Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spells of Magic 2: Hossein's Persian Kebab and The Lobby at Acacia Hotel

After P.F. Chang's and Press Cafe, we couldn't really decide on whether or not to put it off going to Hossein's Persian Kebab since we were already too full. But HB was very persuasive. It was like casting a magic spell on him.

We finally decided to stop by and tried Lamb Shish Kebab (P550) for the first time. Oh goodness, it sort of blew our minds. It was the best kebab we've ever had. An insanely super delicious, tender and juicy lamb!

Marinated chunks of tenderloin seasoned with Persian herbs and spices, skewered then slowly charbroiled into perfection
I just learned that Kebab Dish is believed to be invented by medieval Persian soldiers who used their swords to grill meat over open-field fires. That's interesting.

Hossein's in Alabang is a small place but we were like teleported to the Middle Eastern region. Truly, the ambiance reflects that of Arabian, Persian and South Asian culture blended with Mediterranean influences. The furnishings from Moorish lamps, fringed curtains, Egypt's honeycomb lamps to Indian patterns and Turkish paintings made it an unforgettable dining experience.

Hossein's Persian Kebab restaurant has been serving fine dining Halal Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Indo-Pakistan cuisine since 1985 in the Philippines. Glad we did visit the place.

Then we headed to The Lobby at Acacia Hotel, a Filipino five-star luxury hotel in the South of Manila. The huge lobby lounge was already a delight. (I blog about our staycation here before.)

striking facade of the hotel
The Lobby at Acacia
 We indulged in chocolate cake, and I tried the Cold Play, which is a cold refreshing smoothie made with the sweetest Filipino mangoes and fresh turnips. And I've got a free stuffed toy. Yippee! The rest of the gang ordered a hot cup of coffee and iced tea.

However, the cake and drinks were typical but the experience was wonderful and totally worth a visit. Plus the live jazz music was bewitching.

Overall, it was fun selecting rows of restaurants and it was definitely extraordinary because we were able to discover something new. What an awesome spells of magic. ;)

Related Post:
Spells of Magic 1: P.F. Chang's and Press Cafe

Till next time... toodles,
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  • Monday, April 21, 2014

    Spells of Magic 1: P.F. Chang's and Press Cafe

    Whew, we didn't plan this. It sort of just happened. We made our way from one restaurant to the next namely P.F Chang's, Press Cafe, Hossein's Persian Kebab and The Lobby at Acacia Hotel. All of them positively surprised us with their own individual offerings. Gorging ourselves with fabulous food, desserts and drinks.

    Meanwhile, we caught a sight a huge group of people doing an awesome dance workout while we were looking for a restaurant.

    We headed to The Street at Alabang Town Center where a row of restaurants are located. The regal 11 ft. white tall horses gracing the entrance of P.F. Chang's restaurant are hard to resist. The attraction seems intense. They were like softly calling my name. :) Kidding aside, it is said that the horse symbolizes the original Forbidden City in China, which was built for China's first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi.

    Honestly, what attracted us the most are the menu set packages called "Feast for Four" that costs only P998! An awesome deal, right? So we decided to dine first at P.F. Chang's, an American-Chinese casual dining restaurant founded by renowned restaurateur Philip Fleming and Philip Chiang. As soon as we entered. I was like transported into another world. The terracotta warriors standing guard gradually came to life and started bowing down before me. I must have been an Empress in my past life. Hahaha! Ok, ok I have to put a stop to this hallucination. :D 

    mini terracottas embellishments
    life-size terracotta warrior on the second floor
    another life size terracotta at the bar area
    a panoramic, hand painted mural depecting 12th century China as the resturant's centerpiece
    the only private room at P.F. Chang's
    There are 6 set menus to choose from. We opted SET A consisting of Almond-Cashew Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork and P.F. Chang's Fried Rice. Beverages are also included for one price.
    Almond-Cashew Chicken: Stir fried with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, celery, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts in a garlic soy sauce
    Sweet and Sour Pork: Tender pork loin stir fried with pineapple, bell peppers, onions and candied ginger
    P.F. Chang's Fried Rice
    soft drinks
    Aside from set menu, we also ordered Egg Drop Soup (P195) and Buddha's Feast (P345). We didn't have any expectations but surprisingly the food was great.
    Egg Drop Soup: P.F Chang's of the traditional soup with egg, julienne carrots and green onions
    Buddha's Feast: A light entree with baked tofu and mixed vegetables. You can choose either steamed or stir fried.
    The first P.F, Chang's in the Philippines opened last January 21, 2012 at The Street, Corte de las Palmas, Alabang Town Center. A year after warriors conquered the urban landscape of Bonifacio Global City. And a third P.F. Chang's at the posh Shangrila-La Plaza Mall, which is still under construction.

    After our dinner, HB dragged us to Press Cafe. I didn't really know they actually feature an extensive menu other than coffee. They serve lunch, light meals, dinner and all-day breakfast!

    We had a Chicken Roulade (P220), which was a lovely surprise. Miss Tinkerbell probably sprinkled it with fairy dusts. :)  It exceeded my expectation.

    Chicken Roulade: Grilled chicken and cucumber rolled in soft tortilla with balsamic and honey mustard sauce
     We also had Hot Chocolates (P100) and Grape Fruit Shake (P110).

    book counter
    I was instantly charmed by this unique book counter, the moment we walked into the restaurant.It was like dining inside a library just by gazing at it.   In fact, Press Cafe is located inside Fully Booked building.

    Till next time... toodles,

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  • Friday, April 11, 2014

    Manna Again

    Yes, I've been to Manna several times already. I intentionally starve myself so that I could have a sandwich and soda as my brunch. During my many visits, I've savored various sandwiches such as Corned Beef Reuben (P285), Grilled Cheese sandwich Taco (P250) and Bahn Mi Roasted Chicken (P185). They were all good and filling but my favorite is the pulled pork and slew.

    Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich: Shaved thin and piled high, corned beef marinated for 5 days with sauerkraut, swiss cheese and spread with grainy mustard sauce. Grilled and melted.
    Grilled Cheese Sandwich Taco
    close up of taco sandwich
    Bahn Mi Roasted Chicken
     I also had some bites of the Manna Salad (P185).
    Manna Salad
    Manna also have varieties of spreads, jams and sauces. One of my favorites is the Malunggay Pesto.

    Checkout the menu written on a chalkboard.

    I consider Manna Bakery and Cafe as one of my favorites. It's always awesome chowing down on some incredibly delectable sandwiches, and some of the food presentations definitely thrilled me. Oh no, now I'm starving. :)

    Note: I'll be on blog-cation next week in solemn observance of the Holy Week. Let me greet you a Happy Easter in advance.

    Till next time... toodles,
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