A walk on the wild side at Wyld Kitchen x Bar, Tomas Morato

Tomas Morato is home to a vibrant foodie scene: concept restaurants abound in the area, each offerings its own take at particular cuisines.

Along Mother Ignacia Avenue, for example, is Wyld Kitchen x Bar, a new haven for Quezon City denizens seeking to destress and enjoy a few drinks and eats in a hip yet intimate setting.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Inspired by the wilderness of Colorado in the US, the restobar has a rustic feel to it but tempered with modern sensibilities such as zero waste and sustainability. The wall hangings resembling tree branches and the heavy tables, for instance, are made of recycled wood and metals. All utensils are reusable, and even the metal straws.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld, Tomas Morato

During a recent meetup with fellow Zomato foodies, I was able to sample some of this restobar’s nature-infused offerings, which include:

Wyld Beef Burger (Php450). A perfectly blended and grilled beef patty with an earthy and smokey flavor and juicy texture, accompanied by a mulberry steak sauce, poached egg, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion in a warm brioche bun.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Grilled Herb Marinated Flank Steak (Php550). Medium-grilled slices of flank steak served with a compound herb butter, thick fried potato wedges, sauteed French beans and cherry tomatoes.

Wyld Kitchen x Bar, Tomas Morato

Fish and Chips (Php380). Beer-battered cream dory served with potato fries and a zesty egg dressing.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Pesto Pasta (Php350). House-made pesto sauce with pistachios, microgreens and parmesan. It gets an additional touch of nature with its garnish of edible butterfly pea flowers.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Our group was also able to sample Wyld’s imaginatively prepared signature cocktails such as:

Non-alcoholic drinks

Butterfly Fizz (Php95), made of soda water and fresh lemon juice accented by a butterfly pea flower.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Aloe & Coco (Php90), made with aloe vera juice, fresh basil and nata de coco.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Alcoholic drinks

Afterglow (Php250), made of gin, calamansi liqueur, housemade camote tops syrup and fresh lemon juice.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Radiculous (Php280), made of vodka infused with radish (of all things! :-)) elderflower liqueur, aloe vera juice and garnished with a slice of pickled radish on a spear.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

In Love with Cacao (Php295), a mixture of cacao liqueur, coffee liqueur, amaretto, brandy and cinnamon powder. I chose this drink as I’m a coffee and chocolate lover. Sipping on this sweet and icy cocktail in between bites of the food served was refreshing, and it gave me a happy buzz for the rest of the evening.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

With its rustic and laid-back atmosphere and its refreshingly unique take on its food and drink offerings, it sure seems like Wyld Kitchen x Bar is a welcome addition to Tomas Morato’s food scene!

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld Kitchen x Bar is located at Second Floor, The Grandia Place, 143 Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Wednesdays from 5pm to 1am and Thursdays to Saturdays from 5pm to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 919 9908805.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Wyld Kitchen x Bar through Zomato Gold? 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.

You can also book your table using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

WYLD Kitchen x Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro:

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.

4 Things to Like About The Pallet, Poblacion

The area of Makati called Poblacion, previously known as the city’s red light district, has evolved into a pretty happening place. It has given rise to concept restaurants, quick chows and bars that offer Makati workers and residents alternative choices for dining, hanging out and entertainment away from the usual malls.

One such place is The Pallet.

The Pallet, Poblacion

A food park located at the corner of Dona Carmen and Jacobo Streets in Poblacion, backroads to Kalayaan Avenue, The Pallet is an off-the-beaten track venue.

For my first-ever Looloo Rendezvoos, I was invited to check this place out and experience the various possibilities it affords to its patrons. I found a lot to like about it so I summarized them down to a list which will hopefully help fellow foodies discover a new favorite place to hang out and dine.

No. 1: Ample parking space and helpful security guard.

Having braved the rush hour all the way from QC, I was relieved I didn’t have to worry about where to park my car. Manong guard was quick to assist me in finding a spot and guiding me while I park.

