Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Toby's Estate (Makati)

I adore Makati during weekends. I always get a taste of peace and quiet whenever I go there during off work days. I met up with my friend Jed one weekend to visit this place that a lot of people are raving about. I feel a little intimidated by places like these. The so called "Third Wave" coffee places that is, 

Toby's from what I heard has been operating in Australia for many years now and even has branches in Singapore and New York. 

Anyway, as I researched, I found out that the flat white and mocha coffee should be included in the must order list and so we did. 

Mocha - Double (Php 160)

I find the mocha, uhm. Ordinary. I was expecting an "omph" since people are saying it is an artisanal coffee but, erm, no. ORDINARY for me. Fine, maybe I have a mediocre taste bud, only capable of appreciating  Kopiko 3 in 1 but no, again it is ordinary for me. 

Now the "Buckies" and an observance about this thing. 

Buckies and Cream (Php 70) 

Seeing these fancy looking brownies in the "estante" of the coffee shop, I was enticed to try one and chose the Buckies and Cream since it sounded like cookies and cream which is actually what it is. Got a slice, tasted it, and thought it's too sweet and too chewy for a brownie. Nothing so special about this at all.  Now as I researched what a Bucky is, I realized that the one who sells this for Toby's (yes they get these somewhere else) would be pissed as hell because first, I called it a brownie, and second, I'm gonna say its too pa-hipster. 

Sabi ng guy who created these Buckies, these are not supposed to be called Brownies coz Brownies are the cool kids. Buckies are socially awkward outcasts daw. Oh well, how pa-hipster can you get eh? 

My friend on the other hand got lured by a delicious sounding cheesecake and ordered a slice. In the end, we still got disappointed with how expensive the price is and how it is not at par with it. 

Pistachio Cheesecake (Php250)

Oh well enough of that. Let me now show you the saving grace of Toby's for me. Their Bocaditos! 

Bocaditos (Spanish Chorizo, Mushroom - Truffle, and Pork, i think)

I ordered three different Bocaditos but the one that truly stood out was the Mushroom-Truffle Bocadito. Its flaky, savory, flavorful, basta it's delicious! A little bit expensive for the size but it's really really good. 

I guess its too biased for me to say that I didn't really liked what they are offering since there are tons of food in their menu. I guess I have to give it a shot once again and try their other specialties. 

Basta, when you go there, don't ask if they have brownies ha? Its blasphemy! BUCKIES dapat, BUCKIES! Nyahahaha! 

Toby's Estate
V Corporate Center, 125 L.P. Leviste Street
Salcedo Village, Makati City

Contact Number:  (02) 4031752

Matgalne Korean Restaurant (Makati)

I have always loved Korean food and after working for almost 6 years for Korean bosses, I have already developed great liking towards their cuisine. My team mates and I spent one weekday lunch in Matgalne, a hole in the wall Korean restaurant along Kalayaan Avenue in Makati.

I have read a lot of good reviews about this place and it was such joy to finally visit the it. I love anything cheap and delicious and who doesn't?

Unlimited Samgupsal or pork belly plus unlimited access to buffet which is available for lunch costs Php399.00. Unlimited Samgupsal (Pork Belly) and Chadolbaegi (Beef Brisket) plus unlimited access to buffet also costs Php399.00 and Unlimited Bulgogi (Marinated BBQ Beef) is at Php499.00, available only during dinner

Here's their buffet spread.

Kinchi and a Pork Dish with, of course KIMCHI!
Gulay, Gulay, Gulay
Panjeon, Kimbap, Salad Greens, Onion Rings, Sweet Potatoes, Fruits and more Veggies
Soup and Bibimbap Station

Their buffet spread consists of different kinds of Panjeon or egg pancakes with either spring onions, sea foods or whatever ingredients you can think of, kimchi, fried appetizers, kimbap, bibimbap, daenjang chige or soybean soup and lots of veggies. You may get anything to whet your appetite and to complete your grilling experience. 

As for the Samgyupsal and Chadolbaegi, you have to ask a wait staff to serve it by batch since it is not displayed together with the rest of the food in the buffet spread. 

Raw pork served and cooked right in front of yah. 
Lettuce para kunwari healthy. Haha! 
You gorgeous gorgeous bacoooooooonnnnn.....
Let's get grillin'!

I do enjoy Korean bbq and I think the one served by Matgalne is value for money. For just Php 399, you can get as much pork belly as you can, and indulge in authentic Korean cuisine. Although not the best since I was hoping more dishes will be offered in the spread but how can I even complain if the restaurant just gave us what we paid for?

I would definitely visit Matgalne again. So affordable, and so sulit. 

Matgalne is very near St. Giles hotel and basically just right beside Metrobank in Kalayaan. You'll not miss it since the place screams orange. :) 

Matgalne Korean Restaurant
4768 Kalayaan Ave. cor. Mariano St.
Poblacion, Makati City
Contact number:  (02) 8902949

Swagat Indian Cuisine (Makati)

I am not really a fan of Indian cuisine but a huge fan of anything spicy. I would admit that my palate isn't that much accustomed to this particular cuisine but sampling  different flavors from different regions is my game. So one rainy night, my friend Gladys and I decided to have dinner in a neighboring Indian restaurant close to our workplace.

We have been eyeing Swagat for the longest time after seeing it in an article featuring restaurants to visit when in Makati  we decided to finally try it.  We have been frequenting the jollyjeep in Rada selling the famous sisig but unaware that this place is just a stone's throw away.

The place is unassuming but quite cozy. The wait staff immediately handed us the menu and promptly answered our queries about their best sellers and her recommendations. We ended up ordering the following.

Vegetarian Samosa (PHP 70)

Samosas are triangular shaped pastries filled with potatoes and peas then deep fried. It comes with a sweet and spicy tamarind chutney dip and cilantro dipping sauce. My friend and I both enjoyed this dish. I mean, anything deep fried is divine right?!  We especially liked the cilantro dipping sauce.  

Gladys decided to get their Sangam Biryani, while I settled on getting their Chicken Korma and paired it with Roti. 

Sangam Biryani (PHP 225)

My friend got thwarted with their Biryani. She said she was searching for more spices but got the familiar "caldereta" taste instead. She said it felt like their Biryani is just fried rice mixed with tomato sauce and some meat. Good thing they've used long grain rice, or else, it'll really be an utter disappointment. 

Chicken Korma (PHP 210)

Roti (PHP 20 per piece)

I was asked by the wait staff if I wanted my Chicken Korma spicy and said yes. I opted for the "medium spicy" level after giving me options on how spicy I wanted my dish would be. 

Their Chicken Korma is.... SALTY! Sobra! I never had a chance to enjoy other flavors because I have been dealing with the saltiness the whole time. 

A not so satisfying Indian dinner

I also ordered their Mango Lassi and was rather satisfied with it. Just the right amount of sweetness and tangy-ness that went well with the spicy dishes that we ordered. 

Mango Lassi (PHP 70)

In between bites, I personally enjoyed watching the Bollywood dancing and Indian local commercials flashing on their TV screen. The sights, sounds and smell of India is somehow well represented. However, both my friend and I were foiled by the quality of food. 

Verdict and recommendation: 

Their Samosas are heavenly. I would totally order it again. I also liked their Mango Lassi but that's it. The other dishes we ordered were blah. Not worth ordering again. 

I'll give it a 2/5. 

Also wanted to thank my gorgeous friend Gladys for taking these wonderful photos. :) 

Swagat Indian Cuisine
FCC Building, 119 Rada St.
Legazpi Village, Makati City
Contact number : (02) 752-5669