To Steak or Not To Steak?

A lot of times (well most of the time) whenKristin's Steakhouse dining out in the philippines we can find nothing good to say about the dining experience. Between poor service, poor food, dirty conditions and loud, ill mannered filipinos it can often be compared to sitting at a trough in a major pig farm during slopping. But this is not one of those stories, far from it as a matter of fact. So after seeing posts about the above I thought I would share an experience with you all. So pull up your chair, put your bib on to catch the saliva as your mouth starts to water.

My wife and I tend to travel a lot and have tried several restaurants on several islands which were more disappointment than enjoyable. So a little while back we decide to go out and eat. My wife was told about this Vietnamese restaurant and she wanted to try it. Very nice they told my wife so off we go. Yes we did find it after about 45 minutes in a taxi that had the a/c on strike. Said restaurant turned out to be in the middle of a squatters area and pretty much looked like a squatter hut itself. Hiyo Silver away to next place which I was told was a good steakhouse (but then I was also told the Vietnamese was good). Now at this point my hope starts to fade as my stomach comes up to see if my throat has been cut.

Kristin's Steakhouse interiorWe found the steakhouse pretty easy as we passed it going to the first so in we walk. Right off we are greeted at the door by staff who ask A/C or non A/C and shown to the A/C  room and to our table where COLD water was promptly served and menus passed out. A nice selection of imported steaks! They even had gator and ostrich on the menu so this is not your normal filipino dining facility I thought to myself. Looking at the menu, going into steak shock as the waiter wipes my drool off the menu I choose a Porterhouse cooked medium and off he goes and returns with the steaks so I can pick the one I want, more drool!

The steak is delivered to my table and placed in front of me with a REAL steak knife and flatware, not the cheap shit that Unicity keeps locked behind a glass case. Now at this point I could change direction and talk about something else and keep you in suspense about “THE STEAK”. Well it was cooked the way I ordered it, was very juicy and tender. It came with mashed potatoes and veggies, only the dinner roll was missing. In short I was in no way disappointed with the meal, setting, service or anything. Just my meal came to 2,000 pesos but worth every peso!! The name of the steakhouse is Kristin’s Steakhouse in Bacolod City. You can also find them on Facebook with pictures of the steaks. And yes, they really are that big.


Published in Dining


  1. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
    Captain PFB

    Of all the places I’ve been in Philippines, Bacolod City has the best places to dine, the best food, and the best service. I lived in Bacolod City for a few years, and that is what I miss most, the decent dining, food, and service. Kristin’s Steakhouse was not there when I lived there. Must have been built after I left. It does look pretty new.

  2. Profile gravatar of Captain PFB
    Captain PFB

    Hey Mike, I did add a forum at your request “Places to eat, shop, and stay” in the “forums” page. How about you be the first to add this to the forum?

  3. Profile gravatar of kalbo

    All you need is one decent manager with their head screwed on (and usually one that has lived in the land of the Kano and witnessed proper service and food) and you’ll end up with a mighty fine restaurant!


  4. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
    Phil Doh

    Mike, I want to believe the steak is as good as you say it is here, but from what I’ve seen of restaurants and supermarkets they’re just totally clueless when it comes to meat. A good steak should be hung for at least three weeks and never frozen before cooking.

    Over the past few years there’s been a bit of a competition brewing with top restaurants on how long they can hang their beef to get the best taste.

    In the supermarkets here they chop it up as soon as it’s slaughtered, chuck it in the freezer, take it out in the morning to display. By the time its thawed it’s time to chuck it back in the freezer again at night. And on it goes till it sells. Any decent cuts from Aus or the States are obviously frozen too, so I very much doubt you would ever get the perfect steak here.

    Be interesting to hear what Tristan’s secret is, if he has one.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike
      Mike Post author


      It was the best steak I had since the states. I was expecting something small, hard and tough but it was indeed very good.

      1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
        Phil Doh

        Those small, hard and tough “beef steaks” they serve in places are so pathetic the words beef and steak should not be associated with them. Probably cut from some poor starving cow with his ribs showing. You’d struggle to cut through the meat with a good steak knife, but they give you a spoon to make it even more of a challenge.

  5. Profile gravatar of beameup

    Good steak in the Philippines??? Have you had a look at the cattle in the P.I.?

    The only animal that gets “corn fed” in the P.I. are those “precious” roosters.

  6. Profile gravatar of JoeyG


    Just so you know, Filipino “beef steak” is definitely not steak. It is the poor Filipino’s version, when the Spaniards denied our conquered ancestors then any access to quality meat for 333 years. This was all people can afford back then. So there’s a little bit of history in it.

    But even to this very day, very very few Filipinos can actually afford to buy even a serving of T-bone, or black angus, or ribeye. For many of us, the price is simply prohibitive. So I am not making any excuse for the steak, just for Filipinos acquired taste for the Pinoy beef steak.

    1. Profile gravatar of Mike
      Mike Post author


      How did the Spanish deny filipinos access to quality meats for 333 years? Reason I ask is because there is no way the Spanish could have monitored the entire nation. Also in my experience if a filipino wants something they will find a way to get it no matter what they have to do.

      Not picking on you but if you say the Spanish denied then please explain how they denied.

      1. Profile gravatar of JoeyG

        The country was colonized by Spain. Filipinos were beaten up and hit on the head for no apparent reason. Among all of Spain’s former colonies, the Philippines had the unique disadvantage of being a group of islands rather than being huge land masses. So it was really very easy for Spain to use the divide-and-conquer strategy. Reason why even more than half a century of being independent ha not helped the country be united at all. There is so much regionalism in terms of attitudes towards other Filipinos, instead of pursuing common goals. In any case, that’s what made it so easy for Spain to be the Philippines’ masters for far too long.

        Going back to the food example. You know we eat fish heads, right? Again, the Spanish colonizers were responsible for that. That was the only part of the fish they would let Filipinos back the to actually eat because like most Caucasians, the Spanish also thought that fish heads were disgusting.

        Oh, well. I understand your frustration about most Filipinos’ attitudes. I, too, get frustrated a lot with many of my fellow Filipinos. They always think they’re being smarter by being the cheats and lazy bastards they are. Even our heroes have written about this. Try googling “The Indolence of the Filipino” written by Jose Rizal. You’ll see what I mean. Unfortunately, we just can’t expect people’s attitudes to change overnight. We’ve been colonized too long, first by Spain, then America, then Japan, then America again. Then we had Marcos for more than 25 years. So unlike the US, for example, we’ve only been really exercising our freedom as a people during the last 30 years. A lot of history of being oppressed there, which probably explains why most Filipinos think they can only achieve so much by doing things right.

        Heck, just look at our politics. It’s all about clans of families ruling different parts of the country. You know what? Many of these clans actually descended from the former Spanish colonizers as well. They use “guns, goons, and gold” to perpetuate themselves in political positions. A few of us do try to teach our fellow Filipinos that they do have the right to vote for someone else come election time. But it’s too much work for them to actually sit and analyze candidates’ agendas because no one let them use their brains for God knows how long.

        Oh well, the point of all this is that, yes, there’s so much we can hate about Filipinos and the Philippines. And yes, we all hope things will somehow change for the better. But in the meantime, we all have got to be a bit more patient cause change does take time.

        My advice? Go eat at restaurants that actually serve what you would call “good food” while you’re in the Philippines. There’s actually a few around. Probably at five- or four-star hotels, or in and around the bigger malls. Also, limit your time in the Philippines to the barest minimum. If you don’t have any real business being there, get out of it. I know I did.

        Good luck!

      2. Profile gravatar of Mike
        Mike Post author


        I once asked a filipino why they pissed everywhere. His answer: “Because Spain did not introduce the toilet or sewer to the philippines”. I know someone on this site will say it so I’ll Be the first.

        1.) Philippines has not had independence from the U.S. for 30 years. They have had it since 1946.

        Your reply also goes along the lines about what a lot of people on this site complain about. You made all kinds of excuses why not filipinos fault. You blamed Spain, U.S. and Japan for the filipino mindset and condition of the country. The condition, mindset and such are solely the fault of filipinos and no one else.

        When the Philippines was a U.S. territory who were in the senate, congress, president, justice and so on? FILIPINOS!!!
        Who made the laws for the country? FILIPINOS! Who has been running the country since Spain left? FILIPINOS!!!

    2. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
      Phil Doh

      “Just so you know, Filipino “beef steak” is definitely not steak”

      No shit. It’s definitely not beef either. Like a lot of things, filipinos take the American term and label it on to their own crappy version. Recently I bought a hotdog which was advertised as a “foot long”. The fucker was barely 5 inches long. Just typical.

      1. Profile gravatar of JoeyG

        It was actually the Spaniards who called it “bisteque” which literally translates to just steak. Filipinos call it bistek, then sort of Americanized it by calling it Filipino beef steak. Again, just make sure you read through the menu.

    3. Profile gravatar of JoeyG


      You’ve got to read through my entire comment. I did specifically say that after the US freed us in 1946 came Marcos some 20 years later. So once again, our freedoms were curtailed for 21 more years. It’s really all the same everywhere. The US was in very bad shape the first few decades it became free from England. Same with France after the French overthrew the nobles during their revolution. As I’ve said before, change takes time.

      Oh, and that commonwealth thing? Yes, Filipinos were supposed to be running affairs in the Philippines, but it was all under the “guidance” of the “Philippine” Commission which was headed by, ta dah… an American chief.

      Other than that, you and I are on the same page. The Philippines can do so much better if Filipinos get their act together. When that actually happens, only God knows.

      1. Profile gravatar of Mike
        Mike Post author


        You must be referring to the American governor from 1898 till 1946. It could be argued that he was the philippines rep to the stateside congress and senate. I’ll give you the chief though as I can see your point valid.

        Yes the U.S was having a hard time after kicking the British out. But they also doubled the size of the country in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. It’s not the congressmen, senators or the president that makes a country but the people. The filipinos have no sense of nation. Till that changes the philippines will not.

  7. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    What pisses me off is having meat added to non meat dishes.

    I said VEGETABLE SOUP – utan bisaya in other words.

    i said
    no baboy, no lechon, no chicheron, no pork
    please NO MEAT

    i get back the dish its got fried burnt bacon in it. These clowns cant help themselves.
    i looked to the guy and said, didnt i say no meat?? no pork in the soup.
    “yes sir” (yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full sir)
    whats that then (pointing to my vegetable soup).
    “its bacon sir”
    me: isnt bacon meat?
    “yes sir”……. like duh

    Another place .. i want it vegetarian…
    reply – “why don’t you have some chicken on it”?

    1. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
      Phil Doh

      You just can’t win. When you actually expect meat there’s barely any on the plate. The wife ordered a spagetti bolognese last time we ate out. Instead of the generous helping of bolognese on top of the spagetti you’d usually expect there were a few crumbs of mince mixed in with the spagetti. And the rich tomato sauce that’s the best thing about spag bol it’s that cheap sweet shit from out of a sachet.