Winner winner, chicken dinner at Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Just when you thought fried chicken is already “gasgas” (tired) as a food concept, here comes Bad Bird with its own bold statement: the umami fried chicken.

While many restos would tout the absence of MSG (monosodium glutamate) in their dishes, Bad Bird goes all out with it, using this ingredient in its natural and processed forms: dashi, mushroom powder, furikake, miso, and more!

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Through trial and error, it has developed its proprietary fried chicken seasoning, the one that produces that umami taste, the inherent savoriness of fried chicken brought about to tickle and delight our taste buds.

On our way to another food adventure, fellow foodies Jen of SandUnderMyFeet, Nix of IEatAndIWander and I decided to sate our hunger at Bad Bird by pooling our GCs (the currency of the blogger microeconomy, hehehe). Our winning repast included:

Torched Corn & Cheese Chicken Plate (Php375). A huge piece of Bad Bird’s badass umami fried chicken – all crispy and juicy ready for our tummies – with our new favorite side dish, the torched corn kernels in cream cheese.

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

We added Bad Bird’s refreshing citrusy Homebrew Iced Tea to this meal set for just Php69 and upgraded the set’s original steamed rice to Dirty Rice (fried rice with bits of bacon, kimchi, liver and tamago) for just Php89.

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Mango Rice Milk (Php170). A sweet and slightly tart shake made with fresh mango and Korean rice milk.

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Garlic and Butter Crispy 2-Fry Wings (Php275). Six pieces of chicken wings tossed in the fragrant and flavorful garlic and butter sauce.

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Rich Pork Noodles (Php265). One of Bad Bird’s filling noodle dishes where every noodle is bursting with umami.

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

By introducing new flavors to the classic fried chicken, Bad Bird has certainly revived the dish and remade it into something new to enjoy.

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Bad Bird, SM Megamall

Did you know that if you and a friend ordered two drinks at Bad Bird, you can get the same two drinks free when you unlock your Zomato Gold privilege?

Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food and 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks.  All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use the code VOLT0979 to get 10% off the membership fee.

This Bad Bird branch is located at Third Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open daily from 11am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 77539729.

Other branches may be found at:

  • Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Hole in the Wall, Fourth Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Pedro Gil Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila

Bad Bird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other chicken places in the metro:

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!

Delicious Holiday Food Finds at Ilustrado

Make your holiday gatherings and gift giving more special with unique and delicious finds from Ilustrado Restaurant.

Ilustrado’s Holiday Tienda offers something for everyone. The cheese lover will surely love homemade cheese wheels in Boursin, Pimiento (a sure kids’ favourite!), Spicy Cheese – Edam with garlic and spices, varieties. You cannot go wrong with bottled Atsara, Bagoong, Moringga Pesto, Gourmet Tuyo and Chimichurri.

Ilustrado Holiday

Ilustrado Holiday

Ilustrado Holiday

Tea Cookies come in boxes of 12 cookies in flavors of Double Chocolate, Coconut, Matcha Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Snickerdoodles. Brownies come in boxes of 4 bars with Cashew, S’mores, Salted Caramel, Pretzel and Cream Cheese flavors. Ready to serve for a party are Cake Squares in a box with these delectable selections – Baked Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge and Sans Rival. Cheese Pimiento Wreath and Quezo de Bola Ensaimada Tree are both unique, festive and appetizing.

Ilustrado Holiday

Ilustrado Holiday

A new addition to their lineup are fun Artisan Holiday Boxes dubbed “Christmas Morning” – a selection of cookies, brownies, loose leaf tea and tablea chocolate while “Holiday Cheer” is a Graze Box with Jamon Serrano, Chorizo, Stuffed Lychee with Roquefort and Pistachio, Chorizo Puffs, Spicy Cheeseball, Boursin Cheeseball, Chocolate Dipped Dried Mangoes, Crostini and Pretzels, Mandarin Oranges, Marinated Tomatoes and Olives. These are the perfect hostess gifts to bring to a party or as gifts in themselves to those you hold dear.

Ilustrado Holiday

To spruce up your Noche Buena table, choose from a long list of mouthwatering selections: the stellar Twice Cooked Angus Beef Short Plate is a must order along with Adobong Bagnet with Taba ng Talangka, Callos Madrilena, Kalderetang Kambing, Lengua con Setas, Hamon de Hacienda, Stuffed Chicken Ilustrado (ala Relleno), Pineapple Glazed Leg of Ham and U.S. Prime Rib.

Ilustrado Holiday

Your meal will not be complete without Ilustrado’s Signature Paella. Choose from Paella Ilustrado (Meat and Seafood), Paella Marinara (All Seafood), Paella Negra (Squid Ink)or Paella Bacalao.

Ilustrado Holiday

Those who like pasta and noodles can pick from Classic Carbonara, Espanyola (Spanish Sardines, sun-dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil) Filipino Spaghetti, Ilustrado (Shrimp, olive oil, Paprika) Machito (Tenderloin Bits and Mushroom) Palabok with Bagnet and Pata Pancit.

Ilustrado Holiday

To know more offerings and other details visit Ilustrado at ‪744 General Luna Road‬, Intramuros, Manila (‪527-3674‬, ‪527-2345‬); Café Ilustrado, 4th Level SM Makati (‪818-6760‬) or Pasteleria Ilustrado, 2nd level, Alabang Town Center (‪0919-845-9503‬) or email caterings@ilustradorestaurant.com.ph or log on to www.facebook.com/ilustradorestaurant/.

Disclosure: Menu details and images provided by Ilustrado Restaurant in a recent press release.

Check out my previous post about Ilustrado Restaurant’s Degustation Menu here.

Accidental Vegetarian Lunch at Wabi Sabi, Tomas Morato

Hidden in a nondescript building along Scout Madrinan in Quezon City is a small noodle house called Wabi Sabi.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Named after the Japanese worldview of finding beauty in impermanence and imperfection, this cozy restaurant embodies “wisdom in natural simplicity.”

A friend and I chanced upon this eatery during one of our more adventurous lunchtime forays. Wanting a change of scenery (as well as food choices), we veered away from our usual haunts and found ourselves at this unusual joint.

My friend and I didn’t realize that it was a vegetarian restaurant at first and by the time we did, I didn’t want to walk back out in the heat of the sun wearing my impractical wedge shoes looking for another place to eat in.

Well, I’m glad we stayed. 🙂

The dining space occupies a small area; it can accommodate around fifteen people. The menu is written in the big chalkboard above the counter. The menu items may seem familiar but they’re all vegetarian and contain no meat.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

As this was out first visit, my friend and I decided to try dishes that are a bit more familar to us. She ordered the Tantanmen (Php220) while I got the Shio Ramen (Php200).

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Inspired by the Dan dan Noodles of Sichuan cuisine, Tantanmen is characterized by its rich slightly spicy peanut-flavored broth, made richer and thicker by miso paste. Here, the traditionally used ground pork and chicken stock are substituted with veggie meat and vegetable stock, and sesame seeds are used to flavor the slightly sweetish sauce instead of peanuts.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

The Shio Ramen, on the other hand, also features a meat substitute for the traditional chashu pork slice and the broth is clearer than what I’m used to.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

From a taste of Japan, I went for a taste of Vietnam with my post-lunch drink: Kaphe Suada (Php75). Boiling water is poured over Vietnam-grown ground coffee beans into a bed of condensed milk, stirred then poured into a tall glass with ice, resulting into a sweet and invigorating beverage.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi Sabi is a welcome and lucky discovery for me and I don’t mind returning to sample its other healthy offerings.

Wabi Sabi is located at Ground Floor, POS Building, Scout Mandriñan Street Corner Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Quezon City. For inquiries, call +63 918 9622935.

Wabi-Sabi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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: