Christmas Lunch with the Family at Fireside by Kettle, Rockwell

As the fam was spending Christmas Day with the in-laws, we decided to hie ourselves off to the Rockwell Powerplant Mall for lunch and a bit of holiday window-shopping.

Most of us are confirmed carnivores so it’s not really surprising that we gravitated towards the hearty grilled meats and All-American dishes offered by the Fireside by Kettle branch located at the outer premises of the mall.

The restaurant has a warm and casual vibe with smartly dressed wait staff and modern/industrial-style interiors accented by holiday decor. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in a lot of natural light, giving the space a bright and airy feel. There was also ample space for our group of six, as well as the other diners.

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

For our Christmas Day Lunch, we ordered:

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers (Php549).  Slivers of chicken breasts brined for 24 hours, covered with Cajun Ritz cracker breading then deep-fried, then served together with Cajun honey and cornbread doughnuts. The chicken pieces were crispy to the bite but with tender and juicy meat, well complemented by the gravy provided. The cornbread doughnuts doused with honey provided a sweet break from the chicken’s savory flavor.

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

50/50 Meatloaf (Php409). Half of this is made of ground bacon while the other half is made of ground Angus beef and served with a spicy-sweet barbecue sauce and garlic mashed potatoes. I’m not a big fan of meat loaf per se but I found this iteration more flavorful and juicier than most versions I have tasted.

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

Double-cut Pork Chop (Php539).  Two thick slices of tender pork chops brined in honey cider and served with peppercorn-mustard cream sauce with grilled apples and grilled vegetables. We availed of two orders of this dish, given the number of carnivores in our group.

Fireside, Rockwell

Fireside, Rockwell

We ordered Garlic Rice (Php79), Steamed Rice (Php59) and Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Php119) to accompany our hearty main dishes.

The dishes were promptly served by the wait staff and with their large servings, our group was well satisfied.

Fireside, Rockwell

This Fireside by Kettle branch is located at Ground Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 12midnight.  For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 8018457.

Another branch can be found at Ground Floor, Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 12midnight.  For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 8243043.

Fireside by Kettle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Great flavors at Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant

I’m not much of a drinker. Actually, I’m not a drinker. Period.

You would think a non-tippler would have found little to appreciate in Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant, but there I was with my officemates during lunchtime, marveling at the resto’s Instagrammable minimalist organic-themed aesthetic and its unusual and yet comforting food offerings.

This hole-in-the-wall establishment may seem small but its warmly lit and quite cozy. It’s unique style manifested in the old Latin saying prominently displayed in one of its walls – “In vino veritas; in cervesio felisitas” or “In wine there is truth; in beer there is happiness,” definitely a mantra among its patrons who have high regard for their spirits.

Our group of four were the only ones there. Our lone wait staff – RJ – was attentive, prompt in assisting requests and knowledgeable about the resto’s food choices.

I ordered a Salted Egg Pasta (Php250), spaghetti noodles with a creamy salted egg sauce and topped with bacon bits. It was a hit among our group but I would suggest splitting this order with someone; the sauce is quite rich and strongly flavored, and the dish is heavy on the tummy.

I was also able to try out my companions’ orders:

  • The Grilled Meat Chop (Php290), one of Vitto’s All Day Brunch meals, consisted of two hefty pork chops, well-seasoned to bring out their smoky taste, and well complemented by garlic rice and sautéed veggies. I will order this on my next visit.
  • The Potato Croquettes with Blue Cheese Mayo (Php190), on the other hand, had the problem of having a bland-tasting mashed potato base, we needed to further season it with salt.
  • Lastly, the Citrus Fish Fillet (Php220) consisted of two fillets of baked cream dory marinated in lemon. Its light taste and mild texture were well complemented by its rich butter sauce. It went well with the garlic rice my officemate requested as a replacement to its usual side of mashed potato.

While its wine list wouldn’t really appeal to me, Vitto’s food menu is definitely something I wouldn’t mind exploring.

Vitto’s Wine Bar & Restaurant is located at 114 Scout Lozano Street, Laging Handa, QC.

Vitto's Wine Bar & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other wine bars:

Want to profess your love of vino to the world?  Check out these wine-themed items on!

Primitives By Kathy Single Wine Bottle Holder – Whimsical Wine Box Sign

VinoPlease 4 Wine Coasters – Wine Gifts Accessory for Any Wine Enthusiast

5 Wine Stoppers + Gift Box – Perfect Wine Gift Accessory, Set of 5 Funny Silicone Wine Reusable Caps Stoppers for Wine and Beer Bottles – Vinaka Wine Stoppers


Steak indulgence at Melo’s

My love for steak is well-known.  Well-documented, even. Consider the steak escapes I blogged about here: Mad Mark’s in Glorietta, Mad Mark’s in BGC, Artsy Cafe and the steak spread at Marriott Cafe buffet.  I even ask my relatives coming home from the States to bring home slabs of Stateside beef to be grilled here.

You can definitely consider me a carnivore.  This is why I was over the moon when a credit card promo entitled me to up to 67% discount on selected steak sets at Melo’s.

And wouldn’t you know it: the stars aligned.  I have officemates who are also certified steak fanatics and a Melo’s branch is right across the street from our office!

So I made a quick call to reserve our table (originally for just four but grew to seven), then we all trooped to Melo’s for lunch.  We all ordered the Angus Lunch Set (regularly priced at Php1,500 but promotionally priced at only Php599; more than half off the price!).

The meal started with the bread, butter and soup. We all chose a creamy soup to go with our meal but the real star of the pre-steak lunching were those freshly-baked bread rolls!   (And there we were, singing praises about bread.)  We just had to request for some more. (And it’s a good thing our requests for seconds were granted).

Then came our steak plates which consisted of a thick slice of juicy and flavorful Angus beef, grilled medium-well, served with small servings of vegetables which let us savor our steaks with minimal distractions to our palates.

I heard that the promo is ongoing until end of December this year.  Looks like I’ll be going back there!

Melo’s branches participating in the promo are:

  • Melo’s Quezon City: #58 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (Tel. Nos: 924-9194 or 924-9168)
  • Melo’s Burgos Circle: Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global, City Taguig (Tel. Nos.: 403-5968 or 403-5969)
  • Carmelo’s Greenbelt: Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City (Tel. Nos: 625-5954 or 625-5986)

Advanced booking is required so be sure to call before you go there.

Melo's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

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

The Book of Steak

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

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