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.]

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Restaurant Love: Amici

Amici used to be one of my go to restaurants when I want comfort food like pasta and cake. I still remember frequenting its pioneer branch in Don Bosco just to get a scoop of its sweet dessert. But the crazy number of new restaurants popping here and there made my trips less frequent and the insane traffic surrounding Makati and SM Megamall made me hesitant to be a mile near those areas. Those were true till I got to sample its new dishes. 

Long time no taste, Amici!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Love at First Bite: Ninak

I used to always pass by Ninak whenever I explore Kapitolyo. However, I never had a chance to drop by because of the restaurant's lack of ample parking space for customers. I've actually heard and read good reviews about the place but I always end up dining somewhere where we could park. Thankfully, this Asian restaurant joint transferred to the lower ground of the newly opened Ayala Malls the 30th and I now do not have any reason of not visiting it. 

Hello, Ninak!
I was invited by everyone's "beshie" (bestfriend) Yourfoodtographer to have lunch here one Saturday. Despite being sick and still recovering from my first Canton Fair, I decided to go as I've been eying this place for years! Following the only direction I got, I looked for "Bon Chon" and easily spotted Ninak near it. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Restaurant Love: Bawai's Vietnamese Kitchen

I've been in love with Vietnamese cuisine ever since my first sip of pho. The delectable clean taste of the broth never fails to make me feel that I'm indulging in something healthy. And I was beyond ecstatic when I visited one of the famous Vietnamese restaurants around, Bawai's. However, it being in Laguna (and the super traffic White Plains) made Bawai's spread a rare treat. Thankfully, I don't have to drive (or be stuck for) hours to this superb restaurant as it finally opened its doors in Uptown Parade. 

Hello, Bawai's.
I was so giddy on my way to this Vietnamese restaurant and my eyes sparkled with joy when I spotted its facade across the Uptown Bonifacio fountain.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Love at First Bite: Nonna's

I've been hearing great things about this pizzeria in the South that I couldn't help myself from wanting to visit it ASAP. However, the place isn't exactly near. In fact, it isn't even in Metro Manila. But when I won some gift certificates from that restaurant, I finally have a good reason to drive all the way to Nuvali for lunch. And I finally did a few weeks ago.

Hello, Nonna's!
This restaurant, which is also a brainchild of the brilliant minds behind the successful Mama Lou's, was quite packed on a Sunday morning. Thankfully, we were early enough to secure a table for five.

Friday, May 12, 2017

First Bite: Fat Fook

I've always been so curious about Fat Fook ever since I saw several posts of its famous chicken chops online. It made me wonder if it would be a lot better than the other brands that claim to offer the number 1 Taiwanese chicken chops. However, its location wasn't exactly a "couple of blocks away" from where I live so it took me several months before I got to visit it. And I finally did last December when I was out panicking on what gifts to buy. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

First Bite: Tori Ichi

I once passed by this new yakitori restaurant on my home one time and took a mental note to visit it soon. But food gods had other plans and made my visit sooner. And sweeter too as it was a sponsored eat up by Epicurean Partners Exchange, Inc. and looloo. We were told to skip lunch as it was bound to be a very festive night for the tummy and it sure was!

Hello, Tori Ichi!

It would be easy to miss this two-story Japanese restaurant located at the corner of 4th Avenue across Kuppa as a huge metal sculpture blocks its facade. But no art can go in between me and my love for Japanese food.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

First Bite: Bánh Nǎm

I love how Manila is turning into a melting pot of various cuisines. The city that used to be dominated by American fast food joints and Filipino eateries is now a thing of the past. Fast forward to present, we have all kinds of dishes from different countries with some we still could not even pronounce correctly. One of my favorites lately is this delightful sandwich popular in Vietnam. Yes, I’m talking about banh mi. And recently, I discovered this shop that sells really good ones. 

Hello, Bánh Nǎm.

This Vietnamese shop offers two of the yummiest things Vietnam has to offer and it is serious in providing the best kind.  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

First Bite: Respite

Tomas Morato has turned from a drinking spot to a food haven these past years. And now, with more variety and restaurants, I sometimes get confused on where to eat. Thankfully, a Tomas Morato food crawl introduced me to this slightly off the grid coffee shop that offers delectable green tea cake! I wouldn’t have discovered this if it weren’t for that superb foodie event organized by Zomato.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Go Wagyu Crazy at Edsa Shangri-La's Mad for Wagyu at Heat

I always consider indulging in wagyu a treat. Aside from its unbelievably tender texture, it’s the sort of meat you can’t enjoy on a daily basis because of its not so affordable price tag. This is why my heart pounds so fast whenever I hear (or read) the three sweet words “unlimited wagyu promo.” And it definitely skipped a beat or two when I found out that Edsa Shangri-La’s well-loved buffet HEAT is celebrating foodies’ love for wagyu with Mad for Wagyu.

Hello, Heat!
 
It’d be hard to miss the Mad for Wagyu sign when you enter Heat as the first thing you’ll see is this roulette that diners could spin for a minimum single receipt worth PHP5,000. But let’s save the spinning story for later and focus more on the scrumptious spread.

Friday, May 5, 2017

First Bite: Pista Food Hall

As much as I love exploring Manila, I never had the chance to visit Baclaran. I know that’s where the famous Baclaran Church is located but I also know that the place is chaotic, crowded and not really a good place to be roaming around without a reason. But I finally got a reason to visit the area a few months ago.

Hello, Pista Food Hall.
Located on the 5th floor of Victory Food Mall across the busy Baclaran Church, Pista Food Hall’s ambiance is a refuge from the chaos of the streets below it. In fact, it may seem like it’s a bit out of place considering its location. But not quite. Especially when you hear what Chef JV Mangibin has to say about his vision for Pista.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

First Bite: Sobremesa

Sobremesa has been one of the most talked about restaurants when it opened. And how can it not make it to the social media world when it tries to address the society’s extreme addiction to gadgets. I’m sure that you remember this restaurant that had the witty idea of putting adorable small bird cages on every dining table where diners are encouraged to put their phones in. Yes, the idea behind it is to have a gadget-free meal and for people to actually talk to each other, in person. And to whoever cannot resist to check his or her phone, that person has to pay the bill of the whole group. Though I’m not exactly sure if diners actually locked their phones in, especially now with the need to document everything, it was and still is a great idea. I’ve been meaning to visit that restaurant for months now but traffic always gets in the way and I couldn’t drag anyone to go with me. But it was a different story a couple months back.

Hello, Sobremesa!
I was invited by The Menu Group to its blogger meet up a few months ago and I figured that this is finally my chance to visit the place as I have other foodies going with me.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

First Bite: Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant

I usually get stressed out when eating in Chinese restaurants. Everything seems to be so fast-paced. Plate after plate after plate of food gets served within a few minutes and we have to eat fast to make room for the next set of dishes. And the same case is true when we visited one of the popular Chinese restaurants along Wilson.
 

Hello, Hai Kang Seafood Restaurant.

I’ve never heard of this restaurant before but I was told that this has been around for years (or even decades) and it is quite popular especially to the Chinese community.

I was greeted by a huge dining area with high ceiling and several pocket rooms that could be enclosed by movable partition walls. The place was packed with diners on a Saturday night and one could get lost with and drown in the chaotic dining scene. Thankfully, R’s family was near the entrance and we didn’t have to squeeze our way in to the other side of the restaurant.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Beat the Heat: Wendy's Frosty Tops

I know I've abused this line but... it's so freaking hot this year! And adulting makes me feel torn with the idea of having my A/C in full blast the whole day. This is why I now look forward to going to malls and any other place that guarantees cool air. I was looking forward to "chilling" at the airport while I wait for my flight but the summer heat wanted to chill there as well. Thank goodness though for this sweet cold treat from one of my favorite fast food chains... Wendy's. 

Hello, Wendy's

I hardly visit Wendy's as this joint by the well-known freckled redhead doesn't have as many branches as the more famous clown and the even more popular happy bee. But when I do, I always get the same thing... Bacon Mushroom Melt combo (PHP156) and Frosty. This time around though, R convinced me that we try Frosty Tops with Oreo (PHP87). And it was the best decision we've had that night! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Snack Time: Taters

Glorietta never fails to feel like a jungle to me. With its different interconnected buildings and numerous stores, I always end up feeling confused and overwhelmed. But there is one thing that I'm sure of, Taters chips make me happy. And that's why I opted to have lunch there one afternoon. 
 
Hello, Taters!

It has been a while since I last had my Taters fix. Sadly, there are no Taters branches in malls I frequent. But when I pass by one, I simply could not resist getting a bag of chips even when I have no plans of watching a movie. Yes, this store with a baseball inspired logo is irresistible.