A dozen must-tries in Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last October 18, 2018)

You won’t see any striking red lanterns, ostentatious gold figurines, or traditional décor in Yeah! Yeah! Chinese Cuisine, but its menu reveals classic favorites and new creations that you would be enticed to try.

This homegrown brand, which opened just last July, brought in two chefs from China to conceptualize and curate its offerings that range from roasts to dimsum, noodles and more.

In place of the customary Chinese interiors is a considerable space filled with modern furnishings that include upholstered booths by the window, as well as wooden slat accents in the ceilings and dividers.

During daytime, you’ll enjoy the natural light passing through the big glass windows, putting spotlight in your food. At the other end of the establishment, you’ll see roasts on display in a glass case.

First-time visitors may feel overwhelmed when browsing through the extensive menu, so we’ve created a shortlist of must-try dishes for you.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Your Guide to No-Fail Dining Spots at Uptown Bonifacio (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last October 12, 2018)

There’s no shortage of trendy dining concepts in and around the Fort area, and Uptown Bonifacio has quite a selection all under one roof. Whatever you’re craving–Italian, Spanish, or Asian–each is just a stone’s throw away. Let your taste buds explore our list of exciting mall-based food choices in this side of town.

Flatiron 1771

Whether or not you’ve been to New York City, you’ll fall in love with the cool vibe of this NY-inspired restaurant that has an al-fresco bar to boot. Flatiron 1771’s cuisine is a mix of modern American with European and Asian influences, much like the melting pot of cultures that is the Big Apple. On date nights, you can splurge on their Prime Rib with Toasted Fat (P500/100g) or dare to take on the Truffle Carbonara with Chicken Skin Crackling (P390) for something heart-stopping. You can also stay for after-dinner drinks and enjoy a cocktail or two while watching the mall’s dancing fountain.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

What to expect: The Garage VR Zone and Food Park, City of Dreams’ latest concept (GMA News Online)

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

What used to be a luxury integrated resort’s car parking space is now a lifestyle entertainment complex like no other.

Picture a 2,714-square meter space — approximately the size of five basketball courts — that houses more than just a food court, more than just an amusement area, but a combined space that features both.

Welcome to Garage VR Zone and Food Park, City of Dreams Manila’s newest food and entertainment concept.

The first of its kind in the Philippines, the Garage is the only virtual reality zone and food park—with food trucks to boot—that is set in an air-conditioned space.

“The Garage is City of Dreams (COD) Manila’s latest attraction featuring unique entertainment activities in partnership with Bandai Namco Amusement,” shared Kevin Benning, COD’s Chief Operating Officer. It’s the perfect place for both foodies and gamers of all ages to convene.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

10 Restaurant That Are Worth The Drive (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last September 7, 2018)

Sometimes you just need a respire from chaotic city life and get some R&R. And because there’s bound to be worthwhile food stops in the nearby towns, going for a road trip to recharge your batteries isn’t that bad–hey, it’s the next best thing if you missed that seat sale. So whether you’re headed east, north, or south, key in any of these must-visit, out-of-town restaurants on your navigation system and let your palate do a bit of exploring. After all, you can’t travel on an empty stomach!

Burrow Cafe

Any city-dweller would love the change in scenery at Burrow Cafe, where their garden-like setting will make you feel like you’re outdoors even if you’re not. Here, you can enjoy a lot of tasty meals like Tender Beef Tapa, which lives up to its name. Made with fork-tender yakiniku-style Japanese beef, it’s served with garlic rice and milky scrambled eggs. After that, linger some more for their coffee and desserts–the Dayap Creme Brulee features a soft and creamy custard with a zing of citrus and fresh-fruit slices. You’re sure to end up lounging in their comfy hammocks after that filling meal.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

210 Degrees Kitchen + Drinkery’s New Menu is a Mix of Fun Dishes and Classic Favorites (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last August 30, 2018)

You might be more familiar with the omakase-style Japanese restaurant next door or the famous ramen joint near that almost always has a queue, but not many have heard about 210 Degrees Kitchen + Drinkery, a low-profile restaurant at Icon Plaza in BGC.

For over a year now, this neighborhood hangout has been silently serving sophisticated yet fun cuisine to diners. Think of it as the baby sister who’s being overshadowed by its elder siblings. She may be the littlest one, but she’s still worth knowing.

210 Degrees Kitchen + Drinkery used to be under the helm of Chef William Mahi, who came from two Michelin-starred restaurant Spondi, but the former recently had a total revamp in its menu.

“Now, our cuisine, I would say, is globally inspired, shares Head Chef Josiah Alexis Sanga, who was previously the sous chef of Mahi. With his training under Mahi’s tutelage, plus his experience working in Jean-Georges Restaurants, he came up with his own brand of cuisine that brings together the best of French techniques, Asian influences, and inspirations from his travels. “Now, we have pasta on the menu, burrata, fried chicken, and soon, burgers.”

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Your Guide to No-Fail Dining Spots at UP Town Center (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last August 28, 2018)

UP Town Center has practically become the go-to for nearby Quezon City residents and university students around the area for good reason. The mall doesn’t just have a wide selection of cool shopping and entertainment options, but a lot of delicious food choices as well. We’ve gathered a list of must-try dining spots in this mall that will surely satisfy your palate whenever you find yourself here.

Fat Daddy’s Steakhouse

At this neighborhood smokehouse, you’ll come across mouthwatering barbecues that’ll be hard to resist. Though there are the familiar burgers and tacos, it would be best to go for any of their smoked specialties. For newbies, the Smoked Brisket and Bean Stew Set (P340) is a great way to start. And to make things better, it comes with your choice of mashed potato, Texas dirty rice, or plain rice. For those with bigger appetites, the Smokehouse Mafia (P640) has smoked ribs, brisket, coleslaw, and rice. Tag your friends along–it might be impossible to finish this by yourself, unless you’re really, really hungry.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

10 Great Places for Mexican food in Manila (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last August 22, 2018)

Admit it: Your mind conjures images of tacos and margaritas at the mere mention of Mexican food. This tasty south-of-the-(U.S.)-border cuisine features a mix of Native American and Spanish influences, and it highlights the use of their local ingredients like corn, beans, herbs, and of course, the ubiquitous chili peppers. In the Metro, you can take your pick from not just the traditional Mexican, but other fusion cuisines as well. Anybody up for some Korean-Mex or Fil-Mex? Savor the flavors of this hot cuisine at these delicious dining destinations around the city.

Lo de Alberto 

It’s a bold move for a restaurant to claim to be “The only authentic taqueria in the Philippines,” but it just goes to show that Lo de Alberto is that confident in their food–not that we have any problems with that! It’s also probably the next best thing to flying to Mexico; no need to go far just to feast on enchiladas and quesadillas. Zoom in on Lo de Alberto’s signature dishes such as the Agua Chile (P80), a chili-spiked ceviche; the Albondigas (P270), or a meatball burrito drenched in their savory special sauce; and Ensenada (P185), or Baja-style crispy tilapia tacos. Wash these down with their freshly made agua frescas: Sandia (watermelon), Tamarindo (tamarind), or Horchata (cinnamon-infused rice-water drink).

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Borough is Back and It’s as Cozy as Ever (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last August 14, 2018)

If you’re familiar with Borough’s old branch at The Podium–who could forget their cult-favorite milk and cookies?–you’ll be surprised to walk into their newest location in Bonifacio Global City. It has a whole different feel, which strays away from the moody, pub-like atmosphere it was originally known for.

Now, the restaurant looks more polished, playing up the trendy New York City vibe quite nicely. Though the space is smaller than the original branch, the feel is bright, light, and airy, from the white marble tabletops to the refreshing green brick walls. The space’s high and exposed ceiling showcases industrial beams and ductwork, plus a light fixture made of repurposed wood that shadows over the counter.

Even Borough’s menu has undergone a noticeable makeover. “We tried to keep our more popular items and just freshened up the menu,” shares Chef Cuit Kaufmann. A true-blue New Yorker, the chef added more dishes that he grew up with, and the melting pot of cuisine that is New York City was his inspiration.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

10 Great Places for Mediterranean Food in Manila (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last August 13, 2018)

Fun fact: Mediterranean cuisine spans different countries and continents, all of which surround the Mediterranean Sea–and it’s not just all about Greek or Italian food, it also features cooking from Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Yes, there’s more to Mediterranean food than just gyros and kebabs! The Metro has all these specialties if you’re willing to look. We’ve scoured all the best dining spots in Manila where you can indulge in this under-the-radar cuisine that has some of the best food in the world. Time to try something new!

Cyma

You can’t help but say “opa” once you sample the specialties in Cyma, which has been around for over a decade now. Chef Robby Goco of the famed Greek chain actually traveled to Greece to bring the closest thing to authentic to the local palate. The Saganaki (P220) has always been a crowd pleaser because of the drama that the flaming cheese brings to the diners. There’s a bunch of meat and seafood dishes, but one of the bestsellers to date is the Roka Salata (P370/solo), a fresh salad that combines arugula, romaine, sun-dried tomatoes, candied walnuts, Parmigiano Regiano, and traditional Greek vinaigrette, which is surprisingly a hit with many Filipinos.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Celebrated Magnolia Bakery of New York to open in Manila (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last August 9, 2018)

Whether or not you’ve been to the original Magnolia Bakery in New York City, you’d be ecstatic to know that its sweet treats will soon be available in Metro Manila — at BGC in Taguig on August 22, to be exact.

This particular bakery is basically the one that started the cupcake craze back when it first opened in 1996, and has gained a lot of popularity thanks to pop culture references in movies and TV shows like “Sex and the City,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” and “Saturday Night Live.”

In Manila, it will be known as M Bakery — slightly different name but same food, vibe, and experience. Like the American establishment, it will have an identical look and feel, from the charming vintage décor to the “live theater” area where diners can see cakes and cupcakes being decorated in full view. Even passersby can get a glimpse of it from the outside.

Read the rest of the article HERE.