Chew on this: Gastro Park Kapitolyo

My boyfriend and I spent one sunny afternoon in one of the newest foodie spots in Pasig City: Gastro Park Kapitolyo.

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Food parks have been popping up here and there as of late. The first one I heard about was Maginhawa’s Streat, Z Compound in Malingap Street. Both are in Teachers Village in Quezon City where restaurants of all sorts seem to bloom on a regular basis. And then recently there is Gastro Park in Kapitolyo. Kapitolyo has already established itself as a foodie destination for homegrown hole-in-the-walls that serve good and affordable food. New restaurants are opening every now and then and they never go out of style.

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Gastro Park Kapitolyo is an expansive (not expensive) space with different food stalls of different cuisines and specialties, wooden tables and chairs, and music. The garage-style food court has inventive burgers, Mexican bulalo, Filipino-styled sandwiches, bagnet, Thai-Mex street food and more. The vicinity, after all, is still partly residential even with the presence of commercial establishments. This is the exact ambiance that foodies can have at the district’s 1st Street where Kanto Freestyle Breakfast also is.

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We tried as much food as our tummies could handle, and here are the dishes or drinks that we tried that day:

Sweet Nothing

 | Menu |@sweetnothingshakes |

Upon entering the park, the first stall that greets everyone is Sweet Nothing. Sweet Nothing is the park’s beverage provider. It also serves fun milkshakes, aside from refreshing juices and canned sodas.

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I may be wrong but it seems that Sweet Nothing is the main stand for dessert items. Sweet Nothing is also the most attractive and thought out among the stands.

One of the most popular stalls in Gastropark is Sweet Nothing, which serves juices, milkshakes and desserts. We tried the Strawberry Shortcake Shake (Php 120) and the S’mores Milkshake (Php 120).

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Though I’m biased with chocolate, I was more impressed with the Strawberry Shortcake Shake, topped with cotton candy. I enjoyed sipping the Strawberry Shortcake Shake more when I mixed the cotton candy with the shake.

Brick Plate

And one of the kiosks that caught my attention was Brick Plate. Brick Plate serves American comfort food including steaks, ribs and pizza.

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The shake ribs come with two ribs packed with meat. The corn, coleslaw and barbecue sauce come in small plastic containers. The meat was slightly on the tough side and it was lightly seasoned. It is best enjoyed with the sweet barbecue sauce.  I liked the two side dishes as it added crunch and more flavor to the bland ribs.

Japbox

Menu | @japbox_ph |

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Japbox is Japanese food in a box. Putting a twist on the popular Chinese takeout boxes, Japbox is sure to surprise your eyes and buds whenever you unbox their filling and flavorful Japanese treats, from sushi to tempura to rice toppings and more.

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Bagneto

Menu | @bagneto |

Bagneto is an Asian fusion restaurant specializing in bagnet (a deep fried pork delicacy hailing from the northern Ilocos region) served in different forms and flavors. Bagneto does their bagnet right.  If you’re looking for something different, Bagneto’s sisig is made entirely of crunchy bagnet, with a lovely egg cracked on top of it. In case you haven’t noticed, the name and logo was inspired by the character Magneto from X-Men.

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We had a great time trying out various dishes and drinks at Gastro Park Kapitolyo. The prices are reasonable and the choices are numerous that one visit is not enough to try everything. This place is great for gathering of friends and family where you can buy different kinds of food and share it with every one so you can try them all. Unfortunately, we cannot try all of it because they were so many for just the two of us. I would love to visit this again and try out more food stalls soon.

What are you waiting for? Grab your friends, drive up to Kapitolyo, Pasig and enjoy the food. For more updates you can check their Facebook.

Gastro Park Food Park
1st Street, Bgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Monday 4:00pm to 12:00mn
Tuesday to Thursday 12:00pm to 12:00mn
Friday to Saturday 12:00pm to 1:00am

Chew on this: The crib that’ll make you crave: AMO YAMIE CRIB

Fed up of your usual cafe spot? Wanted to try something new? Here’s a quick tour for you to my newly discovered cafe. Located at the heart of the University Belt, Amo Yamie Crib is the now being frequently visited place by students and barkadas.

One word for Amo Yamie? Everything in this place is Instagram – worthy! For those Instagram – lovers out there (like me!) who loves taking pictures of good food and good places, I have finally found the perfect place for you!

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When we’re already arrived in the place, we waited for at least 30 minutes because there’s still no vacant place. For first timers, this is the room where you have to enter to get table reservations. Place is full of students/ group of friends who actually spend a lot of time occupying the cribs, so making a reservation is recommended. Then when we already got the chance to enter the cafe, we liked the ambiance, their wooden designs and their other fancy decors that made the place cozy and feel like you’re at home.

From the cafe’s name, this coffee house indeed has a cribs inside! Yes! You heard that right. You can watch rent DVDs here and watch movies while sipping your coffee, and eating there specialty. The cribs look like a playhouse where you can do whatever you want like indian sit or even lie down. Each spot looks like a room which has a center table and pillows. I really love the theme of this coffee shop because it is very colorful and very festive.

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While most of the mainstream and well known cafes serve their blended drinks, fruit teas and other drinks using plastic cups or styro cups, Amo uses the seemingly being in the trend nowadays, mason jars. I find it very cute. It adds up to the entire feeling of being at home.

As if the fancy interiors weren’t enough; their food joins the vibe, too. From their creative names to their fancy presentation, a lot of “wows” and “OMGs” might have been blurted out, and bountiful Instagram-worthy photos were captured, as well.

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Their menu range from fun coffee and frappe concoctions, to sweet milk tea drinks. They also serve waffles, cakes served on pots, mini burgers, tacos, and other snacks to fill you up.

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Lots of choices are part of the menu, from hot or iced coffees, fairy tale frappes and frosts, cartoon characters named milk teas down to fruit teas. And yes, the list of drinks will make it hard for you to decide. But thanks to the magical named drink – Wizard of Oreos, at first glance, it  won my heart , which is a cookies and cream frappuccino topped with whipped cream and of course oreos. And, my best friend orders the  Snow White Vanilla Fairy tale frost, which is basically comprised of nuts and a crispy waffle on top. Each drink really serves true to its name. You can taste the presence of the ingredients individually, but more importantly, they jive well altogether.

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If you’re looking for a coffee house that has a twist like a fairytale concept at an affordable price, Amo Yamie is the right place for you! Their beverages and food is just ordinary but it will surely meet your taste and preferences and the money you will be paying would be worth it.

Location: AYC – UBelt is now open, located at 2nd floor, Gordi Plaza Bldg, Legarda St. Same as Bon Chon’s building, across Mendiola.

Chew on this: Crisostomo: Turn of the Century Filipino Cuisine

With the mixture of influence from colonizers and the rest of the Western world, it is no longer a surprise to hear the very diverse food preference of many Filipinos. I can say Filipinos can really relate with the food. You can see lots of Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Thai restaurants in the country that sometimes, you can’t help but wonder, is the old traditional Filipino taste already seeing its demise?

Filipino cuisine is slowly wedging its foot in the international food scene. The difficulty lies in how to translate the usual family-style servings to something that’s more sophisticated looking to be more easily accepted by the other parts of the world. Albeit it would be splendid to see adobo or sinigang in some minimalist and artistic creation, sometimes though, those big servings are the ones that spell comfort and home, and I think those are some of the endearing characteristics of Filipino food, one fact that is equally important to portray to the rest of the globe.

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One restaurant, found in the heart of the newer side of Metro Manila, begs to disagree. With renewed vigor, Crisostomo’s a restaurant claiming to serve turn of the century food, is bringing back the interest for Filipino delicacies with gusto. It has even improved some of the most common Filipino dishes we have.

The first thing that came to mind when I heard the name was the two popular novel by our National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, the Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Who can forget the lead character named Crisostomo Ibarra?! Reaching the place it sure showed Filipinos during the Spanish time, probably during the times of Padre Damaso and Donya Victorina. Attached in the walls are portraits of people obviously wearing Filipino clothes during Spanish times. The covering of the menu has a portrait of a man in Barong (National Filipino clothes) and wearing a tall hat. The pouch they used for packaging take-out foods has a sketch of a woman or man in Filipino costume.

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Crisostomo is a Filipino restaurant named after the protagonist of Jose Rizal’s novel, Noli Me Tangere. It specializes in Filipino cuisine–the restaurant’s facade even boasts that they serve “turn of the century Filipino cuisine”.

Few weeks back, my family and I tried Crisostomo, the new Filipino restaurant owned by the famous Chef Florabel Co, located in Resorts World Manila, Newport City, Pasay. We opted for Filipino food because of my balikbayan cousin. He’d been in Singapore for quite some time and are dying to gobble up as much Filipino food as they can. Anyways, we got there almost ten o’clock in the evening already and to my surprise, there were still a lot of people. The place was full and we have to wait for around 10 minutes for a vacant table. When we were finally able to get seats, we were already starving. Reading through their menu was like taking a trip down Noli Me Tangere lane as every dish title included a character’s name or a place from that setting.

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With my pretty sister
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With my adorable grandma
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My grandma and handsome daddy
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My balikbayan cousin

The restaurant was a bit small. Nonetheless, the decor exudes a Spanish maharlika vibe that’s cozy and warm. Wooden balusters line up the glass windows, portraits are mounted on the spring-green. A big distressed wooden China cabinet houses liquors, wine glasses and pristine white tea sets. Locket and vintage pendants as well as beaded jewelries hang from wooden hands that protrude from mirrored walls. The interior and lighting were posh enough to exude an inviting ambiance for couples, groups of friends or with family. It could, however, ward off potential Crisostomo customers who may conclude that the food may be priced sky-high.

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My oh-so-lovely family enjoying our foods. :)

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And now for what you’ve all been waiting for: The Food.

Don Juan (Php 295) is an inihaw na liempo dish that was typically your run-of-the-mill pork ribs (though it looked more like belly). Cut into strips, these grilled meat rests on a small banana leaf and showered with chopped chives and garlic bits. The meat was marinated nicely and tender to the bite but for the price I had expected something more.

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Salome’s Secret (Php 295) is actually stuffed squid which I really loved. The big squid was grilled beautifully with a bit of charred portions on top. The chopped chives was sprinkled across the seafood’s length. Imprisoned within the rings were slices of tomatoes and onions, which rendered color to the plate. The squid was tender and I liked how the sweet sauce complemented that smoky flavor.

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Escolta (Php 375) Birthday noodles, pancit canton with assorted meat, seafood, and quail eggs.

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De Los Santos Platter (Php 1695) is a family platter, combining the best of Crisostomo, Pork barbecue, liempo, chicken, pusit, bangus belly, oyster, inihaw na talong and achara or grated fermented papaya. This is a good thing to get for a big group of people.

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If you are planning to treat your balikbayan friend or friends from other countries for dinner or lunch, Crisostomo Filipino Cuisine can be one of the best choices.

Overall, everything we ordered tasted good, and for me are considered comfort food, them being Filipino dishes. The prices are a bit on the expensive side, and when I asked the waiter how big the servings were, he said it was good for sharing (2-3 persons). When the dishes came, it turned out that the sharing portion is indeed good for 2-3 persons. Service wise, it wasn’t exceptionally good, pretty fair or what you would expect from a restaurant.

We had a hearty, satisfying dinner at Crisostomo. The staff were also very accommodating. It was a nice dining experience, it feels like singing a kundiman with contemporary spin.  These were more than enough reasons for us to want to go back there.

For more info about Crisostomo you can check their website.

Chew on this: 8 Cuts Burger Blends

Hi my lovely-awesome readers! It’s been a while since I wrote a food review and now I’m posting my first food review for this year! Hell yeah! If you’ve been following my blog by now it’s quite apparent that I’m a sucker for good food! Burgers and I have a weird relationship. Normally, I’d prefer pastas and pizzas over burgers. However, when I crave for burgers, I yearn for it really badly. Like a mad man who needs his doze of bacon at once!DSC01274

8 Cuts Burger Blends had been quite popular in the past months. There were lots of news that they serve really good burger. Naturally, when I got a whiff of this new burger joint, I immediately informed my fellow carnivores and decided to finally try it out for ourselves in their branch in Megamall.

8 Cuts Burger Blends is brought by the same people who gave us Burger Bar. What they showcase here is that you can create your own burger. You can choose what meat cut to use for your burger and what toppings to put. I think choosing your own meat is a clever idea. I have my preferences when I eat my burger. I like to have my burgers meaty and yet juicy. Plus, I like my burgers how I like my steak; medium with perfect grill marks. And I was quite happy with how my burger was made.

8 Cuts was very casual with the concrete floors and unpainted walls that really sent out that “I just want to enjoy my food” vibe. Still, everything worked for us and we were looking oh so forward to our burgers ahead. Most burger places allow you to customize the toppings of your burger, but did you know that there’s a restaurant where you can customize as well as what cut of beef your patty will be made of?

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Alright, I wouldn’t blabber much, so let me now share with you the “comfort food” we had!

The place was not packed when we got there. Luckily there was one vacant table which was perfect for us. Each table has utensils, napkins, and condiments on standby.

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My best friend and I decided to dine at 8 Cuts Burger Blends which gets its name from the eight different cuts of beef from which you can choose your burger patty. Each cut has its own characteristics to suit everyone’s preferences. You can completely customize your own burger since you have the option of choosing everything from the bun, toppings, and beef. Everything sounds so good it’s such a shame you can’t just load up everything on your burger.

First thing that you notice about the place is the open kitchen. It’s basically an aquarium where you can see how the staff prepares the food—a food factory line. Kinda neat seeing that your food is not tainted by a mischievous kitchen crew, right?

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The server let us study the menu, and came back when (he thought) we were ready to order. Honestly, the menu was easy to comprehend but we were overwhelmed with the choices; I wanted to have them all! In magazine format, their ultra-cool menu was an innovative approach that I had never seen before. The pages illustrates their five patty types, each formed from eight cuts of meat in various amounts and combinations (hence the name “8 Cuts Burger Blends”). I was so torn between ordering the Four Cheese (parmesan-crusted patty, cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella) or the Q-daddy (bacon slices, caramelized onions), that I just opted to Make-My-Own.

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If you’re not feeling creative with your meal, you can just choose from the Tributes which are their own mouth-watering burger creations. While I honestly wish I could have tried all of the burgers, Jen and I just went for their best-sellers which are Piggy and Q-Daddy.

While waiting for our food, I couldn’t help but take pictures of their cool interiors. The place has a very modern, hip feel to it. The ambiance is relaxing amidst its simplicity. The place is cozy and refreshing. I guess its rustic design is a welcome reprieve from the normal dining decor. I love the gigantic butcher’s knives all over the walls because it adds so much character to the space. The casual and energetic atmosphere is the perfect backdrop for getting your hands dirty and digging into some greasy, delicious grub.

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Cute set of knives hangin’ on the wall

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Not to mention the tempting smell and sizzle of patties that welcomed us. It was a perfect timing because we’re in the mood for some #yoloburgermeal. 8 Cuts is an ultimate burger heaven. For me, it’s like a patty lab where they create assorted burger patties and invent various meat blends. Take note of the word lab – not factory. Each order is hand-pressed to make sure that it won’t look and taste too processed.

Now, on to the main event — the burgers!! The burgers are made in a systematic, assembly line like fashion. The process begins with: The Grind. Fresh cuts of meat are forced down the grinding machine, where it is blended with the other cuts, to create 8 Cut’s signature blends. The ground meat is then seasoned and rolled into a ball, where it goes into; The Press. The meat is hand pressed, and formed into patty, and slapped on to; The Griddle and The Build station where the burgers are then assembled, from the condiments to the sauces, depending on what you ordered.

I had the had The Q-Daddy which is a quarter pounder Ox Blend patty of flank, oxtail and rib eye, with yellow cheddar, onion tangles, crisp bacon strips, iceberg lettuce, tomato, jalapeño ranch and sweetly spiced BBQ sauce, all on a Sesame Seed Bun.

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The Q-Daddy

This is a burger of excesses, I tell ‘ya! This pretty much has everything I look for in a Burger…Cheese, Onion strips and bacon, and two kinds of sauces in a single burger? I didn’t even know how to start eating this! But, it all works. I enjoyed this burger so much that from my first bite to the last, I was in pure, meaty nirvana. I just can’t have enough! This pretty much has everything I look for in a Burger…Bacon, Cheese, BBQ sauce, and Onion Rings. It’s like it was made specifically for me in mind! I loved the Q-Daddy, and this is most likely what I would order again.

My best friend, Jen had The Piggy which is a quarter pounder Beef Bomb Blend patty of the chuck and short rib with mozzarella, fried bacon strips, house-made bacon jam, lollo rossa, tomatoes, garlic aioli, all on a Sesame Seed Bun. For bacon lovers, this is heaven on a bun.

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The Piggy

According to my best friend, the whole burger was so enjoyable, it successfully satisfied her burger craving. And the beef bomb blend is the bomb! Succulent yet not too intense, it’s definitely a beef patty that can work, work, work with all kinds of toppings.

Unfortunately we were not able to try making our own burgers. Since we had to wait in line for quite a time, we were already so hungry the moment we were seated. We just tried some of  their own combinations and it was not as bad.

Just like any good Burger shop, 8 Cuts has a delicious selection of Milkshakes too. I ordered the Salted Caramel Milk shake (P150 12oz/P180 16oz) from the “Classic” Milkshake selection. It was delicious, with its rich creaminess hitting the sweet spot of my taste buds. Jen ordered the Chocolate Milk Shake(P150 12oz/P180 16oz). The creamy and not so sweet chocolate shake was something to have as a drink to balance the taste from the burger. And besides, American dining won’t be complete at all if milkshake is not available on the table right?

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Salted Caramel Milkshake
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Chocolate Milkshake

By the time we finished our meal, I thought I had already lost any skill at breathing!

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That’s me and my bestfriend Jen happy with our burgers! :)

Although I am not much of a burger person, I was able to appreciate the quality and taste of the burgers here in 8 Cuts. However, what took away some of the points was the lack of creativity in the presentation of each burger. Service was also exceptional. The service crew were very engaging and accommodating to our requests. But more importantly, our orders were served within committed delivery (10-15 minutes).

What about food, you say. Well, good food is a prerequisite in ANY restaurant. Without decent food, concept and service and ambience are nothing—although these three complete the overall dining experience. 8 Cuts’ food is undeniably good, it’s just that by sticking to their standard medium-well patties, they might be limiting their customers. Of course, we can always make a special request, but we must be informed beforehand!

I had a taste of all the burger we ordered, and I could definitely suggest this place guys! Burgers was AWESOME. It was succulent and you just can’t stop taking bite after bite. It was kinda hard to distinguished the taste from one another but good thing was my burger has these almost caramelized onions which was sweet and crispy chips on top adding more distinctive taste to my burger. But rest assured, all the burgers we had was great!

There’s so much going on in their burgers that there’s definitely no other way to eat them than to just go right for it, and get your hands dirty. The patties are so tasty and juicy that you should expect meat juice to run all over your hands while eating. I couldn’t actually taste the ingredients individually, but all the flavors just come together in every bite! Seriously, every mouthful was just an explosion of flavors! Throw your diet out the window because these burgers are not for the faint of heart.

Overall, my 8 Cuts Burger Blends experience is a pleasant one. Everything, from decors to menu, stuck to the concept, and for me theme is everything. Execution comes next, and at this 8 Cuts definitely did not fail. Indeed, good food are best consumed with friends. So that was it!

If you’re looking for food porn-worthy burgers, then head on over to 8 Cuts and “meat their blends.”

See you guys on my next Travel Food Trip! Where should I go next?

For more information about 8 Cuts Burger Blends, visit their WEBSITE, FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Ciao.

Milk Tea-rific #4: Dakasi

It’s time for another milk tea post. :)

If you’ve been a regular reader, you’d know my undying love for tea and its trendier sibling, the ever-famous and sought-after milk tea. Although I’ve already had my fair share of this refreshing beverage, my hunt for the best milk tea shops in the Metro is still on. And recently, it led me to a new milk tea store in Dela Rosa Makati by the name of Dakasi and of course being the milk tea fan, I checked it out.

