After my Persons and Family Relations class got cancelled for the day, I proceeded all the way to SM Megamall for one of our Saturday dates, away from our usual haunts. With a bit of walking, we decided to try out a place Kat was eyeing for sometime, the Industrie Food Loft found in Julia Vargas street.
For both of us, the area of Julia Vargas was more or less terra incognita, for the reason that we do not work or live near the area. One could say we went on an adventure, carrying her statistics notes and my law books.
At first, we didn’t quite know what to expect aside from the word-of-mouth talk about the place, but when we got there, we found it to be a rustic two story cabin with the actual food loft right upstairs. The wooden chairs and tables, well-lit dining area, and different hole-in-the-wall stalls of different cuisines made it appear quite livelier than its wooden exterior. And for this reason, we decided to try out different spots for an early dinner study date, even if we found a familiar face with Buns and Bros.
A modern take on certain Japanese foods, their menu focuses mainly on sushi rolls or rice bowls. For this one, I chose a rice bowl (one can pick between steamed or stir-fried rice along with the actual meal), namely their Salmon Aburi, which consists of a pan-fried salmon fillet with torched aburi sauce on top.
The salmon’s inherent sweetness managed to be well balanced with the savory aburi sauce and the smoky notes from the torching method. It’s was a treat on the taste buds. But in hindsight, steamed rice would have been the better choice for this one since the saltiness of the stir-fried rice’s flavors clashed with the actual star of the dish. Quite simply, their Salmon Aburi rice bowl is a filling and satisfying meal for people who need something substantial as a meal. I do have one nitpick however, which is the importance of picking out the bones in any fish fillet to be served. Thankfully, I bit into it early on and felt it immediately, so a crisis averted.
Kat on the other hand, had a hankering for some winner, winner, chicken dinner. This meant specifically some fried chicken along with a serving of macaroni and cheese. The Mac and Cheese definitely made the cheese-fiend quite happy, especially seeing all that melted cheeses on top oozing into the soft and firm macaroni.
The fried chicken, on the other hand was served with a syringe full of gravy, which happened to be a quirky and welcome touch to those that like to try something new every now and then. We noticed that most of the flavor of the chicken was on the skin and breading, instead of the chicken meat itself, which was a tad bit disappointing. Maybe some buttermilk on the chicken might have improved it significantly.
And for dessert, Kat had some Matcha Taho shake, which is cold matcha-flavored taho (fresh soft tofu with caramelized brown sugar, and tapioca balls), with two pieces of matcha-flavored Pocky sticks. The smoothness of the tofu and the tea flavors one gets from the matcha is surprisingly complex, even if at first glance it appears as your usual sweet drink. This unlikely combination is a match made in heaven, and truly deserves its reputation as a bestseller.
We left Industrie Food Loft around 7:30 or 8:00 PM in a satiated state, but in a good way, looking forward to the next time we’ll find ourselves there. Hopefully this time we can come with some more friends and perhaps some board games in tow.
Ambiance / Service Score: 5/5. From the well-lit place, lively atmosphere, and cozy seating, to the attentive staffers that kept the place orderly and neat, it’s definitely a great place to hang around and enjoy a good meal (or three).
GERD Score: 3.5/5. One drawback from the place is the fact that there are fewer options for people who deal with heartburn in general for a solo diner. In all fairness however, perhaps the point of the place is to have company along be it a date or as a group or barkada.
Epilepsy Score: 3.5/5. Much of our food selections were highly seasoned, which may be problematic for some diners who are sensitive to preservatives. However there is a good selection of non-alcoholic drinks and beverages in the Industrie Food Loft. We recommend in particular the Virgin Sangria from On The Rocks.
Team Glasses Food Blog Score: 4/5. Even if there are some selections that are not entirely heartburn or epilepsy-friendly, the wide variety of food selections to choose from mitigates that particular problem, ensuring that you’ll still have a great time dining here in the first place, which we definitely did.