I'm a big fan of matcha. Perhaps it's because of my intense love for anything Japanese. But there is something about matcha that I find very endearing. It's my go-to treat whenever I indulged in something (too) sinful as a cup or two of this green wonder would make me feel less guilty. But what I love most about matcha is how it evolved from a drink made from a very precised tea ceremonies into a modern and casual treat which ranges from drinks to desserts. I've also tried some savory dishes infused with green tea! Though there are hits and misses here and there, I'm always open to trying out new matcha places. And a few weeks back, a new matcha player opened in BGC so... Hello, Nomi Matcha and Açaí!
Nomi, or drink in Japanese, is the first food venture of three Japanese friends who thought of giving the well-loved matcha a modern take.
Situated at the ground floor of W City Center along 5th Avenue, the first thing I noticed was its brightly lit space and its light-colored interiors with touches of green and pink.
I simply cannot resist comfort food. And now with how things are going in Manila, I need daily supply of good food. Thankfully, a new restaurant just opened and it offers dishes that would definitely make get by a bad day. Hello, Mimi & Bros!
With the crazy number of restaurants opening here and there, you must be bestowed with supernatural powers if you could keep up and visit all. First impression could make or break a restaurant and I often mentally give it a "deadline" on until when it'll stay open. But there are a handful of restaurants that impressed me and made me look at my calendar on when I could visit again. And one of the restaurants that tickled my taste buds with glee is Vatos. Hello, Vatos.
It is sometimes challenging to find a spot where you could work without any distraction and with reliable internet connection. Most of the coffee shops I've been to were too noisy or have Wi-Fi connection that loves to play hide and seek. Though there are co-working spaces here and there, I still prefer a real coffee shop where I could order a much needed cup of coffee that tastes good. And last week, I tried Olivia & Co. Hello, Olivia & Co.
Filipino cuisine will always have a special place in my heart (and tummy). But I usually save indulging in my favorites at home as I find it easy to make. Then again, on days I feel extremely lazy to buy ingredients, more so to cook, I just visit one of my favorite restaurants. Last weekend though, I felt like trying a new restaurant and thought of trying Sangkap. Hello, Sangkap.
Who hasn't seen Angel's Burger must be living in a cave. This burger joint is one of the most successful local food brands in the country today with multiple branches nationwide. Though curious, I never really thought of trying it as I always have something else in mind. That was until we found ourselves starving during a road trip with no other restaurant in sight. So... what the heck? It can't be successful if it serves bad stuff, right? Hello, Angel's Burger.
Famous for its Buy One, Get One burgers, we availed of its Cheeseburger Sandwich (PHP38 or PHP19 per burger) while I upgraded mine to a Bacon Cheeseburger Sandwich by adding PHP16 for a slab of bacon.
I've been looking forward to dine at Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen ever since I fell in love with its sister brand, Nonna's in Nuvali. And when my fried decided to have her birthday celebration at its Ayala Malls the 30th branch, I smiled from ear to ear! Hello, Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen.
After years of eying this place, I finally got to visit Mama Lou's with some of my closest friends to celebrate K's birthday. Since we were dining on a Friday night, I decided to make a reservation to make sure that we have seats.
Almost everyone came on time except for one who got stuck in terrible C-5 traffic. And I was glad that I made that reservation as the place was packed!
I am a sucker for local sweet stuff. I always find myself hoarding various delicacies from my trips down to Visayas, especially Bacolod. One of the first things R and I buy is silvanas from Sans Rival, not the one from Dumagete but from a local mart that resells it. I even fell for its charm when I was in Mactan airport only to find out that it is being sold more than twice expensive. But I didn't care and grabbed a box in an instant. But I discovered a new place to stock up on my favorite at a more reasonable price... at Sans Rival full service restaurant in Robinsons Galleria Cebu! Hello, Sans Rival!
I literally jumped and twirled like a little girl who saw her crush when I read an article mentioning that Sans Rival opened a branch in Robinsons Galleria. But my heart sank when I read the next word... Cebu.
I usually avoid buffets as I always end up overeating and leaving the place with so much remorse for having too much of everything. But Cucina's paella has been making me drool for weeks now and I've decided to finally give in. Hello, Cucina.
It feels like it was just yesterday when Pound opened its first store in Bonifacio High Street. The place was packed with eager foodies who wanted to participate in the very tempting Pay What You Want promo. And fast forward to 2018, Todd English's burger joint now has seven branches across Metro Manila. I'm lucky though as there is a Pound store in all the areas I frequent. And one of my favorites to date is its Eastwood store. Hello, Pound! Pound has been one of the burger places I'm confident to recommend, may it be to friends or total strangers. Aside from its quality ground beef patty and good selection of dishes, its pocket friendly price range makes Pound great for foodies from different walks of life.
Its Eastwood branch may not be as spacious as its Bonifacio High Street branch but it has a brighter dining area perfect for those who want to score that Instagram worthy photos.
If I were to choose only one type of food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be (hands down) salmon sashimi. I love it so much that I have developed an insatiable appetite for it. And a few weeks back, I had this insane craving for it. I described it as insane as I would go crazy if I don't get to indulge in some that night. Thankfully, there's Tendon Akimitsu. Hello, Tendon Akimitsu.
Tendon Akimitsu may be known for its good selection of tempura but this Japanese store has pretty good sashimi and maki too!
BonChon has been the top of mind brand when it comes to Korean fried chicken here in Manila. It came to our shores back in 2010 and it has continued to delight our taste buds with its perfectly fried chicken since then. And after the success of its favorite K-Style Chicken and Bibimbowl, BonChon expanded its menu that will make you come back for more.
I usually drop by this popular Korean food chain whenever I crave for some Soy Garlic Chicken. Since I always have an order in mind, I never bothered to look at the menu.
I knew that this year's birthday celebration would be a lot different as I will be tagging along R on his business trip. Though I was expecting that we'd find time to at least have a mini celebration together, it didn't exactly turned out as such given that we had a packed schedule to follow. But just when I was frowning and at the verge of crying, R surprised me with a lovely stay at Amarela Resort in Panglao, Bohol the day after my birthday.
My love for milk tea started when I was in my early years in the corporate world. An office mate would always shoot an email asking for our orders, if any. And of course, I'd reply with my favorite complete with sugar and ice level as well as my go to sinkers. Eventually, we all had that health is wealth phase where we all decided to lessen our milk tea runs and stick with healthier beverages. But there are still days when I find myself sipping a sweet drink just because I feel that I deserve one. And a few weeks back, I found a new favorite in CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice. Hello, CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice.
I didn't really had plans to drop by this place after my burger run as I already had iced tea and sundae to cap my lunch. But I'm weak when it comes to peer pressure and soon, I found myself in front of CoCo.
I am definitely not a morning person anymore. I had to set my alarm 5 times with 5 minute interval in case I just click "stop" instead of snooze. But there are still things that motivate me to wake up early such as crazy morning flights, sunrise by the beach and of course, breakfast! And last Monday, McDonald's celebrated its 6th National Breakfast Day with a bang by giving away its new Longgadesal to early risers. Hello, McDonald's.
I had an early morning shoot at Mall of Asia last Monday so I thought of going earlier so that I could swing by McDonald's and celebrate National Breakfast Day.
Who wouldn't get excited by the idea of a dessert museum? A chocoholic like me went crazy and spammed a lot of friends when I found out that one is opening here in Manila. I got excited too with the idea of feasting on sweets while inside one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in the city. I was not sure though if it would be worth the entrance fee so I decided to wait for a couple of weeks before I decide to purchase a ticket or not. But dessert gods must be pleased with me and I got an unexpected pass to sweet land. Hello, The Dessert Museum.
Located at the ground floor of S'Maison, it would be hard to miss this Instagram heaven with its quirky facade. Strict with reservation schedules, we were in front of the museum 30 minutes before our slot.
I love sangria! It's one of the drinks I simply could not resist when on a night out with friends. And when I found out that there's a new bar in town that not only offers photogenic dishes but various sangrias as well, I got very excited and giddy to visit! Hello, Alegria Cozinha Moderna & Sangria Bar.
Located at the fourth floor of Uniqlo store along 7th Avenue, Alegria offers a lovely and relaxing space perfect for night caps after work or a tiring day doing errands. It also has an al fresco area that gives a nice view of surrounding area.
We all have love-hate relationship with lunch break. We look forward to that one hour where we could get our fill and be energized to last us the day but at the same time, we never feel that an hour is enough for us to enjoy our meal. Thankfully, several restaurants saw it as a challenge and opportunity to develop menus that are filling, quick and more importantly, delicious, to help us get the most of our limited lunch hour. And a few Saturdays ago, I got to try out some of Va Bene's Business Lunch Menu dishes. Hello, Va Bene Pasta Deli.
Va Bene is consistently named as one of the best Italian restaurants in town. Known for its delectable pastas, it has been patronized by foodies all over.
I absolutely hate waking up early in the morning. I stopped being a morning person after quitting my job that required me to report to the office so early in the morning. It was as if my body rebelled and could no longer function before 8 A.M. But I think I'll wake up extra early on Monday because it's National Breakfast Day!
Mark your calendars as March 19 is National Breakfast Day and you know what that means... FREE EGG MCMUFFIN. Oh wait. It's even better now. It's Longgadesal!
Harlan + Holden instantly charmed me when I saw photos of its picturesque cafe in Rockwell. Call me sucker for Instagram-worthy places but I did my research and read great reviews of this place prompting me to ask R and his parents to a trip here one afternoon. Hello, Harlan + Holden.
French food is one of the cuisines that remains to be the unpopular choice for the local market. It is perhaps of its fine-dining image or its not so friendly price tag per dish. But when we're talking about fluffy puff omelettes, it somehow changes our perception of how French enjoy their food. It becomes more familiar and inviting. Hello, La Mère Poulard.
Ooma has been known as one of the best Japanese fusion restaurants in town. With Chef Bruce Ricketts as its executive chef, it was no surprise how Ooma grew fast and remained one of the most visited restaurants to date. And my latest visit last December made me remember why I dreamt of Ooma for days after my first bite of its mouthwatering dishes. Hello, Ooma.
I was greeted by a busy dining scene when I got to Ooma for dinner and there were only a few tables left waiting to be occupied before the place gets fully packed.
We all had our fair share of taking selfies. From that fun trip you had abroad to luckily bumping into your favorite celebrity, we have all mastered the art of taking photos of ourselves. But a cafe took selfies to a whole different level when it made it edible. Hello, Selfie Cafe.
Don't you just love it that traveling the world is becoming more affordable and easier? There are countless websites and apps that would make exploring a breeze. In fact, with the blossoming Manila restaurant scene, one doesn't even have to leave the country to feast on his or her favorite international cuisine. And I was happy to come across this Asian fusion restaurant that offers local favorites from Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, China and of course, Philippines. Hello, Pink Panda.
Located at the former Crisp on 28th, Pink Panda would be hard to miss with its neon pink signage of panda eyes staring at each one that passes by its facade.
Valentine's Day is one of my favorite occasions to celebrate. It is the day when I could be super cheesy and not be shy about it. But as I grow older, I learn that overly sharing one's relationship status online could be a bit too much. So I downplayed it this year and gave a simple yet heart-felt gift to R.
Knowing that R is a big fan of anything sweet, I thought of giving him chocolates. And when I found out that Cadbury came up with a special Valentine's box where your message is creatively hidden, I didn't think twice and got one for R.
Samba is one of my favorite places to hang out and unwind whenever I’m in Manila. Its chill ambiance and superb food makes it a great place for a night cap. And just when I thought it was already perfect, I was proven otherwise. Hello again, Samba.
I usually visit Samba during night time as I visit the place with R who has to beat EDSA traffic. So it was refreshing for me to drop by in the afternoon where I could fully enjoy the beauty of Shangri-La at the Fort’s pool. And I was in for a treat when I was spoiled by Tiki Maestro, Daniele Dalla Pola.
I usually look forward to my birthday as it means being extra loved for a day. But after hitting 25, I see it as a reminder that more wrinkles will appear. My unhealthy lifestyle where I run with barely any sleep doesn't help me too with my goal of getting stuck at a certain age, skin-wise. And despite religiously applying moisturizer day and night, it never addressed my dull and dry skin. But thanks to skin technological advancement, I might have found a solution. Hello, Radiance Aesthetic Center.
Like most skin clinics, Radiance Aesthetic Center offers wide range of skin solutions. But one thing I noticed from having a quick chat with its owner and clinic dermatologist, Dr. Trix Castañeda, is that Radiance Aesthetic Center meticulously look for equipment and new skin solutions that are effective, pain-free and cost efficient.
Something British is back in Manila and no, I'm not talking about One Direction. I'm talking about something yummy (or yummier if you think those guys are yummy too) and dear ol' Ronald McDonald is the man behind it.
Chili's has been a classic go to place for burgers, chicken fingers and milkshakes. It is one of the places R and I first shared a meal together and we had really good memories there. And this is why hearing its name never fails to make me smile. But Chili's came up with something that made me grin even bigger and that has something to do with their new offerings that have more Asian flair to it. Hello, Chili's!
Our favorite chili came up with more delectable dishes this year with its Tender Bites and Texas Two Step dishes which are designed to be more Asian which is a new addition to its Southern American cuisine.
What is your darkest secret? It is definitely something one cannot easily share, or at least while sober. But don't you just hate having to hide it all the time or being on guard? It is one of my goals this year to be free of having this unnecessary burden and thankfully, I found a way to break away from it. Hello, Clara International Skin and Body Centre.
Tucked inside Sunshine Boulevard Plaza along Quezon Avenue lies this Malaysia-born skin center that has been enhancing its clients beauty naturally for over a decade.
Tired of the normal night out with friends where all you do is drink, chat and maybe dance (when someone gets overboard in alcohol)? What if I tell you that there's a new bar in town that could make your mundane night a little bit funner? Hint: Barcade.
Is it just me or there is a crazy number of restaurants opening here and there? I used to be able to keep up with the new store openings within my area but I couldn't keep up anymore with the rate it's going. But I prioritize those I've been itching to try and one of the new restaurants I spotted a few weeks back is this tapas place in Uptown Bonifacio. Hello, ¡OYE! Tapas & Grill!
Celebrating Chinese New Year has been deeply ingrained in our culture. We'd see non-Chinese families also welcoming the Lunar new year by feasting on Chinese delicacies, cheering during the Dragon Dance and elaborate fireworks displays and handing ampaos to the little ones. Such strong obervance led to the said celebration to be declared a special non-working holiday since 2012. And there is no better way to spend this day than to indulge in some classic Chinese favorites. Hello, Shangri-La Finest Chinese Cuisine.
I still remember those younger years when I dream of being pampered by my prince charming with flowers, balloons and all those grand gestures to show his affections. But as I grow older, I become more and more practical and I found myself telling R not to buy me anything inedible. Defining myself as a scrooge would be too harsh as I still enjoy other forms of gifts. And my favorite to date is when R prepared a lovely steak dinner for us in Tagaytay. But with us being so busy these past months, we could barely even celebrate each others birthdays. Thankfully, a thoughful brand came up with an easy yet thoughtful way for us to express our love. Hello, Toblerone Valentine's Limited Edition Sleeves!
Most of us usually shy away from dining in hotels thinking that its food would be out of the budget. However, the more I explore, the more I realize that these hotel restaurants offer dishes and set menus that I find value for money. Though it may still be a bit more expensive compared to restaurants elsewhere, one thing I like about dining in hotels is that I am assured of, at the very least, good service. But I recently discovered a hotel restaurant that offers good food at reasonable prices. Hello, Coffee.com.
This inviting restaurant and café is located at the ground floor of Hotel Jen Manila which was formerly known as Traders Hotel.
Most of us try to be better versions of ourselves come the start of the new year. I've had several new year's resolutions but most if not all end up in the bin. And after several years of making new goals, I decided to make this year's resolutions more realistic and attainable. And one of my goals this 2018 is to be more exposed to new flavors, primarily spicy food. Now is the time to try that spicy chicken! Hello, 24 Chicken Delivery Manila.
Jollibee has undeniably become part of Filipino culture and lifestyle. We all know Chicken Joy, its langhap-sarap burgers and Burger Steak oozing with mushroom gravy sauce which redefined how we enjoy burger patty. And just when I thought Jollibee cannot go even more Pinoy, it released a new item that tickled my taste buds with glee. Hello, Jollibee Pinoy BBQ Burger Steak!
Just before Jollibee released its new tear-jerking shorts, it launched something for the tummy-- new burger steak flavor!
I have been a big fan of Paradise Dynasty ever since they opened in S'Maison. However, the distance has been an issue for me and it was like having a long distance relationship with the xiao long bao that stole my heart from another restaurant known for it. But love moves mountains and Paradise Dynasty finally opened a new branch closer to home. Hello, Paradise Dynasty.
Looking for a place to spend Chinese New Year could be a daunting task especially with the growing number of restaurants offering spectacular special menus. But if you want a good view of the city to go with your Yusheng, then there is one place in town that would be very hard to beat.
Remember when Yellow Cab had the brilliant idea of holding an Unli Pizza promo? Well, It's back and it is going to make World Pizza Day even better. Hello, Yellow Cab.
Yellow Cab began to share with Filipinos a slice of New York back in 2001 with its first branch in Makati Avenue and it has continued to expand nationwide with over 100 branches to date. Such number proves how much Filipinos love its pizza (with perhaps a side of Charlie Chan).
There's a new pizzeria in town and it is bound to tickle your taste buds with glee. Yes, Tasteless Food Group is at it again with spoiling us by bringing the famous UK brand PizzaExpress to Manila. Hello, PizzaExpress.
I was so curious about PizzaExpress when I saw its board up in Uptown Bonifacio. I have never heard of the brand before but the giddiness from other foodies was so infectious that I got excited myself without knowing what to expect. And after a few months of looking forward to that first bite, I finally got to indulge in some of PizzaExpress' popular dishes.
With the Chinese New Year just around the corner, many restaurants are busy working on their special menu to celebrate the Year of the Dog. One of the restaurants that has been a destination of choice of the Filipino-Chinese community is Crystal Jade. And it sure has a festive and delectable menu fit to welcome 2018! Hello, Crystal Jade.
It would be hard to miss this Chinese restaurant along Bonifacio High Street. With its prime location along 7th Avenue, one could easily spot Crystal Jade.
Krispy Kreme has always been my go to place whenever I crave for doughnuts. Though I just stick to the classic Original Glazed and a cup of iced latte, mocha or cappuccino, I always enjoy looking at its mouthwatering and picturesque flavored doughnuts. But there was one variant that intrigued me and made me change my usual order. Hello, Krispy Kreme Chocolate Glazed!
Original is now available in chocolate! Yes, my favorite Original Glazed doughnut got a yummy tan!
Bench Cafe?! Who would have thought that the retail giant Bench would open its own restaurant? The well-loved local brand that has an impressive global presence has finally got inside the food scene with its first ever restaurant in its flagship store in Bonifacio Global City. Hello, Bench Cafe.
Located at the busy Bonifacio High Street, it would be very easy to spot the Bench flagship store. Just look for a building with red lighted signage.
I hardly visit Makati on a weeknight especially knowing how traffic could be such a nightmare in the city. But it is so hard to resist good food. And due to weak will power, I found myself traveling from Eastwood to Roxas Boulevard and finally to Kamagong, Makati to indulge in Chef Kel Zaguirre's creations at this newly opened restaurant Eat 9707. Hello, Eat 9707!
Located at the roofdeck of 9707 Kamagong, Eat 9707 offers comfort food dishes that combines L.A. street food and Japanese ingredients.
The al fresco dining area makes it a lovely place to chill after work while indulging in some of Taft's famous Syfu's Barbecue. But allow me to start with the scrumptious appetizers we had that night.
I love how my favorite restaurants are opening branches closer to home. One of my favorites to date is Fat Fook, a Taiwanese restaurant in SM North Edsa. And after more than a year, it finally opened its second branch in Robinsons Galleria. Hello, Fat Fook.
Located at the newly renovated wing of Robinsons Galleria, Fat Fook retained its glass facade and quirky ceramic plates accents.
Coffee lovers rejoice! Japan's famous coffee shop, % Arabica is finally in Manila and it is on its soft opening in W City Center, Bonifacio Global City. Hello, % Arabica.
I've seen a few % Arabica posts from some friends a few months back. Unfamiliar with the brand, my appreciation for it was limited to its minimalist interiors and simple logo which I love. And so, when the buzz came out that % Arabica will be opening in Manila, I couldn't really understand why everyone's semi-palpitating with excitement.
I found myself getting lost in SM North one afternoon. As I try to look for a camera store that sells the lens I plan to buy for myself as Christmas gift, I spotted Dark Specialty Coffee. And since I love anything with caffeine, chocolate or tea, I decided to take a break from getting lost and have a drink.
I've been wanting to visit Nono's ever since it opened mid last year. Knowing that it got a seal of approval from a very particular friend, I was sure that it will tickle my taste buds with glee. But it was hard for me to drop by as I don't frequent U.P. Town Center. Thankfully, it opened another branch at a more convenient location last month-- Podium. Hello, Nono's.
It would be hard to miss Nono's at the new wing of Podium mall as it is located near the escalator. But even its eye-catching and dreamy interiors will make any Instagram-loving individual take notice of it.