CRAVINGS and CRABBINGS Cravings - the name is intriguing in itself. It can make you want to know if their food is really something to crave for. Cravings Restaurant along Katipunan Avenue stands out because of its faÃÂ§ade made of dark-colored stone slabs that speaks of understated elegance. It is so unlike the multi-colored and well-lit appearance of the nearby fastfood chains that I usually patronize on my student's allowance.
From its outside appearance alone, I found it easy to imagine how insecure I would have felt if my Mom was not with me to pay the bill. As we stepped inside, the softly-lit interior and the impressive wooden staircase, wide and curving, with wrought iron handrails, completed the classy (and expensive) ambience.
After entering the restaurant that evening last week, a waiter neatly attired in a blue long-sleeved polo shirt pulled back the chair for me and handed me the menu.
On the front cover was written "Endless Dining Pleasures." At first glance, the meal selections were as expected, expensive. For example, the endless trips to the salad and soups bar would cost you P195.00. However, the waiter quickly pointed out that these "trips" are already included in the prices of the main courses which ranged from P240.00 to P350.00. This was a pleasant surprise.
After placing the orders for my Tenderloin Tips Skillet (P265.00), Mom's Chicken Cordon Bleu (P285.00), green mango shake and bottomless Iced Tea, we trooped to the Salad and Soups Bar. Chicken Asparagus and Cream of Mushroom were the choices for soup but for salads, they spread out a really wide variety of ingredients. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sweet corn, black olives, mushrooms, sliced hard-boiled eggs, diced ham, bacon bits -- --the works. We prepared our own version of Caesar's Salad and experimented with the different salad dressings which we really enjoyed. The fact that I was eating vegetables was also good for my conscience. Our stomachs were almost full when the main dishes arrived.
The Tenderloin Tips Skillet was very pleasing to the eye, a rich dark brown sauce spiced with green and red pepper, garnished on the side with colorful vegetables.. The Chicken Cordon Bleu looked good too, as it was covered with slightly crunchy breadcrumbs with a light golden brown color. It looked so good that I already assumed that the taste would be as pleasing as well. Well, this restaurant is not perfect and so here now comes the "crabbings" part of this paper.
Alas, their tenderloin was not tender at all. It was as tough as their dry, overcooked Chicken Cordon Bleu. Surely, they didn't buy their meats from Firestone nor Good Year, but one certainly gets that impression. Since the main dishes were quite expensive and because we didn't want to waste food, we just ate the rest of it. The management should give the same attention to its purchasing practices as it does to its interior design.
Eating at Cravings made me appreciate their exquisite music and elegant ambience. The suitor of a stone-hearted lady would do well to treat her to dinner with that kind of environment. Its sounds and surroundings would likely soften her heart. Just don't let her eat the meat.