Gastronomic Delights at the Red Garlic Bistro Cafe!

I am very fond of food and love trying out new dishes that please the eye and tickle the palate. However, when I am food tripping with friends, I make sure not to go all out and stuff myself until I couldn’t stand up after. That rule was broken when I, and several friends, got first dibs at the Western-Asian-inspired dishes that Chef Vince Rodriguez would be serving at the Red Garlic Bistro Cafe when it opens this coming October 2nd.

Below are some of the tastiest treats you should expect to encounter when you on a gastronomic journey at Red Garlic like we did that night.

For starters, order one of these refreshing drinks: the Gummy Worm Cocktail, a White Castle whiskey shake with banana, milk and grenadine decorated with a sugary gummy worm on the side; Red Garlic’s Signature Iced Tea; or the Lychee Mojito. I loved how they all tasted but went for the red iced tea. Since I have a very low tolerance for alcohol, I only took a couple of sips each from the cocktail drinks else I feel dizzy and be unable to enjoy the food. But the cocktails are so good, they don’t seem to include stuff that can make you drunk if you’re not careful. The guys enthusiastically emptied their glasses though.

To whet your appetite before the main course/s arrive, order the flavorful Potato Wedges with its accompanying country mayo dip. Kids who love to eat French fries should be encouraged to try these! Really, really yummy!

If you prefer something hot, go for the Santiago Chili Poppers filled with chili con carne and comes with cheese and pepper dressing. I’m not really into spicy foods so I only took a wee bite off one end of a chili popper. My companions though finished the whole batch quickly.

Like some greens? Try the Hanoi Shrimp Pomelo Salad with crispy adobo flakes on top served with Saigon sweet and chili sauce. 

I am a sushi lover so I welcomed the next dishes that came out of Chef Vince’s kitchen with (figuratively) open arms. The Alaskan Salmon Roll, which is deep fried and served with wasabi dressing and mango salsa is a dream dish that every sushi aficionado should try.

There’s also the Tornado Roll, a mix of Japanese and Indian sushi that has chicken tikka, seaweed, cucumber, cilantro, and wasabi. Like the salmon roll, this one also looks and tastes really good!

As to the pizzas, I have to say I loved everything I sampled! We got to try the Torre del Griego, a concoction composed of basic tomato sauce, arugula tossed in lime vinaigrette, and sun dried tomatoes. 

Then there’s the double pizza with flavors called Basilica with Italian garlic sausage (this one is my top pick!) and Philly Cheese Steak. Red Garlic’s pizzas are offered in 12 flavors and you could request for two-in-one or three-in-one orders. This is really neat especially if you want to savor as many flavors as possible.

The pasta dishes are already good for two to three persons. Order more than one in various flavors so you’ll get to find out which ones you like best. We were served three: the olive oil-based Alborro Pasta with prosciutto and bacon, the tomato cream-based Santorini Penne with crab meat and shrimp (I think I’d be able to finish one order of this if I am not eating anything else!), and the slightly spicy Sardinia Pasta with Spanish sardines.

After having more than one bite of all the dishes I already tasted above, we were still in for more surprises when the main courses were served! See, I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned earlier that I broke my rule of not eating too much in one meal!

The thickly-sliced Grilled Pork Chop with mango chipotle and cranberries was spicier than I could handle so I left it to the guys to finish it off.

I’ve always liked eating pork ribs but I think this was the first time I got to try Barbecued Beef Ribs that’s perfectly cooked; the oh-so-tender meat easily fell off the bones. The serving is also really big so make sure you have family or friends with you when you order one. This dish got a perfect 10 from me.

Not to be outdone is Chef Vince’s famous Tomahawk, a huge Angus rib eye weighing one kilo that comes with a red wine sauce and peppermint dressing. When I took the first bite, I felt it figuratively melting in my mouth. This particular dish will make every meat lover glad they are not vegetarians, promise!

If you’re overwhelmed at the size of the Tomahawk, go for the Salpicao Medallion instead. This is a serving of two US Angus tenderloin wrapped with bacon and served on a hot granite slab to keep the tasty sauce warm. I predict that this will climb up the favorite dishes’ chart fast as well.

I thought the three steak dishes would cap off our so-far fabulous night but we were wrong. Out from the kitchen came the Salmon Duo topped with two sauces: Basil Pistachio and Smoked Javanero cream … 

… and the Batanes Roulade made with rolled up Cream Dory meat with a laing and prawns filling. These are definitely new ways to enjoy salmon and cream dory so if you like eating fish, order one, or both of these, when you visit Red Garlic.

If you prefer chicken, on the other hand, there’s the Green Chicken Curry with Ripe Mango that is a nice companion to the Thai Bagoong Fried Rice with Sweet Pork.

By this time, I was teasingly waving the white napkin to the friendly waiters to signify my surrender. One of them replied with a smile that we still have to try the delicious desserts. I have to confess, I fell madly in love with the Warm Bread Pudding. It’s unlike any bread pudding I’ve ever tasted before! Served warm, this pudding leans more on the flan side rather than the pie-type offering I was expecting. I shared the small container with a friend because, by then, I was already really, really full.

My eyes widened when the Hush Puppies came out. I didn’t think I could take another bite but this one invited tasting. It is a round, buttermilk Danish pancake with vanilla ice cream that would probably drive my second son, the one with the sweet tooth, crazy.

We were further served with Creamy Panna Cotta topped with various fruits. I appreciated that there was a good amount of fruits to accompany every spoonful of the panna cotta unlike the ones served in most restaurants where there’s only ¼ of a strawberry or a pinch of mango on top.

The Carrot Cake, one of my favorite desserts, was the finale to our amazing dinner. If I didn’t feel I was already about to burst from all the food, I would have taken more than the one tiny forkful I managed to chew. It was heavenly! 

For sure, I would have to come to Red Garlic when it’s already open so I can revisit the dishes that opened my taste buds into a whole new world of dining. If you’ve missed Chef Vince at the Torch (he’s no longer connected there), you don’t have to pine for his perfectly cooked masterpieces anymore. 

The Red Garlic Bistro Café has an 80-100 pax seating capacity with two private rooms for meetings.  It is open from 7am to 12 mn and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Go visit it starting this October at 218 Katipunan Ave. Blue Ridge A, Quezon City. For reservations, call 682.1869. Like it too on Facebook. For catering inquiries, call 633.0329 or 216.1873 or email

Read, Eat, and Drink at the Red Bistro Café soon! You will not regret going there :)

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