Union of cuisines at Four in Love BBQ Hotpot Buffet, SM Manila

Good food and good company come together in this newly opened restaurant at SM City Manila called Four in Love.

A joint venture of four restaurateurs formerly based in Singapore and Thailand, this new dining venue seeks to introduce new and exciting food concepts to the Pinoy foodie while still offering familiar items.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Here, diners can give in to their cravings for four Asian cuisines, all at the same place and at the same time:

Korean samgyeopsal and Japanese yakiniku share the space on the table’s built-in grill.

Japanese shabu-shabu and Chinese hotpot have pride of place in the hotpot area

Thai mookata combines the grilling and hotpot in one crafty cooking method.

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH, I joined in on the resto’s opening day celebrations. There, we found some old favorites and new appealing tastes as we explored all that Four in Love has to offer.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four in Love is designed for groups with tables that can seat as few as two people to as many as ten, interacting and eating together, with all the action centered on the meats, seafood and vegetables being cooked right on the table. The place is frenetic with activity, with servers hurrying to and fro to deliver refill requests.

Diners can choose from three tasty and filling meal sets for their beyond unli-meat-ed food adventure:

Harmony Set (Php399/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices.

Wealth Set (Php599/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices; plain, sweet and spicy beef chuck: plain, sweet and spicy chicken thighs: pork belly, beef rib eye, squid, mussels, salmon belly, shrimps and Korean spicy noodles.

Abundance Set (Php799/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices; plain, sweet and spicy beef chuck: plain, sweet and spicy chicken thighs: pork belly, beef short plate, short ribs and rib eye; squid, mussels, salmon belly, tuna belly, shrimps, scallops and Korean spicy noodles.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

(By the way, those Korean noodles sure are spicy!)

Four In Love, SM Manila

All sets come with unlimited refills of six hot dishes, cold dishes, fresh fruits and dessert. The Wealth and Abundance Sets also come with creamy mozzarella to be melted on the grill for dipping of the grilled meats.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Do try Four In Love’s dipping sauces (from Thai peanut sauce to Japanese shabu sauce and more), mixed and matched with herbs, chilis, aromatics and other condiments which will add new dimensions to your food. Not sure how to make your own sauce? Easy-piece-y! Just follow the guide provided at the sauce station.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

If your group wants to taste some exotic soups through the hotpot steamboat, just add Php99 for one soup or Php159 for two soups for hotpot per table. To experience a mukata and shabu-shabu combo, just add Php99 per table. The mala soup, for instance, with its distinctly Sichuan flavor, is definitely a must-try!

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Oh, and be sure to coat that mookata grill with some fat before grilling your meats so they won’t stick! Also, the juices from the grill will fall from the mookata straight into the boiling soup which will add more flavor to the broth.

Four In Love, SM Manila

All those bold and spicy flavors are sure to work up a thirst. Fortunately, you can just add Php39/person for free-flowing softdrinks!

You and your group can enjoy all these for two hours, more than enough time to eat your fill of your favorites. Be sure to finish off all your meats, though; leftovers will be charged Php300 per 100 grams.

So if ever you and the gang are in the mood for a four-in-one foodie adventure, just hie off to SM City Manila and have your meal at Four in Love! Take advantage of its Grand Opening promo and enjoy 20% discount on your food bill until October 7!

Many thanks to the management and crew of Four in Love for the warm welcome and the delicious and filling meal!

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four in Love is located at Unit 30, Lower Ground Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2923095.

Four In Love BBQ Hotpot Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I attended a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Dimsum time at Jade Garden, International District, Seattle

Touchdown Seattle!

After three years, I’m back in the Evergreen State for a much-needed and well-deserved (if I do say so myself) vacay! And even better, I’ve got the whole fam with me in this US adventure.

And being Jellybeans (see what I did there?), the family’s vacay will not be complete without some food trips here there.

So which Seattle establishment did the brood try on our first few hours in the city?

Well, my bro treated us to one of his favorite Chinese dimsum haunts: Jade Garden in the International District.

Having stepped out of the airport quite late last night, we were lucky that this restaurant was still open. It’s a small casual dining Chinese restaurant where, for a relatively large party such as ours, the food is served on the lazy susan on the lazy susan on top of the table. Hot tea was also provided while we waited for our orders.

Jade Garden, Seattle

Jade Garden, Seattle

Jade Garden, Seattle

Our meal consisted of:

Minced Beef Soup Westlake Style. Traditionally, soup is served last during a Chinese meal but we requested that it be served first. This soup is made of tofu, minced beef, thinly slice shiitake mushrooms and coriander in a steaming hot starchy broth. Quite a wonderful way to warm our tummies this chilly spring evening!

Jade Garden, Seattle

Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice. A flavorful rice dish that complemented the viands we ordered. Did you know that the earliest record of fried rice appeared in the Sui dynasty? Stir-frying rice in garlic and soy sauce with meat and vegetables was thought to be a way to re-use leftovers from previous meals into a new hot dish.

Jade Garden, Seattle

Mongolian Beef. Strips of tender beef sauteed in a mildly spicy (as we requested) sauce of onions and chilis.

Jade Garden, Seattle

Fish Fillet with Roast Pork Hot Pot. One of the resto’s off-menu daily specials, it has quite a lot of everything: fish, pork, tofu, mushroom and veggies.

Jade Garden, Seattle

Deep-fried Stuffed Shrimp Tofu. A variation of Hubby’s favorite crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside battered tofu dish, this one has a plump piece of shrimp that adds to the flavor and texture of the dish.

Jade Garden, Seattle

Steamed Pork Siumai, Steamed Shrimp and Scallop Dumplings and Steamed Pork Buns. These steamed dimsum fare are quite familiar to us since they have counterparts back home.

Jade Garden, Seattle

Jade Garden, Seattle

Jade Garden, Seattle

The food was served promptly by friendly and helpful wait staff. The servings are quite large and we had some leftovers which we heated up for an unusual yet still tasty breakfast the next day.

All in all, it was a nice welcoming meal for the fam!

Jade Garden is located at 424 7th Avenue South, International District, Seattle 98104, open Mondays to Thursdays from 9am to 2.30am, Fridays to Saturdays from 9am to 3.30am and Sundays from 9am to 1am. For inquiries and reservations, call +1 206 6228181.

For more details, visit www.jadegardenseattle.com.

Jade Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  

Bro-recommended Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant, Banawe

I belong to a family of foodies, albeit I’m the only one who’s online all the time!

While I have a knack for finding places to get great desserts, my brother, on the hand, has a gift for finding tasty quick and cheap eats.

The restos he usually recommends are no-frills but are known to have paticularly delish specialties.

Take for example Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant in Banawe.

While we were running errands in the area together with my mom, we realized that we needed to go somewhere we can eat and run. He suggested this resto because of its famous fried chicken.

This resto does have a no-frills look and feel typical of Chinese eateries. Its color scheme is composed of reds, oranges and yellow. The furniture used are a bit aged but still functional.

The wait staff are present on the floor but getting their attention for orders or requests may take some time.

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

We went with my brother’s recommended dishes as well.

Spinach with Garlic (Php225 for small)

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

Sincerity Fried Chicken (Php180 for half)

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

Sincerity Chami (Php120 for small)

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

Makot Bola Bola Soup (Php140 for small)

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

The Sincerity Fried Chicken was quite tasty and it went well with the very flavorful Sincerity Chami noodles.

Sincerity Cafe, Banawe

Since I unlocked my Zomato Gold Privilege in this resto, we got the Chami for FREE. (Note: we were informed by the wait staff that Sincerity Fried Chicken is not included among the Zomato Gold perks.)

Want to score a similar discount? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

This Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant branch is located at Second Floor, RBL Building, Banawe Street, Santo Domingo, Quezon City, open daily from 9.30am to 9.30pm.

Other branches are located at:

  • 497 E.T. Yuchengco Street, Binondo, Manila
  • Ground Floor, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo, Manila
  • Food Court, Lower Ground Floor, Robinsons Magnolia, New Manila, Quezon City
  • Food Court, Level 1, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Ortigas, Quezon City

Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

Want to learn more about Chinese cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!

Budget-friendly Rice Toppings at Hong Kong Roasting, Tomas Morato

My officemate and I were looking for somewhere to have a quick lunch so we could get on with the rest of our tasks for the day.

After scouring the lunch options at nearby M Place, we decided upon Hong Kong Roasting, attracted by the budget-friendly rice topping options and the assurance of the restaurant manager that the food will be served immediately.

We ordered:

Soy Chicken Rice Topping (Php155).

Hong Kong Roasting, M Place

Cantonese Chicken Rice Topping (Php155).

Hong Kong Roasting, M Place

Both are versions of the Chinese steamed chicken dish, one just features darker skin than the other due to addition of soy sauce. They were accompanied by chili and ginger sauces which we found a bit too mild.

Still, it was a quick, affordable and fuss-free lunch, and another item was added to our group’s lunch options.

