New York Style Pizza and Pasta at Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, Tomas Morato

New York-style pizza is one that is made using large hand-tossed thin crust. It is usually sold for takeout in big slices; its crust crispy at the edge but soft and pliable enough with all its toppings (which usually include mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce) to be folded in half when eaten.

Together with three of my co-workers, I went to the Brooklyn’s New York Pizza branch along Tomas Morato. Some of us have eaten here several times, enjoying its laid-back atmosphere and modern vibe.

Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, Tomas Morato

Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, Tomas Morato

Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, Tomas Morato

Thanks to a Metrodeal offer, we were able to enjoy a hearty lunch of New York-style pizza and pasta. We have two vouchers that entitles us to a total of Php1000 worth of food for only Php698 (each voucher costs Php349). With these, we ordered:

A 14-inch White Pizza (Php495). A New York-style pizza topped with a combination of mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan.

Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, Tomas Morato

Spicy Shrimp Pasta for sharing (Php380). One of the resto’s best-sellers plump and fresh shrimp accompanied by a spicy tomato sauce.

Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, Tomas Morato

An Iced Tea Tower (Php150)

Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, Tomas Morato

With the discount, our group of four only paid less than Php200 each for this hearty lunch.

This Brooklyn’s New York Pizza branch is located along Tomas Morato, Bgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 11pm, and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 1am. For reservations and queries, call +63 2 3767676.

Other Brooklyn’s New York Pizza branches are located at:

  • 1176 Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio, Makati City
  • Fourth Floor, Midtown Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila
  • 15 President’s Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
  • Second Floor, Madison Galeries, Don Jesus Boulevard, Alabang Hills, Cupang, Muntinlupa City
  • Second Floor, Robinsons Place Las Piñas, Alabang-Zapote Road, Talon, Las Piñas City
  • Ground Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Brooklyn's New York Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tried the new Caramel Cinnamon Cookie Frap at Starbucks, Tomas Morato

On a night when I needed to let off some steam, I hied over to the Starbucks outlet at the Imperial Place Suite building along the Tomas Morato Extension, some walking distance from my workplace.

Armed with the 12 Beverage stars on my mobile phone’s Starbucks App which entitles me to a free handcrafted beverage, I set about looking for my drink for the night.

I decided on one of Stabucks’ new flavors – the Caramel Cinnamon Cookie Frappuccino. It is a rich conconction of espresso enhanced by a decadent caramel sauce and spicy hints of cinnamon, topped with frothy whipped cream and sprinkled with lightly spiced cookie crumbs.

And since I couldn’t resist, I asked the barista to add some coffee jelly into the drink.

The drink is a like a taste of the much-anticipated holiday season in my mouth – a cold beverage combined with a sweet dessert treat that warms my tummy and my heart, helping me set aside my frustrations of the day.

Starbucks’ Caramel Cinnamon Cookie flavor is also available in hot and iced formats.

This Starbucks outlet is located at the Ground Floor, Imperial Place Suite, Tomas Morato Extension, Quezon City. Other branches nearby can be found at:

  • ELJCC Building, Mother Ignacia Avenue
  • At the corner of Mother Ignacia Avenue and Eugenio Lopez Drive
  • Sunnymede IT Center, Quezon Avenue
  • Along Timog Avenue
  • Victoria Towers, Timog Avenue
  • Eton Centris Walk, Quezon Avenue
  • Hemady Square, at the corner of Dona Hemady Street and E. Rodriguez Avenue
  • West Avenue corner Examiner Street
  • Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue
  • Ayala Malls Vertis North

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

Organic lunch treat at Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

I decided to treat a dear friend from the office to lunch at Kandle Cafe for her birthday.

Why?

Because a) it’s been years since I last ate there; b) I remember the place to be very Instagrammable and my friend and I are both IGers; and c) it’s reasonably near our office which means we can get back from our lunch break on time.

Kandle Cafe initially made a name for itself with its coffee brews and blends, given that the owners, siblings Khryss, Don King, Leslie and Eli Ong (from a play on whose names came the resto’s moniker – KANDLE), were all passionate about coffee culture.

The place is also marked by a design aesthetic that combines warm and homey interiors with nature’s beauty outside.

Along the pathway leading to the dining area, for example, abound plants and water feature installations. The steady sound of trickling water and the sight of verdant growths did have a calming effect on my work-frazzled nerves. Wood and metal furniture add a modern touch to the al fresco setting.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Inside, the sprawling space is lit with warm lighting, showcasing the fun and quirky collection of bric-a-bracs and whimsical accents.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

This place is designed to be memorable, and to be a setting for great memories.

