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Cookbook Kitchen, Mandaluyong

After a roadtrip to Zambales which was cut short due to the inclement weather (that is obviously a topic for a separate post), we got into Manila fairly early. Despite being full from a day of eating, we were game for Dinner. While on EDSA in the Munoz area, I asked for suggestions as to where to eat.

The first suggestion was to go to a favorite of mine, which I had not gone to in a while, called Lime 88 in Mandaluyong. After a few min, Jasper suggested that we try another “secret hole in the wall” called Cookbook Kitchen… also in Mandaluyong. We decided to proceed to this new place… Lime 88 then became our backup.

I will apologize now that I have no decent photos of the place. I brought down my little Cybershot… then at the time it was needed, it shut down from lack of power. So I took a few shots with my camera’s phone instead. An extensive photo collection of dishes can be seen at their Multiply site at http://cookbookkitchen.multiply.com/ (from which I will be blatantly referencing photos from)

Finding the place and parking

I am not one for directions around this part of the Mandaluyong/San Juan area. Jasper did the navigating and I probably will not be able to find this place on my own. Luckily their website has a map for you http://cookbookkitchen.multiply.com/photos/album/15/HOW_TO_GET_THERE

That said… it is one of those small streets in Mandaluyong. The actual building had parking probably for around 4 cars at most. Luckily, the place had a very helpful manong guard who quickly assisted us in finding parking 2 houses down.


View Cookbook Kitchen, Mandaluyong in a larger map

The place itself.

The main dining area is small. Apparently they extended an area outside, and I could se another indoor area which wasn’t lit… but had tables and chairs. Both of those areas were not occupied and hence, no activity. Though the place implies that it had more seating than the main dining area.

We went through the doors, and after asking for a table for 4, we were brought to a corner table. There were two long tables already occupied… could have been a family get or barkada gathering. So they were occupying what seemed like smaller tables. Assuming what they were occupying constitutes 4 smaller tables, I counted another 5 tables seating 2 or 4 people.

All in all it was a pretty small and cramped place. So cramped that if people were all seated, one would have a difficult time moving around, say to the restroom.

That said, after the long drive we did have to go and relieve ourselves.  One needs to go through a door where you pass a room which looks like either a Kitchen or a plate washing area…  didn’t peak through its small saloon-style swinging doors… but I am bothered that I could into its tiled interior.

The men’s room didn’t have a latch where you could lock the door. Well, it had a latch, but nothing to oppose it on the other side. Hence if someone did try to enter, there would be the embarrassing exchange of… “Occupied!” “Sorry!” So minus points for the lavatory.

As far as the decor of the place. The place had an orange motif and was painted a nice subtle shade of orange. The rest of the place was accented with dark lacquered wood. Other than that I didn’t notice any predominant decor.

By way of placemats, we had what resembled a thick A4 paper. Sorry… I notice these things.

The Menu

The menu is interesting to say the least. It had a lot of interesting dish names which shout out due to their being different. For example, I almost went for the Adobo Pasta as the name intrigued me. But I then settled for the Wasabi Soy Fish because I love wasabi and I was ready to get the wasabi nose rush (you know what I mean).

All in all, I ordered the following:

Cream of Squash Soup
Cream of Squash Soup

Photo from http://cookbookkitchen.multiply.com/photos/album/6/SOUP#9.JPG

Wasabi Soy Fish

Wasabi Soy Fish

Taken from my phone’s camera. Pardon the blur, Those light green streaks are the Wasabi sauce

Red Iced TeaIced Tea

Photo taken from http://cookbookkitchen.multiply.com/photos/album/13/BEVERAGE#6.JPG

We all ordered the Red Iced Tea. Apparently if you want bottomless, they convert a single order for 2x the price, meaning you get ROI after the second glass. Since I usually drink a lot, sulit for me at 4 glasses.

And for dessert, the four us shared two slices of this…

Kittin’s Scarlet Cake

Kittin's Scarlet Cake

Photo taken from
http://cookbookkitchen.multiply.com/photos/album/8/DESSERT#16.JPG

When we ordered this, we were told it was out of stock as it was consumed during lunch time and they were still waiting for a delivery. As we were enjoying our meals, we were informed that there was a delivery… so we ordered two slices.

Jonathan ordered another fish dish… the White Fish with Lemon Parsley Sauce while Patrick ordered some fish pasta, Frutti Di Mare (No pics available)

Anyway, commentaries of the food.

The Pumpkin Soup was nice. It was good. typical, but didn’t jump out. It was what I expected. Honest-to-goodness Pumpkin Soup.

The fish. To be fair, my Wasabi Soy Fish tasted good. It had a subtle sweet taste. It was very tender and nicely seasoned. The Wasabi sauce was nice, but I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I was expecting more of a Wasabi kick. Rather the wasabi taste was quite mild. But again the fish was good.

As for the Scarlet Cake… it was good. Not too sweet. I wasn’t sure what it was going for. Strawberry cake? It was red. A friend said its like their version of a Chocolate Cake. Anyway… it tasted good, but again, I couldn’t make out what taste it was going for. Apparently it was the restos best seller dessert.

Had a taste of Jonathan’s fish. It was good with a tangy lemon taste, but had an odd bitter after taste.

The winner of the evening was Jasper’s order: Parmesan Crusted White Fish.

Parmesan Crus<br />
ted White Fish

Photo taken from:
http://cookbookkitchen.multiply.com/photos/album/9/FISH_DISHES#2.JPG

Ok… it was GOOD! It was DELICIOUS! Luckily Jasper got full early so, sayang naman, I sacrificed and finished the dish for him.

It was creamy with oodles of butter. I wouldn’t say it was a healthy dish, but who cares. Definitely… I you ever get to the resto, you must order this as your first dish!

I will order this the next time I go back… and I will not share.

Prices

The place isn’t cheap. But I wouldn’t say its expensive. The prices are quite reasonable for a quaint little restaurant of its nature. However, compared to other restos, the price  range is on the upper end.

Roadtrip%20to%20Subic%20081

Great meal! (Me, Patrick, Jasper, Jonathan)

Overall impression

I would go back. And I wouldn’t be embarrassed to bring friends along and recommend the food.

I am set a back by the ambiance and the tight quarters of the place. It’s not a place I would recommend for a quite intimate meal. And depending on your fellow diners, you might be able to hear everyone else’s conversation. Just pray the group on the other table isn’t rowdy.

Finally, finding the place is a challenge. The place could use some signs on opposite ends of the street. As I said earlier parking could be a challenge. Remember that big group I mentioned earlier? All their cars took up the little parking in front of the place. If you plan to bring a group there, I recommend you all ride in one vehicle, then print out the map so you won’t get lost.

If asked if I prefer Cookbook Kitchen to Lime 88. My vote still goes to Lime 88.

Contact Information:

Cookbook Kitchen, Mandaluyong
8 Socorro Fernandez Street corner Luna Mendas Street.
Mandaluyong CIty, Metro Manila
Tel: 724-3595 / 381-5935

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