Friday, July 21, 2017

When in Bacolod: Aboy's

It was an endless eating spree for me last week when I tagged along R's business trip to Bacolod. I had zero expectations for this trip as I've never been to the City of Smiles. I was even worried that I might get bored as my research on things to do in Bacolod only says The Ruins, Negros Museum and Butterfly Museum. Food-wise, I just wanted to visit Calea. But my friends (and clients) were very excited for me. They gave me a long list of restaurants and highly recommended several dishes for me to try. And I must say, their excitement was contagious! I was so excited just staring at the list they gave me. And on my first day, I visited Aboy's. 
Hello, Aboy's.

This Filipino restaurant is one of the highly recommended establishments by my foodie friends and R's dealers. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Love at First Bite: The Oriental Spice Gourmet

Cebu has become a foodie destination with awesome local restaurants and cheap finds. One of the restaurants that seem to be off the social media radar is this Asian restaurant that is known by, surprisingly, expats, as one of Cebu's finest gems.

Hello, The Oriental Spice Gourmet.

It is easy to miss this restaurant located along Maximo V. Patalinghug Jr. Avenue as it's huge signage simply says TOSG, the initials of the restaurant. But thanks to Waze, we didn't miss our stop.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

First Bite: En Tirage

Gone are the days when wine is reserved for fancy or special occasions. With establishments redefining wine drinking and making it casual and less intimidating, more foodies grow to appreciate this drink that is said to be good for the heart. And last Saturday, I decided to swing by this newly opened wine shop in Mandala Park for a glass of my favorite sangria and sample some of its bestsellers.

Hello, En Tirage.
Tucked inside the drinking hot spots of Mandala Park, En Tirage (pronouced as en-ti-haj) has this undeniably chill vibe with its cold interior color scheme and dim lights.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Izakaya Sensu Launches New Dishes this 2017

Sukiyaki is one of my favorite Japanese dishes. I always look forward to slurping some of its sweet yet salty broth and munching on some thinly sliced tender beef dipped in egg, crunchy greens, assorted mushrooms and noodles. To date, I could only name a handful of restaurants in Manila that serves great tasting sukiyaki. And I'm glad to have discovered another one.
Hello again, Izakaya Sensu.

Monday, July 17, 2017

First Bite: Seared

I've always wanted to visit Seared after seeing some of its mouthwatering photos online. However, my weird schedule was never cooperative and I always find myself being anywhere but Julia Vargas. Thankfully, my schedule last Saturday finally cleared up and I managed to join Always Hungry PH's food crawl's first stop. 
Hello, Seared!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Restaurant Love: Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria

Joey Pepperoni is no stranger to me as I've worked with Kettle Foods Corporation before and handled this pizzeria for a short while. I still remember going crazy over its delectable pesto pasta and how I make sure I dine there for lunch every payday. And years and other pesto dishes later, Joey Pepperoni's version still delights my taste buds. 

Hello, Joey Pepperoni
This local pizzeria rebranded a few months ago and added new product offerings. Shifting to brick oven also changed how Joey Pepperoni makes its pizza. Now with a puffier and thicker crust, it made carb lovers twirl with happiness. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

When in Davao: Bluejazz Beach Resort and Waterpark

I've been going to the beach quite a lot these past months. Thirty shades later, I found myself basking under the sun at Samal Island again. But instead of going to Paradise Island, R and I opted to try BlueJazz Beach Resort with some of his colleagues.

Hello, Bluejazz Beach Resort and Waterpark.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When in Davao: Saging Repablik

I'm always on the lookout for good food. I usually check apps and ask for recommendations whenever I'm somewhere I'm not familiar with. And when ForkSpoonManila recommended Saging Repablik to me when I was in Davao, I made sure that I drop by the place. After all, Forkie said the magic word... bibingka

Hello, Saging Repablik.
I've read a few reviews about this place on TripAdvisor before visiting. Most reviews say that service is slow and that the serving size of the dishes are not that generous. All reviews agreed though that this place offers delicious meals. It's just lacking in some aspects. Reading these made me expect a bit less from the place. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Since 1999: Brothers Burger

Do you still remember what you were doing in 1999? I sure don't but I know three brothers who clearly do. The Jose brothers started to revolutionize how burgers should be that year. The genius trio were tired of the usual burgers fast food chains offer and this triggered them to start their own burger joint--the first to make artisanal burgers. And Brothers Burger was born. Several years later, Brothers Burger is still a brand of choice for foodies particular with their patties. But on its 18th year, Brothers Burger has become more than just burgers

Monday, July 10, 2017

First Bite: Open Kitchen

I've lost count of how many food parks opened in Metro Manila. There just seem to be too many to track. I used to even brave unfamiliar places just to visit a few; but more often than not, I go home disappointed. Sadly, some food parks do not curate their establishments that well. Some just get the ones that offer affordable food at so-so quality while others bring in brands because of relationships or connections. There are also food parks that just focused on being Instagram-worthy and that's pretty much the end of its vision. I've told myself several times to stop visiting these so-called food havens. But the curious foodie in me can't resist going whenever I get word that a new one just opened. And I sure am glad that I dropped by this newly opened food park along P. Tuazon.
Hello, Open Kitchen.

Friday, July 7, 2017

First Bite: Le Jardin Café

First impression lasts and Le Jardin sure knows how to charm. I still remember my full course dinner at this spectacular restaurant and I often find myself craving for its superb Dessert de Gils. And I regretted not going back sooner when I found out that they finally closed their huge French doors. But great things never fail to make a comeback and Le Jardin opened once again but as a casual café.

Hello, Le Jardin Café.
I was greeted by familiar garden inspired interiors and a menu that is a lot more affordable than its fine dining predecessor. Focusing more on comfort food and breakfast must-haves, Le Jardin has charmed me once again. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Love at First Bite: Tiny Teapot Bakery Cafe

Those neighborhood cafes never fail to lure me. I always get curious with what they offer and if it's a gem worth finding. Yesterday, I decided to swing by this new cafe along Pioneer street.
Hello, Tiny Teapot Bakery Cafe.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

When in Davao: Pearl Farm Beach Resort

I get super excited whenever I score great travel deals. Who doesn't? But this is also the reason why I hesitate to splurge on hotel accommodations as I always think that I'll be away most of the time and will just be back to sleep. Then again, it's nice to stay at posh hotels and resorts from time to time as a treat. And two weekends ago, R and I decided to stay at Pearl Farm Beach Resort.

Hello, Pearl Farm Beach Resort.

Known as one, if not the best resort in Davao, I had high expectations from this place and I was definitely impressed as soon as I stepped inside its wharf.

We were warmly greeted by its staff who assisted us with our baggage and ushered us to the reception where we have to register for the boat transfer. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

When in Davao: Tiny Kitchen Creations

I was so scared to visit Davao again after what happened and still happening in Marawi. Knowing that the war zone is just 5 hours away from this smoke-free city doesn't make me feel very comfortable. But after hearing great words about this Spanish restaurant along F. Torres in Davao, I got excited more that worried.

Hello, Tiny Kitchen Creations
This beautiful restaurant is known to be one of the gems of the city. It is often packed for lunch and dinner and unfortunately, they do not take reservations. But they do accept pre-order as some of their dishes take an hour to prepare. We got to the restaurant around 6:30 pm and the place was full at 7 pm! It was a good thing Uncle R decided that we leave the hotel early for dinner. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Love at First Bite: Don Andres Peruvian Kitchen

I usually visit Pioneer Center to do my grocery shopping.  The place is a gold mine for cheap finds and hard to find imported goods. But recently, I discovered another reason for me to frequent the place. You could say that it was love at first bite.  

Hello, Don Andres.
This Peruvian restaurant may not sound very new to some who hangs out in Quezon City. It has been in Sergeant Esguerra for quite some time before it decided to move to a new location. So for those who were heartbroken with its disappearance, it's back!

Friday, June 30, 2017

First Bite: Nihon Daidokoro Unagi Asakusa

I absolutely love Japanese food. It never fails to be one of my top picks whenever I get to choose where to eat. And though I hardly frequent Parañaque, hearing the word "unagi" would make me brave the traffic just to indulge in one. And because of this impulsive behavior, I found myself in Multinational Village one Tuesday afternoon.

Hello, Nihon Daidokoro Unagi Asakusa.

The place was still closed when I dropped by at 5pm but I was warmly welcomed by one of the staff who ushered me inside the small but homey restaurant.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Second Bite: Puzzles Board Game Lounge

Now that I'm officially a member of Titas of Manila, I value staycations more than ever. But when I get invited to play board games over yummy snacks, I'd be ready in a heartbeat. And that's pretty much what happened two Saturdays ago when The Foodie Station invited me to hangout at Puzzles Board Game Lounge. 
Hello again, Puzzles.

To be honest, I was a bit iffy to tag along as I had a not so good experience at Puzzles almost two years ago. But everything deserves second chances so I decided to go. Plus, the competitive person in me was dying to visit again.

Monday, June 26, 2017

First Bite: Just Thai

It's hard not to fall in love with Thai cuisine. With dishes like Pad Thai, Tom Kha Gai, Pad Krapow Moo Saap, Gaeng Keow Wan Kai and refreshing Thai Milk Tea, it is a tough battle not to like this Asian cuisine. And so, when the lovely gals of The Foodie Station invited me to savor some of Just Thai's dishes, I quickly said yes and cleared my schedule for a fanTHAIstic day. (Okay, that was a lame pun but it was really fantastic and let me tell you why.) 
Hello, Just Thai.

Friday, June 23, 2017

First Bite: Buns & Bros

Burgers never fail to attract me like fly to light. And when its patty is beautifully grilled and succulent, it was like luring Winnie the Pooh to honey. Hence, despite being full from my late lunch, I still found room for some serious burgers from this new food park in City Golf.

Hello, Buns & Bros!
I first saw Buns & Bros to-die-for burgers from The Bald Baker's Instagram feed. It was love at first sight but I had my reservations too as it looked too beautiful to be tasty too. Then again, after reading several comments saying that this rather hip establishment offers legit and bang for the buck burgers, I just have to give it a try.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

First Sip: Yes Please

I occasionally drink and when I do, I always stick to my usuals--margarita, amaretto sour, wine and Patron XO. These past months though, I grew to like other drinks thanks to various events I've attended. And thanks to Zomato, I had deeper appreciation for whisky last Monday. 
Hello, Yes Please.

I was lucky to be invited to a whisky appreciation night hosted by Auchentoshan. Though I've never heard of the Scotch brand before, the idea of learning more about something made me clear my schedule and brave the traffic.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Life Hack 101: No More Thawing with Panasonic’s Prime Fresh

Gone are the days when I can't wait to head out and search for new places to visit and interesting food to indulge in. These days, I like staying in a lot. I get to avoid the insane traffic and get to spend time experimenting in the kitchen. However, when the lazy bug bites, I find myself eating the usual hotdog and bacon. There's one thing I hate though... thawing. 

I hate how my freezer turns my meats into popsicles! 
There are times when I have to remove my bacon or pork chop from the freezer at least two hours before dinner just to be able to thaw it properly. Though I could just pop it too in the oven, I prefer doing it the "natural" way. Thankfully, there's Panasonic to make cooking a lot easier (and quicker) for me. Its latest models are now equip with Prime Fresh. 

First Sip: Bitters Bar

Who says it's too early for cocktails? It is always five thirsty in my clock! 

Hello, Bitters Bar.
Quite hidden on top of 2nd's new home is Bitters Bar, one of the newest bars in BGC with an interesting apothecary theme. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Back for Seconds at 2nd's

I was so sad when I found out that 2nd's, the restaurant famous for its bacon chicharon closed down. I regretted not visiting it more often and I kept yearning for its leche flan turon. Thankfully, 2nd's decided to make a comeback and opened once again in BGC. 

Hello again, 2nd's
Now located at Forbestown, 2nd's now has brighter and slightly more feminine interiors. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

First Bite: After All

I love knowing every restaurant's back story as it gives it more character and allows me to have a better grasp on what it aims to be. Some started out as passion projects while others wanted to fill the market's unmet needs or wants. One establishment I've recently visited sprung from the idea of the owners wanting a place to hang out and enjoy their favorite dishes. It turns out though that the food they always crave would be a hit with people outside their circle. After all, their favorites are classics.

Hello, After All Bar & Grill

This restaurant and bar in SM Jazz opened its doors to the public last month and it has been getting a steady following since then. It isn't surprising as After All offers a wide variety of dishes and drinks. 
I was greeted by dim lights and dark hued furniture when I stepped inside After All. It was still very quiet around 6 pm with only some of the owners at the other side of the restaurant. Diners came in around 7:30 pm and the place became very busy around 8 pm. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Home Find: Panasonic Refrigerator Ag Clean Technology

I love indulging in ice cream at home. But there are a handful of times when I get a nasty taste of fish and everything in the freezer whenever I take a bite. It definitely ruins my dessert experience but I thought I just have to live with it since there's really nothing I can do about it. And boy was I wrong!
Moving out is probably one of the biggest things I've done these past years and I had no idea that it takes a lot of brain cells to figure out how to make a house a home. And since food is essential to stay alive, I put a lot of thought on my refrigerator. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sundays Made Better: Mercato at Heat

Don't you feel that the day is not enough to do all the things you want? Sunday seems to be the only day with an acceptable traffic that would make us more productive. But we also want to spend this day with the good ol family which again makes time a bit more scarce for everything else. Edsa Shangri-La got our backs though and thought of something brilliant.

Hello again, Heat!
It was my first time to visit Heat for lunch so I didn't know what to expect. Though I already know that Heat offers a bountiful and impressive spread from breakfast to dinner, I was not prepared to be awed further. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

First Sip: McCafé BGC

Remember all the buzz about McCafé when it opened mid 2000s? All of a sudden, McDonald's is a lot classier and attractive to caffeine addicts. Price-wise, it is close to how the famous siren charges for her cup of joe. But the popularity of McCafé didn't last long as it didn't offer one thing the siren is known for... ambiance. Fast forward to present, McCafé made a comeback and this time, it made sure to give what caffeine lovers want. 
Hello, McCafé

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

First Bite: Blue Post Boiling Crabs & Shrimps

I have a love-hate relationship with crabs and shrimps. Though I love eating these delectable sea creatures, I dislike peeling or cracking off the shells. But I simply could not say no to the grand opening of a new seafood joint in Greenhills. 

Hello, Blue Posts Boiling Crabs & Shrimps.

This well-loved seafood restaurant started in 2013 and was established in Davao city by a group of friends who were looking for a place where they could hang out, relax and have a few drinks. They decided to call the unwinding spot Blue Post. Fast forward to 2017, Blue Post Boiling Crabs & Shrimps have grown and expanded to Manila. 
With a whopping 2,000 kilos of crabs sold per week just in its three branches in Davao, it would be hard to deny Blue Post's success. And this is why Blue Post finally gave in to its distant patrons requests and opened its first company owned and stand alone branch in Manila (with SM North Edsa and Mall of Asia as franchises).

Monday, June 12, 2017

Now Open: Banh Mi Kitchen in SM Hypermart Pasig

If you love banh mi and work or live near Tiendesitas, then this blog post is for you. Banh Mi Kitchen, known for its crunchy baguettes and delectable fillings, is now open in SM Hypermart Pasig! 

Hello, Banh Mi Kitchen.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mark your calendars: MAFBEX is back this month!

They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But the same applies to some women. And a date in Manila Food and Beverage Expo or simply MAFBEX may just be as romantic as a fancy night at a five-star hotel. Let me count the reasons why. Don't worry, it doesn't have thirteen tapes. 

1. You get to know each other in a deeper level
Walking around the 15,000 sqm space filled with various finds from food to equipment will help you understand your significant other's preferences. And with the place zoned to different categories, it'd be easy to roam around without getting lost!

2. You learn together
With fun activities such as cooking demos and MAFBEX pocket seminars, you grow together as food enthusiasts or entrepreneurs! They even have a Culinary Cup Home Edition where you'd get to see chefs work in action under pressure.

3. You get to have a taste of different countries and provinces together
With MAFBEX featuring food finds from countries such as Italy, Spain, Vietnam and Malaysia, you'd feel like you've travelled together without flying. Do make ysure that you get a taste of international flavors by visiting the international booths. But don't leave without swinging by the homegrown brands' booths as well. 
Single? Fret not as food is probably the best companion. And hey, you don't have to share your favorite loots! 
MAFBEX returns to delight the foodie community on June 14 to 18 at the World Trade Center. Doors open at 10:00 am and closes at 8:00 pm. 

See you there!

Friday, June 9, 2017

First Bite: The Broken Oven

Comfortable dining experience, value for money dishes and ample parking are just some of the important elements to consider for a food park to be successful. Thankfully, the newest food park in Ortigas, Industrie Food Loft got all these covered. Located on the second floor of City Golf's party (or drinking) strip, we were greeted by a colorful wall mural and bright signs. The hippie industrial interiors makes the place very young and vibrant. And our first stop here was The Broken Oven, under the same owners of Olive Treat

Thursday, June 8, 2017

When in Taiwan: How to Get to the City from Taoyuan Airport without Breaking the Budget

I love to explore different places as much as eating. And last January, I had a grand time in Taiwan, stuffing myself with delectable yummy finds and being immersed in its interesting history and culture. I always smile whenever I tell my friends the things I've done and places I've visited while I was there. But one of the common concerns I hear whenever we talk about Taiwan is airport transportation. True, there's the subway to bring us to places but it's a totally different story when your flight arrives past 12 midnight. Several blogs and forums say that it leaves you no choice but to hail a cab to bring you to wherever you have to go to. But that's not right. There's a cheaper way to get to your destination. 

Hello, Taoyuan International Airport.
It is not unusual to see rent-a-car placards and cab drivers near the airport's exit points whenever a flock of tourists arrive. I even heard a fellow Filipino who now works in Taiwan as a cab driver tell tourists to either get a cab or wait till the subway opens. I would have ended up paying a lot more just to get to Ximending if R and I didn't explore the airport to look for a convenience store. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

First Bite: Soru Izakaya

There's a new Japanese restaurant in Maginhawa that's making a lot of buzz since it opened last month with its beautiful plating and Instagram-worthy spread. I was a bit iffy to try it myself as I've been to several restaurants that focused more on design than taste. But curiosity hit me bad and soon I found myself in front of Soru Izakaya one Saturday afternoon. 

Hello, Soru Izakaya
We were welcomed by dark and warm interiors as well as Japanese inspired murals and wall designs. There were not a lot of diners too at 4:30 p.m. but the place was quite warm as not all A/C units were on. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

First Bite: Sultan Mediterranean Grill

Kapitolyo never fails to fascinate me. I've seen it transform from a quiet residential area to a food haven with countless restaurants and concepts. Now, with the area being too saturated and parking becoming even scarcer, we'd see the newer establishments opening nearby instead of within Kapitolyo. One of the streets becoming busier is Brixton and that's where I spotted Sultan. 
Hello, Sultan Mediterranean Grill.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Foodie Alert: Shakey's Chicken 'N' Mojos at 40% off on Mondays

Most of us usually dread Mondays as it means having to wake up early again to beat the Monday morning rush. Thankfully, a world famous joint decided to make Monday a lot better and yummier by offering its bestselling chicken and mojos at 40% off! Yes, I'm talking about Shakey's.
Hello, Shakey's!

I initially tried avail of the promo via delivery but I was told that it's only valid for dine-in transactions. Luckily, R was also in the mood for some Chicken 'N' Mojos so off we go to one of the nearest Shakey's.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Love at First Sip: Fundamental Coffee

My eyes turn to hearts every time I get word that there's a new coffee shop in town. But those hearts get broken into pieces when I find out that these cafes are not exactly near or impossible to get to with the current traffic situation. Luckily, being a full time blogger now allows me to be visit areas during less busy hours and I finally got to visit Fundamental Coffee.
Hello, Fundamental Coffee.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

First Sip: Selu's Bar

What's a better way to cap the work week than to enjoy a cocktail or two? Though I usually head straight home after work on Fridays to avoid the nasty Manila traffic, spending Friday nights over some drinks ain't a bad idea. And a few Fridays ago, I capped the week at Selu's Bar. 
Hello, Selu's Bar.

This is the second stop of the Summer Soiree organized by Discover MNL and Valerie Montenegro which is located a floor below Unna's Corner.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

First Bite: Empacho

Filipino cuisine will always be love. Its rich flavors and textures never fail to charm me. And when I was invited to indulge in a Filipino spread, I simply could not say no.

Hello, Empacho.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

First Bite: Unna's Corner

I go crazy whenever I see cats and dogs. These adorable creatures are just too much to handle. This is why I immediately gave a big fat yes when DiscoverMNL invited me to a fun Summer Soiree at Unna's Corner with Unna the Pug as our hostess.

Hello, Unna's Corner.
This adorable cafe adjacent to a dance studio is located at Paseo de Magallanes, a compound of establishments quite far from the areas I frequent. However, it being far from the rest made it a one stop shop as it has a bunch of restaurants, bars, salons and other service centers to cater to your needs and cravings.

Monday, May 29, 2017

First Sip: Tom N Toms Coffee

It is interesting how many Korean brands are entering the country. From cosmetics to food brands, these things we used to only see in K-Drama are now within reach. And it wasn't surprising to see this popular cafe brand to enter the local scene as well.
Hello, Tom N Toms Coffee!

Friday, May 26, 2017

When in Pampanga: Bale Dutung

As much as I love to eat out, I also enjoy staying at home and experimenting in the kitchen. Lately, I find attending events a bit too much especially when all my loose clothes are starting to be fit. But an invite to Bale Dutung is too good to resist. And before my brain cells could even process the pros and cons of attending, I already click the send button with yes as my reply.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer Is Not Over: Pinkberry

Despite the regular drizzles and afternoon rainfalls, summer is definitely not over. The sizzling summer heat is here to stay in the form of humidity. Thankfully, one of my favorite cold treats decided to add a few new goodies to their list of offerings and we celebrated its launch last week. 
Hello, Pinkberry!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Love at First Bite: Toast Asian Kitchen and Tasting Room

I really love how our food scene evolved throughout the years. These days, we don't have to board a plane just to get a taste of other cuisines. And with restaurants and malls popping here and there, sometimes we don't even have to drive around. The residents near Meralco Avenue have it good as they are near the newest Ayala mall and one of my new restaurant favorites, Toast.
Hello, Toast Asian Kitchen and Tasting Room.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

First Sip: Tim Hortons

Everyone was so excited when Tim Hortons announced that they will be bringing in the well-loved brand to Manila. I've heard about Tim Hortons but I could not share the same giddiness as I've never tried it before. The crazy long line sure made me curious though but figured that it must be just because it was new and everyone wanted to know how good this Canadian brand really is. But the practical me opted to wait and I've had my first sip several weeks after it opened its doors to the public.

Monday, May 22, 2017

First Bite: Palm Grill

Tomas Morato has turned from a drinking hotspot to an area filled with restaurants offering affordable and delectable food. New concepts seem to open every month and I often find myself overwhelmed by the growing number of options. But hearing that this new chicken place offers superb "green" poultry made it a bit easier for me to decide.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Love at First Bite: Grape Escape

I love exploring Maginhawa because it is filled with restaurants offering scrumptious dishes at affordable prices. And one of my latest discoveries is this wine place that serves impressive dishes that would intoxicate you with happiness.

Hello, Grape Escape.
It was a bit hard for me to spot Grape Escape during daytime when its signage is not lit. But thanks to Waze and its informative Instagram account, I was able to get dropped off at the right location. [Tip: Look for the building with Bo's Coffee and Anytime Fitness.]