RSS Feed

Category Archives: Burgundy

Ming’s Tapsilogan: Budget Crisis!


Enter if you dare.

Today was supposed to be the long-awaited (at least by me) venture into Gravy Fix, at the heart of the Burgundy Tower. However, due to a lack of support from my financially-behind friends, I was forced to look for a less frilly establishment that would be easier on  the wallet. Boy, did I find it. Today’s restaurant on the chopping block is Ming’s Tapsilogan, the carinderia located across the street from the back entrance of Burgundy Tower. I’ll admit, I did not have high hopes coming into this. Let’s see how it plays out.

Dishes Ordered

  • Sinigang – P35
  • Tapsilog – P50
  • Tortang Talong- P20
  • Isaw/Tenga – P5

The Restaurant

Featuring the model in yellow

If I could sum up my experience at Ming’s in a phrase, it would be: “You get what you paid for”. The restaurant attempts to embody a street-side canteen environment, most probably out of necessity, and passes that test with flying colors. Unfortunately, that’s not really a good thing. The entire area was exceedingly dark, save for the few tables out in the scorching sun. The tables and chairs were rickety, unstable, and uncomfortably arranged, robbing you of precious personal space. And don’t even ask about Wi-Fi. No aircon and little ventilation was detectable, a problem which was compounded by the excessive amount of smoke that poured into the area.

The restaurant... lengthwise

This influx of smoke came from the grill outside, which was run by the most frightening person I’ve ever come in contact with while writing for Extra Rice. He was a frightening character, the type who looked like he might hurt me, and already disliked me to begin with. His aura, combined with the aura of the restaurant, definitely did not portray a room that would make me want to eat. At this point, I was praying to get started with the food and get out of there as quickly as possible.

The Food

It's blurry cause I was running away from the scary man

Ming’s provides several ways in which you can order your food: 1) From the grill, 2) From the precooked items, and 3) From the a la minute section. To be fair, we ordered from all three.

From the grill, I got a stick of isaw (intestine) and a stick of tenga (ear). Both of them are dipped in a sweet marinade before grilling, and are dipped in a spicy vinegar before consumption. At P5 a stick, this is one to look out for; it has nice contrasting flavors, and is not overly hard or chewy. If you can interact with the grill man without getting scared, I recommend you stick to this area.

It kind of looks like bangus

From the precooked items, I tried a bowl of sinigang and a tortang talong. The sinigang was a reasonable serving of beans and radishes in a well-seasoned soup, with a bit of pork thrown in. It’s the standard sinigang, and complemented the rice very well. The tortang talong, on the other hand, wasn’t as successful. It was about a fist-sized serving of eggplant, and wasn’t the ripest eggplant either. It was slightly bitter, and not very crispy, but was good when drowned in banana ketchup. Both orders, however, were quite cold, as they had come from the precooked menu, which is a euphemism for “old”.

Healthy eating, not bad

Lastly, from the a la minute menu, I ordered their namesake tapsilog. First of all, the egg was probably one of the smallest chicken eggs I had ever seen, but was cooked to just at the point between runny and hard, which is perfect for me. The tapa is slightly tough, but chewy in a good way, and had a pretty good flavor to it. Overall, this was not as good as the grill food, but much better than ordering from the display. If you plan to sit down at Ming’s, go for the hot menu.

Tiniest egg ever

The plates the food were served on were minuscule, but the serving time was less than 5 minutes on the grill and short order, and less than a minute from the precooked items. All in all, it was tolerable. Not much more.

The Verdict

Restaurant: The reason I ate here was because I had friends who were on a budget. However, being caught eating here seems to imply that I’m going under a bit more than a budget crisis. Smokey environment, lack of ventilation or light, and unstable furniture make this literal “hole in the wall” a two thumbs down. Rating for the restaurant: 3/10.

In a word: Floppy

Food: If there is any reason at all that you would want to go to Ming’s, aside from trying to save, it would be to get some fairly good eats. The servings may not be fit for most, but they are inexpensive, and are passable in the taste department. If you are coming from a drinking session, this would be pretty gourmet. Just make sure you get it to go. Rating for the food: 5/10.

Staff: The staff at Ming’s was a mixed bag. On one hand, there were nice ladies behind the counter who seemed to be under a lot of pressure, but were more pleasant than expected. On the other hand, the men (especially the one at the grill) made me feel slightly worried for my safety. Unpleasant would be a definite understatement. Rating for the staff: 4/10.

Overall: 4/10.

If you’re on a budget, I’m sure there are plenty of places you could go, order a smaller meal, and be perfectly happy. However, if you are looking for the same serving sizes you get in the cafeterias at school at a discount, and you have no standards as to what you expect when going to a restaurant, eat at Ming’s. I would recommend this to the extremely budget-minded, and the drunk. That’s about it. Just remember: this is my lowest rating so far for a reason.

Ming’s may not a have a website or any online presence (not surprising), but you can find out more about Extra Rice instead, on our Facebook and Twitter! Remember, every follow and share helps us bring you a better blog!

Zoom level: Extreme

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Dats Mix: Rice 3X


Before we get started, we here at Extra Rice would like to let you know that this blog post will introduce the a few new features that we’ll be experimenting with to make the blog more user friendly.

First, we will be trying to cut my word count by about ¼. We know this may come as a disappointment to some of you, who can’t get enough of our poetic  foodery, but this is just to make the site more regularly updated, and quicker to read on a regular basis.

Next is the introduction of the slideshow. This is an easy way for us to add all the pictures we couldn’t show you. You can find it at the end of the post.

Lastly, we will no longer be including the staff portion of the review, and just summarizing it in the scores. As we have come to find, most staff experiences in Taft are the same, and any special observations will just be included in the verdict.

Leave a rating, a comment, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Enjoy!!

Are you allowed to show food porn in public?

Dats Mix

When you see it...

Keeping with the Burgundy area trend that has been the model in recent weeks, today I pay a visit to Dats Mix Food Shop, a popular establishment in Taft for hungry scholars. Known mostly for its rice toppings and rice meals, it’s time to see if Dats Mix is truly worth and Extra Rice 😉

Dishes Ordered

  • Sisig Rice w/ Egg – P99
  • Bagoong Rice – P99
  • Tuna Rice – P95
  • Chicken Adobo – P95
  • Chicken Teriyaki – P95

The Restaurant

This is a Wednesday. Busy 3X

The restaurant has a plain white interior, with about 14 tables for 40 eaters. What makes Dats Mix unique  is their staircase that leads to a food attic on their second floor, which provides trays, fans, and a radio for a group of about 8-10 good friends. As that was exactly the size of my group, I couldn’t pass this up. We went straight for the top and, I have to say, it’s a very refreshing experience to eating in Taft.

*shiver*

Dats Mix has no Wi-Fi, but has a pleasant atmosphere, both in sounds and relaxation factor. It is not the cleanest restaurant that I have been in, as I encountered a dead roach by the corner of the stairs, but the white motif makes it look like a satisfactory sanitary environment.

Dats Mix will not receive the highest scores for their location, but if you want a calm place to eat with a group of friends, get the Dats Mix attic. I highly recommend it.

The Food

Where's the sizzle to this steak?

Dats Mix serves a multitude of rice toppings and rice meals in the P100 range. Meals come at a pace of about 10-15 minutes, and reside in a paper takeaway bag in lieu of plates for the restaurant. This round, we took part in five different rice dishes, each special in their own way, with their own ups and downs.

 

Who says canned meat can't be delicious?

The Sisig Rice mixes tender cubes of pork with green onions and an egg yolk on top. While I did enjoy the flavor, I had a few issues with the plating. Unfortunately for the dish, it tastes a little too greasy for its packaging, which seems to soften a bit with the oil of the sisig. That also made the egg yolk a little too wet. Flavorwise, it’s a good meal, but not the best I’ve had.

A palette of colors, a palate of flavors. I should trademark that.

Next on my buffet line, the Tuna Rice, is a general winner, and a definite must try at Dats Mix. A healthy helping of tuna is mixed in with creamy rice and topped with strips of scrambled eggs. How does any of that not sound fantastic?

Third on the list is the Bagoong Rice, with is a pleasant mélange of flavors on the palate. Savory bagoong rice is topped with several strips of pork that is sweet, but slightly too fatty, and garnished with a blanket of eggs and thin slices of green mango that help cut through the richness of the pork.

Rice > Meat.

Our penultimate dish for the day is the Chicken Adobo, which is a traditional pork adobo over a bed of adobo rice. It’s also topped with a drizzle of garlic chips that are crispy, golden, and delicious. Overall, I think the rice is more important here than the meat itself. If you have the choice, just get an extra adobo rice with something a little more interesting.

Last in our lineup is the Chicken Teriyaki, which tops a serving of white rice with sweet Japanese-inspired chicken, and sprinkles sesame seeds for good measure. Again, this is a good dish, but I recommend that you try something else for a more interesting first experience.

All in all, none of the dishes failed to satisfy, and all were impressive in their own way. However, If I had to pick two clear winners, it would be the Bagoong Rice and the Tuna Rice, both of which are unique flavors that I have only found in Dats Mix so far. You can’t go wrong with any meal in Dats Mix, but make sure you know which meals are the money meals.

The Verdict

 

It's like taking a vacation in Taft.

Restaurant: I was a little turned off by the little pest I encountered inside, but I was generally happy with the real estate of Dats Mix. They have a nice, spacious environment and do well to keep the ambience well-maintained. Plus points for the attic; honestly, if they could make the whole restaurant a second floor, they should. Rating for the restaurant: 7/10.

Food: To make a sweeping generalization, I’d like to say that you can’t go wrong with any of the dishes you order in Dats mix. There are a few that stand out, but everything is generally above average. If you are looking to satisfy a rice craving, then Dats Mix is the place for you. Rating for the food: 8/10.

Staff: Only one server is visible in the restaurant, but orders come on time and well-packaged. It may not be delivery-to-table service, but it’ll do. Rating for the staff: 7/10.

Overall: 7.5/10.

If you are craving rice, Dats Mix is a must try. That is all I have to say about the matter. Whether beef, chicken, or pork, you’ll want to eat more with a spoon and fork 🙂 aren’t I so clever?

Although they don’t have an official website, you can check out more pictures at Foodspotting, a food review social network.

If you’re enjoyed what you read here, help us out and spread it!  You can also find out more about us on our Facebook and Twitter. Remember, every follow and share helps us bring you a better blog! Stay Hungry!

Honestly, my favorite pic for the day. Look at those Sesame Seeds!

And, as we promised, here’s the slideshow! Enjoy!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

8065 Bagnet: Rock Food!


If there were no sign, what do you think this place would be?

Today I went a little out of my way and visited the back side of Burgundy, one of the student dorms/condos along Taft Ave. My destination: 8065 Bagnet. I had only heard of this place thanks to a coupon that I obtained from Cash Cash Pinoy. Otherwise, it was a totally new location that I had never heard of before. Apparently, it is a small restaurant that moonlights as a bar and rock studio. I was interested to find out if it could rock out on my taste buds as well.

Dishes Ordered

  • Bagnet Sisig – P110/P180
  • Bagnet Kare Kare – P115/P195
  • Tortang Talong- P50
  • Bagoong Rice – P35

The Restaurant

Obey the man, man.

They say that “location, location, location” is what makes or breaks a business. Located at the back of Burgundy, 8065 Bagnet had a fairly good location for a bar and resto, and I had high expectations for what I was going to see. Turns out, I shouldn’t have expect that much.

Karinderia, anybody?

I almost didn’t recognize the restaurant until I saw the big “8065” sign looming on top. The outer appearance of Bagnet is akin to a house you’d see in a ghetto area, the type with the sari-sari store. It was not a welcoming exterior. Mustering up my courage, I stepped inside, hoping I had gone through the correct door, and not into somebody’s living room.

The interior is an improvement over the exterior, but not my much. I say improvement in the way that it looks like some place you could get food. The tight quarters jams in 13 tables and about 35-40 seats. All kinds of paintings, from the abstract to the still life, decorate one side of the restaurant, guarded by a metal fence, which seems like a harsh way to enjoy the art.

If only the restaurant was as accomodating...

On the second floor of the restaurant is a music studio, complete with amplifiers, drum sets, and couches to relax in. At P180 an hour, it seems like a fun place to jam and kick it with friends. To be honest, I’d rather be eating in the studio than in the restaurant downstairs.

Although my overall experience with the place can hardly be considered positive, I did find a few positive findings I uncovered from the area was their free Wi-Fi and inherent sounds from the studio, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on who was playing.

The Food

They do a good job keeping their skin in the VIP section, away from the sauce.

With the bitter taste in my eyes from the restaurant atmosphere, which was a general attack on the senses, I was hoping my mouth and taste buds wouldn’t be complaining after my meal. Thankfully, the food managed to act as a polar opposite to the restaurant, and was a very delightful experience.

Bagnet, which is another, “fancier” way of saying Crispy Pata, is the specialty of 8065, which serves the dish in a variety of methods. I was almost unable to choose which orders I wanted most, but ultimately settled on the Bagnet Sisig and the Bagnet Kare-Kare.

Taking "Brown Rice" to a new level.

The sisig and kare-kare were both absolute winners for me. If you are the kind of person who likes crispy pork, then Bagnet knows just what to do to make you happy. Both dishes were served with sauces, but still managed to stay very crispy. The sisig is served on a plate rather than a sizzling platter, but has a good spiciness to it and has flavors reminiscent of the traditional sizzle. The kare-kare, on the other hand, is served with a buttery peanut sauce and plenty of vegetables, with a side of sharp and fishy bagoong that perfectly cuts through the richness of the sauce. All in all, I think it’s safe to conclude that Bagnet does Bagnet right.

For the veggie fans out there. What are you doing in Bagnet?

After such a pleasant taste sensation from the bagoong that came with the Kare-Kare, I decided to order the bagoong rice as a side, too. It did not disappoint, providing a lightly salted flavor that tasted more of the shrimp and seafood than it did anything else. It complemented the meal as well as plain rice could, as it provides a nice flavor that doesn’t overwhelm. If you ever find yourself in 8065 and unsure of which flavor rice to choose, this is the one.

To round out the meal, we also ordered one tortang talong, a fried eggplant dish served with tomatoes, green mangoes, and more bagoong. The talong was eggy, but still had a nice eggplant flavor that went well with the tomatoes and mangoes. The bagoong served as a good enhancer to the dish, but I snuck in a bit of ketchup to sweeten it a bit. The tortang talong is a good dish, but if you’re not a vegetable fan, then it may not be for you.

Free Soup. That is all.

Just when all hope seemed lost for 8065 Bagnet in my book, they were able to save themselves by coming through on the most important restaurant aspect of all: the food. Each set meal also came with a small bowl of soup, which tasted like bulalo and chicken soup, just to add a ittle more bang for your buck. At P120 average spending per person and a 10-15 minute wait, I was pleasantly surprised with the culinary proficiency of 8065.

The Staff

Not sure what these are. But if they're display, I'm not gonna order it.

Bagnet’s staff is much more varied than the restaurants I usually frequent. Aside from the floor staff and kitchen crew, Bagnet has studio managers for their music room as well. Now, the “studio manager” may just be a person sitting outside the room watching movies, but I think that’s sufficient to bestow a nice job title.

The staff are a little inattentive at times, but are courteous enough, and quick to respond. Aside from that, same ol’, same ol’, just what you’d expect if you’ve ever eaten at a Taft restaurant.

The Verdict

Caution: Beware of Art.

Restaurant: 8065 Bagnet has an adequate rock studio located on the second floor of their restaurant. Unfortunately, I’m not rating a rock studio. There is some definite need for improvement with both their interior and exterior appearance. Rating for the restaurant: 6/10.

Food: To their credit, 8065 Bagnet know how to cook a pork belly. If you’re in the mood for crunchy skin with sauce and rice, then this is a good place to go. Rating for the food: 7.5/10.

Staff: Like I said in the previous article about the staff, same ol’, same ol’. Bagnet achieves a passing mark here, but nothing more. Rating for the staff: 7/10.

Overall: 7/10.

I was hardly wowed with the location and staff at 8065 Bagnet, but their food really helps make up for their shortcomings. If you are a rocker and looking for a meal after your jam sessions, then this is the place for you. If not, it is still an adequate meal that comes quickly at a fair price.

You can find out more about 8065 Bagnet on their Facebook Page.

Altternately, you can also find out more about us on our Facebook and Twitter. Remember, every follow and share helps us bring you a better blog!

It's not sizzling, but that doesn't stop it from being delicious