Welcome the cherry blossom season with Starbucks’ Sakura series

In Japan, the advent of spring season is welcomed by the blossoming of sakura – more commonly known to us as cherry blossoms – from the last week of March to mid-April.

Widely considered as Japan’s national flower, these beautiful and delicate, pale pink blooms figure prominently in Japanese culture.

Starbucks Sakura Series

When the blossoming peaks, usually in the first week of April, it is a wondrous sight, prompting locals and visitors alike to hold tea ceremonies called hanami and other festivities to coincide with cherry blossom viewings.

Starbucks Sakura Series

We may not be able to travel to Japan to see these lovely blooms for ourselves but we can recreate the experience at home by having these Starbucks limited-edition Strawberry Sakura drinks delivered via GrabFood.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

The Sakura Blossom Strawberry Frappuccino (Php205). Fresh strawberries are blended with whole milk and ice with sweet strawberry sauce at the bottom of the glass. Petal-shaped pink chocolate sprinkles garnish the whipped cream that top this drink.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Iced Sakura Blossom Tea (Php200). Starbucks’ Teavana Hibiscus Tea is combined with strawberry sauce and topped with cold foam sprinkled with petal-shaped pink chocolate sprinkles.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

A perfect partner for these drinks is Starbucks’ Cherry Blossom Cake (Php215), a light yet moist and sweet cherry cake layered with creamy filling made with crushed cherries and finished with cherry cream.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Who says we can’t celebrate sakura season in the comforts of home?

Starbucks Sakura Series

This Starbucks branch is located at Mercedes Residences, Mercedes Avenue, San Miguel, Pasig City. For inquiries, call +63 2 82450773.

Photo Credit: Sakura blossoms by kazuend on Unsplash

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

Check out my other posts about Starbucks:

The Bistro Group launches Bistro Delivers, its on-demand delivery app

With the shift to instant commerce brought by the pandemic, The Bistro Group launched the Bistro Delivers app to help customers get their favorite food on their terms.

The Bistro Delivers app, which houses all 17 Bistro Group restaurant brands, aims to make life for urban dwellers just a little bit easier. Offering on-demand delivery and take-out options, the app bridges decades of the company’s food and operational expertise with the convenience of today’s technology.

For those who want to order in—whether it be to binge while watching the latest Netflix show or partake in an intimate dinner with family and friends, the Bistro Delivers app is the perfect way to get food anytime, anywhere. From pasta and wings to sushi and paella, the app allows customers to order their favorite food safely and conveniently from any of The Bistro Group’s wide roster international and homegrown brands.

To give customers even more options, customers can order from multiple brands in the same vicinity, so they no longer have to choose between two good things. With a delivery radius of 8-km, customers can also enjoy access to restaurants that have typically been out of reach.

For those craving savings, discounts and offers will be exclusively available for redemption within the app. “BFFs,” members of The Bistro Group’s loyalty program, can also expect to enjoy special privileges and perks.

Through the launch of Bistro Delivers, The Bistro Group hopes to elevate its high standards of customer satisfaction even further—giving customers a hassle-free way to get the food they love from the convenience of their phones.

Bistro Delivers can be downloaded in the Play Store/Google Play and App Store.

Chicken Galantina by Fira’s Kitchen

If you haven’t encountered the dish called Chicken Galantina yet, you’re missing on quite a lot!

This delectable dish is made with a deboned chicken stuffed with ground pork, hard-boiled egg and sausages with some pickle relish and spices which is then baked until cooked.

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen

Its origins go all the way back to France with a dish called galantine which employs basically the same method and similar ingredients. Its name may have been derived from its elaborate preparation and presentation: deboning a chicken, after all, is pretty difficult and time-consuming, and the finished dish is lavishly decorated before serving. This leads to a spread of food on the table that is urbane and sophisticated – therefore gallant.

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen

Given the effort that goes into making this dish, it usually makes an appearance during special occasions or holiday feasts.

I remember my mom trying her hand at making this dish back when I was young and I could attest to the difficulty and care needed in making it. No wonder then, that despite the appeal of the dish among our family members, Mom rarely ventured into making this dish since then.

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen

To my reckoning, it’s been years since the last time I had a taste of Chicken Galantina, while my kiddos have yet to acquaint themselves with it.

As luck would have it, the family of my honorary daughter – my real daughter #ExhibitA’s BFF – sent a whole Chicken Galantina from Fira’s Kitchen to us.

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen

Established in the early 2000s, Fira’s Kitchen specializes in Chicken Galantina, making use of a family recipe that had been passed down through generations.

Honorary Daughter and her mom swear by it, and I have to say that I agree.

From its flavorful browned skin to the succulent chicken meat and delicious stuffing – thankfully not overflowing with raisins! – it is a welcome highlight at our dinner table.

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen

It came with its special gravy which my kiddos consumed quite liberally but I quite prefer my Chicken Galantina portion without it.

The remarkable thing about this dish is that it can be enjoyed hot or cold, so what few leftovers we had conveniently became sandwich fillings for our midnight snack.

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen sells its Whole Chicken Galantina with Gravy for Php850. Galantina Rolls (a version of the Chicken Galantina rolled in chicken breast) and Chicken Embutina (the same Chicken Galantina recipe but in embotido-style) are also available for Php150 and Php180, respectively.

Fira’s Kitchen

Fira’s Kitchen

To order, call +63 927 5192810 or send a message via Facebook or Instagram.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Filling Japanese lunch at Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Back when my office was located in the Ortigas area, a lunchtime sojourn to SM Megamall was a frequent occurrence.

For one thing, it’s just a short cab (or FX) ride away; my officemates and I can easily grab a quick meal, enjoy the change of scenery, and be back at our desk usually before our bosses came back from their own lunch outs.

Another reason is the sheer number of affordable and delicious dining options available, which, sadly, far outnumbers those housed in our office building’s cafeteria.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

One of our favorite SM Megamall haunts is Yoshinoya, the second-largest chain of gyudon restaurants in the world. It makes Japanese rice bowls and more easily accessible to Pinoys through its affordable menu items that don’t scrimp on fresh ingredients.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Sadly, our office moved locations and a lunchtime trip to Yoshinoya is no longer as convenient.

Plus, with the quarantine restrictions still in place, I really haven’t been going out much.

That is, until my daughter #ExhibitA and I went shopping for supplies at SM Megamall.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Giving in to #ExhibitA’s request for us to eat somewhere which offers gyoza, I decided to treat her to lunch at Yoshinoya. There, we refueled after a round of shopping with these dishes:

Gyoza (Php79). Pork and vegetable-filled dumplings steamed then pan-grilled for a satisfying mix of chewy and crunchy textures and served with a dipping sauce.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

California Maki (Php79). A sushi roll containing cucumber, kani and mango bits.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Pork Tonkatsu Bento (Php189). Deep fried breaded pork served in a bento box with macaroni salad, tiramisu and served with Tonkatsu sauce.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Regular Gyudon Beef (Php159 ala carte | Php189 solo meal with with red iced tea and coffee jelly). Tender beef slices are simmered in a special herb and spice broth together with sliced onions and then served on top of a bowl of steaming rice.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Green Tea Ice Cream (Php50).

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Well, with these flavorful Japanese dishes that don’t burn a whole through my wallet, I am quite satisfied with my return to Yoshinoya!

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

This Yoshinoya branch is located at Upper Ground Floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For delivery, call +63 2 2882888.

Other branches are located at:

  • Food Court, Level 1, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Annex Building, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Valero Carpark 2, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • Second Floor, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Fourth Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila
  • Ground Floor, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City

To know more about Yoshinoya, visit its website or follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

J.CO Donuts’ 9th anniversary offer

Head’s up, dessert lovers!

In celebration of its ninth anniversary, J.CO Donuts & Coffee is offering two dozen of its delicious donuts for only Php550 until March 17!

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

Originating from Indonesia in the early 2000s, J.CO Donuts set about creating soft and fluffy donuts that come with all sorts of premium toppings and fillings.

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

Taking advantage of this offer, I had two boxes, each with a dozen of these treats, delivered to my home for the fam’s dessert.

The most notable among these sweet offerings include:

  • Al Capone. Dipped in white chocolate with toasted sliced almonds strewn on top, this donut has been my go-to treat since I first stepped into a J.CO Donuts store.
  • Berry Spears. Filled with whipped cream, dipped in strawberry jam and garnished with flakes of white chocolate, it is a fruity confection for dessert lovers.
  • Caviar Chocolate. Dipped in hazelnut chocolate with dark chocolate coated crisps sprinkled on top, it’s a treat for chocolate lovers.
  • Mr. Green Tea. Dipped in green tea chocolate with crushed toasted almonds strewn on top, it will appeal to matcha fans.

With the sheer variety of donut options included in these boxes, we found our all-time faves and some new ones, too!

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

So why don’t you go on a donut adventure with your nears-and-dears and order these for yourself?

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

Order via GrabFood or send J.CO Donuts a message via Facebook Messenger.

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

This J.CO Donut & Coffee branch is located at Ground Floor, 1800 Eastwood Avenue, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 5pm.

J.CO Donuts & Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert shops in the metro:

Dr. Wine presents a sneak peek into new menu by Chef Alain Raye

There’s a place hidden in the Poblacion suburbs where discriminating foodies can savor delicious French cuisine paired with the finest of vin.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine Manila – also known as Le Bistro du Dr. Wine – situated in Algiers Street just off Kalayaan Avenue and a few minutes walk away from Rockwell in Makati, is known for its cozy and rustic yet vibrant upscale premises, its extensive and well-curated collection of wines as well as the gastronomically delightful French dishes that emerge from its kitchen.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

For weekend brunch, for example, diners may enjoy plateau de fruits de mer – platters of local mussels, clams and shrimps, as well as escargot of bulots and bigorneux snails, oysters and razor clams imported from France, all served on a bed of ice. These platters are accompanied by freshly baked artisanal bread from the restaurant’s sister bakery, Dr. Bread, salted butter and assorted sauces (of which, I think the Red Wine Vinaigrette with Shallots brings out all the fresh goodness of the seafood). These platters come in different serving sizes: Couple (Php2,899 | good for two), The Queen’s Platter (Php4,899 | good for four) and The Dr. King’s Platter (Php8,599 | good for six).

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Michelin-starred Chef Alain Raye recently joined Dr. Wine’s team, bringing his considerable talents to bear as he takes the helm in Dr. Wine’s kitchen. He takes the bistro’s French cuisine offerings up several notches by adding his signature creations to menu.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Fish Quenelle. Lapu Lapu shaped into quenelles accompanied by plump prawns in a Gratinee Lyonnaise preparation. Its texture is creamy and delicate but is full of flavor.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Beef Short Ribs. Beef ribs slow cooked until fork-tender in classic French pepper sauce with sauteed carrots, and accompanied by a side of creamy potato gratin.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

These dishes are best enjoyed with a glass (or two!) of French wines such as this fruity Chateau Cap de Fer.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Excited to taste these delectable oeuvres from Chef Alain? Well, you won’t have to wait for long because these are launching today, March 15!

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Chef Alain also has a special treat to cap special wine dinners: the Nougat de Montelimar. It’s a decadent dessert made with nuts embedded in the nougat which is drenched in mixed berry puree and cream sauce.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

So take a break from your usual food haunts and get ready to indulge your tastebuds with French food and wine at Dr. Wine Manila!

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

You can also book your intimate gatherings at Dr. Wine’s elegant and spacious private function room which can accommodate up to twenty people (while practicing safety protocols and physical distancing).

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine Manila is located at Ground Floor, 5921 Algier Street, Poblacion, Makati City, open for dine-in and takeout Mondays to Wednesdays from 5pm to 10pm, Thursdays to Fridays from 12 noon to 10pm and Saturdays to Sundays at 12 noon to 11.30pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 5638811.

Disclosure: Together with fellow foodie EJ of ILoveToEatPH, I attended a food tasting held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to elicit our honest feedback and as basis for this feature article.

Le Bistro Du Dr. Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tsinoy food feast at Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

More often than not, a dish with Chinese origins would make its way into a Filipino’s hapag-kainan.

This is hardly surprising as the Pinoys and the Chinese have been trading since even before the Spanish colonization.

Through the centuries, various waves of Chinese migration occurred, each bringing their own cultures, especially their culinary traditions, into the country.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

In the 1930s, a Cantonese chef known as Mr, Lido established a modest eatery in Binondo called Panciteria Lido. In the next eighty years, this eatery has grown into a chain of restaurants – now under the Lido Cocina Tsina brand – that are renowned for serving tasty Chinese dishes that also appeal to the Filipino palate.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Before the pandemic hit the metro last year, I was able to sample some of Lido’s signature dishes. These left quite an impression on me that when restrictions on dining out were recently loosened in the metro, I quickly grabbed the opportunity to bring my fellow foodie unnis – Jen of SandUnderMyFeet.com and Nix of IEatAndIWander.com – to the resto so they can taste for themselves what I had beem raving about for the past year.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

That day, the unnis feasted on delectable Tsinoy food which included:

Yang Chow Fried Rice (Php132). I couldn’t fathom a Chinese meal without this egg fried rice made heartier and more flavorful with shrimp, pork, carrots and spring onions.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Pugon Roasted Asado (Php436). Mr. Lido’s claim to fame from his eighty-year-old recipe of pork loin basted in precise proportions of Chinese herbs and spices, and then cooked in the a wood-fired brick oven which infuses the meat with a rich and smokey flavor. It’s great as a viand for the Yang Chow Fried Rice but it’s wonderful when used as a filling for hot pan de sal.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Sweet and Sour Pork (Php374). A dish that appeals to the Pinoy penchant for the sweet and sour combination. It’s made with fried pork pieces sauteed with pineapple chunks, bell peppers and onions and served in a sweet and sour sauce.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Shrimp Foo Yong (Php468). Ever since I had my first taste of this egg omelette with shrimp, mushroom and veggies served in light oyster sauce, I’ve been obsessed with it. Taste it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Buchi (Php138). Deep-fried sesame balls with lotus cream filling make for a satisfying cap for a hearty Chinese meal.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

This visit to Lido Cocina Tsina has sated my year-long cravings and made believers out of my fellow unnis.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

We sure are looking forward to our next Lido Cocina Tsina adventure!

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

This Lido Cocina Tsina branch is located at 1014-1020 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Barangay Mariana, Quezon City, open daily from 8.30am to 6.30pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8885436, +63 2 84145436 or +63 947 4925752.

Other branches are located at:

  • 16 Visayas Avenue, Barangay Vasra, Quezon City
  • Unit 6 and 7, La Fuerza Bldg., 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue Corner Sabio Street, Barangay Bangkal, Makati City
  • Block 8, Lot 9 Commonwealth Avenue, Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City
  • 43 Mindanao Avenue (beside Phoenix Gasoline Station), Barangay Bahay Toro, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Z Square Mall, Banawe Street Corner Del Monte Avenue, Barangay Manresa, Quezon City
  • 532 United Nations Avenue cor. Jorge Bocobo St., Barangay Malate, Manila
  • 35 Dona Soledad Avenue, Barangay Don Bosco, Paranaque City
  • Ground Floor, Puregold Building, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Barangay San Isidro, Paranaque City
  • 262 Alabang-Zapote Road, Talon Dos, Las Pinas City

To have your Chinoy food feast delivered right where you are, order online.

Lido Cocina Tsina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Asian restaurants:

Get “Cool for the Summer” at Moonleaf, Novaliches

Ooh, summer!

There was a time when it was the most awaited season among the metro’s denizens. It used to signal a time to take a break from the daily grind of school and work.

Now, though, with the country still in quarantine and restrictions on travel and mobility still in effect, you might think that the pervasive heat will be the only thing noteworthy about this season.

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Well, the Moonleaf Tea Shop in Novaliches is all set to bring new reasons to enjoy the summer with its new line of drinks, aptly named “Cool for the Summer.” With these drinks, harried city dwellers can enjoy refreshing beverages that bring a moment of Zen while tickling their tastebuds. Plus, accompanied by chewy add-ons and topped with a dollop of thick and foamy wintercream, this drinks also provide opportunities for sheer indulgence.

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Wintermelon Milk Tea with Pearls and Wintercream

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Lychee Strawberry Tea with Rainwbow Jelly and Wintercream

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Mango Black Tea with Nata and Wintercream

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Watch out for these refreshing drinks this April!

Want something to nibble on as you enjoy your drinks? Why don’t you indulge your sweet tooth with some pastries?

Fudgy Dark Brownie (Php49)

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Blueberry Cheesecake (Php110)

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

As the summer season rolls by, don’t sweat the small stuff. Starting this April, you can get cool for the summer at Moonleaf Tea Shop!

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

This Moonleaf Tea Shop is located along General Luis Street, Novaliches Bayan, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 8pm. For inquiries, call +63 926 7007720. It delivers via GrabFood and soon, via FoodPanda, too so you can enjoy your drinks and nibbles without having to leave home!

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

To know about its latest offers and promos, follow Moonleaf Tea Shop Novaliches on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to elicit my honest feedback.

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

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

Shrimp Bucket delivery via Pick•A•Roo!

It’s been a year since the quarantine took place, and while I don’t miss the hellish commute from my home to Tomas Morato, I do miss the lunchtime foodie adventures that my officemates and I used to have around the area.

One of our favorite haunts, especially for our payday splurge, is the Shrimp Bucket branch in Il Terrazzo Mall, a short walk away from the office.

Here, we would binge on shrimps and mussels by the pound, drenched in flavorful sauces that would leave us wanting more.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

It’s been quite some time since our last foodie adventure at Shrimp Bucket but today, I was able to relive that experience with the family thanks to a new app called Pic•Ka•Roo!

Shrimp Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

This new all-in-one and on-demand lifestyle delivery app features all possible essentials for the home and more, delivered in a hygienic, contactless and stress-free. Aside from groceries, medicines, household appliances and gadgets, it also delivers from the metro’s restaurants, which is how I was able to get my hands on my Shrimp Bucket faves.

White Shrimp in Salted Eggsperience (Php785). Plump shrimp coated with a creamy savory sauce made with salted egg yolks.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Mussels in Mardi Gras (Php575). Mussels coated in a flavorful sauce made with pork chorizo blended with spices.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Both dishes are tasty by themselves but together, they’re dynamite!

Have a lot of steamed rice ready when dining on this winning combination of shrimps and mussels. You’ll be reaching for more again and again!

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

This Shrimp Bucket branch is located at Ground Floor, Rockwell Business Center, Sheridan Corner United Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City.

Other branches that deliver via Pic•Ka•Roo are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Bridgeway Shops, Across Connecticut Carpark Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Greenhills, San Juan City
  • Ground Floor, Grand Hamptons Tower 1, 31st Street Corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Want to give Pick•A•Roo a try? Get a Php250 PICK•A•ROO voucher and have your groceries, food & more delivered when you register with my referral code: ANGE7726. Download the app here.

Shrimp Bucket Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other seafood restos in the metro:

Classic Pinoy streetfood at Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Do you remember your first taste of streetfood?

The varied shapes, colors and textures, the interplay of sweet, salty, sour and spicy, plus a hint of the forbidden (because didn’t our moms warn us to keep away from these back then?) and that feeling of comfort when you bite into them, these are part and parcel of our early street food experience.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

While those good sensations associated with street food remain to this day, that feeling of prohibition hardly applies now, especially when street food is elevated to the level that Casa Calle brings them to.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

This stall located at Eatogether Food Hall in SM Megamall serves up, not just Pinoy comfort food faves, but also welcome tweaks on our favorite street food, such as:

Inihaw Platter (Php380). Various meat and sundry parts marinated in barbecue sauce and charcoal grilled to smoky perfection such as two sticks each of Pork BBQ, Isaw Manok (chicken intestine), Bulaklak (ruffled pork fat), Tenga (pork ear) and Betamax (coagulated pig’s blood). This promo bundle is available only during Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Lugaw Special (Php95 for small | Php115 for large). Savory rice porridge with bits of meat and tripe, a hard-boiled egg and garnished with toasted garlic and choppef green onions.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Tokwa’t Baboy (Php90). Crispy bits of pork belly tossed with fried tofu and chopped chilis and onions in a vinaigrette made with vinegar and soy sauce.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Tokneneng (Php35). Hard-boiled duck egg covered in orange batter, best enjoyed when dipped in spiced vinegar.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Sizzling Beef Pares (Php188). Cubed beef brisket sauteed and stewed with garlic, onion and ginger, and seasoned with star anise. This viand is paired with garlic fried rice (hence the name “pares”) and served on a sizzling plate.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Turones ala Mode (Php155). Banana and langka slices encased in lumpia wrapper, them deep-fried, and served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnished with sesame seeds and chocolate sauce.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Get ready to rediscover your love of Pinoy street food here.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

This Casa Calle branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Another branch is set to have its grand opening soon at 163 Aguirre Street, BF Homes, Paranaque City.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Hawker Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other stalls at Eatogether Food Hall:

Savor Asian flavors at Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

If you’re craving for the bold flavors of Asian cuisine, Hawker Lane at the Eatogether Food Hall in SM Megamall should be right up your alley.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Inspired by the hawker centers in Singapore where tasty Asian dishes and more are sold from stalls inside these large food courts, Hawker Lane brings the the same vibrant colors, textures and flavors to its diners.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Together with fellow foodies last weekend, I headed to Eatogether Food Hall to sample some of its signature dishes which include:

Deep-fried Salt and Pepper Squid (Php290 ala carte | Php220 with rice). A Cantonese dish made with pieces of squid which are deep-fried and tossed in a mixture of garlic, ginger and hot peppers.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Fish Fillet Tofu Claypot (Php220 ala carte | Php180 with rice). Another authentic Chinese dish made with shallow-fried fish fillets braised together with tofu in a flavorful sauce and served in a claypot.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Crispy Fried Garlic Chicken (Php300 ala carte | Php240 with rice). Chinese-style crispy fried chicken infused with the flavor of garlic.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Theses dishes surely sated my cravings for bold tastes and textures!

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Want to have your own taste of Asia? Drop by Hawker Lane!

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

This Hawker Lane branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, Eatogether Food Hall, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Another branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, Unimart Supermarket, Oranbo, Pasig City.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Hawker Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other stalls at Eatogether Food Hall:

Say hello to satisfying paella at Hola Paella, SM Megamall

I’ve always had a soft spot for paella. As one of the most well-known Spanish dishes with a long history, it enjoys great visibility, not just in Spanish restaurants but also in Pinoy fiestas.

The paella got its name from the shallow frying pan in which it is cooked and even served. Originating from the Valencia region in Spain, it combines both the Roman and Arab culinary traditions. Most iterations of this dish is characterized by its vibrant yellow color owing to the generous use of saffron which also contributes to its unique taste. One of the exceptions here is the Paella Negra which gets its color and flavor from the squid ink mixed in with the rice.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Having been colonized by Spain for three centuries, it is hardly surprising that the Philippines would develop a love for this dish, even making our own version – the arroz ala valenciana – which uses glutinous rice with chicken and longganisa or chorizo.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Well, the good news for us paella lovers is that we don’t have to travel far nor wait for a fiesta to get a taste of our favorite dish.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

At the newly opened stall at SM Megamall’s Eatogether Food Hall, we can get this flavorful rice dish and pick the toppings we want to go with it.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Together with my fellow foodies, I was able to sample some of its solo servings.

Check them out:

Roasted Chicken Paella (Php235).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Pork Belly Paella (Php215).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Seafood Paella (Php185).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Paella Negra (Php290).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Aside from its many paella iterations, Hola Paella also serves appetizers such as:

Chicken Burrito (Php250).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Nachos with Pulled Pork (Php160).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

It’s great to see that one of my favorite dishes is so readily available.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

In fact, I brought home a Paella de Carne (Php710) for the fam’s dinner the next day. All I had to do was reheat the rice (with a little bit of stirring at first) in a large cast iron skillet and leave it alone on the stove for a few minutes to form a little bit of soccarat – the toasted and caramelized rice crust that forms at the bottom of skillet which gives the dish a whole new dimension of flavor.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

If you want to have your paella at home, you can order from Hola Paella via GrabFood, FoodPanda or Poodtrip.

For more info on Hola Paella and its latest offers, follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Hola Paella Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other stalls at Eatogether Food Hall:

Chef Jessie unveils newest creation: the Summer Berries Light Cheesecake!

If the warm weather is any indication, summer is slowly but surely encroaching upon the metro.

The approach of summer, however, need not be a downer, even when most of us are stuck at home with no way to travel to destinations we dreamed about.

Instead, we can bring the essence of summer right where we are with the newest dessert creation from Chef Jessie – the Summer Berries Light Cheesecake!

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Sincioco began her illustrious career when she won the grand prize in The Great Maya Cookfest in 1983, followed by becoming the first Filipina pastry chef in 1990. She later on set up her own company, JCS Gastronomie Inc. to manage several upscale reataurants.

When His Holiness Pope Francis visited the country in 2015, Chef Jessie was handpicked to cook for him.

This summer, Chef Jessie once again flexed her baking muscles and crafted this beautiful cheesecake.

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

It’s an eight-inch dessert masterpiece made with alternating layers of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry light cheesecake interspersed with slices of fresh berries nestled on a thin cornflake crust with crispy sponge discs and undercoated white chocolate.

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

It is a show-stopping dessert, fit for any season, but definitely a hit for the summer!

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Truth be told: my fam and I polished off the entire cake in less than a day. We just couldn’t resist it!

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Want to bite into your own summer sweetness?

Chef Jessie Light Summer Berry Cake

Place your order two days in advance for pick up or delivery. Text or call +63 917 8967880, +63 917 8330797 and +63 977 0976649 or email chefjessiesplace@chefjessie.com. Pick up is at Chef Jessie’s Place located at 1997 Pililia St. corner Obrero and Tanay Streets, Makati and is open everyday for pick up and delivery from 9am to 6pm.

For more details on Chef Jessie, visit her website. Follow Chef Jessie’s Restaurants on Facebook and Instagram to get a sneak peek of her latest culinary creations.

Disclosure: A product sample was provided to facilitate my honest feedback.

Chef Jessie's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bring home happiness from the north with Bantay Bread

Baked goods do tend to elicit a feeling of happiness. From their appetizing scents wafting to our nostrils, the sight of them laid out on the table to their sweetness as we bite into them, baked goodies sate our hunger while also calling to mind fun memories from our childhood.

These kinds of baked goodies are what Ilocos-based bakery Bantay Bread specializes in.

Bantay Bread

This family business started out in 2010 as a local panaderia supplying morning pan de sal to its patrons.

In response to the changes brought about by the pandemic and its resulting community quarantine, the family behind Bantay Bread set about pivoting their business to operate in their new business environment.

Bantay Bread

First, they expanded their product offerings to include much-loved Pinoy desserts, some of which my family and I were recently able to sample. These include:

Kabayan. Bite-sized butter muffins shaped like the Pinoy salakot. My daughter – a middle-aged Asian tiger mom trapped in the body of a Gen Z girl – developed a liking for it as it is not too sweet.

Bantay Bread

Bantay Bread

Bantay Bread

Hopiang Baboy. A Filipino pastry, that contrary to the name, actually does not contain pork meat. This flaky pastry is actually filled with onions caramelized in pork fat and combined with flour, sugar and milk. Hubby likes to munch on these during his coffee break.

Bantay Bread

Bantay Bread

Bantay Bread

Pianono. Interestingly, this pastry is actually named after Pope Pius IX whose nickname was Pio Nono. Of course, we Filipinized its name to pianono. It is a sponge cake roll with a sweet buttercream filling. I recall having this as my baon for recess when I was in grade school. My son – a sweet tooth like me! – likes having this for dessert.

Bantay Bread

Bantay Bread

Bantay Bread

Another way Bantay Bread was able to pivot its business is by expanding its availability beyond Ilocos. In Metro Manila, for instance, Bantay Bread fans can just contact these local resellers to order the objects of their baked good cravings.

  • Marikina: +63 916 7760087 or +63 927 8657119
  • Parañaque: +63 917 8438012
  • Alabang: +63 917 8068027
  • Pasig/Fairview: +63 908 8887417

So if you’ve got a hankering for home-grown Pinoy baked goods for merienda, dessert or for munching on anytime of the day, bring home some happiness from the north and get a box of Bantay Bread.

Bantay Bread

Bantay Bread’s main branch is located at Buquig, National Hi-way, Bantay, Ilocos Sur, open daily from 8am to 7pm. For inquiries or to apply to be a reseller, call or text +63 917 7007696. For more details on its product offerings and availability in your area, follow Bantay Bread on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to elicit honest feedback.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Feel good food at Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Whether you’re trudging in from a busy workday, or amping up for a hectic one, you need some comforting and nourishing food to rev you up.

Some tasty feel-good food would be just the thing, right?

Well, if you happen to be at the Eatogether Food Hall in SM Megamall, you can just head over to the Recovery Food stall.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food is a casual dining concept that offers a variety of comfort foods which range from Asian-inspired hot noodle soups, home-style pressed sandwiches and to simple rice bowls.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

During a recent meetup with my fellow foodies, we were able to sample first-hand Recovery Food’s signature dishes, which include:

Balbakwa (Php195). Extra tender beef skin in tomato-based broth, great for warming up our tummies!

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Doc Sisig (Php155 for regular | Php235 for full recovery). Recovery Food’s house sisig – the Kapampangan dish made with various pig parts flavored with calamansi, onions and chilis – served with fried egg and garlic rice.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Tapa de Morning (Php185 for regular | Php265 for full recovery). Home-made tapa – tender slices of salt-cured beef – served with fried egg, garlic rice and ensalada, one of my personal breakfast faves.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Tomarrow Never Dies (Php235). RF’s newest offering: roasted bone marrow topped with garlic served on a sizzling plate along with beef bits and rice. Food for the fearless!

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Champosandro (Php99). Recovery Food’s version of the champorado, a chocolate-rice based porridge served with milk and salted fish on the side. Whether for breakfast, a snack or as a dessert, it sure hits the spot.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

So if you want some real good, feel-good food to power you up for all you need to accomplish, make a pitstop at Recovery Food!

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

This Recovery Food branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Crossroads Building, 32nd Street Corner 8th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive Corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Recovery Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other comfort food places in the metro: