Five food establishments from the Bistro Group have added much needed dining action in the fresh-looking East Wing of the Estancia Mall in Capital Commons, Pasig. There are the two Manila favorites who’s been in the country for more than two decades: Italianni’s, home to comfort Italian-style dishes and everyone’s favorite Spinach Artichoke Formaggio; and TGI Fridays (located across the street at The Royalton), the casual dining place that serves American dining staples, from burgers to sandwiches and steaks (Did you know it started in New York in 1965 and is one of America’s early singles bars?).
On opening day, we finally got to try Denny’s, the famous coffee shop chain with roots in Lakeside, California, and which likes to call itself “America’s diner.” It was brunch time so we ordered the Meaty Feast which is a big plate (it should be, it’s P1,495) good for two people. It has two pieces of chicharon-crispy breaded pork belly thin enough you can tear it apart with your bare hands; tender, sweet and juicy chicken teriyaki; a couple of bacon and cheese sausages; and three eggs sunny side up. It comes with two separate plates of really good, perfectly seasoned garlic fried rice. Suffice to say we enjoyed this one, although we’re not big fans of the sausages. And because it was a hot day, we ordered a refreshing mango cooler to go with it, which was a great choice.
Next we hopped onto Texas Roadhouse, a family restaurant with roots in Clarksville, Indiana, famous for its steaks and freshly baked bread. It’s soft, buttery buns (like a refined pandesal) gave us a warm welcome, and from its famous hand-cut steaks, we were quite pleased with our flavorful well-done ribeye. We were also treated to the staff busting some moves to the tune of Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” and Put3Ska’s “Manila Girl.”
We were already too full to try out selections from the popular Randy’s Donuts from L.A., known for its “fluffier, airier and ginormous donuts!” But anyone who wants a quick sweet bite and a snazzy Instagram backdrop will find the Randy’s at Estancia Mall a nice place to visit. We’ve heard a few good things about the Chinese fare at Modern Shang but unfortunately the branch here has yet to open.