Dine and relax at Unit 8 Cafe
Friday, 7 August 2009

Fried Lasagna Rolls
Fried Lasagna Rolls by kutitots, on Flickr

Situated in a little nook by the bay, Unit 8 Cafe is a new hang-out place oldies and yuppies alike will enjoy. I’ll tell you why further into this review, because first and foremost, Unit 8 Cafe is a restaurant—serving a new, delectable and refreshing menu that you wouldn’t want to miss.

A couple of weeks ago, Marc and I were fortunate to be invited to try out Unit 8 Cafe and see (and taste) for ourselves what it has to offer. The travel from Antipolo to the Mall of Asia took its toll on me, and I was already a bit cranky (not to mention, hungry) when we got there a little after 1pm. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was certainly hoping that the food was worth it.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Kamias Lychee Shake
Kamias Lychee Shake by kutitots, on Flickr

We were parched by the time we met Oman Santiago, one of the co-owners of Unit 8 Cafe, and it must have shown in our faces as our pleasant host suggested we try their refreshing Kamias-Lychee Shake and Grape Shake. The shakes were certainly refreshing and they weren’t too sweet either—my bad mood greatly improved. And yes, they did seem to use fresh fruits.

Since it was both our first time there, Marc and I simply asked our host to select the courses for us. The menu they showed us had no pictures in it—Oman explained this was intentional, as they wanted their guests to use their imagination through the descriptions they provided in the menu.

So first up, we had the Fruity Wonton Salad for starters.

Fruity Wonton Salad
Fruity Wonton Salad by kutitots, on Flickr

For me, starters are usually an indication of the meals to come—I usually get a preview of how the food is prepared and more or less the quality whenever I order appetizers, because after all, as “appetizers” this part of the meal should wet your appetite. The Fruity Wanton Salad didn’t disappoint. The fresh mixed greens topped with bits of walnuts, dried cranberries, and crispy wontons filled with cheese were tossed with a sweet raspberry vinaigrette. Served with a chilled fork, the sweetness of the fruits were just perfect with the saltiness of the crispy cheese wontons—I’d probably have another one of this delightful salad if I didn’t know our host had more dishes for us to try.

Another appetizer we tried were the Fried Lasagna Rolls. Served on tangy marinara sauce, this dish is basically lasagna with a twist. Instead of layered, the lasagna noodles were rolled around the meat, fried, then topped with cheese. I love tomato-based sauces—which makes me quite picky—but I must say their marinara sauce passed my standards. The Fried Lasagna Rolls were very filling too—an order of this dish plus the salad would probably be already a meal enough for two.

Eggplant Roillini
Eggplant Roillini by kutitots, on Flickr

Next up was the Eggplant Rollini. These crisp, rolled eggplant strips were stuffed with herbed cheese served on a bed of their delightful marinara sauce. A vegetarian dish (if you don’t count dairy foods), the Eggplant Rollini was delicious enough that you’d even forget you were eating eggplant at all. I’m no fan of eggplant, but I was actually able to enjoy it.

Asian Style Barbecued Chicken
Asian Style Barbecued Chicken

The Asian Style Barbecued Chicken… Now this is probably my favorite in the Unit 8 Cafe menu. Served with rice and garden salad, the skewered skinless chicken thighs were marinated in Unit 8’s special Asian-inspired barbecue sauce—sweet and spicy, just the way I like my barbecue! The chicken thigh skewers were tender, the rice cooked just right. With this alone, I could say I was already a happy camper.

Fish Munierre
Fish Munierre by kutitots, on Flickr

The last main dish Oman made us try before dessert was the Fish Munierre. I felt a bit guilty destroying such a great work of food art, but it was worth it. Nestled on roasted potatoes and lemon butter sauce, the pan seared fish fillet and green beans were a delight to the taste buds. The juicy cream dory fillet had this smokey taste I particularly liked, and went real well with the crunchy green beans and carrots (I think the shredded carrots were just garnish, but what the heck the carrots went well with the fish).

White Chocolate Bread Pudding

For dessert, we had the White Chocolate Bread Pudding and the Frozen Mango Tango.

The White Chocolate Bread Pudding was served on whiskey sauce and vanilla ice cream on top. Though I liked the combination of warm pudding and cold ice cream, the whiskey sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste.

On the other hand, the Frozen Mango Tango was just everything I expected on a mango-based dessert. It had frozen layers of delicious ripe mangoes, cream and toasted cashew topped with whipped cream and tangy mango sauce. It wasn’t too sweet either. It reminded me of the frozen mango refrigerator cake a friend in college used to make for me during Christmas, except that instead of just crushed graham crackers, Frozen Mango Tango also had the nutty taste of toasted cashews.

My experience at Unit 8 Cafe is probably one of the best dinning experiences I’ve had reviewing a restaurant. I haven’t reviewed many, because as you can see, FoodBlog.ph is fairly new. But there was something about how the co-owners having a personal hand on running the business that got to me. We had expected to be received by a PR agent, but surprisingly, it was one of the cafe’s business partners who entertained us. At the kitchen, food was prepared by Chef Teresa Hembrador, another partner in the business.

The rest of the crew were also very hospitable. Though I kind of expected such service since we were there to review the restaurant, I had the impression that this was a regular thing. According to Oman, the crew were trained by his wife who was a flight attendant, hence the attention to customer service. I was impressed at how the partners have pulled together their resources and talents for this restaurant they opened just last June. Even on the interiors of the restaurant, the co-owners also made sure they gave them their personal touch.

The simple interiors greatly complemented the refreshing touch of green and orange. The lighting is just right too, perfect for a cozy date for two or a group meeting. That’s what Unit 8 Cafe actually aims for—a cozy little nook by the bay where old and new friends, family or lovers will sit down, relax, and eat delicious food.

Well, if they keep up the good customer service, the quality of food, and the fair prices—the three important things customers usually look for in a good restaurant—this simple yet elegant restaurant is definitely on the right track.

And yes, they have wi-fi at the restaurant 😉

Unit 8 Cafe
South Wing, Ground Floor, Entertainment Mall,
SM Mall of Asia, Bay Boulevard
Pasay City, Philippines
Phone: +632 804-0853 / 334-7984
Open from Monday to Sunday, 10AM to 10PM

You can see more of the shots I took of Unit 8 Cafe and the yummy food on my Yummy Food Flickr album.

Tags:

3 Responses to “Dine and relax at Unit 8 Cafe”

  1. Oscar says:

    Hi

    I like your website very much, I also have a special Chinese food website, and could we exchange website link each other?
    my website is http://www.chinesefoodfans.com/

    Thanks!

  2. ziggy says:

    hi gail 🙂 i love your straightforward kind of writing. the pictures look lovely as well. what i’m interested in and maybe be copying is that fried lasagna. that looks inviting. your blog is a relief 🙂

  3. “Dine and relax at Unit 8 Cafe