Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wee Nam Kee (Trinoma)

Beloved and I had dinner at Wee Nam Kee. This Singaporean-Chinese restaurant opened its doors at the topmost floor of Trinoma. Most Singaporean places we've been to specializes in Hainanese Chicken Rice. This place offers similar specialty as well as one dish I've wanted to try since learning about it. After learning the prices were fair, we took our seats.

The menu was actually not as varied as most Chinese places we've been to. Most of their menu is dedicated to the said Hainanese Chicken Rice dish. In fact, there were two kinds of said dish: one yellow and other white. According to the waiter, the yellow one used imported chicken from Vietnam raised specifically for this dish. As such, it's priced at a premium. We decided to get that—their Yellow Chicken (388 Php). Beloved also ordered their Chicken Rice (40 Php). As for the dish I mentioned earlier that I wanted to try, if you've been reading my blog, you know that a couple of blogs ago, I was quite interested in the Cereal Prawn (395 Php) dish from Wangfu. Since this place offered that, I ordered it. I also ordered their Chicken Noodle Soup (215 Php), because it looked nice in the menu and I didn't want to eat rice.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Yabu (SM North EDSA)

Because we were dissatisfied with Ginza Bairin, we found ourselves craving for great katsu. Since it has been tried and tested personally a couple of times, we know that Yabu serves just that. Since our last blog on this place more than a year ago, Yabu has expanded to many places, mirroring their success and perhaps starting a fad. One of their newest branches opened up in SM North EDSA, which is a more accessible place for us.

The events on this blog happened a few days after disaster struck in Eastern Visayas, and Yabu offered to donate all of their proceeds to the victims for one day only. Sadly for us, when Beloved got there on the day it was offered, the reservation list spanned until closing.

We insisted on going to Yabu, though. So the Friday following that, we went again. I was quite surprised that their prices have not changed by a lot, and it's now a better value since they offer unlimited miso soup in addition to the already unlimited rice and cabbage for no matter what set you order. Now, our dillema was I wanted black pig and Beloved wanted seafood curry. They did not have a seafood curry set or a separate order of curry sauce. We compromised by having Beloved order their Kurobuta Curry Set (595 Php) and I ordered their Seafood Katsu Set 2 (545 Php). We also had an extra à la carte order of Salmon Katsu (150 php). We were immediately given the ceremonial sesame seeds on a bowl with a pestle to mix our tonkatsu sauce in.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ginza Bairin (UP Town Center)

Beloved and I had dinner at somewhat new UP Town Center a few weeks ago. UP Town Center is a bit of a special place for me, since here once stood the place where I spent most of my childhood. Of course, this blog isn't about the nostalgia but food. We learned that UP Town Center has a pretty good selection of restaurants that are somewhat foreign in the already food place saturated street in Katipunan Avenue. We actually wanted to go to this place somewhat earlier, during the time when it opened up. However, due to our busy schedule, we only had the opportunity to do so a couple of weeks ago.

Surprisingly, there were only a couple of places where we haven't been tried out yet. Of course, there were only a few places open up, so it was understandable. Among them is Ginza Bairin. This place reminded me of Yabu, with their specialty being the black pig or kurobuta katsu. I actually know of a couple more katsu places that offer said premium ingredient that opened up or would soon be opening up. This makes me a bit worried that prized black pig katsu might become the next (milk) tea.

Anyway, aside from the menu, the relatively expensive prices are also reminiscent of Yabu's. I guess it all boils down to quality. Beloved ordered their Seafood Set (525 Php) and I ordered their Kurobuta Rosu Set (595 Php). Beloved wanted katsu curry, so she ordered additional Curry Sauce (65 Php) because there wasn't a seafood curry set. Saving grace of their expensive katsu sets was the unlimited miso soup, cabbage, and rice that Yabu also offers. It also has the same ceremony where you make your own sauce by grinding fresh black and white sesame seeds.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wangfu Chinese Bistro (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner at Wangfu Chinese Bistro weeks ago. This Chinese restaurant replaced (thankfully) Teriyaki Boy at the second floor of the building across McDonald's Tomas Morato. This is actually the second branch in the same street, the first being in Il Terazzo. Beloved had a chance to visit that place, and wasn't that pleased with the serving size considering the price. So I had a pretty good image that this place isn't your budget friendly Chinese place.

The menu isn't a purely Chinese list. Some of their items have obvious influence from other cultures. Also, I confirmed that this was indeed one of the pricier Chinese places we've visited. I guess the direct competition would be a place like Lugang Cafe. We ordered their Hongkong Beef Curry (368 Php), Chicken and Mushroom Clear Soup (228 Php), Hakaw (98 Php), and Seafood with Dried Scallop Fried Rice (248 Php). For our drinks, Beloved ordered their Teh Tarik (78 Php) and I ordered Calamansi Juice (78 Php).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Shi Lin (Lucky Chinatown Mall)

Foremost, I would like to apologize for the lack of entries for the past month. Beloved and I have been preoccupied and have been lacking funds as of late, mostly due to the release of the 6th Pokémon generation. We did manage to go to some places, but a couple of them is pending a revisit. This one, we probably won't visit again sometime soon so I decided to write about it.

Shi Lin is a Chinese restaurant located at the alfresco area of Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo. That particular day, we were visiting Binondo to shop for bargains. We were supposed to try out the "must-try" places. Sadly, they were full and we didn't want to wait. The other places were places we've been to before, are accessible from where we are, or just didn't match up with our tastes and budget that day, especially since we were in a frugal mood. Shi Lin was the only place that wasn't full and had stuff that we fancied at a somewhat reasonable price (although still not as cheap as we wanted), so we tried it out.

I found they had interesting dimsum. Although it's not as extensive as other Chinese restaurants, they were among the most unique. We ordered their Xiao Long Bao (155 Php), Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai (188 Php), and Mushroom and Vegetable Bun (125 Php) from their dimsum offerings. Since we were quite hungry and wanted something with soup and noodles, we ordered their Braised Beef Noodles (275 Php) which we decided to share. Finally, I asked for their a refillable pot of their Taiwan Phoenix Oolong Tea (40 Php) and Beloved asked for their Iced Taiwan Milk Tea (118 Php).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

π Breakfast and Pies (Malingap Street, near Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I had dinner a couple of times this past week at π Breakfast and Pies. This is a new place found at Malingap Street, at UP Teacher's Village. This place is located beside Pino and Pipino. In fact, I believe this place is owned by the owners of the aforementioned place, as well as BRGR: The Burger Project. Since we've been to these places and had pleasant experiences, we had quite high expectations of the place, even if it has just opened up, I believe just a week ago.

It's pretty obvious what their specialty is: Breakfast and Pies. The first time we went, their Menu didn't have permanent prices, all just penciled on. However, it was pretty much complete with what you expect from breakfast—pancakes, waffles, corned beef, bacon, et cetera. They, of course, also have a big enough selection of pies. Since both Beloved and I enjoy waffles the most for breakfast, we ordered their Gourmet Waffle Chicken and Waffles (205 Php 165 Php). In addition, we also ordered their Steak and Eggs (625 Php 595 Php). Now, it's usually Beloved who gets more excited with the drinks. This time around, however, I noticed a peculiar drink in their menu. I immediately ordered that, their Cereal Milk (75 Php 125 Php). Beloved settled for their Celery Cranberry Juice (75 Php). Finally, we also tried their Banana Cream Pie (105 Php), just so we can experience the full... uh... experience.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Steveston Pizza (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner a couple of times at Steveston Pizza. This place, relatively new, located at Tomas Morato, popped up in our Facebook news feeds with pictures from friends that was gastronomically pleasing. Aside from knowing that it's a pizza place, and that they serve scrumptious-looking pizzas, we knew nothing more than that. We had quite the surprise learning that they only serve one size—foot-diameter pizzas at not-so-scrumptious looking prices. A couple of them was even priced at 1.3K Php—yes, at the same size!

Still, that didn't stop us from ordering. Our first visit didn't contain any of the most-expensive-pizza-we-ever-saw offerings. Aside from the premium "C" pizzas, there were the more affordable Pizza Classic, the healthier Margarite Tree, Colours, and The Journeys. We settled for one of their Colours priced half of their "C" pizzas: their Green Pizza (699 Php). Yeah, if you compare it to the competition, it's still quite expensive. We also ordered their Angels or Oven Baked Chicken (180 Php for 6 pieces), and had them Spicy. The server warned us that their "Spicy" meant Spicy. We took no heed and ordered drinks.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Snack Shack (V. Luna Extension, near Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I had brunch at Snack Shack. I've been to this place many times before, and have been wanting to visit it with Beloved because she holds the camera. Now, I'll try not to spoil much before we get to the pics, but I'm quite excited writing about this one.

The place is literally a shack. Located at V. Luna Extension, close to Savemore Supermarket, it's a very small place where only a maximum of four people can be accommodated with the bar table. However, the place is really made for take-outs and stand-ins (and perhaps deliveries). As for the "snack" part, there's actually just four (then, when we visited now there's five) items on their menu composed of two categories: burgers and sausages, both in buns. There are two kinds of burgers, their Quarter-Pounder with Cheese (70 Php) and Half-Pounder with Double Cheese (135 Php). Yep, you read that right—that's a quarter pound burger for less than 100 Php; by far the best deal pound-by-pound of all the burger places we've been to. As for their sausages, there's the mildly spiced Bockwurst with Cheese (90 Php) and the curry-spiced Currywurst (90 Php). Now, they have the spicy Hungarian (90 Php).

You can customize your burger with different add-ons for 20 Php each: Jalapeño peppers, Blue cheese, Cream cheese, Garlic ranch, Garlic chips, and Barbecue sauce. You can also add Extra cheese for 15 Php. Beloved had their Half-Pounder with Double Cheese with Blue Cheese add-on (155 Php total) and I had, as I have always had since I first visited, their no-frills attached Half-Pounder with Double Cheese (135 Php). I had their Bockwurst before, so this time, I also ordered their Currywurst (90 Php) just to try it out.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gloria Maris (Gateway)

Beloved and I had dinner a couple of times at Gloria Maris. This Chinese seafood-specialty restaurant had a newly-opened (or maybe moved?) branch at the top floor of Gateway near where the cinemas are. Beloved usually associates Gloria Maris with expensive and classy, the former being the reason why we don't consider going here. The first time we went, they were still on soft opening. Although it still looked classy and had an expensive feel, after surveying the menu, we found out it was surprisingly not-as-expensive as Beloved expected. Not fancying anything in particular that night, we decided to try it out.

