Posts Tagged ‘restaurant review’

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.

 

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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. 😉

 

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:

It feels like it has been ages since Tim Ho Wan opened its first store here in the Philippines and I have been wantingto eat there ever since. Consistently, I see a buttload of photos of their infamous pork buns which made me even more eager to try it for myself. But since I hate crowds and I always see a long waiting line outside their branch in SM Megamall, I get turned off and always walk away looking for somewhere else to eat. Until one Saturday evening, when Cris and I were deciding where to have our dinner. There were no lines outside Tim Ho Wan so it was instantaneously decided, Tim Ho Wan for dinner it is!

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(Spicy) Pork Ribs Rice | Php170
The dish was served piping hot, and the pepper slices on top made it even hotter. The pork ribs were tender; with the right mix of meat, fat, bone, and cartilage. Cris enjoyed this so much, he ate 80% of it LOL.

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Braised Chicken Feet | ~Php140
We ordered chicken feet because we have been craving for Causeway’s chicken feet for the longest time. Tim Ho Wan’s were good, the meat was tasty and soft. However, I still prefer that of Causeway’s.

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Congee | Php140
Their congee had lean pork, Century egg and salted egg. It was super good!!! Don’t be fooled by the seemingly plain appearance, it packs a lot of flavor. I especially love the salted egg bits in it. I would definitely order this again next time.

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Beef Ball w/ Beancurd Skin | Php120
This was actually a wrong order. We originally wanted the Beancurd Skin Roll but I mistakenly ticked the wrong box LOL. With that being said, the beef balls were still appreciated. It tasted really meaty – no extenders. However, the cilantro taste was a tad too strong for my liking. This is just a personal preference though, I just don’t like cilantro that much.

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Baked Bun w/ BBQ Pork | Php145
First of all, I feel like this dish is pretty cheap considering you get 3 pieces of pork buns per order. I have heard nothing but good things about Tim Ho Wan’s pork buns so I was really, really excited to taste them. They were served hot and the crust was oh so crunchy yet soft at the same time (if that is even possible). On first bite, I was in love. So I took a few more bites, then it hit me… It’s sweet. Too sweet. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. The BBQ Pork filling was too sweet for me, again, a personal preference. But I loved the pastry shell. I imagine it would work well as a dessert if it was filled with custard or red beans.

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Overall, I loved Tim Ho Wan’s food! I was a bit sad that I didn’t like the Pork Buns as much as I thought I would, but the Pork Ribs and Congee more than made up for it. I would definitely go back again, only if the lines are short enough LOL.

Have you tried Tim Ho Wan’s food? What’s your favorite dish from them?

For my friend’s birthday celebration (a year ago LOL), she chose to have our dinner at Naci’s. Naci Comfort Food brings comfort food that’s simple while still robust and full of flavor. We’ve tried their desserts one other time but it was actually our first to try their meals.

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First off, we each ordered their fruit shakes. They were rather fresh and refreshing (is this redundant?), but nothing worth writing home about. Their fruit shakes range from Php145 to Php175.

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Their Triple Nachos (Php280) were such a hit. A combination of deep-fried flour tortillas, taro and corn chips served with Mexican beef and the freshest tomato salsa drizzled with cheese sauce and tangy sour cream. I couldn’t stop myself from popping one chip after another into my mouth. The chips, despite being deep-fried, were not oily at all so that’s a big plus.

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The Yakimeshi Beef Rice Bowl (Php380) is a fusion of Japanese favorites. Sukiyaki beef, tofu and sauteed mixed vegetables topped over Japanese fried rice drizzled with teriyaki sauce. I honestly don’t remember a lot about this dish but I know that the beef slices were perfectly tender.

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Their Grilled Mahi Mahi (Php380) had one thick fillet topped with dill cream and cherry tomatoes served with parsley rice and buttered vegetables. The fish was grilled perfectly – it did not come out dry. But oddly, my favorite part of this dish were the buttered veggies. They were fresh, crunchy and sweet, just the way I like my veggies to be.

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Last that came out was the Milton’s Fried Chicken (Php450). Crispy fried chicken marinated in Naci’s secret spice blend and buttermilk served with mushroom gravy and tomato ketchup. The chicken pieces were huge and the batter was so deliciously crispy. To top it all off, the potato fries on the side was also yummy. I found myself eating the fries even if I already felt a little full. LOL glutton much?

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Dinner was very good and we capped it all off with their Yema Cake which we got for the birthday girl. My favorites for the night were the fried chicken and nachos.

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Sadly, Naci is no longer open in BGC (it has been replaced by Shingetsu) but I am hoping they open up again in another location.