A few months ago, I went to Casa Manila (a Filipino restaurant) for the very first time. When I first went there, I loved it; the food was good, the service was punctual, the location was pretty well decorated and the service was great.
A few months afterward, I decide to go to the restaurant again. The food is still very good. The sinigang (a sour broth with mixed vegetables and meat), which came to the table first, was adequately sour and adequately hot.
After a few minutes, the other orders start coming in. The arroz caldo (congee-like dish with chicken, chives, ginger, and egg), sisig (pork cooked on a hotplate), mango salad, crispy pata (crispy pork leg), salpicao (garlicky beef tenderloin cubes), and rice arrived in a fairly timely manner. The foods that needed to be hot were hot, and the foods that needed to be cold were cold. The texture and flavour of all the ingredients really worked well with each other, and the colours looked really nice as well.
As much as I would like to end on this first post on a positive note, I must comment on something which appalled me greatly, which killed the epicurean reverie that I had fallen into. For dessert, I ordered the Razon con hielo, a shaved iced dessert topped with vanilla ice cream, a sweet banana syrup, leche flan (similar to South American flans) and coconut pieces. A part of the kitchen's ice machine was broken; instead of saying "Sorry, our ice machine is broken" beforehand, they used that as an excuse for the 45 minute delay they caused. And when the dessert arrived, I expected to be pleasantly surprised with a gorgeous golden glacial delight. However, I was horrified to see this repulsive repugnant regurgitation, made in a very sloppy and careless manner. Don't be fooled by this picture. Though it looks pretty good from this angle, the ice pieces were all clumped together, and there was a weird sugar puddle at the bottom of the bowl.
And look at the outside of the bowl. I did not wait 45 minutes to have dessert served in a dirty, messy bowl. (Yes, this is the "after" shot, after I finished eating, however, the outside of the bowl was that messy from the start).
Overall, Casa Manila is a restaurant with consistently good appetizers, entrees, and soups contrasted with their desserts of questionable merit. Although the service was not the best, they're pretty good people. If you go to this restaurant, order everything you'd like, except for their desserts. Getting their deserts will lead your meal to end with a sour note. Another Filipino place would serve you better.
(Didn't mean to end my first post with such a grumpy tone.. Hopefully my next few posts will be a little bit more positive! =D )
My Urbanspoon Page
Casa Manila's website
Remely's (somewhere where you can find good, consistent, Filipino dessert service)