BGC Passion Fest 2010 Food Tour with Ivan Man Dy

30 April 2010

BGC Passion Fest 2010 Food Tour with Ivan Man Dy

If you don’t have plans for May 1 and if you want in on the second run of a Ivan Man Dy hosted Bonifacio Global City’s Passion Fest 2010 Food Tour in Serendra, Bonifacio High Street, and Fort Strip area covering at least 6 popular restaurants/food establishments (ours included Sonja’s Cupcakes, Miss Desserts, Zao, TGI Friday’s, sampling Yoh-Gurt Froz inside Hobbes & Landes, Parco, and the Establishment though the set this week could be slightly different), Ivan himself mentioned that you may still be able to participate after all.

The online sign-up has already ended but the organizers have graciously implied that can still accommodate a limited number of people. If you are interested, what you can do is head over to the B.G.C. Concierge booth at unit B8 in BHS (just outside Shisheido) from 1-2PM. Sign-ups are on a “first come, first served” arrangement so you better make a run for it to grab those blank slots! This Food Tour is absolutely FREE. Lucky participants who get to successfully sign up will be able to sample offerings of the restaurants that are part of this Food Tour. That, and you will get to hear insider scoop and dibs on what these establishments are famous for, what makes them THE go-to grub joints in the Bonifacio Global City area, and experience first hand how it feels to join Ivan’s food and walk tours. Again, all in the name of FREE. LOL

I don’t want to give away Ivan’s spills, that’s for you to hear for yourself. If you want a more detailed account of the experience, you may read through Jane of Between Bites‘ account of the tour here. Below, however, are photos I took during last week’s leg (hover on the images for the description). Good luck and enjoy Labor Day!

Crispy Spring Rolls Grilled Honey Tenderloin Triple Chicken Sampler from Friday's Ordinary nachos Pasta Genovese at Pasto Pizza di Carne from Pasto Crostini from Pasto Yoh-Hurt Froz Cream Dory Katsu

Click here for the rest of my photos from the BGC Passion Fest 2010 Food Tour.

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Davao Food Tourism with Davao “FAT”

28 April 2010

Davao Food Tourism with Davao “FAT”

On March in 2009, prior to me owning the high-power zooming ultra compact Lumix ZS3 and a Canon EOS 550D, I brought my trusty Nokia N82 camera phone to Davao City in time for the now annual Davao Food Appreciation Tour (DFAT) through the efforts and graciousness (not of the local DOT as you might think but) of local bloggers to show us visitors a different story to the city otherwise famous for its durian and suha. Think about it: taking upon a daunting task of getting select local restaurants’ buy-in to feed a group of hungry travelers from Manila for free is no easy task. But it’s happened AND it will again this year, this coming weekend, on its third straight year in a row. This “food tourism” project is the initiative of Davao City bloggers Ria, Drew, Blogie, and Chattee.

Looking back, let me re-count with words and a few food pron photographs how much of a swell time I had with good friends and great company. We did spend for our own airfare and accommodation, yes, but going to Davao with no other intention but to grub (and enjoy the city on the side) was IMHO a three-day travel-adventure worth saving up for.

During Lunch of the first day, we were sat inside the quaint Tadakuma Japanese Restaurant at Damosa where we were served one flavorful Japanese dish after another: Atuyaki Tofu, Sukiyaki, Yakisoba, Gomoku Chahan, and Gyoza. Of the lot, I’ll never forget their Sukiyaki, priced at a low P380.00 last year. Although I don’t have a photo of it here, I fondly recall its sheer magnificence (so not kidding) when I day dream inside meh Japanese fast food restos in Makati. Quite comparable to the Sukiyaki from the Jap resto along Pasay Rd and near Pasong Tamo (I’m not saying which, exactly LOL).

From this point, onwards, please hover on the images for descriptions. Thank you.

Gyoza from Tadakuma

Maki from Tadakuma

Yakisoba from Tadakuma

At dinner, we went to Aileen and Ria’s (the birthday girl 04.28 yay!) favorite restaurant, Lachi’s, where they served Cream Dory in Thai Sauce (limited release and “coming soon” back then), Breaded Tofu in Teriyaki Sauce, Laing Pasta (see how creative they are?), Pork Belly in red Bean Curd Sauce (also a limited release food item), Pork Marinara (pasta, Aileen’s favorite), Unforgettable Ribs (my ultimate favorite), and Ube Panna Cotta and Crème Brûlée for dessert. Lachi’s is famous for their Sans Rival, for those not in the know. I always make it a point to drop by this resto when I’m in Davao (Drew and Ria seem more than happy to oblige and take me there). Lachi’s, I overheard, makes cakes for several other restaurants in Davao City. Goes to show how good they really are in pampering a sweet tooth.

Pork Marinara from Lachi's

Cheesecakes from Lachi's

Choco Torte from Lachi's in Davao City

After dinner, we capped the night off with coffee (and stories) over at Kangaroo, a local coffee shop famous for their Alamid/Manos (cat poo LOL) coffee. Our group signed their guestbook like the self proclaimed stars that we are. I also bought mint chocolate chip cookies from the cafe as pasalubong for my boss (bribe for letting me take a leave that time).

Kangaroo Coffee

Guestbook Page at Kangaroo

On the second day, we went Zip-lining at Asia’s longest zip, The Xcelerator, first before lunch was served at a cozy restaurant called Pepper & Peppers. The most memorable dish they served was the Iberian Chicken: baked to perfection and glazed with spices that will make your mind spin in euphoria, despite it soaking in what appears to be heart-attack-inducing oil but is, in fact, zero-cholesterol-and-zero-trans-fat olive oil. I think you’ll have to call the store and order the Iberian Chicken in advance because it takes quite a while to prepare. It’s that special!

Pepper & Peppers in Davao City

Iberian Chicken from Pepper & Peppers in Davao City

Sisig from Pepper & Peppers in Davao City

Pepper & Peppers in Davao City

More city touring followed and at dinner, we went to Mamu’s where they served the best soup I had during my stay. It is here that I got to first eat salmon sashimi. First. You read that right. Contrary to the aura I project, I never got the hang of Japanese food from since I was little. To my joy and delight, my first salmon sashimi experience was ab-so-lutely fuckentastic! Mamu’s owner showed us around the hotel rooms of the adjoining Anisabel Suites. Had I known of this from before, I would have booked my stay at Anisabel, instead. Their Suite Room’s T&B has see-through showers with only a curtain dividing it from the bedroom. Perfect for the “first” during honeymoon night! OMG, an epiphany a year too late! Hahaha!

Mamu's

Anisabel Suites and Mamu's

On our third and last day, we had lunch at Cafe Andessa, home to the Bicol Express Pasta. A MUST TRY! On my notes, I scribbled down “Iced Tea FTMFW! (woot) (rock) (panic),” just so I could remember how fantastic their iced tea is. Now I want one. Bummer. For dessert, we had Suman Latik and Turon a la mode. Looking at my year-old photos is making me hallucinate. Not good.

Cafe Andessa

Bicol Express Pasta from Café Andessa

Pepper & Peppers in Davao City

Turon a la Mode (haha) from Café Andessa

This coming weekend, DFAT shall happen on its third year. For first time joiners, you’re in for a wild ride, I assure you. To Drew, Chattee, and Ria, you guys are amazing. Every city needs a clone of each of you and collectively, you and your clones will take food tourism to greater heights all over the country. To the DOT, learn from these guys. To the guys I went with, you are the best company ever! To the rest of the participants this weekend, please take better photos than what I got with my camphone. That’s a dare ;)

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What is this… this Baconator® thing?!

12 January 2009

It’s the rave about town, this Baconator® thing: 6 strips of bacon, 2 burger patties, 2 cheese slices, one very satisfying grub. I was all, “no way you guys wanna kill yourselves with that … that cardiac arrest inducing THING?!”

It has dragged for weeks, my disgust over this burger and the more I shake the thought off, the more I seem to think about having some. To mask my personal dilemma, I was all still MOUTH WATERING MY ASS BECAUSE I’M STILL NOT GONNA HAVE AND RAVE ABOUT THIS NON-SENSE! Just imagine the oil and the calories in that … that THING! (more…)

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Mario’s Restaurant: Keeping the Classic Current

22 October 2008

First thing that comes to mind when the name “Mario’s Restaurant” is mentioned is either “steak,” “hella old,” and “expensive.” In that order. This may very well explain why I’ve never been to any of their branches until last Saturday. (I’ve eaten in great hotels’ buffet both in and outside the country, dined in Lolo Dad’s–probably the most expensive dinner I’ve had, Le Suffle, Casa Armas, the Portico chain, you name it, and several others which when I enumerate will definitely earn me the ire of many as THE douchebag, but never in Mario’s. I blame the Partner I’ve had the privilege of being under in SGV and my bosses of old because, in all honesty, most of my fine dining exploits I’ve enjoyed by free loading. A harsh term, yes, but mind you, the phrase “there’s no such thing as free lunch” is with context. I learned the hard way back in the day.)

Restaurateur and owner Fil Benitez sent a dinner invite nobody would want to refuse for their Tomas Morato branch so we can experience firsthand how a brand which started 37 years ago can still remake itself and stay current, while not sacrificing the great reputation it had so carefully built in time. “…We hope the new, young generation like [you] will notice that Mario’s has something new even if some of your parents started dating here,” he said. Most notable was when Fil mentioned “we will always retain our Old Casa Specials, but will continue to add new and innovative dishes. We change them every quarter while we remove some of the items from the Main menu. Same is true with our wine list which is designed wherein we can introduce new varietals often.” In times when restaurants have a 5-year shelf-life on an average, going strong at 38 is a remarkable feat. Sure some of the food items in their menu may be priced on the steep side but their’s are still said to be comparably cheaper than most other fine dining places.

Some entrées, like the Chilean Sea Bass I ordered, are done with a bit of a “South Beach Diet” in mind. Flavorful yet light. I’m not one to eat fruits with my main dish but the mango-and-pineapple salsa served on top of the tender sea bass played well with the slightly salty character of the Miso-Mirin sauce it came glazed with. The same can be said with their Caesar Salad which I think I’ll never get enough of.

“On Sundays, we have the most reasonable Lunch Buffet at P 535.00+ for adults and P 405.00+ for kids 7 yrs and below. Choices of Roast Beef, Cochinillo and Turkey plus an array of dishes such as Sushi, Pastas, Paella, Desserts and our popular Chocolate Fountain. Caesar Salad inclusive.” Now, THAT one I’ve got to try next time. I’d also highly recommend this restaurant as an alternative business meeting venue. They have function rooms on the second floor to serve this particular purpose.

Thanks go to Fil Benitez, the crew, and the great chef at Mario’s Restaurant. Thanks go to Arpee for extending the invite.

For this post’s highlight, I share with you awesome food photos of WIN!

Elsewhere, their Mario’s Restaurant experiences:
Manila Boy: Baguio Boy
The Bachelor Girl: Mario’s Restaurant Renovates Interiors and Updates Menu
Pinoy Life at Large: The Resurrection of Mario’s Restaurant
Manila Travel(er): Mario’s Restaurant at Tomas Morato Quezon City
Annalyn Jusay: Mario’s Restaurant Quezon City: a classic reinvents itself
Kitchen Cow: Mario’s: Good food, good fun

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The Tall Tale of the Shabu Shabu and the Hungry Tax-Experts-in-Training

19 August 2008

Healthy Shabu Shabu was right. I had been doing hot pot wrong all this time. And to think I thought I would never again set foot in a shabu shabu place to grab grub. Last time I’ve been in one is, I think, about six or seven years ago, give or take, when I was still starting out as a tax expert in the best audit firm in the country. Tax experts in training get hungry all the time, you see. And an ordinary sized meal would only make us want to tear each other’s hair out in frustration. So the dinner place of choice could only be that now closed shabu shabu restaurant in Glorietta or a brawl scene started by manic-and-hungry corporate looking, calculator weilding, BIR forms and worksheets clutching tax experts in training could ensue. You get the picture, right? Good.

Like me, you must have passed by the well lighted Healthy Shabu Shabu resto in the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell (across Starbucks). It is likely that you also paid it no mind. When I got the chance to try out what the place had in store in their Shangri-La Plaza Mall (EDSA) branch, boooooooy, I said to myself just so I don’t get to sound like the tax expert in training I was before, “why haven’t I tried this sooner?!” No joke! True story.

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McDonald’s menu’s nutritional information

29 July 2008

When I was in Singapore, I grabbed a quick bite at McDonald’s one mid-afternoon after I did my customary rounds of the shops along busy Orchard Road. Customary because, lest we all forget, I’m also almost-model, yo, aside from being rockstar Paparazzi extraordinaire. Come on, if you are dead tired from all the walking around, the mere sight of those golden arches will draw you in like the welcoming arms of your mother. Or maybe not, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, said McDonald’s branch was conveniently located in front of my hotel (Orchard Hotel) and, heck, I was hungry and I needed fast food and fast.

While I was seated and wolfing one McNugget after another with some weird tasting supposedly-barbecue sauce dip, I noticed some indications written on the paper covering the tray. Nutritional Information. Hmmm, I haven’t seen one of those locally so, voila, I took photos of the sheet even if I won’t ever use them for future reference. I reproduce them here so you, unlike me, may think twice before downing a daily serving of those large fries and soda.

Do note, however, that although the data here is from McDonald’s, the ingredients used in similarly named items may not be the same across countries and may thus make this listing inaccurate in McDonald’s Philippines menu’s context. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

To guide you, in chronological order (since the succeeding photos do not have headers on them), they are: (1) Energy, (2) Total Fat, (3) Saturated Fat, (4) Cholesterol, (5) Sodium, and (6) Dietary Fibre.

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