As with most Chinese restaurants, most of their stuff is good for sharing. We found out that they have a soft opening promo wherein if you order more than 500Php worth, you get a free order of Yang Chow Fried Rice. We made sure to hit the threshold by ordering their Vegetables in Oyster Sauce (198 Php) and Steamed Fish Fillet and Beancurd (268 Php) as our main dishes, Steamed Seafood Roll (99 Php) and Hakao (99 Php) from their dimsum choices, a couple of orders of Seafood Spinach Soup (88 Php), and an order of Butchi (88 Php) for dessert. I asked if their juices were fresh, and received an affirmation. I ordered their Calamansi Juice (55 Php) and Beloved asked for their Watermelon Shake (78 Php).

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Golden Spoon (Shangri-La Plaza)

After our adventure at Akira, Beloved and I had dessert at Golden Spoon. This frozen yogurt place is located at the ground floor of Shangri-La Plaza. We were very reluctant going here, but after learning that they have an "all-you-can-put" mechanic, we decided to try it out.

There were three weightless "artist cup" sizes to choose from. The first one, costing 199 php, was smaller than what most yogurt places consider "small", and was so puny that it looked like we couldn't fit even half a cup's worth of yogurt—and that's without toppings, which Beloved would consider a crime not having with yogurt. The next one costs 299 Php was a more realistic sized cup wherein I thought we could fit in enough good for Beloved and me to share. So we got that cup—their Wonderful Cup for beloved and me to share.

I was the one who handled all the putting, so I packed as much yogurt as I could. There were plenty of flavors to choose from, and I put in Tarty Tart, Classic Vanilla, Double Vanilla, and Coffee Kahlua flavors. Before I knew it, it was already twice the height of the cup and we didn't even have any toppings yet, which Beloved nagged at me for. There were also a lot of toppings to choose from, but we only managed to put in granola, because putting any more felt like it wouldn't hold. Looking back, it could have, but we didn't dare risk it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Akira (Shangri-La Plaza)

A few weeks ago, Beloved and I had dinner at Akira. On a no-deadline mission to try out most, if not all, of the restaurants in Shangri-La Plaza's East Wing, this was our next restaurant on the list. We actually have no idea what to expect here. Feeling adventurous, we carried on.

According to their signage and menu, they specialize in teppanyaki and sushi. Unlike Ikkoryu, this place was devoid of any waiting queues. However, I noticed a couple of tables were large, and perhaps communal, for the teppanyaki patrons, which is done by the chef beside the table. It was a bit late, so there weren't anyone cooking on said tables.

When I looked at the prices, I was turned off and surrendered to the fact that I will not be able to afford their teppanyaki offerings on my meager income. Instead, I decided to settle for some of the more interesting and relatively affordable pieces on their menu. I ordered their Chicken and Bacon Mozzarella Ramen (348 Php). Yes. Mozzarella Ramen. I also decided for me and beloved to share their Blow-Torched Maki (289 Php). Beloved ordered their Bento Salmon (458 Php). Finally, we ordered their Miso Clams (78 Php) just because it looked unique and was pretty unpricey.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen (Shangri-La Plaza)

Beloved and I had dinner at Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen a couple of times the past month. This relatively new ramen place is located at the relatively new East Wing of Shangri-La Plaza. This took a while in the making due to busy work schedule, but I won't bore you with the details. This is perhaps the most popular among all the restaurants that opened up here. Since the first day we passed this place, there was always a waiting queue. I assume this must mean something great, so I was quite eager to try it out.

Luckily, the first time we went, we didn't have to wait at all. We were immediately accommodated with the last table for two and were presented by a pretty straightforward menu. Half of it was dedicated to their ramen. All of their ramen were tonkotsu or pork bone broth ramen. The only place I know of that serves this was Ramen Bar, so I immediately thought of comparing it against that, especially with somewhat premium prices. Their most affordable was priced at 330 Php, which was a bare-bones tonkotsu ramen. I didn't want that, of course, and chose to order their Chasyu Tonkotsu (380 Php). Beloved ordered their Black Garlic Tonkotsu (380 Php). When we placed our orders, we were asked how hard we wanted our noodles. I was surprised as I always assumed everyone wanted their noodles firm. The choices were hard, very hard, and normal. I assumed "hard" was firm enough so we both chose that. We also ordered their Gyoza (150 Php) for sides and Sea Salt Caramel (100 Php). The former was a substitute to their daigaku imo, which I would've preffered over gyoza. They were out, unfortunately. The latter intrigued me because it didn't have "ice cream" like the rest of their dessert choices, so I assumed this was just caramel. Our waitress clarified that this was indeed ice cream, and it disappointed me a bit.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Nomama - Revisited (Scout Tuazon, Near Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner at Nomama a few weeks ago. We've been here before, and although we went here because they boast their "artisanal ramen", we were more pleased with their artisinal non-ramen dishes. You can read more about that here. Anyway, why did we go back here? I don't really know, but for some reason we ended up here.

Luckily, in fact. The day we went, they had a promo wherein we buy a large bowl of Prawn Ramen (445 Php), and we get a free junior bowl of any of their other ramen for 1 Php. We did just that and asked for their Ox Tongue Ramen. Since we were quite pleased with the appetizers we ordered the last time, we also asked for their Tuna Spring Roll (320 Php) which was the only one left that we haven't tried and wanted to. Finally, we also asked for their Miso Salted Caramel Ice Cream (150 Php).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Brooklyn Pizza (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner a couple of times at Brooklyn Pizza, Tomas Morato. We always pass over this place whenever we go to Tomas Morato for other food adventures. Lately, I've been wondering why. I've heard little about this place, but from the outside, it looked like a decent enough pizza parlor that serves Buffalo wings. After Googling up their menu and finding out their somewhat reasonable price tag, we finally made time to try it out.

As I've mentioned, their prices were not too steep for a pizza place. We were even luckier the first time we went because they had a promo that features most of their menu. Their Barkada Summer Promo, priced at 799 Php, offered a choice of some of their 14" pizzas, a choice of some of their pastas, an order of Buffalo Wings, and 1.5 liters of Pepsi. Although there was just the two of us, and I would've forgone the included beverage, this was too good of a deal to pass. So we settled for their Vegetarian Pizza and White Shrimp Pasta.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mezza Norte (Trinoma Mindanao Avenue Parking Lot)

Me, Beloved, and some friends visited relatively new (-ly transferred) food fair Mezza Norte at Trinoma's Mindanao Ave. Parking Lot. This used to be located at UP-Ayala Technohub, but moved here. I was convinced by many not to visit while it was still at Technohub due to the lack of space over the amount of people there. I did not receive the same complaints when it moved to Trinoma about a month ago.

Unlike the "usual" food fairs, this one opens relatively early from 4 p.m. up to 3 a.m. from Friday to Sunday, or, more accurately, until Monday morning. When Beloved and I arrived, at around 7 p.m., the place was already packed full. Although there were arguably a larger amount of tables and chairs compared to food markets I've been to, almost every one of them was occupied. Luckily, our friends arrived earlier and had a table reserved for us.

The best recommendations I've had were the steak from Juana Bowl and a sausage on bun dish from another stall. Sadly, the latter was no longer a tenant. So we went for the former place first. Although we originally went for their U.S. Rib Eye Steak (190 Php), the salmon they were cooking alongside with it smelled wonderful. So, Beloved ordered the steak and I ordered their Norwegian Salmon Belly (190 Php). It rained heavily moments after our order. Luckily, most of the fair was tented. Unluckily, it flooded some parts, making them inaccessible. The walk here from our table was among the flooded parts, so it was a bit of a nuisance, especially since my shoes weren't really waterproof.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Oishinbo (Little Tokyo, Makati)

Beloved and I had dinner at Little Tokyo's Oishinbo a few nights ago. This restaurant is among the "inner" places here, meaning you can optionally eat outside and have communal orders from any other place there. However, we chose to eat inside and was offered a seat beside the counter. We happily obliged.

Now, Oishinbo, unlike the rest of the places in Little Tokyo we've been to, is a bit different in that it doesn't have a specific Japanese food specialty. However, I found their menu to be practically complete. This was specifically good that night because we weren't really fancying anything in particular. In fact, the reason we went to Little Tokyo was because this was what came up after putting possible choices at Like Hana, it was a bit more casual than Urameshi-ya and Seryna, having a homely Japanese family-owned home restaurant appeal to it. I smelt tempura on our way in, so I decided to order that in Japanese dinner box form: Ebi Tempura Bento (390 Php). Beloved ordered their Cold Ramen (380 Php). We also got their Salmon Sashimi (390 Php) and a couple of different yakitori, similar to what we had at Seryna, because the grill was just in front us and looked appealing: Shiitake Yakitori (90 Php) and Enoki Bacon Yakitori (120 Php).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yang Chow (Eton Centris, Quezon Avenue)

Beloved and I had dinner a couple of times at Eton Centris Walk's Yang Chow. If you know your basic food knowledge, you know that this is a Chinese place just from the name. Beloved has been here a couple of times before, but these were my first two times trying it out.

Our first visit greeted us with a full house, and we had to wait a couple of minutes for a table. Luckily, since there were just the two of us, we got seated before a big party that came before us. It's apparent, though, that their setup is your typical Chinese tea house meant for big Chinese families. Their menu consists of the usual and slightly unusual Chinese fare, conveniently printed on the paper placemats. It was actually a pretty difficult choice due to the huge list of dishes available and the somewhat lower price tags compared to the competition. We settled for the following: Hakaw (90% Shrimp) (75 Php), Shark's Fin Dumpling (65 Php), Sesame Fried Butchi (45 Php), Yang Chow Fried Rice (180 Php), Seafood Vegetable Soup (200 Php), Mixed Seafood with Beancurd in Clay Pot (200 Php), and Abalone Mushroom with Broccoli (220 Php). Beloved also ordered their Chinese Milk Tea (60 Php), and I got their Chinese Lemon Tea (70 Php), which was essentially iced tea.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Seryna (Little Tokyo, Makati)

Beloved and I celebrated our fifth anniversary at Seryna. This Japanese restaurant is one of the few gastronomic places located at Little Tokyo. This one is at the outer periphery, and can be accessed without going to the communal alfresco area. According to fellow foodies, this place has the best sashimi in town. Excited, we opted for a reservation since we heard this place always gets full. Luckily, we were able to get one.

I've noticed that most of the places in Little Tokyo specializes in one particular Japanese specialty. However, most places have common dishes, specifically sushi and sashimi, among other Japanese favorites. Beloved got there first, and it took me a while to get there. During her impatience, she ordered for herself their Matcha Shaved Ice (135 Php). When I got there, we finally got to look at their menu, which isn't actually very different from the usual Japanese restaurants, if not for the unusual varieties of the usual stuff. For example, there were sushi and sashimi choices that I've seen for the first time, and there were yakitori or skewered grilled choices that, although I've heard of, seemed like only this place carries. They also have nabemono or hot pot among the usual tempura and donburi or rice meals. Both Beloved and I aren't really big on sushi, since it has rice. So we opted for the latter specialty. We got their Nanaten Moriawase Sashimi (860 Php), literally seven various sashimi. We also got their Yose Nabe (1100 Php), which was good for two because it was one of the more unique choices here. Finally, we also ordered a couple of each their Shiitake Yakitori (50 Php each) and Bacon Enoki Yakitori (70 Php each). Their yakitori can have either teriyaki sauce or salt. We opted for one of each.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hap Chan (Ali Mall, Cubao)

Beloved and I ate at Hap Chan a couple of times the past few weeks. Yep, you heard that right; this one took a while in the making. Why do it like this? Well, it's sort of an experiment. Basically all of our reviews have been mostly first impressions. While important, I think the most important part is consistency, and visiting again would affirm that. Also, this gives a chance to those places I didn't enjoy the first time around because of wrong order choices or irresponsible servers or unfortunate mishaps et cetera. So, unless we spent more than reasonable, or the place is very special, expect two visits from future reviews.

Anyway, back to the current one. Hap Chan is a Chinese restaurant—one of the more popular ones, in fact. To some people I know, Hap Chan is Chinese food. I've been to this place, although a different branch, with family and friends for quite a few times before. However, I was a bit surprised that Beloved never had the chance to visit. Since I recall no bad experiences, it was a pretty safe guinea pig for this two-fold review.

I also recall that most of their menu items serves two or more, typical for any Chinese restaurant-slash-tea house. Their prices are also very competitive and quite affordable, if you consider the serving size. During our first visit, I ordered their Lobster Ball Mami (160 Php). Beloved got their Hap Chan Special Hotpot (300 Php) and rice (30 Php) to go with it. We also ordered my favorite dimsum, Hakaw (95 Php) and my favorite Chinese dessert, Buchi (50 Php). We also got special drinks—Hot Lemon Tea (60 Php) for me and Milk Tea (60 Php) for Beloved, even though they already serve house tea, which I expect from any good Chinese tea house.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ganso-Shabuway (Shangri-La Plaza)

Beloved and I had dinner a few nights ago at Ganso-Shabuway. This place is located at Shangri-La Plaza's new East Wing, which is just starting to get populated with commercial outlets. We used to have little reason to go here, but since Beloved started working nearby, expect more blogs on food places around the area. Anyway, I have honestly never heard of the place before, but their menu is simple: Japanese hot pot or shabu-shabu, hence the name. Although the prices were a bit steep, I somehow convinced my stingy Beloved to splurge a bit.

As I've mentioned, they have a pretty simple menu consisting of stuff you put in shabu-shabu. They're all also conveniently placed into sets good for even-numbered people, instead of served up individually (although there are still individual selections). We ordered their Set B Menu set for Two (1095 Php), which has 250 grams of USDA Meyer Natural Angus Beef. Since it sounded a bit light, I urged that we get their Wagyu Beef Plate (200 grams for 825 Php). We were asked what broth to choose from traditional seaweed or spicy miso. Good thing you can order both, and we did so.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Food Camp (Katipunan Extension)

Me, Beloved, and a friend had dinner at Food Camp. No, this is not a military-style food encampment. However, I find the name appropriate for the place which serves mostly sandwiches and hamburgers—food I would expect scouts would carry around. Our friend has been here a few times, and claims this is among the best burger he had the chance to try. Sold by that statement, and since Vikings was an impossible venture at a weekend without a reservation, we went.

Their menu is pretty unique for a sandwich place, since they focus mostly on burgers. They also appropriately name their burgers using the phonetic alphabet. Their patties are all 1/3 pound ones, and you can stack as much as you want. Beloved noticed a special burger on their menu, and ordered that: their Wagyu Burger (359 Php for two patties). Although that was also enticing, I ordered their Bravo Burger (250 Php for two patties) to be different. Our friend, who was a veteran to the place, ordered their Filicheese Steak Sandwich (115 Php) and their Charlie Burger (175 Php for one patty). For sides and drinks, we ordered their Jalapeño Sticks (79 Php), Mozarella Bomb (109 Php), and a couple of Vanilla Milkshakes (85 Php).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Crazy Katsu (Maginhawa Street)

Beloved and I had afterbrunch at Crazy Katsu some days ago. This one's a bit overdue, being one of the few restaurants accessible to us located in Maginhawa. Unless you're not familiar with Japanese food, you would probably know by now that this place specializes in the Japanese "katsu" style of cooking. I'm actually quite familiar with the menu, despite not having the chance to eat here before. They basically have all sorts of katsu dishes plus some other Japanese favorites that go well with said dish.Our orders comprised of Chicken Katsu Curry (190 Php) for Beloved, Katsudon (150 Php) for me, a couple of orders of their Miso Soup (30 Php), and an order of their Gyoza (120 Php).

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ajisen Ramen (Banawe)

Me, Beloved, and family celebrated my brother's graduation at Ajisen Ramen a few days ago. The particular branch we went to was apparently the original one, at Sto. Domingo street near Banawe. However, this place wasn't located at a conventional commutable place, so Beloved and I never had plans to go here. My uncle and aunt, however, frequents this place and loves it. They brought us along for the said celebration.

Although it has "Ramen" in its name, we quickly found out that it wasn't a ramen-only restaurant. In fact, it only has a page of their pretty sizable menu dedicated to ramen over other Japanese dishes. However, there are plenty of Ramen offerings. I did notice that there was a lack of non-ramen noodle dishes, such as soba and udon. Being a ramen aficionado, I know that pork is what goes best in it. My uncle recommended I get their Chasyu Ramen (275 Php), which is basically their house specialty, the Ajisen Ramen, only with more pork. Beloved got their Hiyashi Ramen (255 Php), which piqued the curiosity of both my uncle and aunt. My aunt and uncle also ordered a feast for the rest of us, consisting of multiple orders of Agedashi Tofu (88 Php), California Maki (195 Php), Chahan (188 Php), Chirashi Sushi (335 Php), Crazy Roll (395 Php), Ebi Tempura (225 Php), and Kani Salad (128 Php), among other stuff that I forgot to picture and take note of.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clawdaddy (Robinsons Magnolia)

Beloved and I had dinner at Clawdaddy a few nights ago at Robinsons Magnolia. It was my first time going to that mall, and I was quite surprised at the various food places the mall houses. From its name, you can assume that whatever it serves must have claws. Sure enough, it boasts crabs—one of my favorite foods—as their specialty. Since this was among the few places this mall houses that we have yet to tried, it was a very tempting place. What made it a done deal was a promotion wherein if we pay more than 1000 Php, we get a free dish. Sold.

Although I really wanted just crab, Beloved wanted the easier-to-eat shellfish. Luckily, aside from crabs, this place also offers various kinds of shellfish and seafood. They also offer a particular dish that consists both crabs, shellfish, and even shrimps, among other stuff. We went for that: their Seafood Boiling Bag (899 Php). It actually had quite a few variants, but what we chose was basically the most "complete" one. They also offered it for two or four, but since there were only two of us, we choose the smaller portioning. Also, it luckily came with a free pitcher of either iced tea or lemonade. We chose the former. We also got their Fresh Oysters on Half Shell (198 Php) because we both like fresh oysters and we wanted to reach the 1000 Php offering. Our free dish was their Garden Pizza. As we waited for our orders, they gave us a sliced corn on the cob on the house.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cafe Via Mare (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had an afterbrunch at Cafe Via Mare a few days ago. Beloved noticed that there's a lack of Filipino restos in our blog. That's really not the reason we went here, though. We were deciding on a place to eat at that we haven't written about yet at Tomas Morato. This happens to be one of the places left. We also found out that their prices were not as steep as we originally imagined. Craving for Filipino food wasn't really the reason, but we rarely do. Since we had a lousy time on our previous adventure, we were hoping this place delivers.

I'm not really fond of the stew dishes of Filipino cuisine, which majority of is. I do, however, like the grilled or deep-fried dishes. We got something from both: Inihaw na Liempo (265 Php) for me and Ensaladang Bagnet (175 Php) for us to share. Beloved ordered their Tortang Alimasag (185 Php). She also asked for their Puto Bumbong (65 Php) with Quezo de Bola topping (23 Php). We also ordered some special drinks: Iced Cafe Mocha (95 Php) for Beloved and Calamansi Juice (65 Php) for me.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Greenhills)

A few nights ago, Beloved and I had dinner at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao. Since it's a pretty lengthy name, I'll just reduce it to Crystal Jade. This Singaporean-Chinese restaurant is located at Greenhills, just outside VirraMall. Since it has "Xiao Long Bao" in its name, I assumed it was their specialty, and their posters outside support my claim. I have no idea what "La Mian" was, though. Anyway, since we happened to be in the area and this place is amongst the only ones unique here from elsewhere, we decided to give it a shot.

Apparently, "La Mian" means hand-pulled noodles, so I assumed this was another of their specialties. And since it was majority of what's in the menu, we decided to order them. Beloved had their La Mian - Beef Spicy Soup (257 Php) and I had their La Mian - Shrimp Wanton in Clear Broth (257 Php). We also got their Xiao Long Bao (150 Php), another of their specialties. Since Beloved was starving that night, she also asked for their Pork Dumpling with Chives (135 Php). I also ordered their Fried Pancake with Scallion (107 Php) because it looked interesting and reminded me of a dish I enjoyed at Lugang Cafe. Speaking of which, this place reminded me a lot of that, minus the specialty drinks and desserts.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Afters (Tomas Morato)

After trying out Manang's Chicken, Beloved and I found ourselves at the coffee shop right next to it called Afters. Beloved claims she's been wanting to go to this place but never had the chance to. I, on the other hand, have never heard of this place until last Saturday. Since I wasn't really filled and didn't want to fill the rest of my belly space with sweet potato chips, and since Beloved wanted her vice drinks, we decided to pass by.

We were somewhat lucky that they offer a promo that day on this month since it was their anniversary. Every weekends, they offered a free scoop of gelato, one of their specialties aside from coffee, which is a ~90 Php value for every 200 Php purchase. Since the drinks cost almost as much as the usual coffee shop prices for their larger offerings, the goal was simple to reach. Beloved ordered their Iced Cafe Mocha (145 Php) and made me order their Green Tea Latte (119 Php). For the freebie, we chose a flavor we both like, Vanilla Gelato.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Manang's Chicken (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I ate at Manang's Chicken. Although they dub themselves "Ang Bagong Fried Chicken ng Pinoy", they basically use a smiliar recipe as Bonchon Chicken's or Chicken Charlie's, which is the Korean Soy Fried Chicken. I actually enjoy this style of cooking, but they usually lack in the amount of meat for what you pay. I've heard of reverse from this place, where there's plenty of meat to eat, but I've also heard some negative reviews from friends, claiming the chicken meat itself tasting poor and old. Last Saturday, out of whim, we finally get to try it out.

I finally understood why some of my friends thought the chicken meat itself was poor—they deep fry the chicken twice. This would probably make the chicken less tender and have that "old" texture. Knowing that, I decided to order the part which has more skin over meat—the wings. I ordered their 6 Pieces Wings Meal (199 Php). The chicken can have original, mildly spicy, and extra spicy coating. I asked them to give me at least one of each. Beloved, although she claimed she was craving for chicken, found another item in their menu that she fancied more, so she ordered their Sesame Beef Rice (122 Php). Both our orders included rice and drinks, but I also ordered their Small Barkada Bucket of Chips (170 Php), which came with four dips. Since they only had three choices, I asked for at least one of each.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vikings (SM North EDSA)

Me, Beloved, and friends celebrated one of our friend's birthday last night at Vikings. Incidentally, it also happened to be one of the first days for the soft opening of the anticipated SM North EDSA branch. We have been wanting very badly to try out the place, and even considered going to the already opened branches at SM Mall of Asia and SM Marikina. What kept us was the promise that the SM North EDSA branch was opening "soon". This was a few months ago, and after half a year, the promise was finally fulfilled.

For those who don't know, Vikings is a buffet. They dub themselves the most affordable premium buffet. Lunch and dinner for weekdays cost 888 Php, but they had a soft opening promo that took 20% off the bill after a 5% service charge. We were anticipating a huge crowd, not just because of the promo, but also because of the number of followers in their page. The crowd was present, but we were there a couple of hours before opening, since they weren't accepting reservations yet, so we were sure that we'll be seated. However, what we didn't anticipate was despite the expected crowd, they were able to accommodate almost everyone. The floor area was about a quarter of the entire floor of the Block and could easily seat more than a hundred people.

The buffet covered about half of the floor area, which makes this one of the biggest buffets I've been to. Not the biggest, mind you, but very respectable compared to those near its price range. Most of their food come from the sea, hence the name, but there were also meat offerings and specialties from Japan, China, et cetera.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thaipan (Scout Dr. Lazcano, near Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I celebrated Valentines day at Thaipan. We didn't really plan on going. In fact, we didn't have any reservation. We just decided on a whim to go to Tomas Morato and check out food places where there are seats available and preferably haven't tried yet. This place, while a bit of a way from Tomas Morato, was the first one we checked out. There were many reservations, but, luckily, we were accommodated immediately.

From its name, you can guess that this place specializes in Thai dishes. We haven't really been to plenty of Thai places, but most of the times we did, we had a pretty good experience. We decided to order both dishes we are familiar with and dishes that are new to us but sounded good on the menu. We ordered their Thaipan Selection Appetizer (350 Php), which offered both stuff we know and don't; Tom Yung Kung (145 Php), which is something we know of only phonetically different; Stuffed Cabbage Roll with Ground Pork (230 Php), which is new to us; and Phad Thai (310 Php), which is basically our cornerstone for Thai restaurant critique. We also ordered their Thai Milk Tea (95 Php) and Thai Mango Coconut Smoothie (110 Php).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Starr's Famous Shakes (Esteban Abada, near Katipunan)

After our dinner at Brickfire, Beloved somehow convinced me to try out Starr's Famous Shakes just a floor below on the same building just at the side. Obviously, they serve shakes. Although they tagged themselves "famous", this was actually the first time I've heard of them. Anyway, since I was in a good mood (and still hungry), we passed by.

Their menu is basically filled with shakes—milkshakes, to be exact. I thought this was a breath of fresh air from all the "healthy" milk-and-slash-or-tea places popping up all over the place. However, they do offer healthier options with yogurt milkshakes and smoothies which can be substituted with most of their menu. Instead of the healthy add-ons that milktea places offer, such as tapioca pearls and jelly, they offer similarly sweet and-slash-or nutty toppings and mix-ins.

Anyway, Beloved ordered their White Choco Vanilla Bean sugar-free milkshake (95 Php), which I was eying on, and I settled for their Vanilla Crisp Milkshake (95 Php),  which was on the special menu and basically just their Vanilla milkshake with toppings added. However, since this was just +15 Php to the regular milkshake, and a single topping costs 20 Php, I though it was a fair promo. Since I was still hungry, we also ordered their Belgian Fries (55 Php).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Brickfire (Esteban Abada, near Katipunan)

Beloved and I had dinner at Brickfire last night. We've been pretty interested in this place after passing by when it first opened a few months ago. However, even though Katipunan was a pretty close place to ours, it was still a pretty difficulty commute. Since money is not as much as an issue now as it was before, and after learning that their menu was not as expensive as expected, we took the chance to try it out.

The place, while among the roomier places we've been to, was packed full. We were lucky to have a table available when we arrived. Their menu was a single page, consisting of three specialties, some main dishes—all meat dishes, pasta, and some sides. I ordered one of their specialties: Cowgirl Annie, "Saddle" size, which is the larger of their two offerings (250 Php). I upgraded it to have two prawns (100 Php). Beloved ordered their Salisbury Steak (110 Php). We also ordered some of their sides, because they sounded appetizing and had appealing prices. We got their Brickfire Salad (150 Php), Tofu Tempura (95 Php), and Jalapeño Cheese Stick (40 Php).

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nomnomnom (Tomas Morato)

Yesterday, Beloved and I had a very late brunch at Nomnomnom. Actually, I should call it afterbrunch, since it was already afternoon, yet it was our first meal of the day, so I'm coining that term. Anyway, we haven't really researched about this place beforehand, but we do know that this place served healthy food according to friends and acquaintances who had tried this place before. I was sort of expecting a vegetarian restaurant like Greens. Since it was just located at Tomas Morato, near E. Rodriguez, it really wasn't a risky venture.

We found out that it wasn't really a vegetarian restaurant, although they do boast healthiness in their menu items. They call their food "happy", and most of them are mostly veggies if not for some seafood and chicken choices. There's no beef or pork, though. Some of their menu items reminded me of Gayuma ni Maria, where there is some sort of humor involved, such as Tinapasta (pasta with tinapa—smoked fish), Malinomnom (log pizza with smoked fish, kesong puti, red egg, and onions), and Nuggets Mo? (a veggiemeat nuggets rice meal). We didn't really go for the humorous choices, since majority of their menu were pretty normal, or not as humorous. We ordered their Shrooms (110 Php), Prom Pasta (160 Php), and Smoked Salmon Pizza (310 Php), which felt varied and filling enough. We also got a pitcher of their Flavored Iced Tea (130 Php), which honestly, although tasted different, was a bit too sweet for me and Beloved.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pho Hoa (Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner at Pho Hoa last night. Some back-story is required: You see, I've been in this place before. Now, being a food blogger, I frequent threads on community sites that are related to food. Often, when "what is a food that you must eat at least once in your life" question pops up in these sites, one of the most frequent answers was "pho". Now, as I've said, I've had pho before from the said place, but as I recall, or, more appropriately, forget what made it special. In fact, I vaguely remember it being quite awful. Nevertheless, this has been one of my food adventure missions after being a food blogger and hearing such comments. Last night, we finally made the decision to try it out.

Their menu consists mostly of the specialty Vietnamese noodle soup. A page is conveniently dedicated explaining the basics of enjoying the dish. After reading it, I opted to order their Pho Nam, Gan, Bo Vien, which is basically beef flank, tendon, and brisket soup, To Lon size, or large for 295 Php. Beloved ordered their spicy Pho Bo Kho, or beef stew, also To Lon at the same price. For our starters, we ordered their Gui Cuon, or vegetable spring rolls with pork and shrimp (129 Php), and we also ordered their Chien Dau Hu, or tofu steak in mushroom sauce (240 Php).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Yoogane (Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato)

Beloved and I had dinner at Yoogane a couple of nights ago. This relatively new Korean restaurant opened shop at the same building on the same floor of one of our favorite Japanese restaurants. Beloved had the chance to eat here before, and forewarned me of the spiciness of their specialty, Dak Galbi. Since our recent Korean restaurant ventures proved deliciously fruitful, I gave it a shot.

Every table is equipped with a stove. Beloved explains that the Dak Galbi is cooked in front of you. Although unlike other Korean or Japanese barbecue places we've been to, this place have cooks cooking for you. All of their specialties include chicken plus some other meat. We decided to order their Marinated Chicken Galbi & Assorted Seafood, which came in 900php and 1200php variants. Obviously, we chose the former. I should add that this is the only menu item that has this tag, the others are priced 300Php or less, but I assume these are only good for one. We chose this since this was the only one that came with seafood. Aside from that, we ordered a couple of side dishes, their Assorted Add Ons (200 Php) and Beloved asked for their Udon Noodle (90 Php).