Thursday, May 31, 2018

First Bite: Above Sea Level

If you love food parks, then you must have noticed some customers carrying around or munching on giant squid on stick. A common sight in the busy streets of South Korea and Taiwan, this delectable treat is usually found in the likes of The Yard and other food halls in the metro. But guess what? The stall that offers such mouthwatering snack is more than just deep-fried giant squid. In fact, it now has a full-scale restaurant in the foodie haven Maginhawa. 

Hello, Above Sea Level
Positioning itself as the first fast food seafood restaurant in the country, Above Sea Level offers quick and simple seafood dishes at affordable prices.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

365 of Summer with Greenwich Hawaiian Overload

Summer may be ending soon with those sudden rain showers and gloomy skies but its festive vibe is here to stay especially with Greenwich's mouthwatering Hawaiian Overload within reach. 
Hello, Greenwich.
I was invited to the fun-filled Hawaiian themed Greenwich birthday bash for BFFs Yassi Pressman and Bela Padilla last week. 

The Search is on for the Happiest Pinoy

Resilient is one of the words that best describe Filipinos. Such trait was seen several times when we got hit by super typhoons and other sorts of calamities and tragedies. Despite losing homes and at the brink of losing hope, Filipinos stand on their feet and face the day with bright smiles and strong determination to recover. And this is what inspired the country's largest microfinancal service company Cebuana Lhuillier to come up with a Search for the Happiest Pinoy.
Street food makes me crazy happy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Seafood Paradise: Seascape Village

Fresh seafood is one of the things the Philippines is known for. As an archipelago composed of 7107 islands, we never run out of mouthwatering fish, shrimps, crabs, lobsters and what-have-yous. But just when we thought we're fine with good ol' dampa, Seascape Village put seafood feast on a whole different level. 

Hello, Seascape Village.

Sandwiched between Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel and Manila Film Center, this huge compound is divided into four phases. To date, the first Phase is open to the public but there are still a few establishments that are yet to open. The other three areas (that are yet to open) are dedicated to lifestyle and wellness, events and entertainment, and hotel + retail complex.
I was invited to a gastronomic seafood experience a few weeks back and we visited a handful of restaurants and were able to sample its bestsellers.

Monday, May 28, 2018

First Sip: Cafe MOH

There are only three things I consider for a coffee shop to be a worth going back to--good coffee, great ambiance to catch up with friends or to work and reliable internet connection. I often find myself putting the last two as top priority with my never ending battle to beat deadlines. And with my search for a place to work like a mad lady, I stumbled upon Cafe MOH at Ayala Malls the 30th. 

Hello, Cafe MOH.
MOH? What does that mean? Mocha Or Honey? Macchiato Over Hand? Okay, it doesn't make any sense. Apparently, it means Moment of Happiness. I didn't get much details on why it was named as such as I was in a rush to finish something for a client. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Chicken Love: Bonchon's Soy Garlic Chicken

I can't get enough of fried chicken. Who can resist its crispy skin and juicy meat anyway? And when I got a bite of the twice-fried chicken glazed with rich sweet soy garlic, there's no way I'd give it up. 

Hello, Bonchon
I was so famished after a shoot that I decided to head over to Bonchon for its no fail, famous chicken. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Where to find 'Legit' Taho in BGC

I have one insatiable craving... taho. It might have gotten worse when I realized that hot or warm taho is actually rarer than I thought. I used to grab a tub or two at Soy Yummy but the one near my office closed down a few years back making Rockwell the next nearest place to get my cup of happiness. Thankfully, I discovered this legit taho vendor during the recent McCormick Mother's Day event and found out that it is actually one of the regular vendors of Mercato Centrale BGC. 

I present... Sorbelato
Okay, the name of the stall might confuse you. This stall offers two of Pinoy classic favorites, sorbetes (tweaked and improved to have the texture of gelato hence the name) and taho. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

First Bite: Scott Burger

Don't you just love it when a brand you used to love make a comeback? Several memories come rushing back and one can't help giggle about all those fond moments. And great news, especially to the 80s and 90s kids! A well-loved brand is back and found a new home. 

Hello, Scott Burger.
Known as a burger joint with branches located near LRT stations offering Buy One Get One burgers in the 90s, Scott Burger has been loved by many locals and commuters who frequent Manila area. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

First Bite: Froozy

This year's summer is crazy! With the temperature hitting 40s, Manila has never been this hot! And I can't stop dreaming of swimming in ice cream. But I found something a little bit close to that. By stuffing myself with shaved ice from Froozy!

Hello, Froozy
Froozy is a local shaved ice concept inspired by the Korean dessert bingsu. Designed to be a sweet escape for the health conscious, the ingredients you can find here are made from scratch.

Monday, May 21, 2018

First Bite: Bad Bird

Long queues never fail to make me curious. As one of the best indicators that something good is being offered, I usually line up even without having much clue of what's in store for me. Though it's not always a happy ending after getting what every one else was lining up for, I got to discover Ichiran and Hanjuku Kobo from spontaneously queuing. And one establishment that I've always wanted to line up for was Bad Bird. 

Hello, Bad Bird.
Bad Bird has been one of the establishments people go for when visiting Hole in the Wall. And it never seemed to run out of patrons whenever I visit. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cooking Made Easy: U Cookin

Cooking has always been one of the best activities for me. I enjoy learning or accidentally discovering a recipe or two every week and surprising myself when the dish comes out good (or at least edible). However, I've been quite busy these past months that made me cook less and less at home and simply call for fast food or eat out. But things are about to change! I discovered this new food service that saves me a lot of time! 

Hello, U Cookin!
U Cookin is a food delivery service concept developed by a young entrepreneur who aims to encourage people to whip up impressive dishes at home. How so? By having all the ingredients and recipe prepared for you! 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

DIY Ramen: Yosuke Ramen

I love ramen. But there are days when the lazy bug bites me hard. So hard that despite having intense desire for ramen, I couldn't find the energy to go out and satisfy what my taste buds yearn for. Thankfully, I came across this DIY ramen that allows me to have ramen any time I want. 

Hello, Yosuke Ramen.
I got a random email from K last month asking if I would be interested to try her DIY Ramen. She mentioned that they just started a few weeks ago back then but have been shipping out an average of 250 bowls per day. Now, that's an impressive number for a brand that was just starting out. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Revisited: Paper Moon Cake Boutique and Café

It's not every day that you get to a chance to meet a cake artisan who is known and respected in the culinary industry worldwide. And so, when I got an offer to get acquainted with one, I quickly said yes. Needless to say, it was one memorable afternoon.

Hello, Paper Moon Cake Boutique and Café

Paper Moon has been in Manila for quite some time now. It has been raved by many and became a staple treat to tea parties and all sorts of gatherings. Despite its steep price compared to other cake shops, people with discerning taste didn't mind as they know that they are paying for quality. 
Though I enjoyed its Mango Crepe Cake, I was quite unaware of the history of this brand and the wonderful person behind it till last Tuesday when I was fortunate to be a part of the intimate group to meet Madam Kazuko Emy Wada. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

First Bite: Hops & Brews

Hainanese Fried Chicken? Why, yes it exists. And it could just be a couple of blocks away from you! 

Hello, Hops & Brews
Located at the ground floor of the posh I'M Hotel, Hops & Brews has become a favorite hang out place of the hotel's guests and patrons as well as locals who frequent the area. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Kam's Roast is now in Manila

Another Michelin-starred restaurant has reached Manila! This time, the famous foodie destination Kam's Roast has found a home at SM Megamall's Mega Fashion Hall and it will open this May 15 serving its mouthwatering roast meats. And I was lucky to be one of the few to have a sneak peek of FOODEE Global Concepts' newest venture.

Hello, Kam's Roast!
Known for its mouthwatering roast goose, Kam's Roast in Hong Kong has never been without a long queue in front of its facade. After all, it's not like all restaurants in the small city can impress food connoisseurs like Anthony Bourdain. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Restaurant Love: Gringo

Gringo is no doubt one of my favorite restaurants in the Metro. It has been one of my go-to places for chicken ever since my love-at-first-bite encounter with it two years ago. I'd always grab a quarter or half of its Original Chicken and had no idea that I would also fall in love with its ribs and other dishes. And I had a brief moment of truth during my visit at Gringo's latest branch at O'Square, Greenhills. 

Hola, Gringo!
I had a hard time looking for Gringo's newest branch as I had no idea that O'Square is not just the building with BDO and Wild Flour on the ground floor. There's another compound fronting the bazaar area of Greenhills Center that is also considered part of O'Square. It took me several circles around the O'Square I know before I decided to ask for directions. Thankfully, it was just a block away and wasn't far enough for me to be at risk of heat stroke from walking under the unforgiving summer sun. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

First Bite: La Maripili

Churro has been one of my go-to afternoon snacks ever since my mom spoiled me to trips to the classic Dulcinea. I've been an avid fan of this deep-fried treat dipped in thick hot chocolate and I couldn't help myself from ordering it every time I see it on the menu or at the amusement park. 

Hello, La Maripili.
La Maripili is no stranger to southern folks. After all, this is where its all started. It has been talked about and hyped that it made me want to brave the traffic just for a serving of churros. But my schedule was uncooperative and I ended up just drooling over the photos. Thankfully, it opened another branch at Ayala Malls the 30th. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Revisited: Genki Sushi

A concept born in 1968, Genki Sushi has grown from a Japanese sushi bar into an international brand. It opened its first store in Manila 3 years ago and it has been expanding ever since. Its success can be attributed to its extensive menu of pocket-friendly sushi and maki and interesting way of having it served. And Genki Sushi beefed up its offerings even more by adding bentos and rice toppings. 

Hello, Genki Sushi
It has been a long while since my last visit at this quirky sushi bar. I still recall how much fun I had ordering my favorites and the giddiness I felt whenever my "race car" or "train" arrives with my orders. This time around, I didn't focus much on the novelty of how the food's delivered and focused more on the dishes. And for this visit, I got to try some of Genki Sushi's newest dishes. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Best Purchase Ever: La Petite Fromagerie's Truffle Cream Cheese Spread

Cheese lover? Then La Petite Fromagerie won't be a stranger to you. This brand has been around for quite a while; spoiling cheese lovers all over the metro. Though I never get to catch its pop-up booth in events, I was lucky to have finally tasted its famous truffle cream cheese spread during this year's Kain Tulog Gang (KTG) Thanksgiving party. And it was love at first bite. I simply could not get over it that one jar became 4 in less than a month. 

Hello, La Petite Fromagerie
I've seen multiple posts of La Petite Fromagerie online and it never fails to make me drool at photos of its mouthwatering raclette. I'd always find myself frustrated as my schedule played diva and never cooperated with its pop-up events. I sure was glad though to finally have a taste of this talked about cheese expert last January. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Summer Barbecue Party: The Plaza

The summer heat this year is unbelievably insane! We are now hitting highs of 37 degrees Celsius and that's even different from what we're actually feeling which is about 5 degrees higher. But one thing that could make the sweltering weather bearable is The Plaza Catering's mouthwatering barbecue spread!

Hello, The Plaza
The Plaza is known as one of the most reputable catering services in the metro. Having hosted the likes of Pope Paul VI, U.S. President George H.W. Bush, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as well as local stars like Vilma Santos and Susan Roces, it wasn't surprising that The Plaza turned into a household name. And over 50 years later, its brand is a strong as ever. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

First Bite: The Halal Guys' Spicy Chicken BBQ

Spicy food never excite me. Just thinking about gasping for water after a few mouthfuls make me cringe. But I simply could not say no to The Halal Guys new Spicy BBQ Chicken Platter.

Hello, The Halal Guys!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

First Bite: Bai Nian Tang Bao

Xiao Long Bao is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in the world. Though it gained popularity in Manila just a few years back, it is undeniable that this dish is here to stay with more and more restaurants offering this delicate soup dumpling. But it turned out that most of the xiao long bao we see in Manila are not exactly the ones you'd get in China as these are based on Taiwanese recipes. And one new restaurant claims to be the first in Manila to offer authentic Chinese xiao long bao.

Hello, Bai Nian Tang Bao.
I had a hard time finding this restaurant as one address directs me to the 38th corner 9th while another says it should be 36th. Technically, both are correct and incorrect. Bai Nian Tang Bao is located along the strip of restaurants behind Denny's so it doesn't really have a street name of its own and it is in between 36th and 38th.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Love at First Bite: Blissful Sweets by Eu

I simply cannot resist sweets! It’s the part of the meal that I look forward to the most. Though I love munching on the tried and tested desserts, I find so much joy too whenever I come across awesome home bakers who can whip up amazing products. And last month, I discovered Blissful Sweets by Eu. 

Hello, Blissful Sweets by Eu

I got an unexpected email from Eu a couple weeks back asking if I’m open to try her baked treats. And as a sucker for sweets, I said yes without even knowing what she’ll give me. 
Eu personally delivered the goodies to my apartment but I was too busy packing for my trip the next day and doing last minute errands that I was not able to meet her.