Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Apartment 1B: Gourmet Comfort Food

Apartment 1B
Gourmet Comfort Food
One Lafayette Square
132 L.P. Leviste Corner Sedeno St
Salcedo Village, Makati City 1227
(632) 843-4075

How to get there:

Map to Apartment 1B
From EDSA going south:

1. Turn RIGHT to Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue (Buendia);

2. Turn LEFT to Paseo De Roxas;

3. Turn RIGHT to Villar;

4. Turn LEFT to L.P. Leviste;

5. Turn LEFT to Sedeño (Apartment 1B should be on your right side before the next street corner).

First impression:
Apartment 1B's Second Floor Before Closing
The first floor of Apartment 1B looked like a well lit fine dining restaurant, classy and private.  When we got to our table on the second floor, we were amazed at the changed in atmosphere, it actually felt like we were fine dining in a Chinese restaurant!  The place looked real homey and comfortable.  The wait staff were very courteous and knowledgeable of the menu to boot.


According to Click the City Apartment 1B serves French cuisine but it seemed more like a fusion of American, Italian, Spanish and French cuisines with a touch of Mexican mixed-in.  We think that's what makes it Gourmet Comfort Food.

What we had:
Apartment 1B's Corn Chowder
We started with a bowl of Corn Chowder (Php170) with herbed croutons.  The chowder tasted good and the serving, supposedly for one, was actually good for two.  It was also served in a lion crested bowl/cup which gives it a “not your usual” chowder look.

Apartment 1B's Chicken Quesadilla
We followed the chowder with a plate of Chicken Quesadilla (Php290) with tomato salsa.  The quesadilla was great by itself and the tomato salsa provides a good accent to the taste.

Apartment 1B's Grilled Baby Squid
 We also tried the new addition to Apartment 1B’s menu, Grilled Baby Squid, which was recommended by the wait staff.  The baby squids were grilled just right and were very tender and it tasted good too!  If you plan on dining here, this is a must try. 

Apartment 1B's Fresh Mint and Apple Shake
Since we like to experiment with our beverage, we asked the wait staff for a recommendation.  We wanted to sample their Apartment 1B’s special beverages, if any, and when we heard that the wait staff say Fresh Mint and Green Apple Shake (Php150) we were intrigued and we all ended up ordering it! We have to say we were anxious about what the taste of green apple and mint mixed together would taste like, and fortunately for us, it tasted great.

Apartment 1B's Crab Cakes
We were having a great time with the starters so we decided to order Crabcakes (Php250) before we order the main courses.  We were not disappointed with the crabcakes.  The pieces were made of fresh crabmeat and apart from the minimal breading/batter it had no noticeable extenders.

Apartment 1B's Grilled Prawns
Our first entrée was Grilled Prawns (Php730) topped with crab-fat and was served with mixed vegetables and lemon pasta.  We thoroughly enjoyed this dish! The lemon pasta was mildly spicy with a hint of lemon.  But what made this dish amazing are the grilled prawns and the crab-fat sauce.  Well the wait staff did say the prawns were large, but we didn’t think it’d be this big!  The three large prawns were perfectly grilled, keeping the prawn meat tender and juicy and the crab-fat sauce just takes this dish to another level.  Another must try.

Apartment 1B's Meatloaf
We decided to ask Apartment 1B’s wait staff for popular dishes even as we ran through the menu since we had no idea what to choose for our second entrée!   The wait staff recommended Meatloaf (Php340), at first we though the wait staff was joking.  Really, meatloaf in this restaurant?  But since the wait staff looked serious we decided to look t up in the menu and saw a Meatloaf priced at Php340.  When we asked the wait staff how many slices was on order, we courteously informed that it was one very big slice. 

We thought that 340 bucks for a slice of meatloaf is a little pricey.  We wandered off it at first but ended up ordering it nevertheless.  Our curiosity got the better of us, we thought.  When the meatloaf was served, we realized the wait staff was not kidding when he said it was a very big slice!  The meatloaf did not taste nor had the texture of meatloaf at all, it had the texture of really tender steak and tasted like one too!  The mushroom gravy and the mashed potato served with the dish complement the meatloaf well.  This time our curiosity paid off.

Apartment 1B's Grilled Blue Marlin
We also tried Apartment 1B’s Grilled Blue Marlin (Php500) topped with chorizo tomato relish and was served with pesto pasta.  Like the prawns, the marlin was perfectly grilled.  It retained its freshness and tenderness and was not dry.  The chorizo tomato relish was an excellent accent to the marlin.  The pesto pasta not bad, but compared to all the dishes we sampled, it tasted ordinary.

