One of my favorite Korean haunts: Jang Ga Nae

My favorite Korean dishes are Bibimbap and Samgyeupsal. Both of these are served in my favorite Korean restaurant Jang Ga Nae.

Formerly known as Minato, Jang Ga Nae is located at Plaza Ortigas along Jose Escriva Drive in Ortigas Center, Pasig, right behind the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P). You can tell that it serves tasty and authentic Korean food because a lot of Korean nationals eat here. In fact, it was a Korean friend who introduced me to Jang Ga Nae.

I recently treated my family to dinner here and as usual, we were fully satisfied by our orders as well as by the amount of side dishes served.

It consists of hot steaming rice, julienned vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini and carrots, sliced mishrooms and bits of beef topped with a fried egg. I usually put just half of the spicy red paste provided before I mix all the ingredients together. I prefer my bibimbap served in a hot stone pot (Dolsot Bibimbap) so that as the meal goes on, the rice at the bottom of the pot is cooked into a nice crispy golden brown.

Samgyeupsal, on the other hand, consists of roasted pork belly slices (usually dipped first into sesame oil seasoned with salt and pepper) placed in lettuce leaves together with thin garlic and chili slices. I also like to put some of my bibimbap inside the lettuce leaves before I roll them up to eat.

The resto does not serve Korean ice cream but within the same strip mall is a Korean grocery store that sells the treats along with other Korean food essentials. Recently, Jang Ga Nae opened a cafe right next door that serves bingsu, coffee and cakes. Try it out – Jang Da Bang Cafe.

I find Korean food very tasty and nutritious and I have somewhat developed a taste for its spicy offerings. Jang Ga Nae will continue to be my first choice for Korean food in Pasig City.

Jang Ga Nae is located at 8137 Plaza Ortigas, Jose Escriva Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig. It has another branch at 237 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Paranaque.

Jang Ga Nae Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts about other Korean restaurants:

Why not try your hand at cooking Korean food at home?  Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Hiking Around Snoqualmie Falls

When my husband and I visited my brother in Seattle last summer, he took us to one of Washington State’s most popular scenic attractions: Snoqualmie Falls. It’s waters cascade down to the Snoqualmie River, most of which are diverted to power plants.

Snoqualmie Falls from Viewing Deck

We hiked down to the viewing deck and later down to the river’s stony edge, following the trail that’s really meant for people much more physically fit than me. The view of Snoqualmie Falls from the viewing deck and the adventure trek at the river were well worth it though.

With my brother at Snoqualmie Falls
With hubby on the trail to Snoqualmie Falls Viewing Deck
Snoqualmie River

Now, if only the hike back up wasn’t twice as hard.
Check it out on Foursquare!

Mille feuille katsu in Katsu Sora

The katsu, previously known as katsuretsu, is a type of yoshoku – Western-influenced cooking in Japanese cuisine – which, in this case is the Wiener Schnitzel. The term katsuretsu is actually the Japanese pronunciation of “cutlet.”

Restaurants that specialize in katsu have recently grown in popularity. One such restaurant is Katsu Sora. I have dined in its Greenhills and Eastwood branches and I have enjoyed my meals there.

My go-to order in Katsu Sora is the mille-feuille katsu which is made up of layers of thinly sliced pork, breaded and deep-fried to a crispy golden brown. (Mille-Feuille Set – Php325)

Another favorite is the salmon fry which consists of large cuts of Pacific salmon prepared the katsu way. (Salmon Fry Set – Php465)

Both come with all-you-can-eat salad from Katsu Sora’s salad bar (the only one to offer such among the katsu places I’ve tried), unlimited rice and bottomless miso soup which make for very full tummies!


  Katsu Sora’s branches are located at the following:

  • 2nd Floor, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City
  • 2nd Floor, Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
  • 4th Floor, Trinoma Mall, North Triangle, Quezon City
  • 2nd Floor, SM City BF Paranaque, Sucat Road, Paranaque City
  • Ayala Malls Serin, Barangay Crossing Silang East, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road, Tagaytay City

Tummy’s full at Full Belly Craft Kitchen

Along Sgt. Esguerra Street in Quezon City, you will find Full Belly Craft Kitchen, which promises to have you leaving the place with… tadaaah!… a full belly. The resto’s concept is comfort food based on variations of belly meat. I usually go for the place’s Executive Meals which provide satisfying single serving belly-based dishes and Fully Belly Craft Kitchen’s own blend of iced tea.

My go-to order is the Roast Beef Belly Plate. Tender roasted beef belly meat served with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables drizzled with fragrant truffle oil.

  

I also sampled the Beef Belly Binagoongan. I found it very flavorful, the salty bagoong and shredded eggs complementing the tender beef belly meat.


Desserts are no less imaginative: the Lemon Ginger Pound Cake was a compact moist combination of sweetness and tartness, while the New York Cheesecake packs a surprise – homemade bacon jam, in keeping with the resto’s belly theme.



Bring your hungry tummies to Full Belly Craft Kitchen!

Full Belly Craft Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Place for Wine Lovers: Chateau Ste. Michelle

  During my trip to Seattle last summer, my brother took me to Woodinville for a wine-tasting in Chateau Ste. Michelle. It is the oldest winery in Washington State which boasts of stately grounds, lush gardens and an amphitheater where outdoor concerts can be held.

 

Taking in the breathtaking grounds
     
  I’m not much of a wine drinker but I loved Chateau Ste. Michelle’s grounds and the winery interiors. 

 

With hubby at the wine-tasting
   
   
Check it out on Foursquare!

Sweets to the Sweet: ChocoATBP

  

   
   
I came upon ChocoATBP’s stall at the City Savor event held at the Sapphire Bloc in Ortigas. What caught my attention was the array of beautifully molded pastries. Aming those I sampled, I’m partial to the orange and lemon pound cakes: these combine fruity sweetness with the moist texture of the cakes.

Check it out on Facebook!

New Korean Food Haunt: Han Grille

   
  
Han Grille is a wonderful discovery for me and my officemates. I love Korean Food and I’m glad that the Tomas Morato area, so near my workplace, offers a lot of options to satisfy my craving.
If you’re planning to order the resto’s grilled items, it’s best to come here as a group of 4 or more as you will be required to get 2 orders of grilled items (I loved the Spicy Marinated Pork and the Thinly-Sliced Beef!)  Splitting the orders in a medium to large group also helps you enjoy more viands while paying significantly less. Of course, a Korean food trip will not be complete without an order of Stone Pot Bibimbap!

Check it out on Zomato!

Steak Craving Satisfied at Mad Mark’s Creamery and Good Eats, Glorietta

I loved eating at the Kapitolyo branch. I recommended the Glorietta 5 branch to my balikbayan friend for our get-together as she wanted to meet up in Makati.

The place can get really full around lunch time (and the seating can get cramped) so I was lucky to get a table for two as soon as I got in.


We loved the juicy, well-seasoned Signature Steaks. I prefer mine medium-done and accompanied by garden grains (buttered fried rice eith veggie bits) and bacon potato salad. My friend preferred hers well-done with steamed rice and mashed potatoes.



Of course, a meal at Mad Mark’s is not complete without ice cream. I veered away from my usual order of Half-Baked Madagascar and opted for the Motherlode (walnuts and pecans, yum!). My friend found her new favorite in the Chocolate on Chocolate.



Mad Mark’s has become our new go-to place for our meet-ups.

Dad’s birthday treat at Dads-Saisaki-Kamayan

My daddy held his 68th birthday here so the whole family brought their hungry tummies. The thing with buffets such as Dads-Saisaki-Kamayan is that there is no earthly way for you to eat or even sample all of the resto’s offerings. My strategy is to concentrate on the food that fulfills two criteria:1. Something I’ve really been craving for

2. Something I’ll probably have trouble finding elsewhere

3. Something that’s really expensive in a non-buffet resto
In this particular instance, I gorged myself on:

1. Roast beef (meat is so tender and flavorful; lots of marbled fat) 2. Pork and salmon katsu (a happy discovery for me as katsu wasn’t normally highlighted here before; this probably came about with the recent proliferation of katsu places)


3. Salmon sashimi (this usually costs a lot order it ala carte in a Japanese resto)

4. For dessert: strawberry ice cream and mango truffle

5. Drink of choice: cucumber lemonade

This was a happy occasion celebrated with great company and great food.
Check it out on Zomato!

Italian Food Trip at Friuli Trattoria

My coworkers and I decided to take advantage of the relatively lighter traffic and held one of our (in)famous happy lunches in Maginhawa Street. We opted for Friuli the consensus among the group was in favor of Italian food. We ordered Bacon and Egg Carbonara, Tuna Carbonara, Puttanesca, Mushroom Pizza and Cheesesteak Pizza. IMHO, the pizzas are ok but I’ve tasted homemade pasta better than those served here. Plus, I can’t believe they charge P10 for 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese!


  
  

Check it out on Zomato!  

Chinese restos like Hap Chan are great for family dinners

I took my folks here for a nice family dinner. I always say that Chinese restos are great for family dinners because the viands are served family style which encourage sharing and bonding. We ordered our favorite Chinese food:- Hot and Sour Soup (my mom says it helps with her colds) 

– Yang Chow Fried Rice (is a visit to a Chinese resto complete without ordering Yang Chow?)

 – Pork Ribs with Salt and Pepper (nicely seasoned)

 – Beef Steak Chinese Style (very tender with a sweet-savory flavor)

 – Pork Siomai

 – Birthday Noodles


The flavors meshed well together. As the servings were large, even when our original party of five grew to seven, we left the place with full bellies. The food were reasonably priced, too (I spent less than P2,000).


 The place is clean with bright red and white decor but not at all off-putting. The servers were polite and accommodating.

Check it out on Zomato!

For late-night tapa cravings, there’s Angus Tapa Centrale

This resto is great if you have late night cravings for tapsilog or if you want to cap a night out with a hearty rice meal.  Their Angus beef tapa is sliced very thinly – sukiyaki style – and marinated to come out flavorful and tender.  You can also opt to get some local spiced vinegar to go with your tapsilog.

  

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants and eateries in the Tomas Morato area:

Aaaand here’s another new Starbucks Planner

I don’t know if this is common knowledge but I noticed that Starbucks increases its prices every time it makes its yearly Christmas blends available. My short hot Peppermint Mocha which cost P140 last year now costs P155. Will still be ordering it though, repeatedly in fact, as I promised my daughter a 2016 Starbucks Planner. TBH, I prefer the 2015 planner to the 2016 incarnation, even if the latter was co-created with Moleskine. Ah, the things I do!

  
Check it out on Zomato!

Japanese Barbecue at Sandaya Yakiniku

I attended the 12th leg of Cruising Magazine’s Taste #TravelForFood road show here. I’ve only ever been at Fisher Mall once before and I’m glad to discover another great place to eat here since it’s so near my workplace.

The place is well lit and well laid out. The party which consisted of about 40 people were able to sit comfortably in tables of six. Each table has a grill at the center with which to grill the yakiniku.


Our sumptuous repast consisted of:

– Appetizers: Kani Salad and Spicy Tuna Maki (not too crazy about the maki, though; I prefer California maki). There was also an assortment of side dishes consisting of kimchi, achara and sauteed beans.


  

Mains: Japanese Style Beef Stew (quite a novelty for me – the broth was creamy and flavorful with tender bits of beef and ox tripe) and Special Assorted Barbecue Set (love the juicy and well-seasoned meats, however, I prefer to eat them sans the special sauce)


  


– Side: Japanese rice (not sticky enough for me)

The wait staff are approachable and accommodating although they seemed overwhelmed by the size of the group (or our appetites!) as some of the food took a while getting to us.

I look forward to sampling this resto’s other offerings in the future.

Download the Eatigo app through this link and get up to 50% off your food bill in various restaurants in the metro as well as Php150 worth of rewards.