First off, the restaurant itself. The front of the restaurant had a
waterfall structure that showed pink from the outside and blue on the inside. It was very pretty. Inside, there were three distinct sections. When you first walk in, you are in the middle section, which was basically an outdoor patio space. To the right was the bar, which had some funky, but fun high back chairs and had a fireplace.
To the left was the inside dining room. Neutral colors of brown and yellow and very interesting light fixtures. Our waitress called them ostrich eggs lights because they were the exact size and shape of ostric eggs.
Second, on to the food. I ordered chicken and jicama lumpia with a crushed garlic mignonette (which basically was vinegar, crushed garlic and black pepper). I've ordered it before and liked it, but for some reason, I didn't taste
the sweetness of the jicama as I did the last time I had it. I still
liked it, but now am thinking that I should have ordered something else. It's not as if I hadn't had my share of lumpia in my life time already. :)
I was able to sample the honey-spiced tempura rock shrimp that a couple of the members in my group ordered and boy, that was yummy. Sweet, but with a kick and a very good portion was also served, which was surprising, since a lot of restaurants will be stingy with their shrimp dishes. Another person ordered a dish called 9 bites. It was a square platter with 10 sections. One section had a bowl of some
kind of dipping sauce. On the other 9 sections, there was a sample of each of the 9 appetizers. It's like having your very own appetizer tasting.
For my entree, I ordered "crispy pata" which is kurobuta pork shank deep fried and with a foie gras scented sauce. "Crispy Pata" is a well-known Filipino dish. Of course, being Filipino, along with lumpia, I've had my share of having crispy pata before, so I was curious to see what a more "upscale version" would taste like.
While I was glad that I got a healthy serving for my money, I'd rate Yi's "crispy pata" as good, but not necessarily spectacular. Part of the appeal is the skin and while what was there was crispy, there just wasn't enough of it plus the meat wasn't as tender as I would have liked and also a little dry.
Perhaps, if I've never had crispy pata before, I would have liked this entree more. But the crispy pata I've had either at home or at other Filipino restaurants, usually tends to have more of the skin intact, so you get the crispy, fatty texture on the outside and usually a more tender, even a bit greasier meat on the inside. Crispy Pata when cooked right, deep fried and all, is in every which bad for you, but oh so good at the same time.
Some of the other entrees that were ordered included:
* "kare kare" which is braised oxtail in peanut sauce, toasted garlic- sundried shrimp tapenade
* roasted lamb chops (4) with a cashew and palm sugar rub
* Kobe Ribeye with kimchee
I heard a lot of positive comments for the lamb chops. The person who had the kare kare said she liked her dish, although she felt that the oxtail should have been more tender. The one who ordered the Kobe ribeye thought that the steak was cooked perfectly- charred on the outside, rare on the inside and she really enjoyed the potatoes that came with her ribeye. The potatoes were flavored with kimchee and caramelized onions.
Now on to desserts. I ordered the avocado mousse, which was on a lychee sherbert ice cream and with some kind of berry sauce. I loved my avocado mousse. So light and fluffy and the more subtle taste of the avocodo mixed well with the stronger flavor of the lychee. It was even served in an avocado half shell. Definitely a hit with me as well as some of the others in my group who tried a bit of my avocado mousse.
Other desserts ordered included:
* Orange Brulee
* Green Tea Cheesecake
* Chocolate Cake
I had a taste of both the Orange Brulee and the Chocolate Cake. I really liked the Orange Brulee a lot. The creaminess and the refreshing orange flavor reminded me of sunshine and summer. No kidding, too. :)
Overall, a lovely restaurant, good food and service.
P.S. One thing that I wanted to mention which I found a bit odd was that for my group of 9, they added the gratuity after tax versus pre-tax. I was expecting the gratuity since I did have a larger group, but charging gratuity on our food and beverage orders AS WELL AS the tax seemed wrong to me.
When I mentioned it to our waitress, she said that the machine automatically does that, but that she'll mention it to the manager. She returns to say that oh yes, I was right that they will fix it for next time, but didn't offer to fix my bill. By that time, it was a long evening, so we just let it pass, but I thought it was something worth mentioning.