Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Peri-Peri (SM North EDSA)

Me, Beloved, and friends celebrated a Holiday's party last Saturday. We met up at SM North EDSA and decided to have dinner at Peri-Peri. This is among the original food places that opened up when the new Annex building re-opened. Beloved and I never had the opportunity to try out this Portugese grilled chicken restaurant, but our friends did. Garnering no negative reviews, and with the fact that they offer unlimited soup and drinks for 49 Php, there was little hesitation from me.

As I mentioned, this place serves grilled chicken. Apparently, "Peri-Peri" is the sauce they use to make this chicken. According to the menu, most of their stuff has some spiciness in it, but you can ask your chicken to be grilled mildly spicy, hot and spicy, or lemon garlicky. I concluded that the best value offerings are the 235 Php "Everyday Platters", so I got their Everyday Platter B. Beloved got their Everyday Platter D. We also asked for the unlimited soup and drink add-on. Oh, and we also got a couple of appetizers: their Mozzarella Sticks (155 Php) and Shrimp Diablo (168 Php).

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dragon Chef (Trinoma)

Beloved and I had dinner at Dragon Chef last night. This, I assume, newly-opened Chinese restaurant is located at the fourth floor alfresco area of Trinoma, right beside Cyma and Chophouse. It didn't replace any restaurant there, it just took a part of the newly-renovated Greek resto. I was doing some Christmas shopping at the said mall and Beloved accompanied me. When we got hungry, we somehow found ourselves on the fourth floor, and found this new place. After seeing that it's a Chinese restaurant and knowing that Chinese restaurants are usually a good deal, we decided to try it out.

The menu was your typical Chinese restaurant menu, save for some dishes named after famous Chinese actors and actresses, which were really just typical Chinese dishes named as such. Price-wise, they were a little bit over than what we were used to. Beloved and I were feeling a bit under the weather, so I suggested getting a soup dish. We settled for their Seafood Beancurd Soup (238 Php). Beloved half-surprisingly suggested we get their vegetarian dish, the Braised Beancurd with Black Mushroom (278 Php). For our starch, we got their Chinese Sausage and Egg Fried Rice (248 Php). I thought this was more than enough for the two of us, but Beloved isn't used to a meal without meat, so we also got their John Woo (398 Php), a pot-braised beef dish.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lugang Cafe (SM North EDSA)

Beloved and I had dinner at Lugang Cafe last night. This internationally-famous Taiwanese restaurant-slash-cafe is among our more pricier ventures, but Beloved mostly heard positive feedback here from her friends. I personally haven't heard of it until recently, when they opened doors to a new branch at an accessible (to us) SM North EDSA, probably because of it being pricy. Of course, we've had other pricy ventures before, and it mostly turned out well, so we gave this a shot.

The place was packed full. Luckily, they were able to accommodate us immediately. Unluckily for those who went after us, they had to wait a while. This further raised my expectations of this cafe, especially after they handed out the menu. Their dim sum, which I already raise my eyebrows when they pass the 100 Php mark, cost no less than twice of that. However, we already know that their xiao long bao is the must-order in this place. With a few to choose from, we settled for the Steamed Angled Loofah with Shrimps Xiao Long Bao (228 Php). We had a hard time deciding what else to order, since we were hoping not to break the 1000 Php mark. We settled for two noodle dishes: their Spicy Beef and Tendon Noodles Soup (250 Php) and Minced Pork in Bean Sauce over Noodles (230 Php); and their Spring Onion Pancake (160 Php) house specialty. Since this was a cafe, they had an entire menu filled with drinks and cafe-style desserts. Sadly, they didn't have what Beloved originally wanted: milk tea and a different flavored smoothie. She settled for their Peanut Smoothie (200 Php).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nomama (Scout Tuazon, near Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner last night at Nomama. This self-proclaimed Artisanal Ramen place is located at Scout Tuazon street at Laging Handa village. We walked from Tomas Morato through A. Roces Ave. to get there. Since it was an artisinal ramen place, I expected ramen of high quality. Of course, we expected to pay a bit more than I'm used to. Since Beloved was prepared, and was too tired from the walk to go further, we stopped by.

It was a fairly simple and open place. I first noticed that half the kitchen was open to the patrons, and its staff was busily working on food. Beloved noticed that the floor did not have any tiles or whatnot, and was just bare cement. It didn't bother me, of course. What concerned me a little was, for a ramen place, it had just half a page worth of ramen selection. They have plenty other somewhat unusual Japanese offerings. We noticed one of their offerings called Prixe Fixe Menu (575 Php) offered three courses: an appetizer, either a greenery or a raw composition of your choice; a ramen; and a kit-kat bar for dessert. We both decided to take that offer, since it practically meant free dessert. Beloved chose their Thai Green Curry Ramen, because their Ox Tongue and Chili Tofu ramen wasn't available, and their Tuna and Avocado raw composition. I ordered their Nomama Ramen and Beef Tataki with Chips. Hint: my latter order wasn't part of their "greenery" offerings.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

North Park (Scout Dr. Lazcano, near Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had "breakfast" at North Park near Tomas Morato yesterday. I say "breakfast" with quotes because it was our first meal of the day. However, it was already nearing night time. This Chinese restaurant is actually pretty common in that most malls have one of these. We never tried the place, however, for since we don't usually crave for Chinese, and when we do, it's usually just the dimsum. Anyway, being one of the few restaurants at Tomas Morato area we've yet to try, we went there for the heck of it, and also because I felt the need for something hot and soupy due to a mild cold.

