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Monday, June 18, 2018

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo



Six years ago, I went to Isabelo Garden Restaurant for one of the most memorable dinners I ever had. On the same year, Portia Dee Baluyut (the owner) opened Rustic Mornings to cater to walk-in customers during the day while keeping Isabelo Garden open for dinner and for reservations only.  Eventually, the owner closed Isabelo Garden and focused on Rustic Mornings.


I remember that the garden looked almost magical at night, but it looks just as majestic during the day. My friends and I got seated in the outdoor area, but there's an indoor area if you prefer a more private space to dine. 



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tony


I wish I know the exact words to describe how I felt when I heard the news that you were gone. I keep on wishing that it was a horrible joke, but at the same time, I have to accept the truth. 

Tony, why?

I cannot remember when I started watching your shows, but I remember you drinking a bottle of San Miguel Pale Pilsen while eating sizzling sisig in Pampanga and lechon in Cebu. On how I badly wish that I can take Augusto's place. 

In a world where the most mediocre people disguise themselves as celebrities when all they can do is use Photoshop and Snapchat filters heavily, you showed that even the most admired people have flaws. In fact, that is exactly what you did until the end. 

Although I don't agree to everything you say, I admire your courage in calling things as you see them, not caring about going against the grain or calling bullshit on outrageous food trends. 

I can still see how your eyes twinkled when you finally met your culinary hero, Chef Paul Bocuse. At one time, you'd eat the finest dishes with the most renowned chefs in France and you'd be cooking food for your crew while sailing on a boat in the middle of Borneo the next. 

One day, you're walking the streets of New York and be somewhere in Congo the next. I could imagine how fulfilling your job was, that I wished that I could have your career. Didn't I realize the exhaustion and the pressure that comes with the work you did. Or the danger. Or the lack of stability in the other aspects of your life due to being on the road most of the time. 

Tony, I wish I knew you knew how you inspired foodies and travelers like me to go see the world. 

I wish you knew how you inspired me to experience the world and to speak my own truth. 

Tony, thank you for shining your light on the world when you are stuck in the darkness. 

Your stories will continue to live on. 

Photo from alux.com

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Dinner at Mamou 3.0


My first attempt to dine at Mamou 3.0 wasn't successful: my friend who called for reservations received a confusing text message that was supposed to ask us if we wanted to reserve for the first or second sitting for dinner. Long story short, we went to another restaurant serving ribs instead. 


This second attempt was a better experience, although I wasn't sure if my friends walked in or reserved for a table beforehand. 

We started with the famous Lorenzo's Truffle Cream Pasta (Php 395). We followed it with Grilled Salmon Steak (Php 595) and a single Angus Ribeye USDA Prime Grade Steak (Php 1990). The steak comes with two choices of sides. We had white steak rice and baked mashed potatoes for our sides. 

Lorenzo's Truffle Cream Pasta

I found Lorenzo's Truffle Cream Pasta delicious but I prefer a creamier pasta with a stronger truffle flavor. However, I love that it the pasta they use is spaghettini, because I like thin pasta. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Elait: Rolled Ice Cream with a Heart




When I went back to Manila for vacation, I was looking forward to try not only restaurants that I haven't visited before, but also food stalls that serve interesting food. And one type of food that I'm always interested in is ice cream. That's why when I saw Elait, it wasn't difficult to choose this place to eat dessert. 



I have a deep appreciation for made-to-order ice cream (such as the now-closed Kool Kids Ice Cream), and Elait does exactly that and more. Aside from creating rolled ice cream from scratch, Elait creates social impact by employing people from the deaf community in the country. In fact, there are sign language guides in the shop to help you communicate with the staff properly. 


Learn sign language while waiting for your ice cream :)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie in Tomas Morato


My friend Lovelee and I met up for a cozy dinner at Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie in Tomas Morato area. This small restaurant was inspired by the owners' travels to Europe, hence the diverse European offerings - from savory dishes to the desserts. 


The ground floor serves as the bar and cafe while the mezzanine floor is mostly used as the dining area. While waiting for my friend, I ordered a Latte (Php 120 for piccolo, Php 140 for medio). 

Latte

As soon as my friend arrived, we ordered appetizers: Arancini Al Margherita (Php 138 for 3 pcs, Php 248 for 6 pcs) and Jamon Serrano Croquettes (Php 138 for 4 pcs, Php 248 for 8 pcs). 

Arancini Al Margherita

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The French Crepe Company + Wanderlust Ice Cream in Los Angeles



During my short trip to California, my friend and I drove to Los Angeles for a weekend trip. This was my first time in L.A. so I was excited to do tourist stuff. Fortunately, I was able to try to visit some foodie spots in between. 

The Grove in LA
After doing an early morning trek to the Griffith Observatory, we went to The Grove at Farmers
Market for brunch. The Grove is an outdoor mall and a popular tourist destination because it is also the same location as the original Farmer's Market. We walked around Farmer's Market and ended up getting brunch at The French Crepe Company in the Farmer's Market, partly because it wasn't as crowded as the other food stalls and also because most of the staff are Filipino. :)

Beef Stroganoff Savory Crepe
Waffle Sorbonne
I ordered a Beef Stroganoff Savory Crepe ($11) with Caffe Latte ($3.40), while my friend got a Waffle Sorbonne ($9), and we both ordered extra bacon.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bonding at the Thai BBQ Original Restaurant in Manila



After a series of conversation on where to have dinner for our small reunion, my college friends and I decided to dine at Thai BBQ Original in Shangri-La Plaza. 

Thai BBQ Original is a restaurant brand from the United States with branches around Los Angeles area. Although there are several Thai restaurants in Manila, the cuisine was not popular as Filipinos prefer sweet more often than spicy.

