Friday, December 29, 2017

Now Open: Tsuta, Michelin-Starred Ramen

Tsuta has been one of the most anticipated brands this 2017 by food enthusiasts, or more specifically by ramen aficionados. I fall under both categories and I can't help but salivate whenever I read reviews on Tsuta's signature and Michelin-starred ramen. Just picturing its rich broth with truffle oil makes me uneasy. I just have to try it as soon as it lands here in Manila. And finally, I did. 

Konnichiwa, Tsuta!
Tsuta Ramen is no stranger to those who frequent Tokyo. As the first ramen shop worldwide to be awarded the prestigious Michelin Star, Tsuta has become a destination for good ramen. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Now Open: Bake Cheese Tart is now in Manila

Bake is finally in Manila! After over a year of waiting, the world's best cheese tart is now open in Podium. 

Hello, Bake Cheese Tart.
I haven't heard of Bake till I visited Japan last year. The long queue in front of its store near the subway caught my attention and made me curious. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to convince R to line up with me that time. But the enticing aroma of freshly baked tarts left a strong impression that I made sure to grab some when I visited Seoul, Korea and Taichung, Taiwan.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

When in Taiwan: Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle

This year has been packed with local and international travels. I've seen so many places and indulged in a lot of great dishes which made me gain extra pounds. I'm not complaining though as I loved every moment (and bite of it)! And one of my favorite finds this year is this famous Taiwanese dish you can find in one of the many streets of Ximending.

Hello, Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodle!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

First Bite: Little Winehaus

Looking for an affordable place to spend your Titas of Manila night can be a bit challenging. With most tapas and wine bars selling their wine and anti pasti at several hundreds per serving, going out for one could definitely hurt the holiday budget. But, what if I tell you that there's a place that could give you and your amigas a lovely Wine and Jamon Serrano night for only PHP540? Intrigued?

Hello, Little Winehaus.

The quaint wine shop located at the two storey restaurant complex along Mother Ignacia and Scout Lozano offers affordable sangrias and tapas perfect for those who want an all-nighter. 
We got a carafe of Sangria (PHP290), Jamon Serrano (PHP250), Hungarian Sausage (PHP180) and Dulong (PHP180) paired with crackers. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

First Bite: Doux PH

With Christmas fast approaching, we get busier than ever finding the perfect gifts for our family and friends. I've been through a lot of holiday shopping mayhem to remember and there is only one thing I got from it-- plan ahead or suffer. And after years of practice, I'm proud to say that I managed to cross out my entire list after a short call. How do I do it? By having a trusty supplier to provide me with delectable treats to give out to everyone. But one new baker I discovered is making me think if I should order more (for myself). 

Hello, Doux.PH.
I got an email from Beah of Doux.PH one night asking if I would be open to try some of her cookies. As a person who does not say no to sweet, I gladly said yes. And a week later, she sent me an assorted box of cookies!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

First Bite: Cable Car

If you have been partying for the past two decades then Cable Car won't be a stranger to you. Considered as one of the pioneers in the restaurant and bar industry, Cable Car has been around since 1992 satisfying late cravings of night owls and party goers. And to celebrate its 25th year, it prepared a handful of surprises that will delight even the morning foodies and non-drinkers.

Hello, Cable Car.
I always see Cable Car whenever I pass by Fort Strip but for some reason, I found it to be a place for pre-game and post-game drinks and meals. Since I don't really go out late at night to party, I didn't find the place appealing. I had no idea though that Cable Car is more than just beer and small bites. In fact, it is known for its sisig rice. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Makati Chronicles: Epicurean Party at I'M Hotel

I have been stuck to my couch for days. With crackers and smoked salmon spread within reach to keep me alive, I had no intentions of going out at all. I was motivated to trim my backlog to at least half before 2018. Though an impossible task given my three digit pending articles, I had to start somewhere. And when the day of the Epicurean Party came, I was not in the mood to socialize until when I realized that I missed hanging out with everyone.
Thanks to the foodies behind What To Eat PH and The Foodie Station, we got to celebrate the most anticipated holiday together at I'M Hotel's Antidote Bar. 
Located at the roof deck of the hotel, Antidote boasts to be the first jellyfish bar in the country featuring a massive 8-meter long jellyfish aquarium in colorful luminescent lights. 
I was at first iffy with the idea of having live jellyfish as interior accent. But after finding out that I'M Hotel is actually affiliated with Manila Ocean Park and that the jellyfish are in good hands, I let out a sigh of relief and took hundreds of snapshots afterwards. 
Though known for its cocktails, Antidote also offers dishes such as this succulent braised pork belly. I also heard that its Mozzarella Jalapeno Cigars are great! 
One of the superstars of the party was ElarZ Lechon. Its crispy skin paired with its juicy and flavorful meat was a feast on its own. Each bite was like a party in my mouth. And yes, it made me crave for rice. It definitely deserves the Pambansang Lechon title. 
Another favorite of mine was Empanada Mas' empanaditas. These bite-size empanadas are perfect for those light afternoon snacks. My favorite is cheese and chive which I first had at The Gourmand Market. 
As I stuff myself with more of my favorites, I grabbed a glass full of ice and a bottle of Lick Raspberry. 
I heard that this flavor is one of its bestsellers, aside from Lemon and Huckle Berry, and it was good. Its light flavor was great in quenching my thirst. Though a bit pricey at PHP150, it's a nice and healthy alternative to your usual iced tea as Lick uses Stevia. 
I was so busy catching up with friends that I totally missed the scrumptious pizzas prepared by Amici and Angel's Pizza, lasagna by Mama Lou's, European platter by Vanderlust, signature dishes by Tien Ma's and Crystal Jade, decadent brownies by Kenny Rogers, party platters by Party Toques and the heavenly sisig kanin balls by The Broken Oven.
As the sun start to set, the beauty of the jellyfish aquarium put us under its spell with its colorful lights. 
But the powerful voice of our host, H of RX 93.1, released us from our trance and we gathered at the al fresco area of Antidote for some games. 
We had two fun activities before ending the program and these were hosted by Lick Iced Tea and Stips Salted Egg Chips. 
Our first challenge was to come up with a fun mannequin video featuring Lick while we had to come up with a creative group shot with Stips. 
Well, we thought ours were brilliant. But the other groups had better ideas. 
The tita in me kicked in after the games and got sleepy. It was timely though that West Town's Coffee did a coffee brewing demo. 
Aside from learning how to properly brew a cup of joe, we got to enjoy some of West Town's fragrant brews. 
I then capped my long dinner with some smooth and creamy gelato from Gelatofix. (I love it so much that I had another scoop the following day.)
For some of us who stayed behind after all the festivities, we got a tour of I'M Hotel's rooms and facilities. 
I must say, I was very impressed with the two-bedroom suite. With a built-in kitchen, spacious living room, and well equip bathrooms, it felt more like home than a cold hotel room. Though its published price is PHP20,000 + per night, you can score this luxurious room for half the price on lean months.
We also passed by the Mermaid Bar which has some striking elevated day beds that give its occupants a lovely view of the city. 

And a quick look of Bloom, I'M Hotel's buffet restaurant. They also have a hot pot section which is open on hours when Bloom is closed.
Weary from the event and the tour, I decided to head back home with my yummy loot from Pan de Manila, Figaro, Stips, Gastronomy by Joy and Golden Fiesta.
I was so happy to get my favorite Pan de Manila goodies and smiled from ear to ear when I saw my favorite coconut jam in the bag! 
Stips salted egg chips were so addicting that I finished my bags in less than 10 minutes. And that was with an effort to only finish half a bag. I loved that there was a rich taste of salted egg without it being cloying. 

And thanks to the vicious cycle of craving for something salty then sweet, I indulged in some of Gastronomy by Joy's white chocolate treat.  
Giddy with my Figaro Card, I'm already planning when to get my favorite Five Cheese and Garlic Pizza. But for now, I paired my pastries with Figaro's coffee. 

Again, thank you What To Eat PH and The Foodie Station for the fun event. It was nice to meet everyone before 2017 ends. 

Antidote Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

First Bite: Bento & Co

There's a new Japanese restaurant in Quezon City and it offers bento boxes and other favorites at pocket friendly prices. Bento & Co is one of the handful restaurants in the food complex along Lazcano and Mother Ignacia and it was one of my stops during a food crawl with some of my favorite foodies. 

Hello, Bento & Co

Specializing on the usual Japanese dishes like teriyaki, tempura, yakiniku, sashimi, ramen and the like, you'd surely be motivated to create your dream bento box. 
To create your own bento, you start with choosing your base from the options below then top it off with your preferred viand from its teriyaki, teppanyaki, tempura, and yakiniku viands.

Monday, December 18, 2017

First Bite: Kusina Juan Republika

I always get overwhelmed with restaurant options whenever I'm in Quezon City. With several options along Tomas Morato and Teachers Village, I often rely on my foodie friends' suggestions on the best places to eat. And last weekend, I got to visit this new food complex along the busy street of Mother Ignacia that houses a Filipino and Japanese restaurants, tapas bar, cafe and a pastry shop. First stop, Kusina Juan Republik. 

Hello, Kusina Juan Republik.
This Filipino restaurant serves local favorites such as sisig, sinigang, kare-kare and even the street classic balot. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

First Sip: Vengo

I try to avoid hipster restaurants and cafes as much as I could as I've been to so many that just focused on aesthetics and not on what we're really paying for... food and drinks. But I'd get dragged to one from time to time. There would be instances when I would find some gems but more often than not, I wouldn't dare go back for more. One recent hipster place I've visited is Vengo, the coffee shop counterpart of the famous Taco Vengo

Hello, Vengo

A client suggested that we meet here one Tuesday morning and I had no clue where it is. It turns out to be in the same building as the one I frequent along Dela Rosa, only it is on the other side. 
I got there around 9:30 a.m. and it seemed that the staff was surprised to see someone come in so early. Or maybe it was because I came in the wrong door. Apparently, there's a door specifically for the cafe and another for the dining area that they open up for lunch and dinner. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

When in Tagaytay: Sky Ranch

I usually visit Tagaytay for a quick getaway whenever there's a short holiday. And two weeks ago, I decided to spend a day there to take a break from the insane city life. But instead of unwinding at our favorite resort, R and I decided to do something different and visit Sky Ranch. 

Hello, Sky Ranch

This amusement park developed by SM group has been around for a couple of years now and has been a destination of choice of local travelers. It is easy to spot the place with its ginormous Sky Eye ferris wheel. 
My eyes twinkled with delight upon seeing several restaurants surrounding the park. And I saw a few more inside. I figured that it might be best to go on a food trip first before going crazy with the different rides available. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Love at First Bite: Mirèio

Pinch me, I'm in love. It has been a few hours since I left Mirèio but I can't stop thinking about the food I had for lunch and I'm already planning when to go back for more. 

Hello, Mirèio
Mirèio is one of the restaurants of Raffles Makati specializing in Provencal-inspired cuisine. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

LeTAO Holiday Treats

LeTAO is one of the most talked about brands last year when it opened its first pop-up store in Uptown Bonifacio. Focusing on one product, Fromage Double Cheesecake, it successfully captured the local market's attention. Teased with gorgeous photos followed by mouthwatering write ups, foodies around the metro got curious. However, many took a step back after finding that one 6" cake costs PHP1,150. Fast forward to December 2017, LeTAO Philippines now offers more of the well-loved Japanese brand and it came just in time for Christmas. 

Hello, LeTAO
I was first acquainted with LeTAO during my trip to Taiwan. I got its famous Fromage Double Cheesecake at almost the same price in Manila. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Southern Chronicles: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory opens in Molito, Alabang

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is no stranger to me. I've had it back in 2011 during one of my travels. Back then I wasn't too adventurous with food and didn't really like the idea of having my chocolate or caramel with a Granny Smith apple. Fast forward to 2017, I got acquainted with the chocolate wonderland again and discovered some treats that made me smile from ear to ear. 

Hello, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Truffles the bear finally made it to the South. And it is the first thing you'll notice when you get inside Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Molito, Alabang. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Tsuta is opening in Manila!

The world's first Michelin-starred ramen shop is finally coming to Manila! And it is opening just in time for Christmas. 

Konnichiwa, Tsuta!
Tsuta is one of the most talked about ramen shops since 2015 when it earned a prestigious Michelin star. The very first in its category to earn such recognition, it has drawn so much attention that lining up at 6 a.m. whereas the store opens at 11 a.m. became normal. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

First Bite: Flatterie by Todd English

With the success of Pound and Hook comes another mouthwatering concept that started at the foodie haven Todd English Food Hall--Flatterie. This newest addition to the growing brands under Foodee Global Concepts specializes on flatbreads while keeping the signature posh ambiance the Todd English Group. I was expecting for the usual flatbreads but... let's just say my taste buds had a grand time!

Hello, Flatterie
Located on the ground floor of SM Mall of Asia's South Arcade, it would be hard to miss Flatterie as it is situated by the mall's side entrance. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

First Bite: Mamma Mia

I hardly visit the mall these days but I think I just found a reason to go to Uptown Bonifacio on a weekly basis. No, it is not because of Christmas shopping or that I have to watch the latest movies. It's because of an Italian restaurant that wowed me with its heavenly pizzas

Hello, Mamma Mia
Welcomed by warm and inviting interiors, I felt at home as soon as I stepped in. I got charmed by beautiful combination of bricks, marbles and yellow accents. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

First Bite: Tsujiri

Tsujiri has been known as matcha paradise. By using premium green tea and complemented by curated Japanese toppings, this new player in the market has been well-received despite its intimidating price range. I've been wanting to visit its first store in S Maison but the traffic hinders me from visiting. Thankfully, it opened somewhere closer to home.

Hello, Tsujiri!
I was so giddy when I found out that Tsujiri opened its doors in BGC. Located on the third floor of SM Aura, I could finally indulge in what serious matcha lovers consider as the best green tea ice cream around.