The place isn't exactly on Tomas Morato. This place can be found behind Alfredo's Steak House, another restaurant we haven't tried yet. Anyway, we were led upstairs, and on the way, I got a glimpse of their noodle offerings. They actually serve six types of noodles. I cannot remember all of it, but luckily, it was also displayed on their menu-slash-placemat. While choosing our orders, they served us hot tea, which was what I expected from any decent Chinese restaurant or tea house. Their menu have the expected dishes, such as noodles, dimsum, rice, and various Chinese mainstays. Of course, we went here for the soup, specifically their noodles. Beloved got their Nanking Beef Noodles (163 Php), and asked for their Flat Shanghai Noodles. I ordered their Ultimate Noodles (249 Php) with their Hong Kong Noodles. Finally, we also asked for their Prawn Dumplings (223 Php for 6 pieces), and had them steamed rather than fried.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Seafood Island (Shopwise, Cubao)

Beloved and I had dinner at Seafood Island, Cubao a couple of nights ago. We've been here before, but we didn't get to try the reason you should go here the first time we went—the eat-like-a-pirate "boodles". That was more than a couple of years ago, and we've been to its Trinoma branch a couple of times with friends to try out the boodle. I didn't get to take pictures both times, since everyone dug in before I had the opportunity to. This time, since it was just me and Beloved, I can finally write a proper review.

I've already said boodle twice, thrice if you count the one on the title. But what is a "boodle"? The best description I could give is a table full of food. These various platters, which is really an understatement to use as a term for this offering, have various stuff in it in addition to a mountain of rice good enough for four—and that's the smaller boodle. They come in two sizes, good for three to four or five to six. Beloved wanted lato or sea grapes, and after finding a couple of these boodles out of a dozen or so that offer this, we chose their Palawan Shores (785 Php), good for 3-4.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gayuma ni Maria (V. Luna Extension, near Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I had dinner at Gayuma ni Maria last night. We've known this place, which is located at the Savemore end of Maginhawa Street, where it meets Anonas and becomes V. Luna, for a while but never had a chance nor reason to visit it. Beloved got to try out one of their cakes called "Better Than Sex" during one of the food fairs we attended. Aside from the name, she didn't really found it special. After looking at the menu through the web, Beloved finally found a reason to go.

The reason for going was basically the names of their dishes. Beloved was giggling hysterically as she read through the online menu. When we got there, through a porch that you occasionally see during Halloween, we found ourselves in a similarly themed dining area. The online menu was a bit outdated, especially when it came to price, but the reason, the silly naming, was still there. Beloved planned to order their version of tom yung goon called "Unrequited Love", but settled for their French Kiss (295 Php), which was a beef tongue dish with mushroom-sauce. I was going to order their "Holding Hands While Walking Pa-Swing Swing Pa" or "H.H.W.W.P.S.S.P." for short, solely because of the name. However, I was recommended to order their I Love You, Cross My Heart (215 Php), instead, and I chose to do so since it looked a bit more satisfying, despite being both chicken dishes. We also ordered their Peek A Boo (145 Php), a pumpkin soup, because all the other appetizers we wanted to try weren't available.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Van Gogh is Bipolar (Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I had dinner at Van Gogh is Bipolar a couple of nights ago. This, for the lack of better word, strange restaurant is located on Maginhawa Street. The last bit of the previous statement would foreshadow this review. At first, I thought it felt very formal since we had to make a reservation beforehand and the price tag was among the steeper ones we've tried. However, since Beloved has been to this place before, she told me that it wasn't, so, at least, we didn't have to wear something formal, especially since we had to remove our shoes beforehand.

To start off with the strangeness, the dinner was entitled Cuckoo Gastronomique Nights. As for the place itself, there were no signage or anything aside from the "open" sign outside the door. In fact, it resembles more of a unit at an apartment complex on the outside. We were the first guests there, I guess since it was pretty early, and we were greeted by the owner and host of the place, Jethro. After removing our shoes, entering the place itself continues the strangeness of this story. It was more of a home than a restaurant. The ambiance felt homely despite having plenty of eccentric decorations: mismatching furniture from antique to modern, movie posters, mostly nude photography, a collection of strange hats (which guests are encouraged to wear) and aprons (which I wouldn't recommend wearing, but it's up to you), scientific instruments, rugs and drapes, a ceiling lamp made with a parasol, globes, clocks, a corner littered with vandalism made by the visitors, a huge collection of teapots, and other things you would expect (or not expect) from someone who travels and collects stuff around the globe. The soft lighting and choice of music added to the homeliness of the place.

We (I, since Beloved already knew about it) were (was) asked to read the house rules by the door. Apparently, there were no servers, and self-busing is required. What surprised me more is that the place can and will only accommodate twelve people at a time. We were asked where we wanted to stay—either at one of the three small candlelit tables for two at the living room or one big one at the dining room. We chose one at the living room which I later found out to be a converted sewing machine. Then, we were allowed to make ourselves tea using one of the many teapots and your choice of tea leaves depending on your mood. Might I add that they weren't your usual tea leaves—he offered dried leaves from plants you would find outside one's home, such as guava, mango, or guyabano. Now, to order, we were asked to choose between four to eight courses varying in prices. We chose the four-course offering, which Jethro explains really is more of a five-course offering, priced at 777 Php with a choice between either a "Happy" fish-based meal or a "Chill" meat dish as our personalized main course. We had to write it down on paper, ring the bell, wait for the kitchen window to open and give the paper.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sancho's (Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I had dinner at Sancho's last night. This Spanish restaurant, according to Beloved, is related to Dulcinea. Although we only had breakfast there, I had a chance to peek at the menu and I was expecting above average prices here. Nevertheless, we were prepared to pay whatever the cost, so we decided to eat here at one of the few places we've yet been to at Maginhawa Street.