I love drinking milk tea; this is one of my favorite refreshment. Now a day’s there’s lot of milk tea available in the market (yes I invaded with lot of store offering milk tea). The milk tea phenomenon seems to be going full steam ahead with no signs of stopping just yet. Being the milk tea drinkers that we are, we’re always game to try new brands.

With the number of milk tea places that have popped up and still are popping up, there’s no way I could ever hope to try or even know about every single one of them. This review is by no means comprehensive, and I’ll try to update each time I try a new place.

Dakasi originated from Taiwan in the 90’s. Today, they have stores established in Southeast Asia particularly in Taipei, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hongkong, Indonesia, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines. The Taiwanese milk tea brand opened its first store in the Philippines about a year ago, and it has since expanded to include 17 branches around the country, bringing its worldwide total to over 500. According to their website their specialty is Taiwan’s green tea and was founded in 1999.

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When we were walking along the streets of Makati, my friend recommended the tea to me so we went to the little store they have. Because it was my first time I had trouble on choosing what I’d buy. In the end, I ordered their best seller, Dakasi Bubble Milk Tea.

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Walking into a Dakasi store is sure to bring a smile to your face. Done up in bright white and yellow, with a smiling star as its logo, Dakasi seems to call to adults and young alike as a place to let go of your worries for a few minutes.

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I tried one of their bestsellers on my very first visit, the Dakasi Bubble Milk Tea. Indeed, it tastes good! It’s not too syrupy, and I could still taste the tea in it unlike other milk teas that end up tasting either like milk or sugar. It has pearls added on it already, but you can always try combining it with another add-on if you wish to. The pearls are smaller, softer and sweeter compared to those sold in the market. Honestly, the tiny little pearls in regular serving of Dakasi Milk Tea remind me so much of Happy Lemon’s one-gulp pearls. Dakasi’s pearls were sweeter than Happy Lemon’s and the general taste of the milk tea drink is heavenly sweet, and I really liked it. I had the most gulps between me and my friend. It was definitely worth the try and worth coming back to. :)
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Dakasi Bubble Milk Tea
Aside from being happy with our orders, I’m also impressed with the selection at Dakasi. Dakasi offers drinks in hot and cold form. For the cold drinks, they have specialty drinks, special milk tea, matcha tea, iced tea, iced drinks, fresh tea, fruit yogurt drinks, smoothies and Yakult + tea. If you are new to the milk tea world, you could try their bestsellers like the one I mentioned a while ago. I have yet to try the following on my next visit: Dakasi Okinawa Milk Tea, Oreo milk tea and Strawberry Au Lait. And unlike other milk tea shops, this store offers a lot of hot concoctions as well.

As me and my friend discussed our usual catch-up topics, we observed the shop and agreed that it could be a great place to hang out. The staff was as happy to help as the cheerful ambiance implied, the store itself was very clean and efficient, and the teas were served in record time. The ambiance is just right for light reading, studying, or just talking with friends. The best thing is they have free WiFi connection, so that means you can really do blogging there, or homework. :)

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Of course, that doesn’t prevent you from personalizing your options. Dakasi allows you to specify your sugar levels, although they recommend trying these at 100 percent first since these were specially formulated for the best flavor. You can also pick from six add-ons: egg pudding, chocolate pudding, red bean, grass jelly, pearl, or coconut jelly. Here’s a glimpse of their menu:

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Dakasi has potential in attracting a lot of milk tea lovers, and I’m one of them. People should definitely try it.

Dakasi has branches at Annapolis Carpark in Greenhills Shopping Center, Dela Rosa Carpark 1 in Makati, Market! Market!, Banawe Street in Quezon City, UN Avenue corner Orosa in Manila, Festival Mall, Robinsons Place Otis, P. Tuazon Street in Cubao, Robinsons Place Manila, Trinoma, Technohub Iloilo, SM Calamba, SM Sta. Rosa, Harbor Point, The District, and Marquee Mall.

If you want to know more about Dakasi visit their website or you can check out their Facebook Page.

Trip to Ilo-ilo City (Part 1)

Hi! I’ve been behind with blogging since I had several things to catch up on after staying in Iloilo for a three days trip.

Me and my family usually travel around places but do not spend much to see the historical sites and beautiful places, there are airlines promos which everyone could avail and cost less than a quarter of the usual ticket cost. We were able to get a promo flight going to Iloilo and I was thrilled about this trip because it’s my first time to visit Banate and see some of my relatives from my mother side which is the last time I see them is when I was still a kid and also to witness some old churches in Jaro.

Our trip was booked from September 23rd till the 25th, with a side trip to Banate. Checking the net for places to visit in Ilo-Ilo, we were able to go in places like the Church of Jaro, the old ancestral houses and the places where we could eat authentic ilonggo foods.

I was kinda nervous on the day of our flight because Metro Manila is experiencing some tropical depression and some roads are flooded. So to make sure if there is cancellation of flights, my dad called the Cebu Pacific customer service to ask about our flight status and the representative told my dad that all the flights scheduled for that day are push-through. We are booked with Cebu Pacific Air and boarded to its domestic terminal in Terminal 3. The plane take-off exact the time of the scheduled departure time; and it’s still dark and raining when we take-off. Travel time from Manila to Iloilo is only one hour via plane. Few minutes later, the pilot announced preparation for arrival; seriously, that fast? But it isn’t an easy landing as it then took us minutes to touch down the airport. Big clouds were hindering the aircraft’s view to get to the airport’s runway. We were then assured that everything’s OK. What only worries me was what if the pilot decided to bring us back to Manila? But after several attempts, we were then able to land Iloilo International Airport safely and sound. That was a tough one! But as the saying goes, there’s a rainbow always after the rain. Right? It took us around 45 minutes to reach the Panay Island where Iloilo province is located.
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Panorama view of Ilo-ilo from above: Look how green and beautiful it is. :)

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Arrive at Iloilo International Airport at around 12:35pm. The airport serves the general area of Iloilo City. The airport vicinity is pretty impressive. Seats are conveniently available. There are also LCD screens available in the waiting area. Inside you’ll see restaurants and souvenir centers which I can say, offer affordable meals and products despite that they are situated in the airport. Outside the airport, you can either take taxi or shuttle service to your destination. But, since we are being fetch by our relatives we go straight to the hotel at Sarabia Manor Hotel where I booked for us which is located in General Luna St. Iloilo City which around 45 minutes travel from the airport . It was clean, smelled fresh and spacious. For 1,300 php per night, the room can fit in 2-4 persons. The A/C room has its own bathroom, a T.V. set with cable ready, a single and twin beds, and to top it all they have FREE wi-fi only in lobby area. If you want to have wi-fi ready in your room you can request in the reception area but with additional charge of Php150 per night. No free breakfast though but it isn’t bad as well right? If you will took a shuttle service (if in a tight budget), the drop-off is in SM Iloilo. This only costs Php50 per passenger and travel time is about 30 minutes. From SM City Iloilo, you may opt to ride a jeepney or a taxi depending on your destination. After checking-in, we just rest for a while and begin our adventure to Iloilo.
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Hotel lobby

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I have always loved the countryside. Especially around the Philippines, the best part for me, is not just arriving at my destination, but enjoying the sceneries while getting there.  Looking out of the window of the car or a bus, the farm lands, plantations, villages, rivers and mountains I see along the way are as interesting as the tourist attractions in the city.

