Despite the facade and interiors it is a casual place. Mig and I were happily overdressed since it was our 3rd year anniv re-celebration. All their other guests seem to be in pambahay, shorts or shirts…it just doesn’t fit with their pretty concept. Everything was white, gray, black with a hint of green. Lighting was pretty, staff were pretty friendly…it just looked like a really good place to eat from the outside.
So here’s the roster of what we had, I was really hoping the place was mediterranean, but I guess looks can be deceiving…the place was more like modern Filipino slash Asian. Service was nice and dignified, it was almost as if you felt that you were in a pretty expensive restaurant. Prices weren’t high at all.
Crispy Baby squid: This one was a treat, it reminds me of those can’t-get-your-hands-of-it snacks. It was sweet, smokey and spicy with a crisp outside chewy centre. It had a very prominent squid flavor, almost like the squid was processed for a snack or something. The good thing was that our first food was out in 10 minutes. So I decided, what the heck…the food we ordered is best with some BEER!
Grilled shrimp and pomelo salad: This one had a honey BBQ and peanut type dressing, it was bordering on American-Vietnamese. Everything looked fresh, which was good, but there was a bit of a problem…the salad was so fresh that there was little squirmy critter on my salad. The waiter quickly took my plate and decided to replace our salad. No biggie for me really since I’ve been working in the kitchen for quite a while. It happens. I’d be very scared if the critter was dead. I’m sure they’ll work things out since it’s their soft opening. After the new salad came, staff was extra nice to us too.
Peri peri grilled chicken: The rice had lots of cumin, even the kind that they pre-sauteed on the oil that’s why all the cumin oils just rushed into their saute, giving a slightly roasted cumin flavor. The chicken has been slightly brined (i would think!) because it was very juicy and it was probably marinated in a mix that had a lot of acid (because the chicken was slightly sour). I ilke cumin, but i really took pains in avoiding the rice while tasting the chicken because i was afraid it would totally eradicate the chicken’s flavor…and it sort of did. But if you focus on the chicken’s flavor, it was slightly sour and had a charcoal grilled taste.
Tadyang: Crisp outside but meaty on the inside. This version i very garlicky but it was the pleasant kind of garlic. The flavor complements the sauce and pickles on the side and Mig liked it a lot. Not that break -your-teeth kind of crispy but it is worth it. It went great with the beer. When I think about it, it seemed that most of their clients had beer bottles on their tables too! I guess a lot of the food here goes well with beer!
In the end mig and I were stuffed and we still had lots of food left on the table. I wasn’t so sure about their desserts since there was a place nearby that would totally be a sure-fire dessert on the yummy meter. Anyway, I think this place is has much potential for the ever-baffling QC crowd who always want quality AND a low price. Their chefs seem to be hard at work and the food looks honest, the staff is good, most likely we’ll be back here someday…but maybe not that soon.
Cerchio 76 Sct. Limbaga, Tomas Morato, Quezon City
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