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?

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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.

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.