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December 22, 2015

US Potato Safari 3 Vinta Bar at Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao Chef Vic Barangan

The United States Potato Board (USPB) Philippines recently held its third US Potato Safari in one of the safest cities in the world- DAVAO. The campaign follows the success of the previous US Potato Safari held in Cebu last year. This initiative by the USPB aims to promote local restaurants in the country while being able to showcase US Potatoes in the most creative and innovative way possible.


I was lucky to be one of the selected bloggers from Manila who embarked on a 3-day potato safari along with other media and Davao bloggers. I previously wrote about the first restaurant on the list which happens to be one of the most popular fine-dining restaurants in Davao- Claude's Le Cafe De Ville.

We did not travel far for our second stop as it was conveniently located inside the hotel where we stayed during our 3-day trip- at Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.

We had our dinner at the hotel's Cafe Uno to accommodate our group, but food served was from the hotel's Vinta Bar- a cozy and classy place for great food, refreshing cocktails and captivating entertainment of jazz and R&B music.

Our dinner was exclusively prepared by Waterfront's Executive Chef Victor Barangan who gave a unique presentation of the culinary possibilities of US Potatoes.

Bacon and US Potato Roll w/ Miso Peaches


A simple starter but very pleasing to both the eyes and palate.

US Potato and Corn Bisque


December 18, 2015

US Potato Safari 3 in Davao- Claude's Le Cafe De Ville by Chef Claude Le Neindre

The United States Potato Board (USPB) Philippines recently held its third US Potato Safari in one of the safest cities in the world- DAVAO. The campaign follows the success of the previous US Potato Safari held in Cebu last year. This initiative by the USPB aims to promote local restaurants in the country while being able to showcase US Potatoes in the most creative and innovative way possible. 

I was lucky to be one of the selected bloggers from Manila who embarked on a 3-day potato safari along with other media and Davao bloggers. First on the list was one of the most popular fine-dining restaurants in Davao- Claude's Le Cafe De Ville.


Claude's Le Cafe De Ville is a French restaurant set in a rustic and charming heritage house along JP Rizal. Don't let the words French and fine-dining constrain you as the place was far from formal and intimidating. Chef Claude Le Neindre personally welcomed everyone and enthusiastically explained his specially curated menu that highlights the use of US potatoes.


Chili Potato Cheese with Shrimps


December 10, 2015

Cafe Sanso- Spanish Comfort Food in the Neighborhood of Little Baguio San Juan

Sometimes, meals are best enjoyed in simple places where one can fully appreciate the ambiance, food, and quality time with loved ones. We always look for what's "in" just to keep up with the trend even if it means queuing for hours for something you can devour in 20 minutes. 

Away from the bustling and fast-paced dining scene is a quaint litlle cafe tucked in the quiet streets of Little Baguio called Cafe Sanso

Cafe Sanso is a Spanish cafe named after internationally-renowned artist Juvenal Sanso. For those interested in his masterpieces, his works can be seen at the Sanso Museum just beside the cafe.


The place is ideal for casual dates while still having that private and romantic feel. The menu is quite extensive for a cafe so diners are not limited to just coffee, snacks and pastries.


We had the Bacalao Croquetas (P320)- deep-fried balls of breaded salted cod fish flakes mixed with bechamel sauce.


December 9, 2015

Fire In The Hole Spicy Noodles Pop-Up at Hole in The Wall Century City Mall

There is a new food concept that replaced Kwong's Provisions at the Hole in the Wall in Century City Mall. Fire In The Hole is a pop-up by Wrong Ramen specializing in asian spicy dishes and will be serving signature creations until the end of December.


The menu is limited to three noodle selections, one rice dish and one dessert. Customers can choose from three levels of spiciness: mild, spicy or flaming. 


Krispy Kreme Joy In A Can- Sharing Joy and Creativity, One Sweet Bite at a Time

Krispy Kreme lovers unite as the famous doughnut shop will tap into people’s creativity with an activity titled ‘Crafty Christmas at Krispy Kreme’ this coming Saturday, December 12, at their flagship store in BGC High Street. The event will give Krispy Kreme’s customers the chance to customize their own limited edition Krispy Kreme tin cans which can hold up to half a dozen doughnuts. 

Kumori Japanese Bakery- Christmas Squares as Gifts for the Holiday Season

Kumori Japanese Bakery celebrates a wholesome Christmas with their new product offering perfect for the holiday season. If you have already tried Kumori Japanese Bakery's mouth-watering and melt-in-your-mouth Signature Hanjuku Cheesecake and Toyohashi Pudding, then prepare your palate for something crunchy and crisp. The all new Kumori Japanese Bakery Christmas Squares are freshly baked cookie squares made with the the finest quality of Japanese ingredients. Each pack consists of an assortment of flavors: Original, Cinnamon, Green Tea and Chocolate.


Wee Nam Kee Philippines Celebrates 5th Year Anniversary in Ayala Triangle Gardens

Wee Nam Kee celebrates its 5th year in the Philippine food industry by going back to its roots- the flagship and original store at the Ayala Triangle Gardens.

Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice was established in the Philippines in 2010 by Weiser Co and Linfred Yap. They introduced Hainanese chicken rice to the Filipino palate, along with signature Wee Nam Kee favorites such as Cereal Prawns, Sambal Kangkong, and Sizzling Singaporean-style Hotplate Tofu. 

According to Linfred Yap, it has always been his dream to bring Wee Nam Kee to the Philippines, after first trying it in Singapore. At present, Wee Nam Kee has 6 locations: Ayala Triangle Gardens, Serendra, Alabang Town Center, TriNoma, Greenhills Promenade, and Fairview Terraces.

After 5 successful years in the country, Wee Nam Kee celebrates its anniversary by giving its original Philippine branch a facelift. The flagship store now has a modern, younger feel, but still retains the oriental style their loyal customers love.


Lydia's Lechon Welcomes Mr. International 2015 Candidates in Baclaran Branch

November 30, 2015- Thirty six hunks from around the world competed for the Mr. International 2015 pageant held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila.

During the candidates' stay in the country, they visited several destinations that gave them a glimpse of what the Philippines has to offer. They toured around the historical sites of Ilocos Norte and explored the walls of Intramuros. They were also hosted by Lydia's Lechon for a sumptuous feast of Filipino cuisine favorites at the original branch in Baclaran last November 26, 2015. 


"Filipinos are I think the warmest and loveliest people I've ever met." said Mr. International USA after being graciously welcomed by Lydia's Lechon's owner Mrs. Lydia De Roca. 

November 27, 2015

New Jolly Super Meals with Your Favorite Langhap-Sarap Favorites from Jollibee

Imagine all you favorite treats from Jollibee in one super value meal. This year, the famous local fast-food chain celebrates the season by filling up our tummies with all their langhap-sarap offerings.

Feast on the wide selection of classic favorites without having to choose one over the other, because your all-time Jollibee favorites are now available in one plate. Introducing Jollibee's new Jolly Super Meals- amazing meal combos for guaranteed satisfaction!

Chickenjoy Super Meal (P135)


November 21, 2015

Charlie's Grind and Grill- Burgers, Wings and More in Legaspi Village, Makati

Burgers and Wings- a classic combination of our favorite comfort food. The mouthwatering duo that can instantly satisfy our hungry tummies. And where does one go for classic burgers and wings?

There may be a lot of new burgers and wings place around offering fancy gourmet burgers and extensive selections of flavored wings, but there is this one place that we always go back to- Charlie's Grind and Grill. Yes, it is that famous burger place just beside a car wash shop in Kapitolyo. And we have been loyal customers ever since it opened their second branch in Ronac Art Center in Greenhills.

However, it was only until recently that we learned they opened a third branch in Legaspi Village, Makati. Since D was scheduled for a haircut at Back Alley, we decided to drop by Charlie's to have some good 'ol burgers and wings.

Heard that Charlie's Grind and Grill is coming up with a new line of premium burgers. (As if their Wagyu and Angus beef burgers are not premium enough.) While I am not much into burgers, I really enjoy Charlie's simple and tasty handcrafted burgers. Price wise, I say they offer good value for your money. Nothing really fancy, just the classic all beef burger patty (without extenders- which explains why their burgers are crumbly and can be quite messy to eat) with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. 

