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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

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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!!

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