Sunday, September 20, 2015

Patio Elmina is Dagupan City's Newest (and PRETTIEST) Nature-themed Restaurant!

Very delicious pork sisig and rice from Patio Elmina.

Have you ever entered one restaurant in your entire lifetime that made your breath catch on your throat because-- based on what it looks outside-- you didn't expect it to look so darn rustic and charming inside? As I remember last night's dinner with my best guy friend, I smile and think to myself, "Yes, I think I just did."

Located along Jose de Venecia Avenue, Patio Elmina Grill & Restaurant is easy to ignore at first because they had no large signs at all beside the road. In fact, I only found out about the restaurant through my mom, who also knew about it from a friend.

There are cute bangus (milkfish) statues in the parking lot...

..whose eyes light up at night! So cute!

There's a bridge over koi-filled water leading to the dining area.

The two-cubicle restroom is a little dirty and mediocre, though. It would have been great if it stuck with the restaurant's theme.

Hand washing area.

There's space for a live band. Too bad there wasn't one playing the night that we dined.

Inn Asia, a motor inn, is located just behind Patio Elmina. 

They have a pool. I hope it's not just for Inn Asia's guests, though. I'd love it if diners could casually eat beside the pool while enjoying the breeze (if there's any).

Poolside dining area.

The food here are not only very commendable-- they're very affordable, too!

Pork sisig (Php180.00) and steamed rice (Php25.00 each). I understand that the restaurant's specialty is bangus sisig, but we still went with pork and were thankfully not disappointed. The sisig's portion size is a little bigger than what average restaurants serve, but when it comes to talk like this then the steamed rice takes the cake (one serving is really big)!

Kare-kareng gulay (Php165.00). Very delicious peanut sauce here-- and they even put in some pieces of beef. Thank you, Patio Elmina!

Pancit guisado (Php140.00). I want my pancit to be  wet with some sauce, but this one's a  little dry. Still, it tasted really good and has a big portion size!

Sinigang na tiyan ng bangus (Php190.00). Beware of fish bones!

Crispy kare-kare (Php220.00).

Aside from the food above, we also ordered a pitcher of iced tea (Php140.00). We saw that the diners on the table next to ours ordered ensaladang gulay (it was served in a very small porcelain dish; I know I won't be ordering this in the future), pork barbecue (skewered in bamboo; I thought these were very large), and fresh coconut juice (comes with the shell; the waiter informed me that this does not come cold).

One of the things we found convenient for us is that there were not many diners by the time we arrived (5:30 PM). People only started to pop in for dinner at around 7:00 PM and there were still a lot of seats to spare!

Upon coming home, I immediately told my family all about the dining experience and recommended the place to them and to some of my Facebook friends. Aside from the charming interior and the affordable and delicious food, the service was very exceptional! We didn't wait for too long for the food to arrive. The servers were very courteous and well-mannered, always wearing a smile on their faces. They even offered to take pictures of us, and our water glasses were always promptly refilled. It was a delight to dine while being served by them! I'm sold. I love this restaurant so much and I'm definitely coming back! Yep, I definitely am! 

**Patio Elmina Grill & Restaurant is located at Inn Asia along Jose de Venecia Avenue, Dagupan City, Pangasinan. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crazy for Japanese at Banzai! The Great Teppanyaki Theater!

The aptly-themed interior of Banzai! The Great Teppanyaki Theater at SM by the Bay.

I've always been a huge fan of everything Japanese-- from their rich culture and heritage to their kawaii stuff and anime! Japanese food is no exception. Here in the Philippines, Japanese food is not hard to find-- it's the authenticity of the dishes that every true blue Japanese food fan is having trouble locating!

That is why when I came across Banzai! in a food blog, I had second thoughts: I'd be paying a hefty sum for a Japanese buffet that could possibly not quite impress me; but on the other hand, I'd lose the right to call myself a genuine foodie if I refuse to take such risks. Eventually, I decided to finally try it out and dragged an overly-eager sibling with me.
Copyright © 2015 Travel Hard, Hannah!