Apartment 1B's White Toblerone Cheesecake
For dessert we tried Apartment 1B’s White Toblerone Cheesecake (Php180) served with raspberry coulis. We think the raspberry coulis was good for the presentation, but it did not add to nor complement the flavor of the cheesecake.  Still, we enjoyed the cheesecake!

Apartment 1B's Apple Crisp
We also decided to try Apartment 1B’s Apple Crisp (Php190) served with vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup.  If you like apple pie and ice cream, you’ll love this dessert.  The apple crisp was served warm and the melting vanilla ice cream complemented its taste.

Estimated cost:

A budget of Php500-Php1000 should be adequate to try some of Apartment 1B’s dishes.

To check out more of the menu, you can get it here.

Note:  Prices Inclusive of 12% VAT.  You will be charged an additional 10% for Service Charge.


7: We haven’t enjoyed a new restaurant as much as we have Apartment 1B in quite a while.  It seems that you will never go wrong with anything you order!  The wait staff are courteous and knowledgeable of the menu.  The place is cozy and comfortable.  Before leaving we were already checking out Apartment 1B’s menu for some other dishes we might be trying on our next visit!  Even though the food is a little pricey, we believe it is commensurate to the value of the dish and the experience.  A must try.

If you want to know more about French Cuisine, you may want to check this out at Amazon.com

Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange: The Original Companion for French Home Cooking
Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Welcome to Lounging Out's very own website.   We finally decided to buy our own domain!  We have to admit that linking it to the existing blog is a little difficult and may take some time to normalize, but we are quite pleased with the results!  Our next post will be about Apartment 1B: Gourmet Comfort Food, we are just finalizing the article.  We hope that we will be able to keep you coming back for more!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Manila’s Home of Contemporary Japanese Cuisine
Unit I-112 Greenbelt 5
Ayala Center, Makati City
(632) 757-5209

How to get there:
Kai Map
From EDSA going south:

1. Turn right to Ayala Avenue;

2. Turn left to Makati Avenue;

3. Turn right to Dela Rosa Street (right after Ramon Cojuangco Bldg.);

4. Turn left to Greenbelt 5 Basement Parking or turn left to Legazpi Street for Greenbelt 5 drop-off point.

First impression:

Kai's Table Setting
The place has the feel of a fine dining establishment (a little classy) but had too many of its wait staff congregating near the bar.   It looked more contemporary with hints of Japanese culture fused into the design.


Kai offers contemporary Japanese Cuisine with some American dishes and Steaks mixed into the menu.

What we had:

Kai's Maguro "Tuna" Sashimi
We were having a late dinner and while waiting for the rest of the crew, we ordered Maguro “Tuna” Sashimi - 5 slices (Php220).  The Tuna was fresh and served in an appetizing manner, in fact it was so appetizing someone ate a slice before we were able to take a picture!  But yes, they do serve 5 slices; someone was just faster than the one taking the picture!

Kai's Lychee Shake with Lime
The wait staff recommended Lychee Shake with Lime (Php80) surprisingly the shake went well with the dishes we had for the evening.  Primarily, sashimi and rolls.

Kai's Hamachi - Aji - Shake Sashimi
When the rest of the group arrived, we ordered Hamachi “Yellowtail” (Php360), Horse Mackarel “Aji” (Php180), and Salmon “Shake” (Php220) Sashimi – 5 Slices of each order.   The sashimi were really good, you can taste the freshness in every slice.  But the slices were a little thick for us.  The entire bunch would have been better served in 6 slices rather than the 5-slice order.  Then again we were only paying for 5 slices, so we really didn’t think of complaining much.

Kai's Dragon Roll
We tried Kai’s Dragon Roll (Php 240) since it sounded cool!  We were not disappointed.  The roll slices were just the right size and the combination of the ingredients mixed well with one another. And again, the group was faster than the one taking the picture!

Kai's Jumbo Prawn Tempura Roll
We saw a Jumbo Prawn Tempura Roll (Php390)  and we just had to order it as well!  We are sure glad we did.  The Tempura roll slices were a little big and almost missed the point of being bite-sized(!), but we have to say the roll tasted great.

Kai's Soft Shell Crab Roll "Spider Roll"
Our last roll for the night is a Soft Shell Crab Roll “Spider Roll” (Php330).  We loved the old presentation better than the current one, we have to say, however, that the current order offers more pieces.  Not to take anything away from the great taste, but the slices of the roll are a little too big for comfort.  We had to take two bites to finish one slice/piece.

Kai's Cha Soba
Kai's Ebi Tempura
And our only non-sashimi/roll order for the night was Kai’s Cha Soba (Php270) with Ebi Tempura - 2 pieces (Php140).  This was truly a delightful experience.   Cha Soba is cold “soba” noodles that you dip in a sauce.  The combination with the Ebi (Shrimp) Tempura added the flavor that the soba lacked.  Where else can you eat soba deliberately served cold right?

