Friday, October 31, 2014

Restaurant Discovery: Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings

As a hardcore The Walking Dead fan, my Mondays are blocked for my 1 hour bonding with Rick, Glenn, Terry, Carol, Maggie, Michonne, and of course, Daryl. However, I can get lured by restaurants I have never tried before in an instant. I blame my tummy. >.<

K suddenly wanted to eat out and since he lives a few minutes from my office, we decided to have dinner somewhere in Ortigas. He recommended wings and honestly, I’m not fond of wings. I always think that you end up paying for the bones and not the meat. Anyway, I gave in as I’m not really craving for anything in particular and I had to be home by 9 p.m. so we had to decide fast.

Soon, we’re at Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings, a wings place at City Golf.
Frankie’s has an industrial/basement chill vibe and I noticed that the diners are students and yuppies. Well, with the affordable prices, it’s not hard to attract the young market.

We decided to order the following: a basket of fries, three types of wingsCheesy Bacon (PHP173), Nagoya Tebasaki (PHP173) and Caribbean Jerk (PHP173). We also ordered a slice of New York Cheesecake (PHP120) and a few bottles of Tanduay Ice to start the week right. :)
First served was the basket of fries and just like what they said, they use real potatoes. Yey! Nothing fancy about it though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Revisited: Recipes by Café Metro

Simple comfort dishes are still the best for me. No unpronounceable ingredients, uncomplicated tastes and happy tummy. I think that is a great way to describe a great meal.

I was sick for a week last month and I was off work for almost the whole week as well as I had to visit a couple of doctors. It was just a simple case of cough that got out of hand that made me look like a zombie for two weeks. (Imagine waking up at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. because of your insanely itchy throat.) 

Anway, my mom and I decided to pass by Shangri-La to buy my third set of medicines and since it was already past 4 p.m. then and I haven’t had lunch yet, we decided to grab a quick meal before heading home. I recommended my all time favorite Recipes by Café Metro.

It has been quite a while since I last visited Recipes by Café Metro and it is still the same simple restaurant that I love.

My mom ordered Chicken Sotanghon Soup (PHP120, small | PHP220, regular) and Lumpiang Toge (PHP100) while I went with the Lechon Kawali with Kangkong (PHP225) and Gising Gising (PHP185).
The Chicken Sotanghon Soup was rather bland yet the warm soup was a great appetizer during that rainy Thursday afternoon.
The Lumpiang Toge was your usual wrapped toge. Serving was pretty generous for the price of PHP100 though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Restaurant Love: Olive Tree Kitchen & Bar

It has been quite a while since I last saw A and we just have to catch up for a girls day out. (Sorry, I have a curfew so it can’t be a night out.) We decided to go for a mini spa date but ended up having an early dinner with drinks at Olive Tree Kitchen & Bar and arcade afterwards. So much for a girly day.

It has been 8 months since I last visited this restaurant and I could say that I loved the dishes I tasted. It was slightly on the expensive side given we only ordered two appetizers and iced tea but our bill was over PHP800. However, we didn’t really mind since the food was great.
This time around, we ordered Prawns and Chorizo Pasta (PHP599), Salmon Benedict Salad (PHP395) and Pumpkin and Pea Soup (PHP239). We also got Almond Cream Pie (PHP150) for A and Ginger-Lychee Mojito (PHP150) for me.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Photoshoot 101

It’s almost Halloween again. Halloween lovers must be busy looking for a last-minute costumes and accessories for the party/ies they will be attending. Well, as a person who hardly attends parties, I prefer to celebrate Halloween with a mini photo shoot.
 It has been a tradition for me and my sister to have a mini Halloween photo shoot to celebrate the eerie day. We’d wear our creepiest outfits and posed in the most horrific way. And after a few edits here and there, off it goes to social media.

But how do we come up with Halloween-themed photos?

It all depends on the filters, outfit and location. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Japanese Love: Green Tea Mochi

I have pretty much established in my previous blog entries years back that I just love anything Japanese. I fell in love with the Japanese culture during the Akazukin Chacha days and I’ve been hooked ever since. From Card Captor Sakura to Rurouni Kenshin, Slam Dunk to Grave of the Fireflies, and even The Ring, I just can’t get it out of my system. I then fell in love with its cuisine—tempura, sushi, sashimi, teppan, ramen, okonomiyaki, mochi and a lot more! I still remember the first time I had a bite of real Japanese mochi. It was heaven and there was no turning back. I need more of that. I have to go back… even if it’s just Narita Airport.
Back when planking was the coolest thing to do. (2011)
I’m lucky that I know a handful of people who travel a lot. I then get to satisfy my craving for food that I could not get here in Manila. Last month, I had an intense craving for beef jerky and ended up bugging 6 people to buy me packs of the yummy Bee Cheng Hiang beef jerky.
Earlier this month, I had an intense craving for Japanese mochi. But every time I buy locally, I end up being disappointed as I have not found any that comes close to the one I bought from Narita. So when my boss mentioned that she’ll visit Japan, it gave me hope.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Restaurant Discovery: Moku Japanese Cuisine

I have been planning to visit the Japanese restaurant on the second floor of the Korean restaurant Lee Hak but the pull of the other restaurants in Kapitolyo was just too strong. But I finally had the chance to visit Moku Japanese Cuisine a few Fridays back when the crazy traffic made us stay in Pioneer.

I was famished. Crazy famished. In short, I was in my HANGRY state. It took us a while to realize that the only way to get inside Moku is through Lee Hak. The guard told us we have to ride an elevator and there ARE NO ELEVATORS in Pioneer Center. I know. I’m a Pioneer Center girl. Anyway, we circled around the area for 10 minutes or so before we realize that we have to get inside the Korean restaurant to get in the Japanese restaurant. There is definitely a lack of signages. Grr.

Hello, Moku. I had a hard time finding you.
I was delighted though with the set up. It was prettier than I thought it would be. There were three (or was it four) teppan tables in the middle and several tables with comfy couches on the side.

I quickly ordered the following: Teppan/Maki/Sushi (PHP1180), Salmon Sashimi (PHP290), Cold Soba (PHP250). My sister ordered Oyakodon (PHP220) as she’s not too keen with teppanyaki. We also ordered house iced tea.
The iced tea arrived first and it was… bland. Oh well. At least it won’t make us thirsty.
The teppan master (I’m not really sure how they are called) asked us if we want a “performance” and we said yes. Hey, take advantage of it! Teppan meals are not cheap. (Well, he failed a few times but it was still entertaining.)
We enjoyed watching him throw stuff in the air while we munch on our crisp salad. I liked it so much that I also ate my sister’s share.
The miso soup was your usual miso soup.
They then served some Korean side dishes. I got slightly confused there. But hey, free food!
The salmon sashimi arrived next and it was thick and fresh. I enjoyed it a lot! It was bliss. <3 However, they seem to have some intense hatred with wasabi. They placed too much on my dip.
The bean sprouts and the beef teppan went well together. The beef was juicy and was cooked well. It doesn’t even need to be dipped in the sauce.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Restaurant Love: Leona's Art Restaurant

I was so excited for the Quezon City Food Fest as it sounded so promising. Imagine, gathering all the best finds in Quezon City in one area. It was a foodie’s dream come true. But I wasn’t expecting (1) that it’ll rain pretty much the whole afternoon and (2) that there wasn’t anything special about the whole event. There were no special dishes or offering and every single restaurant was packed! In short, I ended up being a sticky and wet hungry girl.

After an upsetting trip to this new Japanese restaurant I shall not mention, M recommended that we visit his favorite pizza place instead. And since I was famished and the two sorbetes cones I bought were about to disappear, I agreed.

Hello, Leona’s Art Restaurant!
The place is pretty small and we had to wait for a bit for a table to clear up. Luckily, the wait wasn’t that long.
Since the place was packed, it took the servers a while to clear our table and to get our orders. But since the owner was apologetic, I was more forgiving this time. (Plus, the sorbetes helped calm me.)

We opted to get the Take Three Pizza Promo for only PHP499 (for 10 inches). For the flavors, Three Cheese and Pepperoni are fixed. We could only choose one more and we got the Garlic and Mushroom. I also ordered the Tomato Espresso (PHP80) and Soft Taco (PHP90). I also got a rootbeer float as drink/dessert.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Traffic Advisory: Friday Madness

I think this is more of a traffic advisory than an opening announcement.

The most awaited fashion brand, H&M will finally open its doors this October 17 at its SM Megamall Fashion Hall branch. (Technically, it did yesterday to the press and celebrities.) If you want to be ahead of the (long) line, be there before 9 a.m. with an energy drink or two.
 To celebrate it's opening, H&M will also give away gift certificates as much as PHP6,000
To everyone else who drives to and from work and cannot avoid EDSA, good luck. Aside from the grand opening of H&M (which will be until 12 midnight), it's also SM's 3-day Mega Sale. May the odds be ever in your favor.

I'll most likely visit H&M on another non-pay day weekend.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Restaurant Discovery: Calderon Spanish Cocina Tapas y Bebidas

Since most of us had to leave by 4 p.m., we opted to have our last Kapitolyo food stop at Calderon. Yes, I have never been to this well-loved paella place. I guess I'm not really much of a foodie (or I am just stuck in Kapitolyo-Ortigas area... which I am changing now). 

Hello, Calderon!
The place looks so homey and the Real Living girl in me went crazy with the warm hues of the interiors. I love it!
Since we were already full from our last three stops (including Kool Kids which I have yet to blog), we decided to go for one paella for sharing. We went with the usual Paella Valenciana (PHP780 for Pequeno). We were supposed to order churros too but they ran out. :(
While waiting, we were given a wait basket of bread which J enjoyed. We didn't mind waiting too as we were busy playing Cards Against Humanity. 
After 20 minutes (which the server mentioned beforehand), our paella was served. It was so photogenic! I had fun taking photos of it. It doesn't have a bad angle at all.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Kapitolyo Food Stop: Tomahawk Chops & Grill

Finally stuffed and happy, the F3 moved to the next destination with our new friends, Triple Js. While still at Silantro, we decided on where we should go next and we all decided to give Tomahawk Chops & Grill a try.

Hello, Tomahawk Chops & Grill!
When we arrived, all the long tables were occupied and the available tables (which were too small for a party of six) were spread out. The server then suggested that we go to the second floor. Second floor?! We were all surprised that there is a second floor. We all had an impression that it’s a very small restaurant.
The second floor is adorable. There are giant letters that spell EAT and CHOPS. The walls are also adorned with frames.
After a short while, we decided to go for the Grilled Tomahawk Chops (PHP295) and Grilled Baby Back Ribs (PHP425). For our sides, we went with mashed potatoes and string beans. I also ordered a glass of the Premium Iced Tea (PHP60/glass).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kapitolyo Food Stop: Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina

Kapitolyo sure is a foodie destination with so many restaurants appearing left and right. And since it was a holiday last October 6, the Foodie Trio of UA&P (which I now baptize as F3) decided to explore Kapitolyo once again. Our first stop is none other than Silantro.
Hello, Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina!

This wasn’t my first time to visit this place as I got to try it a few months ago with W. However, we didn’t order food and I just had their unlimited mojito (for only PHP250!!!). And the mojito was not bad at all.
We arrived a bit past 11 a.m. and the place was already packed! It was a good thing though that K’s friends, the Triple J (as they all have J in their names), arrived early and managed to get a table inside.

After a quick look at the menu, I decided to go for the Completo (PHP110) where I could choose three kinds of meat for my soft shell taco (I chose lamb, oxtail and beef), Silantro Quesadillas (PHP160) and a glass of Mojito (PHP90).

First served was the mojito but I did not dare take a sip as I skipped breakfast for the food trip. After the first 10 minutes, I started to become restless and at the 15 minute mark, I started to be irritable.

Twenty minutes later, the server approached us to inform me that they were out of oxtail. I snapped! They could have told me that way before! Why wait for 20 minutes???
Anyway, I told the server to give me lengua instead and make sure that he serves my order in 5 minutes or less. And it did. However, we had to wait for a few more minutes for our utensils and sauce. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Restaurant Love: House of Wagyu Stone Grill

There was a time when I got so hooked to Groupon sites. I go crazy over the discounts and I end up with coupons or gadgets I want to believe I really need. One of the good deals I recently bought was vouchers for the House of Wagyu Stone Grill.

Hello, House of Wagyu Stone Grill!
We opted to claim our vouchers at the Eastwood branch and the place wasn’t packed at all. There were only about two other tables occupied when we arrived. We got a table near the window which V thought to be a good spot.

As soon as I handed my vouchers, our wait basket and soup were served.
The soup was served warm and it was creamy yet not that heavy as the serving was just right. V though munched on so much bread.
The salad’s serving was pretty small as well but it was just right as the main course was the highlight of the meal.
Finally, the main star—a Grade 8 tenderloin steak on a stone grill—arrived. It was lightly seasoned with salt and pepper with mashed potatoes and a few vegetables on the side.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Love at First Bite: Hot Star Large Fried Chicken

I have heard a lot of good reviews about a Taiwanese fried chicken place a few months ago but I was never motivated to go as fried chicken is just fried chicken for me. Nothing special. But I guess I was destined to cross paths with this establishment when V recommended that we have dinner here last Sunday.

Hello, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken.
The restaurant is on the second floor of the building with Engine 46 at the ground floor. The place isn’t that big but spacious enough to accommodate more than 10 groups of hungry diners (mostly students on weekdays).
The food is pretty affordable too! The Original Large Fried Chicken and the Crispy Large Fried Chicken are priced at PHP110 while BBQ Large Fried Chicken is at PHP125. Just add PHP35 and you get a cup of rice and drink. V and V2 got Almond Ice Crush while I chose Black Gulaman.
I loved my drink! Though I wasn’t allowed to drink anything cold yet, I still drank it. It was yummy! It was like Black Gulaman shake! I had a few sips of almond and as a person not fond of the Almond Jelly dessert, I didn’t like the drink either.
We were amazed with the size of the chicken. It was huge (but flat). After giving V and V2 a bit of mine, I started munching on my Crispy Large Fried Chicken. I’m not so sure if I was just hungry but the chicken was pretty good. The skin was seasoned well and it sure was crispy. It was slightly buttery.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Restaurant Discovery: Ukokkei Ramen Ron

I have never been a fan of UAAP. I never watched a single game nor had the interest to know the players. (The only one I know is Chris Tiu—because he is one of the owners of Happy Lemon and an endorser of Milo.) So I had low expectations when I watched it for the first time, LIVE. To my surprise, I enjoyed it. It was fun to watch a game surrounded by game enthusiasts. They cheer and utter “awww” in unison. It was a very interesting experience. But the trip back home was pretty horrific. It was traffic! And my generous sponsor, W was starting to get hungry. And he turns into a grumpy rabbit when deprived of his carrot.

We decided to make a quick stop in Makati so that we get to have dinner and W suggested Ukokkei Ramen Ron. I have never been there so I was game.
When we arrived, only a few diners were there so service was pretty quick. W and W2 knew what to order and went with the Ukokkei Miso Chasu (PHP380 for regular and PHP560 for big serving). I ordered the Ukokkei Shoyu Chasu (PHP380) and Gyoza (PHP120).

Our ramen were served in less than 15 minutes.
My ramen was slightly oily and a bit weak on the taste. I guess I got used to the strong flavors of Ramen Nagi and Kichitora. It was refreshing though to have ramen again with a lighter taste. The noodles were not as firm as I wanted it to be but it was pretty good. The chasu was soft and slightly sweet  (which I love!).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Foodie Alert: Quezon City Food Festival

Food trips. I love food trips. But one thing I love more than food trips would be food fairs and festivals. And I can’t wait for October 11.
Quezon City Food Festival is happening in 10 days!

The foodiedestination Maginhawa Street will be closed the whole day of October 11 starting midnight as several tents from our favorite Quezon City will gather in one area for one unforgettable fattening day. The best part? It’s FREE.
Roam around the street of Maginhawa and discover new food loves. I for one can’t wait! I just realized that I haven’t covered a sixteenth of the restaurants in Maginhawa and Malingap alone.