Friday, December 20, 2013

Kenny Rogers Roasters Bacon Wrapped Christmas Feast

Christmas is only five days away and I don't have anything planned for noche buena! I'm not for cooking during the holidays and prefer the ready-to-eat meals (read: take out). Last Christmas, I found myself weirdly attracted to Kenny Rogers Roaster's Maple Roast Chicken - it was sweet, juicy, and that maple sauce was addicting!

This year, they've come up with an ever more elaborate ruse to keep me coming back for them all holiday season long, and it's even better that the damn Maple Roast Chicken! I was out in Tagaytay on a food trip that involved a trip out to Breakfast at Antonio's for Burnt Syrup and Lemon Curd, and Filipino treats at The Good Shepard, and we stopped by the newest Kenny Rogers at Sky Ranch for a spot of lunch, and to check out the awesomeness that is Kenny's Bacon Wrapped Christmas Feast!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Chef Edward Bugia Unveils New Dishes at Pino Resto Bar

When in the Philippines, one must eat Filipino food!

I love how Filipino cuisine can taste so different yet be so familiar at the same time. It's not quite Spanish. American, or Malay, but the best of all cuisines, I must say. And when it comes to Filipino restaurants, only a handful of places in Metro Manila really do it for me: Sentro, Abe, and Pino Resto Bar.

Chef Ed Bugia takes simple Pinoy favorites and puts his own spin on them, giving them a lot more flavor, or borrowing the recipe from his mother or grandmother, giving the dishes a nostalgic feel of how one should prepare any sort of food - with a lot of pride and a lot of love.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Brownies! Unlimited Comes Out with 12 New Flavors

My favorite brownie company from my high school is at it again, and they've come up with more brown-tastic flavors! I have lots of warm, fuzzy memories of sharing a box of Brownies! Unlimited with classmates  and giving these out at school Christmas parties. 

With that in mind, International Brownie Day is right around the corner and Brownies! Unlimited is getting ready to serve it up with 12 better, bolder, freshly made brownie combos that promise to satisfy any sweet tooth out there. Brownies! Unlimited revamps their range of choices and packaging to deliver another batch of treats that emerge as the go-to snack for any occasion.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Robert Mondavi Wines are the New Affordable Luxury

With Christmas parties in full swing, bringing a bottle of wine as a host's gift can get pretty daunting, especially if you know nothing about wine and your host is a self-proclaimed connoisseur, or really is one - then you're in trouble! Wines can also be quite expensive, which would make anyone think twice before purchasing a bottle to give as a friendly gesture or to enjoy at home.

My go to bottle of vino nowadays that seems to make everyone happy and happens to also easy on the monthly wine budget is anything from Robert Mondavi - I have developed a special fondness for their whites and their Moscato - and lo and behold, I got invited to their exclusive wine tasting to celebrate the brand at Greenbelt 5, compliments of Future Trades International.

Christmas Gifts for the Beach Babe

Holy Cheesus, Christmas is only nine days away! Living in the tropics has its perks, one being it's always sunny most days, and a beach is never too far away. For the surfer girls and the weekend warriors who disappear to sandy shores whenever they can, these are the must-haves on your Christmas list. Well, they are on mine!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sensational Steak Date Nights at Solace!

On going on most first dates here in the Philippines, I always end up at one of the many malls that proliferate the landscape of Metro Manila. And that's, well, sad. I understand that in this country guys think that term "wine and dine" means taking your girl out to one of the many franchised restaurants that crowd the strip, but it's not, and it's boring. And tacky. And just shows me how lazy you are that you couldn't think of a better date than to bring me to a mall for dinner and drinks.

The ideal dinner date for me is someplace private, preferably away from the mall and away from the crowds of people. I enjoy my dinner conversation as much as I enjoy the food, and it helps when I'm not straining to hear you over the blaring music or loud guests at the next table.  I think you would, too.

In Makati, I've found Solace Wine & Dine, the restaurant at One Greenbelt Hotel, to be the perfect place for a dinner date. It's a walk away from the comfort zone of the mall, the restaurant isn't intimidating with it's modern, minimalist design, and their food is enough to impress any discerning date, without having to max out your credit card.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Crazy Night at Chihuahua Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar

When a night of unadulterated fun, lots of margaritas, TexMex, and drunken debauchery is what you're looking for, head on over to Greenbelt 2 and seek out Chihuahua Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar! I had the pleasure of enjoying a nightlong dinner there with my equally crazy (and loud!) foodie friends.

Carnivale Set to Open at Venice Piazza

Great foodie news to everyone who works and lives in Mckinely Hill, Taguig! The Venice Piazza Mall at McKinley Hill is home to Carnivale- the newest night food market by the Mercato Centrale group! Carnivale will be open every Thursday and Friday starting December 12 (Thursday) 6pm - 3am starting December 12, 2013!

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Grown Up Christmas List 2013

Christmas is only a few days away and while all of us are still reeling from the earthquake in Bohol and the super typhoon that devastated Cebu, I'm trying to jumpstart my Christmas spirit by putting together a Christmas wish list that would have me indulge in my materialistic fantasies of what I could get myself with all the holiday sales before being pent up with guilt and and buying relief goods to donate at Villamor instead.

My spirit feels a lot lighter by giving,everyone carries a Christmas wish list, and this is mine for this year:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dessert Series: The Blue Kitchen's Chocnut & Flat Tops Butters

Cookie Butter seems to be the Christmas gift of choice this year, with Biscoff now being available at all leading department stores. What started as a cult fad has now turned into a nationwide frenzy for the creamy (or chunky!) cookie butters, with people sandwiching them between pieces of bread, baking them into cupcakes, or eating them right out of the jar!

I discovered The Blue Kitchen was one of the first stores to carry the in-demand jars of special butter, as well as the Trader Joe's version. Yet what most people haven't found out yet is as a purveyor of Filipino delicacies, it also carries the local Chocnut and Flat Tops Cookie Butters! I took two of the bottles home to try when I passed by their Rockwell branch a few weeks back, and am very happy to report that both bottles are at least halfway done.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Maki Moto: Oishi Japanese at BF Resort Village

I wish Las Piñas would be a bit more adventurous with the food choices. Between the roast chicken stalls, popular franchises, and tapa joints, there aren't many places one can go to when craving for good food. Which is why I think Maki Moto at BF Resort a godsend. Not only do they have pretty good Japanese food at very affordable prices, it's also just a walk away from Jericho's place!

Jericho and his sister Justice were looking for Japanese chow a few weeks ago, while I was on the prowl for buffalo chicken wings one Sunday night, so we headed over to our friendly-neighborhood Japanese hole-in-the-wall for some good grub.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Koko Buri Opens in Bonifacio Global City

The Korean chicken house from Pampanga has come to Metro Manila, opening its newest store at Bonifacio Global City. I had heard some really good things about this place from friends who had tried this over in Mabaclat when they went up to Pampanga. Passing by the newest food destination at BGC, the Forum, Koko Buri piqued by curiosity, and being the self-proclaimed Queen of Korean Chicken Wings, I just had to check this out!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cocina Juan: Fil-Nicaraguan Cuisine Along Maginhawa

It's amazing how much the foodie industry has changed in the span of 10 years. Back then, the only places you can get a decent bite to eat at aside from the popular franchise restaurants were either Italian, Chinese or Japanese restaurants. Nowadays, Indian cuisine is starting to getting popular, people are starting to appreciate the churrasco culture of Brazilian cuisine, and Mexican cuisine has found a place in our lives, more often than not as hangover food, but that's beside the point.

Nicaraguan cuisine is also something that never existed in the Philippines 10 years ago, at least not until Thomas Adviento, the owner of Cocina Juan, set up shop along Maginhawa Street. The Fix-Mex stop evolved into a Fil-Mex-Nicaraguan hang out ever since Jay came back from South America and had fallen in love with the food there.