To be honest though, Paul is a greater cook than I am. So, more often than not, I leave the cooking to him while I happily chew away. He's such a natural with a spatula on one hand and a pair chopsticks on the other. One evening while trying a new restaurant called Taza Mix with some members of The Food Club, I was so lucky to be seated beside Paul and Irene, two of the more talented cooks of The Food Club (this special category also includes fellow bloggers Carlos, Jane and Joan -- you should really try their kitchen specialties!). Just imagine how Richard and I were enjoying having our plates filled with delicious shabu shabu balls, strips of lamb and chicken, kani sticks, veggies and so much more!
Taza Mix is a newly-opened restaurant located at Madison Square that is adjacent to a Chinese restaurant called Taza de Oro. While the latter specializes in short orders ranging from dimsum, pork dishes, a wide array of congee, and more; Taza Mix offers diners with grill and shabu-shabu platters.
That evening, our group of 7 were given two shabu-shabu platters good for 3-4 each. We were surprised with the generous serving as one huge plate comes with a wide assortment of meat and fish balls, wanton dumplings, fresh shrimps and thinly sliced pork and lamb.
We also had another plate filled with veggies, corn, my favorite taro and some sotanghon noodles. What looks like just enough for 3 to 4 people turned out to be quite a bit too much. We ended up so full after consuming all the meat and seafood that we were not able to cook all the veggies served to us. We enjoyed the sotanghon though which was our only carbs that evening.
Of course, shabu-shabu dining is not complete without creating your own sauce. I really enjoy mixing spoonfuls of chopped garlic, spring onions, hebi (dried shrimps), a few peanut sauce and satay sauce before I poured in the soy sauce. The trick here is to dunk everything into the sauce because taking a bite. Believe me, this makes all the difference.
Our pot had a divider so we were able to have two types of soups which we all noticed were not as salty compared to the other shabu-shabu restaurants. In fact, I always end up extra thirsty after having shabu-shabu before but not during this particular dinner at Taza Mix. This means it's either the soup stock is not very salty or they don't use MSG or even both! Whatever it is, this is definitely plus points for Taza Mix and I will definitely recommend them to my relatives to try.
While we were all so busy cooking and eating, we were also served with a plate of grilled salmon belly which was so delicious! Paul and I liked it so much that we even got the half-consumed plate of salmon belly from the other table. Oh so yummy! We're definitely going back to Taza Mix for more of this.
Our meal ended with a sweet treat. While most restaurants would serve a platter of fresh fruits or bowls of ice cream, Taza Mix have their own French Toast that comes with a wide-array of fruits, a whipped cream dispenser and a chocolate syrup bottle. Kids and the young-at-heart will surely enjoy creating their own dessert by mixing and matching the various toppings to go with Taza Mix' signature french toast.
We all enjoyed making our own dessert. Check out how mine turned out! :)
What a fun night! :) We will definitely go back to Taza Mix for more of their grilled salmon belly and to try more of their grilled dishes next time. Of course, I can't wait to have more of those yummy French Toasts too!!
*photo credit: Paul Ang
Taza Mix is located at Madison Square, Madison street corner Ortigas Avenue, San Juan City. Call them at 721-0381.