Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Broken Vow... at Volcanic Grill

I received an invitation a couple of weeks ago from a dear friend with a message something like "we are inviting you for an Acoustic Night at Volcanic Grill."   I  had seconds thoughts on attending, to be totally honest.   For one, it is a grill house.  We all know for a fact an experience could be somewhat devastating to go on a date at a grill house, so I did expect it to be smoky, crowded and noisy.  Also, I had vowed to myself to keep away from meat especially grilled, charred, worst burnt.
But receiving an invitation   from a person I know to have a classy tastes on dining, I gave in and have contracted a spark of interest.   Although the acoustic term fancied me, I never thought I would "eat my word," literally speaking.

To begin my untold story of a broken vow, my husband had to meet me at the worst place I would think of (I so hate that place),  initially we were to go home first and check on the kids then leave after they've had their dinner.  But time wasn't so friendly and the traffic seemed to eat up our patience, and we were running late.   What my plan was, have the dinner with my friends and him so he will be the one to my part of the food specially the meat, but to much demise, he needed to go home.
I sort of got lost, when Bhogs dropped   me off at Emilia St. of Palanan, Makati.  I asked two people chit-chatting, about the restaurant and they know the place and pointed to the  very well lit gate ahead.
However, my mood suddenly changed.when a fine-looking man greeted me warmly suddenly felt that the vibe of the whole place seemed different from what I have imagined.
 I noticed first the huge "duyan-like" rattan ovals encasing a few white lamps above.  Around it are red-painted skeletal chandeliers (sorry for the description,I could never be a wanna-be interior designer). 
Parallel to the wide open gate, is the entire kitchen which is open and everyone can actually see and observe how their orders are being prepared that is if you're that OC about your food.
I love the garden/outdoor feel, clean gravel under my shoes, hard wood tables and chairs,  zen-like corner with the mini fountain surrounded with plants and huge pictures of food on the walls.
A casual dining experience with upscale  range of menu but with a  price that  is sooo affordable.
Now let see how and I have broken my vow.   As mentioned above I am staying away from  a lot of meat, specially pork and some sea foods.  I never said I don't like them but for health reasons I need to.  Yes, I vowed not to eat pork meat, specially barbeques and other pork dishes, there I have announced it.
But when I saw these...

Tell me, can you say no that?  We had a lot of stuff tried at Volcanic Grill but let me cut you off  a bit.  What's intriguing about the restaurant is their way of cooking.   For its namesake, volcanic, the owner and Head Chef Dennis Tan have a discovered  the newest phenomenon in the culinary world,   volcanic  rock cooking.
Putting volcanic rock inside your grill can give you a better grilling experience and tastier dishes. Lava rocks heat up quickly and disperse this heat to the inside of your gas grill. That means food cooks more evenly, with a flavor closer to that from a charcoal grill.  
Here how we started the uber palatable acoustic night.
My favorite actually was this, Tawilis!  Crispy, light and not oily.  It's like eating "chicharon" without the  guilt.   You can practically eat the whole fish which is wee small.  Don't be beguiled by the transparent glass on your right, it may not be the one on your mind.  It's a shot of clear vinegar spiked with chili slices served as a dip for your tawilis.
The Pita Pizza can be one good start.   In Crunchy Sisig flavor, these cheesy treat will entice you more to celebrate a day even when there is nothing to celebrate at all.   A pita bread topped with tomato sauce, sisig, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and basil.   Now I'm starting to drool....
Oh and another of my fave, a huge boneless bangus, look for it in the menu as The Big Brother Bangus.  A 1.3 K  milk fish, deboned, marinated and grilled.   But before it reach your table, it will be dressed dramatically with fresh tomato, shallot slices, browned garlic and chives.   Another saving grace from unfortold vow.   Perfect for the diet-conscious, this subtly seasoned fish, rich in calcium and protein will wow you, not only with the sight of it but your tummy as well.
And what would be a grill house without a stuffed Grilled Pusit (Squid).  Tender and slightly chewy, savory and healthy.
Astounding is the perfect word for this artistically cooked Tilapia.   The Flying Fish as commonly known by  customers is a lovely rendition of the fried fish with mango salad.

If you're still not impressed by the previous, this will waken your senses.  "Gising-gising."  Hey I'm not saying your sleepy while watching the pictures, it's actually the name of the vegetable dish.   Warning!  These veggies are blistering.   Likened to Bicol express, the subdued character of the simple Baguio Beans were punked up with jalapenos.
"You had me at prawns,"  as a friend would impress.   These tiger prawns are sure win with friends.  The syrupy sweet sauce makes the difference and the grilled aroma plus the crisped chopped garlic makes the whole dish so tempting. 
Oh no, Do I want to run away from this or towards it.  Oh, Volcanic Grill how could you?  Totally missing that mark on becoming fit.
And to end the laid back yet fab dinner sweetly, with  Turon Ala Mode!  Vanilla Ice Cream topped with an all-Filipino snack, Turon, bananas wrapped in spring rolls, deep fried with caramelized brown sugar. 
A hefty dinner as such would not be complete without rice.   See how native this restaurant is.  No plastic plates and cups please. 

Owner, Dennis Tan, a Sous Chef, who finished Hotel Management at Florida and Culinary Arts in Taipei comes from a Kapampangan family (his mom's side that is).   He does not only cook so well, he also is a commercial model.

If you are looking for a place to dine with a laid back and open garden atmosphere, less crowd and dislike rawdy drunkards this is the place to be.  Please do take every word I said,  food are priced competitively and the serving is brawny.   More interesting stuff can be discovered there like their capiz frame menu and  the signature V-olcanic pose.

For a clean fun and dining experience over an acoustic band, be there every Friday and Saturday night.

They open at 10 in the morning and close at 1 am.   Sundays are closed though.
Please like them at Volcanic Grill FACEBOOK page.

Address: 3445 B Florida St. Brgy Palanan Makati City, 1235 Manila, Philippines
Contact Numbers:   0916 473 0161


  1. wow! that was lots and lots of food. I bet you enjoyed it so much.

  2. i guess it's worth the guilt...u can always start tom ;)

    would love to try the sisig pizza and of course those bbqs!

    1. It was worth the guilt indeed! If you can, you better try them...

  3. That certainly was a good surprise. The pita pizza is very tempting - so cheesy! The wooden plates are very nice as well, I love that cylindrical holder for the BBQ.

  4. Oh my gahd! I am drooling now! Thanks to your post, this is near my parent's place and I will definitely hit Volcanic Grill this week. Whoa!

  5. yum, sarap ng mga food ,this is one thing that I miss so much, Filipino food and resto.

  6. the place looks inviting from the way you describe it and I would bet the food tastes great as well.

  7. OMG the bangus & pusit looks yummy!! and the turon ala mode too <3

  8. Nice Joy! Volcanic rock and all that, that's cool! Glad you responded to the invitation at least you discovered something :)

  9. Such a great concept on the volcanic rock cooking. And must I say that I love the way they stuff their seafood delights with lots of tomatoes, onions, etc! It's like having an instant serving of ensalada! Now, I'm very much a grilled-food-loving kind of gal so I'm sure to enjoy Volcanic grills dishes. :)

  10. I'm sure you had a good experience looking at the photos. Those food photos look yummy. I still have to visit this place before I can say much about it but your story is definitely helpful in giving information. Thank you.

  11. I drooled over the Tawilis.. that one was my favorite too and I used to cook it that way, it's just that, it's oily on my case..but..crunchy.. that's why I like it.

  12. Isn't anything grilled good for the heart? The food looks delicious and the place looks nice. :)

  13. The food looks delicious and freshly cooked. I'll give them a visit one of these days. ^_^

  14. wow! like your food photography ... its pretty good :)

  15. the place looks fairly unique but the food looks definitely yummy.
    love your shots :)

  16. Wow! This looks like a really interesting resto to try. I haven't tried anything grilled using volcanic rocks, but all these food look so delish!

  17. An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your web page.
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