Saturday, May 26, 2012

Komrad - Mao's Hunan and Sichuan Kitchen revisited

One remarkable aspect of a good restaurant is that it easily gets too crowded even on a supposed less-foot traffic day such as week days. And because Cyma Greek Taverna is surprisingly full on a non-week-end-yet day, we were forced to just take our dinner at an adjacent restaurant, Komrad - Mao's Hunan and Sichuan Kitchen

This is not the first time we're here. This has been stormed already a countless times by the Tales of the Tongue group. except for Chuchai, Johnny the Chocolate Thunder, and Jayson, our former boss.

Nothing much has since since the last time we're here, same menu, same glitzy interior set up in reddish tinge. 

Because Jayson just got a new job at HP, we had a toast on a table to celebrate it, and possibly a trying determination to follow his lead. Let's see how this dinner went.

The company. 

The isn't the same dumplings that we have ordered before, it's a Steamed Siomai now, because MobilityReel likes it. 

This is what we have ordered before, it's a called Komrad Garlic Siomai

Stir Fried Shrimp. The shrimp is crispy but a little toy salty to the taste of my comrades. 

Pork Belly Stew with Garlic. We also have ordered this pork belly before. Johnny the Chocolate Thunder was curious about it, only to have dropped his excitement upon knowing that it isn;'t entirely meat, but veggies on the inside. 

Kung Pao Chicken. Chili festival this time. 

Yang Chow Rice. We ordered two of these.

Komrad Fried Rice. And we because we know how to estimate our rice intake, we got another rice variant. 

Nothing really fancies our gourmet, at the least it satisfies the gourmand in us. 

HTC One X: One in a million

That was April when I get to be a part of the Philippine's launch of HTC One X and HTC One V held at the country's formidable digital lifestyle shop, Digital Walker Eastwood. 

The event was graced by the country's leading technology journalists and lauded gadget bloggers, all around, just to have a first look on the promising smartphone of the year, the HTC newest line up of mobile phones.  

I wasn't able to write about it because I haven't had a unit yet to fiddle, play around, or simply wreak by uber-maximizing its optimal potential. 

And because DW Cafe, an annex coffee shop of Digital Walker, also serves food during that launch, how can I say no.

The phone is made up of a polycarbonate unibody material that is matte on the back and smooth on the sides. Accordingly, it is made of a same material as a kevlar and that they claimed it to be bullet proof. That to me is an overstatement and a false claim. Obviously the Product Marketing Manager(whoever his name is) know nothing about science. Polycarbonate is not just the only material needed for a kevlar. There are layers of it. And while one layer is a polycarbonate(either Armomax, Cyrolon, Tuffak, or Lexan), its ability to resist a projectile with varying energy is directly proportional to its thickness. And with that, the HTC One X may not be able to sustain because of its thin material. 

Inside the HTC One X is a quad processor core Tegra 3 able to perform stringent heavy mobile graphic application. The Super IPS LCD2 4.7inch screen display complements your gaming frenzy. 

The 8MP camera at the back with flash and the front's secondary camera which is a 1.3MP are sure to make shutterbugs giddy and delighted. Don't worry about where to put those pictures though, it is packed with a 32GB of internal storage. 

It can even take panorama shot using multiburst photos, aside from the many filters and camera effects it has. A sampling of the picture I have taken surreptitiously while the Chuchai girl is on an Odin-sleep mode.

Running on Android ICS(Ice Cream Sandwich) and HTC's winning formula, its proprietary skin, Sense Ui 4.0, adds up to its upsmanship in the smart phone market.  

There are things that I'm hoping for that HTC will address on their next generation of HTC One models, battery life and a presence of MicroSD Card slot. And while I love the digitalized Beats audio, I still watt the Beats earphone to go along with it. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Roboto San Japanese Grill Buffet

I am a sucker for anything futuristic. It is because I can't wait to see major breakthroughs unfold in the future. I can't wait to see humankind's first official encounter with the third kind. Or perhaps the mass production of a quantum computing wearable device. Or the first positronic chip-based computer to be embedded into human brain. Or the materialization of time travel. Or our full grasp of String Field Theory, Black Hole and pre-Big Bang physics(you know damn well that our current law of physics collapses at the onset of a Black Hole and at the time before Big Bang).

So when I knew that a futuristic-themed restaurant opened, I couldn't wait but head my way there. 

Located at the Crossroads 32nd Street, a stone-throw away from St.Lukes The Fort, Roboto San Japanese Grill Buffet posits at the time of 2089 when an extra-terrestrial force invades the Earth and mankind's only hope is a robot that cooks. 

And just as other Marvin Agustin's restaurants, the interior is impeccably dazzling. The glitzy array of fancy chairs with robot faces in the back rest and the intertwining bars forming an almost geometrical pattern like you're inside the spaceship are some of its feature dining components. Or perhaps it really is because the dining crew(waiters and waitresses) are fondly called "space boys" and space girls."

And did I tell you that they show four of my favorite cartons all simultaneously? Astro Boy, Mazinger Z, Voltron and none else but Voltes V. 

So what do they have on their sleeve. To start off, they have a thin-crust pizza.

Beef based entree. 

Another pre-cooked viand. 

I made this as my rice replacement, a little amount of it.

Vegetables to aid your digestion. 

Beef and mushroom. 

Salad section.

Another cooked meal. I actually like it. I think it's made of thinly sliced potato wedgies. 

Pork Tongkatsu.

Shrimp Tempura.

Roast pork that looks uncooked, although it is actually not. But I have to grill it just to rid of the pinkish(bloodshed) section. 

Japanese Maki, Sushi, and Sashimi.

More from the Japanese maki section.

Thinly sliced meats at the grillable section.

More from the grillable section. 

At the desserts section. 

More from the desserts section. 

Ice Cream corner. 

The noodle is a DIY concept from noodle type to soup variants to the mix. 

My first.

My second. 

Fruit Salad.

Ice cream on top of a Halo Halo swimming with milk. 

Just as how I sully conclude my meals, it's the climax of anything saccharine. And this time, it is the ice cream with sprinkles on top. 

Just like the Komrad, Oyster Boy, Marciano, Mr Kurosawa, John & Yoko, Sumo Sam, Roboto San is a brainchild of celebrity-turned-chef Marvin Agustin and his business associates including Ricky Laudico who, just like any kids, is so immersed into the robot concepts and entertainment in the likes of Macross and Gundam Wing. 

Although the choices weren't as wide as SamboKojin, Bono Yaki or Yakimix, it is worth a try. Their volume of choices can be compared with the Mr Miyagi Smokeless Grill. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

7 Corners at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel

The last time I was at the Crown Plaza Galleria Suites was during the height of my post Chinese New Year craving, at Xian Tin Di,  where I took a leap into stuffing my abysmal gastronome with absoutely dimsum only for the entire day via their dimsum buffet.

This time around, I'm trying my gastric stride at 7Corners because most of my friends from the F&B industry are raving about their US Prime Beef steak at their carving station. And there's nothing that gets me ecstatic in a buffet than a slab of a good steak-- grain-finished, 21day wet-aged, and blast frozen goodness, whether CAB or USDA. 

Racks of wine welcomes you to the entrance of 7Corners. And inside seemed like a countryside steakhouse with the wood-finished architecture and unpretentious interior. Its relaxed ambiance will surely make for a hearty meal. 

Let's see what they have on their menu. They were on a Korean fare that day so spare me if some entrees eluded my mind.

They have assorted breads and a whole gamut of cheese to choose from. 

Pizza beside the bread section. They have the vegetable and pepperoni variant. 

These are for DIY-ing your salad. 

Choose your selection of ingredients for your noodle soup.

Welcome to their salad section. 

Salad section. 

Seafood section. Shrimps, mollusks, shells, lobster, etc. 

This is at the Korean section. 

Shrimp Tempura. 

This one is at the salad  section. 

Chicken Tandoori and chicken bathes in spices. 

Curry-based entree. Cumen all the way. 

Curry-based chicken. 

Veggies. Good to have especially when eating meats. 

Jae Yook Bo Kum. Spicy pork and stir-fry kimchi. 

Squid-based entree. Spicy good. 

Korean Bulgogi. Grilled marinated beef. 

Gochujang Chicken Stew. It's a chilli-paste marinated chicken stew. 

Garoupa Fish Tikka. 

I forgot what this is. I haven't tasted this. 

Different kinds of pasta from the pasta section. 

From the noodles section, choose your own ingredient. 

Thin slices of pork as one of the grillables.

Marinate beef at the grill section. 

And the star of the show: US Prime Beef. Again, my gastric dictum, "a buffet is not a buffet if without a steak."

Willy Wonka must have been here and created this magical chocolate fountain. 

This saccharine scent from these at the welcoming frontage lures anyone with delight upon entry of 7Corners.

Teppanyaki Ice Cream of different flavors and with different kinds of  toppings to choose from. 

And they have fruits too. I have been trying to eat fruits of any kind after meal. 

Sweets and everything sweet. 

Because this is not really a steakhouse, so in turn they may not have a "steak whisperer", I have two slabs of steak, one a medium-rare and the other a medium-well just to rate how they do it. Normally, under a steakhouse, I usually follow this rule of thumb: well-done for local beef and medium-rare for imported, high-quality grade cattles. But since they serve US Prime Beef, I had it done on two kinds. This one's a medium-rare. 

Medium well. Notice the the pinkish substrate were gone and all that's left were a juiciness. 

I picked it from the live cooking station, lobsters and shrimps, and have the chef prep it for me with butter. 

Roast Suckling Pig. Did they call this suckling because this pig sucks apple in its mouth while being served? Because people were so into this, this has to be replenished twice. 

Here's another one I picked from the live cooking station, buttered grilled Mollusko deliciouso. 

A little bit of everything, Chicken Tandoori, Squid, Tempura and Gochujang Chicken Stew. 

Salmon and Ebi. I'm not really a fond of fish-base entrees but their salmon actually taste good. 

A taste of their Bulgogi(Korean grilled marinated beef).  

A concoction of sweets, chocolate praline, creme brulee, chocolate slices, tiramisu, cheesecake muffins, etc. 

And I made my own Cesar salad with some hors d'oeuvre on the side.  

Something from the Japanese section, complemented by the powerhouse kick in the wasabi. 

I asked the chef to make me a noodle soup containing all seafoods that they have. 

Cheesecake topped with pineapple and orange to complement the sweet taste. 

On to my sign-off for that day, all the four flavors of their Teppanyaki Ice Cream and a fruit medley. 

Indeed 7Corners allured the foodie in me, just as its primordial aim to bring around all the food connoisseurs to taste its seven sections in their buffet. And perhaps that is where they derived their name from, hence 7Corners. 

At a discounted price of Php995 from Php1,436, I say it was well worth it. Although not as extensive as other hotel's buffet fare, but at the very least, the epicurean basics are there, like steaks and lobsters to name a few. 

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