considering I had my two favorite "flavors" in my dish, standards were way up high.

The food was good but although I hate to admit this, I was disappointed. Spicy was not spicy at all. I had to resort to adding Tabasco sauce (plus points though for having it available) in my dish. The curry? Well, curry is not curry if it isn't spicy. It was Filipino-ized. Also, with the dish being a rice topping, it lacked enough sauce to please me. BUT! they gave me extra sauce with no extra charge. Another point in their favor.

Overall, it was good comfort food. Not great but something you'd want to have when you're looking for eats that's not too complicated, something that your mom would have cooked for you."
-- Leigh
"I enjoyed my Café Bola experience. I ordered their specialty, adobo flakes on rice with kesong puti, which is shredded pork pre-marinated in vinegar and soy sauce, fried and served with soft goat cheese on a bed of red rice. Extremely flavorful and delightfully Filipino.

The ambience of Café Bola was also quite appealing. Bright oranges in circles, with screen grabs from classic Filipino films." - Ganns
Cafe Bola....one the first restaurants I've eaten as an employed human being. Best choice for me is their Adobo Shreds with Kesong Puti. Cheese melts in your mouth. Although a bit pricey, it's one of those places you plan your Friday night around for. The place is really spacious, ideal for long chitchats.

We did not try their desserts (since we have a budget) but nonetheless, their Banana Caramel pudding bread is to die for. - Lean

This is the Makati Brunch Club!

Hello! My name is Ganns, and on behalf of the ladies and gentlemen of the Makati Brunch Club, we'd like to welcome you to our blog!

The Makati Brunch Club is a gathering of friends based in Makati who meet to eat at restaurants in and around the Makati City area in beautiful Makati City, Philippines!

On this blog, you will be able to read our reviews of each restaurant experience. While this blog exists primarily for our fun to chronicle our foodie adventures, if it will help you make a better decision on where to eat, well, good for you!

Eat on!