Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dessert Series: McDonald's Holiday Sweet Pleasures

We've seen a lot of trends in the food industry this year. From the rise of the Cronut, to Speculoos, and salted caramel, well, everything, players in the food industry are finding it difficult to keep up with everything! McDonald’s has joined the bandwagon by celebrating the holidays by letting you indulge in any of this year’s delectable Holiday Sweet Pleasures.

Friday, November 29, 2013

An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour at Tuscany

Tuscany at McKinley Hill is looming with all things gastronomic. Cooking up international flavors from all around the globe, this sizzling culinary sanctuary should be one's to-go place for delectable cravings without having to leave the comfort of the metro.

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls is giving everybody a chance to discover Tuscany's best kept secrets through a mouth-watering degustation tour open to the public this coming month. "An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour," which will run on November 30, December 7, 14, and 21, 2013 from 2pm - 5pm is a degustation tour with 8 stops for P1,000 organized by Megaworld Lifestyle Malls together with RJ Ledesma and Anton Diaz, two of the most influential foodies in the Philippines.

I was lucky enough to get invited to the very first Secret Foodies Tour, so Jericho and I headed over to McKinley Hill, giddy like schoolkids for all the awesomeness that was about to ensure, our tummies ready for the eat-a-thon that was about to ensue.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lunching & Wining at M Café

A good meal and a few glasses of wine seems to be the norm nowadays. The month of November has brought me to so many wonderful events with good wine, I'm just really happy to be a part of it and taking it as an opportunity to refine my palette.

Another opportunity popped up last week when Jericho and I were invited to lunch at M Café in Ayala, a Raintree Restaurant, to enjoy the good food as well as the overflowing glasses of vino from their partner, Future Trade International.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Wine Christmas by Future Trade Interntaional

I'm not much of an alcoholic. I can appreciate a few craft beers, although overall it's a taste I never acquired, and I like my cocktails on the sweet side - 80% of it being juice or whatever non-alcoholic ingredient is int here and the 20% being just enough to get me buzzed after around 10 glasses. I will, however, admit to being a wino. My bottle of choice is white - a sweet Riesling.

With Filipinos having a better appreciation for wine, Future Trade International has tied up with Raintree Restaurants and are giving away a lot of wine hampers for a very happy wine Christmas!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mr. Wiggles & Zoey - Why Rescues Rock!

Jericho and I adopted a stray puppy around a year ago. Jericho stumbled upon him (almost literally) when coming home buzzed from a fun night out. He mistook the wee thing for a small plastic bag and was surprised to find the bag had followed him inside. And had little legs. And a snout. And a big smile on his face.

We have been taking turns in caring for him over the past year (he shuttled back from my place in BGC and Jericho's place in Las Piñas for a while) and the little plastic bag has grown into one very happy (and spoiled!) young dog, and he now shares our affections with another small rescue, the ninja maltipoo, Zoey.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dessert Series: BONO Artisanal Gelato at Aura Premier

I finally popped my BONO cherry. And I loved every minute of it! I had wanted to pay BONO Artisanal Gelato a visit ever since it had first opened at the Podium, but had never gotten around to it. Now with a branch at SM Makati and Aura, the famous gelato store has gotten closer and closer to my 'hood!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Burger Company: Burgers, Wings & Other Yummy Things

Let me let you in on a little secret. When I don't go out to eat, I try to eat clean. I do. Other than meals that consist of sweet potatoes and hard-boiled eggs, there's a lot of green juice and juice fasts that goes hand-in-hand with all the lavish lunches and dinners that I am very thankful to be invited to.

But when I go on a burger binge, all bets are off. This is a rare occurrence, as I rarely find burger joints I really like. Once of them used to be the now defunct Boulevard Diner near Ateneo that had closed up that rivaled my other favorite burger hangout, Charlie's Grind & Grill. So you could imagine how over the moon I was when I was told that Alvin Ong, the owner of Boulevard Diner, had put up the new Burger Company in the intersection of Scout Reyes and Mother Ignacia.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chef Josh Boutwood Demos New Holiday Dishes at Village Tavern

With the Bistro Group Restaurants' Corporate Chef, Josh Boutwood, garnering the title of "Chef of the Year" at the Philippine Culinary Cup (PCC) held at this year's Word Food Expo (WOFEX) 2013, "The Alchemist" was gracious enough to give a few of us - his adoring public - a taste of him at work... as well as a taste of all the delicious dishes he whipped up that afternoon!

I checked out Village Tavern ith a few friends once particularly sunny afternoon, as we were invited to see Chef Josh's cooking demo that featured three of his award-winning dishes which will also be a part of Village Tavern's Holiday Menu alongside other up-and-coming exciting selections. Horay for great food and cute, talented chefs!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mercato Centrale's El Sur Opens in Alabang

Great news to all the foodies from the South! The Mercato Centrale group, organizer of the Manila’s most popular night food markets, is bringing back the Mercato Centrale experience to the South!

EL SUR – the newest Mercato Centrale market - will be open in Alabang Town Center (beside Fully Booked) every Friday (4pm – 3am) and Saturday (12nn - 12mn) starting on November 23, 2013!

Kettle Opens at Shangri-la Mall's East Wing

I have to say, Shangri-la Mall's East Wing is starting to give Bonifacio High Street a run for it's money. With a lot of really good restaurants making their debut at the mall, foodies are making their way to Mandaluyong while chefs impress with their simple yet painfully delicious menu.

Jericho and I found ourselves at the newest wing one night with some of our foodie fambam to try one of the newest restaurants on the block, Kettle. The term comfort food is taken to a whole new level, with all of the dishes knocking it out of the park.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jack Daniels On Stage - Are You In?

This is a story of independence, integrity, and authenticity. Unbeknownst to most, in the 1800's, Mr. Jack Daniel himself started a movement that hundreds of years later, is still practiced and proves to be the catalyst of some of the best musical collaborations.

1866 saw the birth of the Jack Daniel's Distillery which soon turned into the best, if not the only, Tennessee whiskey in the entire world.  He also began the oldest recorded music sponsorship when he and his band, The Silver Cornet Band, started playing at his saloons that were serving Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey.  Ever the supporter of independent music, Jack Daniel's continues its reign to showcase the best music from all corners of the world.

Being a musician himself, Mr. Jack never lost sight of the talent behind each musician and always acknowledged that a lot of the talent came from independent artists.  Hundreds of years later, Jack Daniel's in the Philippines and around the world continues that support by launching localized music programs that support independent music. This year, Jack Daniel’s Philippines celebrates independent music with the “Jack On Stage”.

Yabu: House of Katsu Opens at the Alabang Town Center

My favorite katsu place has finally made it to the Alabang Town Center! I was ecstatic to get an invite from the pretty ladies of Yabu: House of Katsu, inviting me to their newest branch. When in the south, I usually go to Southmall just for this, and the place is always packed with people, so having this at ATC is better - I can hit up the Jamba Juice store after!

So Jericho and I headed over to ATC - his Bedan stomping grounds - to get our katsu on and support one of our favorite local restaurants.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tokyo Tokyo Celebrates Their New Ramen Dishes + Giveaway!

With the weather getting cooler and the ramen craze in full swing in good ol' Metro Manila, the folks at Tokyo Tokyo has come out with three hot ramen flavors for everyone to enjoy! Each dish is made with a Tonkatsu ot Miso broth that has been simmered for at least 24 hours, with a base of koshi ramen noodles, and topped with fresh ingredients.

If you're like me, and feel that ramen flavors can be a bit daunting, take Tokyo Tokyo's quick and fun Ramen Personality Quiz to find out which ramen would best suit you!

Silk Road Thai Bistro Opens in BGC

I have always been cautious about Thai food, mainly because only a handful of restaurants know how to do it right. Authentic Thai food may come off as too spicy (like wasabi-up-your-nose spicy), and those that try to play on the Pinoy palette just cover the spiciness with too much sugar, coating all the delicate flavors that makes a dish uniquely Thai.

I had almost given up my search for a Thai restaurant that I actually liked, and was about to give up when a very picky friend of mine asked if I'd like to check out Silk Road Thai Bistro - a cool spot that happens to be owned by one of the coolest female chefs in Metro Manila. True enough, when I got there I was greeted by the statuesque chef Cecille, chatting up the table about her latest scuba trips, and travels. Later on I got her hooked on bag shopping on Instagram. I have to say - this is a chef after my own heart!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mövenpick Resort's Relief + Rebuild for #YolandaPH

In light of the devastation brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Cebu has decided to help in the relief and rebuilding efforts by donating 100% of all room revenues generated on the weekend when Typhoon Yolanda hit (November 8-10, 2013), and are pledging to donate 80% of all room revenues generated from sales between November 15-24, 2013.
We are pleased to report that the Mövenpick Hotel Cebu Mactan Island did not sustain any major damage due to typhoon Haiyan. The hotel is operating as normal and we look forward to welcoming you. 

From November 15-24, R&R will take on a whole new meaning: Relief + Rebuild. Reservations made on the November 15-24, 2013 with the booking code: REBUILD can be used from November 15, 2013 through May 31, 2014.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Philippine Artists Donate their Art for #YolandaPH

It's such a beautiful sight to see everyone come together and do what they can to help the people devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code: Haiyan). While the F&B industry gives what it can by donating a portion (or all) of their sales to the victims of the Super Typhoon, the creative community are also doing their part in helping the cause by sharing their talent, photos and works of art.

Book tickets to your favorite show, get your photo taken, or buy your favorite work of art for a good cause.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

#YolandaActionWeekend: The Philippine F&B Industry Unites

This weekend, November 16-17, 2013, local food and beverage businesses have pledged to give a portion of their proceeds to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda coursed through the Philippine Red Cross. Of course, if you'd rather give to the PRC directly, then by all means, go ahead.

We all have to eat, and for those of you who are - like me - allergic to doing the dishes and prefer enjoying a meal at a restaurant instead, this is another great way to help out and contribute to the relief efforts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) & How You Can Help

Photo Credit:

Just four days ago, the Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code: Haiyan), came through the Philippines and devastated most of the Visayas region - the center of the archipelago - hitting Cebu and Tacloban the hardest. With thousands dead and hundreds of thousands having lost their homes, their livelihood, friends, and family, things don't seem to be getting any better with looters and lawlessness prevailing (we really can't admonish what they've done - they are desperate and are on survival mode right now), as there seems to be no form of government.

The US-based Weather Underground declared Yolanda a category-5 super typhoon that could cause extreme flooding, storm surges and damage infrastructure, and scientists have warned that climate change could intensify extreme weather events such as typhoons and flooding. I think people weren't as prepared as they should have been, not completely understanding what a storm surge was, and underestimated Yolanda's wrath thinking it would be "just another typhoon". This resulted in the chaos that's presently ensuing. In all my years of living in this beautiful country (storms, earthquakes and all), I have never seen such destruction - and all in the span of one night.

The CBTL™ Professional Suite

With over 50 years of setting the standard in quality and flavor, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf continues to revolutionize the coffee and tea industry as it introduces its newest Professional Suite under the CBTL Beverage System line: the Desto and Office One.

Two years since the CBTL platform was first introduced to the market, the distinct cafe experience at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has been extended and enjoyed within different homes and establishments. Combining innovative technology, functionality, and design, the CBTL system is more than a single cup coffee machine. It's an easy-to-use system that combines the CBTL beverages with the finest in Italian technology perfected by the Caffitaly System.

I got to check out the newest models at the CBTL Coffee Bar at High Street last week, and I have to say, they look pretty badass!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bar-B-Skew: Southeast Asian-Inspired Street Food

I found out about this restaurant through less-than-ideal circumstances, but am very glad I did. A good friend, who is also a fellow blogger, posted a rant from who I could only call a Parasitic Blogger, attacking the restaurant's owners for "demeaning" the bloggers he invited (read: not acknowledging them as celebrity or top bloggers - which he specifically promised) for an event he "organized" for them (organized meaning he posted on his group's wall, "Hey, who's free to go to this place at this date and this time? First 20 people to reply with their e-mail address gets it!"). Apparently, the amount on the gift certificate that was handed out to everyone wasn't up to his standards. Because being given a P500 gift certificate for a restaurant with an average bill of P300 is outrageous! No, he wanted his "suggested" rate of P1,000 "tokens" per blogger, dammit! Seriously, who even uses the word "tokens" anymore?

This Parasitic Blogger goes around the Metro victimizing new establishments, promising "top" and "celebrity" bloggers (apparently he dines with Anton Diaz - and by dine I assume he means he's seated at the restaurant across the street from Anton), and as we learned from the owner of this establishment, he also charges the most ridiculous rates ranging from "operation expenses" to even "transpo expenses" when he thinks he can get away with it. For this restaurant that also included a new touchscreen phone, apparently. *cough* Samsung S4 *cough* He wants a new phone daw kasi. And because he hasn't gotten what he wanted, he's gone batshit crazy and posted a full on blogerrhea rant about how he's only after "their word of honor" (read: his Samsung S4), going to great lengths to call the restaurant owners cheap. The comments section of that entry is where it gets interesting - he gets a bashing from decent bloggers everywhere who are as outraged as I am at his blackmail and unsubstantiated threats.

My foodie fambam and I were totally pissed at the slander this Parasitic Blogger was willing to spread about the said establishment, that we decided to go to Tomas Morato to check out Bar-B-Skew for ourselves and show the owners some moral support as well as prove that not all bloggers - or blogger groups - are like his.

And guess what? We were more than happy to pay for our meal!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Intimate Dining at Solace Wine & Dine

Looking for an intimate date place with privacy and good food? With the string of Christmas shopping that needs to be done, all the malls are going to be packed with people, and a crowded restaurant with a waiter that can barely hear you from all the chatter and Christmas songs isn't going to help. But don't fret, right across Greenbelt 2 is  Solace Wine & Dine, and it doesn't get as intimate as this place.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mentoré Coffee + Bar by UCC

I like my men like I like my coffee - hot, strong, and rich. - Anonymous
The guys from UCC Ueshima Coffee Co. have outdone themselves this time. With the opening of SM Aura came the launch of their newest baby: Mentoré Coffee + Bar. I checked it out with a few friends to see how they differed from the regular UCC coffee shops. With an almost entirely different menu, and more ways to enjoy your coffee, I think this is going to be the new place to be for coffee purists and people who want to develop a better appreciation of the second most exported product in the world.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Simple Birthday Dinner at Mr. Jones

I was kidnapped by Jericho for a celebratory birthday dinner Sunday evening, well kind of. That's not completely true. He drove me to Greenbelt for an impromptu strip session at well, Strip, but they were already fully booked for the evening, so we decided to stick around and have dinner instead. I wasn't craving for anything in particular, I just wanted uncomplicated, comforting food, and Mr. Jones seemed to have all that. Plus, we haven't been there in a while, so it was nice checking out the newly expanded restaurant.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

BPI's More Fun Visa Prepaid Card

My BPI ePrepaid card expired this month, and when I checked BPI's site to get a new one, I chanced upon this! Using the Department of Tourism's popular It's More Fun in the Philippines tag line and tying up with Visa, this prepaid debit card lets you do everything the ugly ePrepaid card does, with a cheaper sign up fee.

More Fun Prepaid Cards are reloadable Visa prepaid cards issued by BPI that can be used to pay for online purchases as well as purchases from accredited shops and restaurants here and abroad where VISA is accepted.