#FoodTrip: Chillout nights, great food and company at Alabang Town Center
MANILA, Philippines – In part one of my #FoodTrip Alabang Town Center (ATC) feature, I reviewed burger joint Size Matters, ramen place Kenji Tei and seafood (and non-seafood) haven, Boiling Seafood.
The coverage of these 3 restaurants took up most of my day. As they say, time flies when you are having fun, and I had fun, indeed. By the time I finished my interview at the 4th restaurant, the sun had already set!
So let’s call this group the “nighttime selections” because what they offered me were savory dishes that went perfectly with a glass of wine that helped me wind my long, delicious day down.
Keep in mind, though, that they’re all open for lunch, too.
HOSSEIN’S PERSIAN KEBAB: Mediterranean, Persian delight
Hossein Sohrabi, owner and head chef, opened his first Hossein’s branch 25 years ago, in a humble nook in Makati Avenue. It had 3 tables and would remind one of an “isawan,” said Arash, Hossein’s son who sat with me for this interview.
Hossein wanted to introduce kebabs to the Philippine market then. He had come to the Philippines from Iran in the 1980s to study Electrical Engineering in Mapua, and had always loved to cook because of his mom.
“His uncle was the head chef of the Shah of Iran,” said Arash. Today, his father is 57 years old, and is still working 7 days a week managing his restaurants: Hossein’s Persian Kebab, Hossein, Gilak, Shomal and Habibi.
In 2010 and 2012, Hossein’s Persian Kebab received the awards Best Specialty Restaurant and Best Mediterranean Food (respectively) from Enderun Colleges.
You can choose the spiciness of your dish: from mild to medium, spicy and Indian spicy.
My verdict: Hossein’s Persian Kebab IS authentic, from the food to the smallest detail of their interiors. They did not need to ride on the kebab fad — they were already on it 25 years ago.
Business hours: 10 am to 12 mn
Facebook: Hossein’s Persian Kebab
Contact number: 890-5928 (Makati Avenue)
SAN MIG PUB: Relaxing ambiance, delicious food
Entering San Mig Pub made me wish my friends were there with me and that I wasn’t there just to work! The vibe immediately reminded me of Glasgow and London pubs. I loved that the lights were dim. It was very, very relaxing.
San Mig Pub turns 19 years old this December, under the new ownership of Baring and Rosa Olafsson. Like any classic pub, there is endless beer, wine and spirits, and live music every night of the week (6 pm to 12 mn). The pub also doubles as a sports bar.
San Mig Pub’s tagline is “Your home away from home,” and at my visit, it rang true. The place is homey, and one can enjoy a great bottle of beer with or without company.
Wednesday is Ladies’ Night. All female guests get 50% off on cocktails. 5 visits to San Mig Pub entails a guest to a VVIP card that is loaded with perks. Check out their Sunday Roast Buffet, from 11 am to 3 pm, at only P395 per guest.
Business hours: Monday to Thursday and Sunday, 11 am to 12 mn. Friday to Saturday, 11 am to 2 am.
Facebook: San Mig Pub
Contact numbers: 842-0776 / 807-3595 / 0928-5009631
PF CHANG’S: Eastern and western fusion
PF Chang’s opened in Tucson, Arizona in 1993. It is owned by Philip Chang and Philip Flaming. As of 2010, PF Chang’s had 104 branches in the US, and franchises in Chile, Argentina, Dubai, Kuwait, Singapore and Korea.
The first PF Chang’s branch in the Philippines opened in January 2012 at ATC. The second branch is in Bonifacio High Street, and the 3rd branch in Shangri-La Mall East Wing.
The Philippine management trained for 6 month in the US at the PF Chang’s headquarters. It was followed by a visit from 30 members of the US team, who trained the Filipino staff for a month — from culinary practices to hospitality, to commissary management.
Everything you experience in PF Chang’s in the Philippines passed the US standards, and all ingredients are still sourced abroad for size and quality control (the US office is very strict when it comes to production).
Because of the grand exteriors, interiors and the fact that it is a franchise of a US dining giant, many have the impression that dining at PF Chang’s is costly. On the contrary, a dish for two may only cost P500.
Their ongoing promos include “4 for the Road” where 4 bottles of beer and an appetizer of choice only costs P365, and “Feast for 4” where an entire meal for 4 people only costs P998.
Business hours: Monday to Thursday and Sunday, 11 am to 11 pm. Friday to Saturday, 11 am to 1 am.
Facebook: PF Chang’s Philippines
Contact numbers: 869-7837 and 869-9776 / Delivery: 212-1212
Read our other #FoodTrip stories:
- #FoodTrip: High dining at SM Aura Sky Park
- #FoodTrip:Regional cuisine at Northern Food Festival
- #FoodTrip: A feast of flavors in TriNoma
- #FoodTrip: Oriental fare, Filipino flair
- #FoodTrip: Magnificent noodle mania
- #FoodTrip: Sweet tooth treats
- #FoodTrip: Moveable feast at BGC Eats
- #FoodTrip: Variety, affordability at Market! Market!
- #FoodTrip: Flavor Fusion at Edsa Central
- #FoodTrip: Food Truck Park at Capitol Commons
- #FoodTrip: A matter of taste at Greenbelt 5
- #FoodTrip: Burgers, ramen, seafood galore at Alabang Town Center
Kai Magsanoc is the former editor of Rappler's Life and Style section. She is back to freelancing, covering lifestyle events for Rappler, and styling campaigns for her retail clients. Kai is a hands-on mom and a happy wifey. She loves travel, theater and meditation. Follow her live event updates on Twitter at @KaiMagsanoc. Watch out for her blog, Coffee with Kai, coming this December.