Monday, November 5, 2012

food in the 'hood

Actually, it's my parents' neighborhood.

About ten minutes's drive from my folks' home is the Tomas Morato area which is where most Quezon City people go to eat.

Last week, I went to Amici for the first time. Taste-wise, the food was just average. Price-wise, Amici is kinda expensive. As a whole, I feel it's overrated.

Maybe in the good ol' days when Amici was the only authentic-ish Italian place in town, I wouldn't complain. But given the much-improved food scene now, I'd much rather spend my calories and moolah at Aria or Italiani's, or even Luna Ristorante Italiano in Camiguin.

Still, Amici seems like a nice, wholesome place to take the family. The menu is very safe and is sure to satisfy the pickiest eater. Kids will definitely like the gelato and cakes. I know I did.

Apple prosciutto salad with zesty lemon dressing, P188+. 3.5/5

Ragu alla Bolognese, P298+. 3.75/5

Prosciutto e portobello arrotolata (rolled pizza dough), P418+. 4/5

Mint chocolate gelato, P90+. 3.75/5

Back in June, I took Bunny Rabbit to Nomama for lunch. I was really looking forward to this second visit because Steph (silent H) and I had such a good experience there last year.

This time, I was extremely disappointed. The tempura squash blossoms were still good, but the ramen was lukewarm, tasteless and boring. And the tonkatsu... Every time I think about it, I get really pissed off. The pork was dry and hard as cement, and tasted like cardboard. The panko breading peeled off the meat before it even got to our table and then it cut my gums to shreds. The only soft parts were the huge chunks of fat.

And to top it off, the chef-owner, Him Uy de Baron, was actually working inside the kitchen while this inedible heinousness was being served to his customers.

Tempura squash blossoms, P275+. 3.75/5

Roast chicken ramen, P295+. 2.75/5

Nomama's tonkatsu. Absolute CRAP. 0/5

Closer to home is Bulgogi Garden on Kalayaan Avenue. It's become my favorite place to get a delicious and comforting bowl of soup.

The beef bulgogi for two people costs 500 pesos (about US$12), no taxes, no service charge. If you're flying solo, it's only 350 pesos.

I also like Bulgogi Garden's haemul pajeon (seafood pancake) and soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew). In general the food is yummy, the prices are reasonable and the service is excellent. A happy meal is just a short walk away, yay!

Assorted banchan, free of course. The cabbage kimchi is always excellent. 4.5/5

A glorious mound of thinly-sliced beef, mung bean noodles, mushrooms, garlic and scallions.

It all cooks down to an amazing, flavorful soup. Beef bulgogi, P500. 4.75/5

Cinnamon-flavored crushed ice with red beans and fruit cocktail, complimentary. 3.75/5

Bellagio Square
Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Fuentebella Street
Phone +63.2.3766458

Nomama Artisanal Ramen
FSS Building
Scout Tuason corner Scout Castor Streets, Quezon City
Phone +63.2.9214913

Bulgogi Garden
125 Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City
Phone +63.2.3823915

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