Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Love at First Bite: Ya Chou

I love manthou. I often order some when I see it on the menu or grab a plateful at Chinese buffet. Just thin‌king about these freshly steamed buns smothered with butter makes me drool for hours. And I'm so thankful to discover a shop that allows me to have my favorite snack anytime I want. 

Hello, Ya Chou
Ya Chou is a small shop in Quezon City that specializes in Taiwanese delicacies like dumplings, peanut balls, radish cake, sausages and machang. Being in the food business for over two decades, Ya Chou has gained loyal patrons who would drop by its store to grab hold of its sweet and savory products. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

First Sip: Macao Imperial

Hype. I don't seem to ever learn from my past experiences. I always get excited to try the talked about food and drinks and I even go out of my way at times just to get hold of it. Though there are some worthy to be showered with praises, most are just average and nothing spectacular. One particular brand I've been wanting to visit for a while is Macao Imperial as this has been getting a lot of love from Masarap Ba? and its community. And I finally got to visit it last Friday. 

Hello, Macao Imperial
Macao Imperial is one of the many milk tea franchises from abroad and it gained popularity and strong following after Masarap Ba? vouched for its cream cheese drinks. It became so trending that Macao Imperial offered a "kakulto" (name of Masarap Ba's community members) discount in the form of free upgrade. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Common Good Launches Lunch Sets

Enjoying a meal or two at a hotel always sound fancy and rather expensive. But more and more of these lavish establishments come up with options that appeal to yuppies and to those who want good value food with great ambiance to match. And this is exactly what I'm Hotel's The Common Good did with its lunch packages. 

Hello, The Common Good.
The Common Good is I'm Hotel's food playground which showcases different cuisines to satisfy everyone's palate. It has been one of the bang for the buck dinner buffet options in Makati and it has further pushed the envelope by offering lunch sets to cater to the Makati professionals. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf launches Genmaicha Iced Tea

We're probably one of the few Asian countries that doesn't drink a lot of tea. Most would go for sugary drinks like soda, juice drinks or boba. I'm happy that despite the limited demand for this healthier option, there are a few establishments that offer wide selection of tea, and great ones at that. I also love how these brands make tea less foreign to many by presenting it as iced tea. And speaking of iced tea, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Genmaicha Iced Tea is really good!

Hello, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
CBTL's Genmaicha is one of my favorite hot tea variants for years. I love its earthy taste from the roasted popped brown rice. Its nutty note made it so addictive as it beautifully blends with the refreshing flavor of green tea. The perfect marriage of two classic Japanese flavors of this drink is just one of the handful of reasons why I love Genmaicha. Aside from its great taste, it is also packed with health benefits which includes increase function of catecholamine and encourages fat loss!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

First Bite: Megawatt

I can't help be skeptical whenever a place seems to be too trendy or different. I'd always imagine Instagram-worthy food and it pretty much ends there. As more and more restaurants focus on feeding our social media accounts, most fail to realize that it is more important to satisfy the taste buds than garner a lot of likes. After all, those unforgettable first bites are what will make people go back for more. And I was glad that Megawatt did just that.

Hello, Megawatt
Megawatt has this industrial chic vibe all over. It was first located by a car wash garage and eventually moved to Build Plus where it shares space with a hardware shop. It may seem odd but it also felt right. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

First Sip: Tea Mama

Tea is not exactly a popular drink of choice in Manila. With majority of the market more inclined to get sweetened drinks such as boba and soda, tea is a far fifth or sixth in the drinks category. But I'm glad that there are establishments that focus on tea and offer a wide selection at that. And when I got to encounter back in 2014, I was beyond thrilled. Competition must be tough though as it rebranded again and is now called Tea Mama. 

Hello, Tea Mama
Tea Mama is the revamped version of Sweetea's by Aside from its interesting selection of tea, it now offers other refreshing drinks such as fruit tea and matcha latte. It also offers pearl milk tea and milkshakes for those who prefer sweet drinks. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Revisited: House of Lasagna

Nothing beats feasting on comfort food after a shoot or meeting. And when I spotted House of Lasagna after a meeting, I just have to stop by and grab one of its famous cheesy dishes.
Hello, House of Lasagna.

House of Lasagna has been around for a decade serving simple yet delicious dishes such as fried chicken, pork chop and of course, lasagna

Monday, July 22, 2019

First Bite: Vagabonds

We'd often associate steaks to fancy dinners or special occasions. But the abundance of pocket friendly steak restaurants made succulent meat nights a regular thing. And when with a group of hungry carnivores, it's best to indulge in Vagabonds' One-Kilo Steak.

Hello, Vagabonds.
Vagabonds has been known for its bang for the buck one kilo steak. It recently found a new home in O'Square Greenhills and I was one of the lucky few to be there for its grand opening.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Delicious with a Purpose: L'Shef

In this world of entitlement, we often encounter people who are too focused on what they could get and barely put any thought on what they could give back. This is why businesses that have Corporate Social Responsibility or give back programs stand out so much. And I find it hard not to support these selfless brands. One new discovery is this online shop that offers bottled kimchi and gourmet tuyo which supports our local fishermen. 

Hello, L'Shef
L'Shef is a play of words between chef and Shela, the lady behind this socially responsible shop. It currently offers a short list of homemade products, all of which were made or cooked by Shela. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

First Bite: Poke Shack

I have this insatiable appetite for salmon. My family and friends know this and it's a great way to know how I see you as I only share my plate of salmon sashimi with people dear to me. But one poke store made it easier for me to share as it offers generous serving of this delectable seafood in every order!

Hello, Poke Shack!
Poke Shack has been around for quite some time now. Located near Tiendesitas, it serves as a great dining option for people working within the area. It even offers free delivery for foodies at Tera Tower where Poke Shack is located.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

First Bite: Wing's Lab

Food parks are designed to be a melting pot of different cuisines and dishes. Most would have the crowd favorites burgers, tempura, noodles, milk tea or shakes, butterfly squid and so on. One more thing food parks have in common is wings. These good ol' snack is often paired with beer for that chill night cap. But there's this wings place in Poblacion that made wing pairing its expertise.

Hello, Wing's Lab.
Wing's Lab is a new player in the competitive world of wings but it has established a pretty solid unique selling proposition by simply focusing and celebrating this messy dish. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Cheap Bites: Above Sea Level

Above Sea Level has been one of the most successful concepts that started in food parks. It started in January 2017 and grew to over a hundred branches and franchises nationwide. And last April, it found a new home at Pobstacion. Its fragrant dishes made it hard for us to ignore its famous battered butterfly squid

Hello, Above Sea Level.
Consistent with its vision to be identified as the first seafood fast food brand in the country, our crunchy treats were served within 10 minutes.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Second Sip: Cha Tuk Chak

Poblacion grew from being a sketchy neighborhood to one of the busiest foodie districts in town. As home to innovative dining concepts and some of the hippiest bars, Poblacion came in a bit late with food parks. We've noticed the boom of these al fresco dining spots and it seems that it is now reaching its sunset phase. But one food park tries to prove us otherwise--Pobstacion. And our first stop in this industrial food spot... Cha Tuk Chak.

Hello, Cha Tuk Chak.
I've tried Cha Tuk Chak before at the Gourmand Market last year but I found its Nom Yen (PHP120 | PHP135) drink too milky and blah. I thought it was great as many pick this flavor. It turns out to be just for the gram.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Restaurant Love: Sibyullee

The boom of Korean BBQ joints in the Metro made deciding on where to grab your unli meat fix a daunting task. I've seen several restaurants offering tempting prices but I couldn't help but think of the quality of meat they serve to at least break even. But one establishment proved that you can have a quality meat feast without breaking the piggy bank.

Hello, Sibyullee
Sibyullee has been known for its scrumptious cheese platters when it opened a few years back. It was a hip place that offers great tasting casual Korean dishes and it easily gained following and patrons. And many were thrilled when it rebranded as an unli Korean BBQ joint.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Promo Alert: Scoop All You Can at Papa Diddi's this July 15

National Ice Cream Day is coming right up and there's no better way to celebrate this yummy day than to indulge in several scoops of ice cream. And Papa Diddi's is bound to make you look forward to Monday with its mouthwatering Scoop All You Can this July 15!

Hello, Papa Diddi's.
Papa Diddi's started with small store along the foodie district Maginhawa focused on creating unique handcrafted ice cream flavors. Such gave this ice cream joint an edge in the ever competitive food scene and eventually gained a strong following and patrons who would visit this shop despite having other more convenient options. Fast forward to 2019, it grew to have two other branches-- one in Libis and another in Poblacion. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Instagram Stop: Zhongshe Flower Market, Houli, Taiwan

Taiwan is one of my favorite travel destinations. Just thinking about the night market grubs make me drool. But there's more to Taiwan than just street food, milk tea, Shifen, Yehliu, and Jiufen. Down south is Taichung which has an impressive (and not to mention massive) night market with even more pocket friendly finds. And one of the popular spots in Taichung is the Zhongshe Flower Market.

