Myron’s: Steak perfected

 

I love steak. I like it medium and seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. I like it with a side of roasted vegetables and rice or potatoes. Sauces are optional because you don’t need a sauce with a good steak.

I remember eating my first wagyu (or some kind of high grade Japanese beef) at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati years back and it was so good. Every bite was like heaven in my mouth.

Then one of the first steak houses I ever dined in was Myron’s Steak, Ribs and Seafood at Power Plant mall in Rockwell. This was 10 years ago (I think) and the steak house was pretty new then but they served good steak.

Since then, I have consumed many more steaks—bad, okay, good, great—but those two first experiences for me are the most memorable and delicious.

SB Cappuccino of mushroom soup
Cappucino of Mushroom

A little over a week ago, I was able to go back to Myron’s after many years. The restaurant has a new home, at the 6th floor of The Ascott Residences in Makati, moving from Greenbelt 5. The restaurant now serves as the property’s breakfast restaurant and they basically operate Ascott’s food and beverage (F&B) needs.

This is a big challenge for owners Ramon and Monica Eugenio considering that they started in food business at a small stall at Salcedo’s weekend market. Both experienced chefs, the couple started selling their Angus roast beef at Salcedo market in 2005. A year later, they had an opportunity to open their first restaurant at Power Plant mall. The couple partnered with friend and kitchen colleague Melanio Resuma to kick start the steak house.

SB Fusilli with grilled chicken and blue cheese
Fusilli with grilled chicken and blue cheese

After 11 years of operations, the restaurant has grown significantly and turned into a company running several restaurants including The Flying Pan, Franco’s, and Miguelito’s.

“As you can see it’s a bigger opportunity for us. I think it’s the biggest challenge for Monique and I. We started at the Saturday market and then after 10 years we were able to move from a stall in Salcedo to running the F&B department of one of the major players in Makati,” Ramon said.

One of the factors why Myron’s have lasted this long is because of a loyal following. Another is simply because they make good food.

For starters, the restaurant offers a variety of appetizers but the must tries are the caesar salad that’s freshly made beside your table and the delicious cappuccino of mushroom. It’s a mushroom soup that is creamy and foamy, giving that distinct cappuccino texture. The fresh mushroom flavors are there, not the kind you get in a can. It’s also adorably served in a coffee cup with a thin bread stick on the side.

SB Tiger prawn and US sea scallops with roasted pumpkin and scallion sauce
Tiger prawn and US sea scallops with roasted pumpkin and scallion sauce

If you’re a pasta lover, try the fusilli with grilled chicken and blue cheese. Yes, I know, blue cheese is notoriously pungent but this dish has no moldy aroma, whatsoever. It’s a surprisingly light pasta for a creamy dish and the grilled chicken complements it very well.

For people trying to stay away from carbs and want to eat “healthy,” try the tiger prawn and US sea scallops with roasted pumpkin and scallion sauce. I love seafood so this dish pleased me a lot, gastronomically speaking. The huge grilled tiger prawn has perfect charred sides and the scallops beautifully seared—both protein are very tender and well seasoned. The roasted pumpkin adds a smoky sweetness to the dish. All of the components are tied together by a creamy and delicate scallion sauce.

For the main event, Myron’s signature steak was served, called The President. It’s a US ribeye cooked medium and was served already sliced. It has a pink Himalayan salt topping and served with a side of steamed French beans. The sear was perfect and the seasoning was on point. I get why this steak is popular dish. This is best eaten with Myron’s rice, which is like fried rice but using steak drippings.

SB The President ribeye steak
‘The President’ ribeye steak

Although this was not the steak that I ate back then, it still brought back memories. Also, The President doesn’t need any sauce because it’s perfect as it is.

We ended the meal with an intricately plated chocolate cake. Ramon said that their pastry chef was formerly from Mandarin Oriental so the execution was very hotel-y. It was nice but I would have preferred the bread pudding.

The steak house is the living legacy of the man behind the name. Monica’s dad, Myron Papa is a big part of the concept when they envisioned the restaurant over a decade ago. The couple described the late stockbroker as someone who loved to entertain and feed people.

“He loved to entertain people with only the best food and wine,” recalled Monica. “When it came to get-togethers at home, he was very conscious about the quality of food being served, and very generous with the servings. You go home happy and well fed after a date with Myron.”

SB The Marianito
Marianito cocktail

This father’s day, Myron’s will celebrate with an addition to its bar menu. A new signature cocktail will be launched on June 18. Called the Marianito, it’s a classic Spanish cocktail made of vermouth, gin, campari, and angostura bitters.

Read my Manila Bulletin Lifestyle article here.

Myron’s, 6th floor The Ascott Residences, Makati City / +632 755 8898 / reservations@myronsph.com / Facebook and Instagram @myrons_ph

Is everything really big in Texas?

Okay, I didn’t ask that to a Texas Roadhouse exec when I met one during the media preview of the US restaurant last April. Why? Well, it would sound like an innuendo and that would be awkward as hell. I mean, imagine yourself asking that question to someone. Right?

Anyway, I know this post should have been published months ago but I’ve been busy. Deal with it. LOL.

22 oz bone in ribeye
22 oz. bone-in ribeye steak (P2,725)

When I was assigned to cover this event, I didn’t know about the brand, TBH. There are so many brands coming in the Philippines that even restaurants I haven’t heard of will suddenly open its doors at one of the new malls or commercial places in the metro. Some open with big fanfare while others keep it low key.

There’s actually a local restaurant named after this brand from the US. I think it changed its name now? Well, it better because the real deal is here. Texas Roadhouse is one of the big restaurant chains from South (US). Founded in 1993 by Kent Taylor in Clarksville, Indiana, it has now 425 branches in the US.

ribs
Barbecue Ribs (Half, P695; Full, P995)

The restaurant serves good ‘ol Southern food. No, it’s not Tex-Mex, as Texas Roadhouse VP for International Operations Hugh Carroll clarified—it’s authentic Southern comfort food. In fact, there’s only one dish on their menu that uses jalapeño and that’s the Rattle Snake Bites.

“It’s Southern American cuisine, no nachos, no tortillas. Sometimes, people who don’t know us think that we are Tex-Mex. Texas Roadhouse food is Southern style and comfort food,” he said.

No nachos? Bummer. But the potato skins make up for the lack of the famous Mexican chips. This appetizer is a favorite—baked potato skins topped with melted gooey American cheddar and crispy bacon bits, served with sour cream. I mean.

appetizer combo - potato skins, rattle snake bites, and buffalo wings
Combo Appetizer (P525)

Since this is an American eatery, there is steak, lots of it. Texas Roadhouse has a 6 oz., 8 oz, and 11 oz. Sirloin; 6 oz. Dallas Fillet; 10 oz. and 16 oz. Ft. Worth Ribeye; and the massive 22 oz. Bone-in Rib Eye. They use aged (21 days minimum) USDA Choice steaks. The uncooked steaks are on display when you enter the restaurant premises, giving you a peak of the amazing marbling of these premium streaks. Of course, they also have “award-winning” barbecue ribs. These are all must-tries.

Going into the Philippine market, the resto execs and Bistro Group—the local company that brought in the brand—knew that serving sizes had to be cut down to fit Filipino preferences. The restaurant, however, is not scrimping on the food because its serving size is still big, especially the Texas-sized platters. It offers a combination of different proteins, from ribs to roast chicken to beef tips to shrimp, served together over rice or mashed potato. The platters are good for four persons.

smokehouse burger
Smokehouse Burger (P475)

Since this is an American restaurant, its menu won’t be complete without buffalo wings, country-style chicken, and burgers. A must-try is the 18 oz. frozen margarita, which is refreshingly fun. Expect a menu and flavors we are already familiar with.

My Manila Bulletin Lifestyle article is here.

Texas Roadhouse is located at the 4th Floor of Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Italian or Spanish food? How about both?

“I don’t care” or “Whatever” are probably the greatest lies anybody has said when answering the most difficult question of all time: “Where do you want to eat?” In Filipino culture, it’s a case of politeness—because letting somebody choose over your own selfish desires makes you a good person, right? “Kahit ano” is a big lie! Because in reality, you want to stuff your face with greasy pizza and rich ice cream.

pizza bamberetti
Pizza Gamberetti con Rucola (Pizza with shrimps and fresh arugula)

This perpetual problem is probably the reason why most restaurants here offer a lot on the menu. Some dishes are so common it is present in most restaurants like pasta, pizza, and fried chicken, regardless of what cuisine a restaurant specializes in.

There is a new restaurant at the new Venice Grand Canal Mall the offers two cuisines Filipinos love—Italian and Spanish. Toni & Sergio Gastro Italiano promises authentic Italian and Spanish cuisines in a casual dining setting. A new concept by Rigatoni Corp., the same company behind Parmigiano Ristorante Pizzeria at Resorts World Manila, this restaurant is dedicated to the father and uncle of the company’s president Giulius Ceazar Iapino.

bisteca ala toni and sergio
Bisteca ala Toni & Sergio (Porterhouse served with risotto and creamed greens)

“My dad, Toni, had a few restaurants and pubs in Italy while Sergio, his younger brother, is a well known TV director in Italy, Spain, and Argentina. The preference to Italian and Spanish cuisines is the inspiration behind our latest venture,” Filipino-Italian Giulius says.

