Saturday, April 12, 2014

Grillery Restaurant and Bar: Promising Asian Fusion Cuisine

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I stopped organizing food reviews, but I keep myself open and available when there's an invitation. Sadly, I try to make it my last priority because my wife will continue to scold me whenever she sees my double china and growing belly (lol). But what was I supposed to do when I got an invitation to travel to Zamboanga for a four day visit, and then surprised to learn that our hosts will be treating us to different restaurants everyday to help promote Zamboanga as a promising tourist destination inspite of the recent conflict between MILF elements and government forces. It was followed by an exorbitant dining adventure at the three fine-dining restaurants of the Dusit Thani Manila hotel accompanied by our overnight family staycation treat the hotel gave me in exchange of blogging about them. Now that really bloated me like a blimp, but I so loved it!

Who wouldn't want to drop his dietary plans when you see before you several plates of delectable cuisines all waiting for you to dig in and explore its taste? So that was it!...I knew it wouldn't last. Life is just too short to restrict myself from eating seemingly fattening foods. It doesn't really hurt if I keep eating moderately. At least I try my best to remain guilt-free and in control. There are times I am tempted to over-eat but that's only if I eat alone. It's not everyday I indulge on one of life's finest moments especially when the dining experience is at restaurant that I've never been to.

Take for example my visit to the Grillery Restaurant and Bar located at the Greenhills Town Center along Granada street just a few blocks away past the Greenhills Shopping Center along Ortigas Avenue. By the way, don't get confused between the two places as the former is a newer spot farther away form the latter. At this restaurant, you'll find me reunited with what I love doing - teasingly going through a gastronomic adventure once again.

The Grillery Restaurant and Bar has chairs and tables to cater to both smoking and non-smoking customers
The Grillery Restaurant and Bar has several options for seating whether you like dining inside an air-conditioned room or appreciate the feel of natural wind as you dine on their specialty dishes while drinking your favorite ice-cold beer, cola or their specially made iced tea, or cocktails.

The entire seating capacity is approximately around 80 persons so a small gathering can be conveniently arranged here if you want to hold your meetups or celebrations among close friends, colleagues or relatives.

The restaurant opens at 5 pm in the afternoon and closes at around 2 am the following day, but I guess they can open up earlier if you will be holding an activity at their restaurant.

The Grillery Restaurant and Bar signage
For entertainment, they also have nightly performances starting at around 9 pm aside from the large widescreen television where you can watch your choice of shows on your favorite channel. Just approach the crew to make a request.

They also have free Internet wi-fi access for their customers so you can keep yourself updated with your latest email and social media transactions. In my line of work, it is very important for me to always remain connected. I prefer dining on restaurants that have free Internet wi-fi access especially when my portable wi-fi goes "low-batt" on me.

An illustration of a tree with red and yellow flowers
Outside, before entering the restaurant itself, you'll see some decorative designs on both walls that adds  some ambiance to their restaurant. I am a frustrated artists so I appreciate any works of art for I believe that its is an expression of the inner wants or desires of the artists that he could only express through his art works. There is a deep meaning behind these masterpieces, may it be on a wall or a canvas.

An illustration of two birds together perched on tree branches

I'm not really sure who drew these on their walls but it can become a conversational piece for discussion among art enthusiasts.

Grillery Restaurant and Bar counter

The counter is modest but I missed including in the photo the two giant Tanduay towers located at the right side that they could probably fill and serve to guests who wants to drink all night until they get too drunk to continue.

Photos on the wall can become subjects of conversation and a mini exhibit as well to feed the mind and soul
The walls inside also has decors in the form of many hanged photos. Later I was informed that it's the work of the restaurant owners' youngest sister. Their sister is studying Photography and what you will see on their walls are snapshots from her many travels. I believe that the owners do have plans to change them on occasion so that the customers will have something new to ogle while they are enjoying their meals.

The Grillery Restaurant and Bar menu
Their two-sided menu lists down many of their dishes starting with the appetizers. A basic meal complete with rice and drink will probably cost you more or less Php 300 depending on your choice of dish. But if you're a heavy eater like me, I would suggest bringing along around Php 500.

Homemade Iced Tea for everyone

Their iced tea is not your ordinary iced tea made from the powder form. It is especially made for their customers who deserves more than just the usual blend. I've tasted a lot of iced tea concoctions from hotels, caterers, and other restaurants yet the one at the Grillery Restaurant and Bar can be considered a level above them. Though they could make it more attractive by adding a slice of lemon on the pitcher or glass....or that maybe asking too much for the very affordable price.

Chicken Ala Kiev while still uncut
The first dish they served us was the Chicken Ala Kiev - a crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy in the inside chicken dish that's golden brown and sprinkled with a bit of green garnishing just to make it look more appetizing. It's nestled on top of rice so this is probably just one meal for a single person to consume. However, you may opt to order an extra bowl of rice because the taste will make you want to eat more than the one serving of rice.

