Archive for the ‘Picdump’ Category

I first learned of All4U when I saw one of their sponsored posts on Facebook. I swear, FB ads will be the death of me! I often catch myself getting suckered into the seemingly endless video ads of restaurants, cosmetics, and almost anything under the sun. Such a waste of time, haha! Anyway, I digress. After stalking their FB page for reviews, I trecked all the way to Century Mall to try out All4U’s buffet grill and shabu shabu. 

During our visit, they had a soft opening promo of Php599 instead of Php699 per head. With this you can order unlimited amounts of shrimp, beef, pork (for samgyupsal), vegetables, soup base, rice, sauce and side dish. It also comes with a serving of Korean ramen (the instant kind), Melona ice cream, and a drink of your choice.

They serve you four sauces – All4U spicy special sauce, soy-based ponzu sauce, sate sauce, and sesame oil with salt and pepper. Honestly, I touched only the sesame oil and maybe a little bit of their spicy sauce.

They also have four side dishes – dilis with peanuts, papaya achara with vinegar, kimchi and fresh vegetable salad with All4U sauce which tasted like Kewpie’s roasted sesame salad dressing. I liked everything except for the achara which was very forgettable.

Here comes the good part! You can order plate after plate of shrimp (so good when freshly grilled!), chicken (waste of stomach space), beef (perfect for the shabu shabu), and pork belly (the ultimate love of my life haha). The veggies provided the illusion that we were eating a well balanced meal haha! No but seriously, the veggies were also good. I love soaking them long in the bubbling broth until they almost disintegrate – am I the only one who does this?

The deal also comes with a choice of either steam rice or kimchi rice but we barely touched our rice, to be honest. For our soup base, we ditched the kimchi soup and opted for the All4U Organic Soup. Apparently, it is a stock made out of kelp, graviola, shitake, malunggay, garlic, and ginger. It comes out pretty bland so you can ask for salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste. I didn’t use any salt but put in minced garlic and chili peppers, instead – it turned out good!

As if all that awesome food wasn’t good enough, they gave us a privilege card which entitles us to avail of their soft opening price of Php599 instead of Php699 FOREVER. Now that’s a sure-fire way of securing returning customers. I am already planning out my next visit!

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Last week, a good friend who works in Singapore was home for a short while. We decided to meet up for lunch before she heads back to SG. She requested for a restaurant that serves greens and I immediately thought of Sunnies Cafe. I have been seeing posts about this place on Instagram, and they appear to offer healthy and upscale dishes.
 


 

What we ordered:

Salmon Poke Quinoa | Php280 – spicy raw salmon, avocado, mixed greens, quinoa, pickled red onions, seaweed, citrus ponzu dressing. I loved the bits of spicy salmon mixed with the creamy avocado. I loved almost everything on the plate except for the purplish leaves which were a little too bitter for my taste.

Southern Style Fried Chicken Wings | Php290 – served with honey and homemade gravy. I love me some chicken but these ones I didn’t like. The meat had a funky taste to it – it was a bit malansa. In restrospect, I should have asked for lemon to balance out the funkiness but I guess we just couldn’t be bothered that time.

Spicy Pomodoro | Php270 – linguini, mixed seafood, white anchovies, lemon, parsley. This I loved! The spicy sauce contrasted so well with the salty anchovies and the lemon added that much needed kick to it. Serving was a bit stingy, though. In general, serving size could be something they can improve on so the customers feel that they are getting more value for their money.

For drinks we had Iced Mocha (Php170) and Mango Shake (Php165). I had the coffee and I liked how strong it was til the very last drop – it didn’t get watered down by the melted ice. I didn’t get to ask Lorraine how her mango shake was but she didn’t really have any complaints so I think it is safe to assume that it was OK.


 

Sunnies Cafe is a good place for catching up with friends with its high ceiling and Instagram-worthy interiors. Too bad I didn’t get to take photos to show the ambiance of the place because it was just so crowded during our visit. The speed of their service could be improved though, good thing Lorraine and I were too busy chitchatting that we didn’t mind the long-ish wait. That being said, I would still definitely go back to taste more of their food.

 

Fely J’s Kitchen is a Filipino restaurant that specializes in Kapampangan food. It is part of the very popular LJC group of restaurants along with ABE, Lorenzo’s Way, Café Adriatico and Café Havana. After watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in the very cold Uptown Mall Cinema last weekend, I was craving for hot soup to warm me up. After a lot o wandering around, we ended up at Fely J’s mainly because the restaurant wasn’t as crowded as others and also because they have liempo, LOL.

Upon taking our order, they served us complimentary kropek which we munched on while waiting for our food to arrive. It came in this very pretty native bowl which I wanted to take home haha!

In an attempt to be ~healthy~, I ordered Ensalada ni Nanay (Php165). It came with slices of green mango, tomatoes, onions, salted egg, okra and eggplant. The sautéed bagoong was good – a little bit sweet and not too salty.

For our rice, we got the Fely J’s Dilis-cious Rice (Php225). It’s your regular steamed rice topped with deep-fried dilis and taosi and what I think might be fried shallots or onions. Honestly, the toppings were almost like ulam already but I loved how delicately flavored the crispy toppings were that they did not overpower the steamed rice.

Of course we got sinigang. This is the Fely J’s Pork Rib Sinigang (Php395). You have a choice between guava and tamarind broth. I’ve tried guava sinigang before and I didn’t like it so I opted for the classic tamarind. I like how they used pork rib so the meat wasn’t too fatty. Given that the pork was a bit on the leaner side, I was surprised to learn that they still managed to make it soft and tender. I loved dipping the meat into my patis-sili dipping sauce.

Last but not the least is the love of my life, Pork Liempo (Php225). If you know me well enough, you would know that I love LOVE liempo. Fely J’s version could be more tastier but it’s nothing a good toyo-mansi dipping sauce can’t remedy. 

Fely J’s Kitchen was surprisingly good. Not being much of a rice lover, it is a surprise that my favorite that night was the Dilis Rice. I could have the rice and the soup of the sinigang alone and I would honestly be a happy camper. 

I KNOW. I neglected this blog for a very long time. You see, last year was all kinds of shitty and it literally felt like a shithole. I don’t even want to talk about it with the mindset that if I avoid talking about 2016’s struggles, I can pretend that they actually didn’t happen. Instead, I will try my best to inject more positivity in my life by doing more of the things I love to do (i.e., eating and traveling). So here’s a food post for ya!

I love Japanese food so much! If I could have it everyday, I would. Sadly, Japanese food is more often a little on the pricey side here in the Philippines. Watami is one of the few places that offers good food at a reasonable price point. Read on to see what we got on our most recent visit.

Spicy Salmon Tempura | P245 – The ratio of shredded spicy salmon to rice was perfect. The slices are just right as one biters and I couldn’t stop popping them into my mouth.

Beef Pepper Rice | P195 – This reminded me so much of Pepper Lunch. It is served in a stone pot which worked well in keeping the rice hot. The beef was served raw but it cooked as the server mixed it all up in the pot. My favorite were the rice that stuck to the bottom which turned crispy. Yum!

Grilled Ahi | P145 – The fish was grilled perfectly; it was still moist and juicy and quite tasty. I wish the fish was a bit bigger but I guess that’s just me being my usual matakaw self LOL.

Creative Assorted Skewers | P225 – We couldn’t decide which of the yakitori offerings we wanted to order so we got a combination platter instead. It came with one skewer each of Chicken Liver (P55), Pork Enoki (P75), Chicken Thigh (P55), Roasted Beef & Spring Onion Roll (P95), and Chicken Wing (P55). My favorite were the enoki mushrooms wrapped in pork/bacon. They were just a delight to munch on!

 

I honestly could have eaten more but we were to watch a movie with unlimited popcorn and drinks right after lunch so I wanted to save some space in my tummy. That being said, I would gladly eat at Watami again and again.

Below are photos of their menu in the Uptown Mall branch for your reference.

 

Tori Ichi Yakitori and Bar is one of the newest(ish) eating joints in our office building – Net Quad in BGC. It replaced the Thai restaurant Silk Road which wasn’t much of a hit for us. We decided to give Tori Ichi a try since my team and I are always in the lookout for new lunch-out places in the area.

For anyone not familiar, yakitori refers to the Japanese preparation of grilling skewered meat (and other stuff) over a charcoal file. It’s much like satay or our traditional ihaw-ihaw.

As soon as we were seated, we were given a complimentary appetizer of fried anchovies (dilis). These little fishies helped tide over our hunger. I suggest you indulge on these as service could be a bit slow.

Gohan Php60 | A cup of plain Japanese rice topped with furikake.

Shironegi Php35 | These are skewered onion leeks which I thoroughly enjoyed as additional topping to my rice.

Nankotsu Php35 | Chicken cartilage skewer. Call me weird but these things which are usually thrown away by others taste delicious to me.

Kimo Php50 | Chicken liver skewer with tare sauce.

Sunazuri Php50 | Chicken gizzard skewer grilled to perfection. I loved how the gizzards didn’t turn chewy as most grilled gizzards usually do.

Butabara Php75 | Pork belly skewer. My ultimate favorite for the night. It had the right amount of fat for me and it was perfectly tender.

I liked everything I ordered that night. However, you should be wary as your bill could easily skyrocket if you don’t take pay attention to what you’re getting. You’ll tend to order more sticks as the serving size is a bit on the stingy side. Overall, I would still go back to try other items on their menu.

Below is a snapshot of their menu to help you decide on your order in advance. 😉

 

Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza just opened a new branch in Serendra and we wasted no time in checking it out. In fact, they are still on soft opening but we just couldn’t wait any longer to get another taste of their infamous buratta.

For starters, we had an order of their Buratta Caprese (P355) which had one huge buratta, halved cherry tomatoes, a bed of pesto on the bottom, basil leaves, and all were drizzled in olive oil. This is best eaten with their warm bread rolls.

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We ordered two pasta dishes to share among four of us – Salted Egg (P190) and Stuffed Chicken (P355). The Salted Egg Pasta has fettuccini, bacon, salted egg, cream and topped with grated parmesan cheese. It was good but was a little too rich for my taste so I asked for a slice of lemon to cut the richness. After a good drizzle of fresh lemon juice, I easily finished my portion which was creamy and salty and delicious all at the same time. The Stuffed Chicken Pasta on the other hand comes with aglio olio spaghetti, a roll of chicken breast stuffed with ground pork and coated in cream sauce. The best part of this dish was the tasty chicken roll with ground beef inside. If you are ordering this dish, make sure you have time to spare because it takes around 15-20 mins to cook. But if you ask me, it is well worth the wait.

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For our pizza, we got the SMEGG (P420). It is topped with their homemade sausage, mushroom, eggs, gouda and cream. I enjoyed my slices with a drizzling of their Spicy Honey and some drops of tabasco.

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To down all these carbs with, we also ordered a pitcher of their Iced Tea (P120). I liked it because it did not taste like commercial powdered iced tea mix.

All in all, I loved my second time at Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza. I would definitely go back just for the buratta alone.

When I visited Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, I made sure that I would have my fill of their infamous pho or Vietnamese noodle soup. I was hellbent on trying as much pho as I could that it was actually my first meal in Vietnam (our breakfast in Ben Thanh Market). But there was one restaurant that made its mark on me, mainly because their noodle soup was really good.

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The restaurant was just an accidental discovery but it was already way past lunch time and it was the only restaurant we spotted around the area. We didn’t know anything about the place but we bit the bullet and went in anyway. Upon entering, I was appeased when I saw one wall plastered with photos of locals enjoying their food. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if locals frequent the place, yeah?

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When we got seated, we were immediately served with some sort of pastry. We weren’t exactly sure if they were complimentary but Timmy was too hungry to bother so she went ahead and ate one. I was saving room for my main meal so I only took a small bite off of hers. It was actually delicious! The pastry was flaky, and the filling (which I suspect to be minced pork) was tasty and savory.

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Also on the table were the usual accompaniment for pho – mung sprouts, cilantro and chives. There were also some additional condiments like garlic oil, sliced peppers, marinated garlic and three types of sauces that I honestly didn’t use so I never got to identify them.

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After a short while, our orders were served. Timmy and I got the same thing which had everything on it. Wantons, shrimp, pork balls, and egg noodle soup. My favorite part was the “pork chops” which were actually boiled pork reminiscent of our very own nilaga. The pork pieces were so delightfully tender and the broth was really tasty. I think the dish cost around ~Php120, honestly a fair price for such good quality.

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If I ever have the chance to go back to Ho Chi Minh, I would definitely pay this restaurant another visit. If you’re going to HCMC, this is a must-try! It’s around 8 minutes by foot from Ben Thanh Market.

Check out my previous posts on my Indochina trip here: