Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Signature" Restaurants in Manila: Conti's

I have this thing about popular "signature" restaurants in Manila: Alba's, Antonio's, Abe, Som's, Razon's, Amicci's, Sango, etc. All do exceptionally well in setting high expectations for food bloggers/connoisseurs by serving outstanding grub! No matter how simple or fancy their menu is, you'll always find yourself leaving with a bloated stomach and satisfied burp.

Now there's Conti's... Garandee and I would always find one around the corner whenever we'd go shopping, and the place was always packed during lunch & dinner. Did it make it to our list of ICHIBAN "signature" restaurants? Here's what we ordered...

Garandee ordered:
Chicken Roulade with Saffron Mushroom Risotto - P145 + P25 (upgrade)

Contis Chicken Roulade

Despite the generous serving of gravy, it doesn't connect with the taste of burnt, blackened chicken skin. It seems the chicken was grilled enough to achieve just the right bitterness. And the risotto, oh the risotto. I never knew you can actually mold it! kewl, but you're better off with plain rice. trust me.

Garando ordered:
Pastel de Lengua (ox tongue) - P210

Contis Lengua Pastel

What's a coaster doing on top of my lengua? Oh! It's the baked crust! I moved that out of the way and I was delighted to see at least 3 chunks of lengua under all that potato and mushroom. Taste was ok, but nothing to write home about. IMO, P210 was way too much for 3 chunks of lengua, a coaster, and 2 tiny scoops of risotto (probably cost me P80 each). So mahal, but why so Conti?

Dissapointed: Maybe we ordered the wrong entrees because I heard some good things about the Baked Salmon and the Mango Bravo. I guess we'll probably visit Conti's again someday... I kinda feel guilty for stealing that coaster and was thinking of returning it.

Garando mode:
I have a bad cold...


Anonymous said...

Oh thank goodness, finally somebody agrees with me that THAT restaurant is all hype. I've tried it several times (the one in connecticut) and really, the food is nothing fantastic, and my value-for-money training kicks in where I'd go "That isn't worth that much!" then go walk to Konbini grocery to buy something else to wash it off.

Garando said...

Hi twishinky, thanks for checking out my blog.

Yeah, it was actually fun balancing that scoop of red rice on my spoon Yes, it's that tiny, talk about VALUE. :-)

Konbini's great! I recommend New Hatchin Grocery as well. Lots of variety, and a bit cheaper than Konbini.

Anonymous said...

where is new hatchin? The name made me smile cause it sounds like the tagalog sneeze... [ha-ching!]

This be Tricia btw. ;)

Garando said...

Hi Tricia!

Haha, you're right! It does sound like a pinoy sneezing doesn't it?

The Hatchin we frequent is located in Makati:
7602 Sacred Heart St. cor Metropolitan Ave San Antonio village Makati City
8977207/ 8905038/ 8901648
store hours 8 am - 7 pm

Here are the other branches...
Mabini Branch
2118 A. Mabini St. Malate Manila
store hours 8 am - 7 pm

Cartimar Branch
Unit 6 Cartimar Plaza Leveriza St Pasay City
8338905/ 8341384
store hours 7 am- 5 pm (mon-sat)
7am - 2 pm (sunday)

Check it out when you have time!

The Barat Queen said...

I ordered the Pastel de Lengua (I love lengua) at Conti's in Serendra and yes, that was my first reaction as well. What is this thing on top of my lengua? Then I realized it was supposed to be the crust. I felt cheated that a supposedly "good" restaurant would stoop so low for economical, practical reasons. Yes, it's easier to pre-bake the crust and it makes the container easier to clean. But dammit! I want real pastry baked on my pastel the lengua!

And the taste - it was good by mid-level cafeteria standards, but not by "good" restaurant standards! Service and ambience were poor as well. I felt like I was eating at one of those Aristocrat branches, not a supposedly much-hyped and classy restaurant.

Garando said...

Hi kareninyshka! Thanks for dropping by! I'd consider P210 a premium price already, so yeah, they'd better use a damn pastry for it! LOL!
I heard their Mango Tango's good though, but I can't seem to convince my wife to go back to Conti's anymore. :D