Thursday, November 27, 2008


2.75 out of 5 stars

A piece of wagyu by any other name...... doesn't taste the same. This I've learned in Malcolm's Place, a two-storey corner cafe specializing in different wagyu cooking methods.

Take the intro any way you want, good or bad. It could swing both ways. Good because I've never tasted wagyu in so many different varieties. Bad because in some ways, the wagyu just tastes like....regular beef.

When you enter the place, it feels very airy with their floor-to-ceiling glass walls and exposed kitchen with glass dividers. When you eat upstairs on the second, it's less roomy, but more cozy with colorful cushioned seats and small booth areas. The ambience is very laid-back, and you can really let your hair down.

It's a welcome treat that they offer you fried wonton skins to nibble on while ordering from the menu. You dip it in this mayo-calamansi sauce that was a little too sour for me. But hey, it's free, who's complaining?

Being the "trying-to-be-healthy" people that we are, we started with the Kani Krunch (165 PhP) and the Napa Time (160 PhP). The first is made of greens, jicama, mangoes, kani and the same fried wonton skins (that were served as freebies) on oriental dressing. Jicama is english for "singkamas," and even if it's somewhat bland, it absorbs all the dressing, and is a good complement to the salad. Even the wonton skins gave the Kani Krunch it's Krunch, but the dressing somehow tasted off, like it was a little too sour, or it had too much balsamic vinegar. It would have been better if they used the bright, citrusy accents of a Yuzu dressing and perhaps exchanged the wontons for avocado or fish roe.

The Napa Time was, I think, a better salad. It was composed of mixed greens with candied walnuts, grapes, goat cheese and drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette. Goat cheese has a bland but rich taste, so it matched the sweetness of the caramelized walnuts and grapes. And they were very generous with the fruits and cheese, too, which is always a bonus. The salad was tossed perfectly with the dressing just coating the salad instead of drowning it.

The Wagyu Salpicao tasted great. It was seasoned thoroughly and had a well-rounded meaty flavor characteristic of wagyu. However, it wasn't as tender and melt-in-your-mouth like butter as I expected it to be, what with its high marbling content. It wasn't even just chewy, which is brought about by the finer-marbling of Pinoy wagyu (yes, friends, we have our very own wagyu cattle in CDO cross-bred from Australia). It was tough, hard to slice through and had ligament portions. Maybe we can attribute it toughness to other factors like the way the meat was stored, or how it was cooked, but certainly something wasn't entirely right in the process. Don't get me wrong, though. It tasted delicious because it was so flavorful. It just wasn't tender enough to bring in all that hype about wagyu. Being the eater that I am, though, I inhaled this dish in a matter of minutes.

The Wagyu Burger Steak was alright. I wasn't really sure whether this was a burger steak or a wagyu stroganoff anymore since it's been awhile since I ate here writing about it now, but I do remember the salpicao tasting a lot better than this dish in terms of seasoning. Anyway, both of them are not a part of the regular menu, but is only included in the insert, so I'm not sure if they still serve this up to now.

This actually isn't a great loss, because the core menu may actually be more delicious. I've been here before and have ordered the Wagyu Cheese Steak (330 PhP) a couple of times. It's strips of marinated Wagyu beef tenderloin with sauteed onions and peppers and laid on a French baguette with provolone cheese and a special sauce. It's a favorite of many customers like myself, where the cheese steak is made even better with better quality cattle. Besides, anything stuffed with cheese on it it sure to be a tasty treat. I'd recommend this order for any first-timer who plans on eating here in their foodventure.

All in all, I'm okay with Malcolm's Place. I wouldn't go out of my way to drive here, but if ever I'm stuck in the area, this is one of the places I'd consider eating in. Although there's nothing remarkable about the service and some food options, the restaurant has a good vibe to it, and the old-timer dishes pretty much stay consistent.

Oh, and free wi-fi when you eat here! That can't be beat ;)

click on menu to magnify

Malcolm's Place
, Salcedo Village
108 H.V. dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village
Makati City, Metro Manila
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 7:00 am - 11:00 pm

Monday, November 17, 2008


4 out of 5 stars

Here's another Subic eatery to whet your appetite....and it's prices are very, very reasonable. That's why during peak hours, you always have to wait in line for at least half an hour for a table. My good friend's family part-owns this place, and even she can't get a table herself, haha! What resto am I referring to? Meat Plus, of course!

You haven't completed your Subic eating journey till you've stopped over this place. Up and running for more than ten years, it's considered a veritable out-of-town steak tradition. Made to look like an upscale canteen, you pay and order in the front counter, then the food is served to your table.

You'd be a fool not to taste their steak. Meat Plus supplies meat to most of the places in Manila from delis to restos such as Mamou and Tender Bob's. Steak is actually what you go here for. But if you're not into eating steak, they have other dishes, too. Though I wouldn't think it's anything remarkable. I mean, it's good, but it's taste doesn't linger in your memory unlike their premium steaks.

With the steaks, you can get the local budget ones ranging from 225-250. I like to indulge and get from the chiller to the side of the counter, where they keep their USDA Angus ones from Australia or the US. Angus is just a type of hornless cattle, while USDA graded means that the US Department of Agriculture inspects it, where it gives its stamp of approval to only 2% of the steaks out there. From highest to lowest, we have USDA Prime, then Choice, then Select, with Prime having much more marbling and younger cattle, leaving the meat buttery, juicy and flavorful.

I think I had the Australian Sirloin (500+), which I slathered their homemade gravy can be seen from the picture. I love java rice, but apparently, it makes a pretty bad combo with the steak, which is why I kept on reaching for Pao's plain rice from his plate.

The steak was awesome, even if it was just USDA Select, because the meat was so fresh and tender. To be honest, there's not too much technique in the way they cook their steaks, cooking mine a little to well when I said medium. But with meat like this, how could you go wrong? You can even just pan-fry it and it would still taste rich and velvety! And for just 500 pesos for a huge slab of meat, who am I to complain? Here's another shot of the steak for posterity's sake.

Pao got the same order, and even if it doesn't look as appetizing in the picture, he had a bigger slab, and I thought his tasted better (You always want what's greener on the other side, haha).
These pictures came from two separate trips to Meat Plus when I went to Subic twice within the span of one month. Our other friend from my "MAS" trip also got his from the chiller. It's a ribeye steak with garlic rice, and it looks absolutely appetizing. Look at the great grill marks on those!

I think it was Micah who had the local Topsirloin Steak (255+), the most prized part in the sirloin area. She had to resend hers to the kitchen because the inside was raw. As I said, the staff may not have the most skillful chefs, but their meat is certainly worth raving about. And check out the prices....they can't be beat!

I was surprised some of my friends got other dishes apart form the steak, but there it is! The following pictures are posts of their other food:

Meat Plus Burger (110 PhP)
2 beef patties, tomato, cheese and bacon

Beef Stew (195 PhP)

Baby Backribs Platter (250 PhP)
with java rice and coleslaw

Grilled Boneless Chicken (130 PhP)
served with steamed rice and mixed veggies

I wasn't able to take a picture of Da'Bomb, but this is a must-order siding from Meat Plus! It's not in the menu, but they know how to cook it. It's basically thin slices potatoes baked with tons of cheese, heavy cream and butter on a ceramic ramekin....mmmmm---mmmm! It's definitely a guilty high-cholesterol pleasure, but since you're splurging on a steak meal anyway, might as well go all out, then exercise the next few days ;)

As I said, your Subic trip would not be complete without passing by Meat Plus! It's down-home comfort food, with friendly and efficient service, and low, low prices to boot!

Meat Plus MENU. Click on the pic below to magnify.

Meat Plus Part 2


Building 65 Sampson Road
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Zambales 2222
tel: (047)252-7091
fax: (047)252-6365

10am to 9pm

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