Saturday, March 19, 2011

Koi Restaurant at Thunderbird Resorts, Rizal

Our office has long had an exchange deal (or ex-deal) relationship with Thunderbird Resorts in Binangonan, Rizal. Meaning, we use their facilities in exchange for airtime on our channel. So, whenever various shows have planning sessions or team building seminars, Thunderbird is a common venue. The show I currently am assigned to, Patrol ng Pilipino, recently had its brainstorming session there for two days.

I like the rooms in this place. They have an airy and very clean feel, and I particularly like the softness of their pillows. I also appreciate the fact that their curtains totally block the sunlight in the morning, making sure that I get a good night's sleep after a late session. (I am very light sensitive and tend to wake up with the slightest hint of light.)

We had our meals at Koi restaurant, which serves what they call "Asian fusion". The wait staff were very accommodating, and whenever I asked them to serve me fish in place of the usual beef, chicken or pork they served, they made sure their chef whipped something up for me quickly. There was a male server who was worthy of mention because he was very helpful, but unfortunately I cannot seem to recall his name.

During one meal, we all started with cream of asparagus soup. It was followed by some tomato salad which seemed to be a version of Caprese salad, although it used cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella.

Cream of asparagus soup

Tomato salad

For the main course, my colleagues were served a meat dish, so I asked for a seafood alternative. The server-whose-name-I-can't remember told me that they had some fried fish available, and gave me two choices. He said there was "hasa-hasa" and also "matang baka" (cow eye). I've had "hasa-hasa" before, though I don't really know what this translates to in English. It was the first time for me to hear the name "matang baka". He obligingly told me that they can serve me both. I liked the "matang baka" better; I just wish I knew what its name is in English.

Fried fish

The food in Koi was not particularly memorable. What did make the meal worth it for me is the courtesy of the staff, and how willing they were to accommodate their clients. In my experience, some service staff are not helpful when they know you have an ex-deal arrangement with their establishment. They see you as non-paying customers, when in fact, the company has paid for their facilities in airtime value.

On the other hand, some service staff are over-accommodating when they know you are part of a media company. They are probably well aware of the possibility that they could be given bad reviews. I guess I would prefer the second kind of attitude to the first. I don't know if the staff of Koi falls into that category, but I can't see how anyone can object to good service from waitstaff, whatever their motivations could be.

Koi Restaurant
Thunderbird Resorts - Rizal
Binangonan, Rizal
Philippines 1940
Tel. No.: (+632) 651.6888
Fax No.: (+632) 651.6893

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

La Regalade French Bistro, Makati

Some photographer friends of mine recently had an exhibit at La Regalade French Bistro in Makati. It ran for several weeks, but I only got to visit it the night before it was set to end. (Procrastinators unite... tomorrow!) Well, always better late than never. I even arrived late that night, shortly before the restaurant was set to close. Although I arrived after dinner, I did have time to have an appetizer. I ordered their Sable Parmesan, which was described by the menu as a "Parmesan tart with sliced tomato and mixed greens salad".

The restaurant is rather pricey, as a lot of French restaurants in Manila are. Although I liked the description of what I ordered, I thought that it lacked cheese. (Heavy on the tart, not so on the Parmesan.) I liked what I ate, I just didn't think it was worth the price I paid for it. Well, I basically went there to show support for my friends, and I achieved that at least. I wasn't so successful in the "trying a restaurant that I would come to love" part. Well, in fairness, I've only been to this restaurant twice. Maybe I should give it another chance.

Sable Parmesan

La Regalade French Bistro
820 Arnaiz Avenue
Makati City, Metro Manila