Showing posts with label restaurants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label restaurants. Show all posts

Mesa: Possibly the Worst Restaurant in Bacolod City

After seeing what seems like hundreds of advertisements all over SM (yes, an exaggeration, I know), I decided to head on over to Mesa to try their beef kare-kare one of their advertisements mention.

I love kare-kare, so there isn’t too much a restaurant can do to mess it up. Beef kare-kare? Yes, please. Just throw some beef and peanut butter in a pot with a few vegetables and I’m more than happy to slurp it up as long as it isn’t like I’m licking a sugar-cane field or licking a rock.

This is the problem. Mesa did mess it up.

So, what’s my beef with Mesa? No beef! That’s what!

When my friend and I entered the restaurant and the waiter came up to us, we ordered kare-kare. The waiter simply repeated “kare-kare” to us. Unbeknownst to us, they serve different types of kare-kare and they didn’t bother to ask which one we wanted.

As well, we asked how many people does it feed. The waiter said “2 or 3”. Great! There are two of us, so we thought we could chow down on some delicious beef kare-kare and go to town on it.

No.

The kare-kare was then served to us and immediately we knew something was wrong. We asked the waiter if it is the correct order and he said, “kare-kare”. Yes, OK, it was indeed kare-kare, but it wasn’t beef and it definitely wasn’t enough meat or vegetables to feed three people.

Pata Kare-Kare
Definitely Pata Kare-Kare


It is quite obviously pork leg (“pata”). I know what it looks like, you know what it looks like.

We thought perhaps it was simply our mistake and that they probably had different kare-kares so there isn’t much we can do about it. Fine. But when the bill came, wow! They charged us for “oxtail” and not “pata”. That’s the most expensive kare-kare in the place.

When the waiter came to our table, I asked why did they charge us for oxtail. The waitress said, “that is oxtail.”

I responded, “But it is pork.”

“Yes, sir. It is pork.”

“Then why did you charge us for oxtail if it is pork?”, I replied.

“Oxtail is pork.”, she said.

No, ma’am. No, Mesa. Oxtail is not pork.

It is in the name! Ox = working bovine. Tail = something that hangs off the butt of an animal.

How in Lord’s name is pork a “working bovine” and how is the leg a tail?

Only at Mesa. And just in case you don’t want to take my word for it, here:

ox·tail
ˈäksˌtāl/
noun

the tail of a cow.

meat from this, used especially for making soup.

Obviously I know what oxtail is. I lived on a farm, I ate beef my whole life, and I have cooked oxtail myself, even my own kare-kare had oxtail. This was definitely not oxtail.

After some argument with the waitress, nothing changed and nor did their manager want to charge us the correct amount for the pata.

I then decided to contact Mesa through Facebook and through their customer service phone number. Neither places wanted to resolve the issue in a professional manner.

Ratings:

Atmosphere: 1 out of 5 - The place is expensive compared to most restaurants in Bacolod City yet the place uses cheap fabric on their seats. The fabric looks like it was bought from the 30 peso rolls of material you can find at Gaisano Main, you know what I’m talking about. This is not to mention the colors of the fabric, yuck. They definitely do not match and are actually complete opposites (blue and orange) but the blue isn’t solid, it has different shades of blue. This is what led me to believe the Gaisano theory. Two fabrics that don’t match and with random patterns that make the place look like a $2 “lady of the hour” house. This is not to mention their crazy slanted glasses for water.

Price: 1 out of 5 - Seriously, the food wasn’t that great and they charged us for the wrong food. They don’t even serve shrimp bagoong with it, instead they serve anchovy ginamos like you can buy downtown for 5 pesos (but they give you about 50 centavos worth). All in all, it felt like I could make the same quality or better for about 30 pesos (and that’s including the price of the pata). Yet I spent around 500 pesos for the overpriced garbage.

Taste: 2 out of 5 - Like I said, I love peanut butter, but the soup was still off. Just something doesn’t taste right. The ginamos was the only savior, but as I said earlier, I could buy the ginamos for about 5 pesos downtown.

Service: 1 out of 5 - They didn’t even try to fix our issue.

Recommendation: Stay far, far away from Mesa in SM Bacolod City. It is by far the worst restaurant I have eaten at in the city. Worst service. Worst price. And the taste isn’t worth it.

Actually, I haven’t posted on this blog for a long time until now. And the terribleness of this restaurant is what made me post. Disgusting. The manager needs to be fired immediately with an overhaul of their customer service.

L'Sea Chinese Restaurant

My wife headed to L'Sea before and she said it was pretty decent, but not as good as Ming Dimsum and Noodles. That didn't dissuade me. I'd say Ming is one of the best restaurants I've had, period. We decided to give it another try. And then another. And then another.

My first try at L'Sea was on Lacson St. The last time I had soy chicken, I thought it was amazing. Thus, I thought it'd be worth a try at L'Sea. We then also ordered the pechay in Chinese bagoong.

El Mojo's Mexican Restaurant

El Mojo's Mexican Restaurant is located in the same building as Dana Buko Cocktail across from Panasiatic. You can get there using the Homesite jeepney (be sure to ask, "NGC?" before boarding) or Bata-Pepsi.

Before going to El Mojo's I was excited to learn that there was another "Mexican" restaurant coming to Bacolod. I absolutely adore Mexican food, from Burritos to Quesadillas to Fajitas, I love it. As you can imagine, my stomach was growling all the way until I sat down and looked at the menu.

Dana Buko Cocktail - Delicious Halo Halo in Bacolod

I love halo-halo. It is one of my favorite Filipino foods. If you aren't familiar with it, it is essentially fruit (usually dried) mixed with condensed milk, sweet beans, coconut shavings, and often topped with ice cream (usually "ube" flavor [purple yam]).

In Manila and Cebu there are Coconut Republics, which I love. Essentially, they take a giant coconut, cut it in half, throw a bunch of fruit of your choice inside with the rest of the ingredients and call it a day. It is amazing, and one of my "must haves" whenever I visit one of those two places. In Bacolod, we aren't as fortunate to have such amazing halo halo food stands.

D'z Wings: The Best Chicken Wings in Bacolod

My wife and I headed to the new 888 Chinatown building for some shopping, but my wife was starving, so we headed to the 888 food court on the second floor. We had seen D'z Wings a few times while walking by, but we never decided to check it out until today. I'm glad we did.

There is a choice of eight different sauces and 4 dips. I recommend matching the sauces with the dips as best as you can, though, since the flavors are quite abundant.

I ended up choosing D'z BBQ sauce with a honey mustard dipping sauce. This is quite the typical American combination, and the owner is American, so it makes sense. My wife decided upon the mango sauce with a Thai peanut dipping sauce.

El Ideal Bakery and Restaurant in Silay City - Not Bacolod, but close enough!

El Ideal Bakery and Restaurant is a popular destination for food lovers. I first learned about El Ideal on my flight from Manila to Bacolod in the travelers magazine. You know the one, the one that lists different things to do in cities across the Philippines and in other popular travel destinations around the world. The magazine listed El Ideal and Calea as the must-eat restaurants in "Bacolod".

Sadly, it had taken me a while to try the food. I had stopped by the small stand outside Robinson's grocery several times and eaten their guapple pie (guava and apple mixed together) and found it completely awesome. I was pretty stoked to going to the real deal to try out some local grub.

Margies Pasalubong Store and Restaurant Review

I have been going by Margies virtually every day on my way to work/downtown every day for a couple of years and finally had the chance to check it out. What helped sway my decision was the fact that I absolutely love their piaya.

The Margies we decided to eat at was the one near the cemetery/WNU (sorry, STI West Negros University, or whatever other long name they are calling themselves these days). We entered around noon time and it was fairly empty, but by the time we got our food it was packed with lunch-goers.

Kenny Rodgers at SM Bacolod City - A Taste of American Rotisserie Chicken

Kenny Rodgers was opened in 2015 at SM Bacolod City, much to my happiness. I have been to Kenny Rodgers while in Manila and Cebu and was happy when I first had learned about the opening of the restaurant here in Bacolod.

I'll first start by saying that when comparing Cebu, Manila, and Bacolod, restaurants are always going to be a little different and, most likely, have fewer choices in Bacolod. This is a much smaller city with a much smaller middle and upper class with the ability to eat at this style of restaurant on a day-in and day-out manner.

Vikings vs Ripples: Who is the top luxury buffet in Bacolod City?

Since Bacolod now has two luxury buffets in Bacolod, let's take a look at how they compare against one another. Who is the best? I'll let you decide.

So here goes:

VikingsRipples
Service:
Environment:
Quality:
Price:
Display:
Food variety:



L. Fisher Hotel's Ripples Restaurant Review

Finally my wife and I were able to go to Ripples in L. Fisher Hotel. I have heard about this restaurant for a long, long time as a place that serves international food from all over the world. Lucky enough, this past weekend the restaurant offered a dinner buffet + Christmas show special from 6-10 P.M. for 750 pesos for two. We couldn't let this opportunity slip by, so we decided to buy the tickets early and head over there as soon as possible.

I must say, I was quite surprised. When it comes to food, I'm a bit picky--not in the sense that I won't eat a lot of different types of food, but that I'm picky to say something is delicious when it tastes mediocre and doesn't make me go, "Mmm". Was there any "Mmm" making foods? Let's check out the menu:

Vikings Luxury Buffet at SM City Bacolod Restaurant Review

My wife and I decided to head to the newest buffet restaurant in Bacolod, Vikings.

They had a 50% off sale for anyone who wore a vikings mask, and so my wife decided that we should make our own. I must say, she completely crushed mine (and she was a bit disappointed in what I made her).

We didn't want to wait in line, as I know that in Manila the lines can get pretty long and the wait can be horrendous, so we went ahead and booked a early reservation. It is quite common in Manila for people to get there early and talk and hang out for several hours, so why not? You don't have to jump right in feeding your pie hole. You can start with beer (on tap!!! You can't find that anywhere else in Bacolod at the moment), wine (if you want to pay extra), or one of the great many drinks they offer on tap.

Ming Dimsum & Noodle: Chinese Restaurant


Ming Dimsum & Noodle
My wife and I decided to head to a restaurant weve never been to on our anniversary. We orginally wanted to go to Dragon Palace but it was closed due to renovations. We decided to keep looking in the same area to see if we could find a different Chinese restaurant to try out. We ended up at Ming Dimsum and Noodle at Terra Dolce, close to Robinson's Shopping.

Ming Dimsum & Noodle Map Bacolod City
Map to find Ming Dimsum & Noodle in Bacolod City

My first impression was amazement. It isn't common to find fine dining in Bacolod, nonetheless, Chinese fine dining. I expected the prices to be outrageous, but seeing as how it was our anniversary, why not?

Xin Chào Vietnamese Food

One of my wife's and my favorite food stands in Bacolod is Xin Chào Vietnamese Food located at 888 Chinatown on the second floor. Vietnamese food isn't common in the Philippines, so we were shocked when we saw it. (added 10/19/15: Many more locations are now opened, including the new building for 888. They have a "main" near Panasiatic)


Xin Chào Vietnamese Food Stand
Xin Chào Vietnamese Food Stand

Xin Chào's phở is perhaps my favorite choice. I'm a huge phở fan, which seems to be quite common for foreigners my age.

Tokyo Tokyo Restaurant at SM City Bacolod

Tokyo Tokyo recently opened in SM Bacolod City a couple months ago. I love to try new restaurant, so I went ahead and did just that with my wife.

Japanese food at Tokyo Tokyo
Japanese food at Tokyo Tokyo in SM Bacolod City
Does it look delicious? It was! We have some Japanese ramen, sushi, and some teriyaki chicken (if I remember correctly).

Greenoz Pizza

One of the first pizza places you'll see in Bacolod is Greenoz. Greenoz has been a beloved and hated restaurant in Bacolod the world over.

The famed pizza place serves an incredibly large Swiss-style pizza which has a very thin crust and only a few toppings. However, the taste is pretty decent.

Spice N Bite - Indian Restaurant

Indian food at Spice N Bite in Bacolod
Some delicious Indian food at Spice N Bite
My wife and I went to Spice N Bite last year some time, so I don't exactly remember the names of all the delicious food we had. However, I do remember that it was incredibly, incredibly delicious and it was a wonderful experience.

Calda Pizza

One of my American expat coworkers once told me, "Calda has the est pizza in Bacolod." Being a fellow American, I had to give it a try.

Calda is located near Gaisano City in Singcang-Airport along Araneta Avenue.

Calda Pizza location in Bacolod City

Honestly, the pizza was one of the farthest things from what i could have imagined. Nothing like an American pizza at all and definitely not something I figured an expat would consider as the best pizza.

Ading's Pala-Pala

Pala-Pala in reference to Bacolod cuisine is similar to turo turo (meaning "pick pick" in English) of Manila.

The term pala-pala was first used due to the market nearby. The market today is called "old pala-pala" due to their being a "new pala-pala" restaurant behind L' Fisher Hotel.

Ading's Pala-Pala location

If you don't know the term, basically, you choose the fish you want and the restaurant will cook it for you. The fish is usually laid out across a long table (or in old pala-pala's case, you buy it at the market and bring it to them) and then the waitress will come and bring it to the chef whom prepares it.

Chicken Charlie Restaurant

Chicken Charlie is a newish chicken place in SM Bacolod. They have changed their menu a couple of times but they seem to have caught a big fish with this latest rendition.


Chicken, Spaghetti, pepper rolls and rice from Chicken Charlie

 The food is about the same price as other mid-level fast food restaurants in town -- 135-180. So it isn't too costly if you frequent places like McDonald's, KFC, or ChowKing but it is a bit more than Mang Inasal or Jollibees.

Alberto's Pizza Restaurant

Alberto's Pizza is a chain restaurant in the Philippines. However, it's not like other chains. It's only located in large cities and there's normally only one in each.

Alberto's offers quality pizza at a reasonable price. My wife and I eat Spanish sardine pizza and tuna melt pizza a few weeks back at the Alberto's located next to Jollibee's in Shopping.

Even though the menu states they have "quick melt" and mozzarella cheeses available, they only really had quick melt cheddar. We were hesitant at first, but we went ahead and gave it a try.