He also says that restaurant takes no shortcuts when it comes to the dishes. To make it as authentic as possible, most ingredients they use are imported. And of course, the owner is Italian, so he would know what’s authentic or not.

paella
Paella

The menu has more than 70 items but standout dishes include: the Five-Cheese Pizza that uses Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Scamorza cheeses; there’s also the Pizza Gamberetti con Rucola is a tomato and cheese pizza topped with shrimp and fresh arugula greens; and Pizzaiolo Burger uses a 200-gram beef patty, coleslaw, and pesto sandwiched between a pizza bun (top bun is topped with cheese and pepperoni). You should also try the creamy Italian sodas, which are fruit-flavored sodas served with whipped cream.

Read my Manila Bulletin Lifestyle article here.

Toni & Sergio Gastro Italiano is located at the ground floor of Venice Grand Canal Mall, Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, BGC, Taguig City / +63 922 7547743, +63 916 7221997, toni.sergio.ph@gmail.com

New York steak of mind

When it was announced last year that Woflgang Zwiener will open his restaurant here, a lot of foodies and steak lovers (like me) got really excited. Imagine, one of the best rated steakhouses in the US will bring its famous beef here.

So last week, when I got a text from my editor that Woflgang’s Steakhouse is hosting an exclusive preview dinner for the media, I didn’t even think twice and accepted the assignment. The invitation was short notice because the organizers informed everybody on the day of the event, which was the night before the big launch. I had another event that day, also a restaurant, so I tried my best to restrain myself from eating too much.

ws jumbo shrimp cocktail
Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail

Arriving at the Newport Mall at Resorts Word Manila, I was not able to immediately locate the restaurant. It is situated on the second floor of the mall, at The Plaza. After a few minutes, I was able to spot the steakhouse that was still covered and boarded up, which explains why it was difficult to find. The hostesses of the restaurant were the only ones outside, welcoming guests. “Where should I enter?” I asked one of them. She led me to a door on the wooden wall (covered in tarpaulin) that hides the steakhouse’s facade.

There were still construction men working on the restaurant but it was already 90 percent done. I was greeted by Marvin Agustin of SumoSam Group, the one responsible for bringing the steakhouse here. Peter Zwiener, son of Woflgang was also there to greet the guests. The setup was pretty simple, tables formed a u-shape and were fully dressed for a dinner party—white tablecloths, silver cutlery, wine glasses, and fine china.

And then Mr. Woflgang arrived. Dressed in a blue suit, white shirt, a red tie, and a wide smile, he welcomed each guest to his restaurant.

After all the guests arrived, we started dinner. I was pretty excited but who wouldn’t be anyway? We would get to try dry-aged (for an average of 28 days) USDA Prime beef steak, cooked the Woflgang’s way.

ws ribe eye
Rib Eye Steak

For starters, we had the Wofgang’s Salad, Beverly Hills Chopped Salad, Canadian Bacon slabs (I mean, b-a-c-o-n s-l-a-b-s), and the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail. The shrimp was indeed, jumbo and was served on ice and with the special cocktail sauce. I love shrimp so, I’m pretty partial about this. So good. All of these appetizers paired with a cool glass of French white wine.

After having all the shrimp and bacon I want, in comes the stars of the show. Served on huge platters, he big cuts of steak—rib eye, porterhouse, and prime rib—were cooked medium rare. Perfect crusting on the outside and perfect pink center. The steaks were perfectly seasoned and in every bite, you could taste the difference of the aged beef. For Wolfgang and Peter, they like their steaks rare and even black and blue. Personally, I prefer my steak medium rare to medium.

“As you understand the quality of the beef you are eating, you’ll understand why you want it a little a bit less cooked so you could get the true flavor and appreciate what the beef tastes like,” Peter says.

The steaks were perfectly paired with a glass of red and three sides were also served alongside the beautifully cooked meat, Creamed Spinach, German Potatoes, and Sauteed Mushrooms.

We finished the dinner with slices of pecan pie and New York’s Junior’s Cheesecake, the most famous cheesecake in New York. I’m telling you, this cheesecake is popular for a reason.

ws junior's cheesecake
Junior’s Cheesecake

The steakhouse is not all hype like most international brands coming into the country. It promises quality good food. After all, each branch ages its own meat, all USDA Prime beef, by the way. It has full control of its process from the aging to the preparation. This is expected from a restaurant that knows its steak. Mr. Wolfgang, who worked for the legendary Peter Luger’s in New York for more than 40 years prior to putting up his own steakhouse, definitely knows what he is doing.

Wolfgang’s Steakhouse is located at the second floor of Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila. For inquiries +63920 8219247 / +63995 610-361; wolfgangssteakhouseph@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/WolfgangsSteakhousePH/