Welcome the cherry blossom season with Starbucks’ Sakura series

In Japan, the advent of spring season is welcomed by the blossoming of sakura – more commonly known to us as cherry blossoms – from the last week of March to mid-April.

Widely considered as Japan’s national flower, these beautiful and delicate, pale pink blooms figure prominently in Japanese culture.

Starbucks Sakura Series

When the blossoming peaks, usually in the first week of April, it is a wondrous sight, prompting locals and visitors alike to hold tea ceremonies called hanami and other festivities to coincide with cherry blossom viewings.

Starbucks Sakura Series

We may not be able to travel to Japan to see these lovely blooms for ourselves but we can recreate the experience at home by having these Starbucks limited-edition Strawberry Sakura drinks delivered via GrabFood.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

The Sakura Blossom Strawberry Frappuccino (Php205). Fresh strawberries are blended with whole milk and ice with sweet strawberry sauce at the bottom of the glass. Petal-shaped pink chocolate sprinkles garnish the whipped cream that top this drink.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Iced Sakura Blossom Tea (Php200). Starbucks’ Teavana Hibiscus Tea is combined with strawberry sauce and topped with cold foam sprinkled with petal-shaped pink chocolate sprinkles.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

A perfect partner for these drinks is Starbucks’ Cherry Blossom Cake (Php215), a light yet moist and sweet cherry cake layered with creamy filling made with crushed cherries and finished with cherry cream.

Starbucks Sakura Series

Starbucks Sakura Series

Who says we can’t celebrate sakura season in the comforts of home?

Starbucks Sakura Series

This Starbucks branch is located at Mercedes Residences, Mercedes Avenue, San Miguel, Pasig City. For inquiries, call +63 2 82450773.

Photo Credit: Sakura blossoms by kazuend on Unsplash

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

Check out my other posts about Starbucks:

Filling Japanese lunch at Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Back when my office was located in the Ortigas area, a lunchtime sojourn to SM Megamall was a frequent occurrence.

For one thing, it’s just a short cab (or FX) ride away; my officemates and I can easily grab a quick meal, enjoy the change of scenery, and be back at our desk usually before our bosses came back from their own lunch outs.

Another reason is the sheer number of affordable and delicious dining options available, which, sadly, far outnumbers those housed in our office building’s cafeteria.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

One of our favorite SM Megamall haunts is Yoshinoya, the second-largest chain of gyudon restaurants in the world. It makes Japanese rice bowls and more easily accessible to Pinoys through its affordable menu items that don’t scrimp on fresh ingredients.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Sadly, our office moved locations and a lunchtime trip to Yoshinoya is no longer as convenient.

Plus, with the quarantine restrictions still in place, I really haven’t been going out much.

That is, until my daughter #ExhibitA and I went shopping for supplies at SM Megamall.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Giving in to #ExhibitA’s request for us to eat somewhere which offers gyoza, I decided to treat her to lunch at Yoshinoya. There, we refueled after a round of shopping with these dishes:

Gyoza (Php79). Pork and vegetable-filled dumplings steamed then pan-grilled for a satisfying mix of chewy and crunchy textures and served with a dipping sauce.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

California Maki (Php79). A sushi roll containing cucumber, kani and mango bits.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Pork Tonkatsu Bento (Php189). Deep fried breaded pork served in a bento box with macaroni salad, tiramisu and served with Tonkatsu sauce.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Regular Gyudon Beef (Php159 ala carte | Php189 solo meal with with red iced tea and coffee jelly). Tender beef slices are simmered in a special herb and spice broth together with sliced onions and then served on top of a bowl of steaming rice.

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Green Tea Ice Cream (Php50).

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

Well, with these flavorful Japanese dishes that don’t burn a whole through my wallet, I am quite satisfied with my return to Yoshinoya!

Yoshinoya, SM Megamall

This Yoshinoya branch is located at Upper Ground Floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For delivery, call +63 2 2882888.

Other branches are located at:

  • Food Court, Level 1, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Annex Building, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Valero Carpark 2, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • Second Floor, Glorietta 1, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Fourth Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila
  • Ground Floor, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City

To know more about Yoshinoya, visit its website or follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

J.CO Donuts’ 9th anniversary offer

Head’s up, dessert lovers!

