Sunday, October 20, 2013

First bite at Green Pastures

There's a new restaurant in the equally new East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza.  It's Green Pastures, a place that boasts of dishes with organic food ingredients.

Place: Rustic decor (barn-themed) with touches of modern (steel chairs and tables).

Food: Generally delicious.  We ordered the Duck You, Organic Mushroom Toast, Sliders, and a glass of Salted Caramel Tropical Smasher.

Duck You! (Php 185): fries fried in duck fat, topped with a mixture of confit, crispy duck skin, and chili, served with a sherry vinegar spray.  Delicious!  There's a good mixture of flavors.  All the main ingredients were well seasoned.  The duck meat was juicy and tasty.  The heat from the chopped chili added the needed kick to whet the appetite.  The sherry vinegar added a new layer of flavor and punctuation.

Organic Mushroom Toast (Php 210): sautéed mushrooms over a fresh piece of toast, with ricotta and quail eggs.  This dish was also delicious!  The woodsy and beefy flavors of the mushrooms were well-complemented by the subtle tastes of the cheese and runny egg.  The bread had the right toughness to add contrast to the soft toppings.

Sliders (Php 395): a sampling of the restaurant's three burgers: the 80/20 (80% wagyu, 20% double smoked panchetta), the Blue Ribbon Burger (grilled Kitayama wagyu), and the Vegetarian Burger That Doesn't Suck (chickpeas, mushroom, leeks, celery, and eggplant), served with Fresh Fries that come with a cumin dip.

The 80/20 Burger was OK.  The patty was moist and flavorful.  It was served with cilantro, leeks, and blue cheese.  All these other ingredients added a touch of vibrancy to the burger.  The brioche was perfectly toasted and buttered.

The Blue Ribbon Burger was a winner.  The wagyu patty was so moist and tender that it melted in our mouths.  And it was so delicious that it just needed to be between slices of buttered bread, with no other help from other ingredients.  It's a must-eat.

The Vegetarian Burger That Doesn't Suck was O-K; it's not bad, but it wasn't great either.  We had no problems with the taste; it wasn't weird or bland.  We just found the texture weird: charred and hard on the outside, then smooth on the inside.  Weird.  It was served with tomato, lettuce, and fried battered okra.

The Fresh Fries were perfectly fried and dusted with cheese.  They weren't salty, compared to fast food fries.  The cumin dip had a good, deep, smoky taste.  Yummy and unique!

Lastly, the Salted Caramel Tropical Smasher (Php 245): a creamy smoothie made with salted caramel, mango, pineapple, and banana.  DELICIOUS.  Very pronounced fruity taste tempered by the salty caramel.  No one ingredient was overpowering anything.  And the smoothie was not muted by ice.  It's a refreshing must-drink.

Price: Food is pricey.  Well, organic food doesn't come cheap.

Service: It needs improvement.  We were seated outside the main restaurant and it was difficult to get some service for there were no waiters around.  We even brought our bill to the cashier because no one was around to get it.  To be fair, the waiters were friendly and courteous.             

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