Surprisingly, their menu was priced accordingly to cater the main demographic of the area: students. I was expecting their dishes to be above the 200 Php line, but most of them were below that. Since I'm not really much of a Spanish food person, I took a long time choosing what to order. However, I already know what Beloved wanted. Since she is on a mission to try out all the ox tongue dishes from all the restaurants in the Metro, she ordered their Lengua Estofada (185 Php). As for me, since the only Spanish dish I really like was paella, and since it also happened to be in the menu, I ordered their Paella Valenciana (250 Php for the smaller one, good for one to two people). I was warned that it will take 20 minutes to cook, but I didn't mind. Finally, we asked for their Garlic Mushrooms (130 Php) as our hors d'ouvre.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ryu (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner at Ryu last night. This relatively new Japanese ramen and curry restaurant opened up at Tomas Morato, beside California Berry. The signage was deceivingly small, making me think it was a small place, especially beside the large and colorful one of its neighbor. However, this was located a bit inside, and it was actually a pretty large area compared to its sign. More surprising was the amount of people eating—we had to wait to get seated and even more people followed after us.

Anyway, their menu was what I expected from their sign. They had ramen and Japanese curry rice. Variety-wise, they're not as plenty as ramen-only specialty stores or curry-only specialty places we've been to, but they had all the expected variants. They also had some sides from your usual Japanese restaurants, such as gyoza and tempura. We decided to take each of their specialties. I had their Shoyu Ramen (270 Php) and Beloved ordered their Tori Karaage Curry. I really wanted to try their shrimp and pork gyoza, but they were out of it, so we ordered their Tempura (270 Php) instead.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Papa John's - Unlimited Pizza Tuesdays (SM North EDSA)

Me, Beloved, and a couple of friends partook in Papa John's Unlimited Pizza Tuesday promo on its last day at SM North EDSA. This promo has been around for a couple of months. We tried going on the first day, but the entire corridor was packed with people wanting to try it out, and we ended up in Joey Pepperoni. We didn't have time or thought to go back after this incident. However, we found out that the last Tuesday was a couple of days ago, and we decided to take part in it, even if we had to queue.

There was a similar crowd, the corridor filled with people when we arrived, an hour earlier than the promo time. Luckily, we were among the first who got accommodated. Priced at 199 Php, you get to choose from four different varieties: Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Chicken Bacon Ranch, and Garden Special. Unlike Leona's all-you-can-eat promo, where an entire pizza is given for the table to consume, Papa John's Unlimited Pizza promo serves by the slice. Servers roam around the store giving slices to empty plates. You have to eat the entire slice, including the crust, before you can get another.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Fancy Crepes (Matalino Street, near Kalayaan)

Today, me and my blockmates Hannah and Ivy decided to hang out for a bit after our review class. We were supposed to go Cha Dao at Matalino street to get our milktea fix but after seeing that the said tea place is full, we decided to hang out at Fancy Crepes instead which is just a few blocks away. From its name, we thought the interiors were "fancy" but actually it has a sort of eclectic x country style x garden-inspired feel to it. We love it! So for this entry I decided to include pictures of the interiors as requested by my lovely and pretty friends.

As for the menu, they only have crepes, cakes and drinks but they serve pasta on Sundays. I ordered an Iced White Mocha (90php) and the I love NY crepe (105php). Hannah ordered their Bananutella crepe (175php). Ivy got their Sweethearts crepe (105php). They will also ask for your names because they will write it on your crepe. I asked the cashier to write Hannah's nickname on hers. As for Ivy's, she rejected my suggestion of using her new nickname.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Muang Thai (Malakas Street, near Kalayaan)

Beloved and I had dinner last night at Muang Thai. This Thai restaurant boasts authenticity and is located at Malakas St., near Matalino St. at Diliman, between Kalayaan and East avenues. Beloved was craving for Thai food, and since this was located near where she's currently reviewing for boards, we decided to try it out.

The interiors of the place certainly looks Thai. Although I've not been there, my auntie used to bring furniture from the said place, which is why I'm familiar. I wasn't here for the furniture, though. The menu is basically every Thai specialty I know and I don't know. I had Beloved choose our orders. She choose Shrimp Cake with Cucumber Salad (230 Php), Pad Thai Noodles (200 Php), and Beef in Massaman Curry (230 Php).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

C2 Classic Cuisine - #Unlicrispypata (Missouri Street, near Greenhills)

Me and a couple of friends partook in C2 Classic Cuisine's Unlimited Crispy Pata promo yesterday. This limited time promo is being offered by the restaurant's Greenhills branch at Missouri street. Since crispy pata is mainly a dish known for causing instant hypertension, myocardial infractions, and cerebrovascular accidents, sometimes leading to death, I really wanted to try it out.

The mechanics were simple, you pay 299 Php for Unlimited Crispy Pata. If you have leftovers, you pay double. The usual rules such as no sharing applies. What we were curious about was how this will be delivered, since eating an entire deep fried pig's leg felt like a surmountable task in itself.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Leona Art Restaurant (UP Teacher's Village, near Maginhawa)

Yesterday, me, Beloved, and friends partook in an all-you-can-eat pizza promo at Leona Art Restaurant. This place located at Teacher's Village is actually a place I've never heard of before until a couple of days ago when a friend linked me a picture of said promo. Since it was a pretty affordable deal, and since we were free at the time of the promo, we decided to try it out.

