METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES. I am always on the lookout for that place within the metro where you can get a piece of steak that is not only cheap but also smackingly good and money-worthy. I think that habit stayed with me as I have come to love this steakhouse near our university that serves just that. I keep coming back to it even after I graduated as I became quite convinced that there is no more steakhouse out there other than it that serves some nice, delicious steak for a fraction of the cost of those that we do find in malls and fine-dining steakhouses. But then again, because of the current fast emergence of restaurants in the metro, steakhouses reminiscent to the one I love have continuously popped-up in drives which push me to try them out just to check if there is one that can already beat to the pulp my first love. So far, none ever did.
That is why when my friends asked me to find a restaurant in Teacher's Village where we could go to that weekend, I immediately scanned my list of restos that I'd like to try out and found one named Empire Steak. Going to Empire Steak is not an easy feat especially if you are going there for dinner. For one, it hides on one of the more unknown branch streets of Maginhawa called Masinsinan and no telling signs that you are already near it are present which made the search even harder. Well, we triumphantly sighed when we found it!
Seven tables in all, the restaurant can sit up to 14 people inside and 8 outside. There were two people dining already when we arrived but other than that, the restaurant was as quiet as we would like it to be. No huge crowd, no waiting in line, no unnecessary noise. Just us and our voices. Maybe those are the perks of going on a Sunday night.
More than the limited seats and tables inside, the restaurant was also decorated in a minimalistic way. There were a few photographs of infamous NYC sights which I think is where the name Empire Steak was derived (referencing to the iconic Empire State Building in New York). The feel of the place is just like that of a friend's flat; cozy and simple. No frills, just the basics.
The menu is easy to navigate. There were only steaks and gyros in it with some optional add-ons to complement your Empire Steak experience. My friend Cick ordered the Solo Steak while my other friend Jhe and I ordered the King Kong's Steak which is good for sharing. Since I am not in the mood to eat rice and is more interested to try their Truffled Mashed Potato, I asked the waiter to upgrade our rice to it instead. You may also change your rice to 1 pc Pita or 1 pack of potato chips for no charge, to a regular mashed potato for an additional Php 30 and to Truffled mashed potato, like what we did, for an additional fee of Php 75 which is super worth it. It came also as a surprise that our steak was lusciously packed on top by sauteed vegetables which I definitely appreciate since I am more of a veggie person and a minimal meat-eater. The steak was absolutely something that I look forward on having soon! No bones and just pure meat, it was marinated and cooked well to our preference. Oh, what I would give to eat there again!
So did it beat my first-choice steakhouse? Well, I can't really say. Neck to neck maybe? Empire Steak has a lot of good points that I came to love, as well as the other one. But if you just wanted to treat yourself to a nice slice of steak when you come across Teacher's Village, then Empire Steak is the one to come to.
- Address: Masinsinan St., Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila
- Phone: +632 359 0934
- Facebook: www.fb.com/EmpireSteak