Getting invited by restaurants to sample their dishes and give an honest review on what I think about their food is a privilege. While I am not a food blogger, I am lucky that restaurants consider me as someone who could shed some light to people who want value for their money. My palette is really simple and my criteria for appreciating good food equates to three things: flavor and quality, excellent service and value for money. So when I got invited to do a food tour hosted by Glorietta Mall in partnership with Xandra Rocha- foodie and host of the food show Something To Chew, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to unleash the foodie in me. Fortunately, my tummy and I came prepared as we visited five different restaurants and sampled some of their specialties.
Wee Nam Kee was our first stop. The authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice from Singapore opened their first store in Manila at Ayala Triangle Gardens back in 2010. I remember when they first opened here, Mr. GJG & I were one of the many who lined up just so we can satisfy our Singaporean food cravings. Four years later, they now have eight branches spread across the Metro. And yes, we still come back for their Hainanese chicken and cereal prawns.
Roasted Hainanese Chicken
I tried to control myself and ate enough to
satisfy my grumbling tummy appreciate the food. Super duper hard to do so when the cereal scattered on the plate is calling my name. Gah.
Wee Nam Kee
Second stop, Lugang Cafe.
It was my first time to dine at their Glorietta branch as I frequent their San Juan restaurant which I reviewed HERE.
Traditional Arabian Coffee
It was also my first time to try their coffee. This Traditional Arabian Coffee is good for sharing and comes in this chic and sleek contraption that everyone wants to take home. Heehee.
You can ask to the server to refill it with water should you want more servings. I love how the flavor & aroma lure you to drink another cup. It’s something coffee lovers should considering ordering when in Lugang.
Tofu with Preserved Egg and Floss
A different take on the usual tofu. This appetizer is a good dish to break your hunger, plus it’s filling too.
Xiao Long Bao
Of course, visiting Lugang Cafe wouldn’t be complete without trying their Xiao Long Bao. We sampled four variants: steamed pork, steamed crab roe and pork, stead angled loofah with shrimp, and steamed kimchi. My favorite was the steamed kimchi as it wasn’t usually something I’d order but surprisingly enjoyed it.
Steamed Fish Fillet with Crispy Taoso
Fish isn’t something I like having when dining out so I was glad I got to try this steamed Fish Fllet with Crispy Taoso. Not the usual steamed fish all thanks to the crispy taoso that gave texture and flavor to the dish.
We forgot to take our group photo at Wee Nam Kee! Here’s our foodie group. Some fellow bloggers and I joined the winners of Xandra Rocha’s STC (Something To Chew) giveaway.
Our third stop was Mu Noodle Bar. It’s one of our go-to restaurant in our neighbourhood which I even wrote about HERE.
The interior of their Glorietta branch is very similar tom their San Juan branch.
Frozen Tarragon Tea
I’m not really big on drinks when we dine out as I’d rather indulge on food but man, why have I only tasted this frozen tarragon tea now?! I swear, I never thought I’d drink tarragon in my life. It’s sweet and it’s refreshing. Definitely a must try a Mu Noodle Bar.
Dong Bo Buns
When dining at Mu Noodle Bar, it is a must that you order their Dong Bo Buns. It’s dismantled so you get to enjoy assembling on your own.
3 Cup Chicken
I’m very partial when it comes to chicken as it is my favorite. This 3 Cup Chicken is one of the few chicken dishes that I really liked in terms of flavor. The only thing I didn’t like is that the chicken isn’t completely boneless- I had to sift through the ones that weren’t. Hihihihi.
Dong Bo Buns & 3 Cup Chicken
I can’t really tell the difference of Mu Noodle Bar’s ramen. This tasted like the ones we usually have but this is new on their menu. Still it was good as their noodles were and soup flavourful.
Fleur of Mommy Fleur blog & I enjoying our Frozen Tarragon Tea.
Mu Noodle Bar
Fourth restaurant was Saboten.
Saboten means cactus. Thus, this explains the logo and interiors of the restaurant.
Pork Tonkatsu Set
The crunchy coated tonkatsu is very filling. A piece for me is enough to pair with the cup of rice. This equates to four more cups of rice should I want to truly indulge on the katsu.
Although to be honest, I cannot really differentiate Saboten’s katsu with the katsu from other restaurants. For me, they all taste delicious so I have yet to find the one that truly stands out.
We were also served Sake during our visit at Saboten.
A shot of sake to wash down the katsu. It was a good combination which I plan to do again on my next visit.
Final stop of the food tour was La Cabrera. Though technically the establishment isn’t located in Glorietta, still it was just a stone’s throw away.
La Cabrera is an Argentinian steakhouse and the Manila branch of Parrilla La Cabrera by Chef de Cuisine Gaston Riveira. I’ve heard good reviews about this place so I really saved some room in my belly to try their steak.
The rustic ambiance suggests that you’re somewhere in south America (uuummm perhaps in Argentina?! heehee).
The decor insinuates your eyes to look around and appreciate the decor as much as you were to appreciate the food.
Wall of feedback. Messages of admiration from guests are displayed and showcased.
The cozy little corner that leads to the rest rooms.
I just had to take a photo of the bathroom. In another lifetime, I’d like a bathroom like this.
Our group got introduced with what appeared like a group of dads dinning as well. I’d like to refer to them as Lolos of Manila-the cool lolos who lunch at posh restaurants on weekdays just because. Ahihihihi. They were so cute! One, as seen in the photo talking to Xandra, eagerly expressed his love for food and traveling around the country to enjoy sumptuous meals. Lavett!
Linguini con Olivia, Tomate Y Albahaca
The pasta was okay but nothing unusual.
Bife De Chorizo (Striploin 500g)
Each order of steak gets you a dozen of cold side dishes. Did I mention they’re unlimited?! YES! You can also choose from the 70 side dishes they offer. Laveeeett!
Don’t be deceived by the size of these side dishes. They’re really filling and vary from mashed potato, shiitake mushroom, tomato & olive puree, cherry tomatoes, and some much more that I didn’t get the names as I was busy sampling each one. The ones served in black bowls were the hot side dishes- apple sauce, squash with raisin, BBQ corn and caramelised garlic which was my favorite as it is perfect to glaze on the steak.
If you plan on dining at La Cabrera, go for their steaks. There is value for your money as it is delicious and comes in unlimited side dishes of our choice. No need to other anything else. Well, maybe except for dessert. I can’t wait to go back and bring Mr. GJG here on a date night.
La bellas at La Cabrera! Bloggers Em Sulit, Cat Ledesma, Fleur Sombrero with Xandra Rocha and our new foodie friends. Thank you so much Glorietta & Xandra for the gastronomic feast! It was such a lovely experience I wouldn’t mind volunteering for another tour in the future! 🙂