Friday, April 28, 2017

Love at First Bite: Rico Rico

SM Aura’s food court is known to be a fancier version of your usual food hall. With more premium options to choose from, you’d have to shell out more cash for a meal. I wouldn’t mind spending a few extra hundreds if it means that I'd get a “good meal.” And that is exactly what I got from Food on Four’s new player. 
Hello, Rico Rico.

This new paella place caught my interest when it opened a few months ago. Vibrant colors and DIY paella were what caught my attention. And I grew even more curious when I found out that this brand is the brainchild of the group handling Las Flores and Rambla, restaurants known to serve superb Spanish dishes. But my schedule didn’t permit me to try this place sooner.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Love at First Bite: Kumori's Apple Cheese Tarts

Kumori and I didn’t have a smooth relationship. I still recall my first visit which was love at first bite. Those Hanjuku cheese cakes were delectable and definitely worth lining up for. My second visit was great too with the delectable (but messy) krones. But my third visit where I had the raved cheese tarts was not as great as my first and second Kumori visits. Its improved version and its scrumptious matcha variant won me over though and I was crazy about Kumori again. And just when I thought I’m already a fan of Kumori, something just made me even more head over heels in love with it.
Hello, Kumori.

I got a sweet message from Kumori asking if they could send me some of their newest (and limited edition) apple cheese tarts in celebration of the opening of its Robinsons Place Manila branch. Of course I said yes and I counted the days till I got my delectable package.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

When in Boracay: Spice Bird

It has been a long while since I’ve visited Boracay and my last one was a mere 22 hour trip. Yes, it wasn’t even a whole day. Anyway, this time around, I decided to stay a bit longer, not to bask under the sun but to feast. After all, aside from the fine white sand, Boracay is known for its wide variety of restaurants and good food. And as soon as we checked in, first stop was... Spice Bird.

Hello, Spice Bird!
It would be easy to miss out Spice Bird if you don’t look for it. Located behind the ferris wheel of the famous D’Mall Plaza, Spice Bird’s location is not exactly a great one but its strong following still makes this restaurant a hot spot for foodies. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Beat the Heat: Elait

This year has redefined the meaning of summer heat. It's just too hot to go out lately. Actually, it's too hot to even step out of the cold shower. But there's one word that makes me wake up in the morning with a big grin plastered on my face. Ice cream. And The Foodie Station sure knows how to make me happy when they tagged me along to sample this new rolled ice cream treat in Century City Mall. 

Hello, Elait
Named after the words elate and au lait (or happy milk when put together), Elait aims to provide its customers a delightful dessert experience. After all, aren't desserts meant to make us happy? But Elait is one notch higher by making us feel good in a different level. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Beat the Heat:Shakeaway

This year’s summer is insane! The scorching heat is just too much and it makes me crave for cold treats every hour (or two). Thankfully, one of the cold dessert shops I’ve been eying for months finally opened its doors in Uptown Mall making it a lot more accessible to me than its first branch in U.P. Town Center. Yes, those two are different locations and are quite far from each other. And yes, I am talking about Shakeaway.

Hello, Shakeaway!
I was welcomed by a bright and predominantly white store. The first thing I noticed was the bunch of white containers by the counter which reminds me of a pharmacy. Apparently, that’s where Shakeaway puts its sweet treats. If I were to count the number of containers on display, I’m sure it’d be over 100 as there are 180 flavors and toppings to choose from!

Friday, April 21, 2017

First Bite: Bistro United

I miss living close to Kapitolyo, one of the best food havens in the metro. Though it’s technically just 20 minutes away from where I live now, the traffic makes it seem a far away land. But good food conquers all and I found myself in front of this new restaurant in Kapitolyo one Tuesday afternoon. 

Hello, Bistro United.
This new restaurant by Chef Mia of The Round Table is one of the handful delectable additions in Kapitolyo. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Love at First Bite: Hook by Todd English

I'm so thankful that I live in a country that has access to several kinds of seafood. However, some of my favorites cost me an arm and leg (at times two legs). But that was about to change thanks to this new Todd English concept called Hook. 
Hello, Hook
Just like the other Todd English restaurants, Hook has dark interiors and a bit of pub/bar vibe to it but with a touch of class. 
I was first greeted by a beautiful showcase of seafood ranging from humongous fishes in different colors to the freshest oysters I've laid my eyes on. 
Eric welcomed us and ushered us to our table and suggested that we try the Three Tiered Seafood Platter (PHP3,500) and (Not) Paella (PHP750). As clueless diners, we let him surprise us with his choices. 
While waiting for our food, we were given glasses of champagne to pair with our meal. And it was a pretty good way to cap the week. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

First Bite: SUSI

SUSI has captured my heart ever since I saw a bunch of its mouthwatering dishes on Instagram and Facebook. However, I hardly frequent Burgos Circle and eventually forgot about visiting this quaint restaurant. It was until a few weeks back when I finally spotted SUSI. I had no plans of dropping by though as I was expecting a hefty dinner from another restaurant which recently opened. But I was still hungry after what I would describe as a disastrous dinner and ended up craving for more food. And if that’s not a sign to visit SUSI, I don’t know what else to call it. 
Hello, SUSI!
We were greeted by smiling faces behind the counter and were immediately ushered to the dining area on the ground floor which was dimly lit. 
Since R and I were trying to catch a movie in Uptown, we just ordered desserts and went with Eat Your Feelings (PHP245) and Willy Wonka (PHP295) for a quick chocolate overload to help drown our sorrows. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

First Bite: Plaza Brew

It sucks to be in such a gorgeous city yet not know where to eat. I tried to look online but there are not a lot of sites that offer restaurant suggestions. And since we wanted to maximize our day and not waste it looking for a place to have lunch, R and I settled with the café beside The Plaza.

Hello, Plaza Brew!
This café was still in its soft opening when we visited. Aside from the other table near the counter, we were the only diners during lunch. I’m not sure if locals find the place intimidating given that it is right beside a hotel or if they are not adventurous enough to try a new restaurant. 
R wasn’t really hungry then but I was so I ordered Beef Kebab (with an option of buttered rice or pita bread PHP220, add PHP20 for iced tea or orange juice) and Green Tea Latte (PHP120, over ice).
While waiting, R took advantage of the complementary wi-fi. I, on the other hand, went crazy with some of the nifty displays of the cafe
Service was quick and our drinks were served in less than 10 minutes. My plate of kebab was served a couple of minutes later. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

First Bite: AM:PM Brunch Bar and Cafe

I hardly frequent San Juan as traffic there gets too insane at times. I still remember the times when I get stuck in standstill, no thanks to a certain school. But thanks to Waze, I discover new routes in order to get around its small streets filled with good food finds. And a few weeks back, I discovered this new restaurant that offers everything from breakfast to bar chow that is worth braving the traffic for.

Hello, AM:PM Brunch Bar and Cafe.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Second Bite: Brad and Pits Ribshack

It has been a crazy for me since I left the corporate world. I was painting a picture of a very relaxing and carefree life but it turned out that I became busier than ever with meetings, shoots, and events. I’m not regretting my decision to become a full time blogger and freelance marketer though as I finally got to become my own boss. And to reward myself on taking the big jump, I feasted on some succulent ribs (at very pocket friendly price, coz, you know, I’m still kind of jobless). 

Hello, Brad and Pits Ribshack
It was my first time to visit Brad and Pits’ Kapitolyo branch and it gives the same vibe as its Marikina branch. However, this one is more spacious and has more parking space for diners. Its private function room is also slightly bigger and it has its own bathroom too. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

First Bite: Main Street

I always see Main Street whenever I pass by Tuscany. I also noticed it while making my rounds in Kapitolyo when I hunt for new restaurants. But for some reason, I was never lured to pay this restaurant a visit. It may be because I was in the mood for something else whenever I see it or perhaps because of the several lukewarm reviews about its food I've read online. But food gods paved the way for me to find out myself if I'm missing out or not at all. 

Hello, Main Street

I was greeted by a well lit black and white signage and a dining area with warm yellow lights. The brown tables, lovely natural stone tiles and tan couches added warmth to the space making it quite homey and quite fitting in Kapitolyo. 
We were in for a treat as we were served a lot of dishes! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

First Bite: Tittos Latin BBQ & Brew

I’ve been hearing a lot of great reviews about this South American joint in Kapitolyo. I got so curious that I always drag people and convince them to try it out with me. But my first two attempts were not successful. The first one was because of parking and the second one was because we were too full from our first stop. But third time’s the charm.  

Hello, Tittos Latin BBQ & Brew! (Finally.)
The spacious restaurant is one of the few that offers a handful of parking spaces in Kapitolyo. But on a good day, the place gets really packed and you’d be lucky if you could score one of the “double parking” spots. Inside, you’d be welcomed by vibrant colors and very South American murals. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

When in Bataan: Bataan World War II Museum

While researching for things to do in Balanga, Bataan, R spotted a review on the Bataan World War II Museum which is just a few blocks away from The Plaza Hotel. R’s interest in World War II grew ever since we visited Corregidor last December 2015. And after watching all the documentary and series focused on WWII, we both became even more fascinated with the bravery and perseverance of the soldiers and made us thankful for being alive during this time of relative peace. And since we had nothing else better to do, we decided to drop by the small museum

Hello, Bataan World War II Museum.
It is quite easy to miss this small museum as it is located behind Balanga Elementary School compound which is being renovated. At first, we thought that the museum was closed given that we dropped by on a Sunday afternoon. Luckily, it was open. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

When in Bohol: Bohol Bee Farm

I’ve never been a beach loving person till a few years back when I was dragged out of my house to bask under the scorching sun. The usual me would dread the idea of being burnt black and having to cut down on carbs just to look decent in photos. But for some reason, it became a lot more interesting. I’m not sure if it has something to do with getting older but the relaxing sound of the water hitting the shore or boat and having a carefree life (for at least a few days) were just some of the things I look forward to whenever I visit an island. Of course, good food is also in the picture. And a trip to Bohol is not complete without visiting Bohol Bee Farm. 
Hello, Bohol Bee Farm.
This popular dining destination in Panglao has been a favorite of tourists and locals alike. Aside from its spacious restaurant, the huge compound also houses a nursery of herbs and various plants, spa, and several cottages as B&B accommodations. There are also water sports equipment available for rent for those interested to enjoy the sea.

Friday, April 7, 2017

First Bite: Cicada Tapas & Bar

It is always fun to visit Cebu as it is turning into a foodie destination with new concepts opening here and there. But there are a few classics that I missed out from my previous trips and I made sure that I’d drop by a few of them during my last Cebu visit. And for R’s late birthday celebration, we opted to have lunch at Circa 1900. 

Hello, Circa 1900!
We were greeted by beautiful two ancestral homes (turned dining halls) as soon as we entered the restaurant's huge compound. 
Unfortunately, Circa 1900 was closed when we visited and will be closed throughout our stay in Cebu. On the bright side, its tapas restaurant, Cicada was open and we could dine there instead. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

First Bite: Sakura Terraces

Chaya is my favorite Japanese restaurant in Baguio and I was excited to share this wonderful find with R’s parents. I had no idea though that a lot of locals and tourists also know my secret Legarda Road gem. The place was packed on our first night in Baguio and we were gently turned down to dine there for dinner when the front host found out that we didn’t have any reservation on its busy night. I had to think of another restaurant quick before R’s parents turn from hungry to hangry. And the first restaurant that came to mind was Sakura Terraces.

Hello, Sakura Terraces!
This restaurant has been highly rated on its Facebook page and looloo. There was even one Japanese reviewer who mentioned that Sakura Terraces offer the real deal while giving Chaya a very low rating. I then thought that Sakura Terraces might be my new favorite. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Second Bite: Backyard Kitchen + Brew

I've been a fan of Chef Ed Bugia's Pino and Pi Breakfast & Pies restaurants for years and I was so giddy to try Backyard Kitchen + Brew back in 2015. And it was a memorable experience at that as one year later, I could still remember its succulent baby back ribs and delightful cheddar chips till now. But just to make sure, let's do a second take on the baby back ribs.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

First Bite: Sunrise Buckets

I’ve never been a chicken wings fan as I always feel that I get less for paying the same amount for a piece of chicken. I’d always go for breast or thigh as these parts have more meat. This is also the reason why I’ve never been interested to try Sunrise Buckets. But I guess I’m fated to dine here as this is one of the food stops of Food Hop 2017 by Zomato and The Grove by Rockwell.

Hello, Sunrise Buckets!
We were greeted by interiors in nautical theme and a retro looking open display chiller filled with various canned and bottled drinks.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Love at First Bite: Vampire Penguin Shaved Snow and Desserts

Summer is here and I now have the perfect excuse to eat cold treats 24/7. Halo-halo, bingsu, ice cream, you name it, I’d most likely want it. And a few weeks ago, I discovered a new favorite. It comes with an adorable mascot and an interesting name.

Hello, Vampire Penguin.
An adorable Vampire Penguin greeted us as soon as we approached its store located at Ayala on 30th. A display shelf with the different flavored ice, toppings and macarons were among the first things we noticed as we stepped inside the corner store. 

Its name sure made a lot of diners curious. Thankfully, Leo, one half of the duo who conceptualized Vampire Penguin, was there to entertain all our silly questions. He enlightened us by sharing a little story about themselves and how related it is to Vampire Penguin.