Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Mamou Restaurant: A Home Kitchen, Serendra

photo by Table for Three, Please
photo by Table for Three, Please
We celebrated mum's birthday dinner at Mamou Restaurant, Serendra. Good food but not a place conducive for conversation as it's too noisy on a Saturday night!

Reservations for dinner are necessary and they have two sittings-- one that starts at 6:30pm and another at 8:30pm. The process was painless and the phone was answered promptly with my details correctly listed. I even got an SMS confirmation. I was a bit pressured because they SMS'd me twice an hour before my reservation to remind me to release the table at 8:20pm. (I hate being rushed for my meals...)

We had the cracked cheese with fuet and truffle honey as a starter. To my uneducated palate, it tasted a bit like queso de bola chopped into french fries sized bits perfect for dipping into the honey. I couldn't taste the truffle in the honey though but it's the first time I had a cheese/honey combo and it was good!
For drinks, the birthday girl ordered the frozen mojito. She said that it lacked flavor but by the end of the meal, she was chattering and lively so I think it still packed a punch.
I like my beers ice cold, specially on these muggy Manila evenings but the best they could do was "cool". The glass was barely chilled but points anyway for trying.
I tried a variety of main courses, but none of them were outstanding:
photo by dementia
photo by kareninblack
  • Fish Katsu sandwich - I'm not a fan of fish sandwiches but I agree with Agent A's remark that the fries were awesome. Nice and crunchy with a rough and slightly ridged texture but soft and fluffy inside.
  • Lamb chops - Four chops served simply on a white plate. I would've enjoyed a small sprig of green for a bit of color but hey this is "a home kitchen" and who bothers with food styling at home right? The lamb was ordinary, seasoned and grilled evenly. Birthday girl liked the mint jelly sauce. 
  • Truffle Cream Spaghettini - This was my favorite. Perfectly al dente noodles and a pronounced truffle flavor! No skimping with the truffle oil on this one. 
  • Citrus rub chicken  - Tender and falling-off-the-bones chicken. Good comfort food paired with rice, saba and black beans.
In hindsight, seeing that the specialty of the place is steak, maybe I should have ordered one. The portions were too large for me to eat alone and no one wanted to share. 

For dessert we had the frozen hot chocolate which we ate like ice cream but as we were halfway through, the manager came over to mix it. Apparently the correct way is to drink it instead of eating it with a spoon. (It should come with instructions!). I didn't think it was a good idea because it was neither frozen nor hot. After mixing, it became a lukewarm chocolate drink overloaded with whipped cream. 

I have high standards for sans rival since I grew up eating the stuff. Their dark chocolate sans rival was decidedly chocolatier. Not for the purists. 

I think i'm getting old but I must agree with mr mekeni's comment that it was too noisy inside. Not that the patrons were particularly loud, I think there's something wrong with the acoustics of the place. Maybe sitting at the table nearest the bar and kitchen wasn't helping either. 

Rating: 0
Plus points for the prompt service, attentive wait staff and red velvet cupcake for the birthday girl. However this was an average (but reasonably priced) meal. Come here for a casual group date with friends. 

For a different point of view, check out more reviews by munchpunchmisslovelytan and food blog Table for Three, Please.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Photobooks by Fotosnaps Philippines

My recent encounter with Fotosnaps Philippines leaves much to be desired.

1. The voucher I purchased from their Facebook page arrived in my email 5 days after I paid for it instead of the advertised 2 days. (To work around this problem, you can upload your project and use payment method as "other". Then when you get the order number, mail their customer service and explain your situation to them. They have a way to start the process while waiting for the voucher number to be generated.)

2. I uploaded my photobook on May 31 and to this day June 13, it is still "in production".

3. When they find perceived errors in the resolution and brightness, they'll tell you to fix it yourself and even charge you a Php150 reprocessing fee! I asked their customer service via email how bright I should adjust it to but they could not answer. So even if I knew how to fix it, I had no idea if it would work until I reupload it.

To me, the concept of paying them a Php150 reprocessing fee for perceived errors they would like the customer to fix seems absurd.

Their customer service respond quickly via email but the delivery of the final product is unreliable. I was supposed to give mine as a wedding gift but the couple has already returned from their honeymoon and I still don't have the photobook!

 I will reserve awarding any pawikan points at this moment until I receive the final product. If the book itself is good, then i'll just give a few minus points for the service and advise you to place your order weeks ahead of time.

Update: And so it finally arrived exactly two weeks after the order was placed. The layflat book was wrapped in bubble wrap, in a cardboard box inside a plastic bag. The photos were superb and the earlier email asking me for an extra P150 to reprocess the "low resolution" and "dark photos" were certainly unnecessary.

Rating: 0  
The photobook itself was exactly how I designed it. Vivid colors on heavy paper, overall a good build quality. Minus points for the lousy order placement process. I would use them again but reset my expectations on speedy service.