Friday, May 31, 2013

Restaurant Love: Mesa Filipino Moderne

We hate Tuesdays. It’s the day our car is coding meaning we have to leave the house past 7 if we want to eat out. But my mom just got a surprise birthday gift, our car went *kapoot* while it was parked in a mall. In the end, my grandma, sister and I have to take a cab to meet the birthday girl. We arrived around 7:30 p.m. and very famished.
As the foodie in the family, I was tasked to look for a place to eat in SM Megamall. (I wanted to go to Shangri-La hoping to see another new restaurant but my mom insisted we dine at Megamall. The birthday girl wins!) I suggested Kichitora since they have never tried dining there before but my grandmother wasn’t in the mood for ramen (actually, is never in the mood for ramen as she only eats tempura and chicken teriyaki, two dishes not available there). So we moved a little bit and ended up at Mesa.
The place was a bit crowded given it was a Tuesday night. We were lucky though to get one of those tables with couches. Yeah! <3
I was slightly grumpy around this time as I was really really hungry and one thing I do not like is feeling hungry. So I immediately ordered the following: Talong Salad (PHP80), Sisig in a Pouch (PHP190), Inihaw Sampler (PHP725), and Crispy Leche Flan (PHP70).

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunday Lunch: Chef's Quarter

I just love celebrating all kinds of occasions—from Halloween to Christmas, from Valentine’s Day to Black Day. Last month, T and I celebrated Children’s Day and that means be a bit kiddie.
Okay, admittedly, we didn’t really do much that day as it was scorching hot outside and playing, biking, or even walking anywhere al fresco style was deadly. I repeat, deadly! 
Anyway, after a crazy 4D ride, T and I decided to have lunch at Chef’s Quarter (now named as Uncle Cheffy). It didn’t take us long to decide what to order. After 5 minutes, we ordered the following: Tessie Tomas Salad (PHP250, solo), Seafood Lovers Panizza (PHP280), and Spaghetti Putanesca (PHP220). 

Service was quite quick as well. In less than 15 minutes, our salad was served.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Restaurant Discovery: Matgalne

Korea has stolen the hearts of many Filipinos—from dramas to music to food. I’d say, I have this long-term serious relationship with samgyeopsal. Throw in the word “unlimited” and I am yours!

Eat-all-you-can samgyeopsal for only PHP299 for lunch (11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and PHP399 for dinner (5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.), then throw in more than 20 side dishes, not a bad deal right? I was lucky to receive an email from A about this place called Matgalne that serves Korean dishes at friendly prices. Since curiosity got the best of me, I decided to pay Matgalne a visit during elections.  

It was rather hard to find the place if you’re not familiar with going around Makati but one landmark to remember is St. Giles Hotel and you’re almost there. I was lucky that I could read Korean as we totally didn’t notice the hotel’s signage. But for easier reference, here’s a photo of the façade. :)
When we arrived, I was surprised that the place was quite packed. Yes, the restaurant was slightly small, similar to how most hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Seoul are but this one could easily seat around 30 people and almost every seat is occupied by a hungry customer. Again, I was lucky as I instantly got a seat as I was in touch with A.
My only shot of the spread as I got too excited to eat right away!
Soon, I started to fill my plate with side dishes. First one I took was the Chapchae (or jabchae), one of my favorite dishes! I love that the sweet potato noodles (Korean 101: Sweet potato noodles is called dangmyeon in Korean) are not as oily and the vegetables included were fresh and quite crunchy. I just love it.
I also got some Jumeok Bap (Korean 101: Bap means rice). It was really yummy! I love the sticky texture and the saltiness of the seaweed.
See that little ball covered in nori? Yes, that’s Jumeok Bap!
There were also a lot of “jeon” available such as ham jeon, mushroom (Korean 101: Mushroom is called beoseot in Korean) jeon, and zucchini jeon. The key ingredients namely ham, mushroom and zucchini were [separately] batted in eggs and flour. If you adore fried oreos, pancakes or anything batted in eggs and flour, you’d like these.
I have mentioned several times that I do not like spicy dishes but some manage to be my “exemptions” and one of which is Matgalne’s Dak Kang Jung (Korean 101: Dak means chicken), sweet and spicy chicken. It was flavorful and it wasn’t very spicy at all. It was just right, and an instant love!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Restaurant Discovery: Texas Roadhouse Grill

[Mother’s Day Celebration Saga] So, after watching Iron Man 3 (second time for me), we opted to have dinner at Texas Roadhouse Grill due to my desperate attempt to look for an establishment with plugs to charge my almost dying phone.

Hello, Texas Roadhouse Grill! You got me at the word “plug”.
The restaurant exudes the Texan feel with predominantly brown interiors with a bit of red. The wheels also added the Western feel to it.
While browsing the menu, I had this sudden feel to order margarita and totally forgot that there was an alcohol ban then. Tsk. Anyway, after a few minutes, we decided to order Creamy Parmesan Chicken (PHP395), Geronimo’s Seafood Pasta Marinara (PHP350) and Shrimp and Salmon Skewer (PHP495). For dessert, we ordered Country Custard (PHP165). I also ordered a glass of Grape Shake (PHP120) as my beverage.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Promo Alert: SM Mega Food Sale

Food and sale are two words I really love. But put them together, I'll be in foodie heaven. I was beyond thrilled when I saw on my Facebook news feed the SM Mega Food Sale. *bliss*

Hello again, SM Mega Food Sale. We will meet again... soon!
This is a great way of SM to attract foodies to flock SM Mega Mall on a weekend. A lot of food establishments will offer discounts, freebies, extra servings and the like. 

Here are some establishments I am targeting this weekend.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Restaurant Discovery: Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant

Germany has been known for its great beer and sausages and when a German-inspired restaurant opened near my place, I just have to try it myself. It’s the closest I could be with Germany, for now. *winks in an ugly way*
Hey, hey Brotzeit!
Brotzeit is a German Bier Bar & Restaurant which oddly started in Singapore. But they ensure that they offer authentic Bavarian cuisine. According to their site, “brot” means bread while “zeit” means time referring to a leisure meal accompanied by beer.
The place is indeed cozy and it has a masculine feel to it—perhaps because of the brown tones.
N (girl) and I are not beer people so we opted not to order any though I was tempted to try. Then again, I remembered the existing bet I have with N (boy) and I just have to win.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

YUMMY EATS 2013 COUNTDOWN: 2 days to go!

Just 2 more days before Yummy Eats! Who's excited? I am! 

This is the biggest Yummy Eats to date! With 56 concessionaires, a good mix of sweet, savory and local favorites, this is one event you definitely should not miss. 
If you are a foodie, you just have to be here. If you are on the look out for new flavors and tastes, you should be checking this link now (<--yes, click the word "link") for the list of concessionaires. If you have nothing to do, then you have no excuse to miss this event!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Promo Alert: SumoSam Unli Tempura and Sushi

I think it's pretty obvious that I have this strong passion for Japanese food. One thing that could make me go out on a super lazy day is... salmon sashimi. But I wasn't fond of it at first. The first time I tried eating salmon sashimi was when I was in my last year of college. (Late foodie bloomer?) But give me unlimited Japanese food, even if it's not salmon sashimi, I will be there in a second (or an hour if it's traffic).
 Presenting... SumoSam's  Unli Tempura and Sushi for only PHP499!
Yes, you read it right, unlimited... until further notice!
But wait, it gets even better as the ramen, salad and dessert are all part of the unlimited offering. Plus, just add PHP300 and you get unlimited wagyu beef as well!
So, what's the catch? It's only available at SumoSam's Somerset Olympia branch (across Ayala Triangle). Not really a big deal right?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Promo Alert: Lugang Café's Feast All You Can

Dieting is impossible if you are surrounded by foodies. We talk about food in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, and yes, even during lunch break.


Okay, there really wasn't a sound but when A sends an email, it has to be about one of the following-- (1) picture of the day, (2) weird things I do not wish to explain further, or (3) eat-all-you-can. And because I always hope that the emails are about the last one, I read the emails ASAP. 

And true enough the last one was about Lugang Café's Feast All You Can

Friday, May 10, 2013

Love at First Bite: Kanin Club

I just love Filipino food. From the tangy Sinigang to the oh-so-oily-but-good Adobo, I just love them all. I'd like to think that I'm an adventurous foodie but one thing I haven't tried yet was Dinuguan. Perhaps it's because of the color or the fact that it's made out of blood but that was one dish I was iffy to try till...

My friends and I have this tradition of celebrating Black Day every year. For those not familiar, Black Day happens on the 14th of April and is celebrated by those who did not receive any gift during Valentine's Day or White Day. Some say that it's called Single Awareness Day (or SAD for short). But for us, Black Day is a day to catch up and reminisce about the good old days.
So come April 14, T and I went to Makati to visit K and have lunch with her at... Kanin Club.

We were quite famished when we met up so we ended up ordering Squid in Salt and Pepper (PHP235), Itsi Bitsi (PHP235), Spicy Tahong (PHP227) and Crispy Dinuguan (PHP274). I also ordered bottomless Green Iced Tea (PHP99) as it was super hot that day.
The Squid in Salt and Pepper was quite disappointing. The squid was overcooked making it too gummy. Plus it was a tad too salty.
Itsi Bitsi (It's Sitaw, Bitsuelas, and Sigarilyas) on the other hand was my favorite! The crunchy sauteed vegetables with beef was nothing but savory! I love the mix of texture--the tender meat with the crunch of the greens. It was slightly salty too but nothing rice cannot solve.

I made sure that the Spicy Tahong is just mild as I really have very low tolerance for anything spicy. I loved the shrimp paste sauce. The mussels used were fresh too! Yum!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Restaurant Discovery: Early Bird Breakfast Club

Never skip breakfast. That’s something our parents always tell us. But with the boom of breakfast-all-day restaurants, this is one reminder that we will definitely remember.

I just love meetings outside the office as it helps me think better and churn out more ideas. And I just love that my officemates are such great foodies that they know the best restaurants.
One day, we had a meeting for Real Living’s big celebration and our group publisher (GP) decided that we hold the meeting at Early Bird, a cute restaurant that serves breakfast food… all day long.
The place sure is charming. It is screaming Real Living with its printed wallpapers and nice furniture. The lighting fixtures are cute too!
For my order, I decided to get the Tenderloin Tapa (PHP375). I hesitated though given that I want a dish with bacon but since GP ordered bacon crisps with maple syrup (forgot to take note of the price though), tapa it is! As for my beverage, I went for Early Bird Signature Iced Tea (PHP125).

YUMMY EATS 2013 COUNTDOWN: 10 days to go!

I am so excited to taste again the yummy goodies of the concessionaires Yummy rounded up this year. Yummy favorites such as Mochiko, Simply Pie, Gold Leaf, Spring by Ha Yuan and more will be there to join the fun along with new great picks!

 With 10 days to go, let me share with you my top 10 reasons why you should be there too!
  1. It's on a Saturday, meaning no work which also means "free" day.
  2. There are lots of fun activities, cooking demos, and cook-offs to enjoy!
  3. Some concessionaires will launch their newest offerings on Yummy Eats.
  4. If you love Yummy magazine, this is your chance to complete your collection! Yes, the Yummy store will be there! Buy some limited edition merchandise too.
  5. This event is a great way to bond with your family, friends, or even your crush!
  6. It's just PHP200 to get in!
  7. You might be lucky and spot some celebrities munching! Have your cameras ready!
  8. The hard to find home bakers who sell yummy goodies are here! No need to search the internet and call them.
  9. If you're a foodie, you just have to be here. The reaction, "Hmmm... never heard!" is unthinkable! So be ahead and boast to your friends that you are the group's I-know-all-the-yummy-dishes guy/gal.
  10. There will be 56 concessionaires this year sampling their bestselling products. If this isn't enough... well, you will miss one amazing event. 
And guess what? Yummy Eats 2013 is now techie! You may buy your tickets online as early as today. Visit now! :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spotlight: I Saw Da Sign

No, it's not a typo. That's the title of the newest book released by Summit Media in partnership with Mang Juan
Down? Bored? Got an extra PHP150? Then grab a copy of the cute (literally as it's only 5" x 5" in size) book I Saw Da Sign, a compilation of 100 funny Pinoy signs.
Be amused with the quirky names of some stores or services, misspelled signs, and more.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Restaurant Discovery: Balboa

It has been a tradition for my friends and I to celebrate our birthdays through lunch or dinner dates. A few weeks back, A celebrated her will-not-mention-her-age birthday and we decided to explore the new wing of Shangri-la (my new favorite place!) and have an early dinner there.
While walking around, we spotted Balboa, a casual restaurant that serves pasta, pizza, steak, and the like. We browsed through the menu and liked what we saw so we ended up staying.
We had a hard time choosing as A has a strict budget to follow (I kid). But Balboa has a lot of tempting choices but we cannot order too much as we wanted to have room for dessert. In the end we ordered Spinach Artichoke (PHP249) for appetizer, Shrimp and Sausage Spaghettini (PHP328) and Half Roasted Chicken (PHP399; PHP689 for whole) for our main course, and Cucumber Pineapple (PHP138) as my drink. 
Service was quick (well, given there were only 2 other tables being served). Our appetizer arrived in less than 15 minutes.
The spinach artichoke was served really hot and it sure was stretchy. It had a slightly tangy flavor which I love and it was a great way to start the meal. I just hope that they gave us more toasted bread (crostini). 
We were almost done with our appetizer when the pasta and chicken arrived.