A Gustavus Anniversary

We celebrated our 7th Wedding Anniversary last January 11 in Gustavus.

Gustavus is a recently opened steakhouse in Legaspi Village that proudly serves only USDA Prime Beef. The restaurant is challenging Elbert’s Steak supremacy in Manila with the help of Hongkong-based Scottish chef David Griffith and Chef Aya Dantes.

The restaurant is named after Gustavus, supposedly the Inventor of Steaks, according to Mike Gayoso (one of the many partners). Although I’ve searched the net, I can’t find any information about Gustavus. Can you help?

Gustavus Menu: All Day Menu | Entrees | Steak Menu

The steaks are very good indeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Elbert’s and Gustavus had the same steak supplier. However, the overall experience at Gustavus is still evolving because the chairs used are still from the F Word restaurant, the waiters are clueless about the menu, and the food presentation is a bit boring pa.

They still have a long way to go before they can be at par with Elbert’s. Better try this one month after they have stabilized already (maybe in Feb).

They have an interesting selection of Premium Beers, like the Flying Dog (P280), Dead Guy Rogue (P320) and Chimay Peres Trappist (P310).

Tempura Soft Shell Crab (P260+ 12% VAT +10% Service Charge). Comes with Thai Mango Salad & Chili Tomato Remoulade.

Rache wanted the soft shell crab. It was tasty and the crab was crispy enough. There was a lot of liquid, though, which slightly ruined this salad.

Ribeye 12 oz. (340g – P1955 + 12% VAT +10% Service Charge). USDA Prime Beef — The Reason for Gustavus.

We ordered the 12 oz. ribeye and decided to split it (one is cooked medium for me and the other one cooked medium-well for Rache). It was very good — soft and tasty, especially the layers of fat in between the meat. The plating was uninspired, though.

We were surprised when we were charged +12% VAT on top of the menu prices (even if it was not specified in the menu) and +10% service charge. If you’ve read OAP before, you know I really hate it when restaurants hide +12% VAT charges. Why not just add it to the menu price? Aargh.

1/18/09 UPDATE: Mike was very kind enough to check out our bill again. The VAT was just misrepresented when the bill was presented to us by the waiter. The menu price did include VAT already and we are only charge +10% service charge. 

On a lighter note, here’s a fun photo of Rache. 

A Pre-Wedding Preparation in Canyon Woods Video (Part 1 of 3)

To reminisce our wedding, I’ll share with you our wedding video created by Jason Magbanua. At that time, Jason was not yet popular. He gave us a VCD copy of our wedding video and he rejected my request to do an onsite wedding video because he did not have a laptop then. 

Anton & Rachelle January 11 Caleruega Wedding Video (Part 2 of 3)

Watch this to see our memorable wedding memories with our favorite wedding song You’re Still You by Josh Groban.

The Canyon Woods Reception Video (Part 3 of 3)

Thank you to all the people who helped us in our Caleruega wedding. It’s good to remember those moments, especially on our 7th wedding anniversary.

Anton and Rachelle after 7 years and 3 boys… 🙂

We will try the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich next time…

Nothing But Prime
Ground Floor, F&M Lopez Building
109 C. Palanca Street 
(Former Location of F Word)
Legaspi Village, Makati

Monday to Friday: Lunch and Dinner
Saturday: Dinner Only
Closed on Sunday

For reservations please call 813-0475 and 502-9102

Live an Awesome Life, 


Anton Diaz
Founder and Digital Publisher 

Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 
Email: anton@diaz.ph
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P.S.  I’m now thinking about how we will celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary… Hmmm, any suggestions?

37 thoughts on “A Gustavus Anniversary

  1. if they are referring to Mr. Gustavus Swift, he did not invent the steak…rather he invented the first refrigerated car in 1882, this is an excerpt from http://www.mychicagosteak.com/aboutus.asp
    Chicago’s tradition of Delivering the World’s Finest Beef started in 1864 – with the birth of the Chicago Union Stockyards. Some of America’s largest beef companies such as Swift, Morris, and Hammond at the turn of the century produced 82% of the meat consumed in the United States. In 1882 Gustavus Swift created the first refrigerated car making it possible to ship the best cuts of steak coast to coast. Today, Chicago Steak Company is the premier provider of gourmet steaks, seafood and desserts. We are proud to continue the long and rich tradition of Delivering Mid-Western Corn-Fed USDA Prime, Black Angus, and Premium USDA Choice steaks to homes and businesses across America.
    Our juicy steaks were recently showcased on the Discovery Science Channel’s Catch It Keep It, as the “Must Have” luxury item for any steak lover. Jim Johnson, a celebrity on Chicago Radio’s Roe Conn Show, stated “The steaks were great…quite possibly the most tender I’ve ever had!”

  2. Your picture on the menu only stated that a 10% service charge would be added, and no mention of the 12% VAT was included. If you were billed for VAT, I think you were charged illegaly.

  3. Hi Gerry,
    Yes, ngayon ko lang nga napansin when I reviewed the photos of the
    menu. But I'm sure we paid additional 12% VAT on top of the menu
    prices. Oh well, l'll just let it be, masarap naman yung steak 🙂

  4. Hi Anton,
    When was the last time you were in Elbert’s? I’m guessing it was over 2 years ago, when they first opened and you first reviewed them. Judging from the pics in your Elbert’s review, the restaurant was unfinished then. So, unless you’ve visited them recently, I don’t think you should be comparing the two since you have no basis for comparison.
    You shouldn’t even be speculating that the two may have the same meat supplier, which I have confirmed they do not (all you had to do was ask, which I did).
    A little responsible blogging is all I ask. It doesn’t take much to research and make a single phone call. I feel bad for the Steak Room, which is in my book in a class of its own and has raised the bar for high end dining experience in this country, for you have just pulled them down. I’ve been to Gustavus myself, twice at that, and I will tell you that your blog entry is like comparing a BMW 5 series to a Honda Civic (not even an Accord).
    You should be comparing Gustavus to Malcolm’s or Highlands instead.
    Interesting though that you figured out that the owners named their restaurant without understanding at all about the name they used. It just goes to show what kind of restaurant they have and where they are headed.

  5. Happy Anniversary! Eating steaks seems to be the right way to go for a romantic dinner. And you’re right they don’t have a website. Maybe they don’t need it…. but they should. Nowadays it’s important to have a website for your business. It’s like your own calling card on the internet.

  6. Hi Sir Anton!
    Wow u have a lovely wife!
    Belated Happy Anniv.! Jan.11 is the bday of my eldest daughter..=)
    I loved the video of your weddings preparation…kaso un 2 video diko ma play..?
    It was been removed..sana mai repost u…kakabitin kasi..hehe
    Thanks for sharing it..

  7. They hid the 12% tax? it’s against the law to do that, from what i remember its either they should include the 12% VAT in their prices or at least put a note on the Menu that prices are still exclusive of it… anyway belated happy anniversary!!! =)

  8. Di naman siguro. Maybe it was an honest mistake. I just posted it for
    people who will try the resto to make sure to check the +12% vat pa.

  9. Happy anniversary, you guys! Caleruega rin pala kayo, kami rin ni Danvic, and we celebrated our 10th last December – one girl and one on the way – hahaha!
    Congrats again, kisses and see you soon (for the resumption of your FP) 🙂

  10. Actually, the 12% VAT should be included in the price quoted on the menu. That’s the law. It cannot be added on even if they put a note. And the amount of VAT you paid should be clearly indicated on the receipt.

  11. Hi Santi,
    Thanks and I appreciate the feedback. I was not intending to “pull-down” Elbert’s but really to elevate the Steakhouses in Manila to the level of Elbert’s which I agree defined the High-End Steak Dining in Manila.
    They don’t have the same local supplier of steaks. Gustavus imports the prime steaks directly from the US and Elbert’s gets them from a local supplier who imports steaks. I’ll take that feedback and thanks for the comment.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂 Appreciate it 🙂

  12. Hi Anton, congratulations on your 7th! Nice of you to share a pre-wedding vid. Sayang the other vids were taken offline.
    I’ve never been to either Elbert’s or Gustavus, but I’m drawing up a list of where to eat for an upcoming Manila visit. This is why I visit blogs like yours: to look for personal and authentic dining experiences.
    The steakhouse scene seems quite competitive, judging from some emotional comments here.

  13. Hello! I think am confused … pareho lang ba to sa isa pang napost mo na Brasserie Boheme? I mean same owner? I think I got confused with the duplciate use of the word “Gustavian” hehe 🙂

  14. Just had dinner at Gustavus. Quite impressed. Had clam chowder which was tastier than the last clam chowder i had at Pier 39. My main course was the rib eye. My son said better than Ruth Chris. I say better than Mortons and just as good as Ruth Chris/Elberts. Will definitely be back.

  15. Elbert steak is good. But imo The Fireplace in Hyatt malate(ermita?) and RED in Shangrila Makati are the best steaks ive tasted. Pero malayo parin steaks dito compared sa Mortons and other steak houses sa abroad.

  16. Had dinner here last night. Had the steak and grilled salmon. It was good. I just hope the place lasts as all the previous establishments in that unit closed in around a year.

  17. Hi Anton,
    Belated Happy Anniversary!!! I knew you guys were married in Calaruega but I didn’t know it was on the 11th of January. My hubby and I also got married there last Jan 11, 2009 and had our reception at Sonya’s. 🙂
    Thanks for this helpful review of Gustavus. We’re looking for a good steakhouse here in Manila where we can take our relatives visiting from Canada.
    God bless!

  18. Hi Anton,
    It is nice that you are trying to post restaurant reviews on your blog, but I agree with Santi – you have to be a responsible blogger- especially when you are reviewing food & drinks.
    Some notes that you might want to consider when writing;

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