Chicken ala Kiev sliced open in the middle
The best part is when you slice it in the middle and out goes the flavorful mixture of butter and herb spices flowing out from within that humungous capsule-shaped piece of dish. You can smell the aroma even from afar, and will enjoy the almost heavenly taste once you take a bite, and another bite, and another bite... until you'll be surprised you've eaten it all.

Balinese Fish with special secret sauce
The Balinese Fish is fried cream dory topped with chopped tomatoes, onions and leeks. But what makes it special is because of their own special recipe for the sauce that brings out the flavor of the fish.

Balinese Fish uses Cream Dory for the fish
You have to eat the fish along with the toppings, as well as the special sauce, to appreciate the remarkable taste it will give you. There are definitely no left-overs for this particular dish.

Crispy Binangoonan
The Crispy Binangoonan is not new to me as I've seen similar concepts, but theirs was the only one that serves them in a way that begs you to eat them by hand while crunching on the crispness of the pork

However, the pig skin needs to be totally removed from the equation since its a bit difficult to slice or munch it. I tried slicing it with a knife but its takes a lot of effort when you doing it on a ceramic plate. I guess this should be served on wooden plates instead.
Crispy Binangoonan up close
If you'll ask me about the taste, I would shout "long live pork!" It was remarkably good especially when you chew it combined with the topped "okra" (ladies fingers), onions, tomatoes, onion leeks and "bagoong" (shrimp paste).

I've encountered a similar dish but they used "talong" (eggplant) instead of "okra" (ladies fingers), and the presentation was entirely different. However, comparing the two, theirs do not meet the same crispiness being offered at the Grillery Restaurant and Bar.

I would suggest to have the meat further sliced in smaller pieces and presented laid around the "bagoong." This may become a favorite "pulutan" for beer drinkers and the likes.

Grillery Liempo
The Grillery Liempo was surprisingly soft and tender that it was easier to chew it with very little effort. I also noticed that the restaurant would always used tomatoes, onions and leeks to dress up most of the meals served to us. I understand that they are the most basic ingredients readily available but I would advise them to try on experimenting on other options to create a variation.

Grillery Liempo up close
Customers are quite smarter nowadays and most of them do notice the differences in ingredients may it be used just to create a gourmet appearance, or a significant part of the recipe to add taste, color, aroma and texture to the food.

Turon Halo-Halo
To finally end our dinner, we were served with the Turon Halo-Halo with Vanilla Ice Cream. The dish was also not new for me as I've already tried similar desserts from other restaurants but when I took a bite, it revealed inclusion of other ingredients not used by the other restaurants. They also opted not to put the ice cream directly on top of the turon so it won't melt the ice cream so quickly. The drizzle of two-colored syrup added both beauty and flavor to the sweet treats.

As for the taste, I distinctively liked how every ingredient created a mixture of flavors in my mouth when both hot and cold ingredients combined and resulted into an explosion of taste.

Edmond and Rayan Dannug
Thank you to brothers Edmond (the Chef) and Rayan (the Resto Manager) for introducing some of the noteworthy dishes of the Grillery Restaurant and Bar.

I maybe the wrong person to ask a few weeks ago if you want me to do a food review. This was because I was inclined to choose seafood above everything else. This biased thinking happened when I realized I was too big already for my medium shirts and now sporting XL sizes. I could still fit in medium size shirts but risk suffering from breathing improperly (lol), and you'll definitely get a glance of my big belly caused by several food reviews and attendance to the many events and gatherings that I cover for my blog.

But what the heck! I've been missing the experience of trying out new dishes, and the time spent at the Grillery Restaurant and Bar was well worth gaining a few pounds in exchange of promising food that continuously reinvents itself based from customers' feedback.

When I was asked what was my favorite, I voted for the Balinese Fish because I still adore seafood. I admit that I might still be biased with my choices but I try my best to be objective. All the dishes had their own unique taste that might make your group choose different favorites. But I assure you that there is no wrong answer as each one will satisfy your palate.

My second choice was the Chicken ala Kiev where I particularly liked the crispiness of the coating, followed by the tender Grillery Liempo that is a definite must-try. Not to be outdone was the Crispy Binangoonan that gets my vote for a favorite "pulutan" aside from their Crispy Cracklings and Sisig dishes.

Please drop by their restaurant located at Greenhills Town Center and you won't be disappointed. The brothers are open to criticism and suggestions so you are always welcome to request some improvements to an existing dish that they have. The restaurant is their "baby" built out from their hard-earned money so they'll be more than willing to reinvent themselves, not only to stay in business, but also to satisfy the demands of their valued customers.

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