Thanks to my workout routine during the last quarter of the previous year, I now happily weigh ten pounds lighter than I did at the start of 2012. Despite going on a total holiday binge, I managed to keep my weight down to 106 lbs from 116 lbs exactly one year ago. So now I know, it can be done. I hate to be the one to say this, but exercise really works. Having said that, allow me to recap my last restaurant adventures for 2012.
Known for its superb steaks, 22 Prime was voted as Best Steakhouse in 2009 by the readers of spot.ph. Its location on the 22nd (topmost) floor of the Discovery Suites in Ortigas makes it almost like an exclusive and intimate setting for power business lunches or even a romantic date with its sweeping view of the city. I would have to completely agree that 22 Prime serves some of the finest cuts of beef in town — extremely tender, very juicy and perfectly grilled according to one’s preference. For a complete dining experience, I recommend the Surf and Turf Special, which already includes the chef’s soup of the day, Caesar salad “22 Prime”, 200 grams of grilled US Angus ribeye steak, jumbo prawns and vegetables, plus a glass of wine and a dessert sampler. Pretty great deal.
Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant
The newest “baby” of the Bistro Group is a Japanese casual restaurant that has about 700 outlets all over the world. The first Manila branch opened at the SM Mall of Asia, while the second one recently opened in the newly-revamped Glorietta. We dined there when it was just 3 days old, on my and my husband’s 9th wedding anniversary. Because our family loves Japanese food so much, we thought of giving this new place a try. The food is decent and the prices are not bad at all, but the service needs a lot of improvement. Aside from being very slow, the wait staff also made a mistake on one of the items that we ordered so we had to wait even longer. I told the manager about it and she was very appreciative of my feedback. On my husband’s second visit days later, he said that the servers have become even more annoying. Aside from not getting the orders right, they constantly stopped to ask how the food was while he was in the middle of a conversation with our daughter. Now that’s really rude. Unless the service improves, we’ll just have to find alternative Japanese restaurants in the area.
TWG Tea Salon and Boutique
I love tea very much, so I eagerly awaited the opening of TWG‘s first tea salon in the country. Located in the posh Greenbelt 5, the shop is a wonderland for tea lovers and food lovers like myself. I visited the place with a couple of my friends on a Saturday, and the waiting line was quite long. Quite understandably. The tea salon is not very spacious (the soon-to-open flagship store in Resorts World Manila will be so much bigger) and it’s the sort of place where you catch up with friends while savoring the finer things in life — no rush. When we finally got seated, we decided to try the Chic Tea Time Set (P500+) consisting of a pot of TWG tea of our choice, pastries (we chose a scone and an English muffin) and Imperial tea sandwiches. I had the foie gras sandwich, which was incredibly good. TWG’s Red Chocolate Tea was also refreshingly different and delicious. The macarons (P50+ each) were extra chewy and the flavors extra-ordinary (Napoleon Tea & Caramel, Grand Wedding Tea, Passionfruit & Coconut, Earl Grey Fortune & Chocolate, etc.). It was an altogether lovely and luxurious gastronomic experience that made us feel like royalty, if only for a fleeting moment. I can’t wait to go back.
Here’s to more food trips in 2013! Cheers!