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!
- T-Bone Regular – P149
- Korean Beef – P138
- Garlic Chicken – P125
- Oreo Cheesecake – P58
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
If you’re enjoyed what you read here, help us out and give it a rating, and then 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!