For our memorable birthday lunch, we ordered:

Chilean Mussel Pasta (Php380). Chilean mussels sauteed in a garlic and white wine sauce served on top of al dente tagliatelle and topped with grated parmesan.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pork Tonkatsu (Php350). Tender pork loin stuffed with cheese, breaded and deep-fried to a golden brown, served with house-made teriyaki sauce, sesame cabbage salad and blue rice (yep, the color comes from the edible flower they serve it with).

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

For dessert, we indulged in a moist and heavenly Carrot Bar (Php100), a Lava Cookie (Php55) and a Maple Cookie with Bacon (Php80).

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

While the food items were definitely a sight to behold, there were hits and misses upon eating them. I think that the pork tonkatsu may be better accompanied by the sweet and peppery tonkatsu sauce rather than a teriyaki sauce which does not bring out as much of the pork’s flavor as I would like. The lava cookie, on the other hand, was lacking the rich chocolatey taste and gooey texture that I’ve come to expect.

That said, we loved the interplay of textures and flavors in the Chilean Mussel Pasta and the moist and richly sweet Carrot Bar.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

The servers were also attentive and knowledgeable about their offerings, citing features or ingredients that make their dishes unique as they are serving them.

I definitely wouldn’t mind returning here for a nice and relaxed coffee break so I could try out the resto’s celebrated brews and more of its pastries.

Kandle Cafe is located at 113 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Bgy South Triangle, Quezon City, Sundays to Thursdays, 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12mn. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 3724504. Or you can book your table via Zomato like I did. 🙂

Kandle Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Delectable Degustation at Ilustrado, Intramuros

Degustation is the careful and deliberate tasting of various food with an eye towards appreciation of the science and artistry that goes into their preparation as well as their effect to the senses.

To mark its 29th anniversary, Ilustrado Restaurant introduces an 8-course degustation menu which will be available to its patrons throughout the month of October.

The menu was conceptualized by Ilustrado Restaurant’s Chef de Patron Bernice Pimentel, inspired by, of all things, a classic Pinoy song.

“My almost three year old nephew is in a “bahay kubo” sing-song stage and I can say that the vegetables in the song followed me everywhere making its way into our degustation menu.” shares Chef Bernice.

The influence of “bahay kubo” is apparent in the menu’s deliberate use of homegrown ingredients and incorporating them into continental dishes.

In fact, Chef Bernice’s plan for the restaurant’s own farm to table concept is already in the works. Among these initiatives are a partnership with Luntian Farms and growing the edible flowers that serve as garnishes for her dishes right at home.

Together with fellow foodies and food bloggers, I was able to sample this innovative degustation menu, which is priced at Php1,250 (plus 10% service charge). The menu included items that may also be availed of ala carte, such as:

Kangkong Pesto Brioche served with Boursin Cheese. The freshly baked brioche is amazingly light and fluffy, wonderfully accented by the herby cream cheese.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Kesong Puti Croquettes at Lato (Php175+). These are croquettes made with local white cheese, sea grapes (or locally called lato, which gives a burst of flavor from the sea with each bite), baby mesclun and Salsa Verde Aoili.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Oyster Laing Rockefeller (Php195+). Seafood dish made of Aklan oyster topped by the classic Bicolano laing made of coconut, chili and dried taro, with added parmigiano reggiano, lemon juice and panko. These add a rich creaminess and a spicy kick to the oyster.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Sayote Egg Drop Soup (Php125+). Chayote soup with a quail egg dropped in for added richness that warms the tummy, served with crunchy crostini.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Burong Mangga Sorbet. Pureed green mango churned and cooled into a sorbet to cleanse the palate in preparation for the main dishes.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

BBQ Pulled Pork Tostadas (Php215+). Tender slow-cooked pork marinated in Pinoy-style barbecue sauce, served with refried mungo beans, papaya slaw on top of fried tortillas.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Sea Bass Sinantol (Php350+). Buttery Chilean sea bass fillet pan-seared then oven-broiled and served with fried rice sauteed in the Bicolano dish sinantol, as well as arugula.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Egg Pie Brulee (Php175+). Bruleed egg tart with dots of rose creme chantilly, slices of fresh strawberry, green grapes, and ripe mango. Accompanied by edible flowers, this dessert provides a sweet ending to the meal.

Ilustrado, Intramuros

Ilustrado, Intramuros

The degustation menu modernizes and localizes the continental viands it includes. It brings somewhat-forgotten local produce such as lato, sayote and santol back to the forefront of modern Philippine cuisine. The portions are well-calculated such that diners are able to appreciate each dish in its entirety but are not overwhelmed by flavor or quantity.

In keeping with a degustation’s aim to satisfy as many of the senses as possible, the menu features visually appealing and colorful food presentation, appetizing herby, fruity and earthy smells, and interesting interplays of various textures and flavors with each dish served.

This wonderful menu is best enjoyed inside Ilustrado Restaurant’s well-appointed premises. The converted Spanish era seminary, its aged wood furniture and antique bric-a-bracs all give the resto an old world appeal.

But do hurry: this delectable degustation menu will only be available within October.

Ilustrado is located at 5440 General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila, open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and from 6pm to 9pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 2 5273674 or +63 939 9206822, or email catering@ilustradorestaurant.com.ph.  For more details and updates, check out Ilustrado Restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ilustrado Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, 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.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Budget-friendly Rice Toppings at Hong Kong Roasting, Tomas Morato

My officemate and I were looking for somewhere to have a quick lunch so we could get on with the rest of our tasks for the day.

After scouring the lunch options at nearby M Place, we decided upon Hong Kong Roasting, attracted by the budget-friendly rice topping options and the assurance of the restaurant manager that the food will be served immediately.

We ordered:

Soy Chicken Rice Topping (Php155).

Hong Kong Roasting, M Place

Cantonese Chicken Rice Topping (Php155).

Hong Kong Roasting, M Place

Both are versions of the Chinese steamed chicken dish, one just features darker skin than the other due to addition of soy sauce. They were accompanied by chili and ginger sauces which we found a bit too mild.

Still, it was a quick, affordable and fuss-free lunch, and another item was added to our group’s lunch options.

Hong Kong Roasting, M Place

This Hong Kong Roasting branch is located at M Place, Panay Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm.

Other branches are located at:

  • Tower C, Sea Residences, Sunrise Corner Pearl Drive, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City (open daily from 8am to 12:30am)
  • SM Mezza Residences, Aurora Boulevard Corner Araneta Avenue, Santa Mesa, Quezon City (open daily from 10am to 9pm)
    Hong Kong Roasting Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This post contains affiliate links.

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

Want to learn more about Chinese cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!

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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.

Dessert stopover at Gelato Lab, Tomas Morato

Gelato is ice cream made in the Italian style.

Some trace its origins to Bernardo Buontalenti, an inventor in the service of the Medicis in Florence during the Renaissance era, as a by-product of his innovations in ice conservation.

Today, gelato has spread to the most parts of the world. In the Philippines, for example, it offers people some cool respite from the heat and humidity. It also has a slightly warmer serving temperature than regular ice cream which enables it to hold well in the country’s tropical weather and allows it to have a softer yet denser texture.

Tucked inside the Picnic Grounds of Elements Hall along Scout Rallos Street in the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area is Gelato Lab. It offers all-natural hand-crafted gelato made with high quality ingredients. To maintain the freshness of its gelato, each flavor is churned in small batches.

My daughter #ExhibitA and I decided to stopover this dessert station on our way home from a nearby bar. The call of the sweet gelato treats was just too strong!

Gelato Lab, Tomas Morato

Gelato Lab, Tomas Morato

Gelato Lab, Tomas Morato

I got myself a cup of the Dark Chocolate gelato (a regular flavor hence priced at Php100/cup | Php360/pint | Php740/tub). #ExhibitA, on the other hand got a cup of Cookie Dough gelato (a premium flavor hence priced at Php120/cup | Php400/pint | Php840/tub).

Gelato Lab, Tomas Morato

Gelato Lab, Tomas Morato

Both flavors are sinfully yummy and well worth the short side trip. 🙂

Gelato Lab is located at the Picnic Grounds, 2nd Floor Elements Hall, 27 Scout Rallos Street, Bgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City. For queries, call +63 2 4138008 or email gelatolabph@gmail.com.

Did you know you can serve Gelato Lab’s treats in your next party? For Php9,000, you can have a Gelato Lab scooping station that will give out 120 cups of gelato. This package already includes the freezer, cups, spoons and paper napkins, and one server. Your guests will be able to choose from 3 regular flavors (or you can upgrade to premium flavors for an additional Php400/flavor). For additional 20 cups of regular flavor gelato, pay Php1,300 while for additional 20 cups premium flavor gelato, pay Php1,500.

Gelato Lab’s regular flavors include: Banoffee, Black Sesame, Caramel Popcorn, Cashew, Coffee Straciatella, Custaroon, Dark Chocolate, Earl Grey, Latter Macchiato, Leche Flan, Mango Pudding, Milo Dinosaur, Oreo Cheesecake, Sea Salt Caramel, Snickers, Thai Milk Tea, Ube and Vanilla Bean.

Its premium flavors, on the other hand, include: Baileys Irish Cream, Cookie Dough, Jack Daniels Whiskey, Maltesers, Macha Choco Chip, Mochacchino, Pina Colada Sorbet, Pistachio, Rum Raisin, Strawberry and Tiramisu.

Gelato Lab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato