UP Town Center the second time around


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We wanted to dine in Shrimp Bucket onsite but it was packed. This was around 6:30 pm on Labor Day. Parking – we had to do it on the grounds of the former UPIS, having failed to find a slot in the paved parking nearer the center.

In lieu of SB, we decided to check out the restos at the back. Son was wishing for the Vietnamese resto but father was not acceding. So we settled on Red Onion after husband saw its menu: sweet and sour pork and sichuan chicken.

Back in the early 90s or late 80s there was a resto beside Via Mare in SM North that we frequented and each time, husband would order Szechuan noodles. But now we cannot even remember its name. Does anyone?

To go back to RO: thinking it might be related to Raymart Santiago’s Red Garlic, I asked but the lady at the door, possibly the manager, said that a Taiwanese owned the place. Outside the resto was an easel that had a poster which announced that for a minimum order of P500, one would be given a free pork chop dish. Husband said that when we were passing by to check out the other restos further south, he had seen that the free dish was sweet and sour pork. Hearing this and our preference for it, the manager said she could fix it and give us what we wanted. Our orders: 39 spice beef noodles, polinchai, shrimps with walnuts, fried rice, sichuan chicken and the free sweet and sour pork. So much, right? It always happens the first time we visit a resto – we just want to try a lot.

Verdict: son liked the spiced coffee drink he ordered very much; the spice? Cinnamon. The coffee with cinnamon came in ice cubes in a glass. This was served with a carafe of milk. Son said it was really good; he offered that I try it but I demurred.

The 39 spice was son’s order. He said 39 was way too much; it was overpowering. Note that the dish is soup with refillable noodles and broth, as much as one wants if one doesn’t share. If one shares, one is entitled to just one refill.

The chicken was really spicy but tolerable. And speaking of spicy, they have a scale of 4 for the noodles. Son asked for medium but manager suggested to settle for mild which was pretty strong already, she said.

The sweet and sour pork was crunchy but a bit tough. It didn’t have much sauce but was tasty.

The fried rice I liked very much.

The best dish was the shrimp with walnuts; the walnuts made it so. That dish we finished; the rest we took home. The polinchai was okay.

Will we go back? Likely to, but hopefully next time, son will have his way and we’ll try out the Vietnamese resto, a favorite of a gourmet friend of his.

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After dinner we were set to go home when I saw Lucca, a bakery. Son didn’t order anything, husband ordered espresso dacquoise and coffee Americano. I ordered the pecan delight. I couldn’t finish my order but had the leftover for dessert after lunch today. Still so good. Husband finished his dacquoise which I tried. Quite good too.

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An aside, or is it really? Son went to bed first, he was listless. He kept tossing and turning. Aftermath of coffee?

I slept next but kept tossing and tossing (I cannot turn without assistance). Then just as I would be asleep for a brief moment, husband would ask, and this happened at least twice – “you want the fan on?” (aside from the aircon). I said yes at one point, no at another but I was secretly peeved because after he’d do that, I wouldn’t be able to sleep or sleep long. His doing this made me think of a nurse who’d wake up the patient to give him/her a sleeping pill so he/she could sleep, or maybe not even a sleeping pill but one that would induce rest from a hacking cough, for example. Anyway…

At around 4 I saw husband still wide awake. I asked, “did you sleep?” He said no. Then I think it was around 5 a.m. he said “Wake me up at 730” as he had to report for work.

So what kept us awake/listless? The coffee? But I didn’t have any. The Taiwanese food? That we all took part of. But maybe it was the coffee, so why me? IN my case, maybe it was the heat?

Whatever. Tonight I hope sleep won’t be a problem…

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