3 reasons to go on a family food trip at DADS World Buffet, SM Megamall

It’s so nice to finally be able to eat out, right?

During the height of the pandemic, community quarantine restrictions specifically prohibit buffet-type setups due to the difficulty in maintaining physical distancing, especially as diners tend to congregate in various food stations to fill their plates.

Nowadays, however, all-you-can-eat buffets are making their comeback. One of these eateries is DADS World Buffet.

DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall

Having been around for over thirty years, DADS was among the first dining establishments to make buffet dining popular and accessible to more Filipinos.

Growing up in the 90s, I recall that most of my family’s celebrations such as birthdays, reunions and more were held at DADS. Its a great way to ensure that everyone can eat their fill of their preferred menu items, while keeping to a budget. DADS’ group and birthday promos also came in handy to this end.

DADS Megamall
Arroz Caldo and Tokwa’t Baboy
DADS Megamall
Kamayan Kuhol sa Gata
DADS Megamall
Fresh Fruits in Season
DADS Megamall
Kamayan Kare-Kare

Fast forward to today, I can say the DADS has not lost its appeal. In fact, I can cite three reasons why the family’s food trip should be held at DADS World Buffet.

1. It’s easily accessible.

Located in SM Megamall, DADS World Buffet is a short ride from most parts of the metro (not counting traffic, that is!). Also, anyone who’s organized a family party know that half the battle is getting the people to the venue. Since this restaurant is situated in one of the city’s most popular malls, getting lost along the way won’t be a problem.

DADS Megamall
Lechon de Leche
DADS Megamall
Bagnet and Lechon Belly
DADS Megamall
Kamayan Callos
DADS Megamall
Kamayan Paella Valenciana

2. It offers a world of culinary choices.

DADS World Buffet brings together celebrated dishes from all over the world, including local favorites. These include:

  • Philippines. A delectable curation of Kamayan’s roster of heritage dishes.
  • Asia. Includes dishes from Chine, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand
  • The Mediterranean. An epicure’s dream which includes dishes from Spain, Italy and Greece
  • The Americas. From hearty all-American viands from the United States to South American favorites from Mexico and Brazil.
DADS Megamall
Saisaki Sushi
DADS Megamall
Saisaki Ebi Tempura
DADS Megamall
Japanese Dishes
DADS World Buffet
Saisaki Katsu

Personally, the sheer magnitude of food choices available at DADS World Buffet have the added benefit of eliminating food envy. That’s the feeling of looking over to what other people are eating and wishing that you ordered the same. At DADS, you can easily load your plate with whatever catches your fancy.

DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
Burger Sliders

3. Its promos will give you more bang for your buffet buck.

Walk-ins are charged P958/person but you can enjoy savings when you dine at DADS World Buffet by taking advantage of these offers:

  • Fully Vaxxed Reservation Promo: Php758/person Mondays to Thursdays | Php858 Fridays to Sundays and Holidays
  • Birthday Promo: birthday celebrants eats for free if accompanied by two adults at Php958/person
  • Group of 10 Promo: for every group of ten, one eats for free while the other nine are charged at Php958/person
DADS World Buffet
DADS US Roast Beef
DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
Carving Station
DADS Megamall
Chopped Roast Beef

Kids also enjoy discounted buffet rates at DADS:

  • 0 to 3 feet: FREE
  • 3 feet to 4 feetL Php330
  • 4 feet to 4’6″: Php380

Senior citizens are also charged the discounted price of Php684.29/person.

Note: These promo prices require no leftovers. Leftovers are charged Php200.

DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
DADS Megamall
Ube Rolls
DADS Megamall
Dessert Station

So go ahead and take a journey of culinary discovery at DADS World Buffet!

This DADS World Buffet branch is located in the Fourth Floor Bridgeway, SM Megamall, Epifanio de los Santos Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 3pm and 4pm to 8pm and Fridays to Sunday from 11am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 86363785, +63 2 86331758 or +63 917 8961757.

Another branch is located at 523 Merchant Building Padre Faura Street corner Adriatico Street, Ermita, Maynila. (Tel: 63 2 85281724 or +63 917 8971722).

DADS also collaborates with Saisaki, Sambo Kojin at Kamayan, featuring over eighty dishes at 15 West Avenue, Quezon City (Tel: +63 2 89212873 or +63 917 8988844).

To know more about its promos and offers, follow DADS World Buffet on Facebook and Instagram.


Unli Japanese fusion dishes at Hodai, West Triangle

Considering I work in Quezon City, it’s a wonder I’ve only explored a fraction of the gastronomic choices the other side of Quezon Avenue has to offer.

This is why I grabbed at the chance to dine at Hodai together with my foodie friends.

Located in a sprawling renovated two-storey house along Examiner Street which was originall built in the 1960s, Hodai offers a cozy and comfortable atmosphere for its diners, perfect for group get-togethers and family outings. The decor is minimalist with bits of Asian accents while windows throughout the dining area let in a lot of natural light.

Hodai, West Traingle

Hodai, West Traingle

Hodai, West Traingle

“Hodai” translates to “all you can” in Nihongo, and really, you can eat to your heart’s (and tummy’s) content of Japanese cuisine (with some Korean food thrown in) in this resto.

Curious on what you can enjoy at Hodai? Feast your eyes on these!

Hodai, West Triangle

Hodai, West Triangle

Fish Teriyaki

Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue


Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue

Rose Cream Pasta

Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue


Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue

Sushi Rolls

Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue

Korean Fried Chicken

Hodai, West Avenue

Kani Salad

Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue

Kimchi Gyoza

Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue


Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue

Cheese Cream Spicy BBQ Bowl

Hodai, West Avenue

Hodai, West Avenue

To get your fill of these delicious dishes, choose from two value-packed meal sets:

Silver Set (Php499). Includes Teriyaki, Japchae or Rose Cream Pasta, Tempura, Sushi Rolls, Korean Fried Chicken, Kani Salad, Kimchi Gyoza and Tonkatsu.

Gold Set (Php599). Includes everything in the Silver Set plus Cheese Cream Spicy BBQ Bowl.

Note: Unli rice and miso soup are also provided on a self-service basis. Guests are also given Korean frozen sweets as desserts after the meal.

The sheer number and variety of these sumptuous dishes may be daunting at first. However, for hungry foodies and fans of unli servings, Hodai’s meal sets present quite a good deal.

And to sweeten the deal further, Hodai has irresistible Lucky 7 promo offers this July:

  • On weekdays, get 1+1 on the Gold Set. That means two people can dine on all these food for only Php599.
  • On weekends, get discounted rates on the Silver set (now at Php349) and the Gold Set (now at Php419).

So, really, there’s no better time to gather up your family and friends to feast on all-you-can-eat Japanese food at Hodai!

Hodai, West Triangle

Hodai, West Triangle

Thanks to Clarissa of Clarisays.com and Carlo of EatsCMT.Food.Blog for extending their invites!

Hodai is located at 14 Examiner Street, West Triangle, Quezon City, open daily for lunch from 10am to 3pm and for dinner from 5pm to 10pm. For reservations, call +63 956 4605848.

HODAI Unli Japanese Restaurant 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.

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Feel free to get cheesy at Tori Chizu, UP Town Center

Did you know that while the doria, or the Japanese version of the baked rice casserole, did originate in Japan, it was actually invented by a Swiss chef who worked in a hotel restaurant in Japan in the 1930s?

It is considered an example of yoshoku – Western food in Nihonggo – which take the form of Japanized Western dishes.

Today, Tori Chizu, a new restaurant brand under the same company that manages Korean fastfood chain Bon Chon, brings this Japanese dish and more to foodies the metro, with most of its dishes served with its signature cheesy chizu sauce.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

(This got me all excited because, as most of my friends know, I’m an avid cheese lover. Yeah, cheesy talaga!)

Together with my fellow foodies from #SaanSaPH, I visited its UP Town Center branch to get a taste of its offerings.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Our meal included:

Chicken Katsu Curry Chizu Bowl (Php139). I never developed a liking for curry but, at least, the Japanese versions leans more towards sweet rather than spicy. Still, when taken together with chizu sauce, I found the combination to be quite overwhelming. The chicken katsu, however, is well-seasoned with a crisp batter covering and tender meat.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Chicken Karaage Chizu Bowl (Php129). Karaage is a way of lightly coating meats – most often chicken pieces – in seasoned flour or potato starch then deep-frying them in oil. Today, it is one of the most popular Japanese chicken dishes, no doubt due to its versatility and near-universal appeal. The addition of the chizu sauce to the rice bowl adds a layer of decadence to the dish.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Beef Chizu Bowl (Php149). This is another dish with wide appeal which feature strips of sauteed sukiyaki-cut beef, whose relatively mild flavor is complemented by the chizu sauce.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Baked Pasta with Egg (Php135). The tomato-based sauce does not conform to the expectations of the Pinoy palette. If you don’t like pasta sauce that tends towards the sour rather than the spicy-sweet we’ve grown used to, this pasta dish might not be for you.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Chicken Racks (Php554 for 8-piece combination of Umami and Spicy). I got intimidated by the color and presentation of the spicy chicken pieces so I just took a bite of the umami chicken. Thankfully, it was juicy and tender: just well-seasoned enough to go well with rice.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Desserts: Double Cheese (Php55) and Ube Macapuno Soft (Php62). We capped our meal with soft-serve ice cream: one was topped with lots of cheese powder resulting in an appetizing mixture of sweet and salty flavors while the other features the local flavors of ube (purple yam) and macapuno (soft and chewy coconut flesh), adding a very Pinoy spin to this dessert.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

I found Tori Chizu’s menu to have quite a lot of variety so you can definitely come back several times to have a taste of something new while you’re deciding on which dish is your favorite. Its offerings are also quite affordably priced, making its dishes accessible to more people.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu is well worth a visit for cheese lovers and those on the lookout a new take on Japanese cuisine.

(And also those who are feeling a bit cheesy…)

Thanks to Shishi of Shi’s A Mom for extending the invitation!

This Tori Chizu branch is located at the Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Other branches may be found at:

  • Upper Ground Floor, Outside Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Second Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, Security Land Center, VA Rufino corner Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati

Disclosure: Together with other #SaanSaPH foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Tori Chizu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Birthday dinner at Soru Izakaya, Ugong

As a foodie that has been exposed to various cuisines, restaurant concepts and cooking styles, of course I would want an extraordinary meal at an extraordinary restaurant for my birthday dinner with the family.

For some time now, I’ve been wanting to dine at Soru Izakaya ever since I caught sight of pictures showing its colorful and creatively presented makis. Add the fact that the resto chain is currently a Zomato Gold partner where I can get free dishes as a Zomato Gold member, and that sealed the deal.

An izakaya is a type of informal pub originating from Japan, where small and inexpensive dishes and snacks are served to accompany alcoholic drinks. This kind of dining establishment has proved perfect for afterwork de-stressing with friends through drinks and good food.

Soru Izakaya’s visually arresting aesthetic also adds to the relaxing vibe. It takes inspiration from bishoujo (pretty girl) manga, traditional Japanese art, the colorful Tokyo night life and the emergence of speakeasies.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

For my birthday celebration, the place proved to be an awesome venue where the extended family came together for a great meal, which included:

Miso Soup (Php45). A staple among Japanese soups wherein softened miso paste is mixed into a savory dashi stock with tofu cubes.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Kani Salad (Php240). Shredded crabsticks tossed in salad greens dressed in a mixture of miso and Japanese mayo. Toppings of crunchy kani, ebiko and nori strips add to the flavors and textures.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Spicy Maguro Salad (Php300). Tempura flakes and cubes of fresh tuna top salad greens dressed in miso and spicy mayo.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Wagyu Steak Teppan (Php990). Iron-grilled wagyu steak served with mixed vegetables.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Tomahawk Katsu (Php320). Deep-fried breaded pork tomahawk cutlet served with sweet and savory katsu sauce and shredded cabbage in roasted sesame dressing.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Unaguro Aburi (Php390). Tempura rice topped with torched tuna and unagi with teriyaki sauce and a bit of truffle oil.

Lava Maki (Php390). Salmon skin, crabsticks and tamago topped with cubes of fresh tuna and salmon in a spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Shake Belly Aburi (Php230). Torched salmon belly with wasabi teriyaki sauce, finished with wasabi mayo, oborro mayo and Japanese mayo.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Nori Tempura Nami (Php330 for 5 pieces). Deep-fried tiger prawns in nori flavored batter.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Meiji Kare (Php260). Japanese-style beef curry with potatoes and carrots on rice.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

Shoyu Ramen (Php290). Tender chasyu pork slices, boiled egg and mixed vegetables in a steaming hot shoyu broth.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

It was a fun birthday dinner in a new place for the fam.

Soru Izakaya, Ugong

On my next visit, I would love to try the Tantanmen ramen and one of Soru Izakaya’s desserts.

And since four us unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege, we got 4 of these dishes free!

Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 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 Soru Izakaya branch is located at Techno Point Building, Julia Vargas Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 12 midnight and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 2am.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, 140 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
  • Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Soru Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Top food finds at the Greenfield Weekend Market

With such hectic weekdays in the metro, it really seems weekends are made for us city slickers to just catch our breath, de-stress and savor our time with our fam and friends.

And what better way to relax and enjoy with our nears-and-dears than to go on a food trip with them?

Fortunately for us, right in the center of the metro is a weekend mecca for foodies, with offerings that will appeal to varied and discerning tastes.

The Greenfield Weekend Market, held every Saturday at the Greenfield District’s Central Park in Mandaluyong City, is where foodies can go to enjoy wondrous varieties of food and drink by local artisan vendors. It’s country fair setup, which includes a dining experience under the stars and live music from featured local bands, contributes to a refreshingly chill vibe.

Greenfield Weekend Market

Greenfield Weekend Market

Greenfiel Weekend Market

During a recent visit to the Greenfield Weekend Market together with fellow foodies from #SaanSaPH, I was able to discover some interesting and tasty food finds.

Greenfield Weekend Market

Greenfield Weekend Market

Curious yet? Read on to find out what they are.

Takoyaki Balls from Shuma Gorath (Php95 for six pieces). Takoyaki are ball-shaped wheat flour-based snacks which originated from Japan. The balls served here are also flavored with green onions, tempura scraps and real octopus. Oh, and Marvel Comics geeks will surely find the store’s name familiar: Shuma Gorath is the villainous octopus-like alien ruler of several universes.

Greenfield Weekend Market

Greenfield Weekend Market

Cebu Lechon Belly from Raffy’s Belly Good (Php100 for 120 grams with no rice). Those flavorful pieces of pork belly, cooked Cebuano style, are now more easily accessible to us Metro Manila denizens, thanks to Raffy’s Belly Good. By the way, the store also accepts orders via + 63 2 2392466 or +63 917 8817239.

Greenfiel Weekend Market

Greenfield Weekend Market

Smoked Beef Brisket (Php170 with rice and BBQ sauce) and Smoked Pork Belly (Php150 with rice and mango salsa) from Carnivore Cookery. Meat lovers, celebrate! Feast on these savory meats smoked for full flavor and tenderness for 12 hours! Want these delivered at home? Order via +63 917 52292222.

Greenfield Weekend Market

Greenfield Weekend Market

Fishballs, Squidballs and Kwek-Kwek (Php100 for four sticks plus 1) and Cheese Sticks (Php75) from Cheesy Stuff. Remember “Kuya, can I make tusok-tusok the fishballs?” Well, you’ll find yourself saying that again and again with Cheesy Stuff’s array of freshly cooked street food. Oh, and bite into the really cheesy cheese sticks, perfect snacks for the entire barkada.

Greenfield Weekend Market

Greenfield Weekend Market

Spiked Carabao Milk Ice Cream from The Blissful Story Creamery (Php135 for single scoop). Ice cream is every kid’s favorite dessert, but these small-batch frozen treats made from carabao milk have something extra for us grownups: a little bit of Tequila Rose to go with the Strawberry Rose’s sweet fruity flavor and nutty cacao nibs for added oomph, amirite? By the way, you can also order this icy concoction online.

Greenfield Weekend Market

Greenfield Weekend Market

All these yummy discoveries and more are waiting for you in their respective food stalls at the Greenfield Weekend Market, held every Saturday from 4pm to 12 midnight at the Greenfield District Central Park, EDSA cor Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.

Check them out and do let me know what you think!

Disclosure: Together with other #SaanSaPH foodies, I was invited to check out the food stalls at this event. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

I finally ate at Mendokoro Ramenba!

Ever since I started going through my #RamenPhase three years ago, Mendokoro Ramenba has been the gold standard that longtime ramen connoisseurs have been encouraging me to try.

One foodie, in fact, advised me to withhold my judgement on where to find the best ramen until I have tasted what Mendokoro has to offer. What kept me from checking this resto out were news of the long waiting lines and the relative inaccessibility of its original branch in Makati to me.

Soon, I heard news that it opened a new branch in Bonifacio Global City and I eagerly waited for my chance to join the club of ramen aficionados whose tastebuds have experienced the sheer joy of Mendokoro’s ramen bowls.

Well, just the other day, I finally got the chance to taste two of its ramen offerings.

And I must say: I can totally understand the hype.

Mendokoro translates to “shared table” in Nihongo. In keeping with this concept, and consistent with its earlier branch in Makati, this resto features a bar-style seating arrangement. Patrons first order and pay for their food at the cashier, then they are ushered to their seats along the bar which can seat up to forty-five people. The ramen bowls and other food items are assembled in the open kitchen right smack in the middle of the bar and are served as soon as they are done.

Mendokoro Ramenba, BGC

Mendokoro Ramenba, BGC

After a meeting in a nearby building, my officemates and I, all newbies to Mendokoro Ramenba, decided to head on over to Icon Plaza and get a taste of the resto’s much-vaunted ramen bowls.

We split among ourselves the Shio Tonkotsu (Php370) and Tantanmen (Php420) bowls of the resto’s ramen offerings, two orders of Aji Tamago (Php80/order) and five pieces of Gyoza (Php200) which served as our appetizer.

Mendokoro Ramenba, BGC

Mendokoro Ramenba, BGC

Mendokoro Ramenba, BGC

Mendokoro Ramenba, BGC

Mendokoro Ramenba, BGC

Tonkotsu ramen are notable for the sheer amount of effort and time needed to properly prepare these dishes. The broth is made by boiling pork bones (“tonkotsu” in Nihongo) and other ingredients in water for up to eight hours, until it takes on a rich, cloudy appearance. Tonkotsu ramen are normally served with noodles that are still slightly firm, then topped with chashu, a slice or marinated pork belly. I prefer the salt-flavored shio ramen over the other options of miso and soy sauces-flavored shoyu ramen; fortunately, my companions agreed with my choice. We added the tamagos – marinated soft-boiled eggs – to our bowls for added richness.

