Thursday, January 31, 2019

First Bite: Maxi Mango

Being viral is one of the goals of anyone in this digital age. Virality leads to a massive increase in followers and in the case of food establishments, queue for hours. Such was the case for Maxi Mango after it became one of the hottest food items late last year. 

Hello, Maxi Mango
I've first heard of Maxi Mango from the foodie community Let's Eat, Pare. Its posts received a lot of likes and comments that most stay in my feed for days! And seeing its crazy long line at Robinsons Galleria further fueled my curiosity. However, I do not have that intense desire to know if its Mango Float is worth the one hour wait. Instead, I waited for the day when Maxi Mango barely has a line. And that day finally happened last week when I dropped by Trinoma. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

First Bite: Café Eight Churrasco-Style Buffet

I can't live without meat. I tried being a vegetarian for six months and it has been absolutely challenging for me especially since I'm part of a beef and pork loving family. I have to admit, eating greens all day long made me feel extra healthy but there's something with feasting on succulent meat that makes me... happier. And when I was invited to a churrasco lunch at Café Eight of Crimson Hotel Festival City, I had to say yes.

Hello, Café Eight
Located at the 8th floor of Crimson Hotel, one would quickly understand why this place is named so. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

First Sip: Malongo Atelier Barista Café

Manila has come a long way--from being a city with limited options to a melting pot of local and global brands. With several new concepts and international brands opening here and there, it is not surprising to see your travel favorites opening a store just around the corner. And for those who went to France, this brand must be a familiar one. 

Hello, Malongo Atelier Barista Café.
With its 85 years of expertise, it is not surprising for Malongo to be one of the sought after coffee brands by taste makers. The family firm grew from a small coffee roastery in Nice, France and into a global leader in fair trade coffees and bio-coffees. And last year, its Malongo Atelier Barista Café has finally reached Asia and opened its first in Manila. But it wasn't until it opened its BGC branch when I got a sip of Malongo's famous coffee. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

First Sip: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Pink Guava

Just when we thought we could finally enjoy some cool holiday breeze, the intense and unforgiving summer heat is back. Thankfully, we have all sorts of refreshments to keep us from getting a heat stroke. And one new favorite of mine tickled my taste buds pink!

Hello, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has been my go to place for chai and all sorts of tea. As a brand that continues to innovate and come up with new beverages (and dishes) for us to try, its newest offering is my favorite yet. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Sad Reality of Losing Your Dog

I've always wanted to have a dog. Just watching all those adorable videos of hyper active dogs having a blast with their human makes me want to experience it myself. I know it takes a lot of time, effort and money to take care of one. And I prepared myself for that as the hardship is nothing compared to the vast joy these furballs give. But I don't think I could ever prepare myself for the time when they have to go. 
There are a bunch of articles saying that dogs are part of our lives but we are their whole world. Described as loyal companions, we see several dogs providing not just security for homes but comfort and unconditional love as well. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

When in Boracay: Discovery Shores Boracay

I've been so excited to go back to Boracay after hearing that the island is back in shape. As a place I associate with relaxation and good food, R and I decided to celebrate our anniversary there. And to make things a bit more special, we stayed at Discovery Shores Boracay

Hello, Discovery Shores Boracay.
Hailed as one of the best luxury resorts in the island, Discovery Shores Boracay is usually fully booked with local and foreign tourists alike. I can't blame travelers though as this place offers top notch service and its pandan water is something else!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Promo Alert: Vatos is turning February FunTACOstic!

Vatos is probably one of the best restaurants I've been to last 2018. Just thinking about its to die for Cowboy Queso or its sweet as nectar Sexy Sanchez margarita is enough to make me drool for days. And just when I couldn't think of more reason to drop by for more, Vatos came up with a special treat for its patrons and would-be fans for the month of February. 

Happy anniversary, Vatos Philippines!

Vatos is celebrating its first year in the Philippines with 100% yumminess with its anniversary promos lined up! 
For the whole month of February, grab your favorite Vatos Urban Tacos for just PHP100 (2 pieces per order). Included in this promo are Spicy Chicken, Chimichurri Chicken, Braised Carnitas, Chili Lime Shrimp, Korean Pork Belly, Baja Fish and Barbacoa Pork. Its premium tacos Carne Asada and Wagyu Galbi Short Rib are available for PHP200 (2 pieces per order). 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Milk Tea Favorite: Yi Fang

The milk tea craze hit Manila hard and it's just about to get even wilder with the influx of foreign and local brands entering the market. Everyone's current obsession now is brown sugar milk tea. And though almost every milk tea joint has their own version, we all have our favorites. And I am loving Yi Fang's Brown Sugar Pearl Tea Latte. 