No. 2: Chill surroundings.

Being located in backstreets away from all the hustle and bustle of Makati’s busy streets and surrounded by a residential area, The Pallet has a chill and relaxed atmosphere that distanced me from the usual stresses of work and traffic.

The Pallet, Poblacion

The Pallet, Poblacion

The Pallet, Poblacion

No. 3: Lots of food choices!

Given its relatively small area, I’m surprised at the number and variety of dining choices available. I’ll blog about them in more detail later but suffice to say that the foodie in me got quite excited with The Pallet’s tenants and their offerings. These include:

Mang Jose’s Ihaw Ihaw – for yummy and fuss-free grilled meats and pulutans

The Pallet, Poblacion

Antojitos – for a taste of Mexico from cheese-filled nachos and quesadillas to filling burritos and more

The Pallet, Poblacion

Asian Hawker – for a taste of Singaporean street food from the Char Kwai Teoh rice dish to the creamy Laksa

The Pallet, Poblacion

Uncle Moe’s Shawarma Hub – for a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine from the flavorful kababs to hefty shawarmas

The Pallet, Poblacion

Takohub – it was my first time to see takoyaki balls this huge!

The Pallet, Poblacion

Heath Burger – because healthy cam be tasty too, especially those mushrooms masquerading as chicken nuggets

The Pallet, Poblacion

Ramen Attack – that Tantanmen was a revelation! And the Steak & Rice got me craving for more!

The Pallet, Poblacion

Creamco Creamery – rolled ice cream that’s as pretty as it was sweet and yummy

The Pallet, Poblacion

Inum Bar – cocktails for that relaxed after-work buzz

The Pallet, Poblacion

No. 4: Live music!

On Wednesday nights this November, enjoy live music from up-and-coming artists such as DJ Aryan (90’s Night) on November 21 and DJ SP (Hiphop Throwback) on November 29.

These are just some of the reasons why The Pallet appeals to me. Check it out and see if it might grow to be your favorite place too!

The Pallet is located at 5804 Dona Carmen corner Jacobo Streets, Poblacion, Makati City. For inquiries, email thepalletpark@gmail.com.

Disclosure: Together with other Looloo users, I was invited to join a Looloo Rendezvoos held at this venue.  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.

A quiet place to work and eat (and even study!): Quarks & Quills, Banawe

Technology has enabled many changes to the way we work: with mobile devices, wireless data access and internet-enabled communications and file-sharing applications, we now have the option to work outside our offices.  In fact, doing so might even make us more productive: it takes us away from the stress of commuting and a lot of workplace distractions.

However, when working from home is not an option, remote workers are faced with a conundrum: where to work in comfort and still be productive?  And for foodies like me, where to get good food to fuel the day’s work.

Fortunately, Quarks & Quills Study Center and Work Cafe offers both a quiet and comfy space to work, as well as healthy comfort food to keep tummies satisfied.

Located in one of the suburbs of Quezon City, the cafe boasts of quiet and cozy nooks for studying or working, free WiFi access, as well as power outlets for charging laptops and mobile devices (essential for the “always-on, always-connected” peeps like me).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

It also has function rooms upstairs for group meetings that can be reserved for a consumable amount (Php800 for up to 6 people and Php1,500 for up to 20 people). Reservations just need to be made a day in advance.

It also offers after-school tutorial services and enrichment programs in Math, Science and English for students.  Those who want to learn Chinese can benefit from Mandarin and Fookien held upstairs.

And thanks to a Zomato Foodie Meetup, I was able to sample its homey and hearty food offerings, of which I recommend:

Monte Cristo (Php125). French toasted sandwiched with a hearty filling of cheese and homemade ham.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Tinapa Wontons (Php105). Smoked fish flakes in wonton wrappers fried to a crispy golden brown and accompanied by a Spicy Tamarind Vinaigrette.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Gyoza (Php105). Dumplings filled with minced pork and aromatics which are steamed then seared for a crisp bottom.

