On my previous blog post, I told you that we headed to a second restaurant for another round of main courses. Who would’ve thought that the swanky Gaucho was going to be part of that tour? With its slightly intimidating facade and unique menu items, it was a place my curious family and I were planning to try in the near future. The tour presented the perfect opportunity for me to take a look inside before bringing them there.
A lot of people get excited when they hear that Gaucho is part of the food tour and it’s not really hard to understand why. Located at the third floor of Robinson’s Magnolia’s al fresco area, this Argentinean restaurant boasts of elegant interiors perfect for people looking for a place to kick back and relax. It also felt like an ideal place for an intimate dinner with loved ones.
Another unique feature of this restaurant is their tango nights, which is held every Tuesday. Their main dining area, with its checkered tiles, transforms into a dance floor for those fond of the sexy dance.
Argentinean cuisine isn’t as popular as other cuisines here are just yet, but I think the interest for it is starting to grow. Their cooking style is called “a la Cruz” and is mostly focused on roasted meat.
Because they love roasting their meat, one of the most eye-catching features of the restaurant is their roasting pit. It’s visible from the dining area and is situated next to their small prep counter. The suckling pig gets cooked here for several hours before being served to hungry diners.
During our dinner, we were served three types of meat: Falda a la Cruz (US Beef shortplate, photo above), Cochino a la Cruz (suckling pig) and Cordero Entero a la Cruz (Australian lamb). Since I don’t eat beef, I respectfully declined the Falda a la Cruz and went straight to the lamb. It wasn’t as tender as I expected it to be, but was still enjoyable nonetheless.
The Cochino a la Cruz is a dish which made use of native free-range suckling pig. I thought that the items we tried were mostly very lightly seasoned; probably for them not to fight against the flavors of the sauces and sides. It’s a little different from other places where roast meat have a much bolder flavor.
All those were served with some side dishes: pickled eggplant, zucchini and shallots.
They also have two sauces served on the side: mint jelly (left) and the Argentinean chimichurri, a blend of herbs, garlic and vinegar. I thought it tasted a bit strange at first, but I got used to it later on and enjoyed pairing it with the meat of my choice.
Our meal was also enjoyed with a glass of Misterio Malbec. According to Gaucho’s Facebook page, Argentina is the biggest producer of the Malbec wine and they have a wide selection of Malbecs you could choose from. That’s good news for Malbec wine aficionados!
After stuffing ourselves, it was time to head to the Magnolia Flavor House for something sweet. This place brings back so many good memories for people who were lucky enough to be born when the original Magnolia ice cream parlor was still in existence.
Magnolia Flavor House serve their own pasta and sandwiches for those who are looking for something filling, but most of the customers come here for the ice cream. We were presented with several different ice cream concoctions available at the store. I didn’t get to try all of them, but I hope these photos will still help you decide on what you may want to try when you visit the place.
The photo above shows the classic Banana Split (Php240.00), perfect for those who crave the comfort of old-school ice cream parlor treats.
Their Mango Royale (Php240.00) has mango ice cream, slivers of ripe mango and cashews on what I think is a bed of crushed graham crackers.
Of course, Magnolia Flavor House didn’t forget the iconic Filipino dessert: the Halo-Halo (Php205.00).
The Merry Go Round, priced at Php190.00.
This I really wanted to try, but was unfortunately unable to. The Amazing Batman’s Brownie Overload (Php260.00) looked like a really fun one to eat.
For people who can’t decide whether to get ice cream or a crepe, you may want to try their Crepe Parfait (Php180.00). Scoops of chocolate and strawberry ice cream, chocolate wafer sticks and whipped cream are seated on top of a crepe, which is stuck in the body of the parfait glass.
I thought the Black N’ White (Php200.00) looked simple yet beautiful. A good choice for those who want to play it safe with chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
Want something a little more colorful? Try the Tropical Trio (Php220.00), which consists of vanilla ice cream topped with red kaong, ube ice cream with slivers of macapuno and mango ice cream with grated cheese on top.
Last, but certainly not the least, the Thor’s Almighty Crepe (Php190.00), which was said to resemble the shape of Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir. Chocolate and strawberry ice cream, chocolate wafer sticks, whipped cream and bits of other chocolate pieces placed on top of a folded piece of crepe.
Although the ice cream had that creamy texture that I enjoy, I had to admit defeat after eating a few mouthfuls. Having the Magnolia Flavor House as our final stop was a great way to end the evening. I thought everyone left the tour in high spirits, thanks to the sugar and the happy atmosphere of the place.
In my opinion, Robinson’s has definitely established a mall anybody wouldn’t mind spending time at. With so many good options to choose from, everyone should have an easier time deciding on a place where they could satisfy their hungry bellies.
*Want to try the places featured in this series? Head to Robinson’s Magnolia, which is located along Doña Hemady Street in Quezon City. It’s very near the Horseshoe Village.
**Many thanks to the Robinson’s team, Mr. RJ Ledesma and Mr. Anton Diaz for inviting Have at You!