Cuteness Overload at Tokyo Bubble Tea

The Japanese are known for their love of cuteness. Kawaii (“cute,” “lovable” or “adorable”) is a prominent aesthetic in Japanese culture, even food and entertainment.

Kawaii is at the forefront in Tokyo Bubble Tea’s premises. I recently had lunch there with my officemates, of which one is an avid fan of all things Japan.

The place has pink pastel-colored walls illustrated with cute, cartoon renditions of food (with lots of character!). Big balls of light illuminate the surroundings, giving it a bright and airy feel. Even the menu features neat design with the same cute food cartoons.

As I’m still going through my ramen phase, I ordered a Chasu Ramen (Php245) which consist of a miso soup with stewed pork slices, soft-boiled egg and mixed vegetables. I much prefer shio or salt-based ramen but this is ok.

I was intrigued by my companion’s order: a Teriyaki Chicken Doria (Php255), characterized by oodles of mozzarella cheese oven-baked onto rice topped with teriyaki chicken and a wasabi cream sauce. I vow to try this on my next visit.

My other companion played safe (in my opinion) by ordering a Katsudon (Php238), pork tonkatsu slices with egg, veggies and a sweet sauce over a bowl of rice.

We didn’t have the time to sample the Tokyo Bubble Tea’s dessert offerings but that’s what next visits are for!

This branch of Tokyo Bubble Tea is located at 220 Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout De Guia, Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Tokyo Bubble Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from 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.

Affordable Kebab Meal at Mazza Shawarma

What do you do if your family is hankering for a meal of kebab and rice but you’re on a budget? Drop by Mazza Shawarma, of course!

Beef kebabs are a particular favorite for my family. We love the tender and smoky-flavored of the marinated and grilled ground beef, complemented by buttered rice, and garlic and chili sauces.

Our meal consisted of:

  • Four orders of beef kebab meals (Php130 each) which come with two kebab sticks, buttered, cucumber, tomatoes and onions
  • Grilled tomatoes and onion (Php20 each)
  • One order of ox brain (Php90), we consider this our indulgence
  • Red iced tea (Php30 each)

All in all, it was an enjoyable meal, made even more fun by the fact that we spent just a little under Php1000!

This Mazza Shawarma branch is located at the Eastwood City Walk 2, Libis, Quezon City.

Mazza Shawarma Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

First bingsu experience at Coreon Gate

Bingsu places have been cropping up a lot lately, driven by Pinoys’ love affair with all things Korean.  Bingsus are Korean desserts which consist of finely shaved ice, sweetened condensed milk, bits of fruits or sweets and topped with ice cream or frozen yoghurt.  It can even be described as the Korean version of our very own halo-halo.

After lunch at our favorite kebab place in Metrowalk, Hubby suggested getting dessert at the newly opened Corean Gateoutlet in the area.  It occupies a two-story store with a lot of seating.  Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, the interiors get a lot of natural light which plays well with the stores minimalist decor.  Dark wood furniture are arranged in straight lines throughout the resto, but the overall feel of the place is given a fresh and fun character by the greens and bric-a-bracs that dot the place.

I got the kids their own Banana Milk, apparently a favorite Korean drink, according to my K-expert daughter.  I opted to order for sharing an Injealmee Snowflake (Php168) a bingsu flavored by bean powder and given texture by thin almond slices and bits of chewy teok or  Korean rice cakes.  I like how it is not so sweet as well as how the smoothness of the finely shaved ice plays with the almond slices and rice cakes.

Next time I’m here, I’ll try the Tteokbokki, Spicy Pork Bulgogi as well as the dessert cakes.

This Coreon Gate branch is located inside the Metrowalk Complex along Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
Coreon Gate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ramen break at Rai Rai Ken

While out on an errand with my daughter in SM City Taytay, we came across this branch of Rai Rai Ken.  We don’t normally come across Rai Rai Ken branches in our usual haunts and since I’m going through my ramen phase and my daughter is a tempura aficionado, we decided to have our dinner here.

Rai Rai Ken started out as a humble eatery located along Bautista Street, Makati City in the early ’90s, which later started offering authentic Japanese ramen to its clientele.  Now, it has 30+ branches nationwide, all serving old-fashioned steamy, heartwarming bowls of ramen.  Its expanded menu now includes sashimi, sushi, teriyakis and teppans.

The branch in SM Taytay is clean with Japanese-inspired decor that includes a cherry blossom painting and paper lanterns that add character to the space.

I chose Tonkutsu Ramen (Php375) for myself; it consists of a rich pork tonkutsu broth, Japanese noodles, slices of marinated and slow-roasted pork belly, topped with mushrooms, aji tamago (marinated soft-boiled egg), menma (bamboo shoots) and nori (edible seaweed).  The steamy dish does warm the heart with its full-flavored broth and the contrasts in texture of noodles combined with its toppings.

I also ordered Ebi Tempura (Php355 for 5 pieces), Salmon Sashimi (Php350) and Kani Salad (Php179) as requested by my daughter.

This branch is located at the Upper Ground Floor, Building B, SM City Taytay, along Taytay Diversion Road, Bgy Dolores, Taytay Rizal.

More info available at the Rai Rain Ken website.

Rai Rai Ken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Why not try your hand at preparing Japanese cuisine at home?  Check out these recipe books from 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.

Steak-time at Artsy Cafe, Maginhawa

It’s been some time since I last visited the famous Maginhawa Street. I like variety in cuisines and dining options available in this strip.

For my Saturdate lunch with my teenage daughter, I took her to Artsy Cafe in Maginhawa. While I’ve never dined there before, I’m familiar with the menu since I’ve eaten at the Artsy Cafe along Panay Avenue which is nearer to my office.

We arrived at 11am as the place was just opening. I’m happy to find that the place is already clean and ready to accommodate early patrons. The place has both indoor and outdoor dining areas and airy interiors. Its decor has a whimsical quality: you can see this from the colorful lamps hanging from the ceiling, the playful chalk writings on its walls and boards, to its multi-hued chairs.

The staff were friendly and quick to take and served our orders.

I treated myself to a succulent T-bone Steak (Php290), served with rice, sautéed vegetables and a rich buttery gravy. My daughter, on the other hand, ordered a Salisbury Steak (Php225), juicy browned ground beef patties, also served with rice veggies and gravy. As evidenced by our lunch preferences, my daughter and I are both carnivores. We found our food well-seasoned and flavorful.

We’re both looking forward to coming back and then, we will end our meal by trying some of the desserts that Artsy Cafe offers.

This branch is located at 36 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Diliman, QC.

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.

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

Want tips on how to cook mouth-watering steaks at home? Check out these books at Amazon.com.


The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide That Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes


The Book of Steak


Steak a Fork in It: Mouthwatering Steak Recipes for the Carnivore in All of Us

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The appeal of Bacolod Chicken Parilla

It is rare for a group of ten coworkers to instantly agree on where to have lunch but mention Bacolod Chicken Parilla and you will find us simultaneously leaving our desks to go to what seems to be our favorite chicken inasal place.

The chicken inasal, a Bacolod specialty dish, is a type of roasted chicken which is marinated in lime juice, pepper, annato (called achuete in the Philippines) and vinegar, grilled over hot coals while being further basted with the marinade.  It is often served with garlic fried rice and a dipping sauce called sinamak (which is made of palm vinegar infused with garlic, chili peppers and ginger.  The most common serving variations of inasal are the paa (leg and thigh), pecho (breast and wing) and pakpak (three pieces of wings).

My personal preference when it comes to chicken inasal is the paa because, while the pecho is usually meatier, the paa is more flavorful and juicier.  I also want lots of chicken oil (usually made from rendered chicken fat infused with garlic and annato seeds) to drizzle over my chicken and garlic rice, making my meal so much more sinful but tastier as well.

The offerings here are also quite affordable, contributing to the almost universal appeal among my officemates.  Menu prices for the items we usually order are:

  • Pecho at Php90
  • Paa at Php90
  • Pakpak at Php85
  • Garlic Rice at Php25

This branch of Bacolod Chicken Parilla is located at the corner of Scout Gandia and Scout Reyes Streets, Bgy. Paligsahan, Quezon City.

Bacolod Chicken Parilla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Want to learn more about Filipino cuisine? Check out these 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.

Sweet indulgence at Baskin Robbins

The home of the famous 31 flavors opened in SM City East Ortigas, serving classic ice cream flavors and more to us East of Manila folks.

Founded in 1945 by brothers-in-law Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins by merging their own ice cream parlors in Glendale, California, Baskin Robbins now claims to be the largest chain of ice cream specialty stores in the world.  Its slogan “31 flavors” highlights the its proposition that their customers do have the option to sample a different ice cream flavor every day of the month.

After dinner and while waiting for the last screening of Justice League, Hubby, my daughter and I decided to get our just desserts at this ice cream shop.  What sold the place to us was the available seating located under the stairs beside the free-standing stall (great use of what would have been wasted space). Hubby and the daughter went for the more classic flavors: Chocolate in a cup and Vanilla in a Chocolate Cone, respectively.

I went for one of the BR Flavors: Maui Brownie Madness.  It’s composed of chocolate frozen yogurt littered with pieces of macademia nuts and chunks of rich chocolate brownies.  I even added a topping of chopped almonds.  The confection was smooth and creamy which made a nice contrast the bits of brownies, macademia nuts and almonds.

This branch of Baskin Robbins is located at the Ground Floor of SM East Ortigas, along Ortigas Avenue Extension, Pasig City.

More details about Baskin Robbins:

Baskin Robbins Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato