More restaurant finds

Aug 19, 2017

Maybe we've had too much business in this column lately and not enough leisure to justify the by-line, so I thought I would give a little space for some recent great discoveries. It's been a while since I wrote about an interesting new find in the restaurant row and I would like to share them here.

Our roving Business & Leisure crew found this wholesome restaurant with a sexy name in Marikina City—the name is Meat Slut, opened only in January 2017. The choice of name, according to one of the owners Chef Ryan Guanzon, was really influenced by the appeal of sexiness, but the total ambience belies the name because the place is pleasant, bright and cheery and wholesome. The owners found this old closed down restaurant in Lilac St. in Marikina and transformed it into this new- concept restaurant.

Another thing that catches your eye is their tagline: "Being vegan ain't that much fun." So that tells you that this place proudly serves meat, more specifically fine meats with excellent marbling. The owners say that they want to educate people on how technology has been helping culinary arts in recent years and their concept here in Meat Slut is precision cooking. They have sous vide steaks done well at precisely 54 degrees and one of their best sellers is the 72-hr Short Plate that is slowly cooked for that long. This one sells for P380 and is good for sharing.

Actually, all the orders here are hefty and good for sharing. There is this huge platter called Sausage Coil that is a must-try according to Chef Ryan. The coiled sausage is plump and dense and fills up a whole platter—this one sells for P320.

The focal point of the restaurant though is their torch station. Your steak order is brought here where a high-powered torch is used to caramelise the entire surface of the meat and lend it an entirely new flavour. The whole process takes only two minutes, the aroma fills the air and it never fails to excite the diners who can't wait for their freshly-torched plate of steak to be brought to their table sizzling hot.

Other best sellers here include theirCured Beef with Pickled Celery that sells for P230.00; their Shrimp, Sausages and Corn Platter that can be had for P250; and their version of kilawin, their Chillawin that sells for P230.00.

Something else is interesting here. There is a VIP room that features a bar, a pool table and a poker table that can be rented privately.

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That is for lovers of steaks and fine meat. In contrast, there is also a huge following for Pinoy street food, and that is the market that this other new restaurant find is catering to. Chef Arch's Lime is located at 160 San Rafael St., Brgy Plainview, Mandaluyong City, and they are serving popular Pinoy street food with a twist.

But first the intriguing name. B&L talked with Chef Mark Custodio, corporate Chef of this resto who graduated from de la Salle College of St. Benilde with a degree in Culinary Arts. He started his career working for a Japanese chain of restaurants in Singapore and he is now making his mark in the Philippines with Chef Arch's Lime and the other restaurants under the company. Lime, he says, has to be twisted to bring out its flavour and, like lime, the popular street food needs a little twist to make it more interesting and exciting.

Like many other restaurants, Chef Arch's Lime came about because a group of friends wanted a place where they could hang out regularly, drink, and enjoy comfort food. Their restaurant, which they opened in July 2007, is actually an ancestral home which they transformed and converted into what is now Chef Arch's Lime.

Their best sellers, of course, feature Pinoy street food. They have the Balut in Red Wine Sauce, three baluts breaded and doused with a flavorful wine sauce. Another Balut version, this time in a creamy white sauce, also features three whole baluts. We all know how Pinoys love balut especially with their drinks, and these versions have different treatments with completely opposite flavors.

The Barbecue Platter is interesting. This is a huge serving that includes chicken feet and several sticks of skewered crispy intestines, among others.

Their pizza is unique to them. For toppings, they have chunks of chicharon bulaklak and crispy intestines sitting on very creamy cheese. The ultimate Pinoy street food in a pizza.

Quail eggs are popular, easy-to-eat treats that many sidewalk vendors sell. They have transformed these plain treats into fluffy white tempura served in a cocktail glass with two dips on the side.

And last in the list of best sellers, they have the popular pork belly rolled and roasted slowly, crisp on the outside and tender and juicy in the inside. This is served with a lechon sauce or a spicy vinegar dip.

The chef's creativity is showcased in his unique treatment of old popular favorites given a flavorful twist. What is also interesting is how all the dishes are presented and plated beautifully, bringing the lowly street food to new heights. This creativity extends to their cocktails that include the popular frozen margarita and the novel Chocnut Martini.

When hunger pangs strike, try something new. Check these out.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

For comments & inquiries (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com

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About the Author

Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network's AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart's middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN's DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70's, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports' living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN's Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable's Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport's hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry's latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star's business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)