Thursday, April 11, 2013

Amici, Mary Grace, Sumo Sam, Tempura Restos

I was browsing through my photo files, and saw the pictures I took on my recent dining experiences this year. Then I remembered why I took those photos, to briefly write comparisons about my first impressions. The food I tried were quite limited, so my reviews do not necessarily reflect the overall quality of a restaurant's food choices.

A month ago, I was able to try Mary Grace Restaurant's branch in Greenbelt. It has casual ambiance, and I noticed that they already have many customers, unlike their neighbors. Clueless on what are the must-try food there, I sought the recommendation of my colleagues. I ordered the spaghetti in olive oil sauce with seafood below. 

Its one of the best marinara-aglio olio pasta dishes I tried so far. To cap the meal, we ordered their famous cheese roll which is just heavenly. It has the right sweetness, balanced with the cheese filling that melts in the mouth. 

We also ordered a slice of mango cream cake, which is good yet Conti's version is still better. Service quality is good, staff more attentive to details and knows their product to give recommendations.
Just two days after the Mary Grace meal, my hotel colleagues invited me to join them at the Amici Restaurant in Ayala Triangle. We ordered 3 types of pasta dishes, 2 pizza items, and gelato ice creams, of course. 

The pasta and pizza items are just average, while the pasta dish with carbonara sauce is just too dry and bland. The only redeeming dish is the gelato dessert, like the pistachio variety I ordered. Service is below average, like we have to ask for hot sauce/pepper for the pizza, as well as needed cutleries.

To celebrate the graduation of my daughter from grade school, we had dinner at Sumo Sam Restaurant in Solenad, Nuvali, Sta. Rosa. The kids usually ask me to take them to Teriyaki Boy, but this time I like to try other Japanese restaurants. Sumo Sam has a more formal ambience, and selling price is more expensive.

We ordered the set menu and added a few more items for 7 persons. The salmon, chicken teriyaki, and oysters are very good, has more authentic Japanese taste, despite the salmon having fusion style of preparation. The tofu dish on spoon just tasted different from my expectation, as it probably served as a pickle dish to "clean" the palate.
For dessert, we tried the 3 types of cubed sherbet (avocado, strawberry, and wasabi). They are not that sweet, and just perfect to end the meal. The wasabi flavor is the "fear factor" among the three choices, pleasing on the first taste, but leaves that wasabi spiciness as the sherbet melts in the mouth.

Now we are all converts to Sumo Sam. See all those clean plates after our meal. Staff are attentive and wears nice uniform by the way.

Less than a week after my daughter's graduation, we celebrated Wife's birthday on Tempura Japanese restaurant in ATC, near the cinemas. We ordered their group set meals, which are less expensive than other casual Japanese restaurants. 

The verdict? Their dishes are too sweet, obviously tailored for a typical Filipino sweet taste. Portion sizes are a bit small. The only maki dish we ordered with shrimp on both ends is a disappointment. Well, we get what we paid for, didn't we? 

In fairness, their staff are also attentive, despite a wrong beverage served to us, which they replaced promptly. Upon arrival, they directed us to the cooler areas, because some sections don't receive much air conditioning. Still, they are good alternative to Teriyaki Boy.
Note: Photos of the restaurants' facade above were lifted from various websites.

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