Hong Kong Roasting, M Place

This Hong Kong Roasting branch is located at M Place, Panay Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Other branches are located at:

  • Tower C, Sea Residences, Sunrise Corner Pearl Drive, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City (open daily from 8am to 12:30am)
  • SM Mezza Residences, Aurora Boulevard Corner Araneta Avenue, Santa Mesa, Quezon City (open daily from 10am to 9pm)
    Hong Kong Roasting Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This post contains affiliate links.

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

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Dimsum Treats at Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine, New Manila

Together with a bunch of officemates, I ventured farther than our usual haunts for our #HappyLunch. I actually recommended Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine after seeing pic after pic of scrumptious dimsum and rice toppings posted by fellow foodies on Instagram. Also, I wanted to take advantage of the promo by which diners can get the resto’s dimsum offerings, normally priced at Php120 or higher, for only Php95.

So off we went to Hemady Square along E. Rodriguez Avenue. (There is ample parking in the building’s basement but for a minute there I was worried that my officemate’s Ford Everest won’t fit the entrance nor the parking slot.) The building is fairly new but is already home to several business establishments.

Upon entering Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine’s premises, you will notice the spacious, well-lit and well-appointed dining area which contrasts with other run-off-the-mill Chinese eateries which might seem a bit dingy to almost everyone except their most loyal patrons. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows let in a lot of natural light. The furniture and design elements have muted colors that contribute to a relaxed dining atmosphere.

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Taking advantage of the Php95/order for their dimsum, our group ordered:

Xiao Long Bao (normally priced at Php130)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Crab Roe Siomai (normally priced at Php120)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Shrimp Rice Roll (normally priced at Php160)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Taro Puffs (normally priced at Php130)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

The famous Piggy Salted Egg Yolk Bao (normally priced at Php130)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Steamed Chicken Feet with Taosi (normally priced at Php130)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

And since we brought our considerably big appetites with us, we also ordered:

Pork Giblets Congee (Php180)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Lechon Macau Rice Topping (Php280)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

BBQ Pork Rice Topping (Php280)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

Beef Brisket Noodle Soup (Php260)

Yeah Yeah, New Manila

The Lechon Macau was quite good: the flavorful skin has a nice crackle when you bite into it and the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender. The serving was quite small, though.

The Xiao Long Bao is quite tasty as well; it was served steaming hot so I can slurp the soup from the bao and savor its meaty and herby flavor.

The Piggy Salted Egg Yolk Bao, on the other hand, was a bit of a let-down. Yes, it’s cute and Instagrammable, but I would have preferred a more pronounced taste of the salted egg yolk.

The dishes were served relatively promptly considering the size of our group and the number of orders. The servers were also attentive and accommodating, although there was some delay with a few of our requests.

I was thankful for the dimsum promo as it helped in convincing my officemates to accompany me in this foodie adventure.

By the way, if you have yet to try out Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine’s dimsum offerings, you will be glad to know that the dimsum promo has been extended to October 31, 2018. With this promo, you can get all dimsum at only Php95/order, Mondays to Fridays, from 11am to 5pm and 9pm to 11pm.

Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine is located at the Third Floor, Hemady Square, Dona Hemady Street corner E. Rodriguez Sr Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City. For reservations, call +63 2 9750070.

Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

Want to learn more about Chinese 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. Sign up using 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.

Quick and affordable Chinese food at Causeway, Tomas Morato

My officemates and I were on our way to Le Ching for lunch when we spied the lack of parking space in that resto.

So off we went to look for another place to eat. Since we were already in the mood for Chinese food, we settled on Causeway Seafood Restaurant.

Even with the number of cars parked in front of the restaurant, the parking attendant still found a way to fit our car in.

Inside, there is the usual hustle and bustle, the busy energy, usually found in Chinese restaurants. The place is not swanky, it may even be considered dingy, but judging from the sizeable lunch crowd and the busy wait staff, Causeway seems to have established itself among a loyal following.

Our group of four shared these Chinese dishes:

Beef Hofan Noodles (Php300 for small). Stir-fried beef with noodles that is oh so greasy but also oh so good!

Fried Spareribs with Salt and Pepper (Php330 for small). Such a simple dish but I seem to find myself ordering this in every Chinese resto I go to.

From the Dimsum Cart: Crab Roe Siomai (Php80), Asado Siopao (Php80), Kutchay Dumpling (Php90) and Seafood Roll (Php85)

It seems like Causeway’s combination of quickly served dishes and affordable pricing is a winning formula, as evidenced by its lunch crowd. The wait staff could be a little quicker in fulfilling refill requests though.

This Causeway Seafood Restaurant is located at 24 Timog Avenue, Bgy Laging Handa, Quezon City (Tel.: +63 2 3762559) with operating hours from 10am to 12mn Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 12mn Sundays.

Other branches are located at:

  • 8th Acropolis Center, 53 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Libis, QC (Tel.: +63 2 6389374) with operating hours from 11am to 12mn Mondays to Saturdays and 11am to 11.30pm Sundays.
  • 7 Congressional Avenue, Project 8, QC (Tel.: +63 2 4269032) with operating hours from 10am to 10pm Mondays to Sundays.
  • Banawe cor Linaw Street, Sienna, QC (Tel.: +63 2 5221690) with operating hours from 7am to 12mn Mondays to Sundays.
  • 883 Banawe Street corner Del Monte Avenue, Sienna, QC (Tel.: +63 2 4108690) with operating hours from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 12mn Mondays to Fridays and 10.30am to 2.30om and 5.30pm to 12mn Saturdays and Sundays.
  • 1266 Benavidez Street, Tondo, Manila (Tel.: +63 2 2304381) with operating hours from 9am to 11pm Mondays to Fridays and 7am to 11pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Causeway Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

Want to learn more about Chinese 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. Sign up using 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.

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine at Fantaste, Salcedo Village

Sichuan (also called Szechuan) cuisine, which originates from Chinese province of the same name, is known for its bold flavors, resulting from the variety of seasonings and cooking methods used.

Newly opened restaurant Fantaste brings a taste of Sichuan into the heart of Makati City.  Along with a selected group of bloggers and foodies (as well as my daughter, #ExhibitA), I was able to attend its Grand Opening and sample its many food offerings.

The restaurant’s mascot is reminiscent of Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda, chosen because, according to the wait staff, the panda symbolizes friendship, unity and world peace.

Fantaste’s claim to fame is its rice bowls.  These dishes are individually cooked in their own clay pot bowl, topped with hearty servings of viands, accompanied by steamed bok choi and half a salted egg, then doused with a secret sauce upon serving.  Its heated clay pot container maintains the rice bowls’ heat during the entire meal, even giving the bottom grains a slightly toasted crunch and flavor.

Given a choice of which among its twelve rice bowl choices to sample, I opted for the Chicken and Mushroom (Php260) while my daughter got intrigued with the mysteriously titled The Best of Fantaste (Php220).  To be honest, I think I had the better choice, my bowl having a better mixture of tastes and textures.

I overheard from my seatmates (and seconded by my daughter who is more well-traveled than I) that the dishes feature the taste of mainland China’s provinces, rather than the taste we normally associate with Hong Kong which is more familiar to the Filipino palette.  We all welcome the variety that these bring to our dining experience, although some would be an acquired taste: the Red Jujube and White Fungus Soup (Php120) for example, had a seemingly bland broth with explosions of sweet and tartness from the date fruit and the meat flavor of its chicken bits.

The restaurant also has a breakfast menu which we were all also able to sample: the Congee (Php120) and Beef and Lettuce Congee (Php140) which, to me, served as a subtle palette for toppings; the Steamed Vermicelli Roll (Php120) which had a nice spicy kick; the carbo-loaded Yangzhuo (or more commonly known as Yang Chow) Fried Rice (Php160); Pork Ribs coated with Glutinous Rice (Php140); the Dry Fried Noodles with Beef (Php180) which had a nice peanut-ty taste; and the Fried Noodles with Three Shreds (Php180).

Those looking to complete their taste of authentic Chinese food can even opt for drinks imported from the mainland such as Chinese versions of our favorite softdrinks, flavored yogurt drinks and flavored teas.

Given the novelty of its food offerings, I would suggest to the restaurant manager to consider having a menu with pictures and descriptions of the dishes.  That way, the really adventurous foodies would know which items are in line with their palates while the less gastronomically conservative patrons can choose those which more closely align with their taste.

I would also suggest a less upbeat background music: the resto’s offerings are somewhat traditional and some can even be considered medicinal (particularly its herbal teas) .  If the resto would like to capitalize on the health benefits of its cuisine, a more languid and traditional background music would be more appropriate.

Just my two cents… 🙂

Foodies who will journey all the way to Makati to visit this resto should also consider where they can park.  Parking spots are severely limited and the nearest pay parking area charges Php80 for just two hours.

Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I was invited to attend this restaurant’s Grand Opening.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

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

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants: