By now signs of Valentine’s is very much felt already. You hear it, see it and feel that love is indeed in the air. And in every celebration of love, food is a common ground to share precious moments together.
Last week, I was invited by Shangri-La Plaza mall to take a peek at their preparations for Valentine’s. We had a food crawl involving six different food establishments, serving a variety of cuisines and flavors. I was literally crawling after this gastronomic event that spanned almost 4 hours! My co-foodies who joined it must’ve have been too stuffed as well.
At Level 1 of the older Main Wing is a relatively new restaurant, Wobbly Pan. It is a resto-bar situated at the entrance serving Spanish dishes. It has a chill veranda, a suitable location for late night drinks paired with their selection of tapas. Their pride and joy include classic picks like Paella, Callos, Gambas and Iberian Chicken.
Wobbly Pan is partly owned by Guillermo Hernandez, a businessman engaged in the food industry all his life. The restaurant name was coined after an heirloom old cast-iron-skillet from his pure Spanish great-grandfather. The playful word wobbly, on the other hand, pertains to the company’s desire to keep on moving, adapting to customer’s needs.
We had quite a start here. We were served two version of Paella’s, Valenciana and Negra. The former was very tasty. It had generous toppings of chorizo, clams, mussels, chicken, and shrimp in well-cooked Spanish rice. The Negra was as delicious, filled with large chunks of squid, topped with aioli and paprika spice. Both variants presented it similar to French risotto. It was fluid, without the usual burnt rice at the bottom of its pan.
The foodies and I were also treated with Tortilla Chips with Cheese Fundido, a savory cheesy starter. It had melted cheese, manchego and chorizo; and their garlic filled rendition of sizzling Gambas.
When celebrating love, go French they say! Our second destination was more laid back, situated towards the back of the 2nd level of the Main Wing. La Creperie served us first their best selling French Onion Soup, followed by a string of their popular desserts. It was such a homey vibe sitting here while I sipped their warm cheesy soup, which had loads of bittersweet caramelized onions.
So we had my personal favorite, Salidou, a homemade salted butter caramel crepe with a dose of whipped cream on top. It was delicious in every bite, a must have when you find yourself in Shangri-La Mall. Other desserts served include Strawberry Mango Jubilee, a most likely hit to kid-like adults. It has freshly prepared sweet and sour combination of mango and strawberries on orange rum sauce; and creamy matcha crepe.
This open restaurant is quaint yet truly eye-catching with vibrant yellow interiors mixed with greens. They are definitely more than just a crepe or galette place as they also have pasta, classic French fares such as Coq Au Vin (chicken in red wine sauce) and Blanquette de Boeuf (beef in white wine, served with vegetables).
Get together with loved ones over a usual combination of chicken and beer. Oppa! Chicken at Level 6, still at the Main Wing serves the trending Korean experience of Korean Fried Chicken done in their own set of spices. Choose from soy garlic, sweet and spicy, or the very spicy Atomic Bomb, among the many options available. There are also fries, rice, noodles or even cheese (via fondue) as your choice of carbs while you attack their meats.
The plates of fried chicken here was served really crispy but could use a bit more intensity in taste. My foodies and I agree that a little bit more seasoning can really bring out the Korean authenticity. For our last dish here we also got to dip in their really hot serving of Toppoki, a street food made of spicy rice, fish cake, sticky cheese, topped with gobs.
If your appetite is not of the usual, and unlimited is your go-to once in awhile, Sweet Inspirations could be your answer. This cafe is located at Level 5 of the Main Wing. They are known for their appetizing and fresh selection of Mongolian. This is now their third installment, thanks to the success of Katipunan and New Manila branches. Sweet Inspirations also prepares home-cooked Filipino dishes and an array of delicious cakes and baked goods. Despite this being our fourth stop, I just had to finish off their serving of unbelievably tender and well spiced Korean Beef Stew! I also had bits and pieces of savory Roast Beef, topped with thick mushroom gravy and addicting to eat, Spicy Pork Spareribs.
Shang’s 3rd Level of the Main Wing is where you can have a glimpse of Japan’s most loved desserts, mille crepes from Paper Moon Café. Here we had a ton of sweet creations, layers of crepe in different kinds on our tables. Each serving of mille crepe regardless of flavor presented consistency of light and airy texture with delicious, creamy filling. We had new flavors like Ube and Blueberry Cheesecake as well as tarts and my new favorite, delectable Apple & Cheese Chiffon Cake.
For our final stop, and by this time we were really slow already with all the food in our system, we traversed the newer East Wing. Here we found ourselves chilling again, but this time with a warm cup of our choice Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) drink. Here at the 26th Bistro by CBTL expect an upgraded dining experience with a full course menu. They carefully selected cuisines from all over the world, like what we had, my girl friend’s favorite, Thai Shrimp Pomelo Salad. I took home a half portion too of their California Cobb Salad, a plate filled with a string of wonderful sorts. It had grilled chicken breast, eggs, corn, tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado mixed with romaine lettuce in a rich homemade ranch dressing.
Whew! Did you get tired reading all I said? Or maybe you did get hungry? I did, after writing all of these. Anyway, do you have plans set for next week? I sugegst checking out Shang and all its dining options. The mall presents a long list of food choices and well-curated lists of retail, just in case, you want to give her a shopping spree too!
For more inquiries, call 370-2597 or 98 or visit www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage.