What do you think of when you hear the name Cowrie Grill? The name is familiar to me because of my previous visits to The Manila Hotel years ago, but my mind draws a blank when hearing the name, and sometimes I think of cows and cowboys (because I associate it with steak).
Cowrie is actually the name of a type of sea shell, the usual kind that we pick up from visits to the beach. I just call them “those cute little shells we see at the beach that look like shell pasta”! So the word cowrie still gives me images of cows… and I find it rather applicable, because Cowrie Grill is, in fact, known for their steak!
But anyway, the reason it’s called Cowrie Grill is because of the restaurant’s cowrie shell decorations.
HOW TO GET TO COWRIE GRILL
Cowrie Grill has now moved to the Promenade in Greenhills. I’ve wandered around Promenade and watched movies in it a few times since it opened and never knew there were restaurants at the back! When I finally found Cowrie Grill, I wanted to facepalm myself for never having realized that there was something to explore around the back! Anyway, Cowrie Grill is at the back corner of the Promenade building, near the new Gloria Maris. If you’re coming from Krispy Kreme, just keep walking towards Gloria Maris until you reach the back corner of the Promenade. There’s no need to go inside the Promenade; Cowrie Grill is located outside along Missouri St.
Even though they’ve moved, Cowrie Grill is still part of The Manila Hotel (tip: you can use your Prestige Card here, it gives you 20% discount on food AND beverages, regardless of how many of you there are in your dining group!). You can also buy The Manila Hotel breads. I wonder if they also do discounts after 7pm?
DINING AT COWRIE GRILL
So anyway, when I was invited to try Cowrie Grill, I jumped at the chance! This was my first time to dine at Cowrie Grill. This is Manila Hotel’s fine dining steak restaurant.
The tableside service was a treat! Our server, Art, started sauteeing lobster medallions for our lobster bisque, and finished it off with a flambé!
Here’s the final product, our Lobster Bisque (P300). Their old recipe used chives, but their new recipe uses tarragon instead. I find that the tarragon makes it a bit different – it adds an almond/anise-like aftertaste. I don’t mind it and rather liked the mystery of identifying the new flavor, but some of the other diners weren’t fans of tarragon. Although the lobster bisque was delicious, I thought it was a bit thin since I am more used to thicker bisques.
Next, Art made us his special Caesar Salad! He claims he makes the best Caesar Salad, and to be fair, his Caesar Salad is one of the best I’ve had. Art knows his stuff. It’s actually nice to hear him talk about the history of the Caesar Salad, why it’s called Caesar Salad, and he knows all about the ingredients used and the process to make the dressing. He likes to research about the food he prepares. I really appreciate that because it’s so rare for someone other than chefs and foodies to know these things.
If you like Caesar Salad done right, look for Art! His day off is on Fridays, but he’s there any other day.
Maître d’Caesar Salad (P300). The actual serving is actually a bit bigger than what was served to us:
I liked it. Some might find it a bit strong-flavored and slightly salty, but I like it. If you don’t like it too strong or salty, just ask to have less dressing. This salad was creamy, garlicky, and salty. I love that Art didn’t scrimp on the ingredients! There was a lot of bacon bits and parmesan cheese! I would definitely order this again when I go back.
And now we get to the main course. This is the English cut Angus Beef Rib Steak (P1,500).
It is a thin slice of well-seasoned, tender beef. No litid (tough tendon) at all. The flavor is quite good. You know how sometimes the flavor just sits on the outer portion of meat and it’s bland inside? Not here! Flavor permeates every bite, even if it’s just simply flavored with salt & pepper. It is also perfectly cooked to medium doneness! This means it’s still a little pink in the middle, but oh so tender. It is served with 3 sauces – Mushroom, Bearnaise, and Peppercorn. Personally, I prefer the mushroom sauce the most.
Also try spreading some of the roasted garlic on a little bite of steak and see how you like it. The roasted garlic is soft – just give it a good squish and it spreads like thick applesauce! The garlic flavor is very mellow and not harsh at all.
I happily ate the steak and mostly ignored the baked potato that came with the steak. After eating the top part of the potato with the toppings, the rest of the potato was bland. If you’re set on finishing the potato, maybe you can ask for some more mushroom sauce for it?
For dessert, we had the Baked Alaska (P420), again, flambéed! Here is Art preparing to flambé. After igniting the brandy, he pours it from one ladle to the other, like pulling tea.
This was okay. It is just strawberry and vanilla ice cream wrapped in a sponge cake shell and further coated with meringue outside. I mean, it’s good, but not something I would reorder if I can try something else next time, probably the Crepes Suzette or the Mango Jubilee.
We were also given some chocolate crinkles for additional dessert. I find that this is a common practice when dining at hotels (when you’re not availing yourself of the buffet) – they give you some small cookies at the end of the meal. The cookies are usually not that great but it’s appreciated and helps you end the meal on a sweet note, even if you didn’t order dessert.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that we were also served some bread rolls and several kinds of butter before the meal started. The butters were good!
This is a great place to take someone if you want to impress them with fun tableside service and showmanship! For intimate dinners, you can ask to stay at one of those cozy-looking booths.
Prices are not as high as I expected for the starters, soups, salads and pasta, averaging around P250-400. The main entrees are where it tends to go into the four digits (P1,000-P2,500 range). But, using your handy dandy Prestige Card, you can get a 20% discount! Note: prices are subject to a 10% service charge.
Service – excellent! Our maitre ‘d was very knowledgeable and engaging, but also knows when to back away to let us have some privacy. The staff is well-trained, as expected from The Manila Hotel.
Promenade Mall, Missouri St., Greenhills
Phone: (02) 463 1993
Hours: 11:00AM to 3:00PM for lunch and from 6:30PM to 10:00PM for dinner
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!