Now that Rakenrol is finally in the theaters,
it's back to regular programming for The Pickiest Eater In The World!
Thanks for bearing with me for the past week as I skipped the usual food entries in order to write up about the movie
(which I hope you all watched by the way).
I have always considered myself a "Chinese Food Junkie". Having Chinese food as the cuisine that I have posted most about it all the proof you'll need to know that it's true. And even though I had just come from an amazing dining experience known as "Zong", I still chose yet another Chinese restaurant to go to for our next adventure.
To be honest, it wasn't our first choice. It wasn't even our second. We were in the Bonifacio Global City area on a fine Sunday morning, and our first choice was to use a voucher from a restaurant I had purchased (You'll see that post soon.. It's awesome). So we moved to another restaurant in the area, but apparently it doesn't open until 3pm, which I found to be ridiculous, but oh well.
On any other weekend, we would have ended up in Mercato Centrale again, but SNR was having their member's sale, so parking around the area was insane. Besides, as much as I love the place, I needed new material for my blog.
As I was driving around the area, I remembered my cousin Paolo telling me about "Eat Well", and that I would love their Sweet and Sour Pork.
Words cannot express how much I love Sweet and Sour pork. I hear the words "Sweet and Sour" and I turn around on instinct, thinking that someone is speaking to me. The best one I've had, is actually a home made one made by the Yaya of my cousin Raf.. a phenomenal cook. Up there would easily be the version of Harbor City in Cebu. I could go on and on if I wanted to hehe..
Since I wanted to try the Caramelized Porkloin of Zong, I deliberately refrained from ordering the Sweet and Sour Pork (Although I definitely plan on going back to try it).. Which was probably one of the most heart wrenching decisions of my life.
A week later, there I was, STILL dreaming of Sweet and Sour pork, and since we were in the neighborhood, I thought it would be a good time to give Eat Well a go.
Since the doctor strongly advised Rina to do a lot of walking to help speed up the due date, I parked our car by the Shell station and took Rina on a leisurely stroll down to Eat Well (LYING. I had no idea where the place was and I parked in the wrong place). When we finally found the place, the glass exterior gave me the impression it was this huge restaurant and it would be jam packed.
Well, I was half right.
The place was actually really full, but I was surprised to find that the dining area was in reality, pretty small and cramped. I'm a bit of a claustrophobe, so I wasn't feeling very comfortable. Also, I think the place could use a little bit of sprucing up. Don't get me wrong, it's not all ratty and broken down, or anything like that. It was in fact, nicely designed, but not very well maintained. Also, I think someone may have left the door open for a bit too long that day, because there seemed to be a whole lot of flies.
Ambiance wise, I wasn't too impressed, but I'm the kind of guy that doesn't mind eating his food in a sewer for as long as the meal is darn good (and there are no rats).
I was surprised to find the prices to be remarkably reasonable. I was expecting higher rates, but they weren't too far off from North Park. With that said, I was looking forward to our meal.
As soon as I opened their menu I saw they had Xiao Long Pao (P108 for four pieces), one of Rina's favorite dishes. Ever since she tried it in Crystal Jade, she's been in love with those dumplings with soup in it, and it was the FIRST thing she ordered when we sat down in a restaurant in Singapore (Chen Fu Ji Noodles Rocks).
This version, however, left her sorely disappointed. First off, It didn't hold together the way the dumplings did in the other places we tried, meaning as soon as she tried to slowly scoop it up, the bottom ripped, pouring the soup down the the dimsum basket steamer thing (I just realized I have no idea what they're actually called, although I'm fairly confident it ISN'T "Dimsum Basket Steamer Thing"). Second, I'm not sure if it was the soup itself, or the meat, but there was something really sour about it that wasn't good. I really hope it wasn't the meat being old and affecting the taste of the soup, but sadly, that's what it kinda tasted like. Rina had eaten two by the time I tried mine, but as soon as I did, I told her not to eat the last one because I didn't want to risk my pregnant wife eating something that tasted that funky.
Since i've been on somewhat of a Yang Chow Fried Rice streak, I decided to change things up and instead go with the Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice (P215). It was actually very good, but it did seem eerily close to Yang Chow because the Salted fish taste that I was looking for wasn't very prominent.
It could be looked at two ways:
1) The lack of a stronger salted fish taste made it a little bit bland
2) the lack of a stronger salted fish taste created a nice compromise for groups that argue over Yang Chow or Salted Fish and Chicken fried rice.
I'm more of a "number 2" kind of guy. (Wait, that sounded weird)
As soon as the waiter plopped the Fried Chicken Wings (P235) down on our table I knew I ordered the wrong thing. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, but I wish I had ordered something a bit more.. well.. "Chinese". I actually wanted to try their Fried Chicken (Also not very "Chinese", I know), because I was looking for something along the lines of Savory, but the waitress said they don't serve it any more, and suggested this instead (Whenever something I order isn't available, it always throws me for a loop and my mind goes blank for a few seconds, so I just went with her suggestion).
It's pretty much just Deep Fried Salt and Chili Pepper Wings and if it said that in the menu,I might not have ordered it. Although considering the name was generic enough, I have no one else to blame but me hehe...
Taste wise, it was fairly decent, but I think they overcooked it just a tad. The exterior looked and felt burnt, however when you bit into it, the meat was tender and juicy - except on the white meat of the "drummette", which was a little dry. Perhaps if they took it out of the fryer maybe 30 seconds earlier, it might have made a difference.
The moment I had waited for arrived. Their Sweet and Sour Pork (P240) looked amazing, as it let out a beautiful golden color. I pierced my fork through the cutlet of pork and it sense that it was also cooked perfectly. Biting down through the meat re-affirmed it. The balance of sweetness and tanginess was just right, and it had all the components of a great dish, but I'll be honest with you - I've honestly had better.
It lacked the "Wow" factor I was expecting from all the hype that I heard.
Save for the terrible Xiao Long Pao, the food was fairly ok. I wouldn't have any problems eating at Eat Well again, but it wouldn't be high on my list of the places I'd want to go back to.
My lovely wife pretending she's in Hong Kong.
Some day babe, we'll go back.. With Baby Rain with us ;)