I boosted my Wagyu Cheeseburger with Shrooms (P445), but for those who want a simpler, no-frills burger, Charlie's Wagyu Cheeseburger (P230) or Black Angus Cheeseburger (P220) is a great choice and definitely a bang for your bucks.



KFI Snow Non-Dairy Whipping Cream- Pastry Making at Galastar Culinary School

Snow: The Art of Pastry Making event was held last November 7, 2015 at the Galastar Culinary School. The event showcased the effectiveness of Snow Non-Dairy Whipping Cream by inviting 7 participating chefs to create their own delightful pastries. The challenge of the event was to use at least 240ml (1 cup) of Snow whipping cream to their dessert recipes with basic kitchen equipment and ingredients provided to all participants. Lastly, all seven chefs were given a time limit of 1 hr and 30 minutes to finish their creations.

Three Best Filipino Dishes to Try in the Philippines by Savingmart.Ph

Filipino cuisine is highly influenced by Spanish cuisine, though it is also a mixed variety of Malay, Indian, American, and Chinese cuisines adapted to locally-sourced ingredients and the local palate. If you ever plan to visit this beautiful country, do not miss trying out some famous and delicious dishes of the Philippines. Here are the three most popular food according to a survey by Savingmart.ph

Adobo- a very popular dish you would come across the menus of almost every Filipino restaurant in the Philippines. The word ‘adobo’ means marinade – hence the specialty of this dish is the taste the meat acquires when infused with a marinade of vinegar – the main ingredient of the dish, along with soy sauce, oil, garlic, pepper and bay leaves. 

photo by dbgg1979 on Wikipedia

November 3, 2015

The Halal Guys Gyro and Chicken in NYC Comes Over To Manila- SM Mega Food Hall

After 25 years in NYC, The Halal Guys finally opened their first branch outside the US. Lucky for us Filipinos, that place is here! Located in SM Megamall's Mega Food Hall, The Halal Guys has been drawing foodies from around the metro since it opened last October 13,2015. 

A long queue just outside the food hall doesn't come as a surprise, as eager customers patiently wait for their turn to get a taste of The Halal Guys' famous gyro and chicken. 

The famous platter of Gyro and Chicken Combo over rice is a surefire bestseller that offers two of The Halal Guys specialties. It features a combination of their perfectly spiced gyro (beef) and halal grilled chicken over a generous serving of fragrant jasmine, pita, lettuce, tomatoes, and The Halal Guys' signature white sauce. Their signature hot sauce, on the other hand, is served on the side. 

November 2, 2015

Jollibee Peach Mango Sundae- A Sweet and Fruity Twist to the Classic Dessert

Imagine two of your favorite desserts from Jollibee, combined into a fruity and creamy cup of sundae goodness. Introducing, the smooth and milky soft serve vanilla sundae topped with the classic Peach Mango Pie from Jollibee- Jollibee Peach Mango Sundae.


A sweet and refreshing cup of dessert that gives a whole new level of langhap-sarap experience. 

October 30, 2015

Doña Elena Al Dente Pasta Celebrates World Pasta Month this October

Doña Elena Al Dente Pasta, the only artisan quality Italian pasta in the Philippines, has pioneered the World Pasta Month celebration for the Filipinos last October 9, 2015 at SM Mall of Asia.


Al Dente Pasta Festa was a day filled with great food, fun activities and a lot of prizes. Attendees enjoyed playing and watching pasta parlor games in the morning, while the ribbon cutting ceremony was led by Fly Ace Corporation executives in the afternoon.

October 28, 2015

Lydia's Lechon Restaurant Celebrates 50 Years of Success and Lechon Goodness

Lydia's Lechon, one of the pioneers in the lechon business, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. 50 long years of serving their best-tasting lechon to every Filipino's cherished occasion and special gathering.

What started out as simple food stall selling the cebu-style roasted pig, turned out to be one of the country's most-loved and patronized lechon shop and restauarant. Long before these boneless lechon and stuffed pork belly, there was Lydia's boneless lechon stuffed with seafood paella- a signature recipe that instantly became a hit alongside other classic Filipino dishes.

We accepted an invitation to dine in at Lydia's Lechon Amoranto branch for a quick lunch since the place is just near the office. What we thought to be a simple lunch turned out to be a festive and nostalgic dining experience at Lydia's Lechon Restaurant.