In celebration of its ninth anniversary, J.CO Donuts & Coffee is offering two dozen of its delicious donuts for only Php550 until March 17!

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

Originating from Indonesia in the early 2000s, J.CO Donuts set about creating soft and fluffy donuts that come with all sorts of premium toppings and fillings.

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

Taking advantage of this offer, I had two boxes, each with a dozen of these treats, delivered to my home for the fam’s dessert.

The most notable among these sweet offerings include:

  • Al Capone. Dipped in white chocolate with toasted sliced almonds strewn on top, this donut has been my go-to treat since I first stepped into a J.CO Donuts store.
  • Berry Spears. Filled with whipped cream, dipped in strawberry jam and garnished with flakes of white chocolate, it is a fruity confection for dessert lovers.
  • Caviar Chocolate. Dipped in hazelnut chocolate with dark chocolate coated crisps sprinkled on top, it’s a treat for chocolate lovers.
  • Mr. Green Tea. Dipped in green tea chocolate with crushed toasted almonds strewn on top, it will appeal to matcha fans.

With the sheer variety of donut options included in these boxes, we found our all-time faves and some new ones, too!

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

So why don’t you go on a donut adventure with your nears-and-dears and order these for yourself?

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

Order via GrabFood or send J.CO Donuts a message via Facebook Messenger.

JCo Donuts 9th Anniversary

This J.CO Donut & Coffee branch is located at Ground Floor, 1800 Eastwood Avenue, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 5pm.

J.CO Donuts & Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert shops in the metro:

Dr. Wine presents a sneak peek into new menu by Chef Alain Raye

There’s a place hidden in the Poblacion suburbs where discriminating foodies can savor delicious French cuisine paired with the finest of vin.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine Manila – also known as Le Bistro du Dr. Wine – situated in Algiers Street just off Kalayaan Avenue and a few minutes walk away from Rockwell in Makati, is known for its cozy and rustic yet vibrant upscale premises, its extensive and well-curated collection of wines as well as the gastronomically delightful French dishes that emerge from its kitchen.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

For weekend brunch, for example, diners may enjoy plateau de fruits de mer – platters of local mussels, clams and shrimps, as well as escargot of bulots and bigorneux snails, oysters and razor clams imported from France, all served on a bed of ice. These platters are accompanied by freshly baked artisanal bread from the restaurant’s sister bakery, Dr. Bread, salted butter and assorted sauces (of which, I think the Red Wine Vinaigrette with Shallots brings out all the fresh goodness of the seafood). These platters come in different serving sizes: Couple (Php2,899 | good for two), The Queen’s Platter (Php4,899 | good for four) and The Dr. King’s Platter (Php8,599 | good for six).

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Michelin-starred Chef Alain Raye recently joined Dr. Wine’s team, bringing his considerable talents to bear as he takes the helm in Dr. Wine’s kitchen. He takes the bistro’s French cuisine offerings up several notches by adding his signature creations to menu.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Fish Quenelle. Lapu Lapu shaped into quenelles accompanied by plump prawns in a Gratinee Lyonnaise preparation. Its texture is creamy and delicate but is full of flavor.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Beef Short Ribs. Beef ribs slow cooked until fork-tender in classic French pepper sauce with sauteed carrots, and accompanied by a side of creamy potato gratin.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

These dishes are best enjoyed with a glass (or two!) of French wines such as this fruity Chateau Cap de Fer.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Excited to taste these delectable oeuvres from Chef Alain? Well, you won’t have to wait for long because these are launching today, March 15!

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Chef Alain also has a special treat to cap special wine dinners: the Nougat de Montelimar. It’s a decadent dessert made with nuts embedded in the nougat which is drenched in mixed berry puree and cream sauce.

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

So take a break from your usual food haunts and get ready to indulge your tastebuds with French food and wine at Dr. Wine Manila!

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

You can also book your intimate gatherings at Dr. Wine’s elegant and spacious private function room which can accommodate up to twenty people (while practicing safety protocols and physical distancing).

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine, Poblacion

Dr. Wine Manila is located at Ground Floor, 5921 Algier Street, Poblacion, Makati City, open for dine-in and takeout Mondays to Wednesdays from 5pm to 10pm, Thursdays to Fridays from 12 noon to 10pm and Saturdays to Sundays at 12 noon to 11.30pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 5638811.

Disclosure: Together with fellow foodie EJ of ILoveToEatPH, I attended a food tasting held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to elicit our honest feedback and as basis for this feature article.

Le Bistro Du Dr. Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tsinoy food feast at Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

More often than not, a dish with Chinese origins would make its way into a Filipino’s hapag-kainan.

This is hardly surprising as the Pinoys and the Chinese have been trading since even before the Spanish colonization.

Through the centuries, various waves of Chinese migration occurred, each bringing their own cultures, especially their culinary traditions, into the country.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

In the 1930s, a Cantonese chef known as Mr, Lido established a modest eatery in Binondo called Panciteria Lido. In the next eighty years, this eatery has grown into a chain of restaurants – now under the Lido Cocina Tsina brand – that are renowned for serving tasty Chinese dishes that also appeal to the Filipino palate.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Before the pandemic hit the metro last year, I was able to sample some of Lido’s signature dishes. These left quite an impression on me that when restrictions on dining out were recently loosened in the metro, I quickly grabbed the opportunity to bring my fellow foodie unnis – Jen of SandUnderMyFeet.com and Nix of IEatAndIWander.com – to the resto so they can taste for themselves what I had beem raving about for the past year.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

That day, the unnis feasted on delectable Tsinoy food which included:

Yang Chow Fried Rice (Php132). I couldn’t fathom a Chinese meal without this egg fried rice made heartier and more flavorful with shrimp, pork, carrots and spring onions.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Pugon Roasted Asado (Php436). Mr. Lido’s claim to fame from his eighty-year-old recipe of pork loin basted in precise proportions of Chinese herbs and spices, and then cooked in the a wood-fired brick oven which infuses the meat with a rich and smokey flavor. It’s great as a viand for the Yang Chow Fried Rice but it’s wonderful when used as a filling for hot pan de sal.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Sweet and Sour Pork (Php374). A dish that appeals to the Pinoy penchant for the sweet and sour combination. It’s made with fried pork pieces sauteed with pineapple chunks, bell peppers and onions and served in a sweet and sour sauce.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Shrimp Foo Yong (Php468). Ever since I had my first taste of this egg omelette with shrimp, mushroom and veggies served in light oyster sauce, I’ve been obsessed with it. Taste it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Buchi (Php138). Deep-fried sesame balls with lotus cream filling make for a satisfying cap for a hearty Chinese meal.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

This visit to Lido Cocina Tsina has sated my year-long cravings and made believers out of my fellow unnis.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

We sure are looking forward to our next Lido Cocina Tsina adventure!

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

This Lido Cocina Tsina branch is located at 1014-1020 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Barangay Mariana, Quezon City, open daily from 8.30am to 6.30pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8885436, +63 2 84145436 or +63 947 4925752.

Other branches are located at:

  • 16 Visayas Avenue, Barangay Vasra, Quezon City
  • Unit 6 and 7, La Fuerza Bldg., 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue Corner Sabio Street, Barangay Bangkal, Makati City
  • Block 8, Lot 9 Commonwealth Avenue, Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City
  • 43 Mindanao Avenue (beside Phoenix Gasoline Station), Barangay Bahay Toro, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Z Square Mall, Banawe Street Corner Del Monte Avenue, Barangay Manresa, Quezon City
  • 532 United Nations Avenue cor. Jorge Bocobo St., Barangay Malate, Manila
  • 35 Dona Soledad Avenue, Barangay Don Bosco, Paranaque City
  • Ground Floor, Puregold Building, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Barangay San Isidro, Paranaque City
  • 262 Alabang-Zapote Road, Talon Dos, Las Pinas City

To have your Chinoy food feast delivered right where you are, order online.

Lido Cocina Tsina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Asian restaurants:

Get “Cool for the Summer” at Moonleaf, Novaliches

Ooh, summer!

There was a time when it was the most awaited season among the metro’s denizens. It used to signal a time to take a break from the daily grind of school and work.

Now, though, with the country still in quarantine and restrictions on travel and mobility still in effect, you might think that the pervasive heat will be the only thing noteworthy about this season.

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Well, the Moonleaf Tea Shop in Novaliches is all set to bring new reasons to enjoy the summer with its new line of drinks, aptly named “Cool for the Summer.” With these drinks, harried city dwellers can enjoy refreshing beverages that bring a moment of Zen while tickling their tastebuds. Plus, accompanied by chewy add-ons and topped with a dollop of thick and foamy wintercream, this drinks also provide opportunities for sheer indulgence.

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Wintermelon Milk Tea with Pearls and Wintercream

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Lychee Strawberry Tea with Rainwbow Jelly and Wintercream

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Mango Black Tea with Nata and Wintercream

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Watch out for these refreshing drinks this April!

Want something to nibble on as you enjoy your drinks? Why don’t you indulge your sweet tooth with some pastries?

Fudgy Dark Brownie (Php49)

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Blueberry Cheesecake (Php110)

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

As the summer season rolls by, don’t sweat the small stuff. Starting this April, you can get cool for the summer at Moonleaf Tea Shop!

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

This Moonleaf Tea Shop is located along General Luis Street, Novaliches Bayan, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 8pm. For inquiries, call +63 926 7007720. It delivers via GrabFood and soon, via FoodPanda, too so you can enjoy your drinks and nibbles without having to leave home!

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

Moonleaf, Novaliches

To know about its latest offers and promos, follow Moonleaf Tea Shop Novaliches on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to elicit my honest feedback.

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

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

Shrimp Bucket delivery via Pick•A•Roo!

It’s been a year since the quarantine took place, and while I don’t miss the hellish commute from my home to Tomas Morato, I do miss the lunchtime foodie adventures that my officemates and I used to have around the area.

One of our favorite haunts, especially for our payday splurge, is the Shrimp Bucket branch in Il Terrazzo Mall, a short walk away from the office.

Here, we would binge on shrimps and mussels by the pound, drenched in flavorful sauces that would leave us wanting more.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

It’s been quite some time since our last foodie adventure at Shrimp Bucket but today, I was able to relive that experience with the family thanks to a new app called Pic•Ka•Roo!

Shrimp Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

This new all-in-one and on-demand lifestyle delivery app features all possible essentials for the home and more, delivered in a hygienic, contactless and stress-free. Aside from groceries, medicines, household appliances and gadgets, it also delivers from the metro’s restaurants, which is how I was able to get my hands on my Shrimp Bucket faves.

White Shrimp in Salted Eggsperience (Php785). Plump shrimp coated with a creamy savory sauce made with salted egg yolks.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Mussels in Mardi Gras (Php575). Mussels coated in a flavorful sauce made with pork chorizo blended with spices.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Both dishes are tasty by themselves but together, they’re dynamite!

Have a lot of steamed rice ready when dining on this winning combination of shrimps and mussels. You’ll be reaching for more again and again!

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

This Shrimp Bucket branch is located at Ground Floor, Rockwell Business Center, Sheridan Corner United Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City.

Other branches that deliver via Pic•Ka•Roo are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Bridgeway Shops, Across Connecticut Carpark Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Greenhills, San Juan City
  • Ground Floor, Grand Hamptons Tower 1, 31st Street Corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Want to give Pick•A•Roo a try? Get a Php250 PICK•A•ROO voucher and have your groceries, food & more delivered when you register with my referral code: ANGE7726. Download the app here.

Shrimp Bucket Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other seafood restos in the metro:

Classic Pinoy streetfood at Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Do you remember your first taste of streetfood?

The varied shapes, colors and textures, the interplay of sweet, salty, sour and spicy, plus a hint of the forbidden (because didn’t our moms warn us to keep away from these back then?) and that feeling of comfort when you bite into them, these are part and parcel of our early street food experience.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

While those good sensations associated with street food remain to this day, that feeling of prohibition hardly applies now, especially when street food is elevated to the level that Casa Calle brings them to.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

This stall located at Eatogether Food Hall in SM Megamall serves up, not just Pinoy comfort food faves, but also welcome tweaks on our favorite street food, such as:

