Cycle 5 – Item 13
18 (Sat) January 2014
Elephant Clams Sautéed in Black Beans and Chili
at Mesa Grill
-Ayala Center, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines-
Greenbelt is a shopping mall. Located in the Makati, one of Metro Manila’s most exclusive satellite cities. The mall comprises 5 separate buildings, Greenbelts 1 to 5, each generally organized by status (e.g., Greenbelt 3 contains ultra-high-end labels, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci). An estimated – don’t hold me to it – 300 stores, 30 service shops (e.g., hair salons, mobile centers), 100 restaurants, 50 cafés/bars, 2 multiplex cinemas, 2 supermarkets – oh, and 1 church, why not. All arranged on a sprawling complex featuring a man-made rain forest in the center, hence the name. Kind of a pain, though, because going in and out of each building requires a bag/body search, as per Manila SOP.
Several other shopping malls are located within walking distance. Never have I – and I’m from California – seen a country/city with so many shopping malls.
Mesa Grill is a Filipino restaurant. According to the signage, “Filipino Moderne.” Wide selection of seafood, meat, and poultry, including ostrich, in a variety of styles, from Philippine to Chinese/Japanese-ish. Apparently one of the most popular places in Greenbelt, packed with customers, seemingly local, more lined up to get it, while neighboring restaurants sit empty.
Laundry is a problem that I hadn’t anticipated. I’d heard that most expats send their laundry to a nearby laundromat, or request pick-up, where the clothes are washed/folded for a small fee by weight, about 200 pesos (about USD 5) for a week’s worth per person, not including towels, sheets, etc. In fact, my building has a laundromat on the premises. However, the turnaround is 4 days (or more, over the weekend), 2 days express at treble charge. As such, to get through the interim, I need an extra set of clothes, as well as towels, sheets, etc. Unfortunately, I’d only brought enough for a week at a time.
Alas, poor me, I was forced to go shopping. Although I currently reside in/above a shopping mall, Robinsons Place doesn’t have any stores that I like with clothing suitable for work – the dress code at WHO WPRO is “smart casual,” which means no ties required but dress pants and collared shirts. I checked out Zara for the first time; some of the “basics” stuff is quite wearable, though most of the “fashion” items seem designed for gigolos. And I don’t get why they sell leather – who wears leather in a tropical climate?
I found the food uninspiring.
I don’t understand the restaurant’s popularity
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN PHILIPPINES)
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