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).