Iloilo, aside from it wonderful history and amazing tourist spots, is also popular all over globe for its tasty dishes. And if you are heading to Iloilo and still don’t know where to eat, well, you shouldn’t forget to include in your itinerary a place where every dish seemed so affordable – Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafoods!

First itinerary, we went to Villa Baybay to have late lunch. Specifically at Tatoy’s Manokan and Seafoods, which is very famous in Iloilo. It is Iloilo’s version of “paluto” or the seaside that we have here in Metro Manila, where you choose your meat or seafood and they will cook it for you. With its wide selection of pork, beef, seafood and vegetable dishes that you can order, Tatoy’s Manokoan is the perfect answer to those Iloilo dishes’ cravings. Tatoy’s is a native restaurant that serves Filipino, specializing in Ilonggo dishes. The place looks like a huge cottage in front of the beach, with open air ambiance and sand on the floor. Available dishes are displayed on the counter, where one of the staff can take the orders. When the word of mouth spread, the place become deluged with customers, and Tatoy’s was on its way to becoming the venerable institution it now is, with a beach front property that includes an indoor dining room, an outdoor pavilion and a convention hall.

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For now, I’ll content myself with enjoying and raving about the all-time favorite Ilonggo cuisines, prepared and served in his legendary restaurant. We had our lunch in one of the nipa huts across the street, which offered us a wonderful view of the sea and Guimaras Island further across.

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We ordered their house specialty – the Roasted Native Chicken (Lechon Manok). This is one of their best sellers. It is slightly salty but this dish was delicious you’d want to eat it even without rice. It commands a high price for an open fire roasted chicken. And it’s really worth it since you might never get to taste a litson manok anywhere else and it tastes like no other. I wouldn’t wonder because each bite is just bursting with so much flavor. There is nothing complicated on how this dish is cooked but Tatoy’s managed to hook us in craving for this often.

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Tatoy’s Sibingan (Grilled Blue Marlin) is cooked to perfection. It has a soft, flakey texture, and not dried-out, unlike how other grilled fish is served from other restaurants. In fact, this is one of the bestselling dishes in Tatoy’s. I simply just couldn’t get enough of this. It is among the best I’ve tasted since it sort is prepared inasal style. Check out the color of the fish and you’ll know instantly. Served boneless and most of the time in large size, it can be eaten on its own because of its already tasty timpla. No need to dip it in a toyo-calamansi-sili mixture.

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Grilled Squid is another one of my favorite in Tatoy’s. Two thumbs-up for its tasty, chewy texture. It’s so good; I’d even pop this in my mouth like a snack, with a glass of softdrink in my hand.

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Of course we had the Baked Oysters. Oysters are a commodity here in Iloilo. You’ll easily find stalls serving the freshest and meatiest oysters. Oohh! Sooo yummy!! Even if people advised not to eat talaba (oysters) during the rainy season because they’re not as good, we still ordered because we miss it and talaba is very over priced in Manila. They were freshly baked and you can easily see that with how moist the melted cheese on top of the oyster is. Add to that, the oysters are all big. I officially declare, this is my new favorite.

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Like any carnivore, we also had the Lechon. A plate is generously full of crispy skin and meat. The sauce shouldn’t be ignored too. It is paired with a well-made liver sauce. I guess that’s the reason why, for me, eating Lechon without a liver sauce just feels incomplete. I grew up knowing that it’s a staple pair.

My mom also ordered an ensaladang mangga in which the mangoes are slice in small squares mixed with onions and bagoong.

Alongside those tasty dishes, was a small bowl filled with vinegar and these chilies. It was my first time to try these little chilies from Iloilo, and to my shock, it was sooo hot!!! So, to warn you all before you crush them, these minis are deadly hot! :)

To refresh me from this gastronomic journey that I had here at Tatoy’s and to quench the fire that was brought by those chilies, I had their fresh Buko. Pure bliss. The coconut juice has the right level of sweetness and the meat is perfectly soft. It can be a beverage and a dessert. Add to that, I was pleasantly surprised with how big it is! In all fairness, I think this drink suited to the ambiance of the whole place.

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We got so full that we skipped having desserts anymore. The food and the location were great. We were really satisfied with the food. Everyone yawned after eating – maybe because of the afternoon sea breeze. If you’re visiting Iloilo, Tatoy’s is a must-try resto for authentic and reasonably-priced Filipino dishes. I’d love to visit Tatoy’s if I go back to Iloilo again. The waiters were very nice to us though. So extra tip for them and this just show, their staff made sure that customers enjoyed eating there. I tell you, you’ll leave the restaurant satiated.

Tatoy’s Manokan Seafood Restaurant
Baluarte-Calumpang-Villa-Oton Blvd  Iloilo City, Philippines
+63 33 337 4276

Soo, stay tuned for my Part 2 trip to Ilo-ilo!!! :D

Chew on this: Mann Hann

“Eating is always a decision, nobody forces your hand to pick up food and put it in your mouth – Albert Ellis”

When I visit restaurants the first thing that definitely attracts me or caught my attention is the interior or surrounding and Mann Hann surely gave me the Asian and warm vibe. There’s never a lousy day if capped with a sumptuous dine at a good restaurant! There are restaurants you love going back to. And this is one of those. Mann Hann is one restaurant we enjoy revisiting over and over. We almost have a readied set menu of our favorite dishes we have grown to love thru the years. And it never fails to fill our tummies with delight every time.

So why the name Mann Hann? I did a bit of research about the name of Mann Hann and came across this amusing back story on their weird site:

Mann Hann was derived from an ancient Chinese legend that the owners love to tell their children. The romance involved Mann or Manchurian and a descendant from an old Han Dynasty and how the emperor’s opulence showed when entertaining foreign dignitaries by ordering “Mann Hann” Menu which consist of 200 delectable varieties. These feasts usually took them weeks to consume. Nobody knows for sure how the story ended but somehow synonymous with authentic Chinese Cuisine.

What a heritage, huh? Haha.

It was another lunch together with my friends Jen and Zackie and I just love it! It’s always nice dining with close friends, bonding and sharing stories together. We decided to take a lunch out at Mann Hann located at the Basement Bldg. A of SM Megamall. Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were asked on how many are we. When the guard found out that we were just three, we were asked if it’s okay with us to seat at Mannang, which I believe is a substore of Mann Hann. But since we don’t agree they make a way to find us seat in Mann Hann. It was proven when we looked at the menu; there was Mann Hann on the front, and Mannang on the back. Mannang specializes in Filipino cuisine while Mann Hann offers Chinese food.

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Mann Hann and Mannang are sister companies. Because these two restaurants are located next to each other, you can order Mann Hann dishes while you’re seated inside Mannang, and you can order Mannang dishes while you’re at Mann Hann.

Mann Hann definitely didn’t disappoint. Their foods were good, prices were definitely affordable & reasonable and ambiance was just perfect.  The food ranges from P200 to P400 and all is good for 2 to 3 persons. You will definitely enjoy the dining experience especially when coupled with the restaurant’s great service. Here’s the menu so that you can see the prices of the food:

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There’s real stiff competition out there though when it comes to the restaurants at the Mega Atrium. The whole atrium is basically surrounded by restaurants. When you walk around the area, you have representatives from different establishments trying to convince you to dine at their place. The owners don’t have to worry about this though, first time visitors is one thing but returning visitors is definitely another thing, a more important one. Does this restaurant have what it takes for customers to go back? Yes, definitely!  Well, especially if you are a Chinese-Filipino food fan.

We ordered nothing from the Mannang menu since it’s the typical food we eat. What we got from the Mann Hann menu are:

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Yang Chow Fried Rice (Php280). What are all these dishes without some good fried rice? A no-rice diet or even plain rice just won’t cut it for your standard Chinese dinner. This fried rice is pretty regular as far as good fried rice goes. An ever reliable choice.

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Sweet & Sour Spareribs (Php260) was good food and the sauce was rich and flavorful. Just enough for our taste buds.

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Spicy Squid (Php270), not-so-spicy, this one is also a must-try. Tender slices of fried squid with bagoong & calamansi dip which makes it taste more flavorful.

We just had service water for our drinks and of course, since it’s a Chinese restaurant, they serve unlimited house tea. The service is so fast. The food arrived fresh, tasty and still hot, hot, hot in just 15 minutes which I can say is really accurate.

Our food, in my opinion, was superb. I was craving for Chinese food, so maybe that’s why I enjoyed our lunch. I can taste the authenticity of the dishes and how crisp and tender the meat were. Mann Hann definitely has value for money. It cost us less than a thousand for our lunch. We left the restaurant full and our pockets intact.

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Mann Hann lives true to its name of carrying good classic Chinese dishes. Well, I don’t think this is what the Dynasty Warriors were eating, but it’s been around since my childhood so its classic enough for me!

Too many good restaurants to try out these days which is why I always make it a point to at least try out new restaurants every so often. Honestly, you can really find some nice and wonderful gems out there in the big sea of restaurants. Mann Hann is definitely one of them. Glad we tried it. So, if you haven’t tried it out yet, maybe you should try it out today.

Have you eaten at Mann Hann? I believe we have the same experience! :)

MANN HANN
Basement, SM Megamall, Bldg. A EDSA corner Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong Metro Manila, Philippines
Budget: Php 200 – Php 500

Chew on this: Chili’s

Yo, all my foodies…It’s been a long time since I post a food review, but the belly is back to burp! :)

I’ve been creating quite a post backlog, and got a loads of good food for me to review. But today I’m posting about my delicious experience at Chili’s. Chili’s is a well known international franchise restaurant where you will feel at home eating wonderful food and drinking cool refreshing drinks. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chili’s is basically a resto that offers not really a spicy food literally, but they have frozen margaritas and amazing fajitas! The price might be a bit expensive but it’s all worth it. Currently it has 6 locations around the metro. Chili’s is a great hang-out place for foodies who want authentic American and Mexican specialties.

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Another fixture of malls among other places is the Chili’s Restaurants and their trademark Chili Pepper sign. A good advertising ploy since the “chili pepper” can be seen well before you can actually spot the restaurant. You see, Chili’s is one of the few casual dining places I like.

It’s nice to go out and treat yourself to a good meal. During our lunch dates, my friends and I decided to splurge a little since it was our first time being together again for months so we had lunch at Chili’s in Greenbelt 5 during a hot afternoon. The Chili’s place at Greenbelt 5 was actually big; it also has some more tables outside to accommodate customers who smoke and love seeing the skies. It is a great place to relax with friends and family. It is our favorite hangout if we are craving for Mexican and American food.

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L-R: Zackie and Me
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L-R: With my friend boyfriend, Ron, Gaena and Paige

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There were four of us and if you frequent Chili’s you know that they have big servings. Imagine four girls ordering Bottomless Tostada chips, Buffalo wings, Pesto Pasta, Sandwiches and Bottomless Iced Tea all at once. There were only four of us but our table was so full of plates. **Since we frequently eat at Chili’s the pictures I posted are on different lunch dates with the friends. :))**

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L-R: Me and Paige
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L-R: Jen and Zackie
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Here we are enjoying our foods!! :D

The menu includes starters, salads, sandwiches, pastas, steaks, fajitas and hamburgers. They have a full service bar and I’m sure I won’t be the first to tell Chili’s staff knows how to mix some pretty nice drinks. I find their food to be exceptional and fantastic. To me it all had different taste to each item I sampled; perhaps it was their signature blend of spices applied to all their food.

Being the creatures of habit that we are, we ordered pretty much the same food that we always do. Food serving here are big. So ready your tummy for it will be great dining experience. Make sure to loosen your pants button. :)

For starter, we ordered The Triple Dipper and Bottomless Tostada chips.

We started our dinner with our favorite Tostada chips. Since we were hungry and this one is very easy to prepare, this can help us pass the hunger for a few minutes.

The Bottomless Tostada chips are crunchy with mildly spicy salsa dip.  Like oh my goodness I’ve been craving for this for so long already. This is like a bowl of goodness. You can “top-up” the chips for free as many times as you want. We Filipinos love this sorta “free” thing, hence why Chili’s is always, always packed. By the way, the chips and salsa dip have unlimited refills so if you want to simply eat this till you are so full of chips, go ahead! :) We managed to finish two or three refills of the chips and have taken home the fourth refill (nearly empty too).
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Tostada chips with salsa dip
The Triple Dipper is a combo of their best selling appetizers: Buffalo wings, this one is really spicy but it complements really well with the cheese dip. It was okay to me which needs a little more tanginess flavor. Chicken Crispers, perfectly golden brown breaded chicken. I was surprise that it’s really juicy and tender! And South Western Eggrolls, its crispy flour filled with smoked chicken, black beans, corn, cheese, red peppers and spinach. I find it a bit spicy, but who cares, its gooood! Served with their winner sauce and dipping.
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Triple Dipper: Buffalo wings, Chicken crispers & South Western eggrolls
We also ordered the Chipotle Chicken Pesto Pasta. We first thought that it’s same boring pasta when they served it to our table. But I was wrong. Really creamy, pasta on a chipotle based pesto sauce topped with huge chunks of grilled chicken. The portion of this dish was very large. I think it really was meant for three to four people to eat. The taste of the garnishing and sour cream and the green stuff was not that bad actually.
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Chipotle Chicken Pesto Pasta
As addition to our meal, we have the Cajun Club Sandwich. The sandwich itself is delicious served with french fries. It’s little, roughly three bites’ worth, and is very tasty.
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Cajun Club Sandwich
And the Bacon Burger was quite satisfying. Just looking at it, you could sense some serious substance. The solid slab of beef is served with crispy-thick bacon, aged cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and mayo. The quantity was pretty good considering what I paid. Served on a sesame seed bun Plus! It was also served with fries. The fries were crispy and hot with enough salt already on them. Their patty was huge and awesome!
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Bacon Burger
For drinks all of us ordered Bottomless beverages you can choose from Iced Tea, Lemonade and Fountain drinks. The lemonade was okay but I didn’t really enjoy them since they were not too sweet (I have a severe case of sweet tooth!)

By the end of the meal, we had our leftovers wrapped to go and asked for the bill. We were making wild guesses as to how much our total bill would be. Our bill was around Php2k+. Crazy but well worth it. We just said we’ll never over-order ever again! It’s just that Chili’s has so many scrumptious foods to choose from and it’s difficult to only choose 1 among 50 choices. What’s good though is that their servings are big enough to share as a group.

The staffs are very friendly and accommodating. They have a good knowledge of the food they serving. You can always ask them what’s good or not according to your taste preferences. Despite having a lot of customers, the service was very fast.

All in all, it was quite a gastronomical dining experience. The overall menu is a bit expensive, but the food choices will fill you up. Chili’s isn’t a bad deal for food. Good little bites, though, but filling as hell. Extremely addictive until you actually get full. I just wanted to keep eating and eating until my stomach reminded me that it was full. And everything tasted great. I can’t complain.  I’d really like to go back and try other dishes. It is definitely worth a second (or even a third & fourth) try. Plus I’d like to claim my free buffalo wings on my next visit. :)

You can check their website or you too can enjoy these yummy foods by simply visiting there branches at these following locations around the metro:

MAKATI: 2nd Level Greenbelt 5 Ayala Center Makati City
GREENHILLS: 26 Missouri St. cor. Nevada St., Northeast Greenhills San Juan
TOMAS MORATO: 199 Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Scout Fernandez Quezon City
ROCKWELL: P1 Unit 36 Power Plant Mall Rockwell Center
ALABANG TOWN CENTER: LGF, Corte de Las Palmas Expansion, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
MEGAMALL:  2/L Mega Atrium, SM Megamall Edsa cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City

Chew on this: YABU: House of Katsu

I have been a food lover even before I got hooked with fashion and blogging. As food lovers, we all have our list of must-try restaurants. Anyone who has a Twitter account knows that Yabu: House of Katsu is a pretty hot restaurant right now. I’ve seen enough pictures in my Instagram, Twitter and FB to make me drool.  So today I got the privilege to dine at Yabu: The House of Katsu! I’ve been hearing some famous bloggers and personalities rave about this Japanese Tonkatsu restaurant, and today I finally got to experience and find out what this commotion is all about! Now I can brag about my excellent dining experience at Yabu just like the other foodies who’s raving about the best katsu house in town. I’ve always enjoyed Katsu, and after hearing so much about Yabu: The House of Katsu, I had to give it a try. And I’m just so glad I did. I finally got to eat at Yabu after 10,000 years!! Hahaha :)) I was really excited about trying this restaurant because of all the rave reviews online. What’s more, I don’t eat sushi or anything raw so whenever we go to a Japanese restaurant, the only thing I order is Tonkatsu or Katsudon. So imagine eating someplace called The House of Katsu? Heaven!

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Yabu: House of Katsu. Is it really worth the hype? :) Does it really deserve all these raves and approvals?

Yabu is supposed to be the first and only authentic Katsu restaurant in the country, or so they claim. I am not sure if that account is true, but that’s what it says inside their informative menu. For those who are not familiar what katsu is, to quote from their menu, “The word katsu is an abbreviation of the word “katsuretsu,” which means cutlet. It generally refers to a sliced piece of meat that is breaded and deep fried.” So if you are overly health conscious, this place is not for you ’cause almost everything is beautifully deep fried in here. Anyway, if you want to learn more about Yabu and katsu, their menu is very helpful. Yabu prides itself for having renowned Japanese chef Kazuya Takeda as the culinary mastermind behind their katsu menu. Although not based in the Philippines, Chef Kazuya extensively trained the Yabu staff to master the art of perfect katsu cooking.

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They have a wide selection of katsu dishes to choose from: pork, chicken, seafood, veggies, name it. Being first timers, we didn’t have a hard time choosing what we want.  Every detail about a particular dish is described in the menu that they give to guests.

One unique thing about Yabu is you get to make your own Katsu sauce! While waiting for our food we were given this cool wooden mortar and pestle-like stuff and we have to grind the black and white sesame seeds until its fine! Aaaah, I love the smell of this! After the seeds are crushed, it is now time to pour your desired amount of tonkatsu sauce. This is kinda childish, but I really enjoy grinding the sesame seeds. Superb! If you’re lazy, you can request for ground sesame seeds already. I thought this was quite fun though! The sauce goes well with all their katsu dishes including seafoods. It has the right balance of sweet and tangy and can definitely add taste and texture to bland foods such as the cream dory and prawns.

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I find it nice that they ask guests if it is their first time dining in their restaurant because they really give extra attention to you if you are. Since it is our first time, our food attendant familiarized us with the sauces and dressings on our table. He informed us what each is used for. The condiments include Japanese spices, sesame dressing and vinaigrette sauce for the cabbage and salads, and Himalayan salt if you need to add flavor to your food.

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After about 10-15 minutes our food arrived: For my parents they ordered Seafood Mix Set 1 (Php485) basically consists of different seafood like black tiger prawn, cream dory, oyster, squid and scallops. If you’re a seafood lover, then this one’s perfect for you!  I ordered the Rosu Katsu Curry set (Php375) the crunch of the pork and the hot curry sauce provide some great texture, another winner in Yabu’s menu. You can choose your preferred level of heat, from regular, hot to very hot.  Though I asked for my Katsu Curry in a “Regular” level of spiciness, the heat was still present, and added a gentle kick to it in the end. But you know their food didn’t taste unfamiliar to my Japan-trained palate. You’ll get your money’s worth at Yabu as each meal comes with unlimited Japanese rice, unlimited cabbage, miso soup, Japanese pickles, and a bowl of fruit. Their presentation is pretty nice that it made me not want to touch any of it.  But, hunger took over and before I knew it everything was gone! Well, except for the plates :) Don’t let the serving size on the photos fool you. All three of us were so full afterwards that we weren’t able to take advantage of their unlimited Japanese rice. But over-all, the combination of the whole set, with the Do-It-Yourself katsu sauce, makes a one-of-a-kind katsu experience. Every element goes well together, but a variety of condiments is readily available on each table for more preferences. To wash it all down, me and daddy ordered Ripe Mango Shake and for my mom Pineapple shake which was for Php100 and Php90 respectively.

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Rosu Katsu Curry set
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Seafood Mix Set 1

Aside from the food, I really love Yabu as a restaurant. The place is spacious, clean, and has that nice relaxed ambiance. Most of all, the staffs are very friendly and attentive even if the place was decently packed. We were very well-taken care of. Shout out to store manager and servers for the excellent service!  Yabu has that perfect combination of good food, relaxed atmosphere, and well-mannered staff that makes an excellent casual dining experience.
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Dining with Mom and Dad :)
I like how their interiors pulled of a minimalistic look that was comfortable and cozy at the same time. Their anime-comic-manga decorated walls made me smile and think that I was going to be enjoying my meal there. Be prepared to shell out a bit more though because they are not that cheap but for food that good, the price is really worth it. We were given menus and our waiter patiently answered all our questions and they all seemed very knowledgeable about their product which is another good point for Yabu. Their menu is another good point for them. It is filled with information on how best to enjoy your katsu. So far so good!
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Yabu’s hip anime-inspired frames on the walls
We’ll probably be coming back here again as I was totally blown away by it. Service was really fast, and everyone was very courteous from ushering us to our seats, to offering us extra orders. The ambiance and overall look of the place was nice, with the quote riddled walls of the restroom standing out the most. With all that being said, expect us back in Yabu again soon.

Sorry for the lack of photos. It’s hard to take photos while you’re in the middle of eating delicious food.

Store Branches:
*SM Megamall – 2/F Mega Atrium
*Robinsons Magnolia – Lower ground floor
*SM Mall of Asia – 2/F South Arcade, Main Mall Atrium

Like their Facebook Page
Check out their website for more info.

Milk Tea-rific #3: Chatime

Hello bloggers! Sorry for being lazy posting again. Been busy doing some stuffs and fixing things. But I already have a list of things to post for me to share it to you. But for the mean time let me just share to you my milk tea review no.3.

MILK TEA!! One of my favorite drinks nowadays! I always crave for one. 

My official introduction to the world of–hold on, I mean the wonderful world of milk tea was from Chatime. Tea and milk are two things poles apart in taste. But, when blended together, tastes amazing! It’s just so damn good. I tried so many milk tea store out there but Chatime is really one of the best!
Good Tea, Good Time!

Chatime is founded in Taiwan on 2003 and as of March 2012 it has over 500 outlets in 15 countries and counting. Chatime (again, I need to be wittier! Haha!), the largest international milk tea brand would open its doors in Manila! True enough, with over 12 stores in the top malls all over the country, Chatime’s pretty much gathered a loyal following in the milk-tea-loving crowd, ME INCLUDED!! :) I suddenly got giddy and a lot more fun than the images of relaxation and tea pots that we’re used to. I’m just happy its family is expanding and more people are gaining awareness about its great flavors. Fine! it was a bit of an exaggeration but it definitely made me smile from one ear to the other. I must have had dozens of cups of Chatime milk tea already before I was finally able to write an entry about it.

Recently, in the Philippines there is a lot of milk tea outlets established wherever you go and a lot of people began to be curious about the taste then became crazy about the said beverage. Milk teas had been quite a fad food wise, sprouting like mushrooms all over the metro taking over the Starbucks culture and Chatime is one of the many milk tea company responsible for it. They have the variety of flavors that you can enjoy from plain milk tea to a flavored tea. Not only milk tea but they also offer fruit juices. It’s your choice! Chatime uses freshly brewed tea infused with different natural flavors to make the best bubble tea drink in town! Here is a small peek of their menu:

Menu  from their Facebook page

Their menu is written in both English and Chinese. Their prices are almost the same of the other tea house. However, their prices are not inclusive of toppings. An additional topping costs PHP15-PHP25.

A usual that I get is the Chocolate Mousse with 100% sugar and normal ice (PHP85-Medium, PHP95-Large), Taro Pudding Milk Tea with the same specifics. I always add topping of pearls whenever I ordered a drink. It taste good and addicting; now I know why it’s one of their best selling flavor. Also, Matcha Tea Latte is a green tea with latte underneath it. The taste is less sweet which I do prefer compared to Starbucks’ green tea frappe. I think even without the latte the green tea would taste a bit bitter which for some people will pass the said drink. 

Taro Pudding Milk Tea
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Chocolate Mousse

RECOMMENDED!! I think Chatime offers one of the better tasting milk teas in town. They have a wide selection of drinks and you have the option to choose the amount of sugar and ice you want. 

They also had this electronic round mini frisbee-like disc (I don’t know what it is called exactly) given to you while waiting for your drinks. It lights up and buzzes once your drinks are ready for pick-up at the counter. So no need to loiter around the counter. 

But what I loved about this store is their new IPAD menu! It shows all their drinks with fun facts about each drink. You can also see which add-ons are best for the drink. Just touch it and you’ll see all the refreshing teas Chatime has to offer.

Once you get there, it is very relaxing despite the number of people going in and out of the store. Comfy and chic, it is fun and relaxed at the same time. Enjoy the bright purple and pink accents against the bright white interiors. Which almost girls like!! :) Sink into the lean back soft seats with your milk tea in hand. Definitely a cool place to hangout with your friends up until the weeee hours. I thinks it’s also a good place to do a lot of planning and thinking here. And like what I always look for from all the other milk tea I’ve tried, and like what I’ve stated from my previous milk teas entry, I want the tea flavor intact! And here, you still get that yummy yummy tea taste!!

They’re also selling cakes, breads, mini hamburgers and other staples such as the curry dog, french fries, and pepper salt chicken pops! You won’t miss it for sure!

Pastries and Desserts

While I’ve compelled to keep trying the different milk teas out there, it doesn’t hurt to have a favorite. I’ll always be loyal to Chatime. 

Have you gone for your own Chatime yet?? I think this will be a place for me to hang out and enjoy the drinks from time to time…For those milk tea lover if you want to try this, check out their Website, like their Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter