Friday, June 24, 2011

Red Crab Alimango House

What is inside the Red Crab palayok?

I'll answer the question a little later in the post.  It was Dad's 65th birthday, we decided to take Dad and Mom out for lunch to celebrate.  Red Crab in Alabang Town Center (ATC) was a family favorite, several special celebrations were held there including a wedding reception, a baptism and several birthdays.  The food was always delicious and the service always great. Sadly Red Crab's mother company decided to replace it with another one of their concept restaurant a couple of years ago.  Our Red Crab turned into Crustasia which was more of an Asian Fusion resto, dishes that our family did not fully grasp nor could appreciate.  

We have been missing Red Crab, Teody our favorite waiter in ATC informed us that it was only the Clark branch that retained the original Red Crab menu. We love our Red Crab but we did not have the will to travel all the way to Pampanga.

So when 1st Brother informed me that there was a Red Crab Alimango House in Newport Mall, I asked him to check the menu to see if they had our old favorites from the original Red Crab.  He said that menu was different but some of our favorites were back.    We were supposed to go on Father's Day but decided to just celebrate at home because of the rain and the traffic that day.  We then talked about  going last Monday, somewhat of a late Father's Day celebration, but finally decided to go on Dad's birthday.

Newport Mall

We arrived at Newport super early, as in 10:30 AM.  It was Dad, Mom and my first time in this mall.  With time to kill 1st Brother decided to show me around.  He took me to the casino, I've never been to one before. I expected it to be empty since it was early morning.  I was surprised to see that there were plenty of people playing at the different tables and machines.  Some players looked like they have been there all evening long.  They had that zombie gaze, had dark circles under their eyes, plus huge eye bags.  I just walked around for a couple of minutes, could not stay long because I could not stand the cigarette smoke.   With about 30 more minutes to kill, Mom and I decided to check out all 4 floors of the mall to window shop. And that's all we could really do because all the shops were still closed.  I would consider Newport Mall to be a boutique mall.  Seems to me that it will cater to a certain group of people. Mostly like the gamblers in the casino and the balibayans and tourists from the international airport across the road. It is not too kid friendly either, did not find any shops for kids nor an activity area a kid can enjoy. 

Sorry I digressed from the topic of food, bringing it back to Red Crab. There was about 15 minutes before the restaurant doors were to be officially opened, but we asked the staff if we could already wait inside.  Thankfully they agreed to let us in.  I looked over the menu to check if Dad's favorite chicharon bulalak was on it, yippee it was.  I am kind of worrisome of our favorite restaurants being reinvented, because of our recent Casa Marcos experience (which you can read about here Casa Marcos the Rebirth).  I did not want Dad disappointed on his birthday. So I did some research on the internet on Red Crab Newport, from what I gathered the blog reviews were quite good, a promising sign.

The Red Crab Alimango House's menu is predominantly Filipino, unlike before where it was a mixture of several different cuisines.  Mom was disappointed that here favorite Seafood Chowder was not on the menu.  After much discussions, for our soup we ordered the Sinigang na Ulang which came in a palayok (clay pot).

Sinigang na Ulang sa Burong Mangga at Tanglad
The soup was delicious, and this coming from someone who does not like broths.  I believe the combination of all the ingredients gave this soup a balanced taste.  It was not too sour, as I find most Filipino broth soups to be.  I loved the ulang, it was fresh, huge and very flavorful. 

Kinilaw Sampler
Dad loves kinilaw, and knows what good kinilaw should be.  He and 1st Brother found this sampler to be too high brow, I guess these three were striving to be "ceviche" instead of "kinilaw".  Dad found all three to be bland.  Dad says kinilaw should have that  vinegary taste, and needs to be spicy with a major kick.  He said that this sampler is no match to the kinilaw of Vibang's, our favorite neighborhood turo-turo restaurant.

Dad's all-time favorite chicharon bulaklak
Dad was very happy to be reunited with his favorite chicharon bulaklak.  For us Red Crab's version is the best.  Consistently the chicharon is crispy without being oily, flavorful without being too salty, and most importantly it never has that "panghe" taste that other bulaklaks have.  Sorry for the "panghe" term but that's the only way I could describe it.   

Adobong Hito sa Dilaw
This is something we have not had before.  1st Brother loved this dish, I am not much of a fish eater so I really can't comment much.  I've always been afraid to eat fish, I am scared that matitinik ako.  I took a small portion, it tasted ok, had kind of an adobo taste with a tumeric undertone. 
Seafood Bicol Express
This dish was yummy. I loved the rich coconut cream flavor it rendered to the seafood, though it could have used a little more heat.  There were plenty of chopped chilies in the dish but it lacked heat.  I call these "defective chilies".  I've defined them as siling labuyo that for some reason are not spicy, they did not live up to their name.
Deep-Fried Crab
Deep-Fried Crab, another one of Dad's favorite dish.  Our waiter was trying to convince us to order Crabs Maritess, which I love.  But since it was Dad's special day we had to give him his wish.  He likes his crab to be cooked simply, he then picks the meat and dips it in vinegar, that's foodie bliss for him. 

Kapeng Barako Cheesecake
I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but 1st Brother has a HUGE sweet tooth.  So we decided to order a cheesecake with a twist, the crust is made with kapeng barako.  I liked this dessert, it was not too sweet, just the right amount of sweetness, tartness and bitterness.

Overall, we were all very happy with the lunch we had.  The dishes were good and the wait staff remains to be very attentive without being intrusive. 

Love this mural
Had to take a picture of the mural inside the restaurant.  It had the lyrics of  an old Filipino children's song "Tong, Tong, Tong Pakitong Kitong" which Mom claims she has never heard of.  To which Dad, 1st  Brother and I  collectively reacted to and said  "Whaaatttt????"  How can my Mom not know this song?  I don't know, neither does she. 

I love fountains, had to take a snapshot of it
Whew this has to be my longest post ever.  But I am not quite done, so please stay with me a little bit more. 

I want to dedicate this post to my Dad.  Happy Birthday Daddy, I know we have our differences, I guess it's that way because, as Mom claims, our "ugalis" are the same, especially when we are mad.  But know this I love you very much.  I may not say it or show it often, but I do, with all of my heart and being.   Thank you for all the things that you have done to make the family happy and have a comfortable life. You have made so many sacrifices for us, that most of the time you don't think about yourself, it's always about what you can do for the family.   

We love you dearly Daddy. 

Two days in a row that I had tears while writing a post. Tissue please :) 


Mich said...

Thanks for considering my post Eileen! I'm glad you like Red Crab House :)

Anonymous said...

Nice review! We share the same insights. We celebrated my friend's bday here in Red Crab Newport Mall.

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