Inihaw Platter (Php380). Various meat and sundry parts marinated in barbecue sauce and charcoal grilled to smoky perfection such as two sticks each of Pork BBQ, Isaw Manok (chicken intestine), Bulaklak (ruffled pork fat), Tenga (pork ear) and Betamax (coagulated pig’s blood). This promo bundle is available only during Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Lugaw Special (Php95 for small | Php115 for large). Savory rice porridge with bits of meat and tripe, a hard-boiled egg and garnished with toasted garlic and choppef green onions.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Tokwa’t Baboy (Php90). Crispy bits of pork belly tossed with fried tofu and chopped chilis and onions in a vinaigrette made with vinegar and soy sauce.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Tokneneng (Php35). Hard-boiled duck egg covered in orange batter, best enjoyed when dipped in spiced vinegar.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Sizzling Beef Pares (Php188). Cubed beef brisket sauteed and stewed with garlic, onion and ginger, and seasoned with star anise. This viand is paired with garlic fried rice (hence the name “pares”) and served on a sizzling plate.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Turones ala Mode (Php155). Banana and langka slices encased in lumpia wrapper, them deep-fried, and served with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnished with sesame seeds and chocolate sauce.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Get ready to rediscover your love of Pinoy street food here.

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

Casa Calle, SM Megamall

This Casa Calle branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Another branch is set to have its grand opening soon at 163 Aguirre Street, BF Homes, Paranaque City.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Hawker Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other stalls at Eatogether Food Hall:

Savor Asian flavors at Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

If you’re craving for the bold flavors of Asian cuisine, Hawker Lane at the Eatogether Food Hall in SM Megamall should be right up your alley.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Inspired by the hawker centers in Singapore where tasty Asian dishes and more are sold from stalls inside these large food courts, Hawker Lane brings the the same vibrant colors, textures and flavors to its diners.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Together with fellow foodies last weekend, I headed to Eatogether Food Hall to sample some of its signature dishes which include:

Deep-fried Salt and Pepper Squid (Php290 ala carte | Php220 with rice). A Cantonese dish made with pieces of squid which are deep-fried and tossed in a mixture of garlic, ginger and hot peppers.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Fish Fillet Tofu Claypot (Php220 ala carte | Php180 with rice). Another authentic Chinese dish made with shallow-fried fish fillets braised together with tofu in a flavorful sauce and served in a claypot.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Crispy Fried Garlic Chicken (Php300 ala carte | Php240 with rice). Chinese-style crispy fried chicken infused with the flavor of garlic.

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Theses dishes surely sated my cravings for bold tastes and textures!

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

Want to have your own taste of Asia? Drop by Hawker Lane!

Hawker Lane, SM Megamall

This Hawker Lane branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, Eatogether Food Hall, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Another branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, Unimart Supermarket, Oranbo, Pasig City.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Hawker Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other stalls at Eatogether Food Hall:

Say hello to satisfying paella at Hola Paella, SM Megamall

I’ve always had a soft spot for paella. As one of the most well-known Spanish dishes with a long history, it enjoys great visibility, not just in Spanish restaurants but also in Pinoy fiestas.

The paella got its name from the shallow frying pan in which it is cooked and even served. Originating from the Valencia region in Spain, it combines both the Roman and Arab culinary traditions. Most iterations of this dish is characterized by its vibrant yellow color owing to the generous use of saffron which also contributes to its unique taste. One of the exceptions here is the Paella Negra which gets its color and flavor from the squid ink mixed in with the rice.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Having been colonized by Spain for three centuries, it is hardly surprising that the Philippines would develop a love for this dish, even making our own version – the arroz ala valenciana – which uses glutinous rice with chicken and longganisa or chorizo.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Well, the good news for us paella lovers is that we don’t have to travel far nor wait for a fiesta to get a taste of our favorite dish.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

At the newly opened stall at SM Megamall’s Eatogether Food Hall, we can get this flavorful rice dish and pick the toppings we want to go with it.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Together with my fellow foodies, I was able to sample some of its solo servings.

Check them out:

Roasted Chicken Paella (Php235).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Pork Belly Paella (Php215).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Seafood Paella (Php185).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Paella Negra (Php290).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Aside from its many paella iterations, Hola Paella also serves appetizers such as:

Chicken Burrito (Php250).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Nachos with Pulled Pork (Php160).

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

It’s great to see that one of my favorite dishes is so readily available.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

In fact, I brought home a Paella de Carne (Php710) for the fam’s dinner the next day. All I had to do was reheat the rice (with a little bit of stirring at first) in a large cast iron skillet and leave it alone on the stove for a few minutes to form a little bit of soccarat – the toasted and caramelized rice crust that forms at the bottom of skillet which gives the dish a whole new dimension of flavor.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

Hola Paella is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Hola Paella, SM Megamall

If you want to have your paella at home, you can order from Hola Paella via GrabFood, FoodPanda or Poodtrip.

