Carmelo’s Wagyu Steak, Greenbelt, Makati

Melo’s is a famous Angus steak restaurant in Quezon City and Muntinlupa that is run by Carmelo Santiago. After a long while, his daughter, Cristina Santiago Rivera, put up a restaurant also named after her father which we now call Carmelo’s Wagyu Steak.

Carmelo’s Wagyu Steak can be found on the ground floor of Greenbelt 5 in the array of restaurants with al fresco dining area. Getting in, the ambiance is high-class. It’s the kind of place where probably the guy will take you to impress. My officemates and I began talking about it whether we wanted that scenario for the first date with someone new but the thought sort of scared us in a way. Aren’t we weird, are we?
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Truthfully speaking, we were here because of the voucher we had in Metrodeal. The inclusions are the following:

6 oz US Angus Steak, soft rolls, soup or salad, and dessert for P799 instead of P1428

Our order took a while but we did not mind waiting since there’s a bread basket served. The waiter politely asked us if we like Caesar salad or creamy organic fresh mushroom and rich pumpkin soup. The soup was praised by my colleagues so they asked me to try it. It was indeed creamy and flavorful. Meanwhile, my salad, is well, a salad.
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Carmelo's
photo by Eleanor Ordinario

The Angus steak came. It was pale but the criss-cross grill marks is a sight to delight. The sides were a julienne of carrots, string beans, and garlic mashed potato. The waiter also gave us a gravy on the side. The slab of beef looked dry but upon slicing, it is where the juices came out. We were savoring each and every bite because it’s not every day we would have steak for dinner. Even if it was just a 6 oz of meat, we were already full.
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We were not reading what we have availed in Metrodeal so after finishing our steak, we thought we were done but here comes the dessert! Chocolate cake, oooh I love it. Trivia fact: The owner is a pastry chef so such a treat!
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Verdict!

The restaurant can accommodate only a few, 20-30 pax, I guess. As mentioned earlier, the ambiance has a soft lighting and pleasing music. The price, I may say, is expensive… I would not be dining in here if it weren’t for the voucher we availed. The serving was enough to fill our hungry tummy, it was not easy to finish since it feels heavy! The waiter was attentive and kind. He even gave us a lot of gravy that I told him, “Kuya, KFC? Unli gravy?” We were thinking of giving him an extra cookie but there was no bill jacket given to us since the bill is already settled. Lastly, as for the taste, I’m not an expert with regards to steak but the three of us getting satisfied, I can say we really had a good dinner.

Ambiance: 5/5
Price: 3.5/5
Serving: 4.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Taste: 4/5

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Carmelo’s Wagyu Steak
Greenbelt Park Walkways, Makati, Metro Manila

Carmelo's Wagyu Steaks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The World of Robinsons Magnolia

Shopping and dining is even more rewarding when these are all done in one location. Thankfully, we’ve got malls to allow us to do these things all in one go. However, there are only a handful of malls that house boutiques and restaurants that you could rarely find, a mall that is not congested with people, and one that has a condominium nearby. Last May 13, I was able to experience the life I could have if ever live in Robinsons Residences thanks to RJ Ledesma of Mercato Centrale, Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and Robinsons Residences. The Magnolia Residences offers both 36sqm one-bedroom and 78sqm executive two-bedroom units. The media headed first to the Magnolia Residences’ showroom, which truly wowed us.

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It truly felt like shopping and dining were just next door since the idea is to clearly make life convenient for those dwelling at the Magnolia Residences. Thus part of our itinerary was to head next to Robinsons Magnolia.  We went to Robinsons Magnolia food court located at the ground floor to visit three stores. We went straight to C’Verde by Big Chill, the first vegetarian quick-service restaurant. There, I munched on Bean and Cheese Taquitos. Next, we went to Zigla. Here, zizigla ka talaga (pun intended), because they prepare freshly-cooked food. However, we tried the pre-prep Tuna and Cheese Sandwich with high-fiber whole wheat loaf. We then went to Pad Thai. The store offers authentic Thai dishes, but at an affordable price. We got to try their Pad Thai Chicken. Considering that we went to the mall’s food court, Robinsons Magnolia has healthy and delicious offerings. I’d recommend the place to people who are figure-conscious.Image

We satisfied our sweet tooth by heading to the House of Silvanas. I’ve already seen some of its stalls in different malls. However, during our visit, I was able to taste their meringue wafer for the first time. This dessert comes in pandan (too sweet), strawberry (mildly sweet), mango (so-so), and ube (my right kind of sweet) flavors.  Despite their varying sweetness, they are all still luscious. Next, we visited Villa del Conte, which offers authentic Italian chocolates. Their watermelon chocolate is superb, but their praline ball is also excellent. Gosh, I just love how it satisfied my chocolate cravings!

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Sir RJ Ledesma, being the host, warned us that our tummies will be filled with more carbs as we were going to have our dinner at The Clubhouse and Gaucho. The Clubhouse is a house of modern comfort food and its ambience is cozy since its interiors felt like home. We had Tuyo Rice Bowl with pineapple salsa, Truffle Mushroom Scramble (the flavor is so-so), Hungarian Sausage & Eggs, and Vigan Longganisa Hash (I fell in love with this one the most). I’m going to marry The Clubhouse in the coming days.Image

The dinner’s mood shifted from cozy to stiff as we set foot to the two-level Argentinean-inspired restaurant called Gaucho. I describe the place’s ambience as stiff, because it is a fine-dining restaurant. However, the friendly staff makes up for all the stiffness. Their Falda ala Cruz (US Beef Shortplate) is tender and yummy. Meanwhile, their Cochino ala Cruz (native suckling pig) did not appeal to my taste buds. However, their Cordero Entero ala Cruz (Australian Young Lamb) was tasty and smelled really fresh.  Argentines are meat lovers so swirling a red wine is a must when dining in an Argentinean-inspired resto!

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I don’t know if you guys already know this trivia, but for those who don’t, then this one’s for you: It was in this place where Magnolia Ice Cream House was situated before.

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But hey, Robinsons has reconstructed a place that will make your eyes happy and your tummies groan. There are a lot of establishments to remember, but I guarantee you that all the places we’ve been to truly made our night. I like Crepe Parfait! With the heaps of ice cream we had, we never had to scream for more ice cream!

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Robinsons Magnolia

Doña M. Hemady Avenue, Quezon City

Tired? Go to Coffee Empire

Whenever we are tired, all that we want is to have something comforting, something that will give us a sense of relaxation. Well, if you’re looking for a place to chill, then this is where Coffee Empire comes in. The establishment offers an impressive menu that features well-loved local and international dishes. So, if you want to try modern comfort food from different cuisines, pay The Coffee Empire a visit. It recently opened last March 14, 2014, so I was one of the few lucky people who got to try the dishes concocted by Coffee Empire’s Chef AC Agra.

These hand-cut potatoes called Duck Fat Fries (P 195.00), started off our feast with Mr. Cesar, the resident coffee consultant. The dish has duck fat and coffee spice that totally spiced up our night. Meanwhile, the Gambas Al Ajillo (P 375.00) is a garlic confit of tiger prawns with dehydrated prawn heads and dehydrated olives blanketed in its own juice. Well, prawns and shrimp are my favorites, so this truly satisfied me.

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If you are looking for a healthy, but hearty dish, then give their Organic Egg Caesar Salad (P215.00) a try. It’s made with bacon rashers and sous vide eggs for your protein needs. Meanwhile, their Tuna Salad Nicoise (P285.00) has tomatoes, tuna, and vinaigrette. What totally made the salad more bountiful were the croquettes on the side. I prefer the latter, but they are both good.

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For me, their French Onion Soup P 195.00 is just ordinary, but the Gruyere mozzarella surely delighted me. On the other hand, I’m sure that the Squash Cappuccino Soup (P  150.00) was beyond the expectations of another writer who were with us, because he finished his soup entirely. Yum!

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The goodness of this dish lies in the merging of complexity and superfluity. Imagine having gruyere mozzarella, parmesan, and béchamel into one dish. How could it not be so sinful? Well, it is and this is what would welcome your taste buds when you try their creamy Truffled 3-cheese Mac and Cheese (P 305.00). Next, the Cheeseburger Fondue (P 335.00) was a treat as well. The US beef patty is juicy and the melted cheese along with the BLT made a great combination.

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For me, the 42-Hour Pork Belly (P370.00) is the star of the menu. It is mildly sweet because it is cooked kakuni-style with cauliflower and pickled onions. We were also given another Japanese treat called Teriyaki Salmon (P 550.00). The fish used here is a Norwegian salmon bathed in teriyaki glaze with vegetables. Meanwhile, the fish is placed on a bed of wasabi mousseline. I’m  simply amazed!

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The next dish which is begging for hot rice is called Beef Shortribs Caldereta in Red Wine (P 390.00),but we obviously didn’t ask for a plate full of rice anymore because we were already full.

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What’s a meal without a dessert? Though we were ready to laze from all the food we ate, we still had to try this Speculous Crunchy Cookie Butter Pancakes (P140.00) smothered with (you guessed it!) Speculous. These pancakes come with butter, maple syrup, and powder. However, I missed giving its crunchy texture a try. Next, we were given their Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee (P 175.00) for which I have nothing but warm compliments to say.

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The Crepe (Mango/Orange/Banana-Nutella) is served with liquid nitrogen ice cream priced only at P 125.00.  Our last bite for the night gave us a delightful kick.

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If you are wondering about the coffee offered by the place, then wait for my next post. The full evaluation of the restaurant will be posted there, too.

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Ambiance: 5/5
Price: 5/5
Serving: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Taste: 4/5

The Coffee Empire

74 West Avenue, West Triangle, 1104, Quezon City

6:00 – 22:00

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