Breakfast Bubble Waffle Set (Php195). Unusually styled (bubble!) waffles served with slices of homemade ham and scrambled eggs.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Its versions of Omurice, the fusion of omelettes and fried rice, also pack quite a punch: the Pork Katsu (Php195) with its fork tender pork bites drenched in tonkatsu sauce and the Miso Salmon (Php255) with flavorful salmon pieces drenched in the resto’s signature Miso glaze. These would go a long way towards satiating a hungry worker or student.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Sisig Silog (Php150). The combo of the slightly spicy sisig, egg and fried rice make for an energizing meal.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

For those who brought a big appetite, the best bets this resto has to offer are its Executive Meals: the BSS Pork Chop (Php335) – BSS means Big, Soft and Savory, by the way!) – and the Angus Hanger Steak (opening promo price of Php388). Both are quite good bargains considering the portion sizes, althought I would suggest specifying that the steak be cooked medium instead of well done.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

If you’re carbo-loading, you have quite a number of options among its pasta dishes: from its Creamy Alfredo (Php180), Fresh Tomato Pomodoro (Php190) and Fusili Pesto (Php205), all of which come with a cheesy twisty sourdough bread stick.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also cap off your meal or gift your family for special occasions with the resto’s decadent sweet treats that come in slices and whole cakes. These include the Triple Chocolate Mousse (Php110 for slice | Php880 for whole) and Mango Graham Cake (Php135 for slice | Php1,050 for whole).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also opt for a S’mores Bubble Waffle (Php140). Apparently, at Quarks & Quills, the usual grid-style waffle is so basic. 🙂 This comes with some toasted mallows, a big dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of rich chocolate syrup.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Now, how to wash all those goodies down? I chose a light yet creamy Hot Jasmine Milk Tea (Php70), which I messed up during prep, hehehe!

I’m also intrigued by the Hot Chocolate (Php80) which involves pouring the hot chocolate over a grid of solidified chocolate and toasted mallows.

Whether you’re here to study, work or just go on a gastronomic adventure, Quarks and Quills definitely has something for you. My only beef is the resto’s exhaust that didn’t quite accommodate all the smoke from the cooking that’s going on.  Still, all the food and drink options will make your visit worth it.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

And guess what! You can book a table at Quarks & Quills via Eatigo and enjoy 20% off your food bill. Not yet on Eatigo? Sign up here, book your table and attend your booking before January 31, 2019 for a chance to get Php500 Eatigo cash voucher.

Quarks & Quills is located at 43-H N. Roxas corner Apo Streets, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City and is open every day from 7am to 11pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 908 3719060, +63 956 0998913 or +63 2 8719502.

Quarks & Quills Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend 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.

Breakfast at BenCab Museum’s Cafe Sabel

Part of the family’s Baguio vacay itinerary is a visit to the BenCab Museum. After hearing rave reviews about the place from friends for so long, and having an art geek for a daughter, I was glad to finally step foot in it.

Well, the 30-minute travel and all the walking around that we did took its toll on me and I got so hungry. The fam then decided to take our breakfast at Cafe Isabel, located at BenCab Museum’s lowest level.

Similar to the museum’s upper levels, Cafe Sabel offers fantastic views of the mountainside. It also leads to an organic farm and garden that, sadly, we weren’t able to explore due to the rain. The farm supplies fresh and organic ingredients for the cafe’s food offerings.

Our food orders were:

  • Basil Pesto (Php200). The pasta has a fresh flavor and is adequate as a snack. You might want to add to your order if you’re really hungry (like we were!)
  • Bagnet Rice (Php350). The crispy bagnet with melt-in-your-mouth fat went so well with the mountain red rice and chili eggplant salsa. After seeing me finish off my plate, hubby ordered his own.
  • Carbonara (Php200). A bit on the saucy side but good, nonetheless.
  • Strawberry Shake (Php120). It still has a bit of natural tartness from the fresh strawberries but my little boy loved it.
  • Hot Caramel Coffee (Php150). It was a good pick-me-upper and helped energize me for the rest of the tour.

Hopefully, I get to visit the cafe again in the near future to try out its hot choco!

Cafe Sabel follows the same hours as the museum: 9am to 6pm Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays, Christmas and New Year’s Day).

For more info on BenCab Museum, click here.

Chocoholic indulgence at Maitre Chocolatier, Tomas Morato

Chocolate has long been associated with desserts and sweets, but its origins are decidedly and deliciously savory. Bitter fermented beverages made from cacao beans date back to 350 BC in Mesoamerica where it was believed to have magical properties. Cacao beans were considered so precious that they have been used as currency.

Chocolate’s sweetened variants came about due to European influence. Its unsweetened form was unappreciated by Europeans but once mixed with honey or sugar, it quickly grew in popularity which spread from Spain to rest of the continent.

The Industrial Revolution brought with machines and processes that sped up the production of this sweet confection and now, chocolate is a multi-billion industry.

Maitre Chocolatier (translates roughly to “master of chocolate making or selling”)is the first boutique chocolate cafe in the country wherein chocolate is creatively incorporated, not only in desserts and drinks, but also in salads, soups and entrees.

I was treated to a pre-birthday lunch here (such a suitable choice for a chocoholic like me). We split orders of the following chocolate creations:

  • Ham and Egg Sandwich with White Chocolate (Php136). The classic sandwich was given a chocolatey twist by adding creamy white chocolate to soft-boiled egg, mashed potato, smoked ham, lettuce leaves and cucumber slices between wheat bread slices. We found the smoked ham a bit tough to bite through, but the chocolate added some depth to the ham’s flavor which is further complemented by the freshness of the veggie ingredients.
  • Linguini in Pesto Sauce with Parm-Crusted Chicken (Php258). Al dente pasta noodles in pesto sauce made with fresh herbs and spices are accompanied by parmesan-crusted chicken strips to be dipped in a special white chocolate sauce. The portions are of good size and the chicken complemented the pasta quite well. I found the white chocolate sauce a little too sweet but could be improved with the addition a more mustard-y or citrus-y flavor.
  • Sweet Ebony – Lindt Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake (Php182). Definitely the highlight of the meal! Dark chocolate mousse layered on top of a moist and airy chocolate sponge cake, finished of with a generous swirl of whipped cream and piece of dark chocolate.

During an earlier visit to this joint, I was also able to sample the Golden Euphoria – Ferrero Hazelnut Crunch Cake (Php218). A velvety chocolate sponge layered under a chocolate hazelnut mousse and topped with a Ferrero Hazelnut ball.

Maitre Chocolatier is truly a haven for chocoholics due to the variety of chocolate infused food offerings and their quite reasonable pricing. However, the place could use a bit more style in its interiors.  While the big windows let in a lot of natural light during daytime, it detracts from the cozy and intimate atmosphere I’ve come to expect from cafes (it also ruins photo opps for those seated near the windows). A room scent that smells of hot chocolate wouldn’t hurt either; the sense of smell is a powerful come-on when it comes to food, after all.  (Note: I’m not trying to be a know-it-all when it comes to store design; I’m just already imagining my perfect chocolate sanctuary, so please bear with me, hehehe!). The store could also benefit from sprucing up the display of the chocolates on sale to add a premium feel of the resto.  (By the way, check out the chocolate bars they usually have at 50% off.  Don’t pass up the chance to bring home some imported chocolate treats to your loved ones at half the price!)

Still, I think I will be finding my way here quite often in the future, given my predilection for chocolate treats.

This branch is located in the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area, at the corner of Scout Bayoran Street, South Triangle, Quezon City.

Its other branch in Metro Manila is located along Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati.

Maitre Chocolatier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato