2011 has been a great year for me and my blog. I was able to finally graduate from college, enjoy my job, get back into blogging, hold my first ever online giveaway, meet a lot of new people, and of course, enjoy tons of food and drinks along the way.
After over 2 months of blogging, I can't believe that I've already made over 70 blog entries, reviewed 29 restaurants, 6 buffets, 11 specialty foods and posted a few more daily food items. And through this course of time, I would like to thank everyone who continuously showed support for The Purple Doll by leaving comments, following this blog, subscribing to my feed or simply reading.
To wrap up this year though, I have made a list of my top 10 picks for 2011. Of course, you may not share the same ranking as mine, but here are the ten food and drink spots I've been to and I've fairly enjoyed this year.
10. BonChon Chicken
Although I'm not a really big lover of chicken wings, I've enjoyed BonChon Chicken's soy garlic-flavored double fried wings. The skin is just oozing with mouthwatering flavors and are very crispy. The inside, although not as tasty as the skin, is also tender and moist.
9. Vikings Luxury Buffet
I have stressed before that the food offerings at Vikings are not all consistently good. But for a non-hotel luxury buffet, they have some great tasting selection and the variety is just too wide to ignore. As much as I want to deny it, I have been craving to eat here so somehow it deserves a spot on my top 10 list.
8. Cafeccino by Dome
Cafeccino by Dome may seem like an ordinary café-restaurant, but they have good food, good coffee, good service and a nice, quiet and relaxing ambiance. They also have my date's most favorite food in the world, Beef Belly.
7. Corniche at Diamond Hotel
One of the great deals we've got this year is a 50% off from Corniche's regular buffet rate. So at P710 per person, dining at a lovely and elegant hotel is such a steal! Everything we have tried, from the appetizers, seafood, grilled meat, up to the desserts were all good tasting. The ambiance was also breathtaking and made the whole dining experience more memorable.
6. Yabu: House of Katsu
Snagging the 6th place on my list is the first authentic katsu house in the country, Yabu. Honestly, I have never been a fan of tonkatsu. I don't even consider ordering one whenever I'm in a Japanese restaurant. However, Yabu gave me a taste of a soft, juicy and flavorful tonkatsu -- far from the ones I've previously tried. It has also successfully converted me to being a katsu lover.
Matsuri doesn't house all the great tasting Japanese food. However at P595, it has given me and my date the most memorable Japanese food overload for 2011. Everything we were served were good, if not great. They were served fresh from the kitchen without buffet heaters or rude buffet diners. It was also our first time to have an ala carte style eat-all-you-can dinner.
4. Sambo Kojin
Although we have tried a few buffets in town, Sambo Kojin still remains one of my ultimate favorites. Why? The buffet rate is very friendly at only P595. The restaurant houses a wide variety of Japanese and Korean foods, the servers are friendly and accommodating, they have an interactive grill per table, and they have my favorite Sambo Kojin sauce-marinated beef.
Deciding what to put in the top 3 spots was difficult. I was not sure what factors to consider. However in the end, I went with what food or drink spots made me happy the most. So my number 3 on this list is Frostings, a local cupcake stall. I admit that I was not a big fan of cupcakes before, but after a few visits at Frostings, I learned to love cupcakes. In addition, this stall had never failed to deliver a moist and good-tasting cupcake.
I am a big ice cream lover so let me be bias for this list. As much as I love frozen yogurts and gelatos, ice cream still has the highest dessert spot in my heart and Sebastian's unique and innovative flavors do not fail in satisfying my sweet cravings.
1. Gong Cha
Claiming my top spot for 2011 is no other than Gong Cha, my all-time favorite milk tea store. With less than a hundred bucks, a cup of Gong Cha's sweet, slightly bitter and clean-tasting milk tea can already put me into a state of pure bliss. Even without eating at fancy restaurants or luxurious buffets, I can already be happy and be very much contented with Gong Cha's House Special Milk Wintermelon Tea.
And there you have it.. These are my top 10 food and drink spots for 2011. If you have a top 10 list of anything for this year, share them on the comments section below. Anyway, have a wonderful 2012 everyone. Let us all enjoy the new year and more food trips to come.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE PURPLE DOLL!!! :)