Monday, December 12, 2011

Sentosa (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner at Sentosa last night. This Singaporean-Chinese restaurant is among the newer ones in Tomas Morato, albeit this one has been here awhile. Still, I think it's not yet been a year since its opening. Anyway, what kept us from eating here are a couple of things: first, we don't know what to expect from a Singaporean restaurant, this being the first one we've to try; and, second, their windows consist of different fish tanks where they keep their fresh seafood, and we have no idea how many people are eating inside without taking a peek at the door to find out if people actually eat here. For some unknown reason, we did finally eat here last night, and what follows is the experience.

I was sort of pleased to find out we weren't the only customers there. And when we did go in, many other tables followed suit. As expected, their dishes consists of many Chinese and Southeast Asian food, ranging from the Thai, Malay, Lao, and a couple of pure Singaporean dishes. To be honest, aside from Thai food, I have little knowledge and experience of other Southeast Asian cuisine, which might sound weird coming from a Southeast Asian blogger. Their prices are a bit higher than the usual Chinese restaurants I've been to, but only by a nudge.

Since we wanted to try out "real" Singaporean food, we got a couple of what we know, or at least heard, of. Beloved ordered their Singaporean Laksa Noodle Soup (230 Php) and I got their Hainanese Chicken Rice (220 Php). We also got a couple of dimsum: Crystal Prawn Hakao (95 Php) and Siao Long Pao (125 Php). Finally, our drinks consisted of Thai Iced Tea (90 Php) for me and Chrysanthemum Iced Tea (85 Php) for Beloved, the latter being bottomless. We wait for our orders with complementary peanuts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

BonChon Chicken (Regis Center, Katipunan)

Me and family had dinner at BonChon Chicken last night. I've only recently heard of this place, which apparently recently also sprung up everywhere for some reason. All of my loved ones who have tried this place say that it's fantastic. Mom had heard that their chicken is addictive, and they claim to be the best chicken in some parts of America. However, from what I've heard, this place is apparently a Korean fried chicken place. A pretty accessible one opened up in a somewhat newly-opened building at Katipunan Ave., and that was where we ate.

It was a fast food-style of ordering, with two counters and a couple of screens showing their menu. Their chicken come in bulks of different pieces, with the thighs, legs, and chops at a same price-per-piece and the wings at a cheaper one. They can also be mixed-and-matched. I do not recall the exact prices, though, since we got their set meals. Each comes with two of the larger cuts or three of the wings plus rice and drink. Also, you have a choice of spicy or sweet style of cooking. Some of their side dishes confirm the Korean side of things. They have Chapchae, Korean stir-fried noodles; Bulgogi, sweet barbecued beef, in burrito or shawarma form; and Kimchi, that extremely spicy Korean staple, in salad form. While they do have non-Korean exclusive sides, such as Fries and Calamari, we were about to find out that this was indeed a Korean fried chicken place.

Our orders were their BonChon Chicken meals. Mine were two chops for 145 Php, my brother got two thighs for 145 Php, and mom had three wings for 135 Php. We had half of them sweet and the other half spicy. We also got a couple of their sides: Calamares for 125 Php and Chapchae for 75 Php. For the prices, I thought they were pretty affordable...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zensho (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I finally had dinner at Zensho a couple of days ago. I say finally because this is one of the couple remaining Japanese restaurants we have yet to try at Tomas Morato. Why we put off until now was probably because we had no idea what their "A la carte Buffet" mean. And while the 595 Php tag is a bit enticing, we didn't know if this included their teppanyaki, which apparently what this resto is known for. After reading through the few reviews found on the web, we find out that this indeed include their teppanyaki, among other Japanese favorites. Since their sashimi was also included, it was a done deal.

We were given a slip of paper to write our orders down. It had a list of their selection for the A la carte Buffet (595 Php for dinner/495 Php for lunch). It was a pretty generous offering that it was impossible to try it out with just the two of us. Instead, we ticked what we wanted, hoping for the best, not knowing fully what to expect since it didn't have any visual aids and we were among the first ones to enter.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sango (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner last night at Sango. This newly-opened burger joint is located at our midway-from-our-homes turf, Tomas Morato. Specifically, it is found at the same building where Size Matters is. Like that place, this burger joint also has a twist to it, apparently a Japanese one. How that Japanese twist applies to burgers was for us to find out.

When we went inside we were greeted with huge posters of their food, one of which immediately caught my attention. However, I'll talk about their burgers first. Apparently, what makes them Japanese are the toppings and sauces that come with the burger—think Hapadog in burger form. However, they do also have their own Japanese hotdog sandwiches, and they also have, what caught my eye, rice burgers, similar to the defunct one they used to have in McDonald's. So, I got one of their rice burgers: the Yakiniku Rice Burger (295 Php). Beloved got one of their "normal" burgers: the Egg Teriyaki Burger (295 Php). See the numbers on the parenthesis? No, you're not seeing stuff—it's really that expensive. While they do have fries for their normal burgers and a choice of either fries or salad with their rice one, I still had my brows raised upon seeing the tag. We didn't stop our orders there, though. We ordered drinks consisting of Iced Milk Tea (80 Php) for Beloved and Green Tea Shake (90 Php) for me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Size Matters (Tomas Morato)

A few days ago, Beloved and I had dinner at Size Matters. Since this was basically a newly-opened burger joint at our turf, there was little reason not to try it out. However, we really didn't know what to expect aside from burgers. After climbing a couple of flights of stairs, we find out that they actually specialize in sausages.

The fact that it's a burger joint is still partly true, though. This was indeed a sausage place, and they specialize in sausage burgers. While they also serve classic sausage sandwiches, since we went here for the burgers, we ordered those from their small selection of three specialty ones. I had their 1/2 Pound Breakfast In Bed (B.I.B.) for 245 Php, and Beloved had their 1/4 Pound Italian Burger Job (I.B.J.) for 175 Php. Since they had meal upgrades, I had mine upgraded to have curly fries and drinks for 75 Php, and an additional 15 Php for large drinks. Beloved upgraded hers to have onion rings and drinks for 95 Php, and also paid for the 15 Php large drink upgrade.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Don-Day (Malingap Street, near Maginhawa Street)

Me, Beloved, and friends celebrated one of our friend's birthday at Don-Day. This Korean barbecue place is located right across Pino, a walks way from Maginhawa Street. We've been wanting to try this since we've heard about it, especially when we learned about its price.

Anyway, the place itself isn't really praiseworthy. It looks like your usual open-air pares place devoid of air conditioning. However, upon entering, you are greeted with a whiteboard menu boasting it's small selection. On top is the Samgupsal Buffet, priced at 299 Php. This consists of a buffet of Korean food fare plus unlimited pork for you to grill at your own table, similar to YakiMIX or, perhaps more appropriately, to Sambo Kojin, only much, much more affordable. They also have the  Don-Day Buffet priced at 199 Php selection which removes the said unlimited pork, and just provides with a buffet of regular Korean food fare.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles (Timog)

Beloved and I had a late dinner at Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles. Beloved inadvertently became a regular to this place since her office usually orders lunch here. It also wasn't my first time trying out this place as she brought me a couple of dishes to-go before. I thought it wasn't fair to write about a take-home meal, as it might affect quality, but I thought it was pretty good and plentiful for a packaged meal.

Obviously, their menu consists mainly of hand-pulled noodle dishes. Beloved also recommended their beef. So we got two different variations of both: Sliced Beef Dry Noodles (150 Php) for me and Braised Beef Noodles (150 Php) for Beloved. We also ordered their Shrimp Hakaw (120 Php) and their Black Fungus with Jellyfish (160 Php). As with most hand-pulled noodle restaurants we've been to, their kitchen features a glass window where you can see your noodles being freshly prepared from scratch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gumbo (SM Mall of Asia)

Beloved and I had lunch at Gumbo. Yes, we've been to this place before, although not the same branch, so I guess this month is turning into a "revisited" edition of Inggo Noms.... Of course, as with our last two revisits, we ordered something different in this Southern USA-specialty place. And, as I've mentioned in my last review from the previous place, I was looking forward to trying out their Seafood Boil.

However, since Beloved was very hungry, and the Seafood Boil takes almost an hour to prepare, we decided to forgo the boiled feast for their grilled Seafood Feast (1225 Php). We were aware that this order would probably serve four, but, again, Beloved was hungry, both of us love seafood, and it was our first meal of the day. There is a bit of difference, aside from the style of cooking, in the contents: the boil has crabs while our order has dory and squid. The Feast also comes with two side dishes of our choice, and we picked their Cajun Rice and Mashed Potatoes. And finally, again, because Beloved was hungry, we also ordered their Mushroom Aoili (275 Php).

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chophouse (Trinoma)

A week ago, Beloved and I ate at Chophouse. This grilled steak-specialty restaurant that features a cow statue with a halo and angel wings has been a mainstay in Trinoma's 4th floor alfresco area. Well, the cow statue is a mainstay—this place was formerly called "Holy Cow", quite appropriate for the mascot. At first we thought that this was just a simple name change, but Holy Cow opened doors on SM North EDSA's new Annex, and now we're not sure anymore. Me and my friends joked that perhaps Holy Cow was co-shared by two friends that drifted apart, settling for an agreement that one keeps the name while the other keeps the cow statue.

Anyway me in particular wanted to try this place out for one thing. They offer an eat-all-you-can table-side yakiniku for 300 Php. So I got just that, which I will informally call All-You-Can-Eat Beef Yakiniku. Beloved got their Putanesca Pasta (250 Php) and I also ordered their Classic Caesar Salad (280 Php) because eating just beef sounds tiring on the palate.

After ordering, we were asked to go their outdoor tables because their table-side grill wasn't smokeless, and was instructed that I wasn't allowed to share. I was, however, allowed to have leftovers, which was a good thing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tempura Japanese Grill - Revisited (Trinoma)

A few days ago, me and my friends ate at Tempura Japanese Grill. This would be my third time reviewing this place on this blog, if I'm not mistaken, and I still won't be reviewing the "grill" portion of this place, sadly. However, I'm still pretty stoked at what I will be reviewing for this entry. I guess this week sort of becomes a revisiting week of my favorite Japanese restaurants, hoping they still deserve the praise I gave them before.

So, what is it that makes me excited about this entry? Well, after the many times I've visited this place, I'm finally able to try out their often unavailable dish that I've been dying to try out. Yes, I'm finally able to order their Ebi Bacon Maki (250 Php). That alone, I believe, deserves an entry in itself. But since it was my first meal for that day, I also ordered their Ebi Hamburg Katsudon (235 Php), for a double dose of shrimp.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Omakase - Revisited IV (Tomas Morato)

A few nights ago, Beloved and I had dinner at Omakase. Yes, again. Although this is our favorite maki/sushi roll-specializing restaurant, our more recent and frequent visits to Bubble Tea, mainly because Omakase is only open at specific times, have been proving to become quite the rival of this resto's specialty. We were hopeful that this fourth review will still be on par with its previous ones.

We were pleased that their prices didn't have a considerable increase since our last visit. All their menu items were still within reasonable prices. There were also a few new items in their menu that I wished to try, especially after seeing the picture. We ordered one of their new rolls, the Spider Maki (220 Php). We also got our favorite roll, their Rising Sun (205 Php), which is victim to a reasonable 5 Php price increase. Also, because we were hungry, we ordered two hefty dishes—Tendon (220 Php) for me and Hiyashi Udon (180 Php) for Beloved. Finally, we got their Tempura Ice Cream (90 Php) for dessert, which received a big smile from Beloved when I ordered it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Go Greek! (Glorietta 4 Food Choices)

A couple of days ago, me, Beloved, and Hannah had dinner at Glorietta's Food Choices. The particular stall we ordered at was the Go Greek! one at the relatively newly-opened corner. It's been a while since we actually had a reason to go to Glorietta, and the last time I ate at Food Choices, this place was still under renovation.

The look, feel, and menu of Go Greek! reminded me of a Greek-specialty version of now closed down Koryo. Their platters provide a main viand with the meat of your choice plus salad and your choice of rice or potatoes. The prices are similar to the compared resto, and the serving sizes, which we got a sneak peek at since it was a food court, were similar as well. Anyway, since I've already gotten a fresher course on Greek food, I went with my favorite one—their Gyro Platter (235 Php), choosing mixed meat over simply lamb or chicken. Beloved and Hannah both ordered their Kebab Platter (205 Php), with Beloved choosing seafood and Hannah choosing lamb. Finally, because it was very tempting for me, I also ordered their Greek Fries (75 Php).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pino (Malingap Street, near Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I finally got the chance to eat at Pino a couple of nights ago. I say finally because this place is pretty close from home, once located at Maginhawa, then they moved to a street nearby, and we've been wanting to try the place out for years. This somewhat Filipino cuisine place apparently also owns BRGR: The Burger Project, so we really were expecting much from it. We've also heard praises of their bagnet, so I was making sure to order that.

True enough, the place was packed. Luckily, they had tables outside to accommodate us. They provided us with menus both from their main restaurant and their vegetarian restaurant, Pipino. The menu was filled with Filipino delicacies, some with a sort of Asian twist. As planned, we ordered their Kare Kareng Bagnet (245 Php), which is basically twice deep-fried pork belly in peanut sauce, usually prepared using oxtail or beef. Beloved ordered for herself their Kalderetang Lengua (195 Php), which is basically beef tongue in a tomato-liver sauce, usually prepared using goat meat. We also ordered their Wasabi Onion Rings (145 Php) from their main menu and, finally, their Mushroom Salpicao (80 Php) from their vegetarian menu.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Almon Marina (SM North EDSA)

Me and my friends ate at Almon Marina for dinner a couple of days ago after our semi-weekly Bingo sessions. This relatively newly-opened sandwich bar replaced Seattle's Best Coffee's location in SM North EDSA's the Block. We had no idea what to expect here, but I guess it was safe to assume that this would be something similar to Oliver's Super Sandwich where sandwiches are the main specialty. However, I also assumed that they had good seafood due to the second of its name.

And indeed, both assumptions held true. Their choices had three entire boards dedicated to sandwiches, and among these sandwiches were seafood-oriented ones such as salmon, tuna, crab, et cetera. However, it wasn't entirely dominated with sandwiches, nor was it entirely dominated with seafood. They had grilled entrees as well, and because I was pretty hungry, and because the number of sandwich choices was too many to just pick one, I decided to order one of their house grilled specialties, their most expensive item on the menu, which was their Fillet Mignon for 260 Php.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Caffe Dolce (Banawe)

I love to drink (but not the alcoholic kind!). I love going to milk tea places, coffee shops and cafes so its no wonder that when I discovered a new cafe at Banawe: Caffe Dolce, I asked my friends to meet up there after work. One thing unique about this one is that this is a vegetarian cafe.

I was the first one to arrive since it only took a few minutes to go to Banawe from work. I found out that its located on the second floor of Hong Kong Cafe (which sadly closed down). When I got to the second floor I was very impressed with the interior design of Caffe Dolce. Ghost chairs paired with white table tops for the dining area, red velvet accent chairs for lounge, and wicker furniture for the verandah part decorated with floral arrangements, chandeliers, a floral accent wall, and a water feature. Very shabby chic-x-modern style. But I didn't just went here to praise the interior, so I ordered their Iced Caffe Mocha (135php) and Steak Panini with Salad (199php) since I would be expecting Hannah in an hour or so.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Seafood Club by Red Crab (Greenbelt)

For my birthday, Beloved and I had dinner at The Seafood Club by Red Crab. If the obviousness doesn't strike, this seafood restaurant specializes in crabs. More appropriately, they specialize in alimango, since Red Crab is self-titled "alimango house". While the Tomas Morato branch is a place we often pass by, the particular branch we ate in is located at Greenbelt 3.

Aside from crabs, their menu consists of other seafood and some meat items. However, since we were here, we didn't bother with the meat. We ordered for ourselves their Crab Relleno Salad (295 Php) because it looked good in the picture. As for our main course, we got their King Seafood Platter (995 Php) which was apparently good for 2-3 people. They also have a slightly cheaper Queen-sized platter, but the waiter said it didn't have any crab in it. We also ordered garlic rice, but that's just so we don't tire of too much seafood.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Domo (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner a couple of nights ago at Domo. This somewhat newly-opened Japanese restaurant is located right below YakiMIX Tomas Morato. The main incitement it has on us is the fact that they boast "Unlimited Tuna" under the store's signage. Although it wasn't really enough to sway us, since we have a "safer" choice in the restaurant above it, for some reason we ended up there.

It was a cozy restaurant, very Japanese in design. The sushi chef and perhaps the owner looked like they have Japanese blood themselves. That fact aside, indeed, their menu has the usual Japanese food fare from any comparable Japanese restaurant. Sadly, their "unlimited tuna" choices were a bit out of reach for us—1000 Php for the cheapest per-head unlimited tuna sashimi order. However, it does boast a lot, and I do really mean a lot, of sides. Just to sample what's in store for those who opt this special, we ordered for ourselves their Maguro Sashimi, or, for non-Nihongo understanding people, Tuna Sashimi (250 Php). Beloved had their Tempura Udon (220 Php), which looked really good in the menu picture. Finally, I had an order of their Chahan (180 Php) or Japanese Fried rice, and their Ebi Tempura (190 Php), or prawn tempura.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mary Grace (Trinoma)

A couple of days ago, Beloved and I finally ate at Mary Grace. I say "finally" because this quaint little cafe is located in a mall we frequent at a place we always pass by when we get in or go home. The reasons why we never got to eat here until that day were, one: we only get to pass here when we go to the place where we meet or when we're done with our business in this mall and go home, and two: when we do pass by here when hungry, the place is always full. Actually, the latter was also true when we went in. Luckily, a table just got cleared, so we took the opportunity to find out just why this place is always packed.

We had little idea what kind of food this cafe had, seeing the tables outside usually have pastas and greens. When we got to see the menu, we find out that their food basically consists of that, and sandwiches and other usual cafe food fare. As for the cost, well, it's pretty cafe-esque, comparable to food at your popular coffee places such as Starbucks (yes, they do serve food). Dominant in their menu is their pasta, so Beloved chose one that she fancies from what it's called and perhaps its description—their Leek and Saffron Cream with Fillet of Dory (230 Php). As for me, I picked one of their small selection of sandwiches—the Fili Beef and Tomatoes (205 Php). We also ordered one of their more curious salads—the Fried Kesong Puti and Calamansi Vinaigrette (199 Php). Finally, well, I guess last two, we got a pitcher of their Sangria Iced Tea (224 Php) and one of their Mary Grace Cheese Roll (42 Php), just to try it out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grills & Sizzles (Examiner)

Beloved and I had dinner at Grills & Sizzles a couple of nights ago. This steakhouse is located at Examiner street, a few walks away from Quezon Ave. Beloved and her family frequents this place because, one, it's pretty close to home and, two, they offer a buffet on weekdays at a pretty affordable price. She also tells me that this place is pretty empty despite the said promo. Despite that, she claims that the steak here is very good. Because Beloved's family goes here every week, we never really had a good opportunity to go here lest Beloved cares to gain some additional unwanted pounds. Because last week's storm, they weren't able to go, and, consequently, we were able to.

While the place serves their specialty grilled steaks a la carte, we went here for their Steak and Paella Buffet. This runs from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays at a surprisingly low price of 298 Php, provided you end up with a clean plate. You pay double if you have leftovers, so we kept that in mind as we dove to the buffet table.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Five Cows (Trinoma)

Beloved and I had lunch the other day at Five Cows. This ice cream bar/resto at one corner on the top floor of Trinoma is a place we always pass by being denizens of the said mall. We never got to try it because of two things: first, their prices are far out of reach for former plebeians such as ourselves; and second due to the fact that it is primarily an ice cream bar. Of course, Beloved wanted to try it out because of the second reason plus the fact that their staff wears a funny-looking cap with a stuffed cow on top. I let this slide that day.

While they do serve some hot meals, most of their menu is dedicated to dessert. They have eight pages dedicated to ice cream and stuff you can make out of ice cream. As for the food itself, it was a typical cafe fare mostly composing of sandwiches and finger foods, but there were also some rice meals. We ordered their Calamari (160 Php), Prime Burger (275 Php) for me, and Fish Roll au Gratin (195 Php) for Beloved. Of course, we didn't let the opportunity pass to get dessert, so Beloved also ordered their Caramel Macadamia (190 Php). An interesting fact to share is they have some desserts they torch on fire, which we got to witness that day, but didn't order for ourselves.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sambo Kojin (Eastwood)

Ah, it's been a while... again. No, I haven't gotten paid yet from any of my apparent sources of income. But because yesterday was a special day for Beloved and I, we decided to rummage our savings to eat somewhere special as well. We went to Eastwood City Walk's somewhat newly opened restaurant Sambo Kojin.

This place is special because it's basically 90% similar to YakiMIX from our research. The only apparent difference is they also serve some Korean food apart from the smokeless grill yakiniku and Japanese food YakiMIX offers. If you've read our review of that place, you know how much we loved it, explaining why we wanted to try this place out. Of course, I must insist on comparing this place to that since they're just so similar. Consider that my forewarned apology.

The entrance to the place exudes an aura of... preparedness. They actually have a lobby where people can wait, complete with a water dispenser and actually comfy-looking furniture. Not that we had to wait at all—after signing in, we were immediately led upstairs to the dining area. After asking us our drinks, we went out for their Dinner Buffet priced at 595 Php per head.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe (Scout Castor Street, near Tomas Morato)

It's been a while since our last nomnom adventure. I guess it deserves some sort of explanation. I got a job, you see. No, it's not really keeping me busy. However, I've yet to receive my first paycheck. We've been planning this nomnom trip since one of our friends recommended this to us, but we never had the money to do so. Luckily, Beloved managed to keep some, so we took the opportunity earlier today to eat at Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe.

This place is located near Tomas Morato, at one of the Scout street annexes, which is no wonder we've never seen this place before. From its name, it's safe to assume that it's not a place that carnivorous people will enjoy. Being a carnivorous person myself, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it, but a couple of weeks ago, a co-worker offered me a vegetarian barbecue which I actually enjoyed and I found to be better than the real thing. It's not from this place, though, so that's another place to visit someday.

That, plus the tip from our friend made us decide to go there for dinner. It was just a short way from Tomas Morato, and once we arrived, we were greeted by a green facade of vines and nature. Inside its gates was a garden of greenness, and what looked like a house. Actually, it was a house transformed into a resto-cafe. The place itself felt... green. No, not because of the shrubbery, but because it was dimly lit, perhaps to conserve energy, and the colors they used for their interiors had pretty earthy colors.

As expected, their menu is filled with vegetarian stuff. It ranges from the usual salad, to the unusual vegetarian appetizers, to the even more unusual meat substitutes. I was pretty pleased that their choices of appetizers include a sampler plate, which includes three appetizers of your choice. To sample everything except for a couple, we had two orders of their Three For All sampler (80 Php each), one containing Potato Patties, Fried Mushroom, and Chicharon, and the other containing Potato Patties (no, this is not a typo), Veggie Sticks, and Crunchy Bean Curd Wrapper. We also had an order of their Greens House Salad (105 Php). I also ordered their Greens Vegetarian Barbecue (75 Php), because it was my first real meal of the day. This comes with your choice of either plain, java, or brown rice, and I chose the last one, just so I can have an exclamation to the healthiness of the place. Finally, we ordered their Veggie "Beef" and Broccoli (185 Php) to share. Yes, it really has quotation marks in the beef. We wanted to order their Vegetarian Sisig, but Beloved didn't want to eat rice and would rather have broccoli.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Little Asia (Tomas Morato)

Yesterday was Beloved's birthday. To celebrate, we were supposed to have dinner at Chili's Tomas Morato to take advantage of their 120Php burger promo. Sadly the place was packed with people when we got there. Knowing that we'd wait for hours to be served, we decided to settle for Little Asia.

Beloved and her family frequents this place a lot, perhaps being one of their most favorite places. The prices are fair and the servings decent. As for their specialty, well, it's pretty much everything Asian... with a twist. However, this is no Asian Twist—they serve a la carte good for 3-4, according to Beloved. Since it's her birthday, we ordered a couple of stuff that she wanted, and a couple that we fancied. We got their Crispy Shrimps (215 Php), Lengua in Mushroom White Sauce (325 Php), Garlic Spinach (215 Php), and Chicken Wrapped in Bacon (275 Php). We also had their Salted Fish Fried Rice (245 Php) that beloved recommended us to get.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hapadog (SM North EDSA)

Last Saturday, Beloved and I discovered that The Great British Take Out is no longer at its usual spot in SM North EDSA's Sky Garden. A quaint hot dog place took its place. It was called Hapadog, and they specialize in dogs—not the animal, but the sausage sandwich. Apparently, their hotdogs were Japanese of some sort as the store itself had the tagline "original Japanese-style hotdogs". Because the tables were in the open, we curiously watched as a customer ordered something that required lighter lighting. Thus, we opted to try it out.

The menu presented us with a catalogue of hotdogs. We were quite shocked at the prices; their cheapest hotdog, the Hapadog, was priced at 155 Php for an entire dog. You can order half a dog for 5 Php less than half a price. I didn't opt to do so because it was my first meal for the day. Instead, I ordered that in full. Beloved ordered their Californippon priced at 175 Php. Finally, we also got their Yoko Ono Temple, one of their drinks, at 65 Php, hoping it was the thing that required lighting their previous customer had.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Real Thing Diner (Tomas Morato)

A couple of days ago, Beloved and I had lunch at The Real Thing Diner. This resto is perhaps one of the newer ones in Il Terrazzo, which you've probably read us visit a couple of times for Omakase. Beloved read about this place having mixed reviews, but one thing's clear: they serve some pretty unique stuff, to foreshadow everything. A hint, perhaps, is this resto is inspired by Coca-Cola.

When we arrived, we were the only ones there. Funny, I thought, since the place received quite a lot of press in the newspapers and blogs. Maybe nobody reads them anymore? Anyway, we sat down in the Coca-Cola colored chairs and tables in the Coca-Cola themed room filled with Coca-Cola paraphernalia with a television set playing a seemingly endless Coca-Cola commercials from all around the world. Perhaps the only thing not Coca-Cola in the place was the music.

And the food? Mostly Coca-Cola product infused, of course. Another reason we wanted to try the place out. To play it safe, I had their Coca-Cola BBQ Burger (249 Php), because Coca-Cola sounds safe in a barbecue sauce. This comes with my choice of potato wedges and criss-cut fries. I chose the latter. Beloved had something a bit more daring, Eight O'Clock Apple Green Tea Dory (249 Php). This one comes with a side of veggies and another side of her choice. She had their mashed potatoes. Because we didn't want to waste the opportunity, and because Beloved didn't have dinner the night before and this was our first meal of the day, we also asked for their Coca-Cola Seafood Jambalaya (229 Php). No sides this time. Our drinks probably don't deserve any particular mention, but I do like to share that they serve Coca-Cola products mixed with coffee, milk, or eggnog.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

'wich kraft (Magiting Street, near Maginhawa Street)

If you see the picture below, you might get spoiled, and I assume you're already spoiled because you're most likely to look at the picture if you didn't after I mentioned that. So, no, I didn't go back to Twistix, but I did find another place that serves these deep-fried potato spirals on a stick. Anyway, while going home yesterday, I passed by Magiting Street at UP Teacher's Village on the way to Maginhawa. At a somewhat hidden corner beside I Love Froyo, I saw it—a poster of the said genius of a snack. 'wich kraft, which specializes in sliders and schubligs, apparently also serves this deep-fried potato spiral thingies.

Unlike Twistix, which I assume name their product the same as their... uh... name, 'wich kraft conveniently names their deep-fried potato spirals on a stick Potatwist. I thought it was a pretty playful name, and because it's pretty affordable—50 Php for their large, I decided to try it out.

As said, their largest is at 50 Php. They do have small and medium sizes at 30 and 40 Php respectively. Similar to Twistix, they also have some flavors to choose from—cheese, barbecue, sour cream. I decided to forgo the flavorings and just have salt with mine.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Twistix (UST)

So, to continue my affordable-foodstuffs-that-deserve-fame-or-notoriety promise, I present another sub-100 Php review. Although affordable, I'm not really certain it's worth it, but I'll get to that later. Anyway, I heard from a friend who lives in Cebu that a certain snack item exists here in Manila that he'd want to try out when he visits here. Ironically, I have never heard of said snack item, but when I saw its picture, I immediately asked all my friends if they know where to get it. A friend said that they are sold at Robinsons Galleria, but then Beloved finds out that UST also has these things. Because I had little reason to go to Galleria, I decided to try out the said snack item with Beloved at UST.

I'm not sure if this place has a monopoly of this, which I doubt, but it (the place) was called Twistix. It's a humble stall located deep within UST's carpark complex's ground floor. So what is this said snack item? I'm not sure what it's called, to be honest, but I called it "potato spiral thingy", due to the picture friend from Cebu showed me. For convenience, I'll call it Deep-Fried Potato Spiral on a Stick in this review.

Twistix serves this snack in three sizes. The smallest is 50 Php and the largest 70 Php, with another size in between. They boast that it's 100% natural potato, and you actually do get to witness it making. Because it's a long journey for me, me and Beloved ordered the large one to share with.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rodic's (UP Diliman Shopping Center)

So, I promised some affordable places that deserve either fame or notoriety. Here's one of them. Being a UP Student since birth, and being a grandchild of a former UP Diliman employee who lives in the Campus, Rodic's is practically my Thursday diner. I've experienced Rodic's since it still served its signiture silogs (fried rice with egg) on their signiture metal plates when they were still just over 20 Php. If you're a UP Diliman student and haven't eaten here or at least heard of it, you're either a freshman or a liar.

Rodic's haven't changed much. Present day, they still serve said silogs on their metal place at the same two-floor location at UP Diliman's Shopping Center. They still proudly hang the cartoon poster of ancient UP Diliman featuring hallmark landmarks including their place. They still take orders weirdly, shouting over the counter, remembering every order, and serving you on your table. While they've expanded quite a bit, now accepting catering orders, this place stayed almost entirely the same aside from a few staff changes and, of course, their prices. Now, their silogs cost 70 Php per plate. But is the quality the same?

When I was younger, I fancied their Jumbosilog, which is a plate of a lone but huge natural-casing hotdog with the usual fried rice and sunny-side up. Nowadays, I order either their Baconsilog, obviously with bacon, or their Campus-famous Tapsilog, which has their original dried cured beef that many people would agree to be their specialty. Today, I decided to order both.

Friday, February 25, 2011

BluFish (Eastwood)

First off, I apologize for the lack of posts recently. Beloved's been busy with her practicum, and I'm broke. The good news is that Beloved passed her practicum and I'm very happy and proud about that. Also, I've also decided to write about affordable food places that deserve to be written about to compensate for my financial problems. This post won't be one of them, though.

A couple of days ago, me, my mom, and my brother ate at BluFish in the Eastwood Mall. I have no idea what they serve, but I assumed they specialize in fish or seafood. I was correct. I was a bit turned off by the prices, but mom insisted, so we sat down at a table covered with a brown paper.

The brown paper made me think seafood boil, and indeed, they do have that in the menu. The prices, as I've mentioned, weren't as appealing to me as other seafood places I've tried, not that I've been to many seafood-specializing places that I'd crave to dine in again to aside from Gumbo. Also, I found it a bit weird that the server explains they specialize in crab while having "Fish" in its name. Anyway, because mom insisted, we ordered their Paella Valenciana (685 Php), Beer Battered Calamari (295 Php), Brazillian Tenderloin Steak and Lobster (995 Php), and finally their Classic Caesar Salad (365 Php) which we opted not to have either the seared tuna or grilled chicken that supposedly comes with it. It might seem a lot for three people, but we'll most likely manage with my brother with us. And it might also sound expensive all in all, but it's very rarely that we get to eat out.

Friday, February 11, 2011

President Tea House (SM North EDSA)

Beloved and I had an early dinner at the President Tea House in SM North EDSA Annex. I'm not particularly certain why, but I do know I wasn't craving for anything other than french fries. While this place obviously does not serve said delicious deep-fried potato snack, this seemed a safe place for those not craving for anything in particular. Oh, and Beloved sort of wanted dimsum, so....

Being a Tea House, President serves Chinese cuisine. Once we got seated, they gave us a pot of herbal tea with plenty of bitter bits still in the mixture. At least we'd save on beverages, I thought. Not that it's a particularly expensive place. Their prices are what I thought was average for most tea houses. Their dimsums are priced at the 75-100 Php price range, and the rest of their menu seemed to be good for at least two people.

Anyway, Beloved ordered for herself their Braised Beef Mami priced at 140 Php. Because of how it's priced, I expected it to have a similar serving to other noodle houses we've eaten at. I wasn't really feeling soup that day, so I just asked for their Yang Chao Fried Rice (180 Php), which was good for two to three, according to the waiter. The rest of our orders consisted of their dimsum. We picked four—their Hakaw (85 Php), Scallop Dumpling (85 Php), Stuffed Beancurd (75 Php), and Seafood Sotanghon Roll (85 Php). Finally, Beloved also ordered a glass of their Cold Milk Tea (45 Php).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Zark's Burgers (Taft)

Another burger place? Why, yes. A couple of days ago, me and some friends ate at Zark's Burgers. This is a newly-discovered place by my friends who studies at DLS-CSB where the burger joint can be found. I'm not quite sure if it's a new or old place, as I don't have anyone to ask while I'm writing this review early in the morning. Anyway, since this is located at Taft, it's a pretty far journey from home. However, what made me decide to tag along was their insurmountable challenges that the place offers, to foreshadow everything.

My friend who became a regular in just a couple of visits because of their somewhat affordable menu (for middle-to-high class students, at least) at very generous servings invited me to challenge the biggest burger on their menu—the Tombstone. This monstrosity of a burger boasts four 1/2 pound patties with cheese tagged with a price of 500 Php and a warning that whoever consumes this might die on the spot. I accepted.

When we arrived, I looked over the menu. Indeed, they do have a lot of 1/4 pound burgers they put under "Minor League" in the 100Php price range, all named with a sports-related theme, such as Strikeout, Homerun, and Submission, with differences only in the toppings. A step up is their "Major League" menu, consisting of premium toppings with similar sports-themed names, such as Rock Bottom, Three Pointer, and Shaq!, still at affordable prices hovering at the 130Php range. Finally, they have the "Best Pound For Pound" menu, which are half-pound or multiple-patty burgers served with fries and your choice of iced tea or lemonade, priced at least 180Php. Here, you can find two of the joint's challenges. First, the Jawbreaker, which is a triple 1/4 pound burger with spam and bacon priced at 250 Php. Similar to the challenge in Burger Ave., if you are able to finish this in 5 minutes, it's free. And second, which is the one we came here for, the Tombstone.

The challenge was to eat this in 10 minutes to get a shirt and become immortalized in their hall of fame if you are able to finish it. Since there's basically nothing to lose and at least two pounds to gain, I willingly chose the bigger challenge, even though I somewhat wanted to try the Jawbreaker more. Oh, and also, they also serve other sandwiches and rice dishes, but I wasn't really able to remember much about them. Anyway, I asked for the Tombstone, but didn't take the challenge as I was doubting my stomach which just consumed a good few pounds of pork belly the night before.

Monday, January 17, 2011

BRGR: The Burger Project (Maginhawa Street)

First off, Happy New Year to my readers. Thank you very much for visiting, and I appreciate all current and more future visits. I know me and Beloved aren't really professionals or anything, using only our cellphone cameras to take photos and my lengthy or Beloved's chirpy writing, and we just do this for fun (and maybe some loose change). Still, we appreciate it that you find time to read our reviews, and we promise to take time to do more, and then some.

That said, Beloved and I decided our first nomnom adventure for 2011 will be on BRGR: The Burger Project. This somewhat newly-opened burger joint is located on Maginhawa Street, Teacher's Village. It's a pretty accessible place from where I live, and I've been actually wanting to go here since its opening a few months back. I've heard plenty of praise from friends who've tried it, especially with their unique method of ordering, which I'll explain later. What has taken me aback from trying it out sooner was the budget: I was warned that it's not really a very affordable place. Since Beloved got plenty of ang paos last Christmas and New Years, we finally had the chance to do so last night.

It's a pretty cozy and roomy place for a joint in Maginhawa St., where most of the places are pretty crowded. They have tables both inside and out, and their bright sign and interiors make the place even more inviting. They have a step-by-step process painted on their windows explaining how to make your own BRGR. We went to the counter to try it out for ourselves.

We were given the form above and a pen to fill it up. The first step consists of selecting your choice and quantity of meat; which can be Angus Beef (at most 125 Php per patty), 100% Beef (95 Php each), Chicken (95 Php), or Tofu (75 Php); and from one to three patties. While I was pretty curious of their Tofu burger, I was pretty hungry, so I decided to build mine with double Angus Beef. Beloved had two of their 100% beef patties for hers.

Next step was choosing the bun. The choices are Poppyseed (free of charge), Potato (additional 15 Php), or Oatmeal (additional 15 Php). I just ticked the Poppyseed, and Beloved decided to use the Potato bun.

Step three consists of choosing your cheese. Each costs 35 Php, and can be either Bleu, Mozarella, Graveria, or Cheddar. I assume you can tick more than one cheese, but I just had Mozarella on mine. Beloved put Bleu on hers.

The fourth step had customers picking premium toppings, which costs 25 Php each. These toppings are Bacon, Chili Con Carne, Caramelized Onions, Canadian Bacon, Pepperoni, Onion Rings, and Guacamole, the last one was seasonal. I put Bacon on mine, and Beloved passed on this step.

Next was choosing basic toppings, which cost 20 Php each. They are Mango Salsa, Pineapple Slices, Jalapeño Pepper, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Egg, Sliced Onions, and Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms. This time, it was me that passed on this step while Beloved ticked the box for the Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms. They also offer free toppings, consisting of Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Pickles. I ticked all of them and Beloved had the first two.

Finally, for the burger at least, they have you choose your sauce, costing 15 Php each. Because we already had cheese on ours, we both passed on this step. Anyway, for the curious, the choices were Wasabi Mayonnaise, Pesto, BBQ Sauce, Buffalo Wings Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Special BRGR Sauce, Marinara, and Garlic Sauce.

You then have to name your order for a personal touch and you're done! I named mine Ramburger after my name, which, to review, had Double Angus Beef (235 Php), Poppyseed Bun (free), Mozarella Cheese (+35 Php), Bacon (+25 Php), Lettuce (free), Tomatoes (free), and Pickles (free) for a grand total of 295 Php. It was essentially a Double Angus Mozarella Bacon Cheeseburger. As for Beloved, she named hers Blue Tomato, consisting of 100% Beef Patty (95 Php), Potato Bun (+15 Php), Bleu Cheese (+35 Php), Sauteed Mixed Mushrooms (+20 Php), Lettuce (free), and Tomatoes (free) with a total price of 165 Php.

Of course, that's just for the burger. They also have sides, milkshakes, and beverages to go with them. Beloved ordered their Onion Rings (65 Php) and Vanilla Milkshake (145 Php). I asked for their Fries (60 Php).

The Vanilla Milkshake arrived first. To put it simply, it's a tall glass of vanilla ice cream in thick, liquid form topped with whipped cream. Beloved obviously didn't have any complaints.

Our sides arrived next. Their Fries weren't really french fries, but more like potato wedges. The outside was deceivingly tepid. When we bit in, it was piping hot! While it was good, I was pretty disappointed that it wasn't crispy as I expected fries to be.

Their Onion Rings was the better side that night. They were large rings of onions, the largest one can almost fit Beloved's hand. They were crunchy on the outside and the onions themselves were sweetly caramelized.