Thursday, March 23, 2017

First Bite: Hanamaruken

I have been hearing a lot of good feedback about this ramen joint at The Grove. It made me curious when two of the foodies I know and trust mentioned that this is their favorite place for their noodle fix. However, I could never seem to find time to visit as I usually head elsewhere. Luckily, I got the perfect opportunity to drop by last Saturday.
Hello, Hanamaruken.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Night Cap: The Penthouse 8747

People close to me know that I'm far from being tagged as a party person. Born as a certified tita (aunt), I have now graduated as a full-fledged Lola(grandmother) of Manila. But such did not discourage me from visiting a Great Gatsby themed bar that offers a magnificent view of the city. Okay, it was also because I was intrigued with its bar chows. The foodie remains more influential than the lola in me. 

Hello, The Penthouse 8747
The place, as it is aptly named, is located on the topmost floor of Lepanto building. Though the lift would not bring you all the way to the bar's main entrance, you just need to take one flight up to reach the reception adorned with gold accents and chandelier. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Food Find: Köök Manila

I find it interesting how much I’ve changed over the past few years. Before, I’d make sure that I have plans on weekends and that I get to visit at least five restaurants to serve as my content the following week. As I grow older (with matching aching joints and slower metabolism), I now value staycations and enjoying my alone time in the comfort of my own home. And one staycation got extra special when I got a sweet treat from Köök Manila.

Hello mini vacation with Köök Manila!

I hurriedly went home as soon as the clock hit 6 pm and I placed the vacuum-sealed Greek Chicken in the sink to thaw as I prepare my cookware.
Since I do not have an indoor griller, I decided to pan-fry the chicken sans the oil. Though I do not recommend this as it took me quite some time to cook the chicken, it still gets the job done. Best to puncture or slice the chicken to make sure that all parts get cooked. (Mine took longer than it should have because I wanted my chicken to look pretty when I take photos of it. Priorities.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Second Bite: Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar

It’s always fun having R’s sisters around as it means endless feasts! For last November’s visit, D was particularly excited with Raging Bull, Shangri-La at the Fort’s well-loved steak place, especially after finding out that this restaurant offers superb cocktails aside from its famous grilled meats. Soon, I found myself on my way to the posh hotel for one heavy lunch.
Hello again, Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar
The frustrated interior designer in me was tickled once more by Raging Bull’s sophisticated interiors. The combination of dark browns, blacks and whites never gets old. 

R’s family did the ordering and they chose Raging Bull Salad (PHP375), Maryland Crab Cakes (PHP475), Tomahawk Wagyu (PHP7,950) and Ribeye (PHP3,100). The kids asked for something to snack on while they wait for the meats and H ordered Josper Bone Marrow (PHP685) for them.
First served was the complementary Raging Bull bread and butter which we finished in just a few minutes as we were famished. 
I noticed that Raging Bull added mandarin oranges to its usual Mesclun mix, Gorgonzola, hazelnuts and Granny Smith apple slices topped with cider vinaigrette. I’m not complaining though as I love those small citrus goodness which went well with the delectable Gorgonzola cubes, nuts and greens. 
The Maryland Crab Cakes were good as always. I loved the contrast between the crunchy coating and the soft shredded crab meat filling. 
Josper Bone Marrow was served next which the kids fought over! It was just so funny how they argued on which bone marrow was bigger and who deserved it. They only kept quiet when they each got their portions. I wasn’t able to try this one as they literally licked the bone marrow! It must be that good.

A beautiful platter of ribeye was soon served and we feasted on it. 
Just like before, I paired my meat with various salts in order to fully appreciate the taste of the steak. Cooked medium in order not to dry up its juice, each bite was packed with flavors that made me sigh and my tastebuds sing hallelujah. 
The perfectly grilled meat was wonderfully complemented by grilled pumpkin slices, cream of spinach, buttered corn and mashed potatoes. I didn’t attempt to get rice as I’ve had too much carbs from the start of the meal. 
The Tomahawk Wagyu was served after and it was gigantic! The MS 5+ grain-fed meat had that divine beefy taste which you could get by simply getting a whiff of it. 
As my eyes sparkle at the sight of the huge piece of meat with a bone sticking out, R sliced me a portion and I began to indulge in the premium steak
It was succulent and barely required effort to chew. It was an instant crowd favorite though for some reason, I prefer ribeye more. 

As we continue to bring out a more sophisticated version of cavemen, I took a sip of my cocktailMonkey Business (PHP400). 
The blend of Monkey Shoulder pure malt, homemade rosemary syrup, Griottes cherry juice and Whiskey barrel bitters was a bit too strong for a noontime drink. I got a bit woozy after reaching half of my glass. I guess I’m just not used to drinking anymore. 
But if you happen to fancy this drink, do watch the barista prepare it as it is very entertaining.
To cap our meal, we ordered Granny Smith Apple Cobbler (PHP340) which was absolutely perfect! I loved the crunchiness of the apple slices and how well it went with the puff. It was sweet yet not so sweet, making it great too for elders. 
And since it was R’s birthday weekend, we were given a complimentary cheesecake which was pretty good as well. It had great consistency and the berries were love. 

Overall, it was a pleasant lunch. I can’t wait to go back for more steaks! 

Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar is located at 3rd Floor, West Wing, Shangri-La at the Fort, 30th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Brunch for Three: Wildflour

I think most of us are guilty for ordering the more photogenic dish over the tastier one. More often than not, I find myself asking the server if the dish I’d like to order is pretty or Instagram-worthy and hesitate when I get no for an answer. But there’s a restaurant with a menu packed with tasty AND photogenic dishes. Yes, I’m talking about Wildflour

Hello, Wildflour
I’ve never seen Wildflour empty and it proves that this restaurant is not just a craze or have lost its charm after the market became less interested in Cronuts. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

First Sip: Dipdenza Coffee

After a filling dinner at Manam’s, F and I decided to cap the night with a warm drink. (When you reach our age, you’d want tea or coffee after a meal to help aid digestion.) I remembered that there was this coffee shop that I wanted to try when I went to Jonas for dinner. And without thinking twice, I convinced F to have our warm drinks there. 

Hello, Dipdenza Coffee
It has been several months since I last visited Fort Strip. I’d usually head home right away given the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Also, Fort Strip isn’t exactly “on the way” back home. Then again, so are the other restaurants I have visited these past days. Anyway…

F and I stood in front of the counter for a few minutes with blank faces and obvious traces of food coma. Eventually, F went with a cup of tea while I ordered Hot Chocolate (PHP110). Yeah… I should have ordered tea too or at the very least, coffee. But I wanted something semi dessert. 

Service was quick as there were no other customers during our visit aside from the other fellow busy tinkering with his laptop. 
My hot chocolate drink had a bit of art on top and it made my expectation a bit higher.

But I was disappointed after my first sip. It wasn’t thick enough and it tasted just like Swiss Miss. It was an overpriced slightly watery Swiss Miss.

Then again, I guess their specialty is coffee. Also, the place was a bit hidden and quiet making it a perfect venue for catch up sessions.  So I’ll give this place a second chance to impress me. 

Dipdenza Coffee is located at Fort Strip, 5th Avenue and 7th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. It is right beside Early Bird Breakfast Club

Schmidt's Gourmet Hotdogs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

When In Hong Kong: Go Jelly Crazy!

I love jello, jellygelatin… whatever you call it. It used to be my staple afternoon snack and I remember that I used to get all the grape flavored ones to eat and the red ones to use as my pretend lipstick. I still get to have my jello fix from time to time these days but in the form of coffee jelly, grass jelly or sago’t gulaman. But when we discovered a jello place in Hong Kong, R and I dropped by the place as frequent as we could.

Hello… uhm… sorry, I can’t read Chinese. But this is the place near Canal Road, Causeway Bay
R and I headed to the small restaurant one time after dinner. We got curious with why a lot of locals frequent the place and we were greeted by a friendly elder who I assume is the owner of the restaurant.  We told him our order—one bowl of black jello (HK$7). 

Service was quick and we got our bowl in less than 5 minutes.
It was pretty bland as is so R added this orange powder we saw on the edge of the table. 

We sparingly sprinkled some of the said powder and it turned the jello sweet. We then figured that it was sugar. And that was when we went crazy with it. 

It was just your usual bland jello but it being served chilled and topped with sugar made it a refreshing dessert, perfect to cap any meal.