January 26, 2016

Din Tai Fung Taiwan's Famous Xiao Long Bao Now in the Philippines- SM Megamall

Welcome to Din Tai Fung- home of the famous Michelin-starred xiao long bao from Taiwan

They recently opened their first Philippine branch in SM Megamall's Mega Fashion Hall.

As expected, the place gets packed on regular days especially on weekends.

Thanks to their efficient queuing system, waiting time is set to a minimal.

Take a sit on the available red chairs outside the entrance, or you can check out the xiao long bao masters through the open kitchen window, while they make your handcrafted soupy dumplings.

Serving time was quite fast. It didn't take long before our orders were complete. 

January 19, 2016

Maillard (my-yar) Specialty Coffee- Third Wave Coffee in Corinthian Gardens

I got my first taste of Maillard Specialty Coffee during the Yuletide Yummies Bazaar in Rockwell back in December 2014. That time, Maillard was just a small booth banking on its premium coffee beans, advanced coffee equipment and barista skills. It was no surprise that in just a span of 1 year, Maillard Coffee finally set up their first cafe in Corinthian Gardens Sports Complex

Strategically located beside the clubhouse's badminton court, Maillard has since become the go-to place of most people after an exhausting game of sport. It has also been a hang-out favorite of some homeowners living in the subdivision. 

To support our good friend Franz Chuongco, owner of Maillard Specialty Coffee, D and I went with our favorite couple (Sumi and J), to his humble cafe for a light dinner. (Just realized we were also with them when we first tried Maillard's booth in Rockwell).

Latte (P130)

Cappuccino (P130)

January 16, 2016

Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar- Hearty and Healthy Dishes in Cedarhills Garden Center

For our annual Christmas party reunion, Sumi, Stacy and I decided to go for something healthy since we were already feeling the holiday pounds even before Christmas. The girls suggest we try something new and Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar was our top choice for a casual lunch and get together. The holidays have gotten so busy, that we were only able to meet up after New Year.

The place was not hard to find, but limited side street parking was available for customers. Fortunately, we immediately secured one upon arrival. The place was booked for a private event when we entered, but thankfully, our group of 5 was still accommodated. The event was a calligraphy workshop held by the cafe owner Alessandra Lanot of Life After Breakfast blog. She is also the owner of Pipino Vegetarian restaurant which I got to try in Malingap St. Quezon City and Makati. The Makati branch unfortunately closed down, but their Malingap branch is now 5 years in business.

Back to Hillside Cafe & Juice Bar, everything on their menu looked interesting. The descriptions on the menu items didn't sound so boring at all. 

We started with Hillside's Spinach and Kale Salad (P215)- a simple mix of superfood greens, walnuts and cranberries in a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing

January 8, 2016

5th Year Anniversary Celebration- Sip & Gogh, Nuat Thai, The Nest at Vivere Hotel

Time indeed flies so fast. D and I have known each other for almost 10 years now. Can't believe it has been 5 years since I said yes to this guy who constantly makes me feel special and loved.

We may not go out to celebrate simple occasions as often as before, but we still find time to spend quality moments together. From simple activities like puzzle making and scrapbooking, to after office work outs and cooking sessions, we see to it that we find new (and affordable) activities to do aside from our usual movie and dimsum dates.

Last year, we celebrated our anniversary at Duck & Buvette. Due to our busy schedule at work, we weren't able to plan on anything for our 5th year anniversary celebration last December. We just had a simple dinner after work, then it was back to a regular day at the office the following day.

Little did I know that D had more plans in store for us over the weekend.

He gave this invitation for a weekend bonding session of fun, relaxing and gastronomic activities.

A bouquet of flowers, and a breakfast (which he personally cooked), also greeted me as he picked me up from the house early in the morning.

January 7, 2016

Balai Pandesal- Home of the Famous Hot-Off-The-Oven Pandesalitas

What can be more comforting and at the same time nostalgic, than some freshly baked pandesal dipped in your favorite cup of coffee early in the morning. Those soft and warm breads bought from the nearest bakery have always been a staple in every Filipino’s breakfast table. 

While modern times give us new and exciting breakfast options such as pancakes, waffles, bacon, and omelettes, it somehow feels good to relish that particular feeling of home a simple pandesal brings.

Balai Pandesal, a 24/7 neighborhood bakery, offers that and a whole lot more with their fresh-off-the-oven breads reminiscent of childhood memories. The “Pandesalitas”, a flagship product of Balai Pandesal, is a commitment to keeping the pandesal culture among Filipinos alive. These soft and chewy breads are naturally sweet and addicting; one can enjoy 3-4 pieces in one sitting.

Balai Pandesal is no stranger to us, as their branch in D. Tuazon is just around the corner of our office. We have always been fans, and loyal customers, of their pillowy soft pandesalitas that stretch and crumble when pulled apart.

Pandesalitas (P3.50)

January 6, 2016

Tokyo Tokyo Celebrates #NationalTempuraDay on Jan 7 with 50% off on Tempura

January 7 is National Tempura Day! On this day, Tokyo Tokyo, the #1 Japanese restaurant chain in the Philippines, is offering 50% off the regular price of their tempura add-ons. Tokyo Tokyo fans can now enjoy their favorite tempura add-on for just P25 instead of its regular price of P50.

The National Tempura Day 50% off promo applies on prawn tempura add-on and is valid for dine-in only.

Join us in celebrating National Tempura Day with Tokyo Tokyo on January 7! Visit Tokyo Tokyo’s Twitter (@TokyoTokyoPHL), Instagram and Facebook (@tokyotokyophilippines) to get access to exclusive National Tempura Day contests and promos. 

Tag us and use the official hashtags #NationalTempuraDay and #TempuraTime.

January 5, 2016

Luwak White Koffie- The Rise of the White Coffee Revolution from Indonesia

How'd you want your coffee? Black or White? With the millennial generation spearheading the change in coffee preferences among people nowadays, it doesn't come as a surprise that White coffee is starting to become the new "black". 

While most people still enjoy their black coffee for a stronger caffeine fix early in the morning, today's youth tends to go for the creamier and sweeter blend white coffee is known for.

Luwak White Koffie is an instant blend from Indonesia which is being distributed here in the country by Reddimart Multi-Resources Inc. According to Jerbie Ong, president of Reddimart, they simply tweaked the formula to preserve the creaminess of white coffee, while still retaining the rich bitter flavor of good authentic coffee.

January 4, 2016

United States Potato Board (USPB) Philippines Potato Safari 3 in Davao City

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 Safaris held in Cebu. 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.

Selected bloggers and media were invited to this exclusive Potato Safari wherein participants got a chance to visit several local restaurants in Davao and discovered US Potatoes in a whole new light.

We were warmly welcomed at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao for a quick brief on US Potatoes, led by USPB Global Marketing Manager, Susan Weller.

Potato 101- Did you know?
- Potatoes are richer in potassium than bananas
- Potatoes contain more protein than many other vegetables
- Potatoes are naturally gluten-free
- Potatoes are rich in fiber
- Frozen potatoes have lesser calories than fresh and hydrated potatoes
- One serving of potato is just 110 calories
- The Philippines is the largest export market for US Frozen Potatoes in Southeast Asia

US Potato Safari 3- Polo Bistro at Marco Polo Davao with Chef Alex Destriza

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 among selected bloggers from Manila who embarked on a 3-day potato safari along with other media and Davao bloggers. After our lunch at Davao's Claude's Le Cafe De Ville, and dinner at Cafe Uno/Vinta Bar of Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao on the first day, we had our second night dinner at Polo Bistro of Marco Polo Davao helmed by Executive Sous Chef Alex Destriza.

A special US Potato menu was again prepared for the whole safari attendees.

Starting off with an appetizer of US Potato Crisscut and Shrimp Cake. A stack of shrimp patty, US potato crisscut fries, pomelo and singkamas salad, red and spring onions, mint leaves in an Asian chili dressing.