Dishonorable mentions: Places that disappointed FoodMetroManila during 2014

Note: Although I do not like writing bad stuff about restaurants/food stalls I’ve been to I feel the public needs to know about these places. These bad reviews are the result of a combination of bad service and food that may have been decent but were not worthy of their prices. 

1. Sachi (Araneta Coliseum)

Ground Floor, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City

G/F Araneta Coliseum, Gen Araneta Cubao, Quezon City

This Japanese place has been here since I can remember, but when I was finally able to eat here I was so horribly appalled that I wish it would be gone.

Sachi 2To be fair, the overall ambiance  of the restaurant is beautiful. It looked elegant with all the dark wood accents. The waiters had these snappy uniforms worthy of a five-star restaurant. However, all that crumbled when me and my girlfriend walked through the doors and met what I assume was a waiter in training (he was wearing an all black ensemble as compared to the elegant white tops of the others).

We asked him for a table, he just blinked at me twice, and rudely pointed at one near the door and immediately left us. All this without even uttering a single word. This guy can talk, he wasn’t mute! He was the one to tell us “thank you for eating” after we’ve paid for everything!

Really? You make patrons sit here?

Really? You make patrons sit here?

When we seated ourselves was when a more seasoned waiter approached us. He greeted us a good evening and gracefully handed copies of the menu. Oh, did I mention that the table we were pointed to was a glass top that had a jagged/shattered edge? (Although it was covered by some clear adhesive).

Sachi has a very big menu covering two restaurants: Sachi is the Japanese themed locale while Rasa was more Thai/Singaporean. We ordered everything off of the actual Sachi Menu and boy were we disappointed! Stay away from the seafood ramen!

Gyoza

These just look sad and dirty

These just look sad and dirty

Not properly toasted, soggy, and the filling was dry. It’s the classic sign of frozen dumplings that were dropped to the fryer upon order. The seasoning of the filling was also very bland.

Shiake Sashimi

Notice of the small pool of water under the slices of salmon?

Notice of the small pool of water under the slices of salmon?

My girlfriend loves Salmon Sashimi. She orders some everytime we go Japanese. Naturally she would order this but come on! Kudos to them for giving generous portions but how long have these been frozen?

There were some slices where the outside was grayish. I advised her not to eat these pieces. Can we make sure that if we’re not serving fresh fish that at least it’s not old?

Nabeyaki Udon

My girlfriend asked them not to include vegetables. Smart girl :)

My girlfriend asked them not to include vegetables. Smart girl 🙂

Check out Sachi’s menu and you’ll think that this bowl will be so full of ingredients that it will be a bang for your buck. But my girlfriend noticed that most of the things in the picture were vegetables. Upon ordering she asked that hers would not include any. They relented. This was what she got.

A soggy piece of Ebi Tempura (it wouldn’t be that soggy if it was freshly cooked), a stick of Kani cut in half, an egg that got cooked in the broth, and some pieces of chicken that were rubbery. And of course, pre-made noodles. The broth did hold some flavor but it was very underwhelming for 200 Php.

Kaizen Ramen

I never thought I would ever hate a Ramen dish

I never thought I would ever hate a Ramen dish

Oh my God! This was bad! The seafood? Here are my thoughts:

  • Three pieces of shrimp that were not deveined. One of these pieces looked mutilated but I still tried to take a bite of and almost puked! It was so tough and rancid that I know it was already spoiled!
  • Super rubbery pieces of squid that were beyond chewy.
  • There were probably others but I didn’t even bother anymore.

The broth was fishy (malansa) but bland. The vegetables were bitter, showing they’ve been overcooked. I thought I was going to be sick. That’s why this was one of the cheapest bowls of Ramen I’ve ever paid for in a Japanese restaurant.

Ruminations about Sachi…

I tried to tell what the experience to the portly lady whom I assumed to be the manager. However, she immediately left us after handing us our bill. She didn’t even acknowledge us after we handed it back. I think she was too busy talking to an old couple that may be regulars. Perhaps they already know which are the gems of the dense menu and only order those same things everytime.

Sachi 3

Don’t give me crap that I didn’t order their best sellers. If it’s in your restaurant’s menu then you have to deliver on it everytime! If you can’t then take it off! It’s a fairly large menu anyway! Like that Kaizen Ramen! Please, for the love of God, take it off the menu!

2. SP Steaks & Paella

5/F SM Megamall, Mega Fashion Hall, Julia Vargas Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong

5/F SM Megamall, Mega Fashion Hall, Julia Vargas Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong

Yep, you read that sign right. Sizzling Plate still managed to show itself in the supposedly swanky SM Mega Food Hall.

It definitely looks more posh than the food court main stay.  But when it comes right down to it, it’s still the same Sizzling Plate albeit at a steeper price.

SP 3

This is a joke, right?

They’re supposed to give you the power to create your own meal. However, some of their people immediately hand you a copy of their actual menu that just makes this board obsolete.

Why? There are limitations to what can come with the steaks. I swear. This visit was during the early days of their opening but I’m really not expecting much from this stall.

SP 2You can only get two kinds of their “Paella” with the steaks: Marinara and Jambalaya. Jambalaya is a supposedly spicier version of Marinara but to me they just tasted the same. You can also only just get one of two kinds of the free sauces with the steaks: Roasted Bell Pepper and Aoili. Meaning tha the Paella Negra and the Pesto sauce are not an option for steaks. Told you that board was obsolete.

Porterhouse with Jambalaya Paella

Porterhouse my ass

Porterhouse my ass

One of the original Sizzling plate’s draws is that you get to experience steak cuts at a more cheaper price. However, you get them at very thin slices.

Looking at this porterhouse and SP seems to be just giving you the finger. It’s the same thin slice with a huge bone even! The “Jambalaya Paella” is more like Sizzling Plate’s java rice with peas and some slices of pepper.

Look at how thin that sorry piece for a steak is!

Look at how thin that sorry piece for a steak is!

It’s almost 250 Php for this dish. In comparison, the original Sizzling Plate’s porterhouse is just under 200 Php. The difference? It’s in the friggin food hall and they give you a slice of boiled egg and some lame sauce! What a rip-off!

Could you believe they actually asked us how we wanted this to be cooked? My girlfriend asked for medium rare. But seeing that it’s so thin and served on a sizzling plate (along with them botching up my other order, more on that later), this thing was so well done by the time she ate it that it was almost burnt!

Sauces

Roasted Bell Pepper and Pesto

Roasted Bell Pepper and Pesto

The roasted bell pepper tasted like roasted bell peppers, the pesto was just oil and garlic. I have no idea why I did not taste herbs despite it being really green. I shudder to think of a reason.

Calamari with Marinara Paella

I should have seen this coming

I should have seen this coming

Here’s the deal: The porterhouse was served first; Then they botched up my Calamari order. We ended up with tough porter.

How did I know they botched my Calamari? The expediter and the kitchen kept barking at each other about it. Instead of cooking my Calamari, the kitchen cooked up another T-Bone that the person before me ordered. I had to wait 10 more minutes while the supposedly medium rare porterhouse was being cooked to well past done in the sizzling plate. They didn’t even bother to apologize. The girl just told me “Thank you, come again” after just plopping this on my tray.

The calamari was bland. The squid rubbery. The serving a joke for almost 250 Php. This whole thing was a joke.

Ruminations about SP Steak and Paella…

This whole concept is a rip-off and a joke. Spaniards will gladly burn this place down if they keep flaunting that Java Rice as Paella. The steaks are exactly what you get from Sizzling Plate. I fear that the Paella Negra could just be charred Marinara (I hope to heaven that it’s not!).

Steer Clear

Steer Clear

I was standing there, waiting for my Calamari, and the expediter didn’t even bother to tell me that the kitchen messed up my order and apologize. She could have told me to just come back. How was I supposed to know that it wouldn’t come out in a few minutes? She made it feel like it was my fault for ordering Calamari.

To sum it all up!

So there you have it. These two places disappointed me so much that I had to make this list. I really hope that I don’t have to make a longer list by 2015 but I feel like its my responsibility to tell you, my dear readers, of such horrible places.

I also acknowledge the possibility that I may have just gotten to these places at their bad times. However, I have always felt that if you expect customers to come and ask them to pay for food you prepared then you have to give them the absolute best every time.

I reiterate my promise. I will continue to dine as an anonymous diner and only tell the truth about my experience. It may be expensive to always pay for my food but at least it ensures the credibility of my reviews.

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3 responses to “Dishonorable mentions: Places that disappointed FoodMetroManila during 2014

  1. Pingback: Murakami: On a budget but in dire need of Japanese inspired food? Remember that name! | FoodMetroManila·

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