Can a Cheap Steak Be Good?

SO CUTE! This was my first reaction upon entering Cow King. Don’t you agree? Look at the neatly- painted walls, adorable wooden table and chairs and charming cow decorations in every corner.

Yes, even the tissue holder goes with the theme!

My J and I had dinner here before going to the bus terminal on a usual Friday. My J’s cousin, M, used to own the restaurant. M is now a minor ‘shareholder’ after he sold it a few years ago.

We ordered a solo Taco Salad (P65) while waiting for the main dish. The serving is good for two persons. The ingredients are usual but what makes the salad special and really delicious is the honey dressing. I am accustomed to the common salad dressings- Vinaigrette, Italian, Ranch, Caesar, French and Thousand Island. Honey dressing is completely new to me. I am in love with it! It’s as good and refreshing as a homemade dressing and it goes really well with the greens. I also love the sweet-tangy combination of onions and honey.

My J ordered Porterhouse Steak (P265). This one is actually good for sharing (read: thick cut) but since we wanted to indulge because it’s a weekend, my J had it all to himself. I just took a small slice to taste if it was good and yes, the meat is tender and savory. Don’t expect premium quality steaks similar to those served in hotels and high-end restaurants. But if you want to quickly satisfy your steak cravings, this is a great choice.

I had Salpicao (P100). It is sautéed with lots of garlic and the marinated beef cuts are firm and juicy.

We plan to come back here for two reasons: (1) Price is very reasonable (I say cheap) and (2) the flavor-packed food comes in generous portions. What more can you ask for?

*** Cow King
23D Sct Ybardolaza Street,
Quezon City (in front of Sacred Heart Church)
(02) 416.25.55


Mixed Ingredients: Food, History and Literature

I have been overly excited to dine at Pia y Damaso ever since I saw it in Greenbelt 5 last year.  From outside the restaurant you can take a glimpse of the Spanish-Filipino-themed interiors which exude a quiet and soothing ambiance. The Filipino food with a twist (as they call it) and the items on the menu named after the characters of Noli Me Tangere  and El Filibusterismo aroused my curiosity. I finally got the chance to drop by two weeks ago and I dragged my J along even he was a bit reluctant. 

A few shots of the menu and the interiors.

Elegant chandeliers and inviting sofa chairs adorn the small restaurant. The dim lights create a warm and relaxing atmosphere. However, the tables are too close to each other; you can actually hear the conversation at the next table. 

For our appetizer we had Ham and Chicken Croquettes (P160)- eight crisp breaded nuggets of ham, chicken, mushroom and cream. The filling is generous but not appetizing at all. I cannot distinguish the taste of the ham or the chicken or the mushroom. All I can taste is the fried breading.

My J ordered Chicken Pastel (P290)- baked chicken breast, chorizo,  bacon, potatoes, carrots and peas with a flaky crisco crust. I grew up knowing that chicken pastel is cooked in a thick sauce made from cream or milk. That’s how my Mama and Inang (my grandmother) do it. Perhaps that’s the reason why I was disappointed that Pia y Damaso’s version is the watery kind, similar to chicken stew. My J didn’t like it too.

I got Creamy Tinapa, Asparagus and Fish Fillet pasta (P300)- sautéed fish  fillet, smoked fish flakes, baby asparagus, tinapa cream- with onions, leeks, milk and cream. I finally made a right choice to order this! I love tinapa (smoked fish) with fried or salted egg and tomatoes for breakfast. Yes, it’s so Filipino! I didn't know that it will taste really great with pasta. It was my first time to have such and I will forever remember that delectable salty flavor. The strong taste and aroma of tinapa is moderated in this pasta and leaves a pleasing texture on the palate. The generous serving is good for two persons but if you fall in love with it, you can devour the whole serving.

Although our dining experience was quite disappointing, I would love to come back for the tinapa pasta and to try the desserts on the menu. We weren’t able to have dessert anymore since we already had Fro-yo prior to the Pia y Damaso dinner. I’ll see if I can convince my J to come back for some desserts next time. I hope he’ll say yes.

*** Restaurante Pia Y Damaso
2/F, Greenbelt 5,
Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St.,
Ayala Center, Makati City
(02) 729.55.11


Early Birds Catch the Chicken

Being punctual deserves a prize. Last Friday, my teammates and I came early to the office and that’s a small but very acceptable reason why our team had lunch at Wee Nam Kee in Ayala Triangle Gardens. It’s a great start, I must say. Let’s keep up the good job, guys!

We arrived at Wee Nam Kee before 11 am since it opens at 10:30 am and as usual people flocked to the place. There were people already seated inside the restaurant and almost the same number of persons waited in queue. We were sixth in line and we waited patiently for almost an hour to get a table. It was hard to get a seat since customers that morning arrived in groups of six and even fourteen. Good thing there were chairs outside the restaurant for waiting customers but the heat of the sun made the wait quite uncomfortable.

These condiments are the first thing you will notice on the table. Pounded ginger, chili and soy sauce. My favorite is the soy sauce because it is pleasantly sweet and it does not overpower the chicken flavor. I am not a fan of ginger but I witnessed how my officemates enjoyed their meals with it so I guess it is really appetizing and delish.

On our table:

Wee Nam Kee Fried Rice (P190)- good for three to four persons.

Medium Roasted Chicken (P488)- I prefer this than the steamed chicken because the latter is cold. However, both have a pleasant aroma and the chicken meat is soft, juicy and flavorful. These are also healthier options compared to fried ones.

Medium Steamed Chicken (P488)

Beef with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (P275)- This dish is one of my favorites whenever I eat in Asian restaurants. I love broccoli just as long as it crunchy. Wee Nam Kee does this perfectly!

BBQ Pork (Asado) (P220)- The serving is small and is good for one to two persons only. Nevertheless, the tender and full-flavored meat is a sure delight.

The first Wee Nam Kee branch here in the Philippines is apparently more upscale that the hawker-style ones in Singapore. The food is undeniably superb. Moreover, the hands-on owners mingle with the customers and help in managing the crowd.

After our lunch, T kept asking “Do you think it’s worth the wait?” My answer is a big YES!

*** Wee Nam Kee
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City
(02) 846.89.24