Monday, December 5, 2016

First Bite: The Glass Jar

I was thrilled to try crocodile meat a few years back and visited a couple of restaurants just to sample this not so usual piece of protein. I first had a bite of it from a  Japanese restaurant in Manila and followed by a small café kiosk in Wilcon. And I was underwhelmed both times. It was not as special as I thought. And it was very tough too. In short, crocodile meat didn’t leave a good first and second impression. But third time’s the charm!
Hello, The Glass Jar.
This adorable restaurant on the second floor of Wilcon Home Depot along Chino Roces Avenue is the newest baby of the kiosk inside Wilcon serving crocodile dishes. And this one is not just nicer and bigger. It also revamped its dishes and turned me into a fan of this healthier source of protein.
We started our meal with some Classic Cocktails and I chose Woo Woo (PHP140).
I’m not exactly sure with the ingredients but I fell in love with this red cocktail as it tasted just like… jello! It had a lovely sweet taste which made it an instant hit! However, I’m not sure if it was an accident as my second glass of Woo Woo was a tad stronger than my first one. 

Next served was Summer Salad (PHP245) which was a combination of romaine lettuce, peaches, Granny Smith apples, honey yoghurt and deep fried croc meat. You may also opt to go for chicken instead of meat but it’ll cost you an additional PHP20. 
Though the mix of greens and fruits went well with the honey yoghurt, I was not fond of the dry and tough croc meat. It just reminded me of my not so good first (and second) encounter with this lean meat.
But it was soon changed by the Street Tacos (PHP280) which was delightfully tangy! 
I followed T’s advice and poured more yoghurt sauce on my taco stuffed with braised crocodile meat and tomato salsa and the end result was a taco version of Cry Baby. It was indeed very tangy and the others were caught off guard by it. 
But I loved my tacos extra sour so it was heavenly for me. For those not so fond of sour dishes though, it is best not to pour any as each taco already comes with some of the tangy white sauce. Also, unlike Summer Salad, Street Tacos' braised croc was tender. And those sweet potato chips are so yummy

The Chili Con Nachos (PHP296) were also great in terms of taste and serving size. 
I loved that our plate of nachos had a generous serving of cheese sauce, tomato salsa and flavorful chili con croc. This is a great dish to snack on over cold beer and a lengthy catch up session with friends. 
Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same love towards Croquettas (PHP158) which was a battered braised croc, croc bacon and mozzarella. I was expecting a gooey or stretchy type of cheese upon biting the deep fried ball.
But it was rather hallow and I didn’t even get a taste of the croc meat. We were told that the bits must have merged or melted with the cheese. But it seems that the meat and cheese were overpowered by the batter. It tasted like we were just eating bread. 
I was impressed with the Kaldereta Tagliatelle (PHP250) as it was my first time to enjoy kaldereta that way. It did taste like kaldereta but it would have been nicer if it was a bit cheesier. Nonetheless, the braised beef was very soft and succulent and the bone marrow was a nice touch for cholesterol lovers like me. 
I also liked The Glass Jar’s Bacon Carbonara (PHP274) which used croc bacon instead of the usual kind. It was creamy yet not cloying. However, I didn’t really get a taste of the truffle flavor. 
One of my favorites that night was Croc Bacon and Dry Fig Pizza (PHP295). Topped with arugula, it was a beautiful blend of sweet, salty and slightly bitter flavors, all tickling my tastebuds at the same time. 
I also liked the soft crust which made slicing a forkful of pizza a breeze. I had the leftover pizza two days after and it still tasted awesome!
If you want bang for the buck meal for you and your companion, then Pancake and Fried Chicken (PHP388) is the way to go. This ginormous plate of fluffy pancakes and crispy chicken is great for sharing. I loved the pancakes which were flavorful enough that you don’t have to drizzle maple syrup on it or put some butter for extra taste. The fried chicken on the other hand was a tad too oily but nonetheless complemented the pancakes. (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of it!)
A plate of Baconsilog (PHP135) was served after and it was not a favorite that night. The bacon was overly battered and it was like bacon tempura. But we heard that the original baconsilog isn’t with battered bacon at all. I guess the chef was just experimenting and tried it out. 
I was able to fully appreciate the croc bacon from the Croc Platter (PHP595) which also comes with croc ribs, croc chorizo and pulled croc along with side dishes like bibingka cakes and greens. 
The croc bacon was not as salty as the usual kind and it reminded me of turkey bacon. The croc ribs were so soft, flavorful and simply heavenly! The pulled croc was equally flavorful and I loved its slight sweet taste. My least favorite from the platter was the croc chorizo slices which were a bit dry. But the highlight for me was the bibingka cakes! It was fluffy and really good! I kept telling The Glass Jar’s chef and owner to offer it a la carte! I’ll order two to three plates of that for sure!
I also loved The Glass Jar’s 24 Hour Bone in Pork Belly (PHP250) and Nasi Goreng (PHP245). 
The pork belly was so soft that I didn’t even have to chew anymore! It was also rich in flavor which was well complemented by the java rice, corn and French beans.
The Nasi Goreng was paired with croc satay, prawn crackers and egg. In order to fully enjoy this dish, you have to eat all the elements together for that wonderful mix of textures.
To cap the night, we sampled The Glass Jar’s Cheesecake (PHP180). 
Our friendly server suggested that we drizzle some lime on our cheesecake for extra flavor and she was right! It made the cheesecake a lot better! I loved the sharp tanginess brought by the lime juice! 
I will definitely be back here for more pizza, nachos, pork belly, nasi goreng, croc platter and bibingka cakes!!! 

The Glass Jar is located at 2nd Floor, Wilcon IT Hub, 2251 Chino Roces Avenue, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City.

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