For more info on Hola Paella and its latest offers, follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Hola Paella Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other stalls at Eatogether Food Hall:

Feel good food at Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Whether you’re trudging in from a busy workday, or amping up for a hectic one, you need some comforting and nourishing food to rev you up.

Some tasty feel-good food would be just the thing, right?

Well, if you happen to be at the Eatogether Food Hall in SM Megamall, you can just head over to the Recovery Food stall.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food is a casual dining concept that offers a variety of comfort foods which range from Asian-inspired hot noodle soups, home-style pressed sandwiches and to simple rice bowls.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

During a recent meetup with my fellow foodies, we were able to sample first-hand Recovery Food’s signature dishes, which include:

Balbakwa (Php195). Extra tender beef skin in tomato-based broth, great for warming up our tummies!

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Doc Sisig (Php155 for regular | Php235 for full recovery). Recovery Food’s house sisig – the Kapampangan dish made with various pig parts flavored with calamansi, onions and chilis – served with fried egg and garlic rice.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Tapa de Morning (Php185 for regular | Php265 for full recovery). Home-made tapa – tender slices of salt-cured beef – served with fried egg, garlic rice and ensalada, one of my personal breakfast faves.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Tomarrow Never Dies (Php235). RF’s newest offering: roasted bone marrow topped with garlic served on a sizzling plate along with beef bits and rice. Food for the fearless!

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Champosandro (Php99). Recovery Food’s version of the champorado, a chocolate-rice based porridge served with milk and salted fish on the side. Whether for breakfast, a snack or as a dessert, it sure hits the spot.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

So if you want some real good, feel-good food to power you up for all you need to accomplish, make a pitstop at Recovery Food!

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

This Recovery Food branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Recovery Food, SM Megamall

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Crossroads Building, 32nd Street Corner 8th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive Corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Recovery Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other comfort food places in the metro:

Comfort food at Nord’s Bread Hub, SM Megamall

There are only a handful of things that can match the ability of freshly baked bread to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.

At the newly opened branch of Nords Bread Hub at the SM Megamall’s Eatogether Food Hall, comforting and delightful baked goods are what you’ll find in abundance.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nord’s Bread Hub is a new dining concept managed by the Vikings Group. This particular restaurant brand specializes in producing artisanal breads from Asian and Western culinary traditions.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

During a recent foodie meetup with my fellow foodies, I was able to check out some of its menu items.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Silvanas (Php78/pc). The Pinoy version of a frozen cookie sandwich, it consists of a layer of buttercream cashew-meringue wafer and coated with cookie crumbs. Available variants include Classic and Ube.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Dark Choco Messy Bread (Php58/pc). If you’re a fan of munching on pastries during your coffee break, then this flyffy Danish bread flavored with dark chocolate and cocoa powder should be right up your alley.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Craving for a hot meal? Nord’s got you there too with tasty appetizers and rice dishes for you to enjoy, like this Crispy Pork Kare Kare (Php280) which features Nord’s signature crispy pork belly in the rich peanut-based kare kare sauce and vegetables served with shrimp paste.

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

So come on over to Nord’s for a bit of comfort food!

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

Nords Bread Hub, SM Megamall

This Nords Breadhub branch is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaliyong City

Other branches are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Unimart Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue Corner Shaw Boulevard, Oranbo, Pasig City
  • Third Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Nord's Bread Hub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert shops in the metro:

Ripplin’ sushi at Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami refers to “small waves” or “ripples.”

It may very well refer to the ripples of gastronomic pleasure you experience when you bite into the sushi rolls made at the new sushi place in SM Megamall named Sazanami.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

If you haven’t been to Eatogether Food Hall, I suggest you visit it stat because here you can take part in a new wave of dining experiences like the one at Sazanami.

It offers, not your run-of-the-mill sushi rolls, but ones that use various (and even surprising!) ingredients and make them into tasty combinations that tickle your fancy, not to mention your tastebuds. This is in large part thanks to Sazanami’s in-house sushi chef who’s been servin’ up these sushi rolls since the 90s.

