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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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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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Got Naughty with my Coffee in Delifrance

17 March 2008

Four of the five Naughty Coffee concoctions from Delifrance


Had you known the “one password” that counted between the dates March 3-7 (from sites like the links at the end of this post), you would have had free-taste access to all of Delifrance’s “naughty” coffee concoctions, a different variant a day, that’s sure to liven up your after-fives. Love it cold? There’s Irish Kiss Baileys Iced, Mayan Passion Kahlua Iced, or the spunky Sputnik Vodka Espresso. If you want yours hot like I do, there’s Irish Kiss Baileys or Mayan Passion Kahlua to choose from. I suggest you give them all a try to find out which of the five will suit your unique taste best.

Mayan Passion KahluaWhat’s great about all of Delifrance’s Naughty Coffee is the interplay of taste, smell, and texture which some may find oddly different yet welcomed. Case in point, see the lining on the glass rim in the photo? That’s sugar placed over what I can only guess to be lemon or lime extract. Imagine tasting something sweet with a hint of citrus assaulting a coffee beverage spunked up by Kahlua and topped with whipped cream. Each sip was for me was a great palatial experience.

I started drinking coffee when I was 9 and I am well aware that THAT’s not something I should be proud of, just so we’re clear. At 10, I already liked my coffee black. No sugar, no cream. I’m that advanced, caffeine intake wise. If only to establish how much of an avid coffee junkie I am, decades later, I still get my early morning fix of Cafe Americano every workday without fail from the coffee shop in my office building lobby. That’s a whole lot of coffee induced piss under the bridge!

Oriental Shrimp SaladI had my very first “spirited” coffee in the late 90′s in Iloilo City from the now-unfortunately-closed Newburry Street Cafe (3rd Level, Atrium Mall). Yes, I’m allergic to anything with the slightest hint of alcohol and, yes, their coffee are a bit priced on the steep side but, hey, smoking area, cool interiors, and cozy tunage are high on my list of cafe turn-ons, so there.

Sorry for the nostalgia trip. Other than Delifrance’s Naughty Coffee, I’d also highly recommend that you try their very satisfying plate of Oriental Shrimp Salad (I’m no fan of greens but this one was close to converting me to a happy, healthy vegan), Beef Stronganoff pasta, and Choco Lava Cake (served ablaze in blue flame. No kidding).

Tasty dishes and great coffee. All from Delifrance Bistro.

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Other Delifrance Naughty Coffee experiences:

Rick: Spiked After 5 at Delifrance!
Noemi: Delifrance Spiked after 5 Coffee and FREE Delifrance’s Spiked Coffee
Nina: Getting naughty with my coffee at Delifrance
Karla: Spiked After 5 at Delifrance
Arpee: Bloggers spiked by Delifrance
Style Spy: Free Coffee Alert!
Markku: Coffee with a twist
Benj: Getting Naughty With My Coffee At Delifrance
AJ: Naughty With My Coffee at Delifrance
Pinoy Centric: This Week: Free Spiked Coffee After 5 at Delifrance
Jayvee: Delifrance now serves alcohol … in their coffee
Dhon Jason: Get Naughty, Get a Coffee from Delifrance
Food Trippings: How To Eat a Chocolate Lava Cake by Delifrance

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