10 Under-the-Radar Places for Ramen in QC That You Need to Know About (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last June 5, 2018)

Ramen in ramen restaurants is obvious. If you’re tired of the usual, you can look beyond those and find a soul-warming bowl that’s just as tasty in places that aren’t necessarily known for the Japanese noodle dish. In Quezon City, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find these 10 not-so-obvious spots for great ramen. You’ll be slurping your bowl clean in no time!

Japan Fudo Street

With their minimalist interiors and walls peppered with Japanese posters and paintings, this restaurant will give you downtown Osaka vibes. The eatery is reminiscent of food markets prevalent in Japan, complete with Japanese knick-knacks on display and a variety of menu items like sushi, yakitori, takoyaki, donburi, and more. A first-time visitor might be overwhelmed with all the choices, so we suggest you zero in on their flavor-packed noodle soups like the Tonkotsu Miso Ramen (P390), which is characterised by its rich miso-based broth, or the Grilled Chicken Ramen (P350) that has a slightly charred taste and smoky aroma.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

10 K-Barbecue Restaurants in Alabang and Paranaque with sets under P600 (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last May 2, 2018)

Not all K-barbecue places are created equal. In the south side of the Metro, specifically Alabang and Paranaque, there are good places, and then there are really good places — you just have to look a little bit harder. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best ones in town for when your samgyupsal cravings strike. We’re completely blameworthy if this list makes you hungry.

Soban K-Town Grill

Though their barbecue offerings are good, it seems that the star at Soban K-Town Grill is their wide assortment of banchan, which aren’t only tasty, but refillable, too (hello, unlimited kimchi)! For solo diners, you might want to sample their BBQ Grill Sets for Solo. A great option would be their Dak Galbi Solo Set (P325), which comes with 120 grams of grilled chicken and unlimited banchan. The Classic BBQ Combo Set (P2,000), meanwhile, is already good for three to four people, and includes hefty platters of beef belly, pork belly, and boneless fried chicken, along with eat-all-you-can sides like japchae, kimchi fried rice, and gimbal (or seaweed rice roll). This is the place to go if you and your friends are in the mood for some good-quality Korean food.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Michelin-starred Kam’s Roast is opening in Metro Manila: 10 things to order (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last May 11, 2018)

Michelin-starred and Hong Kong institution Kam’s Roast is opening its doors in Metro Manila on May 15.

This internationally acclaimed establishment has only been around since 2014, but the family behind it has a culinary heritage that spans three quarters of a century. Its founder, Hardy Kam, comes from the third generation of the family behind Yung Kee Restaurant, and he has teamed up with prominent Hong Kong TV and movie producer Robert Chua with this particular restaurant concept.

While you won’t need to book a flight just to get a taste of its signature roasts, you might need to fall in line or book a table to to get one. “Our goal, quite literally, is to give Filipinos a taste of the most delectable flavors that can be found around the world. We’re proud to add Kam’s Roast to our mix of dining concepts; and look forward to giving Filipinos more options that will delight their discerning palates without needing to hop on a plane,” shared Eric Dee, COO of FOODEE Global Concepts. It’s the same group that introduced us to other international concepts such as Tim Ho Wan, Tsuta Japanese Soba Noodle, and Todd English Food Hall, among others.

Kam’s Roast in Manila will be serving the full menu similar to the one in Hong Kong, except for its roast goose. Here are the things that should be on your “to eat” list:

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Savage: 10 delicious dishes that prove Chef Josh Boutwood’s newest restaurant is like no other (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last April 20, 2018)

You know a restaurant is like no other when you see a stack of chopped oak wood neatly lined in its façade; not to mention the unique name that you wouldn’t normally associate in a food establishment.

Without a doubt, Savage is a one-of-a-kind concept. Where else can you find an open-fire kitchen right in the heart of Metro Manila?

“Savage came out of the desire to challenge myself,” shared Chef Josh Boutwood who has been the corporate chef of The Bistro Group since 2012. “We’ve been thinking we want to scale back to pre-industrial era where there’s no gas or electric in cooking. That’s where we came up with this concept.”

Diners would have to pass through a narrow staircase with murals of human evolution painted on its walls before reaching the actual dining area, which can accommodate up to 60 people.

Its concrete floors, open ceiling, lighting fixtures featuring Edison bulbs, create quite a mood. You’ll find a lot of conversation starters over lunch or dinner whether you’re facing the bar area, the painted walls, or the open kitchen where you’ll find the customized grill. It’s where all the action happens.

Except for the bread that they bake in the oven, practically everything in Savage is cooked over the grill — even the salad greens. Most of the items on the menu are cooked over oak wood, which creates a completely different flavor profile.

“I would say without exaggeration, 30 percent of the flavor or the final flavor of the dish itself comes from the smoke of the wood,” revealed the chef. Currently, they import the wood from Ukraine, but they plan to incorporate local varieties like santol and coffee tree into the mix.

Don’t expect any specific cuisine in this restaurant, as it focuses more on the style of cooking than the food background. According to Chef Boutwood, “We define ourselves as purely pre-industrial cuisine. We only define that by the method of cooking, we don’t define it by the flavor. We can play around with whatever flavor we feel fit to do and it still fits within the confines of pre-industrial cooking.”

Its menu is bespoke, carefully curated, and although it doesn’t feature local wild boar—yet, here’s what you should treat your palates to.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

5 things to expect from Dinner in the Sky Philippines (GMA News Online)

Photo for illustration purposes only

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last March 23, 2018.)

It won’t be a surprise if this has been in the bucket list of many adventurous travelers ever since pictures and videos of diners hoisted up in cranes spread in social media.

This Belgium-based novelty dining experience has been around since 2006, and it’s not its first time in this side of the world. After Malaysia and Thailand, it’s now Manila’s turn to find how it feels to dine 150-feet up in the air and with a bird’s eye view of the city.

Since this dinner is like no other, we’ll clue you in on what to expect from this limited-time only gastronomic opportunity.

1. Think airport check-in and rollercoaster seats

Local and foreign thrill seekers will get their chance to tick off another item from their to-do list starting April 3, 2018. Because of the nature of this activity, guests will be required to arrive at the Dinner in the Sky Lounge an hour before your dinner schedule (there will be two seatings per night, by the way)—just like a flight check-in.

There will be a safety supervisor who will brief patrons about the safety regulations before the “flight”. Expect to be strapped onto your seats with safety harnesses like what you see in theme park rides. Wear comfortable clothes and avoid slip-on shoes, maybe?

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Eat, pray, and love these 50+ restaurants open during Holy Week 2018 (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last March 23, 2018.)

With most of its residents heading off somewhere for a vacation, Metro Manila transforms into a less crowded, (slightly) less traffic, and a much more breathable space during Holy Week. For those staying in town, shopping or dining in malls might not always be an option, as most will likely temporarily cease operations in observance of the Lenten season.

Though it’s a time for fasting and abstinence, you can’t deny some food for your body and soul. No need not worry since there are some compassionate establishments out there who plan to open even during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Bring your hungry brood to any of these restaurants located around the metro.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

7 must-try Vietnamese dishes at Bawai’s (GMA News Online)

There's something for everyone at Bawai's

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last March 19, 2018.)

Though its dishes may sound unfamiliar and even hard to pronounce, Vietnamese cuisine utilizes the same ingredients that are native to Vietnam and Philippines. In Manila, the closest you can get to authentic Vietnamese is Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen.

This has been Tagaytay’s best-kept Vietnamese secret ever since it opened in 2007. The first branch is actually the residence of spouses Virgilio Tatlonghari and My Duyen, or more popularly known as Bawai Dung. Yes, the restaurant is named after her, “Bawai”, Vietnamese for grandmother.

The place was originally intended to be a retirement home for the couple, and there, Bawai would cook for their family and friends who became their regular visitors. Eventually, she went back to her native Vietnam and got formal culinary education, as they realized there was clamor for more Vietnamese home-cooked food. Soon, they opened their home and that was the start of something big.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Where to eat when…going out to brunch with the titas (GMA News Online)

Cafe Mary Grace in Greenbelt

This feature was published in GMA News Online last March 11, 2018.

Would you rather watch food and home improvement shows than tune in to the 24-hour music channel? Do you prefer early wine nights than partying all night? By any chance, do you have succulents, cheese knives, or wooden serving platters at home?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are, you are on your way to tita-hood — if you’re not there already. Congratulations! You have reached that stage where you know what you want, don’t mind spending for it, and the best thing about it? You actually have enough money to spend for what you like, whether it’s good food, good ambiance with good company.

Here are some places where you can meet your fellow titas.

Cafe Mary Grace

What’s a tita restaurant list without Café Mary Grace, the joint where ensaymada topped with grated quezo de bola and/or the gloriously delectable cheese rolls are the biggest come-on?

Maybe it brings a certain sense of nostalgia with every bite, but whatever the reason may be, Café Mary Grace has become the go-to place for meet-ups any time of day. Breakfast, lunch, merienda or dinner, the restaurant is packed with diners enjoying full meals and, of course, the baked goodies.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

7 sexy staycation deals for post-Valentine’s and Chinese New Year long weekend (GMA News Online)

Photo from Nobu Hotel, City of Dreams

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last February 7, 2018)

The long weekend that resulted from Chinese New Year having been declared a special non-working holiday, sounds like a good time to celebrate Valentine’s day too. Chinese New Year falls on a Friday following Valentine’s Day that falls on a Wednesday — Ash Wednesday at that, if you’re a Catholic.

Instead of flying off somewhere, why not stay in town and have a short but sweet holiday with your special someone or even the whole family? We’ve narrowed down some hard-to-resist staycation options below.

Nobu Hotel

Indulge in a romantic retreat with your partner at this luxury boutique hotel. Aside from an overnight stay in a deluxe room, the Moments Made Perfect package (P12,888) also includes buffet breakfast for two, a special Valentine’s amenity, and P5,000 worth of dining credits that you can use in any of the City of Dreams Manila-operated restaurants such as Nobu Manila, Crystal Dragon, The Tasting Room, Red Ginger, Jing Ting, and Café Society. Another option is the Stay Well room package (P14,888) that comes with a 60-minute renewal massage for two at the Nobu Spa, plus P3,000 dining credits, buffet breakfast for two, and a Valentine’s treat as well.


Read the rest of the article HERE.

At this coffee shop, you can have steak for breakfast and breakfast for dinner (GMA News Online)

Fill your belly with this hearty serving of steak, rice and eggs

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last January 23, 2018)

This is not your typical café where you queue up to grab a quick cup of brewed coffee, maybe a cookie, to-go.

26th St. Bistro by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is, in fact, a full-service restaurant. And it’s not just simple sandwiches, pasta, or pastries on offer here. It revamped its menu in September 2017 to offer “classic and homestyle food with all-day breakfast. Observing who our target market is, we now offer bigger plates for sharing to cater to groups and families,” shared Chef Luisa del Rosario.

New yet familiar flavors

All the famous Coffee Bean beverages are present, don’t get us wrong. What’s particularly unique in this location are the dish offerings that range from savory breakfast fare to main entrées, and more. Around 80 percent listed in its menu are new items and the rest are bistro favorites.
During the day, the place is buzzing with corporate folks having lunch or quick meetings. But when my husband and I went there for dinner one weekend, the vibe was different. There’s more peace and quiet as you enjoy a hearty meal.

Read the rest of the article HERE.