Wednesday, April 25, 2007


4 out of 5 stars

There are a few places where you really feel like you’re away from the city. This place exudes that feeling, along with the likes of Lavigne and Barcino (more of the latter to come). I compared them to each other because they all fall under the “secluded wine cellar” category. And as much as I’m writing about this, I do hope they maintain that comfy niche that is often taken away by popularity of the masses.

Simply put, Galileo is your “wine and cheese” barkada hangout. I would not actually recommend this as a date place because as a couple, you’d share communal tables with strangers, and no perfect lighting or ambience (which this place does have) would compensate an irate neighbor who eats sloppily or talks noisily. Thus, I invited my foodie friends over, all nine of them. That way, we were able to reserve a whole long table for us at the end, which had its own almost private room. By almost, I mean that our table had its own alcove connected to a main hallway through an arched opening.


Galileo is a charmingly rustic place, with aged red brick foundations, and fancy murals and extensive wine vaults housing their specialty wines that decorate their walls. Upon entering the place, a small glass-encased deli storage rests on the left that houses their cold cuts which they use extensively in their dishes. The main hallway is to the right, and there are small nooks, housing the long communal wooden tables that remind you of a basement in Italy.

Its menu is simple but put-together. You either order “Galileo’s set menu” (which includes wine, antipasto, a pasta of the day and coffee at 400 PhP/head), or an assortment of bruschettas(220PhP for 4 pcs.), paninis (around 130-160 PhP), cold cuts (around 140-350PhP), cheese (from 145 PhP to 350 PhP), wine (120 PhP for house red/white and 150 PhP for Spumanti) and coffee (55-100PhP). They also have an a la carte menu, but it comprises mainly of sidings like salad (120-220 PhP), prosciutto with melon (200PhP), a cheese platter (150PhP), a cold cut platter (190PhP), sundried tomatoes(190PhP), olives(190PhP), sardines(190PhP), fresh mozzarella (390PhP) and pesto pasta (270PhP). (insert menus here)

Never to skimp on food, all of us (except for Patty, who ordered a salad since she had dinner already) ordered the set menu. We began with a simple broth laced with basil and macaroni noodles. Quite a good start as we picked our house wine (or a 50 peso upgrade to Spumanti) as we talked over plans of our careers, our friend Rosh’s wedding plans and reminisced of our carefree college and high school days. We also nibbled on their fresh bread which we dipped in a tomato-sardine ragout, balsamic and olive oil mixture, or porcini gravy mix.



Our individual antipasto plates arrived next, and the pictures do not do justice to its taste. There were three types of cold cuts, one salami, the other prosciuitto, and another smokier meat of two slices each. It was accompanied by generous slices of manciego and crumbled pieces of a firmer and saltier type of cheese. They all fit well together with the bunch of olives and a huge sun dried tomato atop a bed of lettuce.


I was full enough as it is, but of course I would save room for their pastas of the day (penne con porcini, spirali con salsiccia [Italian sausage], penne con gorgonzola [blue cheese] or spaghetti con melanzanie [eggplant]). Being a mushroom freak (in a wholesome way, of course ;P ), I got the porcini. It was delicious, though nothing spectacular. The pasta was properly cooked al dente, the gravy complemented the rich flavor of the porcini mushrooms and pancetta. Its presentation was simple and elegant with Italian parsley or basil on top. By the time our coffee came, we were stuffed silly.




Over-all, I had a great time in this place, and would gladly come back, but only as a big group when we need catching-up. The food was good, but what really stood out were their wines and cold cuts, which they really pride and specialize themselves on. So, to fellow foodies out there, be sure to reserve for your barkada or family In Galileo for that “wine and cheese” experience. This is just about as steady as it gets.

ate in:
Galileo Enoteca

Ground Floor, Reyes Gym
Calbayog corner Malinao Streets
Mandaluyong City Philippines
Tel. Nos.: 719-1038, 534-4633, 532-0482
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

other branch:
Galileo Enoteca, Makati
Unit 14 La Fuerza Plaza, #21 Chino Roces Avenue
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 817-9118

*please reserve before dining.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Way to go, SANGO!

5 out of 5 stars


It is not often that I do write-ups on fast food. I mean, fast food is fast food is fast food. But every once in a while, you hit a gold mine, and you’re able to please not only the foodies, but also the “fullers” --- my own invented term for people who’d pay the least to get full the most. Welcome to Sango.

Obviously, Sango is not your typical fast food, else I wouldn’t write about it. It’s a Japanese-themed store, and although it carries your staple burger and fries, it carries these foods to new dimensions. Admittedly, there aren’t a lot to choose from. There are 11 types of burgers, and though they may seem like a lot, there aren’t big differences from one to the other. For posterity’s sake, I’ll just name them all: Menchi Kats (85 PhP) [haven’t ordered this yet], Hamburger (50PhP) [too plain], Cheese Burger (65 PhP) [same], Master Burger (88 PhP) [the one with meat sauce], Chicken Burger (75/90 w/ cheese PhP), Fish Burger (75/90 w/cheese PhP), Chicken Teriyaki with Tar Tar Sauce (90 PhP) [sounds interesting, will try next time], Teriyaki Burger (80 PhP), Chicken Teriyaki Burger (80 PhP), Master Cheese Burger (103 PhP) [this is what I usually get], Tonkatsu Burger (85 PhP), Master Double Burger (128 PhP), Plain hotdog (65 PhP) and Master Double Cheese Burger (158 PhP) [this is what my guy friends usually get]. There are also two types of salads, fries, chili hotdog, hotdog on a stick, shakes and corn flake shakes.

As much as their menu seems limited, I’ve always believed that it’s better that they do that and perfect their limited specialties rather than have hundreds to choose from and be mediocre in all of it. In Sango, you can practically do no wrong in choosing anything. But of course, I have my favorites that I’m very enthusiastic to disclose.


The first is their Master Cheese Burger or for the hungrier ones, their Master Double Cheese Burger. It’s beef patty with carefully folded lettuce, a huge slab of tomato, a couple of really mild cheese slices, a tomato-based beef sauce (like Bolognese) and silky cream cheese sauce blended with generous portions of carmelized onions. I’m not really sure why the Japanese like tomato-based sauces with their hamburgers (i.e. the Hamburg dish in UCC Café), but it’s hella good! =) And different in a good way. Although I must warn you, it’s not “date” food because eating this can be real messy. But that’s the beauty in ordering their thickly sliced fries. You get to sop up all the wonderful sauce that spills out of these burgers.

To be different this time, I tried their Yakiniku Rice Burger. It tastes like sukiyaki with rice, although it's really supposed to be really popular with the Japanese. The meat was really good, cut thinly and tasted fresh, although the condiments were spare, (just lettuce) and the rice wasn't as firm as the rice burgers that are selling like hotcakes in Mcdonalds. I'd guess I'd rather much prefer the Master Cheese Burger, or will plan to trying the new Chicken Teriyaki with Tar Tar Sauce next time.

Next is their Goboh Salad (68 PhP). I know salads don’t really mix with burgers and fries, but for some odd reason, this one does. Nothing special with their fresh lettuce, tomatoes, shredded onions, sesame seeds and bits of corn. But the magic is in the sauce and the stringy vegetable “gobohs” on top. I don’t really know what it is, but the Net says that it means “burdock” which is this long, thin root vegetable that is indigenous to Japan. The watery salad sauce was similar to a salad dressing my friend bought in Sakura, and it’s so delicious that my friend even drank it up ;) For ten pesos less, you don’t have the “goboh”s, but then that just means that it’s not as fun to eat.


Finally, there are the Shakes and Corn Flakes Shakes. For the shakes, they have your typical vanilla, coffee, melon, orange and strawberry (35-45 PhP) plus an additional 15 PhP a la mode, but since you’re in Sango anyway, get the Green Tea flavor. It doesn’t taste as weird as it sounds. Get the shakes as your “side drink,” but if you want a dessert to cap off that master burger, go with the corn flake shakes, with flavors strawberry, blueberry and Maccha Azuki. (50-60 PhP). I’d highly recommend the Maccha Azuki (I tend to capitalize the words of the meals I like, don’t I?), a green tea shake with ice cream, corn flakes and beans. It’s scrumptious but not overwhelming at the same time, because it’s not too sweet. It actually reminds me of the maccha crepe that I order in UCC Café. One of my friends, Maita, loved the corn flakes concept so much that during her despedida, our dessert was an ice cream float with corn flakes (if only we could find that green tea ice cream easily....)

Dsc00511Moreover, the owner, Mr. Kobayashi, is really accommodating, and very sweet. He even made origami cats, plants and dinasours for us as we ordered our food. The kitchen is open air, divided in the side by a transparent plastic drapes and at front by a glass wall. It's all very Japanese, which I associate with sterility, meticulousness and quirkiness.

Dsc00518_2So that’s about all the food tips and descriptions you need to know about Sango, besides the fact that you feel as if you’ve been transported to Japan. An air humidifier/purifier puffs away in one corner, making the place feel very sterile. On the same side is a plasma TV showing the latest Jap noontime show or telenovela. On the other side is a whole cabinet full of reading material ---- in Japanese, no less. And people around you are all either Japanese businessmen or funky teenagers who look exactly like anime cartoons. This place is worth a try, if not a million times instead of your typical Mcdonald’s, Jollibee or Hot Shots. And with that, I end as I begin: Way to go, Sango!


ate in:
Sango! The Burger Master
Room 5 Ground Floor CreekSide Mall
Amorsolo St., cor. Legaspi Village
Makati City
830-0391 (No more waiting!!! Just phone in your orders before visiting the store)
delivery from 10 am - 10 pm for a minimum of 300 PhP
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm

other branches:
Sango! The Burger Master, Pearl Drive
8101 Pearl Drive Plaza, Pearl Drive St., Ortigas Center
Pasig City, Metro Manila
(02) 636-1991 (delivers)
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Sango! The Burger Master, Alabang
South Supermarket, Phase III, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
(02) 986-8621 (delivers)
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

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