The art cafe is located near Maginhawa street, at the corner of Matimtiman and Magiting street, just a short walk from the Ministop at Maginahawa. Leona offers the usual cafe food fare, and, of course, a selection of grilled pizzas in ten or fourteen inch variants. Sadly, they don't offer all their pizzas for the promo, which is understandable because of the tag. Anyway, for 199 Php, they will serve up four of their pizzas: Three Cheese, Pepperoni, Onion and Pesto, and Hawaii, for your table to share.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yabu (SM Megamall)

Me, Beloved, and Hannah ate at Yabu. This Japanese restaurant inadvertently replaced now closed favorite of ours, Curry Curry House, at SM Megamall. However, this place doesn't specialize in Japanese curry, nor does it specialize in typical Japanese food. Instead, this place specializes in katsu: the deep-fried breaded style of cooking. Beloved has been clamoring to try this place out, and an opportunity presented itself a couple of days ago.

Although this place offers only katsu, it practically offers almost all the possible dishes that can be applied with the said style of cooking. They offer the usual pork and chicken, as well as the not so common fish and other seafood and veggies. They also offer variations of katsu, such as curry and katsudon, which is basically the dish with eggs mixed in. Most of the items in their menu comes in sets with unlimited rice and cabbage, as well as some sides, fruits, and miso soup.

The most premium item in their menu is the Kurobuta Tonkatsu (575 Php for 120 grams, 515 Php for 90 grams). According to the menu, kurobuta, literally "black pig", is the "kobe beef of pork", having prominent marbling in the meat. I've seen the said black pig used in an episode of Iron Chef, and like most episodes of Iron Chef which uses unusual ingredients, it instantly became one of my have-to-eats in my bucket list. I ordered the 120 gram portion. Beloved ordered their Seafood Set #1 (485 Php) and Hannah got their Hire and Seafood Mix (475 Php).

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Woorijib (Kalayaan Avenue)

Beloved and I had dinner at Woorijib a couple of days ago. I was badly craving for pork belly, and since samgyupsal seems to be the most cost-efficient way to consume as much pork belly as I can, we considered going to Don-Day. I did a quick Google search for samgyupsal and Quezon City, and this place was among the first to pop up, receiving quite favorable reviews. It was located at Kalayaan Avenue, just a couple of jeepney rides away from home. Because I felt that Don-Day would be better for when there's more than the two of us, I urged Beloved that we try this place out instead.

Unlike Don-Day which is essentially a Korean buffet specializing in samgyupsal, Woorijib is a full-fledged Korean restaurant. However, all the tables seem to be ordering either their pork belly samgyupsal or beef version of it, since there is free endless side dishes, veggies, and soup. Beloved was leaning to the beef version, but since they probably wouldn't allow mixing up the two (or would make us pay for both for each of us), I convinced her to that: their Samgyupsal (299 Php). Beloved also ordered their Kimbap (200 Php), since, as I've mentioned, this place isn't really a Korean buffet. I felt that this was unneeded, seeing the grand feast the other tables were having, but I let Beloved have her order since she did agree to the pork.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rub (Scout Rallos, near Tomas Morato)

Me, Beloved, and Hannah ate at Rub a couple of nights ago. This small restaurant is located beside H Cuisine, located beside Beloved and Hannah's new favorite place near Tomas Morato: Serenitea. Apparently, this place has been here for quite a while, but we never knew about it until recently because it's not found at Tomas Morato itself, rather at one of the inner streets, specifically Scout Rallos. Spoiling everything, this place specializes in barbecue, specifically barbecued ribs. Beloved has been wanting to eat ribs for quite a while, so this provided an opportunity. We were a bit surprised to find out that the place was full, and we had to wait two tables to be served before we were let in.

As I've mentioned, this place is all about barbecued ribs. They serve singles, for two, or for four, at incrementing prices and side dishes. We ordered their Family Brunch (685 Php) rib platter, consisting of said ribs good for four people plus three different side dishes. There were nine different sides, and we chose their Fresh Potato Fries, Garlic Spinach and Mushrooms, and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato. Since this didn't include drinks, we also got a pitcher of their Iced Tea (110 Php).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tempura Japanese Grill - UnlimEATed Grill (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner at Tempura Japanese Grill a few days ago. Yeah, this post makes this place the most reviewed place on this blog. However, this is good reason, though. There have been drastic changes to the place. They now offer both a Japanese buffet, which I believe comes in a per-order basis on selected dishes, and also a unlimited grilling promo, separate from the buffet. Since, after all this time, we've yet to try the "Grill" portion of the place, we, well, I decided to take the opportunity to try it out.

They named their grilling promo "UnlimEATed" (499 Php per person), which comes with both unlimited drinks and rice. Similar to other yakiniku buffets, their choices range from pork, beef, stuff wrapped in beef, seafood, and vegetables. Unlike the conventional, though, where the raw food is placed at a buffet table for you to grab what you want, theirs come in a per-order basis. Yes, you can order as much as you want, but this presents a problem I found in Zensho—you wouldn't be able to gauge your appetite. Anyway, they ask you to choose from one of their sampler platters: all meat, all seafood, and combination; and then choose from their single orders. Since the combination platter essentially comes with everything they offer save the veggies, I chose that.

Beloved didn't join me. Instead, she ordered her usual Tempura Udon (210 Php) and their Salmon Sashimi (195 Php). We won't bother reviewing the udon, since she's been ordering that ever since and it hasn't changed much save for the slight price increase.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dulcinea - Breakfast (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had breakfast at bakery-slash-Spanish restaurant Dulcinea a couple of days ago. Beloved used to frequent this place for the Spanish food with her family. However, this is the first time for her trying out their Breakfast menu. Same goes to me. While walking around Tomas Morato in the morning, looking for a place to eat, we find out that this place is opened, so we went inside to satisfy my early morning hunger, despite Beloved's warnings that this might be a pretty steep place.

Their breakfast menu was surprisingly Western. Well, I'm not really familiar with what Spanish breakfast consists of, but there were a couple of Spanish dishes in the menu. However, perhaps more surprising was that the prices weren't as steep as I expected, and they also come with free coffee or hot chocolate. My favorite breakfast dish was there, so I ordered it: Bacon and Eggs (165 Php). Beloved's second favorite breakfast dish was also present, so she ordered it: Corned Beef Hash (165 Php). Finally, one of Beloved's favorite desserts was also on the menu, so we ordered it: Churros House Specialty (95 Php).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

H Cuisine (Scout Rallos, near Tomas Morato)

Me, Beloved, and her blockmates, Hannah and Ivy, ate at H Cuisine some days ago. Now, for otaku, the name might sound funny. The "H" here actually stands for the chef and owner of the place named Hannah. And, no, she isn't the same Hannah as Beloved's blockmate, but it is the reason why Beloved wanted to try this place out.

Apparently, this place has been featured in many shows and magazines, and is well-praised. Since I don't watch television, I didn't even know this place existed. It is found right beside the newly-opened and currently under soft opening Serenitea branch near Tomas Morato, close to the Timog rotonda. We have spent the entire afternoon at the aforementioned place, and since Beloved was hungry, we ate here afterwards.

Their specialty is the Most Awesome Angus Beef Belly (288 Php), which I ordered. Beloved had their Lengua Con Cetas (278 Php). Hannah ordered their Lemon Bacon Cream Sauce on Poached Fish (198 Php).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rufo's Famous Tapa (Eastwood)

Beloved and I ate at Rufo's Famous Tapa a week ago. We were supposed to go to The Marketplace, pending a follow-up visit before we review it, only to find out that it was temporarily unavailable. Also, this was delayed because Diablo III. Anyway, since this was among the only choices at One in the morning, we decided to go ahead and try it out.

The place specializes in famous Filipino 'silogs and other strange but familiar Filipino dishes. Their main specialty is their tapa, or cured beef, which is probably obvious from the name. Despite being called famous, I have actually never heard of this place before, and I decided to try out the so-called Rufo's Famous Tapa (108 Php). Beloved had their Corned Beef Ala Rufos (75 Php) and we also ordered their Mushroom Adobo (104 Php). Finally, Beloved eyed one of their desserts and ordered it too: their Black Sambo (35 Php).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hana (Little Tokyo, Makati)

Second and last stop for our Little Tokyo adventure was Hana. According to Beloved, this place specializes in Takoyaki, or octopus-filled balls. Since Beloved also saw that they serve some sort of coffee shake, it was pretty much a done deal.

Luckily, the menu here is better than Urameshi-Ya. It's filled with pictures and categorized cleverly: menu items belonging to multiple categories are placed into each of them. And while it still features Japanese words, they were translated instead of romanized. Also, I found the prices here to be quite fair, just a tiny bit higher than the Japanese restaurants we frequent.

Since this was the place's specialty, we ordered their Takoyaki (120 Php). We also got their Hana Maki (250 Php), because it looked beautiful in the menu. Finally, Beloved got their Coffee Shake (180 Php) and I got their Calamansi Juice (80 Php).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Urameshi-Ya (Little Tokyo, Makati)

Beloved and I had dinner at Little Tokyo a few nights ago. This special place features a small group of Japanese restaurants that serve authentic Japanese cuisine. As Japanese food lovers, we've been craving to go to this place since a few years ago. We finally had the chance to do so, and the area itself felt like another albeit small world, requiring you to pass through a Japanese garden to visit the interior restaurants. We tried out a couple of places on that area. Our first stop was the Yakiniku or Japanese barbecue place called Urameshi-Ya.

We researched this place before going, and we thought we got it all figured out. This is not your yakiniku buffet like YakiMIX or Sambo Kojin. First, this place does not feature eat-all-you-can meat, since the meat here was supposed to be authentically Japanese. In addition to that, the grill they use are live coal grills on small earthen pots. Similarly, though you get to cook over your table.

Now, what we didn't know was their menu was composed of purely Japanese and Romaji text. We can barely read what's in it. I had no idea what parts we were getting. Luckily, they had three set choices. We got the second least expensive, their Tarafuku Set priced at 2.1K Php. This is good for two to three, according to the servers, and, yes, we were aware of the steep price.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Joey Pepperoni (SM North EDSA)

This last Tuesday, me, Beloved, and friends ate at Joey Pepperoni. I mentioned the exact day because it's somewhat important. We were supposed to take advantage of the Tuesday-only all-you-can-eat pizza at Papa John's. When we got there, there was a mob waiting for the 6pm starting of the once-a-week promo. Surrendering, we decided to find someplace else to eat and found ourselves at a different pizza place, which, while does not offer unlimited pizza, still offers the same type of menu, and, humorously, has the same initials only in reverse.

The place is located at SM North EDSA's annex, at the first floor, very close to the SaveMore supermarket. My friends have taken advantage of their unlimited pasta offer, which they do not serve anymore. They do, however, offer two pizzas out of four choices for 199 Php, and most of us decided to take on that offer. Beloved and I got their Beef Bacon and Garlic Gamberi pizzas (199 Php) and, since according to my friends, the pasta here is good, we also got their Bolognese Pasta with Mozzarella Sticks for 170 Php which we added 20 Php to upgrade the iced tea to bottomless that came with it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kogi Bulgogi (Eastwood Mall)

Beloved and I had dinner at Kogi Bulgogi last night. This Korean restaurant is found at the second floor of Eastwood Mall's alfresco area. We honestly didn't plan this one, but Beloved wanted Serenitea and didn't want to walk on Katipunan because of the summer heat, so we just took the cab to Eastwood, the second closest one from home.

Anyway, since this was Korean, I expected two things: hot stuff and barbecued stuff. My expectations were correct, but I was also surprised to find quite a handful of Japanese dishes, such as sashimi and tempura. Of course, the Korean stuff still dominated the menu, and practically every Korean dish I know of is in the menu. They also have samgyupsal, as the one served unlimited of in Don-Day. Here, though, everything's on a per-order basis.

I did find the prices of most of the dishes fair, but the one that caught my eye wasn't. I ordered their Tuk Bulgogi (320 Php), which was essentially a Korean sukiyaki. Beloved had their Yuk Hoi Dulsot Bibimbap (188 Php), a rice bowl with raw beef and raw egg, to be cooked as you mix. Finally, we also ordered their Nude Kimbap (188 Php), just because of the name. Oh, and we also got a couple of their Iced Tea (65 Php), which comes with one free refill—a smart offer, I thought.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saint's Alp Teahouse (Regis Center, Katipunan)

Beloved and I had breakfast at Saint's Alp Teahouse a couple of nights ago. Yes, you read that right—we woke up near dinnertime and had our first meal at Beloved's new favorite street. Found at the same building of BonChon Chicken and Moshi Moshi, this food place is the only one we've yet to try in Regis Center.

Being a Teahouse, you can expect this to be one of two things: a Chinese restaurant or a following-the-fad drink-specializing food place. This falls to the latter. Three-quarters of their menu is filled with soft drinks that isn't soda or juice. They have varieties of teas, coffees, milkshakes, yogurts, et cetera. They do have a small portion of rice meals, half of which are breakfast meals, and a bit larger selection of snacks. Adding these two, though, is still dwarfed by their selection of drinks.

Anyway, since it's their specialty, Beloved got their Matcha Aulait with Matcha Agar (140 Php) and I got their Strawberry Milkshake (125 Php). Because, as I've mentioned, this was our breakfast, I also ordered their Beef Tapa (195 Php) and Beloved got their Honey Glazed Coffee Spare Ribs (195 Php). Finally, we got their Chicken Skin Chips (90 Php) just because.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ramen X (Trinoma)

Beloved and I ate at Ramen X at Trinoma yesterday. If you don't know what this place serves, then shame on you. This Japanese resto is basically the poor man's version of Ramen Bar. Beloved, who got to eat here before, claims that this is the ramen equivalent of Moshi Moshi. This place replaced, thankfully, Crustasia in the aforementioned mall. Inside links aside, because I had some errands to run at said mall, we decided to take the opportunity to try it out as well.

Obviously, the place specializes in ramen. However, other than ramen, they also serve donburi. The donburi's pretty affordable, as with their ramen, costing around a hundred per bowl, and all of them comes with unlimited rice. Of course, we didn't go here for the donburi—we went here for the ramen. So we ordered a couple of bowls: Yoshi's Ramen (159 Php) for me and Shio Ramen (99 Php) for Beloved. We also got their Ebi Tempura (99 Php) as a side.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Makan Makan (Manila Ocean Park)

Beloved and I had dinner last night at Makan Makan. We went here after our visit to Manila Ocean Park, which is fitting because the place is found in it. Since the choice of places were limited, we decided to eat here since we were pretty hungry after touring the oceanarium and Antarctica exhibit. And it's pretty hard to miss because you will have to pass by here, either in it or just outside it, to get out of the park itself from the said exhibits.

This Asian restaurant features stalls that act as the kitchen. The stalls were separated by the type of dish and country of origin, ranging from Malaysian or Singaporean to Thai to Filipino to Chinese. However, you don't visit the stalls themselves—this is a sit-down restaurant with a menu that contains dishes from said countries. From the outside, it looked pretty intimidating, especially with the choice of furniture and the well-groomed service crew. However, we found out that their prices were pretty much comparable, maybe a bit more expensive, to most Asian restaurants we've been to.

Since this was an Asian resto, the trend is having dishes good for at least two. Knowing that, we decided to order their Tom Yam Soup (300 Php) from Thailand, their Crabmeat Fried Rice (275 Php) and Cheung Fun Shrimp (120 Php) from China, and their Chicken Satay (150 Php) from Singapore.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chicken Charlie (Katipunan)

Beloved and I had dinner, or breakfast in my case, at Chicken Charlie. This fried chicken place is often compared to BonChon Chicken; its followers say that this is the original one, the first incarnation a long time ago at Banawe. I apologize beforehand for comparing Chicken Charlie to BonChon throughout this review, but since they are quite similar, it cannot be helped. Anyway, I haven't been to this place before, but from what I've heard, the chicken here is pretty good.

Its Katipunan branch is located at the second floor of the Oracle Building, making it slightly inaccessible compared to other food places on the street. I'm hoping this is the reason why when we went in, only one table other than us is occupied. Similar to Bonchon Chicken, they serve chicken bundles by the cuts. However, this place only serves drumsticks and wings. Although they also serve set meals, such as two drumsticks, rice, and drink, my quick math told me that ordering the bundles would be better. So we ordered their 4 Pieces Drumsticks + 4 Pieces Wings Combo (315 Php). Their chicken comes in either Soy Garlic or Hot Sweet sauces. We took half of each. We also got their Fries (39 Php) and Beloved got a cup of rice for 17 Php.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stackers (Eastwood)

Beloved and I had dinner at Stackers last night. This burger cafe is found at the edge of Eastwood City Walk, right across the newer Eastwood Mall. Coincidentally, this burger cafe is also found right across Johnny Rockets. However, I always find Stackers to be almost always full compared to its competition. Last night, we get to find out why.

As a burger place, it doesn't really diverse much aside from them using Australian beef. The name "Stackers" apparently comes from you being able to stack your patties, up to three. This really isn't something new. The usual fries are also present, and there are also different sides such as chicken and fish, also not really that unusual to find. Still, I've heard nothing but praises from this place. Anyway, I didn't order one of their "Stackers". Instead, I got their Jack Burger (228 Php). Beloved got their Fisher's Burger (148 Php). We also got a couple of orders of their Crispy Chips (45 Php each). And for our drinks, I ordered their Vanilla Milkshake (95 Php) and Beloved got their Auss'm Vanilla (135 Php).

Friday, March 23, 2012

Magnum Ice Cream

Jumping the Bandwagon, I finally decided to write about the latest craze: Selecta/Unilever's freshly-imported Magnum Ice Cream. A few disclaimers: I am not a dessert lover. I do, however, fancy vanilla-flavored ice cream over other flavors. I've been reserving this post until I manage to taste all three varieties, and since I got treated again today, I can finally surely say that this ~60 Php Ice cream bar is simply over-hyped.

I first tasted the Chocolate Truffle variety early this month out of my own pocket at 55 Php from 7-11. It was claimed to be the best tasting of the lot. My first impression was from the size, or lack thereof, of the thing. It was... not as big as I wanted, comparable to a pinipig bar only costing five-fold. I let that stride because it's supposed to have a taste premium for its supposedly unique flavor. Sadly, it also failed in that aspect. This is something I've tasted before, and something I've had better of. I would've preferred my chocolate dark and bitter. I got essentially the opposite: sweet and milky. While I do admit that it tastes good, it just doesn't deliver a unique taste for such a costly ice cream bar. Hint: this tastes oddly similar to the plain chocolate ice cream of a certain ice cream brand with "Bunny" in its name.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mr. Miyagi (Timog)

Beloved and I had dinner at Mr. Miyagi last night. Similar to YakiMIX and Sambo Kojin, this relatively new yakiniku place is an eat-all-you-can smokeless grill and buffet. The place opened up at Timog Ave. late last year. Since they are priced similarly to their competition, we decided to try it out to see how they differ.

As I've mentioned, they are priced similarly to YakiMIX and Sambo Kojin at 599 Php for their Eat-All-You-Can Smokeless Grill and Buffet for a weekday dinner. For weekends and holidays, it is priced at 649 Php and for weekday lunch, it is priced at 499 Php, making the latter the best deal. We also opted to pay an additonal 75 Php each for bottomless drinks—green iced tea for me and plain iced tea for Beloved. After sitting down, we immediately went to their buffet with me having my Yakiniku Buffet Strategy™ in mind to maximize belly space at the best possible pace.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Merry Moo (Eastwood)

After our dinner at Ramen Bar, we found ourselves strolling around Eastwood Mall. Since it was a Saturday, the Gourmet Market was open around the walkways. This market is basically a food fair featuring unusual treats. One such treat we found was ice cream made by Merry Moo. According to Beloved, this is one of the best artisan ice cream places in the Metro.

It didn't really strike me at first, but after seeing one of their flavors, I wanted to try it out. Each cup costs 75 Php, but I thought this price was worth our curiosity. So we did. I ordered a scoop of their Candied Bacon and Beloved had their Sea Salt Caramel.

Ramen Bar (Eastwood)

Beloved and I had dinner at the Ramen Bar last night. Since we're Japanese food lovers, this is a restaurant we didn't want to miss. However, the visit had to wait a while because we had little reason and funds to go to Eastwood. After solving the fund problem, we decided to ignore the lack of reason and just go for it.

The place itself felt very welcoming, especially with the table layout that encourages communal eating. Tables weren't separated per table, but rather by row. Although the separate chairs provided some distance, it's as good as being put in a long table with benches. Another clever thing I noticed is their menu, which doubled as their placemat. Obviously, it's dominated with Ramen, although there are some donburi and Japanese appetizers. Also, I noticed a board near the chef's window which contains some items not listed in said menu-placemat. Anyway, their ramen ranged from 120 Php to the more expensive 380 Php. The waitress explains that the cheaper ones are smaller than the over-200 Php bowls. The toppings and soup base also differed. I got their R.B.S. #01 (380 Php) and Beloved got their Sapporo Miso Ramen (320 Php). We also ordered their Chasyu Boat from the menu board.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cafe Monaco (Banawe)

Me, Beloved, and Hannah had dinner at Cafe Monaco a couple of days ago. This quaint cafe is located at Banawe corner Retiro, which is a place I don't really have plenty reason to go to. Beloved and Hannah, however, lives nearby which makes this their territory. Anyway, Beloved explains that this place has been here for a long time and has a pretty big following, which I could see from the amount of people at the place wanting to go in but couldn't because all the seats were taken.

Hannah was already inside when we went in, which solved the seating problem for our part. She had already ordered a Nutella Creppe (100 Php), which is part of their selection of crepes filling up an entire page of their menu. Aside from the expected desserts and coffee, the place also specializes in Korean and, recently, according to Beloved, Japanese food and Pinoy silogs. Because Korean was their specialty, I decided to order their noodle dish: Chapchae (130 Php). Beloved also ordered their Bibimbop (140 Php), a Korean rice bowl, and their Kimbop (120 Php), a Korean rice roll.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Old Oven Art Cafe (Katipunan Extension)

Before I begin, please note that this was a Valentines promo, and I'm not sure if this will be available in the future. That aside, read on.

Beloved and I celebrated an early Valentines at Old Oven Art Cafe. Honestly, this was done on a whim. Beloved had "liked" their Facebook page because she was interested in their cheesesteak sandwiches. She then saw them advertising this special menu for two starting February 12. Since it included risotto (which Beloved wanted to try) and rib-eye steak (which I wanted), it was pretty much a done deal and we made a reservation, despite knowing this place is a bit inaccessible for commuters like us.

When we got there, I noticed that it's not really as un-commutable as I thought it would be. It was actually in a walkable distance from the Santolan-Katipunan intersection. However, it was a bit hidden, so we almost passed by it while riding a cab.

You have to climb a flight of stairs to get to the actual dining area. The place itself reeks of artsy. It was lit dimly to add to the vibe and they feature artworks made by deaf people. We find our table ready when we got there, and then our candlelit four-course Valentines Dinner for Two (1000 Php) began.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Soul Shop (Crossroad 77, Mother Ignacia)

A couple of days ago, Beloved took me to Soul Shop. This quaint cafe is located at a building called Crossroad 77 at Mother Ignacia street. The real reason we went there was to search for the place that sells chocolate bars with unique flavors. After making the mistake of going on the wrong floor, finding this place, and seeing its relatively cheap prizes, and Beloved being quite hungry, we decided to stop by for a while despite not being on the original agenda.

The place itself, while located on the second floor of the building, was actually surrounded in nature. It features a garden where you can decide to eat, and actually two separate places you can order food. Of course, it still has a small indoor area which reflects the outside, being one of the most peaceful and quiet food place I've been to. Anyway, I've mentioned their prices were relatively cheap and their menu consists of the usual cafe fare of sandwiches and pasta and other finger foods plus a selection of rice toppings. However, I wasn't really hungry. Beloved was. She ordered their Fish Kare Kare (160 Php). As for me, I just ordered their Soul Shop Taco (60 Php). Finally, Beloved also asked for their Iced Green Tea (90 Php).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe (Regis Center, Katipunan)

Beloved and I had dinner at Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe. Located at Beloved's new favorite food and drink street, in the same building of BonChon Chicken and Moshi Moshi, this cafe had a welcoming atmosphere to it when we first passed by. It reminded me of Mary Grace, where we had a wonderful experience. Hoping to get a similar one, we decided to try it out.

The place was packed full, only having a couple of tables free when we entered. This further heightened my expectations of the place. Seeing the prices on their menu items increased it further. Their pastas almost cost 200 Php apiece, and their other menu items, consisting of sandwiches and food you would expect from a cafe, aren't really the most affordable I've seen. Hoping for the best, I ordered their Sirloin Burger (295 Php), which comes in half-pound or quarter-pound versions; I took the larger. Beloved ordered their Lengua con Setas (395 Php). In addition, Beloved also asked for their Iced Mocha (95 Php) and I had their Bottomless Green Iced Tea (70 Php). Finally, since this was a bakery, and I thought it would be waste not to try any of their baked goods, Beloved also ordered their Beehive (65 Php).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Moshi Moshi (Regis Center, Katipunan)

Beloved and I had dinner at Moshi Moshi last night. This Japanese food joint is located beside the BonChon Chicken at Katipunan, at relatively newly-opened Regis Center. Beloved had already researched this place beforehand, and got pretty excited upon learning that this place specializes in donburi, or rice toppings. To be honest, I can't think of a place that specialize in just Japanese rice toppings, though I can think of other non-Japanese exclusive rice topping places. After learning of their prices from their Facebook page, I thought it was pretty affordable, so I had no fear trying this place out.

The first thing that Beloved noticed were the imported KitKat bars that were displayed by the single counter taking orders. After asking how much they were, though, her disappointment was apparent. Nevertheless, their real menu items weren't as expensive, and, in fact, were quite appealing, perhaps to sway in student customers who are the main demographic here. They have your usual katsudon (pork), gyudon (beef), and chicken teriyaki don. In addition to that, you can order extra toppings such as egg, beef, and special mayo which I first thought would be mixed in your bowl. Since I was feeling for shrimp, I decided to have their Tendon (165 Php for the "level-up" size). Beloved had their Katsu Currydon (165 Php) and asked for Kimchi toppings (25 Php). We also got 6 pieces of their Takoyaki (55 Php), which is the most affordable takoyaki we've encountered so far. Finally, our drinks consisted of their Green Tea Shake (75 Php), one for each of us.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Banana Leaf (Trinoma)

Beloved and I had our first 2012 food adventure at Trinoma's Banana Leaf. I've actually eaten at this Thai-Malay restaurant before with a couple of friends, but didn't manage to chronicle that particular time. And since that was a pretty decent experience, we weren't afraid of trying it out, despite knowing little of Thai cuisine. Anyway, this place is sort of special for a couple of things. First, each order is good for two to three people, making this a family-friendly restaurant. Second, their plates are substituted with banana leaves, hence the name, and further making sharing a must. While there were only two of us, we decided that Beloved takes home any leftovers that we expected to have.

I loved what I ordered the last time, so we made sure to get it—their Phad Thai - Banana Leaf Style (188 Php). I also wanted to order the flat bread we had the last time, but I forgot what it's called. And since Beloved found an item that looked very appetizing in the picture, we decided to go for that instead: their Deep Fried Cod Fish with Malayan Seafood Curry (388 Php). We also got their Royal Thai Style Deep Fried Beancurd with Crabmeat (168 Php) because it sounded good to me. Finally, for our drinks, Beloved had their Iced Hong Kong Milk Tea (68 Php) and I ordered their Thai Iced Tea (68 Php), because I know that Beloved would like to be able to taste different kinds of milk tea, especially after our adventure at Sentosa. The servers were a bit surprised we didn't order rice, but I was certain we would have leftovers from what we already ordered.