#ISSAEats: After All @ SM Jazz Mall!
If there's one place I haven't truly conquered (YET!), it would be Makati. Sure, there's Glorietta and Century City Mall, but since the place is huge and filled with a LOT of places to see, it's also difficult for me to move around!
But last Saturday night, I got a chance. And that chance was in After All at SM Jazz Mall. And based on that crispy pata, I have NO regrets (maybe a little bit for my waistline!).
After All started off with eight friends of AIM batch 1974. And as they started to rekindle friendships with former classmates, they became a group of 22 with an idea of putting up a clubhouse to hang out in!
After creating the details and chipping in for the investment, they opened up in SM Jazz Mall (One of the owners actually lives nearby and heard about its opening, so After All replaced Slappy Cakes!).
Originally starting off as a clubhouse, they changed it to a resto-bar where they won't only serve good drinks, but a variety of food that would go with either a nice sit-down dinner or pica-pica.
When I entered After All, I liked the warm interior. It's homey and sets off a welcoming ambiance, whether you're having lunch with your family or a night out with friends.
I'll start off with the food. The menu is jumbled up with a variety of dishes from different cuisines. These recipes were suggested by all the investors, which is why you have a bit of everything!
For starters, we had the Spanish Beef Kaldereta (330 PHP). It tastes just the way my family makes it, though the meat is a bit tough. I did like the tenderness of the potatoes and carrots.
Next off was their Bellissimo Buffalo Wings (180 PHP). I LOVED this dish. While I'm not usually a fan of buffalo wings, I liked the fact that it wasn't overloaded with breading and topped off with sauce. The sauce itself had a sweet yet tart flavor to it I like. It isn't spicy, making it ideal for children and adults alike.
Next up was the Deep-Fred Crispy Pata (700 PHP). A right balance of both fat and lean meat. Melt in your mouth goodness with the fat, crispy and crunchy skin. The meat, again, was a bit too tough, but I'm just after the fat and skin anyway. When paired with the vinegar sauce, it's almost perfect. And sinful.
Their Romanian Deviled Squid (180 PHP) was well-cooked, but with a not-so-memorable taste. I do like the fact it wasn't too chewy. It felt like a "cool down" from the indulgent crispy pata!
The Seafood Teppanyaki (390 PHP) was more up my alley, though I was only a fan of the salmon (you can probably sense I love fat, LOL). It tasted similar to the squid, though with more flavor with the mix of seafood.
The Saikoro Steak Skewers (280 PHP) was one of my favorites! The wagyu beef was perfect. When you take a bite of it, you can taste the rich and bold taste. Juicy and as if you were eating a slightly firm piece of butter with the meaty flavors (no, not a bad thing). It has yasai itame on the side and was both sweet and salty. Jut like the wagyu, the vegetables were soft and easy to eat, pairing well together.
Next up was the Prawn Tempura Melange (390 PHP)! I can't really comment much on its taste. While crunchy, it seemed like it had more breading and bland sauce. I would recommend either more seasoning or less breading (maybe both?).
And for the last viand, their Crunchy Pork Sisig (280 PHP)! When you see the egg drop and watch it sizzle, it's as if you were listening to the sweetest tunes. Crunchy and salty, it was exactly what you want with sisig. Pair it with rice. Not just because Filipinos ALWAYS have rice, but because you'll want something to lessen its saltiness, or to add vinegar or more calamansi. A bit too oily for my taste, but an indulgent dish I'd come back to.
We had a chocolate cake with a small syringe of Jack Daniel's, and another chocolate cake (with cream cheese frosting this time) with a tiny bit of Bailey's.
I preferred the cream cheese frosting (because I love me some cream cheese frosting). The tiny amount of Bailey's is still distinct, but sweeter than the cake with Jack Daniel's. It's an interesting addition to one of my favorite desserts. The cake itself had the right balance of flavors- Not too sweet or heavy. But knowing me, I love all things sweet!
They have a band every night starting at around 8:30PM for those who want to hang out after hours! (Last orders are at 11PM but they're open til midnight). So what's better than cocktails to pair with good music?
I had three cocktails (and surprisingly, managed to stay sober LOL):
Banana Collada (Rum) 170 PHP - Instead of the usual pina, it's similar to a banana smoothie with a hint of alcohol. My favorite one from the bunch, as it's sweeter and reminded me of an adult fruit shake.
Buko Melon Freeze (Gin) 150 PHP - This would be my second favorite, as it's sweet and had the fun slushy consistency, It's a bit stronger (and more bitter) though!
Honeydew Mojito (Run) 170 PHP- I do like my mojitos, though I'm not a huge fan of minty flavors. This IS good as it has honeydew, but I rate it a 7 (but look at that photo!).
My experience in After All was VERY fun and indulgent. I LOVE crispy pata and sisig, and when pairing it with drinks and a lot of cake, my tummy is full and satisfied. You'll see me again for the drinks and music!