Though I consider myself to have low tolerance for spicy, I do love Thai food so I was excited to try this place. 

Thai Iced Milk Coffee 
Pomelo Salad

For starters, we shared a Pomelo Salad (Php 380) and drinks: Thai Iced Milk Coffee (Php 140) for me and Thai Iced Milk Tea (Php 140) for some of my friends. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Home Cooking 101: Java Japanese Curry by House Foods



Let me share something with you: there are only three types of curry that I like - Filipino, Thai, and Japanese. It is probably because of my weak tolerance for spicy dishes, but I'm currently improving, thanks to that someone who force feeds me spicy food. :P

Java Curry, along with Vermont Curry and Kokumaro Curry, is a product of House Foods Corporation in Japan, one of the most prominent Japanese food producers in the world. 


Last week, we cooked Chicken Curry using Java Curry's Hot Variant. Cooking with Java Curry has three easy steps.


Friday, March 23, 2018

iDessert By Jean-Philippe in San Diego



My friend and I were walking along Little Italy one night and stopped by this colorful dessert shop named iDessert by Jean-Philippe.

Photo from iDessert website

iDessert serves a variety of desserts: gelato, sorbets, crepes, and the chef's own creation of Dessert, which is made up of meringue crust, gelato, flavored cream, sauce, and other toppings.



The place has tablets where you can put and pay for your orders. You can watch the desserts being made at the counter while waiting for your desserts.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Dapo at Tisa in Marikina City



A few days on vacation in Manila and I was still craving for delicious Filipino food, so my friend decided on taking me to one of the restos along Lilac Street in Marikina for dinner. Unlike most establishments in the area, Dapo at Tisa has parking spaces, which I liked. 

Dapo at Tisa was almost full even on a rainy weeknight, a good sign for me. 

Pakbet

We were both famished so we ordered entrees right away. We had Pakbet (Php 175) for veggies, and Pork Sisig (Php 205) and Bulalo Steak (Php 395) for meat dishes.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

ASUS Philippines introduces the Battery King: ZenFone Max Plus!

ZenFone Max Plus – ASUS’ first 18:9 Full View FHD+ Display Smartphone with a whopping battery life – finally makes its grand entrance into the market


After much teasing and speculation, ASUS Philippines could not have started the new year any better and bigger than with the arrival of the highly-anticipated ASUS ZenFone Max Plus. Aptly called the “Battery King”, the latest addition to the heralded ZenFone Max series of smartphones packs a whopping 4,130 mAh battery life and becomes the first official smartphone of the company that has an 18:9 full view FHD+ display – ultimately making it perfect for those who want uncompromised performance with long-lasting battery life.

Mr. George Su introducing ZenFone Max Plus

“This is the beginning of all beginnings, and our excitement is at an all-time high with the opportunity to start the year anew with a launch as big as this,” ASUS Philippines Country Manager for Systems Group, George Su, shares. “We thank everyone who has supported us in the past years, and now, we invite you all once again for another round of game-changing innovation in the mobile industry with our latest offering, the ZenFone Max Plus!”, adds Mr. Su.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Woody's Breakfast and Burgers in San Diego


When in San Diego, hitting the beach in the morning seemed like the best thing to do, so my friend and I drove to Pacific Beach for some sunlight and breakfast. 



We stopped by Woody's Breakfast and Burgers, which has an outdoor patio full of beach-goers eating breakfast early in the morning. Feeling that the food must be good, we lined up for breakfast and coffee. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tsuta Ramen: Michelin-Star Ramen House in Japan is now in Manila! #TsutaPH #MichelinStarRamen



Tsuta Ramen opened its first location in the Philippines at Bonifacio High Street Central last December 16. But before it opened to the public, I was invited to try the first backstreet-style ramen restaurant to be awarded by a Michelin Star. As a ramen fanatic, I was immensely curious of this resto due to its status, and doubtful as I extremely enjoy Tonkotsu (pork bone) broth that I am not sure if I will enjoy other ramen broths. However, I kept my mind and my palate open as soon as I stepped in Tsuta. 


Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta was founded by Chef Onishi Yuki in Sugamo, Tokyo, Japan in January 2012. Chef Onishi learned the art of making ramen from his father, who own the ramen shop Nanae  no Aji no mise, Mejiro. Despite a successful career in fashion, Chef Onishi decided to leave his job and fulfilling his lifelong dream of opening his own ramen shop. Aside from the Japan location, Tsuta has branches in Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. 

Tsuta Ramen serves three kinds of ramen: Shoyu (soy-based), Shio (Okinawa sea salt and Mongolian rock salt-based), and Miso (Hatcho Miso-flavored) Ramen. Tsuta is also known for the truffle puree on their ramen bowls, adding more flavor and scent to the broth. 


The first Tsuta Ramen in Manila has 48 seats - 20 seats at the bar area and 28 seats at the couch area. The seating is small for Manila standards, but it is a lot bigger compared to the nine-seater eatery in Japan. 

Unlike my other favorite ramen shops in Manila, Tsuta's menu is straightforward: no appetizer and no dessert - just ramen, side dishes, rice dishes, and drink options. 

I had the Ajitama Shoyu Soba (Php 440), which was recommended to me by my server. My ramen bowl has a slice of Char Siu, flavoured egg, bamboo shoot, leek, and truffle pureed in truffle oil on shoyu broth and soba. 


Ajitama Shoyu Soba

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!



Here's to more food and more travels, 
Better health and wealth, 
More time for relaxation, 
More time for learning,
More time for people who matter,
More time for self-improvement,
and more happiness. 

Happy New Year everyone! :)


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