Lechon Sisig (P180)


October 27, 2015

Krispy Kreme Mad for Monsters Halloween Doughnuts and Magic Money

Krispy Kreme gets Mad for Monsters this Halloween season as they release their sweet and wicked doughnuts in eight mouthwatering variants. Krispy Kreme is introducing four new variants on top of the classic Halloween designs from last year. And because Halloween is all about spooky and fun, Krispy Kreme is bringing this special occasion to a whole new level. Instead of just selling their Mad for Monsters collection, they will also be offering an interactive experience that people of all ages will surely enjoy. 

October 26, 2015

Yummy x Kitchenaid Masterclass with Cake Master Penk Ching at Rustan's Cubao

Yummy Magazine, the country's leading food magazine, in partnership with Kitchenaid, held its third and final leg of their cooking workshop series at Rustan's Cubao last October 17. Selected Yummy readers and bloggers were invited to an afternoon masterclass of baking demo with renowned chef and cake master Penk Ching.


Through the "Make Your Own Bar", attendees were able to recreate three Yummy recipes using Kitchenaid premium kitchen appliances.


Matcha Frappé using KitchenAid Hand Blender


Salted Caramel Pastillas using KitchenAid Hand Mixer


 Strawberry Trifle using KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper


We were able to make our own matcha frappe using the Kitchenaid Hand Blender in just a matter of seconds! The hand blender was very easy to use, it didn't even require much effort to prepare our thick and creamy matcha slush.

For the main event, Chef Penk Ching shared three of her favorite dessert recipes.


Feathery Cheese Cake



Pear Honey Walnut Pie




Royal Icing

Before ending the program, three bloggers were paired up with three yummy readers for a cookie decorating contest using the royal icing recipe.


Here are the entries and Chef Penk Ching's Royal Icing recipe:


We did not win, but we certainly had a great time decorating our cookies and letting our creative juices flow. Congratulations to team 1 for winning!

Thank you Yummy Magazine and Kitchen Aid for a sweet afternoon of dessert masterclass.

For your daily dose of delicious and yummy recipes, visit www.yummy.ph and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @yummyph. 

October 22, 2015

Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot by Vikings Highlights in Manhattan Parkview Cubao

Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot in SM Mall of Asia opens their second branch in Manhattan Parkview Cubao! I've dined at their MOA branch countless times with families and friends before, and it just keeps getting better after every visit. I even celebrated my birthday at Four Seasons and availed of their promo wherein birthday celebrants get to eat for free!


People might say, "Why should I visit their Cubao branch, when the MOA branch is nearer to us?". I'll admit, I thought of the same when I learned about the opening of their second branch in Cubao. We seldom go around Cubao to look for new dining spots, and we'll gladly drive up to MOA instead. But here are some things as to why you should check out Four Seasons' newest branch in Cubao.


Knorr Lutong Nanay Food Fair at Mercato Cetrale- Help Battle Malnutrition

Help battle malnutrition and join Knorr's Lutong Nanay Food Fair happening on October 24, 2015 (Saturday) 4:30pm at the Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.  


According to Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the DOST, at least 5 million children in the Philippines are malnourished.

Try Your Luck on Gandiva Bullseye Challenge this Halloween- Gandiva Archery

Channel your inner Katniss and try out for the Gandiva Archery Bullseye Challenge this Oct 15-Nov 6 at the Gandiva Archery Range and Cafe in Pasig. Win prizes and get as much as half of your money back when you hit the bullseye. Check out our Gandiva experience here.

October 15, 2015

Come Full Circle Seafood Weekend Market- Circles Events Cafe Makati Shangri-La

Makati Shangri-La, Manila is giving guests and diners six more reasons to choose Circles Events Cafe, as it introduces its brand-new themed dinner buffet. ‘Come Full Circle: Seven Nights, One Craving at a Time’ promises a 360° dining experience with different dining selections and theme for each night.


Start the week right with healthier food selections during Wholesome Market Mondays wherein each dish is prepared using healthier cooking methods and healthier ingredients.  Never miss the chance to indulge in this theme’s highlight, Prime Rib with Arugula Pesto.

In Butcher’s Market Tuesdays, carnivores will enjoy Circles’ wide selection of premium meats, poultry, pork, sausages and other exotic meats.  This theme highlights the Grill Station, allowing each guest to mix and match their choice of meat and pair it with a variety of freshly made breads and rice options.


October 9, 2015

Ogawa Traditional Japanese Restaurant in Manila- A Taste of Little Tokyo in BGC

Ogawa Traditional Japanese Restaurant, the newest talk of the town, opens at The Fort Entertainment Complex, The Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City. Ogawa in Manila is brought to us by Mr. George N. Pua of No Limits Food Inc., (the group behind Tony Roma's, K-pub, Yummy Soy, Modern China and Modern Sichuan Restaurant) alongside renowned Japanese Chef Kiyoshi Ogawa (former head chef of Senju, Edsa Shangrila). Experience a taste of traditional Japanese cuisine as Ogawa transports you and your taste buds to one of the best food capitals in the world- Tokyo.


I was invited to a sneak peek of Ogawa a day before its opening, to personally experience the "authentic and traditional" vibe it upholds. Indeed, stepping into the restaurant transports you to Japan with its cultural decors and traditional dining setup. Even the wallpaper by Ushio Sekiguchi creates a natural landscape of pine trees, leaves, branches and sparrows that gives customers a breath of fresh air while dining. Ogawa’s antique main door in the reception area also embodies the heritage that the restaurant is aiming to preserve.


October 8, 2015

Savour Australia at New World Makati Hotel with Executive Chef Robert Davis and Chef Tim Hollands

Chefs at the New World Makati Hotel, in partnership with the Australian Trade Commission and the State Government of Victoria, Australia, shares their expertise on high-quality meats, wines and cheeses through a hotel-wide Australian promotion called Savour Australia from 19 October to 8 November 2015.

October 3, 2015

Grace Park Farm-to-Table Restaurant by Margarita Fores at One Rockwell Makati

Grace Park in One Rockwell Makati is probably one of the firsts that started the farm-to-table concept in the metro. Owned by one of the country's most established chef and restaurateur, Margarita Fores of the Cibo fame, Grace Park promises quality food using only the freshest ingredients straight from the farm. Their menu changes very so often, (depending on what is freshly available from their suppliers) but also consists of mainstay favorites raved by their patrons and guests. 


A staple in most farm-to-table restaurants, Grace Park literally elevates the classic salad with a stack of their 3-page Organic Field Greens Salad (P280) drizzled with honey-dijon dressing. We were not much into the mustard dressing, but enjoyed the extra crunch from the layers of flatbread crisps.


For mains, we had the Lamb Adobo Rice (P620) which is braised lamb served on a bed of garlic brown rice. The lamb adobo was perfectly cooked to tenderness with sweet and savory sauce drippings over the garlicky organic brown rice. Serving size can already be shared by two. 


Another equally stellar dish during our visit was Grace Park's meaty Muscovado Beef Belly (P540). A huge slab of juicy tender beef glazed with sweet muscuvado sugar. It has just the right amount of fat trimmings which means more meaty goodness for us. A must-try! 


Grace Park also has fresh and dry pasta for their pasta selections. We ordered for this dry semolina pasta of Spaghettini Uni, Live Shrimp, Red Wine Tomatoes & Rucola (P550) which I didn't enjoy, mainly because I don't eat uni. 


Instead, I focused my attention on this plate of Fresh Papardelle with Salted Egg and Asparagus in Truffle Cream (P560). I have always been a cream sauce lover for pasta, but this just fell short of my expectations. I couldn't taste much of the salted egg, while the cream sauce was also thin and bland. 


We ended our meal with Grace Park's signature Eton Mess (P275). A deconstructed pavlova of meringue and cream with fresh mangoes and strawberries. This could be too sweet for one, but perfectly right when shared with the group. 


Grace Park Menu:

Although I didn't enjoyed much of our pasta orders, I exceptionally liked our mains of Lamb Adobo Rice and Muscovado Beef Belly. Prices may be on the higher side, but Grace Park guarantees the quality of every dish and the freshness of their ingredients.

Grace Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Grace Park 
 G/F, One Rockwell, Hidalgo Drive, Makati City
Tel Num: 843-7275