A Happy Mistake

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Two years ago, Fil and I started a Thursdate, and since then we decided to stick to it as much as possible. Typically we would have dinner and watch a movie afterwards. 

Last night, at my insistence, we went to Cowrie Grill in Greenhills Promenade. 

I told Fil that we both have eaten in their Cebu branches before, and that I would just order Kare-Kare, that’s it. Both of us were trying not to spend too much.

His plan was to first drop me off, park the car, and walk back. We were pleasantly surprised however, that there were several parking spaces right in front of the resto reserved exclusively for their customers. 

Fil said “having their own parking is a sign that this place is expensive.” I shrugged it off. How expensive is the most expensive Kare-Kare, anyway? On our way in, I saw Manila Hotel’s Logo. Uh-Oh. 

  
We were greeted cordially by their staff who spoke really good English. We were ushered to a semi-secluded table with curtains that we could close (if we wanted to). Our server then showed us their menu.

We browsed through the menu once. And browse again. And again. There was no Kare-kare, no ‘Filipino’ dish, nothing. What the restaurant offered was Steak. Expensive steak. I discreetly searched online, and it was only then that I found out that this establishment was different from Cebu’s. Cebu’s was Golden Cowrie. I honestly thought it was the same. 

Fil and I paused and debated silently whether to stay or run. Unfortunately, their friendly staff lit the candle in front of us, and politely asked what water would we like to drink: cold or warm?

  

We were doomed. There was hardly anyone in the establishment, the ambience was nice, and their staff was very accommodating. We browsed through the menu again, and I decided to order the more affordable items in the menu. Would it be too embarrassing if I just order, umm, soup? 

  

Their server most probably noticed our discomfort but didn’t comment on it. He instead introduced himself to us as Art, and offered their promo to us: 50% off on Angus Beef Rib Steak (U.S.) for BDO card holders. Their New York Cut was listed as 390grams for P1,900. Fil and I agreed to order it, because P950 for a really good piece of steak is a good deal. We asked if it was good for two already, and he offered to split it for us. Whew. I also ordered mushroom soup cappuccino (P250) and ceasar salad (P300). We were pleasantly surprised when Art offered to split those orders for two as well. Wow! 

  

  
Resigned to eating fine dining on our casual date, we decided to make the best of it. We were given complimentary bread with three types of butter.

   
 It was followed by our mushroom soup.

  

After clearing our table, Art proceeded to make the Ceasar salad from scratch — and from scratch it was! With flourish and skillful presentation, he explained each and every step. As we started eating the finished product, he guaranteed that it was good. “I will give you a free dessert if you complain,” he said.

   

  
   It was good. It was different, kind of like a Kicking Ceasar and not a meek one. 

Finally, it was time for our main course. New York cut steak was supposed to be thick, but Art took the liberty of asking the chef if it could be split butterfly style, to serve the two of us. We asked for medium rare, and they served it to us perfectly. 

  
The steak was tender but chewy. A bit difficult to cut because of the tendons or fats. It was served on a warm plate, garnished with vegetables, with mashed potatoes on the side and three different steak sauces.

  
 

Halfway through our meal, Fil and I were already full. Still, we joyfully finished our meal. We were having fun!

When the steak was inside our stomach, Art cleared our table and asked if we would like to order dessert. We politely declined. “Let me give you a palette cleanser then,” he offered. 

With flourish, he presented their “homemade chocolate crinkles,” on the house! Fil quickly ate them all to remove the sweet temptation from my sight. 

  
We asked for the bill and our total meal cost around P1600. Though that was more than twice our usual eating out budget, our experience that night made it worth the cost.

   
 

 What’s more, since it was a slow night, they allowed us to leave our car with them while we watched our movie. 
I don’t think we will go back to this restaurant any time soon, but we will surely spread the word about their excellent service.

  

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