Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pre-flight dinner at Andiamo Restaurant, NAIA Terminal 3

I had some time to kill at the airport before my flight to Vietnam (final destination Cambodia), so I had some dinner at Andiamo. My primary reason for choosing the restaurant was that they had a strong Wifi signal (shallow me), but another reason was that I saw that the restaurant was part of the Cantinetta group, of which I am a fan.

I ordered their Tartufo (Truffle cream sauce with parmesan cheese), and I was quite happy with it. I like truffle oil (although I know some purists find this to be an abomination), and I like cheese, so for me, it was a hit. It was quite heavy, so my stomach was pretty well stocked for the flight. Having such a full stomach probably accounts for my being particularly sleepy during the flight.

Pasta Tartufo
On my next flight from Terminal 3,  I certainly wouldn't mind killing time here again. Both for the Wifi AND the food.

Andiamo Restaurant
4th Level, Terminal 3 NAIA
Pasay City, Philippines
Tel. No. +63 2 846.3503

Southwest Shrimp Dip at Chili's

I was in the mood for some warm soup so I headed off to Chili's to have some of their clam chowder, an old reliable comfort food. I told myself I was going to be a good girl and have only soup, but I ended up going through the menu and finding something else that caught my eye.

Clam Chowder

I decided to try their Southwest Shrimp Dip, or "creamy spinach dip with artichokes and Southwest seasoned shrimp, served with tostada chips". When the dish arrived, it didn't really look much like the photo in the menu. On the menu, there appeared to be a lot of shrimp. As you can see from this photo, it looks pretty much like a spinach dip.

Southwest Shrimp Dip

Since I like spinach, I didn't really mind. The shrimp turned out to be hiding underneath. I liked the taste of it, I just didn't think there was enough of the dip to go with all the chips. But then I do put a lot of dip on my chips, so maybe it's not them, it's me.

Chili's Bar and Grill
199 Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Sct. Fernandez
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Tel. No. 632.372.5007

Monday, May 23, 2011

Alba Restaurant in Alabang

I don't often go to Alabang, especially now that toll fees at the South Luzon Expressway have gone way up. I'm only likely to be there en route to an out of town trip down south, or on my rare visits to my "southern" friends. One weekday afternoon, Z and our Spanish friend Ismael had to go there for some errands, so I was excited to eat in a restaurant likely to be found only in that corner of Metro Manila. All of us though (especially our import Isma) were not really experts on dining in the area, so we didn't know offhand which restaurant exactly fit that description.

So, we just decided to let Isma try Alba, a Spanish restaurant, so we could ask him his opinion on its authenticity. He said he hadn't tried a Spanish resto in the Philippines, so it was as good a time as any to see how this one measured up to his genuine Spanish palate. Z and I gave him a free hand in ordering, and he got excited by the items available on the menu. (Maybe he was feeling homesick since he's been in the country for a few months already.)

He decided on some Manchego cheese, Escalivada (described in the menu as roasted vegetables with anchovies), Coca de Pisto y Sardinas (sardines and vegetables on Majorcan bread), and Paella Negra (okay, maybe I kind of urged him to choose that one). First up, Queso Manchego.

Queso Manchego

He didn't really say much about the cheese (except to say it was satisfactory), probably because it was imported from Spain (or so I assume). My comment was that it was quite thinly sliced. I like my cheese chunky. Next... the Escalivada.


This was what he had the most to say about. From what I gathered from his reaction, this is something he often eats back home. He said that when he has this dish, there is usually more olive oil, and he treats it almost like a dip for bread. We asked for more olive oil so he could approximate this taste.

As for the Coca de Pisto y Sardinas and the Paella Negra, Isma said that he enjoyed eating them as well. He said he got quite full from our meal, and I think that's something, since he is very tall and presumably hard to satiate.

Coca de Pisto y Sardinas

Paella Negra

His overall verdict? Everything tasted good, BUT the dishes were prepared in a different way from what he is used to. I'm assuming that the dishes were slightly Filipinized to be as widely palatable as possible. It's also possible that some of the ingredients used in Spain are simply not available here and alternatives had to be found.

As for my own opinion, well... I enjoyed everything, particularly the Paella Negra. Although this dish always leaves me unable to smile right away due to the squid ink that usually hangs around on my teeth and gums longer than I'd like. (Not a recommended dish for people in the early stages of dating.)

Alba Spanish Restaurant
Westgate Center
Filicity, Alabang
Muntinlupa City
Tel. No. (632)771.2178 to 79