During a recent foodie meetup at Eatogether Food Hall, my fellow foodies and I were able to sample some of its delectable sushi creations. Each sushi roll order is served with pickled ginger, wasabi and Japanese soy sauce, as well as Sazanami’s signature creamy and savory sauce that go so well with its sushi variants.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Ready for a run-down of your delightful sushi options at Sazanami?

Take for example its Sazanami Maki (Php265/8pcs). This is the house specialty baked sushi with salmon, sesame seeds, scallions, spiced garlic mayo, unagi sauce, mango bits and kani.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

The Yin Yang Roll (Php265/10pcs), on the other hand, is one of the store’s best sellers. It’s a deep-fried and crunchy shrimp tempura roll with cream cheese and umagi sauce.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

The Special Roll (Php295/8pcs) is a treat: it’s ingredients vary every week, making it a real foodie adventure. So if you want to have a sushi surprise, go for this sushi roll!

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

With such a tasty sampler, I just knew I had to take some home to the fam who are all certified sushi lovers.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

All I had to do was give my order at the stall where servers selected my choices from their menu screen, a bill was run up automatically and I just had to pay via GCash! What a safe and contactless way to get your food, huh? (By the way, other contactless payment options are available or you can just get a Vikings Card at the Eatogether Food Hall reception and load it up every time you visit.)

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Curious on what I took home? Check these out:

First, I got an order of Ripple Roll (Php260), Sazanami’s own version of the classic California Maki, with crabstick, mango, tobikko and black sesami fried kani stick.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Then, I got a cute Caterpillar Maki (Php195), a sushi roll made with kani, cucumber, avocado, sesame seeds and unagi sauce.

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Sazanami, SM Megamall

And thanks to Sazanami’s ongoing promo which gives four Sazanami Maki pieces free for every sushi order, I was able bring home an additional eight Sazanami Maki pieces!

Sazanami, SM Megamall

Well, the fam devoured the sushi as soon as I got home so I could pretty much say these were met with their approval.

If you’re on the lookout for your next sushi adventure, do give Sazanami a try!

Sazanami is located at Eatogether Food Hall, Second Floor, SM Megamall Building A, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

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

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Home-grown and heritage dishes at Anonas Bistro

Now more than ever, we harried denizens of the metro look for comfort whenever we can, right?

Well, what’s more comforting than feeling the warm welcome of home?

That’s what it felt like to enter this newly opened restaurant in Anonas, Quezon City.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Sure, the hustle and bustle of the city may stay just outside its doors, but inside its premises is a haven for your spirit.

“We want this experience to be like going home to your lola’s house in the province,” shares co-founder Lucien Aquino. “You’re with your family, your lola is cooking your favorite food in the kitchen, and you feel right at home.”

Anonas Bistro, QC

The place certainly calls to mind the familiar comforts of our beloved ancestral homes in the province that we enjoy spending time in again and again.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Its outdoor seating area is surrounded by lush greenery. Sheltered by a large mango tree from much of the sun, it affords diners a comfortable al fresco setting for their meal. In the evenings, lighted lamps adorn the mango tree giving diners whimsical lighting for their dinner.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

The two-storey residential house was renovated by builder/contractor Lucien and his co-founder Roman Ignacio, updating the structures and finishings to current standards and for use as a restaurant. Its dining areas are furnished with heavy wooden tables and chairs, shipped all the way from Ilocos. The walls, on the other hand, are decorated with artworks by local artist Ronan Rosacay as well as other homey bric-a-bracs.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Completing the transformation of this space into a homey Filipino restaurant is Chef Severino Palunday. He brings with him a considerable thirty years’ worth of culinary experience as a sous chef in a European cruise liner.

Anonas Bistro, QC

From his kitchen, Chef Sev whips up traditional and home-style Pinoy dishes, that make use of fresh local produce, just like the ones your lola makes, but infused with the techniques and methods of an internationally trained chef.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

His menu includes:

Soup of the Day. Usually a cream-based soup that the chef whips up from choice ingredients. It is served with every meal.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Creamy Tofu (Php135). A savory appetizer made by combining crispy fried tofu, aromatics with cream.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Dinakdakan (Php315). An Ilocano dish in which pig parts such as ears, liver and face are boiled until tender, then grilled and sliced thinly. Flavorings and chilis are then added to complete the dish.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Fried Lumpiang Ubod (Php195). A Filipino appetizer (or ulam in my case) which julienned ubod (or heart of palm) are sauteed with chopped meat and vegetables, encased in lumpia wrapper and then deep-fried and served with a spiced vinegar dip.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Gising-gising with Shrimp (Php275). Otherwise known as ginataang sigarilyas, this Kapampangan dish is made with chopped winged beans in coconut milk spiced with siling labuyo, garlic, onions and shrimp paste. Chef Sev serves it with plump shrimp.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Pork Belly Roll (Php380). Pork belly is seasoned and stuffed with aromatics and flavorings, then oven-roasted until the skin becomes golden brown and crispy and the meat is tender. Chef Sev serves it with mashed camote and a buttery gravy.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Kare-Kare Ox Tail (Php480). A viand made with stewed ox tail, tripe and other offal in a sauce made from roasted peanuts, onions and garlic, colored with annato seeds and then thickened with ground rice.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Turon Ala Mode (Php160). A dessert made with fresh ripe banana slices encased in lumpia wrapper and then deep-fried until golden and crispy. It is then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Mango Shake (Php120).

Anonas Bistro, QC

Avocado Shake (Php120).

Anonas Bistro, QC

Ampalaya Apple (Php120).

Anonas Bistro, QC

Whoever said that Filipino food lacks color and character obviously has never encountered Chef Sev’s takes on Pinoy food classics.

Anonas Bistro, QC

So if you’re looking for a place where you can come home to good food and a good homey vibe in Quezon City, Anonas Bistro is your best bet.

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro, QC

Anonas Bistro is located at 145 K-6th, East Kamias 1102 Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 995 1200969 or email anonas.bistro@gmail.com.

For more deets on Anonas Bistro, visit its website or follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting here together with fellow foodies. All food items mentioned here were served for us to sample the fare and elicit our honest feedback.

Anonas Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Chef Resty’s Roast Beef

I’ve always considered roast beef as similar to lechon.

To me, it is a show-stopping food that can serve as the central dish of a feast. In fact, when I dined at eat-all-you-can buffets, I usually make a beeline for the carving station to fill my plate with roast beef slices.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

I also find it a dish of many possibilities: aside from being a main dish in itself, leftovers can be made into all sorts of dishes. These can range from roast beef sandwiches, beef salpicao, beef stroganoff, roast beef burrito and roast beef cottage pie. Imagine, from one dish, you can have several tasty iterations!

This past New Year’s Eve, I decided to have Chef Resty’s Roast Beef as the centerpiece of my family’s Media Noche Feast.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

I used to get my roast beef fix at a Chef Resty’s Roast Beef Carving Station at SM Pasig but, sadly, that kiosk has since closed.

Fortunately, there’s another way to get my fam’s roast beef: instead of heading west from my home to SM Pasig, I instead looked to the east!

Chef Resty has opened a dine-in restaurant at Sitio Elena Events Venue in Cainta. I simply had to call my order in the day before, pay for the roast beef and the in-house delivery fee via GCash and await my slab of beefy goodness the next day.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

It arrived way too early from Media Noche, but that’s ok. I just had to reheat it in a 250 deg C oven for ten minutes. It came out piping hot and ready for the fam’s New Year’s Eve feast. It was also accompanied by Chef Resty’s signature gravy which completed the dish.

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Each slice was tender, juicy and so flavorful. Clearly, it was the highlight of our celebration!

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

(Unfortunately, my 1 kilo order of Chef Resty’s Roast Beef was just enough of my small family – who apparently have huge appetites – so no leftovers.)

I can’t wait for the next celebration with Chef Resty’s Roast Beef! How about you?

Chef Resty’s Delivery

Chef Resty’s Delivery

To order your Chef Resty’s Roast Beef, send a text or Viber message to +63 917 4329953 or +63 919 0985448 with your name, mobile number, address (including barangay), date and time of delivery and order quantity.

Chef Resty’s Roast Beef are priced at:

  • half kilo (Php900): sliced only, serves four people
  • 1 kilo (Php1,600): whole or sliced, serves eight people

Allow at least one day lead time. Cut-off for orders is at 7pm.

Chef Resty's Roast Beef Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other restos that serve roast beef: