MARCIANO’S NIGHT!

My holiday celebrations finally started last Saturday with a dinner I arranged with few of my college block mates. To be honest, we didn’t decide on where to eat before we met up at the mall in Makati so deciding where to eat that night was considerably spontaneous. While I was waiting for them to arrive (COS THEY WERE ALL LATE, LIKE 3 HOURS LATE… I AM NOT KIDDING) I had a couple of hours to spare to check some good places around although I really didn’t get to explore the whole area as there were a lot of people there (it’s Saturday night so you know what I mean). When nearly half of the people I expected to join for dinner arrived, I made sure to encourage them to decide where to eat already. We roamed around for a bit but ended up eating at Marciano’s at the second level of Greenbelt 3.

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Their place wasn’t too filled with people yet but by the time the rest of our bunch arrived, it was so full already that the area where we were eating had nearly no space left for walking servers. The interiors were home-y enough which my good friend and I would rate on a scale of “1 to Mary Grace home-y” at around 6 or 7.

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We ordered two 16″ pizzas for everyone to share and I ordered their Shirley Temple Truffle Mushroom Burger  for myself which was layers of bun, lettuce, tomatoes, burger patty, cheese and mushrooms (in what seemed like light coating of truffle oil), and served with potato wedges. The patty was pretty straightforward as I didn’t get any prominent spices from it which I would always prefer than “overly dressed” patties. At first, I thought the truffle oil was a little too overwhelming but trying out all the components together (LIKE HOW I SHOULD HAVE EATEN IT IN THE FIRST PLACE, I KNOW… I KNOW) mellowed it down quite a bit. The bun they used were almost similar to the dough bakers use for Ensaymada (not too familiar with it) which seemed a little unusual for me but it wasn’t much of an issue to be bothered about.

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The burger wasn’t my first choice though. I wanted to get either their Houston Porchetta or 200-gram Beef Tenderloin with Sausage which were unfortunately unavailable that time. To sway away from my frustrations, I ordered Marciano’s Spinach, Artichoke and Mushroom Dip that was served with a couple of crostini. The spinach, artichoke and mushroom as fully softened and disintegrated leaving a rather smooth texture that just fits so well with the creaminess of the sauce. Their crostini were a little staler than I’d hope and I definitely missed a little of that olive oil taste you’d normally baste the bread with when drying it off.

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We finished the crostini before the dip so I tried to slather the potato wedges that were served with my burger on the dip and boooy it worked so well together. That was as if I didn’t have enough food yet considering the pizzas (Spinach Prosciutto and Truffle Mushroom) I ate PLUS the servings of Joey Tribbiani Meat Lasagna (yes, a friend told me it’s a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reference) I got to try. The pizzas were okay and to be honest, the lasagna wasn’t too great but I totally like how they stayed true to a typical and straightforward lasagna. Besides, meat sauce, bechamel and loads of cheese are enough to drool over right?

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Closing the night out, I asked for a glass of Sangria which I ended up not finishing up. I am trying to get myself get used to wines and other liquors so I could hopefully understand them better in the future but I’m just not quite there yet.

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Over-all, the experience was great. The whole feel of their place in Greenbelt 3 wasn’t too overwhelming and the interiors surely encouraged people to stay in and get some good conversations going. The price range maybe on the expensive side specially for students with meals ranging from as low as 300.00 to as high as 1,500.00 (goes nearly the same for their drinks and liquors). I personally wouldn’t mind spending some money considering the warmth of the place which is definitely a nice haven to catch upwith friends and/or family (OR maybe romantic dates with special someone). Also, that night I got to catch-up with few of my really good friends, celebrate a rather fruitful year and had a toast for the years after. So there really wasn’t anything that could make the experience less than appropriate. What a way to kick off the holiday celebrations!
Just a tip: they have pretty decent portions for their meals. Their solo option for pasta may be more than enough for one (*coughs* my sister) so choosing the right meals to share could definitely make your experience their a little less pricey. 
Marciano's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

OKONOMIYAKI VIRGIN NO MORE!

I have to admit that I had to let my excitement to review go down a notch first before attempting to write this. I didn’t want to have my excitement affect the way I will be reviewing the first restaurant I’ll be writing about so I needed to calm myself over the last few days. Although, the last weeks have been pretty hectic I still needed to make sure that I’ll be as impartial as possible. So let’s g!

I first passed by Chibo Okonomiyaki when I hunted Uma Uma Ramen down at Maison Mall just across SMX Convention Center in Mall of Asia Complex. I didn’t bother peeking inside their place because I just had my lunch so all I did then was look at the menu and see if I’d want to get something when I come back. And I did without even looking at their entire menu (which is super big by the way). So when I had a set-up at SMX Convention Center again, I didn’t have second thoughts about eating at Chibo Okonomiyaki anymore. I went there alone and I remember being very VERY hungry!

When you first come in to their place, you’ll realize how limited the seats are in a rather dim-lighted place. It can probably fit a little more than 50 people? (I can’t be sure.) But soon you’ll notice the teppanyaki griddles they have installed on each table. When I saw the griddles my fascination escalated quickly. I am such a sucker for places where you can cook your own food. The second time I ate their, it wasn’t any different

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NEW FAVORITES

I never had any experiences with okonomiyaki before so I was very interested in trying one out during the first time I visited the place. I ended up getting their Vegetable Yakisoba, Cheese, Spinach and Asparagus Teppan, and Mattari Okonomiyaki. (Click here to check out how my day went on my daily blog for that day!)

Their Cheese, Spinach and Asparagus Teppan’s pretty straight forward. Half-cooked asparagus stems and spinach are covered with chunky tomato sauce and finished off with melted cheese on top. For sure I have had meals with tomato sauce and cheese but never over vegetables and leafy ones. But I actually enjoyed it although if you do not put it over the teppanyaki griddle you might eventually notice the cheese sitting on top of your vegetables pretty solidly so that’s not too nice.

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Serving the Vegetable Yakisoba, they put it straight on your teppanyaki griddle. But, it’s not for you to cook it. I guess they just put it there so it won’t get cold while you’re eating it. Upon your approval, they will finish it off with some bonito flakes and seaweeds which are both part of the seasonings and condiments on each table. I personally prefer having the yakisoba sit on the griddle for a few minutes so some of the noodles could be toasted a bit more (but make sure to mix it from time to time). It’s a good yakisoba, probably not the best but I love how they’re very liberal with the rest of the components of the noodle dish. I suggest you let them (or do it by yourself lol) add bonito flakes and some seaweeds on your yakisoba because it’s giving more depth to the flavor of the dish. PLUS it’s super cute when bonito flakes dance through the heat!

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And as I have said, I needed to make sure I try one of their okonomiyakis out. I ordered their Mattari Okonomiyaki which had some asparagus, cheese, mochi and pork (which I had them take out). To put this as simple as possible, I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I seriously didn’t realize before how good okonomiyakis can be (I am dreaming of tasting one from Japan soon!). The softness of the pancake with the savory sauces and the ingredients inside it is just so good. It has definitely gone down to be one of my most favorite Japanese dishes of all time!

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The second time I visited their plate, I ordered the same set but added Mushroom with Garlic Sauce and Soba Meshi. My mom said their Soba Meshi is pretty good with very good servings but comparing it to our family’s all-time favorite rice from Kamemeshi, it’s falling a bit short. Their Mushroom with Garlic Sauce is a different story though. I personally loved it even if I wasn’t too sure what species were the mushrooms they served. (Click here to check out how my day went on my daily blog for that day!)

BETTER REASONS

My mom may not have enjoyed eating there as much as I did but I still think it’s a pretty good restaurant especially if you want to stay there longer than normal. Their teppanyaki griddles would make sure your food won’t go cold while you’re having good conversations with your friends and their dim lighting makes the ambiance more relaxing compare to other Japanese restaurants.

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Their servings are relatively good and one order can possibly fill you up pretty well especially their okonomiyaki. The price may not be too cheap (possibly on a mid-level price points) but they’re not using basic ingredients so you know it’s well worth it. Of all the Japanese restaurants there are (and more coming) it’s really hard for any Japanese place to come out as strong as others but I honestly think Chibo Okonomiyaki is a pretty decent competition for others. Just as their name suggests, make sure to try out any of their okonomiyakis and let me know what you think. I cannot fully compare it because it’s the first one I’ve tried so I’ll definitely need your thoughts on this (and of course, I need to try more).

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Over-all it’s a great experience and I’ll most likely come back soon with some friends so I can try the rest of their okonomiyaki offerings!

Chibo Okonomiyaki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato