Just when you thought that you’ve seen all there is to see when it comes to Japanese food, here comes Saigosan, all ready to set the local foodie scene on its ear.
This recently opened izakaya-style restaurant in Uptown Mall BGC is geared to take its diners on a fun food trip across Japanese pop culture with the enticement of delicious comfort food and classic dishes.
The latest venture of the restaurant group that manages The Red Crab Alimango House, Blackbeard’s Seafood Island and Pier at Clawdaddy’s, Saigosan offers a uniquely colorful dining experience situated between an exciting commuter train ride and a comforting stay at a ramen shop.
Here, Nobu-trained Chef Chris Oronse and his team whip up playful and creative takes on familiar Japanese food that will surely tickle the fancy of young and young-at-heart foodies with a predilection for Japanese pop culture. These include:
Classic Gyoza (₱225). The all-time favorite pan-fried Japanese potsticker filled with ground pork, cabbage, aromatics and seasonings, served with a soy sauce and vinegar-based dipping sauce.
Mini Volcano (₱280). Saigosan puts a fun twist on the classic California maki roll, thanks to its topping of chopped kani (crab sticks) and bonito flakes.
Chicken Katsudon (₱345). Tender strip of breaded chicken served with egg chahan (Japanese fried rice) and your choice between Domi and Curry sauce.
Chasu Bacon Breakfast Ramen (₱499). Breakfast favorites such as bacon slices and fried egg served on top of firm ramen noodles in a rich pork soup.
Chirashi Don (₱525). A variety of sashimi such as fresh salmon, tuna, tanigue, ikura (salmon roe) and tamago (rolled omelette) artfully served on a platter with a bowl of rice on the side.
So if you want to experience your favorite Japanese food in a fresh, fun and colorful way, then get on board for a delicious ride at Saigosan.
Saigosan is located at 3rd Floor, Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, open from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 915 8126855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I realized that I’ve been working quite hard for the past year.
Despite the convenience of working from home, I’ve been attending lots of meetings, preparing reports, overseeing projects and so on.
With all the job-related stresses I go through each day, it’s only right to treat myself to something posh and delicious, right?
Well, treat myself, I did, at two different occasions at Wildflour Cafe in Uptown, BGC.
Wildflour has been a popular brunch and bistro cafe since 2012, known for its creative menu that incorporates influences from the world’s best cuisines and makes use of ingredients sourced the best organic and local markets.
Its branches also have their own in-house bakery that supplies them with a wide assortment of freshly baked and premium-quality breads, pastries and cakes.
Saturday lunch with my daughter
On a Saturday after a particularly busy workweek for me (and during my daughter #ExhibitA’s lunchbreak from her work which, as luck would have it, sometimes requires her to work on weekends, we decided to have our midday repast at the Wildflour Cafe branch in Uptown, BGC.
During our lunch break escapade, #ExhibitA and I indulged ourselves with Wildflour’s continental dishes such as:
Beef Bourguignon (Php995).
Tender, chunk of beef slowly stewed in red wine sauce with mushrooms and served on a bed of pureed pumpkin.
Goat Cheese Ravioli (Php565).
Ravioli filled with buttery and tart goat cheese tossed in a tomato-sauce infused with basil harvested from Wildflour’s own garden.
Tres Leches (Php320).
Chiffon cake doused in dulce de leche and vanilla kappa and topped with fresh berries.
Partner these culinary creations with Wildflour’s relaxing and rustic old-world ambiance as well as its gracious and hospitable service, then you have a truly world-class dining experience.
Sunday brunch with former co-workers
A few weeks later, I met up with my former officemates to catch up and reminisce over brunch at the al fresco area of this same cafe.
Here, we broke our fast with breakfast bowls such as:
Beef Tapa (Php595).
Tender strips of pan-fried marinated beef on top of garlic fried rice and served with fried eggs and atchara.
Adobo Fried Rice (Php630).
Pork belly braised in garlic, vinegar and soy sauce served with fried egg and pickled chilis on Dalisay rice.
Bacon Fried Rice (Php625).
Thick slabs of bacon steak served with fried egg on top of fried rice.
Now, not all of us enjoy rice for our first meal of the day so some went to sandwiches and pastries from Wildflour’s bakery, which include:
Salmon Avocado Toast (Php595).
Slivers of smoked salmon and mashed avocado topped with cucumber slices, tomato, olives and dill on butter toasted bread.
Corned Beef Hand Pie (Php135).
A flaky turnover pastry filled with savory corned beef.
Hazelnut Cronut (Php170).
The variant of Wildflour’s flaky croissant-donut hybrid topped with dark chocolate swirl and chopped hazelnuts.
And what would brunch be without drinks?
Caffeine freaks went for handmade hot coffee variants while I cooled down with an Avocado milkshake.
Whether indoors or al fresco, Wildflour Cafe does fit the bill for up-leveled dining. And what better way to reward myself than to splurge on world-class eats, right?
This Wildflour Cafe branch is located at the Ground Floor, Uptown Ritz Residences, 9th Ave Corner, 36th Street, Taguig City. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 83653872 or +63 917 6367957.
During pre-pandemic times, one of the highlights of my workday is the #HappyLunch I used to enjoy with my officemates.
We used to scope out the various dining spots in the vicinity of our workplace and choose a new place in which to spend that precious lunch hour. These midday adventures not only presented us with gustatory delights, they also provided our group with a welcome break from our work environment and an opportunity for some levity in between periods of being good little workers.
Well, things happened (some officemates transitioned to other companies, and, of course, COVID-19 reared its ugly head in the metro, which curtailed opportunities for dining out), so we haven’t been able to get together for almost two years.
Thanks to the loosening of community quarantine restrictions, I was able to meet up with two of my former office friends for brunch at Sundays Cafe & Restaurant.
One of the newest dining spots in foodie-friendly Marikina, Sundays offers breakfast, comfort food and coffee. Located along J.P. Rizal Street, it’s housed in a single-story Spanish villa-inspired building, with clean and minimalist interiors well-suited for intimate gatherings as well as a pet-friendly al fresco dining area.
Quite fittingly, I met up with my friends on a Sunday morning for brunch. After experiencing some confusion in the drive over (note to self: rely on Waze, not Google Maps, for directions in this part of Marikina, especially with the one-way streets), I was able to snag the last remaining parking spot, quite ably assisted by the parking attendant.
One of my friends was later in arriving than me and had to park quite a distance away from the cafe.
In between various chika and catching up on events in each other’s lives since we last saw each other, my friends and I broke our fast with Sundays’ cafe staples, which included:
Mocha (Php145). A chocolatey version of the restaurant’s cafe latte, served hot.
Eggs Benedict (Php250). Sundays’ version of my favorite breakfast dish consists of fluffy brioche buns topped with slices of homemade bacon and poached egg drenched in hollandaise sauce, with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.
Homemade Bacon Slab on Kimchi Rice (Php320). This breakfast food given a Korean vibe consists of thick slices of homemade bacon, a fried egg (sunny side up, per our request) on top of flavorful kimchi rice served on a skillet.
Tres Leches (Php130). I indulged my sweet tooth with this light sponge cake soaked in a sweet milk mixture and topped with sweetened whipped cream with a sprinkling of cornflakes for texture.
The restaurant was still on soft opening mode during our visit so hopefully, it will be able to smooth out some kinks in its operations, particularly some delays in serving our food and in providing the bill.
That said, the restaurant was true to its proposition of providing “Great food. Great memories.” It certainly was a memorable brunch meetup with my friends over delicious food!
Sundays Cafe and Restaurant is located at J.P. Rizal corner V. Gomez Street, Barangay San Roque, Marikina City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 8am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 8am to 11pm. For reservations, call +63 917 1572634.
If the past few months of quarantine has taught me anything, it is that we need every bit of comfort we can get.
These are not normal times and we are not operating at our usual capacity. Therefore, we need to treasure what sources of joy or contentment we have.
Personally, I take comfort in good food. When I feel overwhelmed during a busy workday or in the midst of mounting house chores, a bite into something delicious will soon set me – and the world – to rights.
To you, my dear foodies, I’m happy to share my discovery of a new source of comfort: 616 Burger.
This passion project of twenty-two-year-old recent UST grad Alyanna Manuel started off as her quarantine pastime and side hustle. Building on her family’s experiences in running food businesses, and her own love for cooking, she started whipping up her favorite comfort food and offering them online at affordable prices. Her menu items consist of familiar snack items that are leveled up by way of ingredients and preparation to satisfy the palate of discriminating foodies.
The Crunchy Bacon Burger (Php160), for instance, is made with pure beef burger patty flavored by six spices and well complemented by the smokey bacon, slices of fresh veggies and its garlic mayo sauce inside a freshly baked bun. Crunchy bits of Piknik add some interesting texture to every bite of this juicy burger.
The burger’s trusty sidekick, the Cheesy Overload Fries (Php85), on the other hand, has a crispier texture than other fries due to its light breading. The sauteed ground beef and cheese sauce added some heartiness to this side dish.
If you still can’t get enough of cheese, then grab a Cheese Quesadilla (Php110), buttery toasted soft tortillas encasing high quality cheese.
Snacking on these gave me and the kiddos a happy respite in an otherwise crazy day.
To get your hands on these comforting snack items, message 616 Burger on Facebook or Instagram or fill out the online order form. Cashless payments via GCash, Paymaya and BPI are accepted. 616 Burger’s snack items can be delivered from Don Enrique Heights in Quezon City to anywhere in Metro Manila.
Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.
Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:
It’s been two weeks into the enhanced community quarantine, and some of us might be feeling confined within the four walls of our abode.
My first instinct was to stock up on chips and chocolates – yes, my kind of comfort food – but I do realize that there are healthier alternatives.
Some of those alternatives may be found at the nearest branch of The Sandwich Guy, the go-to destination of health-conscious folks – or those like me who should be a little more health-conscious, hehehe!
I recently got to snack on two of its tasty yet healthy offerings that prove the adage “Everything is better with bacon.”
Check them out:
Bacon & Egg Sandwich (Php72 Junior | Php115 Whole). Creamy egg spread punctuated by crunchy toasted bits of bacon accompanied by lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers in two slices of toasted bread.
Keto Bacon Bits (P150). A protein-filled package of bacon bits, cheese, egg, tofu cubes, lettuce, tomato and cucumbers to build up on energy and strength, but not necessarily the pounds.
So the next time you’re hankering for a healthy snack, you know who’s your guy, right?
The Sandwich Guy! (See what I did there?)
Many thanks to Harvard of AlwaysHungryPH for sharing these items from his snack stash!
This outlet of The Sandwich Guy is located at Ground Floor, Robinsons Cybergate 1, Pioneer Street, Buayang Bato, Mandaluyong City.
Other branches are located at:
Robinsons Cyberscape Alpha, Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Second Floor, Techno Plaza One, Libis, Quezon City
Third Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
Lower Ground Floor, Building B, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Upper Ground Floor, Worldwide Corporate Center, Shaw Boulevard, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
Times Square Food Court, Pacific Star Building, Senator Gil J. Puyat corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Lower Ground Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati
Second Floor, Cash & Carry Mall, Palanan, Makati City
Third Floor, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Dela Rosa Car Park 1, Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City
Ground Floor, Net Plaza Building, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Ground Floor, One World Square, McKinley Hill, Taguig
One E-Com Center, Harbor Drive, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
Second Floor, Northgate Cyberzone, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa
The Sandwich Guy also delivers via GrabFood and FoodPanda.
Download the Grab App on the App Store or Google Play. Get a discount on your first food order when you use my code: GRABJELLYBEANS.
I decided to treat a dear friend from the office to lunch at Kandle Cafe for her birthday.
Because a) it’s been years since I last ate there; b) I remember the place to be very Instagrammable and my friend and I are both IGers; and c) it’s reasonably near our office which means we can get back from our lunch break on time.
Kandle Cafe initially made a name for itself with its coffee brews and blends, given that the owners, siblings Khryss, Don King, Leslie and Eli Ong (from a play on whose names came the resto’s moniker – KANDLE), were all passionate about coffee culture.
The place is also marked by a design aesthetic that combines warm and homey interiors with nature’s beauty outside.
Along the pathway leading to the dining area, for example, abound plants and water feature installations. The steady sound of trickling water and the sight of verdant growths did have a calming effect on my work-frazzled nerves. Wood and metal furniture add a modern touch to the al fresco setting.
Inside, the sprawling space is lit with warm lighting, showcasing the fun and quirky collection of bric-a-bracs and whimsical accents.
This place is designed to be memorable, and to be a setting for great memories.
For our memorable birthday lunch, we ordered:
Chilean Mussel Pasta (Php380). Chilean mussels sauteed in a garlic and white wine sauce served on top of al dente tagliatelle and topped with grated parmesan.
Pork Tonkatsu (Php350). Tender pork loin stuffed with cheese, breaded and deep-fried to a golden brown, served with house-made teriyaki sauce, sesame cabbage salad and blue rice (yep, the color comes from the edible flower they serve it with).
For dessert, we indulged in a moist and heavenly Carrot Bar (Php100), a Lava Cookie (Php55) and a Maple Cookie with Bacon (Php80).
While the food items were definitely a sight to behold, there were hits and misses upon eating them. I think that the pork tonkatsu may be better accompanied by the sweet and peppery tonkatsu sauce rather than a teriyaki sauce which does not bring out as much of the pork’s flavor as I would like. The lava cookie, on the other hand, was lacking the rich chocolatey taste and gooey texture that I’ve come to expect.
That said, we loved the interplay of textures and flavors in the Chilean Mussel Pasta and the moist and richly sweet Carrot Bar.
The servers were also attentive and knowledgeable about their offerings, citing features or ingredients that make their dishes unique as they are serving them.
I definitely wouldn’t mind returning here for a nice and relaxed coffee break so I could try out the resto’s celebrated brews and more of its pastries.
Kandle Cafe is located at 113 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Bgy South Triangle, Quezon City, Sundays to Thursdays, 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12mn. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 3724504. Or you can book your table via Zomato like I did. 🙂
Lunchtime is that magical hour (or hour-and-a-half) where you can rest your brain from your office worries. For me and many of my work buddies, the lunch hour is sacred: it is a respite from work and an opportunity to explore the possibilities for gastronomic delights that surround the workplace.
Last Thursday, when I found myself without my usual lunch buddies, I was lucky enough to chance upon another officemate who was willing to forego the pleasures of the office foodcourt and accompany me to White Camp Coffee.
A newly opened cafe located at the corner of Mother Ignacia Avenue and Sgt. Esguerra Street in Quezon City, White Camp promises to be “a bright space for infinite cofee and dining adventures.”
The resto’s interiors are bright and cheery, a palette of white with spots of colors which are all easy on the eyes. Comfy tables, chairs and counters are conducive to hanging out and enjoying one’s coffee concoction.
For lunch that day, I ordered a Truffled Eggs on Toast brunch set (Php189) which consist of a smaller portion of the resto’s fluffy scrambled eggs with a hint of truffle oil on toast, accompanied by crunchy wonton chips and a free drink which I upgraded to a Latte (by adding Php30). Perfect timing as it turns out because brunch sets are only available weekdays from 10am to 2pm.
A new resto just opened along Sgt. Esguerra Street – AM:PM Brunch Bar. Bar. Cafe.
Brunch, a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch, is a meal usually eaten late in the morning to early afternoon, sometimes with some alcoholic beverages.
AM:PM’s menu includes of All Day Brunch items, main dishes, pizza, sandwiches, as well as coffee- and non-coffee-based beverages. It also offers beers, and liquors by the shot or by the bottle. It recently started offering budget meals ranging from Php120 to Php145.
I went here a couple of times with some coworkers for lunch and I was able to sample some of its offerings:
Homemade Bacon Slab (Php260), served with garlic rice, fried egg and iced tea. While a filling meal, I was a bit disappointed with its portioning. I was expecting a huge slab of bacon but what I got was more like bacon strips. It could also use some more salt.
Crispy Chicken Skin (Php90), not a wise choice after eating bacon, but, you know, #YOLO. 🙂
T-bone Steak (Php400), served with fried egg and mashed potato. The portion was quite sizeable. I split my order into two: I ate one half over lunch and the other half later at dinner and still felt full. I’m not too crazy about the mashed potato’s balsamic dressing, though.
I’m still open to eating here for lunch but I might be opting for the budget meals.
AM:PM Brunch. Bar. Cafe. is located at The Ignacia Place, Sgt. Esguerra St. cor Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City.
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There are days when you just want to forget about greens and calorie counting (which to me is everyday) and sink your teeth into some sinful, hearty and greasy burgers. These are times when a visit to this burger joint comes in.
Zark’s Burgers was named after its owner, Zark Espina Varona, a burger fan himself who put up his first store near De La Salle University along Taft Avenue in 2009 (all the better to cater to those hungry students, I guess), with the mission of offering burgers that are “FRESH. HUGE. GREAT.” The chain has since grown to 29 stores with branches in Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Cebu, Iloilo and Bacolod.
When my hubby and I craved for sinful burgers, we visited the branch in SM East Ortigas and treated ourselves to:
Chicken Fingers and Fries (Php159) for sharing
The Zark’s Classic Cheeseburger (Php109 + Php40 for fries and drink) for me.
The Zark’s Ultimate Burger (Php149 + Php40 for fried and drink) for hubby. It’s composed of a quarter-pounder burger with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, cheese sauce and, of course, bacon
Snickers Ala Mode (Php149) for sharing. It’s a Snickers bar dipped in batter, deep-fried and served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup
In a later visit, I even tried out the heart-healthy (not! But YOLO – Uh-oh!) Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Burger (Php279), a burger completely wrapped in bacon strips, then deep-fried, giving it a crispy crust that gives way to a juicy burger as you bite into it. I didn’t even need the Mamba sauce that came with it.
This Zark’s Burgers branch is located at 2nd Floor, SM City East Ortigas, along Ortigas Avenue Extension in Pasig City.
Along Scout Reyes in Quezon City, quite near my workplace, is a burger joint known for scrumptious burgers and finger foods. Burger Company is also known for board and card games you can play while waiting for your food or buy to add to your collection.
My favorites here include the Mushroom and Gorgonzola Burger as well as the resto’s famous crispy Bacon Dippers.
Recently, it introduced new additions to its menu:
The Gamer’s Platter, which includes its famous Bacon Dippers, Cheese Bombs, Chicken Firecrackers and Buffalo Wings. Perfect for hungry gamers!
Burgerrito, a savory and zesty combination of an all-beef burger patty enclosed in a flour tortilla together with nacho hash, picante sauce, pico de gallo, sour cream and chopped lettuce.
Curry-inspired dishes such as the Hambagu Kare and the Menchi Katsu Kare, served with a sweet-ish curry sauce over steaming hot rice.
With this expanded and varied menu, Burger Company has a lot more to offer to hungry gamers and folks hankering for a hearty meal.
Burger Company is located at the corner of Scout Reyes and Mother Ignacia Avenue, Paligsahan, Quezon City. For reservations and inquiries, call 02-9492269.
Update: The Burger Company Facebook Page recently announced that it will close its doors on December 15. Beginning December 1 until its closing day, it will grant 20% discount on burgers and drinks to diners.