Planet Grapes-Shangri-La isn’t good only for one meal. I’ve been back several times and it keeps getting better and better. It’s a cool and elegant place serving fun yet sophisticated food, with wine at its core. Last week, I was invited here to taste fine dishes cooked and prepared by Chef Phil Neil, the head chef of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group. Chef Phil visited the Philippines and we were pleased to have personally experienced his cooking at Planet Grapes. The theme of the night? Pork dishes, using quality pork straight from the UK. There’s no doubt about it. We were in for a special treat! 🙂

Food Rundown: Pork Dishes by Chef Phil Neil at Planet Grapes

For starters, the combination of skewered pork chops in garlic and oil, breaded pig ears in strips, and seasoned meatballs made of pork shoulder with scotch eggs was pretty much spot on across the board. Everything was well-constructed with great textures. The pig ears were light yet crisp to the bite; the pork chops, juicy; and the pork shoulder balls, hearty and meaty with a nice crispy sear on the outside and really moist inside. Satay sauce and the olives with chives tartar sauce served as perfect accompaniments to taste.

Braised to fork-tenderness for three hours, the pork cheeks were moist and relatively lean. Zesty notes of the carrot puree, shallots, and potatoes did a good job to complement the natural flavors of the pork.

Teeming with sweet and savory flavors, the pork ribs cooked with jasmine tea, ketchup, soy sauce, honey, and peanut butter and then topped with sesame seeds didn’t disappoint. Given the heft of the various elements, I didn’t expect them to be well-matched. Overall, the result was an enjoyable bomb of aromatics. Thumbs up!

Pork belly (liempo) delivered in spades. Oh baby, this is what dreams are made of. It demonstrated a mix of crispy and supple textures with fats, along with a heady, porky taste that was evened out by the brightness of veggies. Lentils, carrots, and thinly sliced onions gave a nice contrast, a refreshing respite from the hearty portions of pork.

Glorious pork ribs were back in action, but this time they were braised with apple sauce. It’s wonderful how the meat was infused with a sweet and succulent accent of apple. Not to be taken as a “meh” side dish, the roasted potato fries cooked in duck fat had gorgeous silkiness and golden-crisp edges. This is the type of thing you wake up in the middle of the night shaking for because you want it so bad! 😛

Lastly, the pork shoulder rubbed with salt and pepper showed off all the classic goodness that you’d expect in pork. It has got everything a killer dish should have: big on flavor, properly tender, and certainly praiseworthy with a hint of heat. I can imagine it would also be sublime in a sandwich or tacos. 🙂

And of course, when in Planet Grapes, whether it be a casual midweek lunch, a birthday throw-down, or a classy get-together with friends, it’s a must to dine in with wine. There’s a ton of variety to choose from. Get it by 1/4, 1/2, or one full glass, from the enomatic machine, or by the bottle.

We had the 2009 Chateau Siaurac, Lalande-de-Pomerol to drink through our sumptuous meal. This full-bodied red wine from France has a flexible structure and a long finish, with harmoniously interwoven notes of black currant, black cherry, licorice and underbrush.

Leche flan, crepe, turon and chocolate cake—you can’t go wrong with any of these for desserts. I highly recommend the leche flan which had rich, creamy, smooth, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. It’s sweet but not to the point where you’d reach a cheek-tingling sugar panic. So yummy! 🙂

photo-op with Chef Phil

Planet Grapes Shangri-la
Unit GD 103, North Wing, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Edsa cor. Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City
For inquiries or reservations, call (02) 531-8207/ (02) 532-2950
Date Published: 10/04/2016
Business Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:00am-12:00am Fri-Sat 11:00am-1:00am


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

36 Responses

  1. Fred

    Very nice writeup with great looking photos. I do like pork better than beef, so this article is really quite tempting to try, even I imagine it is quite pricey because of the 5-star location.

  2. Jerwel De Perio

    It’s true that the quality of the ingredients affect the taste of the dish, especially Grade A pork meat which has a good marble and delectable taste of the fat. And based on the pictures, they were really truly a good piece of pork. I also happen checked the place but cannot eat because of the price. A little pricey for students like me.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Well, that’s true. I also could not eat out in a place like this when I was a student. Gotta save up my allowance for school stuff. 🙂 Anyway, it’s good enough to know that you can celebrate special occasions or treat yourself some time in Planet Grapes. The menu is diverse also and you can wish to have more on your plate.

  3. Raymond Vasquez

    And this post makes me hungry! Ah mouth-watering food! Now, I’m craving. But thanks for this one. Reminds me of the bliss of having those in my taste buds. 😀

  4. Franc Ramon

    This is a really fine place to visit and the aura exudes elegance. I also like their food offerings as it does look really tasty.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Come any night of the week and this place will be filled. It’s filled with people who are enjoying themselves because they’re eating some very solid food…and wine. 🙂

  5. Censie Sawyer

    Looks like a great place to enjoy some yummy food and friends. Those dishes look so good. I am hungry just looking at this post! ha!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      One by one the dishes arrived, each one better than the next. There’s nothing particularly jaw-dropping there, but each one tasted like we were eating it for the first time. The desserts were pretty fantastic as well. 🙂

  6. Bhushavali

    Looks interesting. When its from Jamie Oliver’s training it has to taste good. Unfortunately I can’t comment more than that, coz here I am a vegetarian..

  7. Cheryl F

    If this is somewhere near me I wouldn’t mind going there and pig-out! The quality of the ingredients takes the big factor of how a dish taste. Pork from Uk is something very tempting to try. The dishes are well presented and undeniably looks yummy.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Planet Grapes has the look and feel of something that was conceptualized by someone who has a clear vision and a sense of aesthetic. Look at the wine lights and you’ll be in awe! Discovering wines one glass at a time sounds good. 😀

  8. LaiAriel Samanagka

    I like how you convey your thoughts about all these foods you’ve tried. Amazingly written because you made me feel like I want to go to Planet Grapes now. Your photos? They’re all stunningly taken.

  9. Shub

    So many varieties of Pork? Must be like heaven for pork-lovers. Too bad I don’t eat it.

  10. Elizabeth O.

    The food looks great, it’s a nice mix of the traditional dishes with the chef’s own twist. I love the plating as well! I’m glad you had a great time tasting what they have to offer!

  11. Bites for Foodies

    There was a time when I ate meat that I would be able to say that I would love to try these…but since I’ve become vegetarian, the only thing I can say is that my husband would love to try these!! They do look very appealing and unique!b

  12. Tiffany Yong

    You got me at the dessert…. No I prolly shouldn’t be looking at that because it’s sinful! Oh gosh, I want to try that banana crepe!

  13. Grace

    The desserts look delectable. It`s quite difficult for me to find a leche flan which has the right sweetness. It`s good to know theirs isn`t too sweet. I wonder how their turon tastes like. Also, what is the yellow below the turon and the white powder-like stuff on top? Great photos!


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