10 Great Vietnamese Restaurants in Manila (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last July 20, 2018)

With the cuisine’s tongue-twisting and hard-to-read dishes, Vietnamese can seem downright intimidating — until you try it and find yourself becoming an instant fan. There’s plenty to love about the Southeast Asian country’s staples, and it’s mostly because of a distinctive characteristic highlighted by flavors from fresh ingredients, fragrant herbs and spices, and a lot of vegetables. So whether you want to try something new or are looking for authentic flavors to remind you of that memorable trip to Hanoi, we round up the best Vietnamese joints in the Metro for your eating pleasure.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

26th Street Bistro Makes Wine Pairing a Little Less Intimidating (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last July 19, 2018)

At first glance, you’d think that this corner restaurant in Bonifacio Global City is just a bigger version of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. But once you step inside and see the spacious dining area of 26th Street Bistro, you’d feel that it’s not quite like a typical branch of the popular coffee chain. It could even be a better version of it — especially if you take in the warm wooden furnishings with elegant room dividers and wall decor, along with a vertical garden to boot.

You’ll be surprised that the concept store of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) has an extensive menu that offers more than just sandwiches, cakes, and all-day breakfast fare. They now have wine pairings, too.

One of 26th Street Bistro’s new dishes is the Burrata, Fresh Tomatoes, and Basil (P395), beautifully presented on a rustic wooden chopping board. It’s a very interactive dish that requires you to eat with your hands — get a slice of the milky-soft cheese and top it on the crusty grilled sourdough. Don’t forget to add some fresh basil, sweet heirloom tomatoes, and candied walnuts for extra flavor and texture. According to Chef Luisa del Rosario, this filling starter perfectly complements the Beringer Main & Vine White Zinfandel 2016 (P295/glass, P1,050/bottle) because of the wine’s natural sweetness.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Miyazaki beef is finally in Metro Manila — and it’s better than Kobe (GMA News Online)

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

Literally translating to “Japanese beef,” Wagyu beef is pretty much known the world over. But not all are created equal.

Believed to be one of the best and finest is Miyazaki beef, which comes from the Miyazaki Prefecture in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. The secret, they say, is the water that the cows drink: it comes from the springs in the prefecture.

Miyazaki beef has been twice voted as the best in the world, topping the other more popular regions of Kobe, Ohmi, and Matsusaka? It has been consistently graded as A5, the highest mark given to wagyu.

The grade is actually based on the marbling quality (dispersion of fat within the meat), color of the meat, color of the fat, firmness and texture, and yield.

And it makes its way to Metro Manila via Miyazaki Gyu.

It’s easy to think this 30-seater restaurant is from Japan. Its minimalist interiors are traditionally Japanese, the ambiance is simple and elegant, and it has a Japanese national as executive chef, who happens to be the youngest challenger to ever participate in the TV show Iron Chef.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

This British Tea Brand is Finally Here to Turn You Into a Tea Person (Spot.ph)

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last July 10, 2018)

While we’d love nothing more than to take a long restful nap after a full lunch, the pile of work waiting to be done tells us otherwise. Tea lovers know that all you need is a cuppa to perk you up for the rest of the day–or you could go for a blend that has relaxing properties to help you maintain your Zen, no matter the workload ahead.

Not a tea aficionado yet? Here’s something that might get you into the drink: British tea brand English Tea Shop is now available in the Philippines.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

What to expect at this Saturday’s food and (craft) beer pairing event (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last July 5, 2018)

Thanks to the growing craft beer scene, we’ve gone beyond drinking beer by the bucket and having some rando pulutan with it.

In 2017, Quezon City saw Casa Marcos launching a tapas menu that they deem the perfect fit to Baguio Craft Brewery’s lineup.

This year, it’s Tagaytay’s Monkey Eagle Brewery turn to try and make a go for it. “What we want to do with our beers is really to develop flavors and taste and let people enjoy it,” said Ricardo C. Lopa Jr, one of the founders of Monkey Eager Brewery

They paired up with Privatus Private Dining for a one-night pairing event happening on Saturday that will see a five-course meal and the different craft beers that go with each dish.

“Their beers are crafted strong, bitter, and with different kinds of alcohol volume. The Saison is a light refreshing beer, best with salads and pizzas, which are light as well. Then we slowly progress into stronger, premium, and heavier dishes. The last one, Potion 28, we paired it with something smoky, salty, vinegary, and sweet,” shared Privatus Private Dining Executive Chef and Owner, Antonio Jose Reyes.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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

(This feature was published in Spot.ph last July 4, 2018)

With its lively night markets, quirky dining destinations (ever heard of their toilet-themed restaurant?), and unique street-food finds, it’s no wonder foodies from all over the world are flocking to Taiwan. But when you suddenly get that insatiable hankering for xiao long bao, dan dan noodles, or their famous milk tea, know that the Metro has you covered. Here are some of Manila’s best Taiwanese restaurants for when your cravings just can’t wait.

Tien Ma’s

From light bites to full meals, you’ll find affordable and traditional Taiwanese food here. Aside from the usual steamed or fried soup dumplings, they also have Cheese Xiao Long Bao (P215) for those who want to try something out-of-the-box. You can also dare to try the Deep Fried Stinky Tofu (P199) to see if your palate–or olfactory senses–can take it. Don’t worry, there are other (less smelly) assorted dimsum and meals you can sink your teeth into at Tien Ma’s. If you don’t feel like ordering a hot bowl of Taiwan-Style Beef Noodle Soup (P200), order their very photogenic Pineapple Fried Rice with Pork Floss (P200), which is laid out in an actual pineapple, and you’re all set.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

Where to eat after… surfing in Baler (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last June 22, 2018)

There’s more to Baler than just surfing.

When you’re done riding the waves, make time to explore nearby spots like Dicasalarin Cove, where you can enjoy this secluded paradise and bask in the almost-white sand beach. Or you can trek to Ditumabo Falls (aka Mother Falls) to see the 140-feet high cascading falls and maybe take a dip in the pool of cool waters.

Whatever adventure you seek, you’ll surely need to fuel up so you’ll have the energy for more activities. Prepare your plate for an adventure at these delicious food spots in Baler.

Kubli Bistro

This particular bistro can give the ones in Metro Manila a run for their money. It’s the place to go for beachgoers to get a respite from the heat. Aside from being an air-conditioned establishment, it has a trendy vibe that features local music acts at night. Pair your cocktails with any of the dishes from its extensive menu. They have chicken wings, pizza, and pasta, but for something different, better go for its unique offerings. The Pugita Guisado (P275) has chunks of stir-fried octopus with onions and bell peppers, and the Sisig Ala Bopes (P230) contains minced lechon belly cooked with onions and chilis, and served with tortillas so you can turn it into a wrap of sorts. Good food and drinks, plus good music—what more can you ask for?

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10 Great Japanese Restaurants You Can Only Find in Alabang and Paranaque (Spot.ph)

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

Sometimes, you just have to travel and go out of your comfort zone for good food — even if it means braving the horrendous traffic. And with the plethora of Japanese restaurants in Manila, you’re sure to get your sushi fix wherever it may be, even if it’s down south. What’s particularly great about Alabang and Paranaque is most areas have Japanese joints you won’t find elsewhere. Keep scrolling because we’ve gathered some of the best places for Japanese, be it sushi or tempura, in the south side of the Metro. Prepare yourself for some good eats.

Mr. Roboto

The name itself is a dead giveaway of what to elect from this vibrant cartoon-themed restaurant. Dining here would conjure feelings of nostalgia if you grew up watching Japanese animated shows like Voltes V, Daimos, Voltron, and Mazinger Z. You can’t miss the retro images of robots paltered on the walls and even on the serving trays, a reflection of how fun and colourful Japanese cuisine is. This homegrown restaurant, inspired by the song Mr. Roboto by Styx, dishes out visually-pleasing creations, like the Nori Nachos (P350) that uses nori chips instead of the usual tortilla, Mr. Roboto Chirashi (P695) with assorted sashimi and an aburi egg yolk over furikake sushi rice, and Lamb Katsu (P525), which pairs Australian ground lamb with either curry or gravy.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

10 delicious food discoveries in Peruvian restaurant, Yuca (GMA News Online)

(This feature was published in GMA News Online last June 21, 2018)

While Metro Manila is becoming a melting pot of cuisines thanks to the influx of international food brands and world-class restaurants, there are still a quite few cuisines that we’re not quite as used to, like Peruvian food.

Homegrown restaurant Yuca is out to change that.

Adjusting to fit the Filipino palate, Yuca aims to showcase Peruvian cuisine by staying true to what Latin American cuisine is all about: pride in traditions and ingredients.

Inspired by the potato-like root crop native to South America — better known in these parts of the world as cassava — Yuca serves everything fresh. Upon first bite, you’ll realize everything is made from scratch.

Start your feast with some appetizers and end with libations to complete your gastronomic journey.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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.