30 March 2015

Post-mortem Treat

The first night of my last finals week as a sophomore student (please let me get to junior year) called for some good food.  Sophomore year was not only tiring physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.  It came to a point where I was not even sure if I was prepared enough to take my final examinations.  I studied, well, I really did try my best to study and retain everything I was able to study.  The whole year was just a mix of super highs and super downs that sometimes, I began to doubt myself and my dreams more than usual.

So, to let go of the extra anxiety that finals week was about to bring, I decided to treat myself to some good food.  I've been reading about this new bistro in the Makati area, which supposedly served inexpensive quality food.  Gus picked me up from school and we decided to try it out.

The Plantation is located along Don Carlos Palanca Street in Makati.  If you're coming from Makati Avenue, cross Ayala Avenue, make a right on De la Rosa Street (PLDT Building), and look for Don Carlos Palanca on the left.  The place isn't hard to miss since it's usually full of people at night.  In case you're coming in for lunch, just look for the building which offers al fresco dining, a few meters away from Greenbelt Excelsior. 

When we got there, we had to settle for the bar area as the place was packed.  It was only around 8 o'clock but all the tables were already taken – couples, groups, enjoying their meals and having drinks.  They apparently offered its customers live band entertainment over dinner.  Perfect after office hangout place.

We started dinner with their Pumpkin Soup with Laguna Cheese.  The Plantation had five different kinds of soup on their menu plus the Soup of the Day so we thought they offered all five kinds.  I wanted to try their 3-Mushroom Cream Soup while Gus wanted to try the Clam Chowder with Baguette but apparently, the only available soup aka their Soup of the Day was the Pumpkin Soup.  You could say that we settled.  If you've been reading my blog entries, you can tell that I always almost need my soup for every meal.  

Pumpkin Soup with Laguna Cheese

As I said earlier, we settled.  The soup was okay.  It wasn't bad but it wasn't super good for me either.  The creamy texture was there, but I thought it lacked a little bit of spice.  It was too pumpkinny.  It tasted like pureed pumpkin with swirly cream on top.  I guess you can say it tasted healthy, but I've tried other healthy stuff that were more flavorful. 

Since the clam chowder was not available, Gus decided to try their Adobo Flakes.  The description on the menu said the meal included tomato salsa, kesong puti, and scrambled eggs.  The dish that arrived wasn't exactly what was described – there was atsara, a slice of orange, but no eggs.  Or so we thought.  The eggs were hidden under the rice.  Gus was genuinely surprised when he dug into his rice and found the eggs! (Gus loves eggs, don't be surprised).

Adobo Flakes

I, on the other hand, had a hard time deciding what to get.  I've been looking through their menu weeks before we even actually decided to eat there but I still couldn't decide what to get.  I wanted to try the Chorizo and Gambas al Ajillo but it was too expensive for someone who wants a full meal (meaning, rice and meat) so I was able to cross it out immediately then there was the Steak Habanero, but I also wanted to try the Garlic Shrooms so I thought about getting the Beef and Mushrooms Salpicao instead.  Their 3-Cheese Baked Aubergine sounded interesting too as well as their Chicharoni, which I was 85% close to getting.  They also had Roasted Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya, Tilapia Bicolano, Lechon Kawali, oh my the choices!  I could probably just type their whole menu here!  Since I really couldn't make up my mind, I had Gus decide for me and he chose the Pepper Steak.    

Pepper Steak (with Mushroom Gravy)

The Pepper Steak was supposed to come with a different sauce but the staff in the restaurant were so nice they actually said yes to my request of having the mushroom gravy instead.  The beef was good, tender not tough; the roasted vegetables were flavorful (I loved the zucchini? cubes), and the mushroom gravy complemented the whole meal.  The only thing weird about this meal was the oversized plate, and the small portion of the vegetable sidings (I want more roasted vegetables please!)  But overall, the meal was good.  I don't mind paying P270 for this one.  

Our meal was very satisfying but this wasn't actually the best part of our night.  Despite the slow service (we got our meals approximately 30 minutes later), the staff made up for it by being really courteous, accommodating, and nice.  I already mentioned the gravy-switching but I think the best part of the night for me was when one of the kuyas offered to make me a fresh glass of calamansi juice since theirs was made from concentrate.  I couldn't believe it at first because I already decided that the concentrate was good enough and ordered a glass but kuya said he could whip up a glass of fresh calamansi juice.  I really thought he was kidding until I saw him grab a few pieces of calamansi.  This may be a really shallow request, but that just made my night.  I wanted to drink a cold glass of beer after that exam but I still had five exams to study for.  The calamansi juice was the perfect substitute.  The friendly and very nice staff just made everything perfect!

FRESH Calamansi Juice

This is kuya slicing the pieces of calamansi to make my fresh calamansi juice. Thank you, kind sir!

As for Gus, I bet this was the best part of his meal.  A big, kickass mug of ice-cold beer. 

The Plantation is a MUST-TRY.  It's the perfect dinner plus drinks after work (or school) hangout place.  You can expect delicious, quality meals without having to spend a lot.

Price: P150 - 300/person

5 out of 5 for The Plantation

106 Don Carlos Palanca Street,
Makati City
Contact Number: (632) 501 5727

Click here to view their menu. Menu courtesy of http://www.zomato.com || Contact details courtesy of their Facebook page.

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