I have been thinking a lot about what blogging is now as opposed to what it used to be. I can’t help but miss the way blogging used to be before, so simple and personal, a real glimpse into someone else’s life. Back then, no one really focused on their “aesthetic” but instead focused on connecting with their readers. Blogging used to be about connecting with readers but now whenever I come across a blog, I feel like I’m being sold something. It’s not often that I actually hear the voice of the blogger – I mostly hear the voice of a salesman.
For a while, I got caught up in all of this too. I guess the excitement of finally being recognized enough to be invited to restaurants got to me but once I took a step back, I realized just how political it all seemed. It is seriously still all a popularity contest, only the “blogger” with the most followers is considered an “influencer” even when they’re not exactly influencing anything. It’s the strangest thing to me because brands send over their products and are satisfied with mediocre reviews. News flash: Eating in front of the camera, smiling and nodding your head while doing so is not a review. I’ve literally learned nothing about the product and now I’m just distracted by the crumb on your lower lip. We need better quality bloggers because we only have a handful (that I know of ) who can actually talk about the food item in depth and make a person feel like they need to be eating it immediately.
The food industry in this country is actually pretty insane and it would only be wasted without the right exposure. We have so many innovative chefs and so many unique food products but it all gets wasted on “influencers” who have no capacity to influence. We have up and coming restaurants who get reviews that are nothing more than pretty pictures with no actual content. I don’t understand how the food industry can be happy with the quality of exposure they are getting after working so hard in the kitchen to make sure everything is perfect. I just feel like in this industry, a picture is not worth a thousand words.
Or maybe I’m just bitter, who knows.
It is very rare that I walk into a restaurant and enjoy every single item on the menu. I wouldn’t say that I am a picky eater but I would like to think that my standards are higher than most when it comes to the food that I choose to eat (which is one of the reasons I decided to blog about food). BAKERĒ is definitely a place that stands out for me. Upon walking in, you’ll notice that it looks like a man cave, dressed to look industrial but also has that local feel to it. It has owner, RJ Galang, written all over it. He is clearly a family man who takes pride in being able to share a piece of his childhood with everyone that walks through those doors.
The interior is a cross between industrial and local – so it has all the elements you would find in industrial architecture but with accent pieces that complement the Filipino culture – just take a look at that cork wall and those hanging lamps.
This is definitely a café that stands out from the rest with it’s unique interiors and exceptional menu. Click through to find out more about the menu.
Cozumel is an island in the Caribbean sea now known to be one of the safest places in the world and my absolute favorite stop during our honeymoon! This was definitely the day that I looked forward to the most because I have always wanted to visit Mexico! Having always been an avid fan of Mexican cuisine, I was more than eager to try authentic Mexican food and let me just say, it is better than what I had expected!
How long would it take to try out every restaurant in New York City?
For our honeymoon, I wasn’t involved at all in the planning. I let my husband do the planning COMPLETELY. I thought it would be difficult to let go because I like knowing what I’m doing, where I’m going and I usually have a lot of opinions but this time, it was quite easy. I was so tired of all the planning required by an Indian wedding that when he told me he wants to go to the Caribbean for our honeymoon, I immediately agreed and made him take full responsibility of it! Little did I know that what he planned would now be known the best vacation I have ever been on!
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Allure of the Seas
1. Keep an eye out for sales
Cruise companies rarely go on sale – but once they do, be ready to save a lot of money! Whether it is for the ticket or on board credit, sometimes they have really good deals that will end up saving you hundreds of dollars. We got our tickets on Black Friday and managed to save $200 on our cruise tickets and $100 additional on board credit. (Also check all the perks of your credit card! Our NYC to Miami and Orlando to NYC flights were free because we used miles to purchase the tickets – that saved us a good $800)
2. Pack a carry on bag for your first day
Besides your luggage, pack a carry on bag that you will bring onto the ship with you, complete with 1 outfit change and your bathing suit if you are planning to hit the pool right away. I say this because once your luggage is checked in, there is a chance that you could only get it later that evening. It happened to me and I was stuck wearing my jeans the whole day. In Miami. During spring. It wasn’t great.
3. BYOW – Bring Your Own Wine
On a Royal Caribbean Cruise, you are allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine to your stateroom, free of charge, after that they charge you corkage for any additional bottle. My advice would be to pack it in your carry on bag to prevent breakage as the other bags are surrendered before you get onto the ship, pretty much just like when you check in your baggage before getting on a flight.
4. Unlimited beverage packages are best enjoyed on sail days.
There are days that you dock and days that you sail. It would be pointless to pay for unlimited drinks on days that you will get off the boat to explore the port of embarkation but you can make the most of your drink package if you are on the ship all day just lazing around and enjoying the many activities the ship has to offer. They offer this package at the beginning of the trip for $56 per person but we opted to get this on the 3rd night of the cruise, that way there was 1 port day and 3 sail days for us to enjoy and take advantage of this package. We ended up saving $48 in total. Iced tea and lemonade are free throughout the cruise so if you want to opt out of it but not only have water during your vacation, you have that option or you can order al a carte.
You will be on this glorious vacation for only a few days but don’t let that stop you from unpacking. This cruise line gives you a lot of storage in your state room so completely unpacking will not be a problem. It will make getting dressed a lot easier too especially for the gala nights on board.
6. Plan your meals, shows and activities ahead of time
Once you are all booked for your cruise, you will be given log in details to be able your cruise planner online. Your cruise planner allows you to book your dinner reservations as well as reservations for any activities or shows you plan to attend. There are many things to do on board but there are also many people so be sure to book ahead! We booked everything in advance so not only did we get good seats to Mama Mia Live but we also got to ice skate on board! We also watched a movie, a comedy show and we attended game shows on board as well.
7. Breakfast and Lunch are also served in the Main Dining Room
This is one thing we noticed on the cruise planner – breakfast isn’t listed on there and lunch is said to be in Brasserie 30 but that’s what they call the MDR during the day. However, we always preferred to go pick up our breakfast from the buffet in Windjammer Market Place (the international buffet on board) and bring it back to our stateroom so we could watch TV while eating. I would always lean towards having a Filipino breakfast because nothing beats garlic rice and corned beef!!
8. Research the ports ahead of time
By doing this, you are only doing yourself a favor because you never know what local restaurants / tourist spots you will find. They have well prepared shore excursions prepared for you which you can choose but sometimes exploring a new place on your own can be a really good experience. My favorite part of the cruise was when we took a taxi to downtown in Cozumel, Mexico and we rented bikes to explore the city. We researched beforehand, of course, and managed to find the Top 1 and Top 2 restaurants with great ease.
9. Bring your own power adapter to give you more outlets
In our case, we used the power strip to charge the laptop, which was connected to the TV via HDMI cable so we could watch our own TV Shows on board. We also used it so we could charge our phones and camera simultaneously and not waste any time waiting for any devices to charge. We also brought along portable solar chargers for the days we spent off the boat! There are so many amazing things you will see, surely you will want to take photos of everything!
10. Don’t be afraid to order what you want
A lot of people think they are limited to ordering just 1 appetizer, 1 soup, 1 main course, etc. but the truth is that you can order whatever what you want! The crew on board will not judge you, they even encourage it sometimes. I had an experience with one waiter wherein he suggested that we order all 3 appetizers and just share it because everything was getting really good feedback that night and I’m glad I listened to him otherwise I would have never known the happiness that is Escargots Bourguignonne.
Bonus Tip: Bring your own medicines on board because the prices on board are all severely inflated. I brought along medicine for sea sickness, headaches, cough and fever. I also brought Bactidol and Berocca just in case! It didn’t add to my weight and I ended up getting sea sick on one of the days on board so I’m glad I had access to medicines.
Also, it has to be said that among the many people we met on board, the ones we remember the most are the Filipino wait staff. It’s incredible how much better the service got once they found out we are from the Philippines too. Everyone goes out of their way to make your vacation a great one but the Filipinos take it a notch higher and make you feel so welcomed. If you go on a cruise and you meet a Filipino working there, be sure to tell them you’re from the Philippines too because not only will your service improve, the happiness in their eyes to meet a fellow Filipino is like no other!
Okay, so I guess I’ve got some explaining to do. I have been MIA from the blogging world for over 6 months now and I have no good reason for it – except for the fact that I’m engaged!!!! I am currently planning an Indian wedding (which is 3 days long), trying to run a business without getting overwhelmed (ha) and preparing myself emotionally to move out of the house I was born and grew up in. I didn’t think that moving out of my house would be such a big deal but literally moving out of your comfort zone can get pretty scary. (Also, how does one live away from their mother?! I am not prepared for this at all! I wonder if I can bring her with me?)
Anyway, one of the few things that puts me at ease whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed out about being an adult (that has to no adultier adult to guide her), I resort to reading recipes and watching short cooking shows online. I’ve even started to watch Mukbang videos in the hopes that it would help me not give in to my cravings and learn some easy recipes in the process. So far, I know a lot of recipes and I’ve gained a few pounds! Woohoo!
Since I now have a list of recipes I want to try and I am going to have my own kitchen pretty soon, I’ve come up with a list of things I will absolutely need in my future kitchen along with some easy recipes that will allow me to work AND be a good wife! (Omg, I’m going to be a wife!)
De’Longhi is an Italian brand that is known for being one of the most durable brands on the market. Seeing that I am a natural born klutz, durability is the number one thing I look for in literally all my purchases. If I am going to purchase something, it better last me a while and De’Longhi is a brand that I am confident will last for years!
I am passionate about many things in this world but my top two would have to be 1) food (of course) and 2) business. These are the only two things I can sit down and talk about for hours on end, without ever risking the chance of boredom. I love good food and I love a well managed business.
For a few months now, I’ve been constantly searching for people to hire to aid in the growth of my business but I can never seem to find someone who is reliable enough to do that. I’m not even looking for extremely qualified people, just people that I can rely on. That’s not asking for too much, right?
Apparently, it is.
So because I’ve had to do so. much. HR work, I’ve come up with a list of tips for the people of this generation who are actively applying for jobs yet can’t seem to get a job. These tips may not seem common at all but they are things that applicants these days tend to do more than employers would like.
- Don’t be an idiot.
If you want to apply for a job but you live far away, don’t message the HR rep that you want to apply but you live too far away. That’s not your problem, not theirs.
- Don’t be an idiot.
Don’t list down 3 numbers on your resume when all 3 don’t work anyway – be reachable. Many people have a habit of changing their cellphone numbers as often as they change their underwear, this is one of the most unprofessional things you can do. Get a number and stick with it – especially if you’re actively applying for jobs.
- Don’t be an idiot.
If you are actively applying for a job, when your phone rings, PICK UP. Too many people have social anxiety only when the phone rings, just suck it up and answer the phone simply because you’re actively applying for a job. If a company is trying to reach you and you don’t answer your phone, chances are you’re only going to get 1 more call back if you’re lucky. If not then it’ll be on to the next applicant. Do NOT text “hus dis” either, you won’t get a reply.
- Don’t be an idiot.
If you are invited for an interview, do not ask the HR rep if you are qualified. You are called because you’re fucking qualified. Don’t make the HR rep question their decision of inviting you for the interview.
- Don’t be an idiot.
Don’t use text language when replying to a text invite for an interview. You will be judged. Trust me.
- Don’t be an idiot.
Don’t just not show up; If you can’t attend during the given schedule, have the decency to reschedule. Everyone in this country seems to have a “last minute emergency” on the day of their interview so no, no HR rep believes this excuse anymore. The least you can do is just be truthful or even creative enough to entertain the HR rep who is wasting their time on you.
- Don’t be an idiot.
Actually show up for the interview, don’t waste time that doesn’t belong to you. If you agree to a certain interview schedule, stick to it. You are wasting the time of another person if you agree and they show up only to find out that you didn’t even bother. HR reps ALWAYS know when you don’t even try.
- Don’t be an idiot.
When asked what websites you visit often, don’t say google. Google is a search engine, not a website.
- Don’t be an idiot.
Let’s say you do show up for your interview (surprise!) remember to have a firm handshake because that is one thing that says a lot about you. A nice, firm handshake can show that you have a strong personality. If your handshake is soft and flimsy then you become less interesting to the interviewer.
- Don’t be an idiot.
When you are asked if you have any questions, don’t ask about the salary. You haven’t even been hired yet, you don’t have to know what the job pays. P l s. It makes you look bad. Other interviewers will think this is a power move but only if you have presented yourself well enough. 90% of the time, please just don’t.
Disclaimer: All of these tips are based on my experiences as the INTERVIEWER so if you disagree or you’re offended, I don’t care, really.
Although many people claim that Boracay is not what it used to be and that it has evolved into one of the biggest tourist traps in the Philippines, there is always one thing you can count on once you’re on the island – good food. I would definitely recommend going to the island during off peak season, sometime around late May to early July is good as long as the weather cooperates. I have heard many horror stories of Boracay during peak season (especially during Labor Day) that I am confident enough to recommend staying away while everyone else is scrambling for the island. When I went to Boracay, I had zero expectations. I decided not to set the bar too high in my mind because the one thing people kept telling me was that Boracay is not what it used to be but honestly?
It’s still freaking beautiful.
So with zero expectations and a list of food I was dead set on trying, I was off to Boracay for the first time.
A few months ago, I downloaded the Zomato app and completely fell in love with it. I used it so much that I eventually got to know a few people and have even met them over lunch / dinner! Zomato is one app that I cannot stop recommending because it is my go-to app – I look to it when I am hungry and searching for a place to eat, when I’m craving or even when I am stuck in traffic and have nothing to do. I find reading reviews and looking at food photos to be a great way to pass the time. Nowadays, when people ask me for restaurant recommendations, I usually start or end my recommendation with “You should just download Zomato!” because you really should just download Zomato. It’s a great app for foodies!
Zomato has agreed to host a little give away on Girl Eats World and I couldn’t be more excited to share this with you!
What’s in the Zomato Goodie Bag:
and finally, Php 1,000.00 in gift vouchers to Sugar Cravings Unlimited Desserts in Quezon City!!
The giveaway is open to Philippine residents only and
I’ll be announcing the winner on Twitter on October 20!
Foodies and buffet enthusiasts rejoice! Vikings, the Philippines’ largest buffet restaurant, thanks its loyal customers for their continued patronage with their Loyalty Card!
For only P300, diners at Vikings, Niu by Vikings, and Four Seasons Hotpot City as young as 13 years old can avail of the Vikings Loyalty Card and earn 1 point for every P100 spent dining at any of their numerous branches across the Metro.
Simply activate your card via SMS and receive exclusive discounts at branches, partners and affiliates, invitations to special events, priority entrance during opening hours, as well as loyalty and redemption points. Cardholders only need to show their card and proof of identity to any Vikings employee, who will simply scan their card with the ease of a TAP.
Each loyalty and redemption point is earned with every P100 spent, and is redeemable once a minimum of 20 points has been reached. The Basic Level of the Vikings Loyalty Card is from 0-999 points, the Silver Level is from 1000-1500 points, and the Gold Level is 1,501 points and above. The higher your level, the more perks you enjoy! Eating out has never been this rewarding, and earning points has never been this easy and delicious!
What are you waiting for? #EatLikeaViking and start earning points!
Get ready for a feast from the sea and eat like a Viking by visiting any of the following branches:
SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City; SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City; SM City Marikina, Marikina City; SM Jazz Mall, Makati City; SM City North, Quezon City; SM BF, Paranaque City; SM Lanang Premier, Davao City.
Find Niu by Vikings at the 6th floor of SM Aura, 26th Street cor. McKinley Parkway, Taguig, and Four Seasons Hotpot City at Mall of Asia branch at Bldg. E, By the Bay, MOA Complex, Pasay City.
Log on to www.vikings.ph for more details.
The burger is probably the best thing that has ever happened to the human race. It’s a full meal – bread, veggies and meat, right? People are getting more and more creative with the burger as time passes. There’s truffle burgers, lettuce wrapped burgers, veggie burgers, and you can literally put anything on your burger now – even potato chips or mac n cheese! It’s pretty hard not to love a burger, I could probably have a burger for every meal of the day and still not be sick of it because of how much you can do with it. So for this Lazy Girl Recipe – I present to you The Breakfast Burger!
4 Main Ingredients and just around 15-20 minutes of your time with minimal clean up.
1. Heat up a pan, put some butter in it then place Baba’s Kitchen Sage Patties in it to cook.
(You can also choose to grill the burger patties)
2. Butter up the burger buns and toss them in the toaster.
3. Slice up a tomato and onion.
4. Flip over the Sage Patties and remove from the pan when they are done.
5. Crack open the egg in the pan and cook it sunny side up (with the yolk still runny) – This is optional, of course. It tastes perfectly fine with or without the egg.
6. Assemble your burger! (Fun!!!)
You can opt to caramelize the onions or use them raw, you can also toast the burger buns with butter or butter and cheese, depending on how you like it!
Within a couple of minutes, you’ll have a Gourmet Breakfast Burger that you cooked up all by yourself!
One of the main reasons I prefer to eat out all the time is because I’m lazy. However, there are times that I’m too lazy to even get dressed and go out so I have no choice but to cook. I like to keep my time in the kitchen as short as possible with minimal work and even less dishes to wash after the whole ordeal of cooking. The longest amount of time I have ever spent in the kitchen was when my mom was making her awesome Shrimp Sambal (with coconut rice!!!) and I was sitting on the counter, eagerly waiting for the food to be ready while taking in all the glorious aromas. Sadly though, I will eventually have to move out and just so I know I’ve got myself covered and give my mom peace of mind that I can survive alone, I have a few recipes that use 5 ingredients or less and take probably less than 30 minutes (including clean up!!).
The recipe for the Tomato Confit Pasta has only 3 main ingredients, 2 pots to wash up and takes only 15 minutes of your time, including clean up.
I can’t believe almost a year has passed since I got to see this beauty up close.
Mount Pinatubo is a literal example of the saying “from destruction, comes beauty.” Although the eruption in 1991 may have caused devastation, Mount Pinatubo has managed to emerge as one of the most scenic places in the country. We started our trek quite early while it was still very sunny out, got to the peak by the time the dark clouds were coming in and trekked back as the rain was pouring down. The whole thing took about 6-7 hours total!
From the base, it took about 3-4 hours then trekking back down took about 2 hours (not including the 45 minute ride in the 4×4). It may have been tiring getting to the peak but trekking back to the base was more challenging because it started to rain quite hard and all the rocks became slippery. It was a great experience overall though and one that I would recommend to both tourists and locals!
1. Wear comfortable trekking shoes. – People may recommend tennis shoes or rubber shoes but the guides will recommend you wear trekking sandals or even just slippers as you will be crossing a very wet and rocky terrain during certain points of the trek.
2. Go with a fun group. – The 2-3 hours of trekking can be tiring so it’s best you have people with you that are up for it, no body likes a Debbie Downer!
3. Pick up a long, sturdy stick along the way as this will help ease the weight you put on your legs during the trek. (You don’t need to buy one as you will see many along the way)
4. Don’t forget to bring food with you. (And maybe some for dogs too – we saw 2 strays who are known to be friendly to tourists and hang around there just waiting to be fed. We were a big group and had enough food to spare so a bunch of us gave our sandwiches to the dogs) Food is available by the crater but it’s only things like cup noodles and Gatorade, both of which are severely overpriced.
5. Be careful and alert. The area is not accessible for cars / jeeps / or even helicopters so should you get hurt, you will have to be carried back (3-4 hours) before you can seek medical attention.
It’s best not to bring too many things as the trek will take about 2-3 hours and you can easily tire yourself out by carrying such a heavy back pack. My suggestion would be to pack light and only bring the essentials.
What to Bring:
1. Sun block
2. A cap / hat
4. Sandwiches (for lunch at the peak)
5. Energy Bars (in case you get hungry during the hike)
6. Lots of water!!!
7. Towel + Extra Clothes (including underwear!)
Although boating (Php 350/person) and swimming are no longer allowed at the peak, the view is definitely worth the trek that leads up to it!
4×4 Car (5 passengers) – Php 3,000.00 / 5 = Php 600.00
Tourist Guide – Php 500.00 / 5 = Php 100.00
Conservation Fee = Php 500.00 per person
Aeta Passway Fee = Php 150.00 per person
Total = Php 1, 350.00 per person
We booked our tour through Mr. Wendell Mercado, who was very easy to communicate with and answered all the questions we had before the actual trek.
Verdict: Your friendly neighborhood hang out
Budget: P250 – P300/head
Momma’s Boy Urban Dining is literally a home away from home. This place is actually a house that was converted into a restaurant by the owner. Although the place is quite hidden and parking is difficult, it is great if you want to spend a chill night with your friends somewhere more private. It is run by a fun group of friends who each contribute in their own way, whether it be management skills, culinary skills or even financial skills – they are all very involved and always on the floor mingling with the guests and making sure everything is running smoothly. This makes them approachable and allows the guests to feel right at home!
If you are a fan of spicy food, I highly recommend the Spicy Tuna Pasta. The spicy tuna pasta is actually spicy and unlike most tuna pastas I’ve tried out there, this one doesn’t taste fishy at all. The flavors of the tuna, olive oil, olives and tomatoes all come together to form a crave-worthy dish that will have you thinking about it even days after you’ve had it! It was honestly on my mind for at least a week after I had it – I’m not even kidding. I even attempted to make my own version at home but it didn’t even come close!
The wings at Momma’s Boy are honestly the best wings I have ever had, no exaggeration! I like it better than some places who actually specialize in wings. They are paired nicely with their own special dip, which in my opinion is better than bleu cheese and sour cream. I could probably eat 2 whole orders by myself! The wings are the perfect balance of crispy on the outside while juicy and tender on the inside – it is coated with a sauce that is the right amount of spicy and tangy. There are 3 levels of spice available: Mild, Medium Hot and Apocalypto – I suggest going for Medium Hot as this pairs nicely with an ice cold beer.
Another crowd pleaser is the Mozzarella sticks – crunchy on the outside with a generous filling of mozzarella cheese on the inside. Be careful when you order this because these are highly addictive mozzarella sticks and before you know it, you’ve eaten the entire serving and you’re ready to order your next one!
With the powerful combination of a great team, awesome recipes and a homey vibe, Momma’s Boy is sure to become your new favorite neighborhood restaurant!
Momma’s Boy Urban Dining
Address: 8887-D Sampaloc St., San Antonio Village, Makati City
Phone Number: +63917 833 5059
Operating Hours: 5:00PM – 1:00AM
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mommasboyurbandining
I’m not going to deny that I love it when my friends and family call me up randomly to get restaurant recommendations because they can’t decide where to eat. I love talking about food and will take every chance I have to do it! I won’t call myself an expert, of course, but with the help of a couple of apps, I am able to gain the trust of my family and friends. A lot of my time as a blogger is spent reading reviews and deciding which places might actually be worth checking out or what are the current food trends that are taking over Metro Manila. With the help of a couple of apps, I’m able to stay on top of it without actually going to every single restaurant opening or lining up in every single line for a hyped up food product.
Verdict: Japanese Jack of All Trades
Budget: P350 – P500 / head
Quality Japanese restaurants are few and far between. I have discussed this with a few of my foodie friends and we have all agreed that finding a Japanese restaurant that has good Sushi, Tempura, Ramen and rice bowls is quite difficult. Instead, we could each name our restaurant of choice for each dish. I have a favorite Japanese place to go to for Sushi, another one for Ramen and yet another one for all the different Rice Bowls most Japanese Restaurants have to offer. Marufuku, however, comes quite close to being the restaurant that has it all. Sushi, Ramen, Rice Bowls, Tempura, the works!
The search is over! I have finally found my favorite Italian restaurant in Makati City. C’ Italian Dining is located in the heart of Salcedo Village, right beside the Salcedo Park. It may look intimidating from afar but once you enter and take a seat, you will feel right at home! The servers are very accommodating and the chefs make sure that you get the most bang for your buck without burning a hole through your pocket. With it’s original branch located in the Culinary Capital of the Philippines (Pampanga), this branch does not disappoint as it does not only bring with it reasonable prices and smiling faces -it has also brought the it’s signature creation, the Panizza, to Metro Manila.
I always thought that Pizza was my favorite Italian dish but after having a taste of the Panizza, there is no going back. A Panizza is exactly like a pizza except it is made with a mix of Panini Bread Dough and Pizza Dough. So it is a much thinner crust with a little less toppings but so much more flavor. It is served with a side of Alfalfa Sprouts and Arugula Leaves which you will have to place on top of your slice and roll up to enjoy.
That is not the only great thing about this restaurant though, click below for my recommendations.
Food Blogging is only one of two things – fun or frustrating.
1. Deciding where to eat.
There are so many factors to consider when deciding where to eat. There’s the food, of course, then there’s lighting, ambiance and even plating. For some people it may be the quickest decision that they make all day but not you. You want to go to a restaurant that serves delicious food that is photogenic in a well lit area with nice tables, chairs and maybe even a brick wall or two because you can’t really go wrong if there’s a brick wall in your background. This decision making process can take anywhere between 5 minutes to 50 minutes and it can get frustrating.
2. When your friends ask you to recommend a restaurant and your mind suddenly goes blank
Being known as the foodie among your group of friends has its perks like 1. You always get to choose which restaurant you all go to and 2. If they hear about a new restaurant or a new dish, they immediately tell you about it or 3. When they can’t decide where to eat, they ask you for a recommendation (which is just another excuse for you talk about food). Every once in a while though, you’re left completely stumped because you know your friend and you know what they like so you want to recommend the perfect restaurant for them to eat at. It’s at the tip of your tongue but you just can’t seem to get it out so you’re left standing there looking at your friend or worse – spitting out one recommendation after another.
3. Being shy to take pictures in public
No matter how many times you’ve done this before, you can’t help but feel a little shy every time you want to take photos of food in public because you know that the person at the next table is definitely watching you. They’re also probably thinking something along the lines of “Has she never been to a restaurant before?” Well, you know what, sometimes you just need to take 5 or 6 shots from the same angle because if you look close enough, they aren’t all the same!! There are also times wherein you may need to stand up or even stand on your chair to get the perfect food shot and for like 5 seconds there, you actually care what people think but it only takes 5 seconds to get over that so you do it anyway.
4. Always wanting to meet for lunch because natural light is your best friend
Whenever your friends try to make plans with you, you always push for it to be during lunch hour because that’s honestly when the sun looks best and makes your food photos look awesome. I am aware that not all my pictures are great but the ones that are great have been taken during lunch time. There you have it, the secret to good photos is a good amount of natural light.
5. Restaurants with bad lighting
Sometimes bad lighting is enough to ruin my appetite (just kidding, nothing can ruin my appetite). But seriously, there are some restaurants out there with lighting so bad that nothing you do can save your food photos. It’s either too dark, or they’ve chosen all the colors for their lighting except white or warm or the light placements are in such a way that every photo you take has a shadow – sometimes there’s just no saving it.
6. When your dishes come out one at a time
I honestly thought I was the only one who felt this way until I spoke to my friend, Helga, and she mentioned it. Sometimes it can be good that they come out one at a time so you can take a few good shots of this dish, try it and focus all your attention on the different flavors until the next one comes out but then sometimes you want a nice group shot of all the food together but surprise!! You can’t have it because they’re most definitely going to take their time in bringing out your food one by one. Unless you’re willing to just sit there staring at your food (I’m never willing to do that), your chances at a nice top group shot are gone.
7. When your dishes come out all at once
Once everything you’ve ordered is on the table at the same time, it’s difficult to decide what you want to try first. What is even more difficult though is the fact that you have to take a really good flat lay of the food on your table and we all know that’s going to take another 5-10 minutes. Even though you may be used to taking multiple photos while your food gets cold but you obviously have company with you if you’ve ordered multiple dishes and they usually tend to get irritable after a couple dozen food shots. Now, I’ve gotten pretty good at tuning them out (sorry, guys) but trust me, they’ll eventually tell you to “hurry up” because the food is getting cold and ask “how many photos do you possibly need to take?” or something like that.
8. Body Goals vs Food Goals
You want to have a bikini body but you also want to eat everything. Sometimes finding the balance between eating amazing food or having an amazing body seems like the most difficult thing in the world and even when you think you’ve found it, there is always that one dish that breaks your 2 day self discipline streak. I think the trick here is to make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet, working out regularly and basically just being confident in who you are. There are those days though that you wish you could just let go and eat – sometimes you just gotta give in.
9. Reading other blog posts about food / food reviews when you’re nowhere near any food
Whether you’re doing this for research or for fun, this is basically self inflicted torture. Not to mention that this is something you can do for hours and hours and not feel like you’ve wasted a single minute. This always only results in one thing though, after reading all those food reviews… You will either feel the need to go to at least one of the restaurants you read about, try a recipe that you were reading about or even go to the nearest restaurant. We may all take different roads but our destination is always the same – FOOD!
10. Finally getting around to writing your blog post only to have to get up once or twice (or like five times) because writing about food only makes you want more food.
Verdict: The closest thing to Italy in Makati City.
Budget: P400 – P500/head
Tucked away in San Antonio Plaza is a tiny Italian Restaurant that is very easily missed. With only 15 tables inside, La Nuova is a no frills, neighborhood restaurant that serves consistently good food. Though their prices may be a bit higher than what we usually spend for Italian food, the quality of the food, the ambiance as well as the service is definitely worth the price. Once you are seated inside, it is quite easy to forget that you are still in Metro Manila as this restaurant is exactly what I imagine the local restaurants in Italy would be like. The area may be small but take note of the counter where they sell a wide range of Italian Cold Cuts and Cheeses as well as a display case of cakes.
The servings here are quite big and each dish may be big enough to share but once you get a taste of it, I can’t guarantee that you would still want to share. Every dish that I have tried here has been nothing short of amazing but there are two dishes that I can never seem to stop ordering, the Risotto Colorato and the Tartufo Pasta.
The Risotto Colorato is simply described on the menu as “Italian Rice with Mixed Vegetables,” but let me be the one to tell you that it is so much more. It is a wonderful blend of fresh vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, carrots and even zucchini, and with each vegetable complementing the other, it is difficult not to enjoy this dish. All the vegetables taste very fresh and each flavor is brought out during the 15 minute cooking process without managing to lose the bite. Some of the vegetables manage to stay nice and crunchy while the others find their way into the rice and blend in quite perfectly.
It takes 15 minutes to prepare the risotto so I suggest ordering appetizers should you decide to have a risotto as your main dish. However, should you prefer not to order any appetizers, not to worry because they do serve warm flat bread with tomato dip and pate which is also quite satisfying.
Recommended Appetizers: Prosciutto di Parma con Mango (Slices of Prosciutto and Mango), Parmigiana di Melanzane (Baked Eggplant w/ Mozzarella Cheese & Tomato Sauce), Compozione di Tartufi (Slices of Parma Ham, Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese)
Their best seller, and my personal favorite, is the Tartufo Pasta. The menu describes it as “Tagliatelle Pasta with White Truffle Cream, Porcini Mushroom topped with Parma Ham.” Since they only cook the dishes once it has been ordered, should you prefer to change the pasta noodles or make any alterations to your order, they will be more than glad to oblige. (A+ for their service) However, I do recommend going with it the way the Chef makes it because it is perfection. Once it is brought to your table, the smell of the truffle cream alone will have you salivating and make you regret not ordering 2 of this for yourself. The pasta is cooked al dente and coated perfectly with truffle cream.
Should you prefer to try more of their delicious pastas in one sitting, I would definitely recommend ordering the Trittico Pasta, which is basically 3 kinds of pasta of your choosing (good for 2).
Recommended Pastas: Vongole Al Vino Bianco (Spaghetti with Baby Clams, Olive Oil & White Wine), Aglo Olio Con Salsicce (Capellini with Garlic, Sundried Tomato, Italian Sausage, Chili Flakes in Olive Oil), Pesto con Chorizo (Penne Pasta with Chorizo, Artichokes, Goat Cheese in Spicy Pesto)
Recommended Pizzas: Pizza Due Gusti (Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Spinach, Chorizo & Mushroom), Calzone alla Siciliana (Half Rolled Pizza with Ricotta Cheese, Fresh Tomato & Mortadella)
Pastelleria La Nuova is, without a doubt, one of the best Italian restaurants I have been to in Manila! It is one that I would frequent over and over again even if it is just for the Tartufo Pasta.
Pastelleria La Nuova
Address: Ground Floor, San Antonio Plaza, McKinley Road, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City
Phone Number: (632) 817 8568 / (632) 867 2370
Operating Hours: 9:30AM – 9:00PM
Let me just start off by saying that Indian Cuisine is one of the most diverse cuisines you will ever come across. There is never a time that only one spice is used and each spice added to a dish contributes just enough flavor to not overpower the others – they all work together to give us the most flavor possible.
Indian Food isn’t for everyone but for those who love it – here are some readily available snacks you can try!
1. Haldiram’s Aloo Bhujia
This is one of my favorite snacks in the world! I would sprinkle this over salads or even certain Indian Dishes to give it an extra kick. (I have even tried rolling some of this up in Naan Bread and it was glorious!!!) It is literally what the packet says – “Spicy Potato Noodles” and I was 100% okay with not knowing exactly what was in it or what it’s made of. “Spicy Potato Noodles” was enough information for me!
However, since I wanted to do this blog post, I did what any responsible blogger would do and I googled it. This snack is made of Potatoes and 3 different kinds of flours – Gram Pulse Flour, Garden Peas Flour and Tepary Beans Flour plus many different spices for the flavor like salt, coriander powder, cumin, mango powder, ginger powder, red chili powder, mace powder, nutmeg powder, mint leaves powder and citric acid powder.
After finding that out, I probably won’t eat this for a good month but it is seriously the most flavorful snack out there! Besides the insane amount of sodium, the brand promises guilt free snacking. (Lol)
2. Parle G
All Indians love this biscuit (yes, ALL!) because it is tasty and affordable. Kids eat this with milk, adults eat it with their tea and some people even like to put it in water (I don’t know) because they claim that when it’s a little soggy, it tastes better (I wouldn’t try that, tbh). This company has been around since the 1930s and people claim that the quality has not even decreased one bit. I enjoy this more than Oreos (gasp!!!) because I love how crunchy and milky this biscuit is so I prefer to eat it on it’s own and I can probably finish 2-3 packs on my own.
Image found on http://cargocollective.com
3. Thums Up
India’s version of Coca Cola – Thums Up is actually a product of The Coca Cola Company! It is a much sweeter cola that actually tastes like it has spices in it? It’s very confusing. It is an acquired taste, I guess. I can only have 2-3 sips of it before I’m done but I know a couple of people that love this stuff. The smell pretty much gives away how it tastes – sort of like a licorice with spices. It hasn’t caught on anywhere except in India probably because of how strong the flavor is. (I prefer the Lime soda that India has – Limca! Thums Up seems to be more popular though)
If you think the Flamin Hot Cheetos is spicy, get ready for this to set your ass on fire. Kurkure means “crunchy” in Hindi and I guess this is their version of Cheetos. This is made of rice, corn, chickpea flour, salt and spices. It is available in many different flavors like Masala Munch (which is the spiciest one), Naughty Tomatoes (lol), Puffcorn (Cheese), Monster Paws (what?), Monster Smilees (again, what?) and Solid Masti (hahaha, sorry but totally imagined saying that in an Indian accent lol). Gotta love what the Indians come up with! This is a product of Pepsi Co. India.
The best place to get these items in Manila would be Assad Mini Mart (the Indian grocery). You can get spices, rice, instant noodles (Maggi Curry Noodles is the bomb) and so many other things here too so if you ever need Indian groceries this would be the place to go!
Assad Mini Mart
Address: Mayor Gil Fernando Ave, Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines (the bigger, older branch)
Address: Unit 1-A, Eurocrest Building, 126 Jupiter Sreet, Bel-Air, Makati City
Telephone: +632 8972543
Singapore is a foodie’s HEAVEN. I’m not kidding when I say you cannot go wrong with the food in this gorgeous city. I have been coming to this place ever since I can remember and every time I am back home in Manila, I regret not eating enough of the food (even though I eat like there’s no tomorrow when I’m there, lol). I always tell my cousins over there that they have no idea how lucky they are to be surrounded by some of the most delicious food stalls ever. If you are going to travel somewhere just to eat great food, Singapore would definitely be the place to go!
I’ve listed down the Top 5 Dishes that are an absolute must try when you are in the little island city-state!
Alain Ducasse Institute Philippines at Enderun Colleges is one of the leading culinary institutions in the country equipped with world-class chef instructors; Tuloy Foundation is an organization that provides shelter and education to street children. The two have come together to form a powerful program called “Youth With A Future,” which aims to transform street children into world-class chefs of the future.
What is now slowly becoming a tradition, a charity dinner (and auction) is held in the Atrium of Enderun Colleges every year to help raise funds for the Culinary Center of the Tuloy Foundation as well as choose ten lucky scholars to undergo training with Chef See Cheong Yan, the Culinary head of Enderun Colleges and Chef Marc Chalopin, the Executive Chef of Alain Ducasse Institute Philippines.
Ten scholars from Tuloy Founation are chosen to have their culinary training for three months at Alain Ducasse Institute Philippines and are awarded with a Certificate of Culinary Arts from Alain Ducasse Education in France upon completion of the training program. It doesn’t stop there – after completing the program, these scholars are successfully placed in internships and jobs in respected establishments in the Philippines as well as abroad.
The star of this year’s charity dinner was, of course, Chef See’s Curry Laksa.
I can’t believe I completely forgot to post this at the beginning of the month. I was so caught up with it being Holy Week, my trip to Bangkok and the Master Cleanse I was doing. April is also National Grilled Cheese Month so I’m including a link of my favorite Buzzfeed article for this month: 16 Ways to Take Your Grilled Cheese to the Next Level
If you follow me on SnapChat, you would know that last night, I had an Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich and it was GLORIOUS. The Grilled Cheese sandwich is one of the simplest yet most comforting sandwiches you will ever come across because there truly is nothing like some hot cheese to melt your troubles away.
What’s your favorite version of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?
Being a foodie comes with a lot of responsibility, trust me. If you want to eat good food and look good at the same time, it’s going to take a lot! So since I’ve been eating all this really delicious (and unhealthy) food since I officially started this blog (I eat more than I blog) I figured Holy Week would be the best time to go on cleanse to kind of reboot my system and clean out all the toxins from my body. Especially since I’ll be attending an Indian wedding in a couple of days which means buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner; a cleanse is exactly what my body needs.
I wanted to do the Master Cleanse properly but didn’t have the time nor the resources to make my own lemonade mixture. Luckily I didn’t have to look so far because healthymonstersph now offers 3, 5, 7 and 10 day programs for the cleanse. Healthymonstersph is this great business that serves up healthy and delicious salads in a jar, they have 6 flavors available. It is run by one (super)woman, Nikki Teves, who not only does the marketing for healthymonstersph but also makes the salads and delivers them herself! I’ve known about them for a while and even ordered a couple of salads from them before so when I found out that they now offer the lemonade for the cleanse, I didn’t hesitate to order.
Verdict: Manila’s version of In-N-Out
Budget: P200 – P250/head
There is only one word to describe the burgers at Sweet Ecstasy – ADDICTIVE. This is slowly but surely becoming known as Manila’s In n Out and I can see why. They keep their menu simple by offering only 3 choices for the burgers: The Hamburger, Cheeseburger or The Double. They also have Chicken Wings (Soy Honey, Sriracha Lime, Thai Red Curry, Honey BBQ and wait for it – Chocolate. Coca. Cola.), Sweet Potato Fries (which I heard comes with Sriracha Honey), Onion Rings and a variety of Milkshakes and Adult Milkshakes you can choose from.
What sets them apart from all the other burger joints is (1) they do not use any fillers for the burger patty itself. The meat they use is 100% fresh making their burgers a quarter pound of pure beefy goodness. They only season it with salt and pepper keeping in mind that quality meat does not need much help in the flavor department. (2) The Ecstasy Sauce may just be a mix of condiments but they add a little something extra to keep you coming back for more. (3) They are not afraid to own up to the fact that the service isn’t the best but that’s only because good food is worth waiting for. They say that your order of wings will take some time before it’s ready but the burgers are made to order so be prepared to wait for that too. If you’re the type that gets “hangry” – bring some cards, order some milkshakes and have fun with your friends while you wait!
So last year, I got the chance to visit Hong Kong and eat all the amazing food they had to offer! It had been on my bucket list for a while so before leaving, I made a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to eat at (of course)! I got the chance to try many different things like the egg tart from the well loved Tai Cheong Bakery, Yung Kee’s specialty Roast Goose and even Ebeneezer’s Shawarma which until today is the best shawarma I have ever had! Being the person that I am, I wanted to take everything home but unfortunately, I couldn’t (duh) – that is until I went to a nearby 7 Eleven to buy a bottle of water and saw a whole shelf full of Cadbury’s Marvellous Creations chocolate bars and absolutely had to buy one of each for the duration of the trip and more for when I was back home in Manila!
Cadbury has now decided to up their game and turned their Marvellous Creations into ice cream flavors! So all the magic that you experience from the chocolate bar is amplified because it is in the form of ice cream and who doesn’t love ice cream, right??
The flavor that I am most excited for is the one in the picture above. It is vanilla and chocolate ice cream with a Dairy Milk swirl, popping candy, raspberry jelly pieces and sugar coated cocoa candies and it sounds absolutely magical! Other flavors are Zingy Raspberry Choc Brownie (vanilla and chocolate ice cream, chocolate swirl, raspberry sauce, brownies and raspberry sweets) , Salted Caramel & Sour Cherry (chocolate and salted caramel ice cream, chocolate swirl, sea salted digestive biccies, whole cherries and pralines) and Fairground Candy Crunch (chocolate and candy floss ice cream, chocolate swirl, raspberry jellies, marshmallows and pink sugar crunch).
These flavors will be available by the end of March in the UK but let’s keep our fingers crossed that someone decides to bring it to MNL so we can find out exactly what magic tastes like!
Verdict: Just like grandma used to make it!
Budget: P300 – P400 per head
After almost 3 weeks of absolutely no carbs in my diet, I got so fed up and wanted all the carbs I could get! All I could think of was having a nice big plate of really flavorful carbs and where else can you get that if not in an Indian restaurant? No, really. Indians eat A LOT of carbs and they don’t even realize it. Rice with potatoes, a side dish of potatoes and a curry with potatoes. Indians also love anything that has extreme flavor! That’s why they can turn something as simple as rice into a mind blowing plate of Biryani.
It doesn’t happen often but there are times I have a meal that leaves me completely speechless. This was one of those times. Despite the mediocre service, the taste of the food managed to make me forget about it. I also enjoyed how the waitresses knew a lot about the food on the menu and how it was prepared so plus points for that! Unlike any other Indian restaurant in the country, this isn’t a fancy place – it is basically a hole in the wall that only Indians seem to know about. The whole time I was there, all the customers that walked in and out we’re all Indian. That’s how you know that the cuisine is authentic.
One of the reasons I’m really looking forward to March is birthdays! My mom and my brother both celebrate their birthdays in March – my brother’s is on National Milky Way Day and my mom’s is on Something On A Stick Day. A fun way to celebrate their birthdays would be to make the theme according to the Food Holiday that they fall on!
I’m also looking forward to National Sloppy Joe Day! I love that scene in It Takes Two where Alyssa tries a Sloppy Joe for the first time and was just so completely overwhelmed by how good it was – I have to admit, after seeing that scene, that’s when I absolutely had to try my first Sloppy Joe too!
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a link to the video clip of that scene: It Takes Two – Sloppy Joe
What food holidays are you looking forward to?
On the way to work this morning, I turned on the radio to see if any good songs were playing. I don’t usually listen to the radio because it is always just a bunch of DJs talking but today, I decided to take my chances and I am so glad I did! I turned on the radio to find the DJs talking (of course) but I heard the words ” First Edible Coffee Cup” and I was intrigued. I didn’t get to hear much of their discussion because I turned the radio on a little too late so upon reaching the office, I quickly turned on my laptop and typed those exact words into Google and here is what I found:
KFC in the UK has partnered up with Seattle’s Best Coffee and food scientists, The Robin Collective to bring to life an edible coffee cup. (!!!) The “Scoff-ee Cup” is made from a cookie, wrapped in sugar paper and lined with heat-resistant white chocolate. The cup is made to hold your hot coffee until eventually the white chocolate starts to melt into your coffee – sounds amazing, right? Now here is where the food scientists come in, they have infused these cups with different scents like Coconut Sun Cream, Wild Flowers and Freshly Cut Grass. I found this a little weird at first but then I realized that KFC just invented the perfect way to start your morning! Coffee, in an edible cookie cup with white chocolate and the smell of a good day all wrapped up in one tiny package! It’s genius! Though they actually look like Dominique Ansel’s Milk & Cookie Shot, I think it’s a good take on it and definitely a step up for KFC. This seems to be one of their more sophisticated products as opposed to the recently released Double Down Dog in Manila.
The Scoff-ee Cups are still in development and should be available in a limited number of stores in the UK by the time summer rolls around. Hopefully this is a big hit so they can bring these delicious little things to Manila as well!
Verdict: The gooiest grilled cheese in this part of town!
Budget: P350 – P500
Ever since I watched Chuck Bass make a Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Gossip Girl in 2007, I have longed for a Grilled Cheese Sandwich that would blow my mind! Almost 7 years later, I think I’ve found it!
Last week, I was at Hole in The Wall in Century City for dinner and I finally decided to try the sandwiches at Mister Delicious (usually I would head right towards Bad Bird). The last time I was there, their Gooey Grilled Cheese wasn’t available so when they told me that it was available, I immediately decided to try it out. I thought that paying P240 for a Grilled Cheese sandwich was a bit much but once I got my sandwich, all thoughts about the cost of the sandwich flew right out the window!
Just as promised, here is the calendar for the National Food Holidays for this month!
It’s National “Drink Wine” Day! It’s perfect timing too because there’s no work tomorrow so why not grab a few of your friends and go out for some wine tonight? I’ve got a few places I can recommend, just let me know what kind of vibe you’re looking for!
I believe that food is the biggest part of a person’s life. When we are happy, we celebrate with food; When we are sad, we eat our feelings away; When we go out with friends, it’s most likely for a meal; family get together? You can be sure that you’re in for a lot of food. Even something as simple as running errands means that we’re probably gonna grab a snack or drink a long the way.
Since food is an important part of any celebration, I decided to start this monthly blog series of National Food Holidays so that each day we can celebrate a different type of food! This is something everyone can partake in regardless of race or religion, which is just another reason to love food – it brings us together.
I’m aware that I’m almost 2 months late so I will be posting February’s calendar tomorrow. I’m also going to include a downloadable copy for each month just in case you guys want to print it out or whatever!
I just got back from a fantastic lunch at Project Pie, Valero! This branch is slightly smaller than the Park Square branch but still serves up the freshest pizzas tailored to your liking! They have a fun team over there as well who even make suggestions when you’re choosing your toppings so that your pizza is sure to be delicious!
They have a fantastic deal for today only, avail of this by clicking “Claim Offer” on below. An email will be sent to the email address you use for Facebook and all you need to do is present the email in order to claim a free S’mores Pie! What makes this deal even cooler is that no purchase is necessary to avail of the offer!
What are you waiting for? Head on over there and get your free pizza now!
Verdict: Affordable and filling but not Mediterranean enough
Budget: P200 – P250 per head
I have only recently developed my love for Mediterranean cuisine, I can never say no to Shawarma and Moussaka has become my go to dish when on a low carb diet. Having recently fallen in love with the cuisine, you can imagine my excitement upon hearing that a new Mediterranean restaurant has (re)opened just walking distance from the office! When I entered, I instantly fell in love with the way the interior was designed, it was a very industrial look but somehow had Middle Eastern feel about it.
The patterns all over the restaurant along with the music, gave the whole restaurant a very Middle Eastern feel while the cement floors and light fixtures contributed to the industrial look. I am absolutely in love with the way this restaurant was designed – even the layout of the menu was so well done. Everything felt very clean and modern. Despite not having such a big space to work with, they definitely did a fantastic job with it.
Since both my boyfriend and my brother in law are from Bacolod, I visit this city quite often. My first time was for Masskara 2013 and I’ve already been back about 3 or 4 more times after that. Masskara 2013 was also when I was able to try the famous Bacolod Chicken Inasal and ever since then – I was hooked! Although Bacolod City is the sugar capital of the Philippines and has a lot (and I mean A LOT) of different dessert cafes, they also have many restaurants (old and new) which managed to get my attention. So I have decided to write a post featuring the restaurants I was able to visit during my trips to Bacolod City.
(Let’s just say that this is the first of many restaurant reviews for the City of Smiles!)
Address: Fr. M. Ferrero St., Nenas Rose II, Bacolod City
Operating Hours: 7:30AM – 3:00AM
First up (of course) is Manokan Country, a must visit each time I set foot in Bacolod. Since Bacolod is known for their Chicken Inasal, there has never been a trip to the city without visiting Manokan Country to have a taste of their authentic Chicken Inasal. Unlike the Inasal restaurants all over the city, Manokan Country stays true to their roots by using a charcoal grill to achieve the perfect state of juicyness and tenderness for the chicken. Some of the meat just slides right off and each bite is packed with flavor! It has been around ever since the beginning and I don’t think it should be allowed to go anywhere – it is a part of the history of Bacolod.
Address: Terra Plaza Foodcourt, Dakbanwa sang, Galo St, Bacolod City
I was already quite full when I went to this place but I couldn’t resist! My favorite thing about this is that it wasn’t too sweet and it was slightly crispy. One of the best Pork BBQs I have tried because it was so well done. My brother in law has been going here ever since he was in high school so if the locals love it, it’s definitely something that you must try!
PS. The Pork BBQ in Aboy’s is also fantastic!
I heard a few things about FOGO, one of them being it is comparable to El Chupacabra in Makati. I’m absolutely in love with El Chupacabra so I thought there was no way that FOGO could even match up. I was right (duh) – It is not comparable to El Chupacabra, maybe just to Mexicali. Their menu is not too big but they’ve got all the Mexican staples – tacos, burritos and quesadillas. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Taco Salad, and I enjoyed it a lot! All the ingredients were fresh; the salsa and garlic sauce were delicious and complemented the dishes perfectly. They also have a bottle Calamansi juice available so instead of plain water or soda, calamansi juice could be your healthy alternative. What excited me most about their menu is the Avocado Cheesecake. We ordered one to share but ended up ordering a couple more slices because it was so delicious. It was very creamy and not overly sweet. I guess finding an Avocado Cheesecake in a Mexican restaurant is nothing out of the ordinary seeing that Bacolod is the sugar capital of the Philippines.
Address: 21 Street corner Lacson Street, Bacolod City
Phone Number: (034) 433 4096
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00PM
The first time I came across 21 Restaurant was during Masskara 2012 so before even seeing the actual restaurant, my initial impression was that it was just a casual restaurant where locals come to drink. Their set up outside gave off that impression since there was a bar outside and a bunch of plastic tables and chairs. All that changed though when I decided I had to use the restroom, I entered the restaurant and was surprised to see that I’ve walked into what looked like a fine dining restaurant. The highlight of my meal here was the Moist Chocolate Cake – the cake is rich in chocolate but still isn’t too sweet, it has a milky caramel center which only contributes to how moist and delicious this cake is. I recommend getting one to share (between 2 – 3 people) as this is quite rich and heavy.
Address: Green Plains Subd., Brgy. Alijis, Bacolod City
Phone Number: (034) 434 4294 / (034) 432 1274 / 0909 419 5726
Greenoz Pizzeria serves giant pizzas with 2x more toppings than your regular pizza for a very very affordable price. The first restaurant opened in 2007 and since then, 2 more have opened and they are now offering delivery all over Bacolod City. I was told that a lot of the birthday parties are usually held here because not only is it very affordable, it’s also one of the best thin crust pizza places in Bacolod! The largest pizza that they have (XXL) costs less than Php. 1,000 and you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth since they overload each slice with a generous amount of toppings. Greeno’z is definitely one of my go to places in Bacolod if you find yourself craving for pizza (or you just feel like pigging out), I enjoyed the pizza here much more than the pizza in Shakey’s (only because Shakey’s quality is not what it used to be but that is another post for another time.)
Rating: 7 / 10
Verdict: There’s a new Captain in town!
Budget: P80 – P100 per head
Just when I thought Filipino food everywhere was the same old thing (whether the restaurant is disguised as a gourmet or modern restaurant), I stumbled upon this little hole in the wall called Captain Manok. They serve the traditional favorites like Lechon Manok, Liempo, Bagnet and Crispy Pata but what sets them apart is that the menu does not stop there! They also offer sandwiches, wraps and rice meals with an international twist. They have a Vietnamese sandwich (similar to the banh mi) but with a Filipino twist as well as the Chicken Frankie Wrap which gives you a taste of Chile with a Filipino twist. Taking a look at the menu, you can see that their prices are not only reasonable but they are actually cheap!
Upon first glance, you would think Captain Manok is just like any other Lechon Manok stall out there but you couldn’t be more wrong. The people behind it actually have big plans for this little hole in the wall. There are already talks of adding more items on the menu and even opening up a small restaurant with a seating area. Exciting things are in store for the Captain and even though they may be under a working title – they are slowly but surely become a favorite to the residents of Mandaluyong City.
While everyone is going gaga over the McRib of McDonald’s and the Pancake Sandwich of Jollibee, Wendy’s seems to have taken a back seat. Though they do not necessarily serve the best burgers of the major fast food chains in Manila, they are definitely on my top 3! Their latest burger creation consists of all the usual ingredients of a burger – the 100% beef patty, crisp vegetables and the warm toasted bun you can only get at Wendy’s! What makes this burger special though is they’ve managed to take it up a notch by adding a handful of Tostitos and generously drizzling Sriracha sauce giving it that heat we all love!
I don’t recall any of the major fast food chains incorporating corn chips into their burgers and since I love doing this at home (A grilled cheese with potato/corn chips is the best sandwich you will ever have, trust me) I was pretty excited to try this out! Though the beef patty seemed to be a little bland, the flavors from the Tostitos and Sriracha sauce managed to distribute itself evenly throughout the whole burger. The Sriracha sauce didn’t taste like the legit Sriracha sauce that we all drown our Pho in, it was still a very tasty hot sauce! I also really enjoyed the crunch that the Tostitos provided. I do feel though that they could either provide a thicker beef patty or y’know… just throw in another burger patty altogether because all the other elements of the burger seemed to outshine the meat. Or maybe they could add a slice or two of bacon, bacon is always a good idea.
All in all, it was a delicious burger, nothing too out of the ordinary but definitely something I would crave for!
The rumors are true, the McRib is finally here!
If I’m being perfectly honest, the McRib has managed to please AND disappoint me. It’s good to know that McDonald’s Philippines is capable of producing a product like this. A seemingly fresh bread roll with a pork patty that has a more meaty texture than their beef patties topped with a smoky, sweet barbecue sauce.
It is quite disappointing though that all the McRib seemed to be was a pork patty, chopped onions, (2) pickles and the barbecue sauce that you get when you order McNuggets, all between a bread roll. Don’t get me wrong, I love the barbecue sauce! I just think that the pork patty they used deserves a much more flavorful sauce to really bring out all the flavors. When you hear the words “McRib,” a very juicy flavorful sandwich comes to mind but in reality, you just get a mediocre pork patty sandwich. I’ve read many comments from people saying that they would like it better without the pickle but in my opinion, the 2 slices of pickle that they put in there is what saved this sandwich from being a total fail. If McDonald’s could put a couple more slices of pickles in there, I’d probably give this sandwich a 3/5.
It is reasonably priced at around P120 for the small value meal and I’m sure will appeal to our Filipino taste buds! You also have the option to have the McRib patty with rice instead of the sandwich. It is only available in certain branches (The ones I’m aware of are in Makati – Greenbelt, People’s Support and JP Rizal). It may just be here for a short while but it probably won’t be missed when it’s gone.
I’d much rather see them bring back the McRice burgers!
Japanese food is one of my ultimate favorite cuisines but not every restaurant can get it right (or exactly the way I like it). I only have 3 Japanese restaurants which I frequent in Metro Manila and Geisha happens to be one of them. This restaurant is also very vegetarian friendly so it makes for many successful family dinners; I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t enjoy this restaurant as much as I do! It has a classy but homey ambiance that is sure to make you feel right at home whether you’re there for a family dinner, a date or you just want to have a quiet meal by yourself!
Geisha is located just across the road from it’s sister restaurant, Red Kimono in Bonifacio High Street. It is the high end version of Red Kimono, with it’s ingredients being more fresh and staff being better trained. It is, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in that area. It may be a little on the pricey side but it is most definitely worth it! (Trust me, SO. WORTH. IT.)
I found out about their Eat All You Can Tasting Menu (P795) a couple of months ago but only recently had the chance to go try it out. I walked into Geisha very hungry and walked out very (very) happy! I was able to sample many of their dishes including their most popular ones, like the Salmon with Baby Spinach Chips and Spicy Tuna Roll. The Eat All You Can Menu doesn’t include everything from their regular menu but it does include all the crowd favorites so you won’t be missing out on much (you will be saving a lot though).
Click below to find out more!
Jollibee’s Pancake Sandwich has got to be the most unappetizing thing I’ve seen in a fast food restaurant in quite a while. I fully expected to bite into it and get a heart attack because of all that grease (look at the photo, you can actually SEE the grease).
Anyway, it was 4AM after a night of beer pong and everybody just wanted something deliciously greasy – besides, Jollibee is ALWAYS a good option for drunk food. Seeing that they had something different on the menu, I just had to try it. It was probably the best and worst decision I made that night. Best because how can you go wrong with pancakes, bacon, egg, cheese and maple syrup? Worst because it’s pancakes, bacon, egg, cheese and maple syrup all in one bite.
The egg is cooked in that weird way where the texture tells you it’s probably boiled but it’s also flat so you know it’s probably not boiled – it’s the worst way to cook an egg, in my opinion. The bacon was cooked just right but it wouldn’t hurt if they made it just a little bit crispy for an added crunch in every bite you take. The way it was cooked worked to their advantage though because the pancake was able to soak up all that delicious bacon grease! The pancakes were a little bit sweet for my taste but worked surprisingly well with the rest of the sandwich because it had the salty taste of the cheese and bacon to balance it out.
Overall, this new item on the menu isn’t a horrible idea, it’s actually a pretty brilliant one if you’re one of those people that aren’t so conscious about what they eat (or if you’re drunk). It may leave you feeling guilty enough to work out once or twice but not guilty enough to sign up for a gym membership! For P50, it’s worth a try.
Just once though.
Being a food lover, I am always on the look out for new dishes to try! Realistically, I can’t eat everything in plain sight (though I wish I could) honestly, I wouldn’t just eat anything – if I eat, I have to be satisfied with what I am eating. I am not at all a picky eater but there are some things that will make me think twice before eating it, either because it’s too rich and sinful or because it’s too exotic! Of course, my belief that everything is worth trying at least once is stronger than that and I hope to check everything off my bucket list in the future!
The great thing about the food and restaurant industry now is that you don’t have to travel very far any more to try some of the most popular dishes that the world has to offer! Being in Asia gives you access to some of the best cuisines and restaurants – plus every country is so close to the next, making travel easy and convenient! A lot of great restaurants from all over the world are being brought to Asia, especially to the Philippines.
Everything on my food bucket list can be found on the menus of restaurants right here in Metro Manila!
Click below to find out what is on my Bucket List!
Pizza holds a very special place in my heart, it is something that I can eat anywhere, anytime. I don’t have to be craving pizza in order for me to enjoy it. There is absolutely no wrong time for pizza! At Project Pie, you are given the option to either choose from their menu or you could opt to customize your pizza for only P285. That price is quite reasonable since they allow you to put as much toppings on your customized pizza as you like. (read: unlimited toppings) For a pizza with unlimited toppings of your choice, that’s a really good deal!
The first time I ever heard about customizing a pizza was on Seinfeld when Kramer talked about how he wanted to open a pizza place where you make your own pizza pie and being a huge fan of the show, I was very excited when I found out about Project Pie! An added bonus to this concept is the fact that they offer thin crust pizza – they have crust so thin it’s almost crunchy. In my opinion, it’s much easier to enjoy a thin crust pizza because you can really taste all the toppings as opposed to a thick crust pizza where you mostly taste the bready crust.
Click below to find out more about Project Pie!
Verdict: A maki roll that stands out and can stand alone. (A strong, independent maki roll that don’t need no other dishes)
Budget: P500 – P700 per person
It is not very often that I’ll feel compelled to write about just one dish from one restaurant but I think the Edo San Maki from Sakura by Edo San deserves it. The (massive) maki roll has multiple simple ingredients that manage to form rich flavors.
Verdict: Crave-worthy healthy eats.
Price Range: P150 – P300 per person
Eating healthy is always such a challenge for me because healthy food always either (1) tastes bland or (2) is expensive. It usually ends up feeling like a chore and you end up not enjoying your meal – and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s feeling full but not satisfied. All of this changes though once you discover the goodness that is Juju Eats.
Juju Eats is a no fuss restaurant which focuses solely on healthy eats like salads, wraps, cold pressed juices, and fresh fruit sodas. Their ingredients may not be organic but you can expect them to be fresh every single time and they have over 50 toppings and dressings which allow you to make at least 5,000 combinations of salads or wraps. Healthy food here is anything but boring because the flavors are bold and distinct. Each salad on the menu is carefully thought out up until the very last ingredient so that every thing blends well with the dressing and each other, each bite will prove to you that healthy eating does not have to be bland, boring, or expensive.
“You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too.
And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird
Verdict: Ramen in it’s truest form.
Price Range: P350 – P500 per person
Ukokkei, also known as the home of the Ramen Nazi, has been around since 2008. It was one of the first ramen restaurants to have popped up even before the ramen craze had hit Manila. When it first opened, rumor had it that there was a new ramen place in town that only served 10 bowls of ramen per day and was possibly the best ramen any one has ever had.
Here are a couple of rules one had to remember before dining in Ukokkei:
1. No take out (this was only when it was newly opened, now they allow take out)
2. No sharing
3. No loitering after eating
4. No picture taking (this is only if the Ramen Nazi is feeling extra feisty)
After the restaurant was mysteriously shut down in 2012, it reopened a month later, with an even longer line of people just waiting to get their hands on a bowl of ramen. Ukokkei single handedly spearheaded the ramen craze right into Manila!
Verdict: Filling but not satisfying
Price Range: P250 – P500 per person
Charlie’s Grind and Grill, one of the first restaurants to open along East Drive in Kapitolyo, may be losing it’s position as a crowd favorite. With many new restaurants now open along that strip, I can only imagine how tough the competition must be.
This burger joint is conveniently located next to a car wash. Although it doesn’t seem like the most ideal location, they had the right idea when they started out – the customers of the car wash could hang out and grab a burger while waiting for their car. This is a concept that worked so well that even up to today, Charlie’s is one of the most well known and remembered restuarants in Kapitolyo. However, with all the new restaurants opening on that road, Charlie’s may need to up their game to retain customers.
More on Charlie’s Grind and Grill by clicking on the link below.
Verdict: Great new concept but still needs some work
I am absolutely in love with candy. I am the girl that carries mints in her handbag (or caramels, or hard candy, or strawberry sour tape – I know, right?). So naturally, when I found out that there’s a bar that serves a cocktail which involves Cotton Candy, I got really really excited.
The presentation was superb. I love that the actual cocktail comes separately in a small cocktail shaker, which allows you to pour the drink yourself. The whole concept is pretty cute and they pay much attention to detail, even serving pink cotton candy to the ladies and blue cotton candy to the guys.
Sadly, the actual drink did not meet my expectations. You would think that a drink that had too much alcohol would be a good thing but the alcohol in this drink actually managed to overpower the taste of the cotton candy, which was also too big of a serving, making you feel as if you are drinking pure sugar (which you technically kind of are actually).
Suggestions: Eat a little bit of the cotton candy before pouring your cocktail and mix your drink a few sips in because the cotton candy tends to settle at the bottom making your last few sips unbearable.
Address: G/F V. Corp. Tower, L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Address: G/F V. Corp. Tower, L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Telephone: 0927 3759467
Monday – Friday 7:00am to 3:00pm,
Monday – Friday 6:00pm – 11:00pm,
Saturday – Sunday 11:00am to 8:00pm
Growing up in Manila has allowed me to develop a very colorful taste palate. I have grown to love foods with a unique blend of different flavors.
One of the Filipino dishes I have learned to love is the famous “Halo-Halo,” which when translated to English literally means “mix mix.” Just like it’s name, the Halo-Halo, is a mix of many different flavors that come together in one glorious bowl.
What you can find in a bowl of Halo-Halo: Shaved Ice, Kaong (Sweet Palm Fruit), Macapuno (Soft meat of the Coconut), Langka (Jackfruit), Monggo (Mung Beans), Saba (Sweet Plantain), Ube (Purple Yam), Mais (Corn), Nata de Coco (Coconut Gelatin), Pinipig (Rice Krispies), Sago (Tapioca Pearls similar to Boba), Garbanzo Beans, Leche Flan (Milk Flan), Grated Cheese (optional), Evaporated Milk, Ice Cream (Vanilla / Cheese / Ube).
My personal favorites are from Chowking and Max’s Restaurant. Chowking because it is the most convenient since there are Chowkings located all over the city, you can even grab it for take out and it will hit the spot. Max’s because it is the one with the creamiest Leche Flan and they never hesitate to give you extra milk!
Please click on the link to find out the Top 10 Halo-Halo in Manila!
Verdict: The true New York bagel experience brought to Manila
Price Range: P160 – P300 per person
L.E.S. Bagels, though not located in the most convenient place, is definitely worth visiting (regularly). The place is quite small and can fit only about 10 people comfortably because seating is only on the 2nd floor and the deli like ambiance gives off a very New York vibe. Their menu consists of New York Style Freshly baked bagels with a variety of cream cheese combinations (savory or sweet). You can opt to create your own bagel combination or choose from the available bagel sandwich or specialty sandwich combinations. They also have a small variety of freshly baked desserts like home made Oreos, muffins, doughnuts and brownies.
They have a wide range of Bagels you can choose from (i.e. Plain, Sesame Seed, Garlic, Blueberry, Chocolate, etc.) and bagels are only P40 a piece – you can either have them serve it to you with the cream cheese already in (they put the ungodly amount we all wish we could do for ourselves without feeling any guilt) or you can get the cream cheese separately and spread it on by yourself (they say a small container is good enough for 3-4 bagels). The sandwiches range from P200-P400 and are filling enough to be shared. I always choose to have the bagel with the cream cheese already in because I am a huge fan of the ungodly amount they lather on!
More on L.E.S. Bagels by clicking on the link below.