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Spectrum Lunch Buffet at Fairmont Makati

There are many hotel buffets in town, but Fairmont Makati's Spectrum is definitely one of the must-try splurges! Check out this post and tell me I'm right.

Filipino Comfort Food with a Twist at Namnam

Tired of the usual Filipino fare? Then, head on to Namnam at Greenbelt 2 and be amazed at their modern take on our local cuisine. Just look at this Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon!

Healthy and Vegetarian Cuisine at Corner Tree Cafe

Health-conscious or not, Corner Tree Cafe sure serves tasty vegetarian fare. Even my guy who's not into healthy eating can attest that he had a great time!

Smoked BBQ Ribs at Big Daddy Jay's All-American BBQ

What's better than BBQ ribs, you ask? Smoked BBQ ribs! Big Daddy Jay's takes ribs seriously and even spends up to six hours slowly smoking these magnificent-tasting BBQ.

Japanese Pon de Ring Donuts at Gavino's

If widely-available donuts fail to satisfy you, why not check out Gavino's Japanese donuts? They're composed of small and chewy balls made from mochi flour that form rings. Truly addicting!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Kettle: A Potful of Comfort Food at Shangri-la Plaza East Wing

The not-so-new wing at Shangri-la Plaza has become home to many of Metro Manila's busiest restaurants. And while I still have a long way to go before I can finally shout "Huzzah! I've tried all of them," let me share with you one of my favorites among those I actually got to visit. It's an American comfort food haven interestingly named Kettle.
Kettle Shangri-la Plaza East Wing

Like a classic type of pot it was named after, Kettle holds different kinds of comfort food, one of which got two thumbs up (Might be more if they have extra thumbs!) from bloggers and foodies who've already been here. Actually, prior to this visit, I've already heard and read a great deal about Kettle. If you don't live under a rock, you might've actually seen netizens raving and posting photos of the resto's famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken. But after getting a real taste of Kettle, which kitchen is helmed by Chef Chiloy Santos, I learned that this restaurant is a great fried chicken spot and more.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Princess Hazel Salon & Spa: A Royal Treatment + Giveaway!

Girls will always be girls. No matter how simple we claim we are, there's no denying that at one time (or many times) in our lives, we've dreamt of becoming a princess. And while I didn't necessarily become a princess per se, I definitely felt like one at this posh, royalty-themed salon nestled in Quezon City called Princess Hazel Salon & Spa.
Princess Hazel Salon & Spa

Located at Unit 203 of Pacific Century Tower, Princess Hazel Salon & Spa is the brainchild of Hazel Uy, the princess behind the salon, who's a cosmetology alumna of the Center for Aesthetics Studies. And while the salon is off the beaten path, it surely adds to the place's charm and ensures clients get uninterrupted royal pampering and treatment.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Baskin-Robbins: Now Open at Bonifacio Global City!

When it comes to desserts, I prefer ice cream and gelato over cakes and pastries. So when news hit that Baskin-Robbins is finally returning to Manila, I was one of 'em foodies who can't contain the excitement. You see, as much as I love ice cream, I never got to try Baskin-Robbins before they pulled out from the Philippine market. Luckily, they're now back to serve Manileños at their first branch in Bonifacio Global City.
Baskin Robbins Manila

Located at the upper ground floor of Central Square -- the new mall adjacent to Bonifacio High Street Central and yes, the one with the 4DX and ATMOS cinemas, stands the island kiosk of Baskin-Robbins. It officially opened to the public last July 2, but it was only this weekend that the beau and I got to try it. You know why? 'Cause there's always a crazy long line! I've even read from Mr. Awesome Planet that they had to line up for almost 2 hours before they got to enjoy their Baskin-Robbins treats. That's just crazy!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pinac: Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine at UP Town Center

Although I don't necessarily dine in a lot of Filipino restaurants, when it comes to Pinoy cuisine, I have high respect for Kapampangans. Their take on Filipino food, in my opinion, is one of the most soulful and heartiest in the country. So when Rowena invited me to try her friend's new restaurant called Pinac in UP Town Center, I knew better than to say no.
Pinac UP Town Center

Located at the second floor of UP Town Center, one of Quezon City's newest foodie destinations, Pinac Heirloom Capampangan Cuisine owned by Angel Pelayo-Ty, features the Pelayos' time-tested heirloom recipes passed down from her grandmother to her mother, and now, to Angel herself. With Pinac being the Kapampangan word for swamp, particularly the Candaba Swamp in Candaba, Pampanga, the restaurant pays it tribute as Candaba is where most of Pinac's fresh ingredients come from.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ramen Bar: New and Improved at The Hub Greenfield District

The cold, rainy, bed weather days is here, and so is the noodle soup-slurping season. So today, let me tickle your Japanese noodle soup craving as I share with you my most recent visit to one of my favorite ramen places in the metro, Ramen Bar.
Ramen Bar The Hub Greenfield District

Long before ramen houses from Japan have opened doors in the country, I was already a patron at Ramen Bar in Eastwood. However, when the authentic ramen craze hit Metro Manila, I was one of those foodies hopping from one ramen house to the other, checking them out and making a ramen ranking in my mind. As a result, I wasn't able to go back to eat at Ramen Bar any sooner. Fortunately though, I received a timely invitation to try the new and improved ramen (broth) at one of Ramen Bar's newest branches. So with the beau in tow, off we went to The Hub at Greenfield District.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Writers Bar: Glam Hatters Afternoon Tea at Raffles Makati

Aside from brunch, my other favorite meal would probably be afternoon tea time. And no, this English practice isn't just a sosyal version of our local merienda. Prior to the rise of tea in Britain, the English only have breakfast and dinner, so the afternoon tea time had actually been their light, late lunch counterpart. And for someone like me who tries hard to skip dinner, what better way to do so than fill up with afternoon tea time goodies.
Glam Hatters Afternoon Tea at Writers Bar Raffles Makati

Located at the ground floor, Writers Bar is the library-styled lobby cafe of Raffles Makati. It takes inspiration from the original Writers Bar in Raffles Singapore, but puts a modern twist to it. Walls lined with bookshelves, ultra-comfortable couch seating, big picture windows, a high ceiling, and chic accents here and there... Indeed, the Writers Bar at Raffles Makati is a perfect location to enjoy afternoon treats while sipping tea!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lutong Bahay: Menchi Katsu with Cheese

Lutong Bahay is a short tag on the title which I use to feature home-cooked food, either in our own home or at a friend's house, either my own cooking or not.

You all know how much I love Japanese food. And one of which I've always enjoyed is katsu or breaded cutlet, especially ones from Yabu. However, as much as I love eating out, it wouldn't be too practical to head to Yabu every time I have a katsu craving, which is almost every other day. So for a quick fix, I decided to make my own katsu. And not just the usual pork cutlet, but a Menchi Katsu (minced meat cutlet) with cheese at that!
Menchi Katsu with Cheese

Normally, I cook by myself. But to keep me company in the kitchen was my little sis whose fave item from Yabu is also the Menchi Katsu with Cheese, so what better way to learn cooking your favorite food than to actually try cooking it? And I'd have to thank our single electric cooker, it makes bonding with my little sis possible. For some reason, deep frying on our gas stove is more difficult. The oil can quickly become too hot which can easily burn the katsu. Electric cookers on the other hand, don't heat up rapidly, which makes cooking with a companion easier and safer. So, let our katsu-making begin!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Genji M: Ready Set Go Lunch Promo and More!

Earlier this year, a Japanese-Korean restaurant at the corner of Kalayaan and Makati Avenue that goes by the name of Genji M, has successfully enticed sushi and sashimi lovers like me with its eat-all-you-can sushi and sashimi offering. Now, it has already been four months, so let's revisit Genji M and see what's new this time around!
Genji M Ready Set Go Lunch Promo

One of the newest promos at Genji M is the Ready Set Go Lunch which is basically a timed buffet. Unlike regular eat-all-you-can buffets, one can only avail and enjoy the Ready Set Go Lunch buffet for a specific amount of time -- 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or 60 minutes. This promo will only be available from Mondays to Fridays, and obviously, only during lunch. So for yuppies working in Makati looking to stuff themselves full on a quick lunch break and without breaking the bank, this is a good option on how to do it.

Patience Delivers: Slow-cooked dishes taste best!

Hot and fiery, rich, comforting and mellow... It’s time to discover the full range of slow-cooked flavors.

Cooking food slowly makes the best of humbler ingredients, so it’s not just affordable, it’s simple as well. Meat usually requires quick sealing or browning in a pan, but after that you can leave it to the gentle heat of your slow cooker or other medium to do the rest. These great classics can be a meal on their own, but side dishes add contrasting textures -- rice, stir-fried vegetables, a leaf salad. This selection combines Filipino classics with some recipe ideas from around the world.

Adobo
Adobo Connection Kuya's Fried Mixed Adobo
Kuya's Fried Mixed Adobo from Adobo Connection
The smell of the Philippines’ national dish wafts from many home kitchens. A blend of vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, bay and soy sauce, plus mixed spices, delivers the kick to cubes of pork and chicken. The presence of vegetables or coconut milk divides adobo lovers, as does the “right” consistency -- intense and near-dry, or with plenty of sauce for the accompanying rice? But an adobo without a debate wouldn’t be an adobo.

Kare-Kare

Kare-Kare Three Sisters Restaurant
Kare-Kare with Bagoong from Three Sisters' Restaurant
This homespun favorite is based around chunky cuts of oxtail and other meats, along with seasonal vegetables -- eggplant and green beans are among the most widely available. Compared with much Filipino cookery, the flavors of this dish are light, accompanied by a more powerful seasoning once placed on the table, but it’s traditional to color it with annatto (achiote). The key to the sauce’s wonderful texture is the addition of ground toasted rice, plus crushed peanuts.

Kalderata

Caldereta from Kuppa Roastery
Lamb Kaldereta from Kuppa Roastery & Cafe
Combining local flavors with the country’s Spanish connection, this stew can be made with beef, lamb, pork and chicken. The main ingredients are potatoes, liver, tomatoes, olives and hot and sweet peppers. Your pot becomes the original “caldera” or cauldron!

Kig Ha Farz (Meat and Dumpling)

kig ha farz
Photo from French Letters
The classic French “pot au feu” is prepared by simmering a flank or shin of beef with root vegetables, garlic and generous handfuls of herbs. It’s cooked as slowly as possible -- barely a bubble should break the surface of the broth. In Brittany, they incorporate a mighty dumpling of buckwheat flour, eggs, stock, salt and sugar, wrapped in muslin.

Old-Style Mutton

mutton
Photo from Moti Japan
Cubed mutton is mixed with fresh rhubarb or kumquats, saffron, stock, drops of orange juice, apricots and raisins, and red ale. Experiment to find the combination you like. It’s a fascinating flavor of sweet-and-sharp cooking, from the Europe of centuries past.

Cassoeula

cassoeula
Photo from Ricetta Blog
Mixed cuts of pork and smoky sausage with shredded cabbage, are what make this early-winter dish from Northern Italy tick. Cooked slowly and with root vegetables, black pepper and white wine, it’s the type of meal that feeds both your body and your soul.

The good things come to those who wait, and when it comes to cooking, these are dishes that truly reward the chef's (and the diners’) patience. Cook these slowly and let the flavors slowly unfold on the palate.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Macadamia Natural Oil Hair Treatment at Piandre Salon The Fort

When it comes to hair, I'm one of those weird people who'd prefer my dream hair color and style than a perfectly healthy set of locks. As expected, my hair philosophy has left my hair pretty much fried. Apart from getting my head digipermed a while ago, I've also been continuously dyeing my hair. Not to mention, I've bleached it twice too! So when I received a timely invitation for a hair treatment, I figured I should grab the opportunity.
Piandre Salon The Fort

Even before going to the Macadamia Muse Party at Piandre Salon, I already did my own research and found out that the Macadamia Natural Oil line of products is geared towards healing, especially dry and damaged hair. And as its name suggests, it contains Macadamia Oil which rejuvenates dry and brittle hair, as well as Argan Oil which is another valuable oil for hair (and even skin) replenishment. So yes, expect this product line to be effective as it contains not just 1, but 2 of the most important oils for hair care.