Union of cuisines at Four in Love BBQ Hotpot Buffet, SM Manila

Good food and good company come together in this newly opened restaurant at SM City Manila called Four in Love.

A joint venture of four restaurateurs formerly based in Singapore and Thailand, this new dining venue seeks to introduce new and exciting food concepts to the Pinoy foodie while still offering familiar items.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Here, diners can give in to their cravings for four Asian cuisines, all at the same place and at the same time:

Korean samgyeopsal and Japanese yakiniku share the space on the table’s built-in grill.

Japanese shabu-shabu and Chinese hotpot have pride of place in the hotpot area

Thai mookata combines the grilling and hotpot in one crafty cooking method.

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH, I joined in on the resto’s opening day celebrations. There, we found some old favorites and new appealing tastes as we explored all that Four in Love has to offer.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four in Love is designed for groups with tables that can seat as few as two people to as many as ten, interacting and eating together, with all the action centered on the meats, seafood and vegetables being cooked right on the table. The place is frenetic with activity, with servers hurrying to and fro to deliver refill requests.

Diners can choose from three tasty and filling meal sets for their beyond unli-meat-ed food adventure:

Harmony Set (Php399/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices.

Wealth Set (Php599/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices; plain, sweet and spicy beef chuck: plain, sweet and spicy chicken thighs: pork belly, beef rib eye, squid, mussels, salmon belly, shrimps and Korean spicy noodles.

Abundance Set (Php799/person). Plain, sweet and spicy pork slices; plain, sweet and spicy beef chuck: plain, sweet and spicy chicken thighs: pork belly, beef short plate, short ribs and rib eye; squid, mussels, salmon belly, tuna belly, shrimps, scallops and Korean spicy noodles.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

(By the way, those Korean noodles sure are spicy!)

Four In Love, SM Manila

All sets come with unlimited refills of six hot dishes, cold dishes, fresh fruits and dessert. The Wealth and Abundance Sets also come with creamy mozzarella to be melted on the grill for dipping of the grilled meats.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Do try Four In Love’s dipping sauces (from Thai peanut sauce to Japanese shabu sauce and more), mixed and matched with herbs, chilis, aromatics and other condiments which will add new dimensions to your food. Not sure how to make your own sauce? Easy-piece-y! Just follow the guide provided at the sauce station.

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

If your group wants to taste some exotic soups through the hotpot steamboat, just add Php99 for one soup or Php159 for two soups for hotpot per table. To experience a mukata and shabu-shabu combo, just add Php99 per table. The mala soup, for instance, with its distinctly Sichuan flavor, is definitely a must-try!

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Oh, and be sure to coat that mookata grill with some fat before grilling your meats so they won’t stick! Also, the juices from the grill will fall from the mookata straight into the boiling soup which will add more flavor to the broth.

Four In Love, SM Manila

All those bold and spicy flavors are sure to work up a thirst. Fortunately, you can just add Php39/person for free-flowing softdrinks!

You and your group can enjoy all these for two hours, more than enough time to eat your fill of your favorites. Be sure to finish off all your meats, though; leftovers will be charged Php300 per 100 grams.

So if ever you and the gang are in the mood for a four-in-one foodie adventure, just hie off to SM City Manila and have your meal at Four in Love! Take advantage of its Grand Opening promo and enjoy 20% discount on your food bill until October 7!

Many thanks to the management and crew of Four in Love for the warm welcome and the delicious and filling meal!

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four In Love, SM Manila

Four in Love is located at Unit 30, Lower Ground Floor, SM City Manila, Ermita, Manila, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2923095.

Four In Love BBQ Hotpot Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I attended 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.

New and exotic dishes at Essential Goodness for the Pilgrims in Poblacion

Along the busy and traffic-congested road that is Makati Avenue is a haven catering to the wanderers that venture into this bustling city.

Dubbed Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, it is a rooftop restaurant and bar of premium hostel Lub D Makati. The restaurant’s dining experience is the result of the hostel’s collaboration with notable local chefs Nicco Santos and Quenee Vilar of Hey Handsome and Your Local restaurants. With a menu that builds on familiar Pinoy favorites and international cuisines, the resto initially made a name for itself among Poblacion’s denizens with its All-Day brunch menu.

It also boasts of tastefully decorated interiors and an al fresco roofdeck with a breathtaking view of the Makati skyline.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Recently, along with fellow foodies, I got a sneak peek at its soon-to-be-launched menu items which were paired with drinks from the resto’s bar list. These include:

Tofu Salad. Made with marinated kino tofu tossed with spinach, cilantro, basil and lime. It is paired with Caipirinha, a Brazilian cocktail made with lime, sugar cubes and cachaca, a distilled spirit concocted from fermented sugar cane juice.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Salmon Ceviche. Raw marinated salmon served with green papaya, tomatoes, coconut cream, green and red eye chilis and cilantro. It is paired with Sauvignon Blanc.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Crab Curry. Crab meat stewed in curry, and served with cilantro and roti, flatbread originating from India made from stoneground wholemeal flour. It is paired with the exotic Sour Sup Black Tea, a drink made of guyabano juice, black tea and whisky.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Fried Chicken Poppers. Juicy fillets of breaded chicken served with spicy sambal cream cheese and edible flowers.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Vegan Curry Laksa. The Southeast Asian spicy rice noodle soup made even healthier with shitake mushrooms, zucchini, bean sprouts and banana hearts. It is paired with a refreshing glass of Essential Iced Tea made with black tea, lemongrass and calamansi.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Thai Fried Chicken. Cured chicken deep-fried to achieve a crisp and flavorful skin and tender juicy meat. It is served with pickled red bell pepper and green chili sambal on top of fragrant herbed rice.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Braised Beef. Local beef slow-cooked for four hours and served with guava sauce, green papaya salad and herbed and toasted rice. It is paired with Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the world’s best-known red wine varieties.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Earl Grey Chocolate. A thick layer of grey black tea infused chocolate smeared onto a bowl containing vanilla ice cream topped with citrusy yuzu syrup and brown butter crumbs.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Mango and Sticky Rice. Slices of sweet ripe mangoes topping a bed of coconut sticky rice with a side of caramelized peanuts.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

The new dishes feature a distinct Southeast Asian taste profile, with some heat from the chilis and crisp freshness from the vegetables. One or two dishes do have a bit of a problem in balancing the flavors but this can be addressed prior to their official launch. Do watch out for these tasty offerings in the coming days.

The deliciously exotic food, chill vibe and beautiful surroundings made this food tasting a very memorable event for me and my fellow foodies. Kudos to the Essential goodness, for the pilgrims team for the masterfully prepared dishes and the lovely event.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims, Poblacion

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims is located at 13th Floor, Lub d Makati, 7820 Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City, open daily from 6am to 3pm and 6pm to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5416358 loc 2600 or +63 917 5340497.

Essential goodness, for the pilgrims Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I was invited to attend a food tasting held in this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Zomato Tagaytay Food Crawl Second Stop: Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant

The second stop of our Zomato Food Crawl was held at the Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant, tucked away along Sicat Road in a residential area off the Aguinaldo Highway on the way to Mountain Ridge.

Surprisingly, despite the location and the rainy weather, it was still filled with families who want to enjoy a more exotic cuisine for lunch.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Its grounds are surrounded with greenery and garden decor with an Asian, Zen-like feel. Sadly, due to the rains, we were not able to dine outside (but we did hold our flat-lays there, though).  It would have been quite enjoyable to feast on the Thai dishes while enjoying the refreshing Tagaytay breeze.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

The resto’s interiors also has a distinctive Asian decor, from the bric-a-bracs that line the walls, the proliferation of indoor greenery, and the colorful accessories that accent the place.

Some items in one of the inner rooms are also for sale.  These include small mortar and pestle sets, decorative jars, local raw wild honey and more.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Thai cuisine is characterized by the intricate balance of five flavors: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy.  An emphasis is placed on the strong aromatic elements and a spicy edge.  These flavors came into play with the dishes served to our group which included:

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Fresh Spring Rolls (Php270). Rolled herbs, carrots, cabbage, tofu and noodles topped with a sweet chile relish.  A hit for those who want to eat something light, fresh and healthy!

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Tom Yum Goong (Php410).  The dish’s name translates to “lemongrass shrimp soup.”  It is a hot and sour soup with large shrimps.  It is reminiscent of the Pinoy sinigang but with more complex flavors owing to the herbs and chilis mixed in.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Lime and Basil Salad (Php340).  The resto’s namesake salad contains fried egg, basil, lettuce, peanuts and shallots lightly doused with a sour tamaring dressing.  I find it a good palate cleanser after tasting the more flavorful dishes.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashews (Php380). Sauteed bits of chicken cooked with cashew nuts in a salty sweet sauce.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Kao Pad Saparod (Php360).  Fried rice served in a bowl made of pineapple which adds some sweetness to the salty rice.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Pad Thai (Php350).  A sweet-savory noodle dish, most commonly served as street food in Thailand.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Kaeng Deng Kha Moo (Php770).  The Thai version of the Pinoy Crispy Pata with a red curry sauce.  The crackling skin was very crispy while the meat was quite tender.  It went well with the pineapple rice.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Kao Neiw Mamaung (Php220).  A beautifully presented dish, it consists of glutinous rice, coconut milk and luscious slivers of ripe mango.  It is doused with condensed milk for some added sweetness.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

Thai Iced Team (Php110).  What Thai meal is complete without its signature iced tea?  This refreshing beverage is made from strongly-brewed tea with some additional spices and sweetened with sugar and condensed milk.

Lime and Basil Thai Reataurant, Tagaytay

The dishes were tasty and well-presented, quite excellent representatives of Thai cuisine. These will help in broadening the horizons of the Filipino palate.

Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant is located at 9104 J. Rizal Street, Barangay Sicat, Tagaytay. It is open weekends from 11am to 9pm and weekends from 10am to 10pm.  For reservations and inquiries, call +63 915 627 6393.

Lime and Basil Thai Restaurant 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.

Recipe: Thai Peanut Sauce

I admit: I did have my doubts about the Smoke & Fire Peanut Butter that Fix & Fogg sent me to try out. I was intrigued at the concept of a smokey and spicy peanut butter ever since I heard about it; I just didn’t know what to do with this variant.

Fix & Fogg is a maker of small batch peanut butter based in Wellington, New Zealand. Its peanut butter variants have just become available in the Philippines, stocked in retail outlets like All Day Supermarkets, Cartel Deli, Earth Origins Marketplace and Power Plant Market, as well as distributed online via websites such as Beauty MNL, Gerald.PH and the Green Grocer.

While I have recently grown to appreciate some spicy food, thanks in large part to my passion for Korean dishes, I usually shy away from these as my palate gravitates more towards sweet and/or salty food.

Fortunately, my daughter, #ExhibitA, was feeling adventurous and volunteered to cook dinner while incorporating this peanut butter into the recipe. So, last Friday night, after a long day at the office, I came home to a culinary masterpiece courtesy of my darling baby girl.

She basically pan-fried a half-kilo of porkchops seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil. Then, she set about making a Thai peanut sauce based on a recipe from Epicurious, adjusted due to availability of ingredients and to taste.

Fix and Fogg

Ingredients:

Procedure:

  • With the motor running, drop the ginger and garlic clove into your blender. Blend until the ingredients are finely chopped.
  • Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar and water, then blend until smooth. Add in more water by tablespoonfuls to thin the mixture.

This recipe yields 2 cups of the peanut sauce, equivalent to 8 servings, with approximately 47 calories per serving.

You can make this sauce ahead of time. Place in a container with a lid then chill. It will keep for 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

It went well with the pork chops, adding a citrusy zing and a spicy bite to the viand. The sauce may also be used as a salad dressing or as an accompaniment to lettuce wrapped minced chicken.

Want to try this recipe 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. Use 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.

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Disclosure: Fix & Fogg provided product samples for me to review.  Reactions and opinions about the product are my own.