Showing posts with label American Restaurant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Restaurant. Show all posts

Monday, November 19, 2018

Rackshack Restaurant: The Hippier Brother of Racks

November 19, 2018 0
With former University colleagues

Rackshack's owner, Chukri Prieto,  once revealed that this rib joint is pretty much the cooler younger brother of Racks, a popular house of ribs and smoked meat in the metro that's dominantly western. As smoke houses practically mushroomed in the metropolis for the past years, Rackshack wants to be different.



It is still practically a smoked meat house with a traditional ranch-theme dining just like Racks, but this hippier younger brother, is a little trendy and playful and relaxed. Its signature dining feature, and probably what makes them set apart from other rib joints, is its variety of sauces from different gournet influences.

I am not really into meat, and rib is not my thing, but I appreciated the savory taste of the dishes I tried at Rackshack. It also has a generous serving. Their fried chicken rocks! Flavorful and tasty.

Rackshack platter

Rackshack pride itself as a rib house that let diners choose their own barbeque sauce that is so ridiculously good! Their sauce varieties have distinct flavors, from sweet, spicy, chili hot and tangy. Diners can have their smoked meat and decide what sauce goes along with it.

Varieties of sauce in dark bottles are placed on each table. And each sauce has its own attitude. The mother sauce, Rackshack's most popular house blend, is a little sweet and can be mixed with other sauces. Hoisin sauce, a spike of an Asian flavor is a good partner of mother sauce. Carolina and Kansas sauces have western influences, thick and tangy, both have similarities to ranch sauce flavors.

I got a chance to mix my own sauce during our lunch. The mother sauce with Hoisin sounded like a perfect combination, spicy with a tad of sweetness. It was a good compliment to spice up the ribs and the pulled pork. Carolina sauce, which has a taste of a mustard delight, is a perfect blend for fried chicken.

Ranch style food

The menu offers a different set of meals for individual and group, a la carte and a groupie platter. They also have desserts and appetizers like nachos, cheesy fries and corn.


During our visit at Rackshack in SM Aura, we chose the groupie platter, it's good for 6 persons, and more like a budget meal. It has smoked ribs, pulled pork, Texas hot links, rice and a bowl of tasty fried chicken, that's so mouthwatering!


Crispy outside and tender inside, the fried chicken is Racks popular offering that has reinvented at Rackshank with some sort of delightful flavors. We also tried the chili cheesy fries as appetizer and Brownie S'mores as dessert. For my drinks, I chose a glass of cucumber lemonade. Indeed, we had a Ridiculously Good lunch!

Smoked ribs, Texas hot links and pulled pork. A ranch-style theme

But what really amazed me at Rackshack more than its signature sauces, good dishes and relaxing ambiance, is the customer service. It was so cool! I like the way the lady crew, Ren, accommodated us. Very attentive, courteous and solicitous. She made sure we had a good experience. She kept asking if we still need something or if we like the dishes.

Personally, one of reasons why I would make a repeat visit in a restaurant is the customer service, there's nothing more pleasing in a dining place than having an attentive food crew catering your needs. It adds value to the service of the restaurant. At Rackshack SM Aura, that excellent customer service can be evidently felt.

Rackshack in SM Aura

Overall, Rackshack is a good dining place for people who love meat and want to have their own choice of sauce to go with the smoked dishes. The mother sauce, can practically go with any smoked meat. It tastes good and even better when mixed with other sauce concoctions like Hoisin or Kansas.

Rackshank is distinctively western but has a filipino twist on its dishes. It also introduces flavors that can be identified with other culture. The nachos and cheesy fries are thoroughly Mexican influences.

Rackshack has a couple of branches in the metro. The one we visited is the SM Aura branch in BGC. It is located at the 5the level of mall, facing the garden. It opens at 10:00 in the morning and closes at 10:00 in the evening.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Perfect Steak at Torch Restaurant

July 30, 2017 0
I rarely eat meat.
Though I appreciated beef, consuming it with gusto is hardly a desire. I am a typical Asian with a taste bud that is so very oriental. Japanese and Chinese, with a little bit of Korean and Cantonese cuisines, often ruled my dining desires. But when we dropped by at Torch restaurant one fine Saturday afternoon, I momentarily discarded my oriental food hankering to try something new.
This swanky restaurant in Trinoma offers a wide array of continental dishes where everyone’s cravings for high quality international cuisine is gratified. There’s a unique set of fare for everyone. People who prefer oriental fare, a delectable selection of sushi rolls is available. While diners who love a fusion of hearty westernized dishes, succulent steak, baby back ribs, beef belly are both on board.
While checking the menu I could not decide which one to choose. Everything looked delish. So Jeff suggested something that we’ve been talking for months. Steak. Oh steak! My reaction, however, was not something for the book. It was more of a pinch of delight bordering curiosity because we’ve been planning to do some steak hopping for the past months.

US Angus Tenderloin Salpicao Medallion Php579.95
We chose one of Torch’s signature dishes, U.S Angus Tenderloin Salpicao Medallion, compose of two chunks certified US angus beef wrapped in bacon, served with sautéed carrots and French beans on the siding. This meal has a choice of either garlic parsley rice or mashed potato. Jeff is never into mashed potato, and I don’t like potato either when taking the main course. So we picked the safest choice, Rice.
I’ve never ordered a steak in a restaurant before so naturally I have no idea how I would like it to be prepared! I let Jeff decide and he chose medium-rare. And I was like “Oh God! Bloody stuff!”. Though still anxious how my appetite would react if I could see patches of blood in a piece of meat, my eyes popped in wonder when the order was finally laid on our table.
My reaction was not attributed to the two slices of steak placed atop. but on how it was presented. It was served in a double-decker marble tile with a heater (look like a bunsen burner) below. Stylish! The heater cooked the meat gradually. And it was even tastier when the infused bacon sizzled. Luscious!
I already heard this medium-rare sort of thing. But I have never actually tried it. So when I took a few bites, it felt like “okay, this is the stuff that some hearty steak lovers raved about”. The taste was fairly good. I did not faint. Haha! In fact, it was absolutely delightful. Something I would want to try again. 
So what’s this medium-rare thing?
Medium-rare is where meat is still pinkish with some blood coming out from the surface. It sounded gore because of those patches of blood. But some food experts, especially those who adored steak, vouched that medium-rare is the best way to  cook a steak. Temperature is perfect! The exterior is not too crisp nor too dry, and the core remains soft and tasty without the gummy feel. Because the meat is still tender, succulent juices of the flesh flow over, blending on the infused herbs and spices which made the taste really incredibly flavorful. So the next time you're on a dinner and order a steak, always choose medium-rare and never well-done.
So how was my first medium-rare steak experience?
It was impeccably satisfying. The gross feel of blood and the nasty smell of a pinkish meat seemed just only misconceptions. In fact, it was really savory. The exterior still very tender but never gummy. And because there was a flame beneath the marble tile heating the meat, the flesh was thoroughly cooked, blending on the savory tang of the sizzling bacon. Oh man, perfect!
But here’s the cliché. If you don’t like your precious medium-rare steak to be thoroughly transformed into well-done (especially if you detested a well-done steak), request the staff to put off the flame.  They will be gladly obliged.



Smoked Jabanero Glazed Salmon Php435.95

We tried another best-seller, the Smoked Jabanero Glazed Salmon, served with unagi sauce, mango salsa and a cup of rice topped with parsley. Yum!. I have no idea what’s Jabanero by the way. Jeff told me it’s a piquant spice of some sort with a very sharp tone. I cringed, of course. So he requested the lady crew to separate the Jabanero, and reduce the spicy strength.
Salmon always tastes great and at Torch, this fish variety even tasted superb! The medium strength of the Jabanero spice helped balance the creamy taste of the flesh. Though the salsa was a little revolting, I enjoyed the dip which I mistakenly thought, a whipped cream. Good thing I did not scoff it all! One great advice I could give to diners who don't like extra hot dishes, when at Torch and you order this meal (which I would really recommend), always ask the lady crew to separate the Jabanero sauce and never glaze it on salmon. The hot tad might spoil your appetite, but for people who love spicy meals, go with this potion without changing the attitude of the recipe!




Earth-toned with a soft lighting interior makes Torch in Trinoma a cool place to loosen up over good food and smooth conversation
We had a great dinner experience at Torch. Indeed, an excellent place to feast on eastern and western food. Plus a cozy atmosphere! Torch in Trinoma has an earthly warm-toned interior with a delicate lighting which provides a relaxing ambiance to diners. And its location on the second level of the mall facing the garden and water fountain made it even a cool place to unwind after a tiring week.
It’s a fine dining resto and with a menu that is so continental in nature, expect a pricey selection. But it’s worth the value of your money. Food choices are really sumptuous and gratifying! Flavorful and on high quality. No single cent is wasted. So there's nothing to fret. 

I heard their sushi rolls rock! I love to go back there sometimes and try the oriental recipes. 

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