On A.C. and My First Restaurant Review!

Last week was my brother’s graduation. Congrats to him and all that. I scouted for a few restaurants where we can celebrate his achievement. Despite the fact that I virtually know the economical hotspots of Angeles City AND even though I did do a market analysis of Angeles City for its potential for business growth, I honestly was surprised at the sheer number of great restaurants popping all over the Metro. Angeles City is set to become Luzon’s center for commerce. This is all because of the new super highway being built where Angeles is right smack-dab in the middle and the opening and further development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. Isn’t it obvious with all the new malls populating the vast landscapes of Clark, San Fernando and Nclex? Why, even the Ayalas have begun building an Ayala Mall in Angeles. Land Developments - both commercial and housing projects - are everywhere. Xevera, The Enclave, The Lakeshore, Angeles City and Pampanga in general has become a real estate developer’s dream nowadays. As this shift becomes more apparent A.C. will only continue to prosper and hold true to its title being "the heart of the north."

Anyway, before I get a whole lot further off topic, I picked a restaurant which has become famous for its amazing ambiance, menu and location. This restaurant, scenically situated at The Holiday Inn’s rooftop offered a Brazilian inspired motif with international fares. An award winning restaurant, Rodizio is a true dining experience. To get to the restaurant, you take an elevator straight to the top of the hotel. The moment you step in, you are welcomed by a stunning winery and bar (it’s the bottom picture). You take a short right turn and you’ll see the restaurant itself. The interiors are very beautiful. And the ambiance at night is wonderful. However, if you want to appreciate the view outside the deck, lunch time would be much better.

(click for a larger image)

Some say you can instantly tell the quality and taste of a restaurant’s dishes based on their house bread. And I think that is true. Rodizio’s house bread had a slightly crunchy exterior and the inside was warm and fragrant. It was lightly salted and had herbs ixed into it. It is definitely one of the best house breads I have ever tasted. The whole party partook of the restaurants meat and seafood buffet offering. Everyone started off with some chicken and mushroom soup which was delicious. You can taste the strong flavor of the mushroom, but it did not over power the chicken at all. Their salad bar was also very pleasing. All the vegetables were fresh and the dressing was amazing. The seafood portion of the buffet consisted of crabs, shrimps, mussels, and some Japanese dishes like sushi, maki, sashimi and more. I loved the seafood. One thing that was different was, everything was cold. My family was not used to eating shrimp or crab like that. It was still delicious though and the temperature only added a different dimension to the taste.

For the main course, each had the option of rice, mashed or baked potatoes for a side dish. I asked for mashed potatoes. It was okay, it needed a bit more salt and it was not as flavorful as I had hoped, but I didn’t want to be filling up on side dishes anyway, I was here for another purpose. LOL! After they served the side dishes, four waiters arrived carrying various grilled meats. One had two metal stakes with sausages (one chicken, one pork) impaled on them. Another had chicken teriyaki, another had pork ribs and another had flank steak. Each waiter passed by each plate and placed a portion of what they were carrying. In no time at all, my plate was already overflowing with all the different kinds of meat. Let’s analyze them one by one, shall we? LOL! The sausage, was too salty. I did not care for that at all. The chicken teriyaki was divine, tender and succulent, and the flavor was perfect. The ribs was good, nothing exceptional. The steak was very tasty, but a little tough.

As everyone fell silent while enjoying their meals, waiters would constantly come back to check on our side dishes and meats, just in case we wanted more. You see, in Rodizio, they had this small wooden block (you can see it in one of the pictures) that’s color green on one end, and red on the other. I was told that as long as the green part was on top, the waiters will just keep on serving you meat. If you’ve had enough, just turn it over so that the red part is on top.

On to the final course, dessert. The buffet was complete with its own dessert station. It had a chocolate fondue fountain, crème brulee, fruit slices and a myriad of cakes. I didn’t know where to start, but thanks to my sweet-toothed sister, I tried the fondue first. From marshmallows, to strawberries, to small butter scotch brownies, we bathed them chocolate fountain. Very good…need I say more… From the cakes, we took slices of the chocolate cake, the blueberry cheesecake and the mango chiffon cake. I didn’t like the chocolate cake and the mango chiffon was unimpressive, but the cheesecake…The cheesecake was so dense that it almost had the texture of a pound cake. It was not too sweet and the blueberry on top was the best compliment. It was the best cheesecake I have ever tasted... Ever! And finally, we managed to find some room for a bit of the crème brulee. It was a bit too rich for me and the caramelized sugar on top was nonexistent.

All in all, Rodizio was everything I heard it was and more. The wait staff was pleasant and accommodating, the ambience was perfect and the food is delectable. It completely surpassed my expectations. So, for all you out-of-towners visiting Angeles City, be sure to visit Rodizio at the Holiday Inn.


acey said...

ginutom mo naman ako, jigs. hehe.

it seems like a wonderful place to dine in. and that chocolate fountain looks soooo goooood!

congrats to your sib!

paolo said...

i was here yesterday. i wanted to say this is really your cup of tea.. but then I dropped by your review on Inflickted and movies also to beyour cup of tea. =P