Hello, Zhongshe Flower Market
Thanks to Instagram geotags, I got to discover the picturesque Zhongshe Flower Market in Houli District. The diverse variety of flowers caught my interest and thought that it was worth skipping Sun Moon Lake. 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Michelin Guide 2019: The Local, Thailand

One country that proved to be worthy to be part of everyone's travel list is Thailand. Aside from scoring the best bargain for cute outfits, Thailand is a wonderful place to go on a food adventure. And the first place we visited as soon as we landed was a Michelin Guide restaurant in Bangkok. 

Hello, The Local by Oamthong Thai Cuisine
The Local is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Bangkok which is about an hour away from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Its warm and quaint interiors alone makes it a favorite by locals as it creates a vibe of enjoying food at home. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Revisiting Classics: Shakey's

Shakey's used to be my default lunch back in college. I simply cannot resist its bang for the buck Bunch of Lunch set and the famous mojos and dip! And its partnership deal with BPI enticed me to splurge a little.

Hello, Shakey's.
BPI had a yummy deal a few months ago where credit card users get a Shakey's voucher for every PHP3,000 transaction. And after a few swipes here and there, I earned enough vouchers for a meal good for four.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

When in Baler: Costa Pacifica

I was never a beach person. In fact, I was the typical Asian who avoids the sun as much as I could. And no, it's not because I fear getting dark. I was quite sensitive when I was younger and a short exposure to the sun leaves me with a bloody nose. Thank goodness though that I'm out of that phase as frolicking by the beach is fun! And when R's mom wanted to go to the beach, we decided to drive to Baler and stay in Costa Pacifica as we chase the last days of summer. 

Hello, Costa Pacifica
Costa Pacifica is regarded as one of the premier resorts in the surfing destination Baler. Located right in front of Sabang Beach, this resort is surrounded by several small resorts and inns. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Choice V: Vote for your Favorites

Dining out is no easy task. With countless food establishments opening left and right, we are often left confused on which ones are worth our time and money. Though there are several platforms or groups designed to help us decide, I've had my share of not so good experiences after visiting highly hyped (or reviewed) and heavily advertised restaurants. This is where The Choice comes in the picture. 
This August marks the fifth year of The Choice, a celebrated event that recognizes the best of the best in the food and beverage industry. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Home Sweet Home: Cara Mia opens in BGC

From that dreamboat Ube Cake down to the trip back to memory lane Mango Cream Pie, Cara Mia made the past years extra yummy for me. And it's bound to make me fatter as it opened a branch closer to home. 

Hello, Cara Mia!
Cara Mia is now open in One Bonifacio High Street Mall! Be prepared to get your taste buds tickled in all colors with Cara Mia's amazing cakes and delectable gelato!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Amici Opens in BGC

It is so tempting to just stay in on rainy weekends and turn one's self into a human buritto. But an invite to lunch which involves pizza and pasta is too hard to decline. And it gets even more difficult when truffle is part of the spread. 

Hello, Amici
From a humble canteen selling Italian coffee and gelato at Don Bosco Makati, Amici has grown into a strong brand known for wood-fire oven baked pizzas and scrumptious homemade pasta dishes. And this 2019, it found a home at the heart of Bonifacio Global City.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

First Bite: Elephant Grounds Opens in Manila

Bonifacio Global City is staying true to the word global with the number of international brands and concepts filling all those empty spaces in the growing business district. Shake Shack just opened a few months ago and it was not too long before foodies shifted their attention towards another brand-- Elephant Grounds.

Hello, Elephant Grounds.
Elephant Grounds is finally open after almost a month long delay and its jam-packed shop is enough to prove that many were waiting to get a sip of its famous coffee and a taste of its ice cream and food curated and developed by Chef Nicco Santos. I actually haven't visited its main store in Hong Kong but I've heard from a few foodies that this place serves great food and drinks. And that was enough to keep me excited. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Red Crab Alimango House opens in El Nido

Crab is probably the only seafood I have a love-hate relationship with. I love eating its fresh and slightly sweet meat, not to mention that divine crab fat. But getting all those could be a pain. And more often than not, I avoid ordering crab if it's not de-shelled as I've developed a bit of trauma from being hurt while cracking open those long legs. Then again, seeing ginormous ones could be too hard to resist especially when its a restaurant's specialty. 

Hello, The Red Crab Alimango House
If you've been to The Red Crab Alimango House in Manila, you'd know that this establishment takes "crab" seriously as it is one of the best places to satisfy your hunger for this delectable crustacean.