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Category Archives: Leon Guinto

Raps: Steaks, Cakes, and Gravy Shakes


Why is it always the animal promoting himself?

If you want Sex, it's right outside. If you know what I mean.

Thanks to several recommendations through our suggestion page and a direct request Tweet from @witchcody, a loyal follower of the blog, I found my way to Rap’s Steaks and Cakes, a popular steakhouse in Taft that can be found along the street that connects Leon Guinto and Taft Ave. I don’t know the exact name of the street, but it’s across from the Velasco Gate. If that’s not enough, check out the map 🙂 I’ll be using this feature more from now on.

Anyways, onward, to Rap’s!

Dishes Ordered

  • T-Bone Regular – P149
  • Korean Beef – P138
  • Garlic Chicken – P125
  • Oreo Cheesecake – P58

The Restaurant

I got too nervous to snap a shot inside. But look, a grill.

Before even entering the restaurant, the smell of steaks is inescapable, as their grill is strategically placed at the outside of the restaurant. Next to the grill are a few tables and chairs, most likely for those who either like being covered with grill smoke, or have no available seats inside. We soon found out that we would almost be the latter.

Pork Propoganda. In a steakhouse?

Rap’s has about 20 tables that can seat up to 60 at a time, but even then, Rap’s was at risk of full capacity, almost leaving us with the last resort of *gasp* sitting outside. Fortunately, we were able to squeeze in and find seats for the group, which, unfortunately, resulted in us sharing a table with other diners. No bueno, at least from a critic’s standpoint. Small moves like asking us to share tables makes a restaurant look more like a mess hall.

This is my high-quality capture now.

Aside from that slight service mishap, the restaurant is a very busy atmosphere. It is crowded and not the cleanest environment, and the menus are in a small state of disrepair. However, the smell of steaks wafts inside the area without the smoke, so it’s a pleasant olfactory experience.

All in all, the restaurant could use plenty of sprucing up and better space management. However, if they have been able to keep the real estate so crowded and the restaurant so dull, the food must be worth it. Let’s find out.

The Food

Works just as well on ice cream.

For such a big group, I’m ashamed to say that many of us went for their famous steak. Next time, we’ll branch out a little bit more 🙂 Still, I think that everybody who ordered the steak made a good choice. The steak is about 1.5cm thick, and comes with a thick bone through it (the porterhouse was out of stock, so we all had T-bones). While the staff does ask how you would like it done (well, medium, rare, etc), it all turns out the same, which is about medium well. In a thick-cut steakhouse, this would be crucial, but given the thickness of the steaks, it’s difficult to tell the difference. The steak is well-flavored from the grill, and juicy down to the bone. There are not many steak joints in the Taft area, but I think that Rap’s is definitely high on that list.

They should rename it to Corned Beef Tapa. Delicious.

To help wash down that steak, Rap’s provides us with two condiments: Worcestershire Sauce, and one of the most notorious gravies in the whole of Taft. Each table is provided with an entire pitcher of gravy, which was empty by the time we had completed the meal. It is not a very flavorful gravy; in fact, it tastes like too much butter and flour were used over the meat flavoring, and tastes slightly like an undercooked white sauce. Still, with such a quantitative amount of condiment available at our whim free of charge, our group maximized the gravy to the point where others might have thought we were drinking it (hence the “gravy shakes” in the title).

Not garlicky, but a bargain at Rap's.

Aside from the steaks, we ordered two popular rice bowls in Rap’s: the garlic chicken  and the korean beef. The garlic chicken serves creamy rice and small tender cuts of chicken that lack a garlic taste, but are still flavorful and satisfying. The korean beef, on the other hand, is a general winner for me, as it tastes like corned beef, tapa, and teriyaki all in one dish. Tender strips of fall-apart beef with sesame seeds are served on a sea of white rice. You hungry yet :)?

Macro Steak. That is all.

Once we had gotten through the main courses, we proceeded to Rap’s popular desserts, and ordered their franchise favorite: the Oreo Cheesecake. This is the most popular cake that Rap’s serves, and I was excited to see if it could live up to its expectations.

Looks can be deceiving.

The first thing I’ll say is that you shouldn’t serve a dish with utensils that are bigger than it. The cake is a pitiful portion, especially for P57 a slice, and was not a good start from a critic’s perspective. I guess it was for the best that the cake was small, though, because it tasted pretty awful. It was like I was eating a block of cheese, with an imperceptible amount of cookie crumbs that didn’t even taste like Oreos. Very disappointing.

Since 2006. That's how old the cakes taste.

When you go to Rap’s, expect to wait. On average, the meals that we ordered took between 15-20 minutes to arrive, with a final time of 25 minutes for our last order. Fortunately, your wait will be rewarded, as the food, overall, is delicious. I suggest you hold off dessert, though, and stick with the steaks, not the cakes.

The Verdict

The Dynamic Duo.

Restaurant: If I could recomment something to Rap’s, it would be to use some of their profits and give the interior (and exterior) a visual overhaul. The place is too crowded, and the furniture is outdated. Plus, the posters on the wall give me more of a butcher shop vibe than a steakhouse. Rating for the restaurant: 6.5/10.

 

It's thin, but covers a lot of area.

Food: There are three ingredients to make a good Rap’s meal. Steak, rice, gravy. That’s a trifecta of tastes I could go for everyday I’m hungry in DLSU. Aside from these, Rap’s also possesses a well-versed set of rice bowls and set meals, so I don’t think it’s hard to go wrong choosing a main course. However, I was really disappointed with their cheesecake, so I’m not too keen on the desserts. Rating for the food: 7.5/10.

Staff: The staff don’t like to talk or interact much, which is understandable, seeing how busy the establishment is. Still, I would like at least a modicum of conversationality once in a while, and not a feeling like I’m being rushed into my order. While the cashier may seem pleasant enough, the staff seemed very standoffish and not accommodating in general. Rating for the staff: 6/10.

Overall: 7/10.

Size does matter.

Again, I’d like to apologize for my limited menu during my visit to Rap’s as a self-proclaimed critic. Speaking from experience, though, I can say that they have an extensive menu of delicious entrées that aren’t easy on the wallet, but are worth it beyond a doubt. I should definitely drop by again and fulfill the suggestions of my readers 🙂

If you’re thinking of going to Rap’s, it’s probably for one of these two reasons: 1) You’re in the mood for a fatty, meaty steak, or 2) You want to overdose on rice and gravy. They may not win you over for their location or service, but Rap’s is a staple in Taft for a reason, and that’s the food.

Next time you have the meat/gravy cravings and a little cash to spare, Rap’s is your choice, make sure you’re there! I’ll make more of these poems from now on 🙂

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Artistic Steak. Arti-steak. Hahaha I used this joke before.

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