Kai's Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar
We started dessert with Kai's Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar (Php110) which was very disappointing.  This dessert was too sweet for us.  You could hardly taste the peanut butter and the chocolate has vanished due to the sweetness of the chocolate bar that made it almost tasteless.

Kai's Banana Nutella Harumaki
The Banana Nutella Harumaki (Php180) is Kai’s version of the banana split with the bananas cut into 4 small slices and rolled in a sesame filo and topped with small “tablespoon” scoops of vanilla, chocolate, caramel and strawberry ice cream.  It is slightly better than then the Chocolate bar, if you like the taste of sesame and ice cream, this one is for you.

Kai's Tofu Cheesecake
We were a little disappointed with the two desserts so we had to order our all-time favorite Tofu Cheesecake (Php180).  We know what you are thinking, how could you mix tofu and cheesecake to make it work?  Trust us, you have to taste it to believe it.  The texture is unlike any of the cheesecake you’ve tasted before.  Truly one of the best cheesecakes we’ve tasted so far.

One of us had to abstain from this one due to personal issues (ahem!) and had to suffer a disappointing dessert the rest of the night, but the rest of us had a blast.

Estimated cost:

A budget of Php400-Php1000 should be adequate to try some of Kai’s offerings.

For more of Kai's menu, you can check it out here.


5.5: We have to say the desserts, apart form the Tofu Cheesecake, were disappointing.  The wait staff congregating at the bar was an eyesore and one of the wait staff was overly eager in cleaning up our table that she took the tempura sauce away just as one of us was about to dip in it!  But overall, the wait staff were courteous, though a little lost and distracted at times.  The overall experience was good.  The food is a little pricey, but they have some great dishes.  The roll slices should be reduced and the desserts improved, but the Tofu Cheesecake is a must try.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

House of Wagyu Stone Grill

House of Wagyu
Stone Grill

5th Floor The Podium
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
(632) 635-3056

105 Mckinley Arcade
Ortigas Avenue Cor. Club Filipino Avenue
Greenhills, San Juan City
(63 2) 725-2811
(63 2) 725-7450

Why two branches in one review?

First off, we want to explain why we make a single review for two branches of the same restaurant.  For one, they are the same restaurant.  Second, we went and tried these branches less than a week apart and we thought it maybe be better to make it into just one review.  We think that two reviews of the same restaurant in one week maybe a little overboard. We hope you agree.

How to get there:

Greenhills Branch from EDSA going north:
House of Wagyu Stone Grill - Greenhills Map
1. Take the Flyover to Ortigas Avenue, San Juan just before Robinsons Galleria;

2. On Ortigas Avenue stay in the middle lane until the first traffic lights (Connecticut); and

3. After the first traffic lights, veer to the right and enter the parking lot after the second traffic lights House of Wagyu should be visible on your left side about 10 meters after the parking areas guardhouse.

The Podium Branch from EDSA going north:

House of Wagyu - The Podium Map
1. Turn right to Guadix Drive just after the SM Megamall and Asian Development Bank; and

2. Turn right to ADB Avenue; The Podium should be on your right side before reaching Doña Julia Vargas Avenue and just after the Asian Development Bank.

First impression:

The place looked expensive and classy. During our visits we usually have 2-4 tables dining with us.  So if you want privacy for an important date or meeting this place would really impress.


This restaurant offers Australian Cuisine and of course Steaks!

But before we go any further we would like to tell something about Wagyu Beef.  Wagyu beef is commonly known as “Kobe” beef because it was believed that the Wagyu Beef from Kobe were the best and consequently the most expensive.

The Wagyu Beef served in House of Wagyu Stone Grill come from Australia.  The Beef served are graded from 1-12.  The higher the grade the more fat the unsaturated fat and the more scattered the fat is on the meat.  Apparently these fats are healthy and are similar to olive oil.  For more about Wagyu Beef, you can check out this wikipedia link.

What we had:
New Zealand Baked Mussels
To start we tried the House of Wagyu's New Zealand Baked Mussels (Php295).  These Mussels really looked like they came from New Zealand... they were huge!  The presentation was great and it had that distinct taste of fresh mussels.  We thoroughly enjoyed this appetizer.

Escargot Au Reisling
We also tried the House of Wagyu's Escargot Au Reisling (Php375).   We’ve tried the ginataang kuhol in Filipino Restaurants and wanted to try how they are done in other cuisines.  Fortunately for us, the snails were served out of the shells, which made them easier to eat.  Amazingly, the butter, garlic and white wine mixed into the dish subdued the strong taste of the snails almost better than the gata usually does. 

Gambas Al Ajillo
Our “last” appetizer was Gambas Al Ajillo (Php275).  It looked really delicious, a little greasy, but the garlic bits scattered all over the dish made it look really appetizing.  The huge green pepper added the necessary color to complement the hue of the shrimps.  Even though it looked a little greasy at first, but because of the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic you’d barely think it was sautéed at all!

Fresh Four Season's Juice
We tried their Fresh Four Season’s Juice and Fresh Orange Juice.  The juices were made just after we ordered them, we could actually see the Bartender squeezing the Orange Juice and blending the fruits for the Four Seasons.  As a result, the juices tasted really good.  We don't know if the contents are the same but the glasses in House of Wagyu: Stone Grill, The Podium branch were a bit smaller compared to the glasses in the Greenhills branch.

Rancher's Cut 700 Grams [Rib-Eye with Bone] Grade 8 Wagyu Beef
Now for the main courses!  We ordered the House of Wagyu's Rancher’s Cut 700 Grams [Rib-Eye with Bone] (Php3,600).  This is actually a 400-600 grams of grade 8 Rib-Eye stuck to a 100-300 gram bone.  It also comes with 2 single Caesar’s Salad, 2 Soup(s) of the Day (Mushroom Soup) and 2 Desserts (Vanilla Ice Cream).

Rib Eye 350 grams [for two] Grade 6 Wagyu Beef
We also ordered Rib Eye 350 grams [for two] Grade 6 (Php2,295). This comes with 2 Soup(s) of the Day (Mushroom Soup).

Premium Rib Eye 220 grams Grade 8 Wagyu Beef
 Our third Entrée is a Premium Rib Eye 220 grams Grade 8 (Php2,395).  This comes with a Soup of the Day (Mushroom Soup).

The soups and salads were served inbetween the appetizers and the Entrée.  All steaks come with Mixed vegetables and a choice of Mashed Potato, Plain Rice and Garlic Rice.  We all chose Mashed Potato.

How the Wagyu beef were served:

 A very hot stone grill was placed on our table before the Beef was placed on it.  The wait staff informed us that she will turn over the beef once, and after that we can proceed with the dining experience.  The wait staff were educated about Wagyu Beef and did not wait for a manager to answer our queries about the beef.
House of Wagyu: Stone Grill
We were advised to slice the meet as we eat and not to cut the beef in small slices immediately as it may result in over cooking, unless of course you want your meat very well done. 

House of Wagyu: Stone Grill Small Slices
You may request for a replacement stone grill if the stone grill has cooled down.  You may also request for a resting plate if you believe the stone grill is too hot and will over cook the meat according to your taste.   Of course, if you wish, you may ask that the steak be cooked/grilled by the restaurant's chef.  But cooking it yourself allows you to play chef! 

Mashed Potato and Vegetables
We have to say that these were some of the best steaks we’ve had!  No gravy needed.  The meat was very tender and juicy.  Even the steak knives cut through the meat like heated metal on butter, well it's a little exaggerated but you get the gist!  It lets you experience that melt in your mouth sensation.  It truly is an amazing dining experience.  

Flourless Chocolate Cake ala Mode: Cold Stone Grill
 We were quite full after the meal, but we had to try one of their desserts, so we had the House of Wagyu’s Flourless Chocolate Cake (Php225).  The Flourless Chocolate Cake was served with Vanilla Ice cream on a COLD STONE GRILL (freezing cold!).  The presentation was superb, the cold stone grill kept the Vanilla Ice Cream from melting.  But we have to say that texture and the taste of the Flourless Chocolate Cake was a disappointment.  Then, again, we were here for the steaks not the dessert right?

Estimated cost:

A budget of Php700-Php1500 should be enough to sample some of the food.  If you want to sample the Wagyu Beef however, a budget of Php1,500 (or higher) should be prepared.  You could also share the Wagyu Beef to sample a variety like we did and save some, but a word of warning, this might cause some rift or argument as to which had more beef! #LOL

Note: Prices are exclusive of VAT and Service Charge.

You can also buy uncooked Wagyu beef  from their selection.


7: You guessed it!  Despite the steep prices for the Steaks, the service and the entire experience is something you would like to try again and again, over and over… you get the picture right?  Once you try the steaks here, it’ll surely be the first thing that comes to mind when you talk to people about food for some time.  We were disappointed with desserts; then again maybe we were just too full by the time they were served.

For more about Wagyu Beef, you may want to check these out at Amazon.com

Kobe Wagyu Beef Rib-Eye Steaks - 2 x 14 oz. Steaks (Only $9.95 2nd Day Shipping!)
Greg Norman Wagyu (Kobe-Style) Steak Dinner