Flavorful and familiar dishes at Banapple, Tomas Morato

Eating out with coworkers who are not among your usual lunch companions presents quite a quandary: trying to find a restaurant that will appeal to the varied tastes and preferences of such a diverse group.

Banapple

Banapple

We solved this dilemma by going to the nearby branch of Banapple and took advantage of its various home-cooked style comfort food such as:

Soup of the Day (Php105). A freshly made, hearty and creamy mushroom soup to fill the tummy and warm the soul.

Banapple

Sirloin Garlic Beef Tapa (Php280). Tender beef slices marinated in a sweet yet garlicky marinade and served with seasoned garlic rice and creamed parsley eggs.

Banapple

Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce (Php255). Crispy herb-crusted fresh fish fillets drizzled with warm honey thyme mustard sauce and served with butter carrots and served with seasoned garlic rice.

Banapple

Bacon Fried Chicken Steaks with Milk’Shroom Gravy (Php275). Creamy milk and mushroom gravy smother crispy chicken fillets and topped with bacon bits and served with corn relish and seasons garlic rice.

Banapple

Pan-fried Pork Loin with Herb Mushroom Gravy (Php265). Tender pork slices and are seasoned with herbs, pan-fried, smothered with a thick herb and mushroom gravy and served with glazed butter carrots and seasoned garlic rice.

Banapple

At over Php250 per order, these rice meals are not cheap. While quite flavorful and familiar, the dishes have a tendency to provoke a feeling of “umay,” there being so much of a particular taste that you just grow tired of it.

Still, these are not too shabby for a resto that started as a small operation, baking pies and cakes for family, friends and referred food establishments.

Also, as I’ve mentioned several times before, Banapple’s claim to fame, for me, would always be its desserts. The Banoffee Pie (Php135 per slice, Php965 for whole), in particular, is a delightful confection. I brought a whole cake home recently for my dad’s birthday. The graham cracker crust is well-formed and compact. The caramel filling is rich and decadent while the bananas inside are sweet but still has a firm texture. The cream topping is whipped stiff and in shape, allowing it to hold thick dark chocolate shavings.

Banapple

Banapple

Banapple

This Banapple branch is located at the Second Floor, Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato Corner Scout Madrinan Street, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 9am to 11.30pm. Other branches can be found at:

  • SM City North EDSA, Quezon City
  • Gateway Mall, Cubao, Quezon City
  • Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, Balintawak, Quezon City
  • Blue Ridge, Quezon City
  • Robinsons Galleria, Quezon City
  • Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz, Pasig City
  • Tutuban Center Malls, Tondo, Manila
  • Ayala Malls Marikina, Marikina Heights, Marikina City
  • Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Village, Makati
  • Market! Market! Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ayala Fairview Terraces, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Tuscany, McKinley Hill, Taguig
  • President’s Grove, BF Homes, Paranaque
  • Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Banapple Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Plus, you’ll be happy to know that when you dine in at Banapple with a friend, you can get a free dish via Zomato Gold. Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks for dine-in guests. All you have to do is download the Zomato app from the App Store or Google Play and sign up for a Zomato Gold membership as soon as slots open. (They tend to get snatched up pretty quickly so be sure to sign up as soon as slots become available.) Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

We wanted it quick and cheap at Ersao, Tomas Morato

Sometimes, our food choices are determined by the limitations to our time and funds.  One such instance drove me and a friend to have lunch at the nearby branch of Ersao.

Ersao is a Taiwanese restaurant offering affordably priced snacks and side dishes, rice toppings and hot noodle dishes.  As we have meetings before and after our lunch break, a friend and I opted to get a quick and affordable meal at Ersao at M Place which is within walking distance from our office building.

The store occupies a small space with seating good for up to twenty people.  Even though it was lunchtime, the place was still quite deserted and we were able to order and get a seat with minimum fuss.

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

My friend opted for the Taiwan Style Rice Porridge (Php180), basically a rice congee with meat bits and aromatics.  Served hot, it can be quite comforting to the soul while filling to the tummy. She supplemented her meal with an order of Gyoza (Php110) for some added protein.

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Given the relatively low price of the offerings in this resto, I decided to splurge a bit and got myself a Pork Steak (Php170) and a Pearl Milk Tea (Php99).

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Ersao, Tomas Morato

The meal sated our hunger but left me wanting in terms of taste.  The pork steak, in particular, was too liberally seasoned, giving a sense of umay such that I wasn’t able to finish my meal.

Ersao, Tomas Morato

Well, we wanted our lunch quick and cheap, and that’s what we got.  Too bad we didn’t include flavor in our criteria.

Ersao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Taiwanese food restos:

HBO receives 9 Golden Globe nominations

HBO received 9 Golden Globe nominations for the upcoming 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, which were announced today in Los Angeles. The Golden Globe Awards will be presented on 6 January in Los Angeles.

HBO’s Golden Globe nominations this year include:

3 nominations for BARRY

  • Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy (Bill Hader)
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Henry Winkler)

Barry

Synopsis: A hit man from the Midwest moves to Los Angeles and gets caught up in the city’s theatre arts scene.

BARRY is now streaming on HBO GO.

3 nominations for SHARP OBJECTS

  • Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Amy Adams)
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Patricia Clarkson)

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Synopsis: A reporter confronts the psychological demons from her past when she returns to her hometown to cover a violent murder.

SHARP OBJECTS is now streaming on HBO GO.  

1 nomination for SUCCESSION

  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Kieran Culkin)

Succession

Synopsis: Succession follows a dysfunctional American global-media family.

SUCCESSION is now streaming on HBO GO.

1 nomination for THE TALE

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Laura Dern).

The Tale

Synopsis: A woman filming a documentary on childhood rape victims starts to question the nature of her childhood relationship with her riding instructor and running coach.

THE TALE is now streaming on HBO GO.

 

1 nomination for WESTWORLD

  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Thandie Newton).

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Synopsis: Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, explore a world in which every human appetite can be indulged without consequence.

Both seasons of WESTWORLD are now streaming on HBO GO.

HBO is available on SKYcable Ch. 54 SD/Ch. 168 HD (For Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Lipa-Batangas) or on Ch. 402 SD/710 HD (For Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo). SKYdirect subscribers can watch it on Ch. 22 HD. HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming on HBO GO which is exclusively available to SKY subscribers. To subscribe, call 418-0000 or your local SKY office or visit www.mysky.com.ph.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Series and movie details provided by HBO in a recent press release.

Check out my posts on HBO shows:

 

“Miss Sherlock” and “Talwars: Behind Closed Doors” win awards for HBO Asia

HBO Asia won two awards at the inaugural Asian Academy Creative Awards that took place over two nights on December 6 and December 7 at the Capitol Theatre in Singapore. HBO Asia bagged the coveted “Best Drama Series” award for MISS SHERLOCK, the regional network’s first co-production with Hulu Japan, and also won “Best Documentary Series” for THE TALWARS: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, HBO Asia’s first original documentary produced in association with Star India.

The Asian Academy Creative Awards are the region’s version of the International Emmy Awards and celebrate quality broadcast and media content from Australia & New Zealand, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

About MISS SHERLOCK

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MISS SHERLOCK, an eight-part, hour-long Japanese drama series, is a bold interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, re-envisioned in Japanese and set in modern day Tokyo, the iconic characters – Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are played by women. A co-production with Hulu Japan, watch the award-winning HBO Asia Original Series on HBO GO.

About THE TALWARS: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

TGW_REC_Kaul

THE TALWARS: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is a gripping documentary that examines the double murder of a teenage girl and her family’s household servant in Noida, India, that quickly became one of India’s biggest murder mysteries, capturing worldwide attention. Produced in association with Star India, the four-part hour-long HBO Asia Original Documentary Series is available on HBO GO.

HBO is available on SKYcable Ch. 54 SD/Ch. 168 HD (For Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Lipa-Batangas) or on Ch. 402 SD/710 HD (For Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo). SKYdirect subscribers can watch it on Ch. 22 HD. HBO Original Series as well as live channels are also available for streaming on HBO GO which is exclusively available to SKY subscribers. To subscribe, call 418-0000 or your local SKY office or visit www.mysky.com.ph.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Movie details provided by HBO in a recent press release.

Check out my posts on other HBO shows:

 

Modern Filipino Cuisine at Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Lately, restaurants touting “modern Filipino cuisine” have sprouted up all over the metro.

But what is modern Filipino cuisine?

Simply put: it is the flavors you grew up with but broken free of traditions surrounding them, even incorporating foreign influences. It is composed of tastes and textures familiar to you but applied and presented in exciting and novel ways. In short, this is not your grandma’s cooking.

Unless your dear Lola is part of the visionary team behind Ombu Kusina, of course.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu is a modern Filipino restaurant located along Mother Ignacia Street in Quezon City. Having recently revamped its interiors, it also recently launched its special holiday dishes. And your friendly neighborhood Jellybeans is among the lucky foodies who were able to attend its exclusive food tasting event.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu’s newly renovated premises are simply impressive. White subway tiles serve as an elegant backdrop for light-colored plush seats, darkwood tables and the feast laid out for us.

And said feast consisted of Ombu’s signature dishes such as:

Dilis Rice (Php80 per cup: Php170 for sharing). Your favorite sinangag (garlic fried rice), lightly flavored and topped with salty crispy fried dilis (anchovies).

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Salted Egg Spaghettini (Php260). Al dente spaghettini noodles tossed in a sauce of salted egg yolks, sprinkled with tomatoes, diced cucumber and salted egg whites. The salted egg sauce was evenly spread throughout the noodles and the cucumber provided a fresh contrast to the sauce with every bite.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Sisig Pizza (Php520). The classic pork sisig and egg tops a thin-crust pizza drizzled with garlic sauce.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Binagoongang Talong (Php300). Fresh eggplant and lechon kawali served with a thick bagoong (shrimp paste) sauce. While I found the sauce a little too thick for my taste but the crispy fried pork belly is just yummy and went well with the Dilis Rice.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Seafood Mix Laing (Php290). Taro leaves wrapped around a mix of shrimp, crab meat, onion and lemon grass, slowly cooked in light coconut milk.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Also part of the feast are Ombu’s seasonal dishes such as:

Adobochon (Php440). Flavorful roasted pig with tender meat and crispy skin served with adobo sauce on the side.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Flaming Chicken (Php340). Tender and juicy chicken flambed right before our eyes.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

For dessert, we had Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (Php180). Delightful layers of frozen soft meringue alternating custard filling, ice cream and graham cracker crust.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

The dishes were expertly prepared and given a fresh twist by Ombu Kusina’s chefs.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

So for a great taste of modern Filipino cuisine, check out Ombu Kusina.

Ombu Kusina is located at Ground Floor, Sequioa Hotel, Mother Ignacia Street, Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 6.30am to 10pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 4411789 or +63 922 8149086, or email omburestaurant@yahoo.com.

Thanks to SandUnderMyFeet.com for extending the invite

Ombu Kusina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Premium Korean BBQ at Fantastic Baka, Tomas Morato

Craving for your fix of Korean-style grilled meats?

Look no further than Fantastic Baka, one of the newest Korean BBQ restaurants to open in the vicinity of the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area.

Located at the Grandia Place right across ABS-CBN, it offers a premium selection of meats and dishes expertly prepared by three-Michelin star awarded Chef Jang Jungyun, considered one of Korea’s A-list chefs.

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

At the invitation of Fantastic Baka’s mother company, Tong Keun So, my officemates and I made our way to this restaurant for our pre-holiday lunch.

The resto has a sizeable dining area with grills built in to the tables and exhaust tubes extended down from the ceilings. The combination of dark wood and pine, as well as the black-and-white color theme in furnishings and decor give the place a sleek and modern feel.

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Our group of four were served items from the Unlimited Php799 package which includes eight kinds of beef and seven kinds of pork such as plain and seasoned plate, plain and spicy bulgogi, brisket point, plain and seasoned prime chuck eyeroll, hanging tender, regular and thinly sliced pork belly and more.

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

We requested for several refills of thinly sliced beef plate and the more premium beef variants. We had to grill the meats ourselves but fortunately, our waiter gamely gave us some grilling tips and we managed (thankfully!) to get ouselves fed.

My preference towards Korean-style grilled meats leans towards the unseasoned variants. I just dipped the cooked pieces in salted sesame oil and the savory ssamjang prior to wrapping them in the crisp lettuce leaves provided.

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Banchan (side dishes) were generously served, with our group showing marked preference for Jap-chae, steamed egg, stir-fried fish cakes and cole slaw. We also got a taste of Fantastic Baka’s famous cheese sauce in which we dipped some of the cooked meats.

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

While the regular meat variants are yummy enough by themselves, the premium beef cuts are absolutely superb: they have a tender, juicy and buttery feel as you bite into them.

At Php799 per person for unlimited servings of 15 beef and pork variations, or Php599 per person for unlimited servings of 11 variations, Fantastic Baka might seem a bit pricey but the premium beef cuts are worth it.

With this treat from Fantastic Baka, my coworkers and I were able to embark in another epic happy lunch adventure. We went back to the office smelling like barbecue but you won’t hear us complaining. 🙂

Fantastic Baka, Tmas Morato

Want to dine at Fantastic Baka but on a budget? Dine from 11am to 4pm on weekdays and get Php100 off on the Unlimited Php599 menu. Kids below 3 feet dine for free and kids between 3 feet to 4.2 feet will be given a 50% discount on the Unlimited sets.

Fantastic Baka also has a Php200 penalty for leftovers so do finish off all the meat refills you requested for.

If Korean Barbecue is not your thing, you might want to check out Fantastic Baka’s Bento Meals. At only Php280, you can enjoy Sweet and Sour Chickeb, Pork Bulgogi or Spicy Pork Bulgogi served with soup, Japchae, stir-fried fishcake, fresh salad, kimchi, iced tea and unlimited rice.

Fantastic Baka is located at 143 Grandia Building, Mother Ignacia Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila, open daily from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 915 8455899.

Fantastic Baka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Our lunch was hosted by Fantastic Baka. The food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and were not paid for by our group.

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

Product Review: Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

I have been blessed with naturally straight hair but it does tend to get oily, even greasy at times. I quite surprised that despite this, my scalp tends to get flaky, especially when I feel stressed. (This is a big problem for me as I like wearing dark colors.)

I also have a problem with hairfall: after washing my hair, I would see strands clumping together at the drain.

While many commercially available hair care products do purport to address my hair concerns, I oftentimes don’t see or feel the improvements as immediately or as signifcantly as I would like.

Then I was sent a bottle each of Shaleve Ginger Anti-Alopecia Shampoo and Shaleve Ginger Physiotherapy Hair Care Conditioner to review.

Berfly International Trading

Berfly International Trading

My first thought was: Ginger? On my hair? Really???

I’ve known for a while that this root crop has a lot of medicinal properties but this is the first time I’ve encountered its application to hair care.

Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

Actually, many of ginger’s qualities that make it a superfood also make it a boon to hair.

Ginger has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe scalp problems such as dandruff, dryness and itchiness. It also helps regulate hair sebum secretions, addressing my concerns with oily hair.

To use, wet hair thoroughly and apply the Shaleve Ginger Anti-Alopecia Shampoo evenly to hair, massaging the scalp for two to three minutes until a slight foam is generated. (Note that this shampoo is not as bubbly or foamy as more mainstream shampoos.). Then rinse off with clear water.

Afterwards, gently massage the Shaleve Ginger Physiotherapy Hair Care Conditioner onto the scalp. Leave on for five minutes then rinse thoroughly.

Personally, I love the light and fresh feeling these products bring to my hair. They also leave a nice and subtle herby sent that stays on my hair all day.

Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

Shaleve Ginger Shampoo and Conditioner

These hair care products are imported and distributed by Berfly International Trading Corporation, a supplier of a complete range of beauty, body and bath-stuffs for discerning consumers in the metro.

The Shaleve Ginger Anti-Alopecia Shampoo retails at Php148 per 300ml bottle while the Shaleve Ginger Physiotherapy Gair Care Conditioner sells for Php174 per 300ml bottle.

Both of these products are available at Berfly’s showroom at 6th Floor LJK Building Km 21 Ortigas Avenue Extension, Brgy. San Isidro Cainta, Rizal or at the company’s online store at Facebook.

For inquries, call +63 966 1975536 or email berflyinternational@yahoo.com.