Friday, September 14, 2012

Slice by Pia Cayetano

Once again, I got a nice surprise from Jericho, inviting me for dinner at Senator Pia Cayetano's new restaurant, Slice. They had a great deal at Groupon Philippines, and we were both dying to try their delectable muffins and cupcakes. With the good senator being an advocate of healthy living and not skimping on great-tasting, nutritious food, I was pretty sure I'd be in for a healthy treat - only for it to be offset by the cupcakes, muffins, and cakes that greets you as you come in. Ugh, fail.

We came in for dinner on a weekday and the place was already packed to the rafters. All the servers were in over their heads attending to customers that were already seated, it seemed that no one saw us come in or bothered to attend to. We didn't mind at the time, and found us a seat by the window. The stool seats and coffee table weren't the most ideal place to sit down to a three-course dinner, but since the place was so full, we had no choice but make do with what was available.

The look of the restaurant itself was really nice - very fresh with pops of green and modern accents that made you feel like you were in a café in LA. I liked how the baked goodies were displayed in the store front, enticing the passersby to stop and come in for a muffin or a cupcake. The interior has clean lines with modern furnishings, the walls a fresh, lively green. Our only major hang up with this place is the service. It's terrible. No, terrible is an understatement.

It took us 45 minutes before we caught the attention of one of the servers. Other servers saw us waving, even calling to her - she looked our way and we could see her eyes glaze over, pretending not to notice our fervent attempts at getting her to look over.

After waiting another 15 minutes, our Brown Arroz Caldo (P150) arrived, which Jericho and I shared, as the portion was pretty big. I love how this restaurant zeroes in on comfort food! The arroz caldo was put together nicely, with generous chunks of chicken breast hiding in the thick, soup-y brown rice. They were generous with the garlic bits and ginger, too, and the chives and eggs added an extra layer of flavor. We asked for some more calamansi, as I like my arroz caldo with a bit of a kick, but by the time they came back with it, we were almost done with the soup. I mean really, it takes a good 10 minutes to bring back calamansi from the kitchen?!

We were warned in advance that Jericho's Burger with Side Salad (P350)was going to take at least 20 minutes to make, and it arrived before my order did (we'll get to that in a bit). He let me have a bit of his burger and salad while we waited for my order, and I have to say, this was another great dish that I'd recommend to friends in a heartbeat!

First off, the salad - which was supposed to be just a side dish - was a pretty generous serving - with bits of grapes, mangoes, and crushed walnuts mixed with the Romaine lettuce with mango vinaigrette drizzled on as a final touch. Every mouthful was a fresh burst of mangoes and grapes, but with just enough bite from the leafy greens and nuts.

The burger had a very thick patty hidden under two slices of good ol' American cheddar and topped with beautiful coleslaw. The meat was so tender, and the meat seemed to be ground up very fine, with finely chopped carrots and other vegetables and surprisingly not oil. It was so good we almost forgot it came with a bun and I almost forgot it wasn't what I ordered and I shouldn't be polishing off the poor guy's dinner. He was treating me out after all!

Now, I was getting quite pissed off at this point, since what I had ordered was a simple Tofu with Spinach dish - it really wasn't as difficult to execute as the damn burger now, was it? We had waited 35 minutes for my order and were sick and tired of waiting, Jericho stood up and talked to the server at the counter about it. Five minutes later a different server comes to our table, sincerely apologetic, although his explanation was that they had run out of tofu and had to go out and buy some more, which is why the order took so long.

Err, no, you forgot about my order. 1. Where would you find a supplier for tofu at 9:45 in the evening, and 2. If it wasn't in stock, someone should have approached me to advise me so I could've ordered something else instead of waiting for the cows to come home.

I guess he was just ordered to say what he said, but made up for the delay by giving us a Choco Yema Cupcake (P60) on the house. Thankfully, he attended to us for the rest of the night, and was way better than the first server who ran about the restaurant looking like a chicken with her head cut off.

My Tofu with Spinach (P290) arrived a few minutes later, but I was already quite full from mooching off of Jericho's dinner I only picked at it a little bit before I opted to have it doggy bagged instead.

I liked how the tofu was done, with nice browned bits on the edges, and how fresh and green the spinach was. The brown rice could've been eaten on its own; it was really nice with chunks of carrots and broccoli thrown in.

At this point in the dinner, Sen. Pia Cayetano walked in with Nacionalista Party President Sen. Manny Villar. The air of the restaurant changed immediately, and all of a sudden the servers were faster on their feet and all smiles... to Sen. Cayetano, Sen. Manny Villar, Ciara Sotto, and their entourage, at least.

Since we already had a Choco Yema Cupcake courtesy of the house, we ordered their other popular dessert, the Citrus Burst Muffin (P70) and a lovely, steaming mug of hot Chocnut Cappuccino to go with it.

The cappuccino came with a granola sampler, which came as a nice surprise. The Choco Yema Cupcake was moist, with the taste of the yema topping taking precedence over the chocolate. The Citrus Burst Muffin was very lemon-y, a different take on the usual sweet muffins you get here. Both went perfectly with my Chocnut Cappuccino!

Overall, the food was excellent! The comfort food on their menu are the type of dishes that envelop you with warm, fuzzy feelings. Unfortunately, the service was inversely proportional to the excellence of the food - they suck, suckity, suck, sucked!

When mucking around BGC, I'd definitely come back to Slice again, because the food speaks for itself. I only wish they'd improve their service, as it can be such a turn off, and just ruins the whole dining experience. Who could relax when you're stressing over whether or not your server remembered to punch in your order?

*Update: We went back to Slice around a month later, and the service has significantly improved. Now we not only come back for the yummy comfort food, but because Slice is pet-friendly, too! Check out Mr. Wiggles Puffybottom eyeing our burger. Needless to say, he was one very happy furbaby that night.

+63 2 565 1998, +63 905 202 3814
G/F, West Superblock,
Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Ave cor 29th St.,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Open Daily: 11am - 12am