Don Esteban's @ Tomas Morato Quezon City

Sunday, April 18, 2010

When I arrived yesterday from the short break I had in Cavite, I saw my Mom and Dad not doing anything at home so I invited them out to eat at MA MON LUK a popular Chicken Noodle Soup/MAMI and Dimsum house that is quite near our place. This place was where the popular food pinoy MAMI was made. MA MON LUK was the inventor. Consequently my Grandfather built the place where this restaurant still stands in Quezon Avenue. The late Alejandro Martinez also built the first few buildings of National Bookstore.

The bad news is... when we parked the van I was excited even at the grueling stench of fish sauce smell around the restaurant. When Dad approached the counter, he asked the waiters and cashier if they would be able to accommodate us on a table. Apparently they were not really asking people to wait so they would be seated, it was every man for himself. Then they told my Dad that they ran out of SIOPAO... now how can a Mami/Dimsum restaurant run out of Pork Buns just like that?! Hayyy... I was really disappointed. So we just stood up and rode the van again and went on a road trip around the Timog and Morato Area. We ended up in Don Esteban's Quezon inspired restaurant which is just a few blocks away from our house.I was excited since I am a fan of their cuisine, I usually make my mouth water to the sight of Pansit Habhab... the food was great don't get me wrong. The problem is, the service was so slow. How slow you say?

We got our drinks at around 7-8 minutes from the time we placed the order. This Buko Shake was mine. Mom and Dad had the normal Buko in the shell... but it wasn't cold. Mom and Dad had to improvise and put ice on it themselves.

After a good 20 minutes... I was really getting impatient.

After 30 minutes of not getting any food, I was still in the verge of getting angry the kind waitress went to us and apologized. We already drank everything we had on the table. 50 minutes we still had nothing on the table. The first one arrived, the stir fried veggies. It was something like chopsuey and it was perfectly cooked. But we had to wait an extra 20 minutes for the other dishes to arrive.

This was the Ginisang Gulay which looked and tasted like Chopsuey.
It was good though because the veggies were cooked right and crunchy.
This is their longanisang lucban, it was very very good and not too salty like the ones I tasted from that province but the price was almost 200 pesos. Too high I guess and they are not even a fine dining restaurant.

Crispy Kare Kare... It was like crispy pata on Kare Kare... it was good... I tasted real peanut on the sauce though I hope it was not just peanut butter or powder based. I couldn't tell at that time because I was thinking about the slow service too much! Almost 300 and a bit too pricey for around 5 pcs of small cut pig legs, 6 eggplant slices and around 20 bits of sitaw. Yes I counted them!

The Crispy Kare Kare was overpriced but I still ordered it. The waitress was already apologizing because they were understaffed in the kitchen. The Pansit HabHab that I had to wait for arrived an hour 10 minutes from the time I ordered. This was appalling, good thing I was cool that day and Mom and Dad were not that hungry, otherwise I could have torn that place apart with my bear hands.

The Pansit Habhab almost was perfect, they shouldn't have to cut the pansit into small bits like that. I did not also see special vinegar to go with it like in Quezon as they were claiming to be doing that theme. It was fine but the cook should have instructions not to do that on my pansit. I have to eat long strands of it!

In the end... Food was great, a mere 4 out of 5 KUMAGS. The service SUCKS bigtime though! I would not recommend you eat here today, wait for about 6 months so they would be able to perfect their system. Go to another place if you are in a hurry to eat or experienced fast food, you won't get it here. I got myself filled up with yogurt froz on our way out... on a hefty 150 price I could have settled for a pint of ice cream but its okay to eat healthy every once in a while!



chingoy, the great chef wannabe said...

laway! hahaha

lapit lang kami dito. :)

Sendo said...

sarap sarap naman ng pancit habhab na yan...ok dinner with parents ah ^^

survivormuch said...

wow I love Pancit Habhab...yumyum..:)