Tantanmen, on the other hand, is the Japanese take on the Sichuan dish Dan Dan Noodles. In this delectable bowl of ramen, the noodles are engulfed with a rich, mildly spicy (we requested that the spiciness level be dialed down) broth, flavored with the nutty sweetness of from the sesame paste.

Each mouthful was a delight and we soon found ourselves slurping our bowls clean. Now I can hardly wait until I can come back to sample the other ramen options available here.

This Mendokoro Ramenba branch is located at Icon Plaza, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, open daily from 11am to midnight. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 8514844.

Its other branch is located at V. Corporate Center, Soliman Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. It is open daily from 11am to 12 midnight and assists inquiries and reservations via +63 2 4789625.

Mendokoro Ramenba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Luxury Wagyu at Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Just when you thought that you’ve tasted all there is to good ole’ steaks, here comes Miyazaki Gyu introduce us to a truly luxurious steak experience.

The restaurant got its name from the Miyazaki Prefecture in the Japanese island of Kyushu. It is the word’s second largest producer of beef from Japanese black cattle – referred to as miyazakigyu – which is known for having a high level of marbling, making the meat as tender and flavorful as can be.

The restaurant not only sells high-grade beef but also treats its diners to the optimal preparation of the meat, thereby maximizing flavor and texture. That is actually the driving force behind the resto: showcasing to local diners the full potential of miyazakigyu, as envisioned by its executive chef and youngest Iron Chef contender Kensuke Sakai.

Hubby decided to treat the family to the experience of eating such high-quality beef so we spent one of our weekend lunches over the holidays checking out its offerings.

The restaurant embodies a combination of Japanese simplicity with its clean lines and bamboo accents, and of luxurious opulence with its gold and leather interiors.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

A display of its various meat offerings takes pride of place, giving diners the option to take some home.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

For our luxurious miyazakigyu lunch, we had:

Beef Sushi (Php650). Slivers of tender wagyu draped over sushi rice and lightly doused with ponzu sauce served as our appetizer.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Hubby, my daughter #ExhibitA and I split orders of various beef cuts – Chuck Roll or Premium Steak (Php22/gram), Habaki or Special Part Steak (Php25/gram) and Top Round or Prime Marble Steak (Php32/gram) all cooked to medium doneness so we can savor their taste, juiciness and tender texture.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Hamburg Steak (Php900). Our little boy #ExhibitB, on the other hand, was treated to this tasty grilled ground beef burger patty.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

All of these meat dishes are preceded by a light vegetable salad and a steaming hot soup with slivers of wagyu beef.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

The steaks were served with sauteed bean sprouts, minced herbs and a bit of salt to bring out more of their flavor.

We also upgraded to the House Special Garlic Rice that went so well with the wagyu steaks.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Given its price range, dining at Miyazaki Gyu is really not for everyday enjoyment; for me, it’s for those rare occasions when you feel like you deserve a break from the ordinary. Its premium-grade wagyu surely takes you to a whole new level of experience.

Miyazaki Gyu is located at Podium Level, One Mckinley Place, 26th Corner 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open daily from 11am to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8296167 or +63 917 166 6673)

Miyazaki Gyu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

New Japanese Food Haunt: Dohtonbori, SM Megamall

After a bout of running errands in SM Megamall, Hubby and I decided to have lunch at the Dohtonbori located in foodie haven Mega Fashion Hall.  I found it funny that despite the restaurant being around for the past three years, I’ve only just gotten around to it recently.

Named after one of Osaka, Japan’s principal tourist destinations known for its rich and varied gastronomic options as well as its vibrant nightlife, Dohtonbori is driven by its philosophy of “Teppan Communication.”  This philosophy strives to make the environment surrounding the teppan – the iron plate on which the restaurant’s signature dishes are cooked – enjoyable and fun, where diners can experience a sense of being connected with each other as they share a meal.

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

The restaurant’s premises is reminiscent of the streets of Osaka, with light-colored pine wood walls, brightly-colored streamers and even a vintage bike on display!

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

For our midday repast, we opted not to avail ourselves of Dohtonbori’s claim to fame: the okonomiyaki. These are savory pancakes popular in Japan but unfortunately unfamiliar to Hubby and myself. (Well, we’ll probably try them on our next visit.)

Instead, we decided on ordering dishes that are more familiar to us, which include:

Endamame (Php90). Served freshly steamed and lightly salted, this is Hubby’s go-to appetizer whenever we’re at a Japanese resto.

Ajitama Ramen (Php350). Firm ramen noodles in a steaming soup base (I opted for the rich Tonkotsu broth), served with a melt-in-your-mouth piece of chashu pork, aonori seaweed and the tasty soft-boiled egg tamago.

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

Tempura Zaru Soba (Php350). Cold Japanese soba noodles served with dipping tsuyu sauce, wasabi, spring onion, shredded nori, and sesame seeds.

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

USDA Angus Striploin Yakiniku (Php750). A 200-gram well-marbled piece of striploin expertly cooked by a wait staff on the teppan right on our table.

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

Dohtunburi, SM Megamall

Our lunchtime foray into this piece of Osaka gave us a tasty and filling meal that fueled us up for the rest of our mall errands.

Did you know that Dohtonbori works with the Autism Society of the Philippines on its Autism at Work Program? This means that staff are trained and well-equipped to assist persons with autism who visit the restaurant. Furthermore, persons on the autism spectrum are trained, employed and accepted as part of the restaurant’s staff and the whole Dohtobori family. Being a mom of a child on the autism spectrum, I’m happy to support establishments like this that help to get differently abled people such as my son be more integrated into the mainstream and more productive members of society.

This Dohtonbori branch is located at Third Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (open daily from 11am to 10pm). For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 4772066.

Other branches are located at:

  • Cullinan Prime Building, 8 Missouri Street, Greenhills, San Juan City
  • Second Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
  • Upper Ground Floor, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

City of Dreams Manila opens a VR Zone and Food Park

City of Dreams Manila is changing the landscape of entertainment and dining as it unveils The Garage.The new attraction is a VR Zone and food park that enables guests to delve into the immersive experience of virtual reality entertainment and delight in a wide range of casual dining choices from the carefully curated selection of food and beverage trucks and trailers set in a comfortable, air-conditioned space.

Bandai Namco Amusement from Japan, one of the world’s leading video digital entertainment development companies, provides the virtual reality experience at the VR Zone.

“The Garage is City of Dreams Manila’s latest attraction featuring unique entertainment activities in partnership with Bandai Namco Amusement. With their creativity and cutting-edge technology, we are honored and delighted to partner with them, and together blaze a trail in delivering extraordinary entertainment experiences that go beyond gaming and recreation in the Philippines,” Kevin Benning, City of Dreams Manila’s Chief Operating Officer said.

The virtual reality experience provided by a leader in video digital entertainment development is complemented by quality food and drink choices offered by 10 of the hippest and contemporary food and beverage partners including the resort’s own talented staff. This concept, curated all in one place, makes The Garage a first of its kind in the country — “setting us apart from the rest,” adds Benning.

“Bandai Namco Amusement is honored to partner with luxury integrated resort City of Dreams Manila and bring to this exciting destination our first VR Zone entertainment facility in Southeast Asia. We hope to bring outside of Japan an immersive, multi-sensory and fun activities to Filipinos and foreign guests with our unique VR activities at The Garage,” Kunihisa Yagisita, Bandai Namco’s General Manager stated.

Set in a 2,714-square meter cool and comfortable space located at the upper ground floor, The Garage stands out with its modern industrial interiors catering to a 563-seating capacity. Designed by award-winning Paris-based creative design agency, Malherbe Design in collaboration with Westar Architectural Interior Design, a group known for its strong sensitivity to contemporary design aesthetics, The Garage is further given life and vibrancy with graffiti works of two prominent names in the street art scene: Kookoo Ramos and DeeJae Paeste.

Game of a lifetime

The Garage’s VR Zone features a new generation entertainment facility that offers an exhilarating and startling experience with top-of-class VR technology.

One of the exciting activities at the VR Zone is the famed Mario Kart Arcade GP VR, which was developed by Bandai Namco Amusement under license from Nintendo. The three-minute Mario Kart Arcade GP VR enables one to choose to play as one of the characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, or Yoshi; step right into the action-packed world of Mario Kart universe; and race until the finish line through a course filled with traps such as giant Piranha Plants and Thwomps or large stone creatures that attempt to crush the players. This highly sought-after game can be played by up to four persons and is open to enthusiasts 13 years old and above.

For those seeking a different kind of thrill, the Hospital Escape Terror, which can be played by up to four participants, is described as a ‘horrifying experience unlike ever before’. This immersive horror room game is open to thrill-seekers ages 13 years old and above. Hospital Escape Terror’s players have the goal to escape and survive altogether the dark, cursed, and abandoned hospital within nine minutes while being restrained on a wheel chair.

The two-minute Ski Rodeo on the other hand, is a steep downhill ski simulator that lets a player ski a vast snowy mountain course with sharp slopes and steep drops at an immense speed with the goal to finish at the fastest time possible or within the allotted time. This heart-dropping game, which can be played in pairs, is open to individuals with a height of 140 cm and up.

Tickets are available on site. Single player ticket price is available at P450 nett; while packages are available for those playing in groups or pairs: P800 nett for two persons playing Ski Rodeo; P1, 200 per person for three activities; and P1, 600 nett for a group of four persons playing Hospital Escape Terror or Mario Kart GP VR.

Gastronomic Galore

Going hand in hand with the one-of-a-kind entertainment experience, The Garage’s VR Zone is offering a selection of 10 food and beverage trucks and trailers: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, Katsu Sora, Pink’s Hotdog, Little Flour, El Chupacabra, Pizza Grigliata, Farmacy, Chocol8, The Roaster and Juiced. The casual dining experience is also enhanced with the sustainability drive of City of Dreams Manila: only eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable plates, utensils and take-out bags are used at The Garage.

Hailing from Japan, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka’s well-loved ramen is characterized by its mild, pearl-colored Tonkotsu soup which is carefully prepared by taking the time to simmer the pork bones before adding vegetables, dried fish, kelp and other special ingredients. This exceptional soup with thin-noodle ramen, and perfectly topped with mouthwatering slices of Char-siu pork and pickled plums is meant to be savored to the last spoonful.

Another food truck specializing in Japanese cuisine is Katsu Sora. A household name in the metro for good tonkatsu or Japanese deep-fried pork cutlet, Katsu Sora’s  secret to their naturally tender, marbled, and flavorful tonkatsu is the use of only premium pork meat. The restaurant is known for serving dishes that use four kinds of world-class pork that are of the highest quality: Iberico, Kurobuta, Shimofuri, and Sakura. Their Iberico and Kurobuta Tonkatsu sets are served with their famed Juugokokumai rice, a premium rice blend that includes white rice, corn, barley, millet, sesame seeds, and black beans.

Los Angeles’ most popular hot dog stand, Pink’s Hot Dogs has been hailed by multiple publications as the number one hot dog in America. A staple in Hollywood since 1939, their lip-smacking hot dogs especially the iconic “The Hollywood Legend,” which is a medley of Pink’s eponymous hotdogs with chili, cheddar cheese, mustard, and chopped onions, are sought after by everyone. This legend continues in Manila since opening their first store in 2016, and is offered together with other American favorites such as burgers, fries, nachos, and more.

Little Flour Café by the highly successful Wildflour Café + Bakery, is known for its well-loved and locally-inspired Filipino rice bowls, delicacies and grilled items.

El Chupacabra is a casual street taco bar serving a delectable array of Mexican-influenced dishes for lunch and dinner, as well as uniquely tweaked versions of popular local plates. Apart from Mexican-style street tacos, El Chupacabra is also known for burritos, enchiladas, and grilled chicken sticks.

Pizza Grigliata serves nothing but hot, freshly-made artisanal pizza to deliver a different kind of pizza experience that stands out from the rest. Uniquely prepared, Pizza Grigliata’s pizzas are handmade from scratch everyday using thin crust dough topped with the freshest ingredients which are torched and grilled.

Farmacy takes us back to the time of classic turn-of-the-century ice cream parlors. Satisfying the sweet tooth of guests, Farmacy is known for serving fresh homemade ice cream “the right way,” and for serving an extensive array of comforting treats such as milkshakes, sodas, coffee, and pastries.

Alongside the well-curated food and beverage outlets at The Garage are City of Dreams Manila’s own exceptional outlets: Chocol8, Juiced and The Roaster.

Chocol8 features handcrafted chocolates in a number of shapes and forms, and are enhanced with special ingredients such as fruits, nuts, and spices.

For those into healthy concoctions, Juiced offers a variety of freshly squeezed smoothies, slushies, and juices daily; while The Roaster is the go-to outlet for an array of gourmet coffee creations made from freshly roasted Philippine beans. In keeping with the resort’s sustainability campaign, the beans are sourced from coffee growers and farmers in various communities supported by the Philippine Coffee Board, Inc.

The Detox, Smoothies, and Sluhes

The bar at The Garage offers a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for guests to pair their choice of food from the trucks and trailers.


The Garage is open daily from 10 AM to 2 AM. For more information, call (+63 2) 800-8080 or email guestservices@cod-manila.com or visit www.cityofdreamsmanila.com.

Details provided by The Garage in a recent press release.

Yummy and affordable saikoro steaks at Wagyu by Monica in Unimart, Capitol Common

After some emergency grocery shopping (brought about by my need to stock up on food items during prolonged inclement weather) at Unimart in Capitol Commons, the fam discovered Wagyu by Monica‘s pop up store.  I should probably say my son’s insatiable tummy discovered it as we had just eaten lunch at Locavore in nearby Kapitolyo but he was still looking for some snacks. 🙂

Anyway, I also got attracted by the smell of steak grilling so I walked over to the stall.  Hubby gamely sponsored a stick each of saikoro steaks (grilled wagyu tenderloin cubes) at Php100 each for the kids and ourselves so that we all would be able to taste this delicacy.

(For those who want to eat it with Japanese rice, you would need to shell out Php130 for 1 wagyu stick and Php220 for 2 sticks.  Extra Japanese rice will cost you Php30.)

Saikoro steak is a popular izakaya (Japanese tapas style dish). The name translates to “dice” as the steaks are sliced into cubes similar to dice.

These saikoro steaks were even more special as they were made of 100% wagyu beef imported from Japan. Wagyu beef is known for its rich flavor owing to its increased marbling when compared to other beef varieties.

That taste was enough to convince us that we should have it for dinner tonight so Hubby again forked out Php800 for a container with a half-kilo (around 42-45 cubes) of these premium wagyu . The quarter-kilo (around 22-25 cubes) container was priced at Php500 and the 1-kilo (around 88-90 cubes) container was priced at Php1,500.

At home, I thawed the package out for 30 minutes then placed 2 cubes per mini-skewer (using the skewers I bought from All About Baking) to approximate the cooking and eating experience we had at the pop up store.  Then, following Hubby’s advice, I didn’t marinate the cubes anymore but placed them on a hot non-stick cookware (no oil or butter needed) to pan-grill them.

Wagyu by Monica

Wagyu by Monica

Wagyu by Monica

Per package instructions, I seared four sides of the cubes for 2 minutes each to achieve a medium well doneness. (Alternatively, you can sear the sides for 1 minute for rare doneness or for 3 minutes for well doneness). I just seasoned the cubes with a little salt and pepper to taste (I was careful not to overseason the cubes as they were already flavorful enough) and served them with hot steamed rice.

Wagyu by Monica

Well, the flavorfully juicy and melt-in-your-mouth saikoro steaks were a hit with the fam and now I’m already planning to buy the kilo container and serve the wagyu cubes during our next family gathering. It would be a bit expensive but still worth it!

Wagyu by Monica’s Pop Up Stores can be found at:

  • Unimart Capitol Commons: from Monday to Sunday, 10am to 10pm
  • EDSA Shangri-la Plaza Food Forum: from Friday to Saturday, 10am to 10pm
  • UP Town Center (beside Bon Chon): from Friday to Saturday, 10am to 10pm
  • SIDCOR Sunday Market (at ETON Centris): Sunday, 6am to 2pm
  • Cash and Carry Makati: open Monday to Sunday for 2 weeks (August 13 to 26), from 10am to 10pm.

Wagyu by Monica also delivers to any location in Metro Manila, accepting payments via online transfers or over-the-counter deposits in BDO or BPI. It also accepts cash on delivery with at Php130 charge on top of shipping fee.

Their wagyu cubes have a shelf life of one year they are kept in yhe freezer.

Contact Wagyu by Monica through:

  • Facebook: wagyubymonica
  • Instragram: wagyubymonica
  • Mobile: +63 917 6580221

Want to cook these wagyu cubes at home?  Check out the cooking equipment you might need at Amazon.com!

Prexware 7 Inch Bamboo Picks Paddle Skewers BBQ Picks 100 Pack

Happycall Nonstick Double Pan, Omelette Pan, Flip Pan, Square, Dishwasher Safe, PFOA-free, Red (Jumbo Grill, 3″H)

Spring Chef Kitchen Tongs – Salad Tongs with Stainless Steel and Silicone Tips, 2 Piece Locking Set Best for Serving and Cooking, 12 Inch

Ramen Birthday Treat at Ramen Nagi, Greenbelt

For the third time, I was able to enjoy Ramen Nagi’s famous Butao King Ramen at half-price, thanks to its ongoing Birthday Blowout promo. Fortunately, my daughter, #ExhibitA, is also a ramen fanatic, and was game to have ramen for lunch on the last Saturday of her birthmonth. (Coincidentally, we were also able to score free admission to the Ayala Museum that same day, courtesy of its #InspireEveryDay event. In effect, our entire outing that Saturday was on the frugal side yet jampacked with fun activities.)

Butao King (regularly priced at Php390), one of Ramen Nagi’s signature variants, is its classic tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen. It’s soup is rich, creamy and flavorful, thanks to the pork bone marrow and aromatics simmered for hours.

After presenting #ExhibitA’s ID (to be able to avail of the birthday promo), we filled out the order form which enabled us to customize our ramen order. Here’s a tip: first-timers at Ramen Nagi (or those who don’t want the pressure of thinking about how to customize their ramen) can just opt for the Chef’s Recommendation. At level 1 in terms of spiciness, the broth has some kick but is not too spicy for me. The noodles were firm and has a good texture. In hindsight, though, I think I would have preferred the kukuni (pork belly slab) instead of the chashu (pork belly strips) as the meat in my ramen.

Ramen Nagi, Greenbelt 3

We also ordered some Gyoza (Php220), the famous Japanese dumplings which consist of meat and spices wrapped then steamed and pan-fried. Ramen Nagi’s gyoza are served on a bed of beans sprouts on a sizzling plate for some added crunch.

With the superb meal (and the discount!), my #Saturdate with my daughter was a very enjoyable time!

Check out my review of other Ramen Nagi branches:

Ramen Nagi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This post contains affiliate links.

Want to make your own ramen at home? Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com.

Simply Ramen: A Complete Course in Preparing Ramen Meals at Home

Ramen: Japanese Noodles and Small Dishes

Ramen at Home: The Easy Japanese Cookbook for Classic Ramen and Bold New Flavors

Want to try your hand a cooking ramen 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.

Ramen Lunch at Don Bao, Kapitolyo

On our way to a bout of museum visits for our #Saturdate, my daughter and I decided to (again!) give in to our ramen craving and have an early lunch at Don Bao.

The resto is located in the foodie-friendly Kapitolyo area, along a line of eateries near D Ace Hotel. There is limited parking space here so you may want to park your vehicle in the nearby Pioneer Center if there are no more spaces available in front of the restaurant.

The resto’s name is a portmanteau of its main offerings: the donburi, or Japanese rice bowls (such Katsu Curry Don or Special Tendon), and the baos, or Chinese steamed folded buns that can be accompanied by practically any sort of fillings.

It is a quaint restaurant with cheery and colorful interiors, punctuated by cute and playful depictions of the resto’s ninja mascot on the walls and the store’s merchandise.

Thanks to an Eatigo offer, my daughter and I were able to enjoy 50% off on our orders:

  • Gyoza (Php160). The filling was flavorful but the wrapping was not as firm we were expecting.
  • Cheesy Bao (Php125) – I was intrigued by this combination of gyuniku, cheese, onion rings ans spring onions slid into a sliced bao. While I found the contrast of textures between the saucy, crunchy filling and the soft and puffy bao, the slightly sweet taste of the cheese was too overpowering.
  • Tonkotsu Ramen (Php299). I got the regular-flavored variant of this classic ramen flavor (as opposed to the spicier version). The broth and pork belly slice were full-flavored and the noodles were firm.
  • Pork Miso Ramen (Php299). My daughter was pretty satisfied with this ramen order but she requested that the corn kernels be removed (her personal preference).

We found the meal satisfying and a good departure from our everyday meals. Plus, with the Eatigo discount, the meal was made more affordable for us.

This Don Bao branch is located at Victoria Place 1 along Brixton Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Another branch is situated at First Capital Condominium, along Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City. For queries or to book a Don Bao stall for events, call +63 998 8638671 or email donbao.ph@gmail.com.

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

Want to have Don Bao delivered to your home or office? Download the HonestBee app through this link and get Php500 off purchases of Php2,500 or more.

Don Bao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ramen for a Rainy Day at Ramen Kuroda, SM Marikina

The recent bouts of heavy rain and colder weather gave rise to a craving for a bowl of hot, steaming and hearty ramen.  There really is something about slurping on some thick hot broth that drives the rainy day blues away.

During a recent back-to-school shopping trip at SM City Marikina, the fam joined me in giving in to my ramen craving when we decided to have lunch at the newly opened branch of Ramen Kuroda.

The place seems to be a hit as there was a line of people waiting to get in.  To help facilitate faster service, the hostess already facilitated the orders of the waiting patrons so that waiting will be minimal once the diners are seated in the dining area.

This restaurant’s mantra is to “make Real Ramen part of your everyday.”  This is central to its promise to its customers to provide:

  • carefully selected ingredients such as home-made noodles, soup and seasoned garlic oil that provide their distinctive flavor
  • speedy service to satisfy busy people
  • ramen that is affordable enough that you can enjoy it everyday
  • culinary supervision by an expert ramen chef
  • Japanese-quality ramen made accessible to more Filipinos

For the family’s lunch, we ordered:

  •  Ramen Chahan sets that already include ramen, rice and fruits such as:
    • Katsudon (Php380) with Aka Ramen. As Hubby likes spicy food, he ordered the ramen with a spicy bent.
    • Gyoza (Php320) with Shiro Ramen. I ended up splitting the gyoza with my daughter and giving my rice to my son as the ramen was hearty and filling enough, albeit a little bit too garlicky.
    • Karaage (Php360) with Shiro Ramen.  My daughter found the chicken pieces a bit small but she was able to get her fill of the ramen.
  • Tonkatsu (Php240) plus Rice (Php40) for my son.

A post shared by Jellybeans in the City (@beingjellybeans) on We found the meal as a whole filling and affordably priced, and the service staff friendly and accommodating, though a bit overwhelmed at the influx of diners.

Still, we found the resto’s mantra to have its fair share of overpromising. The resto would do well to settle on one or two propositions (such as affordability and fresh ingredients) and build from those, rather than have such lofty goals and be found lacking in some of them.

This branch is located at Ground Floor, SM City Marikina, Marcos Highway, Calumpang, Marikina City. For reservations and other queries, call + 63 2 7772839.

Other branches of Ramen Kuroda are located at:

  • SM FAIRVIEW: Annex 2 Lower Ground Floor Quirino Highway Cor.Regalado Avenue Quezon City
  • TV5: LaunchPad Reliance Corner Sherdian St. Mandaluyong City (Tel: + 63 2 6370220)
  • SM MANILA: 2/F SM Manila Conception Street Corner Arroceros and San Marcelino Streets, Manila (Tel: + 63 2 2438665)
  • CYBER & FASHION MALL EASTWOOD: 3/F Cyber and Fashion Mall Eastwood City Bagumbayan, Quezon City (Tel: + 63 2 5343414)
  • MEZZA RESIDENCES STA MESA: G/F The Strip at Mezza, Aurora Blvd. Araneta Avenue Quezon City (Tel: + 63 2 2417449)
  • VENICE GRAND CANAL MALL: 2/F Venice Grand Canal Mall, McKinley Hill, Upper McKinley Road Taguig City (Tel: + 63 2 5521170)
  • LUCKY CHINA TOWN MALL: 3/F Lucky China Town Mall, Reina Regente corner Dela Reina Streets, Binondo, Manila (Tel: + 63 2 2418157)
  • ASEANA II: Ground Floor Aseana II BRADCO Avenue Aseana City Paranaque City (Tel: + 63 2 8326246)
  • RCBC PLAZA MAKATI: 3/F RCBC PLAZA 6819 Ayala Avenue Makati (Tel: + 63 2 8326216)
  • BF HOMES: #96 Aguirre Avenue, Phase 2 BF Homes Paranaque City (Tel: + 63 2 5536824)

Ramen Kuroda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Learn more about Japanese cuisine by checking out these 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.

Lamonfest at Vikings, SM Megamall

Vikings seems to be the default buffet resto for celebrations and family gatherings.  Known for its lavish decor that display sumptuous spreads of mouth-watering dishes from various cuisines throughout the world, Vikings can generate long waiting lines of avid diners.

The fam, together with the in-laws, recently dined at Vikings at SM Megamall’s Mega Fashion Hall for bro-in-law’s birthday celebration.

With an all-you-can-eat arrangement at the rates below, the family is definitely in for a #lamonfest:

  • Adults: Php738 (weekday lunch); Php938 (weekday dinner, weekends and holidays lunch and dinner)
  • Kids:
    • for kids below 3 feet: FREE!
    • for kids 3 feet to 4 feet: Php208  (weekday lunch); Php938 (weekday dinner, weekends and holidays lunch and dinner)
    • for kids 4 feet to 6 feet: Php418 (weekday lunch); Php618 (weekday dinner, weekends and holidays lunch and dinner)

Note: Rates not yet inclusive of the 5% service charge.

For this #lamonfest, I focused on some dishes that I don’t usually have the opportunity to taste that often: the Seafood Paella (I guess I’m going through a paella phase now), the Lengua Estofado (went so well with the paella for a great taste of Spain) and the Leg of Lamb.  The Ebi Tempura is always a good bet (and always nearly depleted by the time I get there, hehehe!), but some of the meats in the carving station fell short of my expectations: the Stuffed Turkey was a bit dry and the Angus Beef was tough and chewy.

For dessert, no one can tear my away from my favorite Puto Bumbong (since it always reminds me of Christmas; I even went to the Cheese Station and sprinkled some grated premium cheddar on it) and Avocado Ice Cream (as it’s hard to find ice cream of this flavor in the supermarkets).  I also tried the Caramel Dip for the Churros and the moist Carrot Bar.

Overall, it was a great dining experience for the family.

To make the most of your #lamonfest at Vikings, you might want to make sure you do the following:

  • Make your reservation. This way, you avoid waiting outside and can just walk right in as soon as you arrive. To make your reservation, you can call +63 2 8454647 (this hotline covers all Vikings branches), book via the Booky app (you may get some discounts at selected branches), or book online via the Vikings website.
  • Check out Vikings’ current promos.  You just might get big savings.  For example, birthday celebrants get to eat for free on the day of their birthday so long as they’re with one full-paying adult, or any day of their birth month if they’re accompanied four full paying adults.  Until June 30, members of the graduating class of 2018 can eat for free as long as they’re with three full paying adults (which is why my daughter snapped a photo of her diploma before we left the house).  Just make sure that you bring all the necessary documents.  For more details on these promos, click here.
  • Pace yourself.  Scope out the spreads first and pick the ones you want for your gastronomic explorations, be they your tried-and-tested favorites or some new cuisines you want to sink your teeth into (literally and figuratively!). Sample a bit of of the food and just come back for seconds to avoid leftovers.  There are an awful lot of food here and you don’t want to already be in a food coma just when you get to the stuff you want.

For tips on how to survive a buffet, check out my blog post: Buffet Survival Guide: All-You-Need-to-Know to Eat-All-You-Can.

Check out my blog reviews of other buffet restos:

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

A vastly improved dining experience at Teriyaki Boy, SM East Ortigas

My first and second dining experiences in the SM East Ortigas branch of Teriyaki Boy with my family were less than stellar as detailed in my previous post.  I was therefore quite pleasantly surprised when I received an invitation from the management to dine again at the same branch for free.

Together with Hubby and the kids, I set out to give this branch another chance.

Well, what can I say? The service and kitchen team set out to wow our group and they did!

As instructed, I looked for the manager-on-duty, Acee, when we arrived.  The service crew immediately ushered us to our seats and handed us the menu until Acee came out to greet us.

She clarified a lot of my misgivings during my earlier visits in this branch.  For one thing, our first visit here was during the first week of the branch’s opening and the group was still ironing out some kinks in the system while dealing with the first rush of people.  Another was on how we can better enjoy the steaks we cross-ordered from Teriyaki Boy’s sister-restaurant Sizzlin’ Steak (more on that in this post).

From Teriyaki Boy’s menu, we ordered most of what we got during our first visit such as:

  • Tempura Tuna Tartare (Php165) – This spicy mix of tuna sashimi, Japanese mayo and tempura flakes is a great appetizer as the slight spicy kick of the wasabi-seasoned sashimi is counterbalanced by the creamy mayo and the texture of the tempura flakes.
  • Gyoza (Php155 for 5 pieces) – Another of my daughter’s favorite appetizers, these steamed and seared pork dumplings were juicy and flavorful on the inside and has a slight crisp on the outside.
  • Dynamite Roll (Php185 for 8 pieces)– I found this sushi roll composed of fresh tuna, chili oil, Japanese mayo and Japanese chili pepper togarashi too spicy for my taste but Hubby loves it and orders practically all the time.
  • Tonkatsu (Php280) – This breaded and deep-fried pork is actually my son’s favorite dish.  We just ordered a Gohan (Php65), or steamed Japanese rice, to go with this viand. We are happy to note that this time, the breading does not fall apart from the meat unlike in our previous visit.
  • Katsu Ju (Php345)– Pork tonkatsu that has also been simmered in sweet soy sauce, diced onions and sliced leeks, and served with a beaten egg on top of steamed Japanese rice, and whose blend of flavors and textures appealed to my daughter.
  • Teriyaki Boy Cotton Cheesecake (Php115)– This cross between a rich cheesecake and an airy souffle is one of Japan’s most popular desserts.  Next time, though, I’ll request to have the chocolate syrup on the side rather than drizzled on the cake.

This much more enjoyable time at Teriyaki Boy was also brought about by the attention and assistance of servers Rhea and JR who immediately fulfilled, and even anticipated, our requests.

The week after this visit, Hubby and I dined at Sizzlin’ Steak and we cross-ordered Endamame (Php90) for our appetizer, two orders of Tonkatsu and Yakimeshi Rice (Php75).

I’m glad I was able to have the opportunity to change my mind about this resto.

By the way, with the Max’s Group’s All You Can Wednesdays Promo, you can eat all the Ebi Tempura you want at Teriyaki Boy from 2pm to closing time at only Php349, available all the Wednesdays in June.  More details are available in this blog post.

Teriyaki Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato