I had previously noted that Tempura has closed temporarily at the Alabang Town Center. Well, after walking around a bit more I realized this wasn’t an isolated thing. Whether it’s due to down-sizing, cost cutting, or just wanting to make the restaurant more presentable, there are some big renovations going on at Town. And some of them have me very excited.

  1. Nanbantei is Coming to Town

This is the single most exciting thing for me. Nanbantei is a well-known Japanese food chain that specializes in Yakitori, or chicken on a stick. Despite focusing on the humble Yakitori, Nanbantei is quite upscale and classy and has received good reviews from people all around Asia as a premiere restaurant for great Japanese food. They are also known for there sushi and sashimi, so I am very interested in trying all of that out.

Nanbantei is found in the new food street of Alabang Town Center, where PF Chang’s and Chili’s are located. Speaking of PF Chang’s….

Who wants some Yakitori?!
Who wants some Yakitori?!

2. PF Chang’s has shrunk!

In a trend that I am starting to see in Town Center, PF Chang’s has shrunk.  It used to be two big slots of Chinese fusion dining in dark moody wooden motifs, but now it has been cut in half! That other half has been taken by Nanbantei.

Now, I am actually quite fond of PF Chang’s. Although it’s a Chinese restaurant (and I dislike Chinese food in general), their fusion approach works for me and while pricey, the cash you are plunking down goes into the finer ingredients they use, which is probably why it doesn’t taste like icky Binondo street food.  I like quite a few dishes at PF Chang’s, but I know that most people here view it with cynicism, saying it’s way too expensive for so-so taste.

Well, it shows because PF Chang’s is almost never filled out, all that space wasted, not as bad as Max Brenner’s was in Westgate, but still enough that anyone could tell that it wasn’t doing too well. So I guess management decided to cut costs and down-size.  It is currently under rennovation.

PF Chang's under Renovation. Should be back in a few months.
PF Chang’s under Renovation. Should be back in a few months.

3. Tempura is Down

As I had noted earlier, Tempura has closed shop for a few months. Just like PF Chang’s, Tempura had a lot of space, but not enough diners in it. They ran a lot of promos and sales, but I guess the clientele aside from myself just wasnt’ picking up. I blame this on people with poor taste! Come on, the food is great, the price is awesome, the value is unbelievable, what’s not to love?

Help me support Tempura please? Let’s not let it go down the way of Max Brenner.

Incidentally, I still do not know what will be taking up the spot of Tempura’s other half for now. I’ll blog about it when I find out.

Tempura is closed. For now.
Tempura is closed. For now.

4. Ramen Santouka is Here!! Yes it is!

In addition to Nanbantei, almost right beside it, will rise Santouka.  Together, Santouka and Nanbantei sandwich Boiling Seafood, which I don’t frequent because, well, I’m allergic to seafood *sigh*.  Santouka is in the previous space of the ill-fated Johnny Rocket, which by the way was frankly horrible in every aspect except for their milkshakes.

Now, Santouka is a pretty upscale Japanese restaurant with pretty premium pricing. It tastes good but not that good for the price, but I still find myself eating there whenever. I am more excited to find out if they will also be opening a small bar for Mochi Cream Cafe there, like they do in Trinoma. I hope they do, I hope they do, I hope they do.

Santouka. Where's my Mochi Cream?!
Santouka. Where’s my Mochi Cream?!

5. 8 Cuts Burger Blends

They say that 8 Cuts was the best burger joint in Manila in 2014. Well, big words there, but I like to put my money where my mouth is. Or my food where my mouth is. Actually yeah, I don’t eat money, but I’ll eat these burgers. Can’t wait to see this open, I am going to set aside a quiet afternoon for burgerous stuffing.

Yes, I made that word up. Burgerous! Burgery! Burgggerrrrr.

Let’s see how it pans out, they use some really “weird” “exotic” meat blends for these burgers. I am excited and cannot wait.

8 Cuts Burgery. Yes, it's bedazzling
8 Cuts Burgery. Yes, it’s bedazzling

 

6. Wing Stop — finally a good place for Super Wings!

One of my friends recently came back from Kapitolyo eating out at Buffalo Wild Wings. Its biggest competitor, which they say matches and even outclasses BWW, is Wing Stop.

Wing Stop claims to be the original #1 American Buffalo Wings restaurant. Well maybe, but there’s things like Starbucks which, while being the dominant player in the coffee market, really don’t have that good a cup of coffee. But hey, I digress. Let’s not get into Starbucks bashing as I love hanging out there… just not, you know, actually drinking the coffee there.

After hearing rave reviews of Buffalo Wild Wings, now I am reading about rave reviews of Wing Stop… so yes I am now raving, frothing mad and this will continue until I get me sold Wings to Stop my craving. Sorry for the bad pun.

WingStop
Number One in America they say. Don’t worry BWW, you’ll always be #1 in my heart

7. Amici is Renovating!

Amici made a big splash back when it opened, though it had some okay Italian food (and I stress “okay” and not “Great”) the price was a bit off-putting, and worse was the service. Service was usually bad, and slow, and never made my day.  But hey, they are doing pretty well!  They are closed for renovation, but not because they are down-sizing. They just seem to be… closing down for the heck of it. And they’ll be back.

Now how’s that for doing well for yourself? “Yeah, I can afford to close down and not earn for a few months. Just laze back, pay my rent, pay my employees, and pay for a face lift and construction while I’m at it, I am making a killing, this doesn’t affect my bottom line at all!”  Great to see such a vote of confidence from Amici.

They will return soon, with the same size restaurant, along with Caramia and its yummy gelato right beside, in the near future. Hopefully with more attentive waiters.

It's. It's. Closed for Renovation!
It’s. It’s. Closed for Renovation!
Amici, I am sorry to say, we won't be able to feed you for a while.
Amici, I am sorry to say, we won’t be able to feed you for a while.

 

 

Those are the changes in the food scene in Town as of this writing. What are you most excited about? Let us know your thoughts on DISQUS.

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Posted by Erwin Anciano

Erwin has been eating food for the past 30 or so years. Yes, he actually thinks that makes him an expert on all things food-related.

Website: http://emuncher.com