#IssaEATS: Grilla @ MOA By the Bay!
Thanks to Ross of Wazzup Pilipinas! I was invited to Grilla's food tasting event last February 3.
Grilla is found in Mall of Asia By the Bay, which isn't difficult to spot as it's near notable restaurants such as Four Seasons and Movie Stars Cafe. It's a casual Filipino restaurant with a reputation of being genuinely Filipino, from their hospitable staff to the delicious Filipino cuisine (some of them with a foreign twist to it!). They cater to just about anyone, from working professionals to students, balikbayans to foreigners, and family to friends. It's great for any group of people, as they serve plates good for sharing. They aspire to boost their clientele and make their place more family-friendly, but also open to young adults and groups of friends looking for delicious food and a fun atmosphere.
Walking into the restaurant, I was greeted by friendly staff. I took a few snaps before the food arrived at 3PM. The lighting may be a bit dark, but I like the atmosphere it sets. There are televisions for watching the latest sports games, as well as tables that truly cater for large groups. There's also an outdoor space where you can enjoy the view of Manila Bay.
Then the food tasting begun! And there was a LOT!
Tokwa't Manok: Healthier version with chicken inasal instead of pork liempo. LOVED the tenderness and marinade of the chicken. The tofu was well-cooked, without the usual crunch. I think they added a bit too much oil, but that's what makes it taste great. Kept getting more until I finished it!
Crispy Chicharong Bacon: I'm not the best judge for this as I'm not a fan of bacon (thinly sliced pork? Nah!). But I liked how crunchy it was. It's like a thinner chicharon. It's great alone or with the vinegar dip.
Crispy Fish Trio: I'm not a huge fan of fish, but I LOVED the fried hito! I love hito a LOT, actually. It was crunchy and well-breaded. Paired with vinegar, it makes for yummy bar chow.
Sisig sampler: We had pork, tuna, and chicken. I didn't like the pork as it was too fattening and mushy, while the tuna tasted bland and plain. The chicken sisig was okay, but too much egg-y taste. I would rather go for chicken over the three.
Lechong Liempo ala Cebu: Aaaaaaah, now this is right up my alley! perfectly cooked and chewy. I didn't like the skin as this was too chewy and not crispy, but I appreciated the fact that it was mostly lean meat rather than just fatty parts of the lechon. It's better with liver sauce.
Beef Kansi: Similar to sinigang, I liked how soft and tender the beef is without it being too chewy or un-swallowable. You taste the sourness of the soup without you puckering up from the taste.
Grill-a-Palayok: Not the hugest fan of this. I don't like seafood, but do like the beef. The soup was bland, but I liked the condiments, most especially the nialsing na mangga!
Pista sa Nayon: This is one of the most suit group meals I have seen, as it's only 995 PHP for all the viands and rice! It's great for three to four hungry people. The crispy pata was promising and delivered the delicious crunch I was expecting. The sinampalukang inihaw na manok was delicious, sort of like sinigang with sour soup and well-cooked chicken (like inasal). The fried okoy was addicting, crunchy with a lot of flavor. But for the seafood gising-gising, I didn't like how creamy it was, though the tahong tasted good.
As for dessert, we had halo-halo spring rolls and their dessert sampler.
Their halo-halo spring rolls were basically turon with ube ice cream. Perfectly fried, with the wrap bringing crunch while the turn was still soft and sweet. Paired with cold ube ice cream, it's a treat anyone will love.
The dessert sampler consisted of leche flan, palitaw, and suman-mangga with vanilla ice cream. I LOVED the suman-mangga, but the mangoes were a bit too sour while the suman was tough to chew. The leche flan had the perfect creaminess. It had the right amount of firmness to it with the consistency that made me keep eating it, LOL. As for the palitaw, I didn't appreciate its soup coconut sauce that wasn't sweet (or coconut-y), nor did I like the toughness of the palitaw.
My late lunch in Grilla was a great one. I loved it to the point I went there with my family the next day for them to try their Crispy Pata! :p They still had the same quick and friendly service, and the same delicious food. So will I come back again? For that cheat day in MOA, definitely! Thanks for the yummy experience, Grilla! <3