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Mr. Pizza: Pizza out!

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A lof of words sould like Mr. Pizza. Misdemeanor. Mishap. Mistake. Miss me. Duh. Huh? The last one was the key takeaway since all we could think of after our meal was Huuuuh?!? (while scratching our heads and staring at our near empty wallet).

Mr. Pizza at SM North The Block is a Korean chain, to explain the “date” worthy price  and barrage of Kpop patrons.

What brought us there were hunger and pizza, since nearby Gringo’s was jampacked and Tim Ho Wan was the usual kingdom queue.

The orders were plenty, though we knew deep inside that the bill will kill us later on. Little did we know that it’d be the chili.

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The Potato Wedges taste the way they look. Triple carbo loading was the evening’s theme!

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The Seafood Real Tomato Spaghetti was finished in a few bites. It was on the teeny weeny side and did not match our dire appetite. At least i counted 2 or 3 shrimps but that was it!

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New York Style and Crema Pollo pizzas came in by batch. Actually the wait was quite long and so we did not enjoy the pizza and pasta at the same time – which is very important to us.

What I enjoyed about the Crema Pollo was its thin crust, so thin that I could finish the entire pie on my own. That’s how hangry i was. HANGRY!

The pizzas though (non Premium) are hmmmkay so if you’re on a date, you may be allowed to splurge on those special flavoured crust. However if you’re having a post football game dinner, quantity over quality!

Here comes the fun part. My dad asked for Chili flakes, and 2 strange things happened:
1. Apparently the place only has ONE cannister of chili flakes, which the waitress handed over to us. FINE. Matipid sila.
2. It was near empty so my dad asked for a refill, so the girl took the jar (yay!), opened it (OMG) and placed a dessert spoon for us to use (HUH?!).

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The practice of illogical economy in an expensive pizza place is a marketing diaconnect for me. Sorry Mr. Pizza 😦

Oh 2 other things we disapprove:
1. Not very sanitary when handing out utensils. I am so OC when it comes to food handling and even our maids know better than nearly touch the tip of a spoon even with tissue paper.

2. Closing off half the store (with people still eating at the far end) and conducting general cleaning at 8pm when the store closes at 10pm? Reasoning: our boss is coming tomorrow. Hmmmkay. Boss > Customer.

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The bingsus were okay and on a P80 promo. I liked the popping bobba on my mango bingsu!

Thankfully the spoons did not leave a salty after taste. That would’ve been finger licking good!

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Gain and Simple: Simple Lang

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Tempted to entitle this “Pain and Simple”, I had to stop myself before I give you the wrong impression about the place.

Yes, I was in pain when we ate at Simple Lang, but no, the food did not cause the malady. I was in pain before I learned that we were having dinner in this strangely named place, and with the power of Salonpas and friendly company, I enjoyed dinner rather pain-free.

Simple Lang (Ayala Triangle) is truly named such, and it is rather difficult to type this as my fingers default to the small “L” for lang—if you know what I mean. “Simple Lang” is best translated as “It’s simple”pertaining to the simplicity of the food or perhaps imbibing the comfort food aspect of Filipino favorites.

 

Well, whatever the case may be, there is nothing simple about it or its menu items. Simple is fried fish or grilled squid, but here, we get fancily named items with equally superb plating—and I can’t complain about that! I would just abhor the idea of walking all the way to Ayala Triangle just to get a dose of fried tilapia, which in all honesty and simplicity, I detest.

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To start off, we had Crispy Ukoy and Green Mango because it had that promising Thai twist. Also, most appetizers had meat in them or had exotic specimens I was not interested in at the moment (Gising Gising, Laing or Alugbati—please do not ask for a translation!) The Ukoy was a tad too hard, we feared it would further displace my already painful shoulder. I managed to shove big chunks in my mouth and let my teeth suffer instead.

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The MBT – Monggo Bagnet Tinapa was customized for my dietary preference, placing the “B” (bagnet) on the side. The result was a creamy and heartwarming monggo soup with slightly bitter tinapa flakes. The bagnet-on-the-side became an added viand—a win-win idea!

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The Super Pla Pla came in its gigantic fried glory. It was a leviathan beast with less fish meat than expected. Most of the mass went to the deep fried enlargement (aka pinaputok or “burst”) which translates to ummm… crisp air! The “buro” (sauce) on the side formed a love affair with my peers, but the evident rice grains scared me away. More for them! All I wanted was to pinch the pla pla until extinction—no buro required for me!

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The Calamansi Honey Fried Chicken (sorry, blurred!) was typical in taste and more honey than calamansi (sour). The fried garlic did wonders to this otherwise greasy dish, but I would suppose for the Filipino variety—toyomansi-based fried chicken will always be the supreme flavour! Add more garlic and forget buro!

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All those fried and flavourful viands only contributed to a sweet yet light craving. Ice cream and cheesecake were crossed off the list since Banapple was infinitely filled so we settled with the in-house Turon Bites. This was partly due to our noisy table neighbours who must have not seen one another in 10 years. Boisterous as hell, we couldn’t help but stare at their table every second or so and spotted those pointy sticks!

The turon bites were simply fried banana and mantou morsels drizzled with condensed milk. The barbecue sticks added to the novelty, and the milky bread, I had to forego. The banana bites were enough for me!

Simple Lang attempts to mend my long lost love for Filipino food. It did part of the deal by getting me to eat (with seconds) the monggo soup sans the bagnet. There is still that greasy after-taste that comes with most dishes, so my best refuge would be a long walk or a cup of tea afterward.

Still, with other choices in the Ayala area, there will be other cravings—maybe for more turon?

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Feelinguini Hungry: Linguini Fini

linguini fini revie

 

For the longest time, we have lusted over Linguini Fini at the Mega Fashion Hall. Must be the catchy rhyme or the homemade pasta promise.

Nope, it was the rhyme. Linguini Finiiiii. How can you not resist those i’s?

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While I couldn’t drool over the porchetta, pancetta and all other meaty P’s, anything with cheese could suit my fancy. And of course there’s squid!

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The Calamari was ostentatiously soft, there was no way you could settle for one, two. Just keep on shoving, but do beware of shoving some chili as well. They do well to garnish but not so much to remedy a sore throat. The dip was just as divine, so scooping is the only acceptable method.

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The Bronx Pizza was meat studded, save for 2 plain cheese slices for me (via special request)! For a meat lover, this will do. However for a pizza lover, this was just awright. The dough was not to-die-for, and when I ate my 2nd cheese slice after some time, it was hard and greasy.

While a non pork eater, I could spy chunks of pork fat on the porchetta (5% meat only?) which, I tell you, is no pretty sight (and the pork eater did agree, yes). Maybe next time, stick with the friendly p, Pepperoni!

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I went for the basic Pomodori pasta, and learned rather idiotically that linguini fini actually referred to their homemade noodles,as in fine linguini.

After that Aha! moment, we ceased all jokes relating to linguini fini, and if the server was Fini in the flesh, and well, you probably get what I mean, All good. On to the next vocabulary word. (It was digestivo, by the way.)
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The Pomodori was a hearty serving of tomato, all twisted in pasta propriety.

The noodles were firm and chewy, and there was a lot going on under that linguini twist. Whilst I relished each bite and delighted in my tomato feast, it was the last few bites that had the clincher.

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I guess some strands were just too attached to one another, huh? Sending me their love, in a hard-to-break clump!

Good thing the pizza made me full, so I let this one pass… though with a snapshot to remember them by! Sneaky linguini!

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Into Tahir’s Kitchen

persian restaurant katipunan

Tahir’s Kitchen along Katipunan is painted in blue and white, and could easily be mistaken as a spawn of Vanilla Cupcakes and a shisha. The near-UV blue light is not too picture-friendly and let me warn you that the first batch of photos seemed to have been taken using blue filter. Had to severely edit the photos just to get them back to their realistic state of color.

For a Persian restaurant that ought to be filled with orange-y hues and hints of spice, the blue lights paved the way for what seemed to be an icy meal.

Pardon the metaphor but when Tahir’s is opposite Hassan and Darya – you may end up on the other side of the road, so to speak.

On to the food. Guessing that this was some kind of soft opening, we pardoned the kind waiter for very disappointing words such as, “No falafels today, ” and “We don’t have lava cake yet, ma’am.” Oh Tahir, if you knew I had a weakness for falafel and lava cake – both of which were not available.

On to what were available.

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The Appetizer sampler (Hummus, Green and Black Olives Tapenade, Tzatziki, Tabbouleh (?) + Pita) showcased the dips which is good for the indecisive, but a downfall to learn that not all dips are created equally delightful. Case in point, we gravitated towards the olives tapenade (sooo awesome) and hummus, and left the rest to bathe in the blue light of doom.

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As much as I love salad, we can always do away with the Mediterranean Salad which is the appetizer sampler in salad form. There was not much novelty as to the taste and the lettuce was not that crisp and lively, so pass.

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The Chicken Tandoori was all right. Grilled and tasty but with the same tzatziki and pita bread, you end up wondering why they stock up only one kind of bread. Under the blue light it was getting a bit boring. Good thing the tandoori was a zesty welcome compared to the boring salad.

Tahir's Kitchen kebab fish

The Fish Kebab was presented in the same way as the tandoori, but crumbled once hit by the fork. The saltiness was not addressed by the same set of sauces and pita bread, so it ended up being a seafood mush. Compared to the chicken tandoori, this was not too fun to eat because it slithered on my plate.

And the sauces, say it with me… Again!?!

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Since the lava cake was not available, we had to settle with the Kulfi Ice Cream which thankfully was a refreshingly novel dessert–one unfazed by the blue hue. Made of homemade yogurt and drizzled with chocolate syrup, it was a redeeming dish and noteworthy in its pure and simple presentation.

However I am a creature of novelty and spicy kicks, and with Tahir’s tamed flavors and atmosphere, this bring down Persian food down to a bland notch.

It may sit well with some folks, but I’d be off to more, say, saucy and zest-filled adventures!

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