Good… if you catch them at a good time.

Old Vine, a concept from the folks who brought you Chef’s Quarter, is a fairly new restaurant in Eastwood Mall. We celebrated Tita Annie’s birthday here — it’s a good choice for family meals.

Food: 4/5.
We started the meal with some freshly baked rolls and butter. The bread was really good, although strangely shaped. It was a good start to the meal (if the meal didn’t start almost 2 hours later… more in Service). I wish extra servings of the bread didn’t cost anything but, unfortunately, they charge P50 for every basket of 6 rolls. For me, this really makes the restaurant appear cheap. Plus the since the food came so very late — almost 2 hours later, I really think they should’ve just given us the bread. However, the prices of the entrees are already reasonable so the bread issue didn’t ruin the whole lunch.

The Marinated Duck Confit I ordered was a dissapointment. It costs P320, smothered in lemon-orange sauce, served with rosted potatoes, orange wedges, and a salad. Aside from being noticeably thinner/less than what I got before, it was really tough and chewy. This came as a surprise because when I ordered the same dish before (both from Old Vine and Chef’s Quarter), the duck meat was really soft and almost melted in your mouth. It seriously made me question the restaurant’s consistency.

Old Vine

The Baked Cream Dory (@ P295) with mushrooms in tomato-garlic coulis & angel hair pesto. The dory was creamy and the sauce was very tasty. It was very generously stuffed with portobello mushrooms. The mushroom had a tendency to overpower the dory though.

Old Vine

The Tessie Tomas Salad (@235 single / 550 family) according to the menu is a combination of prawns, salmon, grilled shitake mushrooms with mesclun salad in a creamy balsamic dressing. The dressing was delicious and complimented the prawns well. The shitake mushrooms were juicy and flavorful. The salad also had a lot of prawns — well worth it for the price. The vegetables were fresh and crunchy. Definitely a favorite that we’ll be going back for again. The family portion is big enough for 5 people.

Old Vine
(the picture here is just my serving — we had the family portion split to individual portions)

The Jamaican Jerk Pork costs P295 and was served with saffron rice, house salad, and pico de gallo. All the individual parts of this dish are tasteful (especially the saffron rice), except for the pork itself which was pretty bland.

Old Vine

For dessert, we ordered Banana-langka Crepe Samurai. It’s Filipino favorite turon with a twist. It was served in a bowl with just the right amount of crepe — filling without being overpowering — and with just the right amount of the sugary sweet sauce. It’s my favorite!

Old Vine

Service: 2/5.
We waited almost 2 hours for our food. Yup. 2 hours. And the bread that they served while waiting costs P50 a basket. If a restaurant makes you wait for 2 hours for your order, giving you free bread is the LEAST they can do. Fortunately, the waitress serving us was profusely apologetic and most of the waiters were very nice and proactive. There was apparently a problem in the ktichen and they couldn’t handle the volume of people in the restaurant. For me though, this is no excuse as everyone was seated. They should’ve been prepared to serve everyone sitting on the seats they have, right?

Ambiance: 3/5.
Ambiance was better than most, although some age in the furnishings would help project that “old vine” feel. Everything just looked so inappropriately new. Nevertheless, it’s still a good place for a nice intimate date with the waiters being attentive yet not obtrusive. The restrooms were clean and for a busy restaurant, that’s saying something.

Value for Money: 4/5.
The dishes are priced very very reasonably. And with dishes like the ones served in Le Souffle, it’s a bargain. But you do get what you pay for — consistency is a big problem and a basic expectation from most restaurants.

Overall: 3.5/5.
I recommend this place for a delicious, reasonably priced, and comfortable dinner. Yeah, we’ll go back. I just hope they get the duck right this time. If they don’t, then it’s no longer a problem with consistency but a decline in quality — and that would be unforgiveable.

Ground Floor, Eastwood Mall (the new mall), Eastwood City, Libis, QC
Tel No. (63 2) 706-5573 to 74

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