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:

Celebrate the women in your life with these Shopee finds!

Every kind of woman is worth celebrating no matter what they choose to do in life. Whether she’s a boss babe or a wonder mom, each one is special and can be a wonderful inspiration for little girls out there. They all represent different facets of womanhood and chase after equally important dreams.

 This International Women’s Day, show your appreciation for all the strong, independent ladies in your life. Shower these women with sweet, thoughtful products tailored to their interests. Shopee’s International Women’s Day Fair features the perfect presents up to 90% off. What better way to honor the different kinds of women you love than with the wonderful gifts below?

Everything a girl boss needs to stay on top

Shopee Women’s Day

The high-flying career woman is a go-getter who knows what she wants to achieve in life. Dressed in her absolute best, she grabs the attention of the room and knows how to take charge. She needs fool-proof beauty products to help her look put-together during stressful, meeting-filled days at work. L’Oreal Paris Excellence Fashion Parisian Cool Ash Hair Color will give her tresses rich, vibrant color minus the damage, thanks to its protective serum and conditioning balm. For bold, well-groomed eyebrows, Teviant Eyebrow Duo in Highness provides a smooth, highly pigmented formula that’ll keep each hair in place.

Baby essentials to keep the super mom flying high

Shopee Women’s Day

Supermoms can do everything. From juggling their career to taking care of their newborn baby, we don’t know how they manage to do it all. That’s said, it’s not without its challenges—such as bottle feeding! Help out your mommy friends with functional baby-feeding gifts. For instance, they can easily disinfect two baby bottles at once with the 59S UV Sterilizing Mommy Bag. Through UVC LED Disinfection technology, the product eliminates 99.9% of germs, viruses, and bacteria. For moms on the go, Philips Avent Bottle Warmer conveniently heats up milk in less than three minutes. This thermos can keep its contents hot for up to six hours.

Workout-ready gear for the fitness enthusiast

https://flic.kr/p/2kJ2n6e

The fitness buff is into cycling, yoga, pilates—you name it. They’re your go-to buddy for all workout-related activities because their energy and enthusiasm are contagious! Get them geared up for your next Zoom workout together. Moving Peach Fitness Long Sleeve Sportswear’s quick-dry, spandex fabric is perfect for both yoga and high-intensity exercises. Keep them feeling cool and fresh throughout each workout with Lactacyd Feminine Wash All Day Care, which is formulated with natural milk extracts.

Essentials to protect female frontliners

Shopee Women’s Day

Filipina frontliners are today’s modern heroines. They sacrifice their health and risk their own lives to take care of the country. While they’re out there fighting a health crisis, equip them with the necessary battle gear. The Ilwoul Nano Fiber Mask provides respiratory protection with 4 layered filters. Each light, breathable mask is washable up to 20 times. You can also help keep their hands virus-free with Nippon White Ginger Hand Wash. Its non-drying formula keeps hands squeaky clean and lightly scented with white ginger.

Makeup haul to keep the beauty junkie on fleek

Shopee Women’s Day

The beauty junkie comes to your rescue during beauty emergencies, such as sudden breakouts or broken nails. More than that, she is an artistic soul who simply wants to create beauty. So what do you get someone who already has everything in her makeup stash? Keep her stocked up on basics such as highlighting powder and mascara! Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder is infused with ultra-reflective pearl pigments to give her skin a glowing finish. Meanwhile, Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift Mascara promises clump- and flake-free length and volume with its double-curved lifting brush and fiber-infused formula.

Shop for all these products and more at Shopee’s International Women’s Day Fair and enjoy discounts of up to 90% off. For more information, click here.

Don’t forget to top up your ShopeePay! Make your shopping experience more convenient and rewarding when you shop, buy load, and pay bills with ShopeePay.

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

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

New on Shopee LIVE: Co-streaming Feature!

If you’ve been watching your favorite influencers on their Shopee Livestream, you might have noticed something new lately: co-streaming!

This feature allows Shopee Livestream hosts to co-stream with one of their viewers for a more interactive experience.

This new feature is one of the exciting innovations that Shopee introduced to make online shopping more fun and engaging.

Here are what some of Shopee’s livestreamers have to say about this feature:

For Miccolo Solis, Shopee seller and influencer, the poll feature is what he uses the most. “It helps me engage with viewers. I can check their opinion on certain topics, especially about the products,” said Solis. Polls also allow him to inquire about his customers’ specific requests, budget range, and preferred styles. In addition, Solis also hosts games on Shopee Live to keep his viewers interested.

For fellow influencer Quinito Villarosa, it’s the latest ‘Mine’ feature that gives him feedback on what content customers want to see next, or what items they want to see featured or reviewed. To maintain a strong relationship with viewers, Villarosa connects with them even after the live stream ends. “I do a lot of ‘OffLive’ engagement. I still interact with them after the live streams, usually inside the many group chats we have on Facebook Messenger and even Instagram,” said Villarosa.

Solis is excited to utilize the new Shopee Live Co-streaming feature as it gives him the opportunity to interact directly with viewers, making the live stream session more fun, enjoyable, and engaging. Villarosa, on the other hand, is already prepping for his next live stream. “I’m already asking my viewers what they want to see during my live stream so I can order it ahead of time. Being able to hold the items personally makes for a more interactive live stream experience,” he said.

For Apol Juanillo, also an influencer and Shopee livestreamer, the live interaction with her audience makes the experience extra special. “I don’t feel so alone. Sometimes, as a streamer, you feel it’s all you, aaliwin mo din sarili mo. At least this way, you can see other real people.”

With in-app features like Shopee Live, Shopee continues to improve the platform to make e-commerce more accessible and engaging for everyone.

Shopee 3.3 – 4.4 Mega Shopping Sale

The Shopee 3.3 – 4.4 Mega Shopping Sale, which runs until April 4, 2021, will feature up to 70% off on authentic brands such as Havaianas Philippines, Huggies Philippines, Realme, P&G Beauty, Pampers, Nestlé, Garnier, Enfagrow, Unilever Beauty, Vivo, and Xiaomi, on Shopee Mall.

For more information on the best deals during the 3.3 – 4.4 Mega Sale, visit https://shopee.ph/m/3-3.

Don’t forget to shop, buy load, and pay bills with ShopeePay to enjoy discounts and rewards. Top up at least ₱300 on March 2 for a chance to win ₱20,000! Check out https://shopee.ph/m/shopeepay-3-3-top-up-promo for more details.

Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

Credit: Livestream screenshot from Apol Juanillo.

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:

Comfort food at Nord’s Bread Hub, SM Megamall

There are only a handful of things that can match the ability of freshly baked bread to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.

At the newly opened branch of Nords Bread Hub at the SM Megamall’s Eatogether Food Hall, comforting and delightful baked goods are what you’ll find in abundance.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nord’s Bread Hub is a new dining concept managed by the Vikings Group. This particular restaurant brand specializes in producing artisanal breads from Asian and Western culinary traditions.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

During a recent foodie meetup with my fellow foodies, I was able to check out some of its menu items.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Silvanas (Php78/pc). The Pinoy version of a frozen cookie sandwich, it consists of a layer of buttercream cashew-meringue wafer and coated with cookie crumbs. Available variants include Classic and Ube.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Dark Choco Messy Bread (Php58/pc). If you’re a fan of munching on pastries during your coffee break, then this flyffy Danish bread flavored with dark chocolate and cocoa powder should be right up your alley.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Craving for a hot meal? Nord’s got you there too with tasty appetizers and rice dishes for you to enjoy, like this Crispy Pork Kare Kare (Php280) which features Nord’s signature crispy pork belly in the rich peanut-based kare kare sauce and vegetables served with shrimp paste.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

So come on over to Nord’s for a bit of comfort food!

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

This Nords Breadhub branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaliyong City

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Unimart Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue Corner Shaw Boulevard, Oranbo, Pasig City
  • Third Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon 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.

Nord's Bread Hub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Ripplin’ sushi at Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami refers to “small waves” or “ripples.”

It may very well refer to the ripples of gastronomic pleasure you experience when you bite into the sushi rolls made at the new sushi place in SM Megamall named Sazanami.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

If you haven’t been to Eatogether Food Hall, I suggest you visit it stat because here you can take part in a new wave of dining experiences like the one at Sazanami.

It offers, not your run-of-the-mill sushi rolls, but ones that use various (and even surprising!) ingredients and make them into tasty combinations that tickle your fancy, not to mention your tastebuds. This is in large part thanks to Sazanami’s in-house sushi chef who’s been servin’ up these sushi rolls since the 90s.

During a recent foodie meetup at Eatogether Food Hall, my fellow foodies and I were able to sample some of its delectable sushi creations. Each sushi roll order is served with pickled ginger, wasabi and Japanese soy sauce, as well as Sazanami’s signature creamy and savory sauce that go so well with its sushi variants.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Ready for a run-down of your delightful sushi options at Sazanami?

Take for example its Sazanami Maki (Php265/8pcs). This is the house specialty baked sushi with salmon, sesame seeds, scallions, spiced garlic mayo, unagi sauce, mango bits and kani.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

The Yin Yang Roll (Php265/10pcs), on the other hand, is one of the store’s best sellers. It’s a deep-fried and crunchy shrimp tempura roll with cream cheese and umagi sauce.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

The Special Roll (Php295/8pcs) is a treat: it’s ingredients vary every week, making it a real foodie adventure. So if you want to have a sushi surprise, go for this sushi roll!

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

With such a tasty sampler, I just knew I had to take some home to the fam who are all certified sushi lovers.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

All I had to do was give my order at the stall where servers selected my choices from their menu screen, a bill was run up automatically and I just had to pay via GCash! What a safe and contactless way to get your food, huh? (By the way, other contactless payment options are available or you can just get a Vikings Card at the Eatogether Food Hall reception and load it up every time you visit.)

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Curious on what I took home? Check these out:

First, I got an order of Ripple Roll (Php260), Sazanami’s own version of the classic California Maki, with crabstick, mango, tobikko and black sesami fried kani stick.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Then, I got a cute Caterpillar Maki (Php195), a sushi roll made with kani, cucumber, avocado, sesame seeds and unagi sauce.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

And thanks to Sazanami’s ongoing promo which gives four Sazanami Maki pieces free for every sushi order, I was able bring home an additional eight Sazanami Maki pieces!

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Well, the fam devoured the sushi as soon as I got home so I could pretty much say these were met with their approval.

If you’re on the lookout for your next sushi adventure, do give Sazanami a try!

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

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Home-grown and heritage dishes at Anonas Bistro

Now more than ever, we harried denizens of the metro look for comfort whenever we can, right?

Well, what’s more comforting than feeling the warm welcome of home?

That’s what it felt like to enter this newly opened restaurant in Anonas, Quezon City.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Sure, the hustle and bustle of the city may stay just outside its doors, but inside its premises is a haven for your spirit.

“We want this experience to be like going home to your lola’s house in the province,” shares co-founder Lucien Aquino. “You’re with your family, your lola is cooking your favorite food in the kitchen, and you feel right at home.”

Anonas Bistro, QC

The place certainly calls to mind the familiar comforts of our beloved ancestral homes in the province that we enjoy spending time in again and again.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Its outdoor seating area is surrounded by lush greenery. Sheltered by a large mango tree from much of the sun, it affords diners a comfortable al fresco setting for their meal. In the evenings, lighted lamps adorn the mango tree giving diners whimsical lighting for their dinner.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

The two-storey residential house was renovated by builder/contractor Lucien and his co-founder Roman Ignacio, updating the structures and finishings to current standards and for use as a restaurant. Its dining areas are furnished with heavy wooden tables and chairs, shipped all the way from Ilocos. The walls, on the other hand, are decorated with artworks by local artist Ronan Rosacay as well as other homey bric-a-bracs.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Completing the transformation of this space into a homey Filipino restaurant is Chef Severino Palunday. He brings with him a considerable thirty years’ worth of culinary experience as a sous chef in a European cruise liner.

Anonas Bistro, QC

From his kitchen, Chef Sev whips up traditional and home-style Pinoy dishes, that make use of fresh local produce, just like the ones your lola makes, but infused with the techniques and methods of an internationally trained chef.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

His menu includes:

Soup of the Day. Usually a cream-based soup that the chef whips up from choice ingredients. It is served with every meal.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Creamy Tofu (Php135). A savory appetizer made by combining crispy fried tofu, aromatics with cream.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Dinakdakan (Php315). An Ilocano dish in which pig parts such as ears, liver and face are boiled until tender, then grilled and sliced thinly. Flavorings and chilis are then added to complete the dish.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Fried Lumpiang Ubod (Php195). A Filipino appetizer (or ulam in my case) which julienned ubod (or heart of palm) are sauteed with chopped meat and vegetables, encased in lumpia wrapper and then deep-fried and served with a spiced vinegar dip.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Gising-gising with Shrimp (Php275). Otherwise known as ginataang sigarilyas, this Kapampangan dish is made with chopped winged beans in coconut milk spiced with siling labuyo, garlic, onions and shrimp paste. Chef Sev serves it with plump shrimp.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Pork Belly Roll (Php380). Pork belly is seasoned and stuffed with aromatics and flavorings, then oven-roasted until the skin becomes golden brown and crispy and the meat is tender. Chef Sev serves it with mashed camote and a buttery gravy.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Kare-Kare Ox Tail (Php480). A viand made with stewed ox tail, tripe and other offal in a sauce made from roasted peanuts, onions and garlic, colored with annato seeds and then thickened with ground rice.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Turon Ala Mode (Php160). A dessert made with fresh ripe banana slices encased in lumpia wrapper and then deep-fried until golden and crispy. It is then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Mango Shake (Php120).

Anonas Bistro, QC

Avocado Shake (Php120).

Anonas Bistro, QC

Ampalaya Apple (Php120).

Anonas Bistro, QC

Whoever said that Filipino food lacks color and character obviously has never encountered Chef Sev’s takes on Pinoy food classics.

Anonas Bistro, QC

So if you’re looking for a place where you can come home to good food and a good homey vibe in Quezon City, Anonas Bistro is your best bet.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro is located at 145 K-6th, East Kamias 1102 Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 995 1200969 or email anonas.bistro@gmail.com.

For more deets on Anonas Bistro, visit its website or follow it on Facebook and 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.

Anonas Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Chef Resty’s Roast Beef

I’ve always considered roast beef as similar to lechon.

To me, it is a show-stopping food that can serve as the central dish of a feast. In fact, when I dined at eat-all-you-can buffets, I usually make a beeline for the carving station to fill my plate with roast beef slices.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

I also find it a dish of many possibilities: aside from being a main dish in itself, leftovers can be made into all sorts of dishes. These can range from roast beef sandwiches, beef salpicao, beef stroganoff, roast beef burrito and roast beef cottage pie. Imagine, from one dish, you can have several tasty iterations!

This past New Year’s Eve, I decided to have Chef Resty’s Roast Beef as the centerpiece of my family’s Media Noche Feast.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

I used to get my roast beef fix at a Chef Resty’s Roast Beef Carving Station at SM Pasig but, sadly, that kiosk has since closed.

Fortunately, there’s another way to get my fam’s roast beef: instead of heading west from my home to SM Pasig, I instead looked to the east!

Chef Resty has opened a dine-in restaurant at Sitio Elena Events Venue in Cainta. I simply had to call my order in the day before, pay for the roast beef and the in-house delivery fee via GCash and await my slab of beefy goodness the next day.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

It arrived way too early from Media Noche, but that’s ok. I just had to reheat it in a 250 deg C oven for ten minutes. It came out piping hot and ready for the fam’s New Year’s Eve feast. It was also accompanied by Chef Resty’s signature gravy which completed the dish.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Each slice was tender, juicy and so flavorful. Clearly, it was the highlight of our celebration!

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

(Unfortunately, my 1 kilo order of Chef Resty’s Roast Beef was just enough of my small family – who apparently have huge appetites – so no leftovers.)

I can’t wait for the next celebration with Chef Resty’s Roast Beef! How about you?

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

To order your Chef Resty’s Roast Beef, send a text or Viber message to +63 917 4329953 or +63 919 0985448 with your name, mobile number, address (including barangay), date and time of delivery and order quantity.

Chef Resty’s Roast Beef are priced at:

  • half kilo (Php900): sliced only, serves four people
  • 1 kilo (Php1,600): whole or sliced, serves eight people

Allow at least one day lead time. Cut-off for orders is at 7pm.

Chef Resty's Roast Beef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other restos that serve roast beef:

Chef Edmond Dannug brings back-to-basics comfort food via Heavenly Spiced

You would think that after honing his craft through stints at upscale hotel restaurant Amber in Hong Kong and as head chef of Enderun Events in Davao, Chef Edmond Dannug will bring his considerable skills to bear in whipping up complex French dishes when he decided to go into business.

But no.

Instead, he opted to offer comfort food – his personal favorites, actually – through the online store that he co-manages with his fiancee Jasmine Guillarte. They named it Heavenly Spiced.

Heavenly Spiced

“My cooking mentors always taught me that the best food are the simplest,” he shares.

Still, the dishes on offer at Heavenly Spiced are no run-of-the-mill viands. Their flavors have been enhanced through careful preparation and cooking techniques ingrained into culinary professionals, such as Chef Edmond. They come in large party trays that can serve six to eight people and are perfect for small gatherings or for a special family meal that you don’t want to slave over in the kitchen.

He started out with the Hainanese Chicken and Rice (Php850), widely considered as one of Singapore’s national dishes. Based on the Wenchang Chicken, a well-known dish in South China dating back to Qin Dynasty, this dish is painstakingly made by poaching a whole chicken in sub-boiling temperature, with some of the resulting stock combined with ginger, garlic and other flavorings to cook the flavorful rice that will accompany the dish. Chef Edmond completes this platter with bright green bokchoy and the three traditional dipping sauces for Hainanese Chicken: a red chili sauce, a thick and dark soy sauce, and a paste of freshly ground ginger.

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

Another of the chef’s comfort food faves is the Bourbon Glazed Barbecue Pork Ribs (Php1,400). Meat lovers would love to get a hold of this dish! Slow-smoked, falling-off-the-bone meat flavored with a sweet-savory bourbon glaze and partnered with umami corn cobs made for a finger-licking dish! It’s messy eating but there’s really no better way to enjoy it.

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

Chef Edmond recently expanded his menu to include Chicken Wings (Php900). Inspired by his favorite chicken chicken place Frankie’s, this dish is made with large pieces of chicken wings which are deep-fried then coated with a vinegar-based cayenne pepper glaze. They are then served with bleu cheese dipping sauce which made for a well-balanced combination of sweet, spicy and tangy flavors.

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

The chef’s newest creation which also joins Heavenly Spiced offerings is the Angus Burger (Php1500). Six hefty quarter-pound patties made with ground Angus beef are lightly seasoned and then grilled to medium doneness to bring out their beefy goodness. These are then placed in grilled brioche buns along with lettuce, tomato, battered onion rings and cheddar cheese then coated with the chef’s Bourbon Barbecue Glaze and served with a side of umami fries.

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

Heavenly Spiced

Aside from these party trays, Heavenly Spiced can also cater your Zoom parties via its gift boxes made with solo servings of especially curated dishes from Filipino, Chinese, Japanese and Western cuisines. Prices range from Php450 to Php600 per box.

Now we know where we can get tasty and wholesome comfort food that’s been meticulously prepared by a professional chef!

Heavenly Spiced

To order, text or call +63 939 2373383 or Viber +63 929 4514998. To know more about Heavenly Spiced’s latest offerings, follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food tasting of Heavenly Spiced dishes together with fellow foodies. Items mentioned here were served to let us sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

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

Last few days to get a taste of Chef Park’s Truffle Honey Chicken

We’re down to the last few days of February, and if you haven’t gotten a taste of Chef Park’s Truffle Honey Chicken, I suggest you get down to it pronto! 😋

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

The Korean invasion is going strong in the country with K-pop acts dominating the airwaves, K-dramas dominating the playlists and K-barbecue not letting go of its hold of the dining public.

However, another Korean item has been steadily making its presence known: K-chicken!

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

This style of cooking and enjoying fried chicken is characterized by crisp boneless chicken pieces with tender and juicy meat smothered in flavorful glazes, giving rise to new chicken possibilities.

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

This month, for example, online fried chicken store Chef Park’s released its limited-edition flavor: Truffle Honey!

This new chicken variant adds the sweetness of honey and the earthiness of truffle oil to the Korean Fried Chicken.

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

It’s perfect as a meal with steaming-hot rice, or as something to munch on while binge-watching your favorite K-dramas.

Enjoy it as a Single Happy Rice Meal for Php325 or in a Chicken Sharing Box good for two to four people for Php545.

Chef Park’s

But like I said, you better hurry up and place your orders stat since this flavor is available only within February.

Chef Park’s

In case you missed this limited-time offer, you may still opt for Chef Park’s regular flavors: Yangnyum, Soy Garlic and Garlic Parmesan, each available for Php295 as a rice meal or for Php495 as a sharing box.

Chef Park’s is a cloud kitchen that operates from #23 9th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City (between Col. B Serrano Avenue and Liberty Avenue), accepting orders from 10am to 7pm daily.

To order, call +63 977 8030111, email chefparksph@gmail.com or visit its website.

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

Breakfast with the parents at Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

With all the restrictions from the lockdown since last year, my folks may have been nursing a case of cabin fever. Stuck at home for months, with only a few short trips out to break the monotony, I suspect they may have been feeling blue.

So with my daughter #ExhibitA as my co-conspirator, I set out to find a way to cheer up the parental units.

We decided to treat them to breakfast at a new breakfast joint I chanced upon on Instagram: Almusal Cafe.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

The name says it all doesn’t it?

Almusal Cafe has has been serving comforting Filipino breakfasts – albeit with a New York or Aussie twist every once in a while because of its expat owners. It opened its doors just as the metro was loosening its restrictions on dining out and mobility and was transitioning to a general community quarantine. To me, this restaurant serves breakfast food that act as reminders of better days past and better days to come.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

What better place to bring my parents for some breakfast and bonding, right?

For one thing, Almusal Cafe boasts of lots of greenery at its outdoor seating area that will surely excite, not just plantitos or plantitas, but also any suburbanite longing for a break from quarantine.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Its interiors are also well-appointed, sporting couches where you can lounge while having your coffee and dining areas where you can eat your breakfast in comfort.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Our group enjoyed Pinoy breakfast classics with a few welcome touches of the unusual. Check them out:

Kesong Puti Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Php370). The soft and un-aged white cheese made from carabao’s milk is partnered with sundried tomato pesto on sourdough bread and served with potato crisps on the side.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Beef Belly Tapa (Php380). Beef belly slow-cooked for a day then served chimichurri sauce on top of mixed red and white rice.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Ultimate Fried Chicken (Php450). Two fried chicken fillets served with elote, country-style gravy and hot honey.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Shrimp & Arugula Croissant (Php580). Fresh shrimp is tossed with arugula and cherry tomatoes in a light and creamy aioli and served in a toasted croissant with potato crisps on the side.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Long Black Coffee (Php100).

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Strawberry Mint Iced Tea (Php120). Freshly picked strawberries blended with mint leaves and tea.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Peach Basil Iced Tea (Php130). Iced tea made with peaches, fresh basil and lime.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Cold Mocha (Php170). Malagos chocolate mixed with a double shot of espresso.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

With great food, great surroundings and great conversations over our meal, I had a memorable breakfast experience with my folks; one, I hope, that ushered in some good cheer in their hearts.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Well, it certainly made for a brighter start of the day for me!

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe is located at The Pop Up Katipunan, Xavierville Corner Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 4pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 1371510.

To know about its latest promos and updates, follow Almusal Cafe on Facebook and Instagram.

Almusal Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other breakfast places in the metro:

Valentine Cookies from Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Valentine’s Day may be over but it’s not too late to treat your loved ones to a sweet treat.

This is what I did this past weekend when Hubby and I made a stopover at Santolan Town Plaza and I espied a branch of Scout’s Honor in the area.

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor is an artisanal cookie store inspired by the Girl Scout cookie concept. Its cookies are made fresh daily with premium ingredients, certainly a treat for dessert lovers. Having expanded its menu to include hot comfort food, Scout’s Honor outlets became places where kids and adults can hang out in comfortably.

I decided to bring home some cookies for my kiddos to brighten their day.

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Fortunately, I was able to get two pieces each of limited-edition Valentine cookies, Scout’s Honor’s beloved cookie flavors shaped into cute hearts available within February:

Ultimate Chocolate Chip (Php60/pc).

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Cashew Macadamia (Php60/pc).

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Rocky Road (Php60/pc).

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Ultimate Red Velvet (Php95/pc).

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

To make an even dozen, I ordered two more pieces each of other Cub Scout Cookie flavors:

White Cranberry Oatmeal (Php60/pc).

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

1969 (Php60/pc).

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

For my Hubby’s toddler niece who was visiting our home that afternoon with her parents, I got a dozen of 1 Bite 2 Bite cookies (Php95) which consisted of four pieces each of Milk Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Fledge for the little one to bring home.

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

As luck would have it, I was able to get some treats for my fur-baby as well as Scout’s Honor also offers peanut-butter flavored Dog Treats (Php95). It’s a well-deserved for my beloved pooch and Guardian of Casa de Jellybeans.

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Why don’t you bring home some sweet treats for your little ones to show your love today?

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

Scout’s Honor, Santolan Town Plaza

This Scout’s Honor branch is located at Ground Floor, Santolan Town Plaza, Col. Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open daily from 11am to 7pm.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street Corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Ground Floor, Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Level 1, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, Pedro Gil Wing, Robinson’s Place Manila Ermita, Ermita, Manila
  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Scout's Honor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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