Yesterday, the 1st of September, HB and I celebrated our 19th anniversary with a simple dinner at Kiss The Cook Gourmet, a quaint little restaurant along Maginhawa Street in UP Village.
We decided to go somewhere near our home for fear of what the heavy rains may bring if we ventured far. Knowing that the Maginhawa street scene is sprouting with up and coming food joints, we made a visual sweep of the various restaurants found on the street until HB made up his mind. He said that he had read good reviews about this place and that it was also featured in Mel and Joey (a local tv show). So we dared to try.
Upon entering, I immediately noticed all the wood furniture which instantly brought a homey ambiance to the place. I also took note of the Mediterranean-inspired lamps which gave a good glow to the various art pieces hung on the butter-yellow colored walls.
The menu list was impressive with French fare as the dominant theme. We were told that the owners constantly revise and update it. For starters, they had antipasti mix, mozzarella blue cheese sticks and spinach feta dumplings, among others. They offered salad, soup and pasta choices too. Their list of main courses were interesting as it ranged from pistachio-crusted chicken, grilled afghan chicken, to asian braised pork ribs.
HB chose the Pasta Bolognese. The pasta was cooked al dente and there was a generous helping of ground meat and chorizos. But we generally found it to be on the bland side. A dash of salt easily solved the problem.
I, on the other hand, ordered the Asian Braised Pork Ribs. The meat was really tender and it easily came off the bone but I found the sauce too rich that I easily got umay after a few bites.
We would have stayed longer but they ran out of beer. I would have loved to sit outside and have dessert while HB drank a couple more bottles. We couldn't understand why no staff thought about going out to the nearest grocery to get more beers. There were other guys drinking outside and they were also put off and decided to leave. While I understand that they are primarily a restaurant, there are men who enjoy good food accompanied by a few bottles. I know that my HB is one such kind. :)
While the dining experience may be considered as far from perfect as the staff were a bit on the slow side, I must still say that Kiss The Cook Gourmet has got a couple of good things going for them - the elaborate food preparation and presentation cause their dishes to be classified as gourmet and their prices are pocket-friendly. There are still other dishes on their menu that we'd like to try so we'll definitely be back!