Hello, Yi Fang.
Yi Fang has been around since 2017 but it wasn't until a year after when it gained popularity. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Restaurant Favorite: Barcino

Zomato Gold has been the talk of town ever since it was launched last year. And when it was finally available, it limited its subscription to a small number making it feel exclusive and in high demand. As the weeks pass by, Zomato opens up its subscription on certain days with a perk of hanging out with select local celebrities. And with its enticing give back program to users, each Zomato Gold user serves as the app's ambassador. But even without it, the app's 1+1 deal on food and 2+2 on drinks is enough to encourage anyone to spread the word. And if you're still thinking if it is worth your PHP700, one visit at Barcino will have you subscribing in a second. 

Hello, Barcino.
R's friends decided to have a get together a few weeks back and opted to go with Barcino, a group favorite. This time, they chose to dine at its Greenbelt 2 branch. And I was giddy with their choice as it is part of Zomato Gold.

Monday, January 21, 2019

First Bite: Taisho

Ramen never fail to make my eyes sparkle. Just thinking about twirling noodles and slurping its rich yet delicate broth brings so much happy vibes. And last Tuesday, R and I visited an off the radar ramen joint in SM North Edsa.

Hello, Taisho.
This ramen and teppanyaki restaurant has been around for a few years now at SM Light Mall. It recently moved to SM North adding more Japanese selection to the bustling mall. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

First Bite: The Red Crab

I've been away most of the time these past weeks that I hardly get to see my family. But I make sure that I block at least a day in a month to see them over lunch or dinner. And a few weeks back, we decided to head to Eastwood and have lunch at The Red Crab. 

Hello, The Red Crab.
The stylized signage of The Red Crab never fails to catch my attention. But its fancy facade doesn't match its worn out interiors. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

First Sip: Nord's Bread Hub

Walking around any SM mall could be a dizzying experience. With each SM branch never seem to be running out of shoppers, I always find myself searching for a coffee shop to take a break. And one Wednesday, I found a great spot.

Hello, Nord's Bread Hub
This bread shop has been around for quite some time in SM North Edsa. I've always been curious with its offerings and how it compares with other establishments like Bread Talk and Kumori. However, I'm always full whenever I pass by and don't find motivation to buy a bread or two just to try it out. One afternoon though, I was looking for a place to grab a quick drink and figured to check out Nord's Bread Hub's Iced Green Tea Latte (PHP165).

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

First Bite: Minami Saki

I rarely go out on January 1st as I'm usually sleep deprived from all the jumping and eating the night before. But last year's festivities ended early and I went to sleep right after I welcomed 2019. Thinking that most would be lazy to go out due to the long night prior, I thought most would stay in to catch some sleep before greeting reality the next day. But I guess everyone was itching to go out for lunch as I couldn't secure seats in any of R's parents' favorite restaurants. Luckily, Minami Saki offered to save us seats at Astoria's cafe lounge and that we could still order its dishes from there. 

Hello, Minami Saki.
I've heard of Minami Saki from some foodie friends and they kept raving about its sushi. I've been eying to visit this gem along Escriva Drive but the traffic and R's unpredictable schedule always keep us away from dining here. I wasn't supposed to go for lunch here with R's parents as I just had breakfast then. But the curious foodie in me was itching to take a bite of Minami Saki's offerings. Needless to say, I joined last minute.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

First Sip: Milk Tea Taho

The craze for brown sugar milk tea has been around for months and it seems that it is about to get even wilder with new players coming in town. While some are dismissing how great these drinks are given that it's just "arnibal", sweets loving Filipinos are sure to continue to line up and patronize these establishments offering an alternative to our classic taho. But for those who can't decide if they want milk tea or taho, I found the perfect solution for you.

Hello, Soy Yummy!
Soy Yummy has been my go to kiosk for my taho needs when I couldn't get hold of Mr. Taho. I'd always get a large cup of hot taho whenever I spot one except one Friday afternoon when something else caught my attention. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

First Bite: Churchill

Capitol Commons has been my go to place whenever I want to have a relaxing shopping spree. With the place barely packed on any day of the week, it was the ideal shopping destination for those who want a break from socializing. However, this place changes at night! It evolves into this party hot spot filled with millennials. So what we thought to be a relaxed get together turned into something more than what titas and titos in us could handle. 

Hello, Churchill
Churchill is one of the most recent additions to the Capitol Commons dining and drinking scene. Positioned as a not so hidden speakeasy bar behind Highlands Bistro, R's friends figured that this would be a great place for a mini reunion. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

First Bite: St. Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert

Always save room for desserts. I've been using that line as an excuse to get my hands on some sweets even after indulging in a heavy meal. After all, there's a separate tummy space or compartment for cakes, ice cream and everything sweet right? 

Hello, St. Louis
This Australian cafe and ice cream parlor has been a favorite of many. I was told that this place offers not just great treats but superb service as well. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

First Bite: Aperitif

I've been dying to visit Aperitif after hearing and reading a lot of positive reviews from friends. And last Christmas, I finally got to drop by to try its popular Triple Layer Chocolate Fudge Cake.

Hello, Aperitif.
Aperitif gained popularity selling graze boxes online. As the perfect present for all kinds of occasions, it grew its market base and even had corporate clients. And last year, it finally decided to open its own store in SM Aura. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

First Sip: T Bun

I was craving for milk tea for weeks but the crazy line for all the milk tea brands in town made me think otherwise. But when I couldn't take it anymore, I went for T Bun for it has the shortest queue. 

Hello, T Bun
This relatively new milk tea place in Bonifacio Global City seems to be the least favorite among all the  奶茶 ( naicha / năichá ) joints. But  it claims to offer the best bun and milk tea in town so it piqued my interest. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

365 Days of Gift Giving: Marks & Spencer

 Christmas may be over but the gift giving spirit is here to stay. And with our culture having an extended holiday celebration, there are still late Christmas parties and gatherings here and there to attend to. For those who had no time to shop for presents, Marks & Spencer got your back. 

Hello, Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer has always been a reliable brand for those last minute impressive gifts. From its fragrant body care products, comfy garments and mouthwatering snacks, each and every present I've bought here are well appreciated. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

First Bite: 205

New restaurants never fail to make my eyes sparkle. I feel like a crow lured by anything shiny and that I just have to go nearer. And when I spotted 205, I just have to check it out.

Hello, 205.
Shimmering with its gold and marble interiors, 205 is one eye catching restaurant along Bonifacio High Street Central. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

First Bite: Nanyang

They say Asians can't live without rice. Well, I could but I definitely will go crazy without bread. I'm a sucker for good toast. It's one of my staple meals for breakfast. And when I got a taste of Kaya Toast, I'm hooked! Needless to say, I was heartbroken when I found out that Toast Box bid Manila farewell. But my frown was turned into a big grin when Nanyang opened. 

Hello, Nanyang.
Nanyang is the local counterpart of the crowd favorite Toast Box. Offering scrumptious toasts paired with soft boiled egg, it was an instant hit with me.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Holiday Hacks: Empacho's Party Trays

You know you're in the Philippines when the holiday season lasts for several weeks or at least until all the leftover and lechon are out of the fridge. And for those who still have potluck parties to attend to, there's this gem in Tomas Morato worth checking out.

Hello, Empacho.
Empacho has been a favorite of mine ever since I had a bite of its kare-kareng bagnet. A mouthful of the crispy pork with thick peanut sauce would bring you to heaven. But Empacho has much more in store for us. Party trays!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Beat the Heat: Malumpati Cold Spring

I'm used to traveling like a tourist. I would always find myself visiting tourist destinations (and traps) that I'd miss several hidden gems only locals know. But exploring the country with R gives me a refreshing view of the Philippines. He'd always bring me to places I hardly know or even consider to spend a day or two. And more often than not, I would have a blast! True enough, my trip to Malumpati Cold Spring was memorable!

Hello, Malumpati Cold Spring!
I've never heard of Malumpati Cold Spring till a friend recommended this place when she found out that we were visiting Antique for a few days (a day and a half to be exact). In fact, I wasn't even familiar with cold springs. I know that there are several hot springs in the country and I've even visited the one in Coron, Palawan. Needless to say, I got excited, especially since it was scorching hot when we were there.