Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Breakfast on the Streets

Oh honey!!! THE Honey Garlic Chicken
Nothing quite beats having a good, hearty breakfast after a tiring graveyard duty. That's why I feel super lucky to work in a place neighboring Kanto Freestyle Breakfast. The first time I went here, I was surprised with how 'cowboy' the ambiance is. It is literally set right on the streets with plain seating areas with its order counter reminiscent of a sari-sari store/carinderia. Recently though, it has undergone renovation and is transferred temporarily on the adjacent street.

What surprised me more is the food! The presentation is adorable and the taste is to die for! My all-time favorite is their Honey Garlic Chicken (₱95). Semi-sweet, garlicky fried chicken paired with creamy lemon dipping sauce. So good!

Their new New Zealand Beef Tapa
Another one of their best-sellers is the New Zealand Beef Tapa (₱110). Savory tapsilog with fresh red tomatoes with a lil bit of pesto sauce. They recently changed their tapa supplier (I think) and though the new one is still delicious, we like the previous better.

Their pancakes are also a must-try! I highly recommend these two: Goya Chocnut Ganache and Oreo Cookie Butter (₱95 each). 

Just like the name, their Goya Chocnut Ganache is a mouthful! Huge dollop of chocolate ganache over homemade pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with Pinoy-pride Chocnut bits. I salivate by mere sight of this work of art.

Clockwise: Deep-fried Oreos, Oreo Cookie Butter
Pancakes, & Goya Chocnut Ganache Pancakes
Do not be scared of their Oreo Cookie Butter. Yes, it sort of looks like asphalt placed on top of pancakes but trust me, it's really good! I love the uniqueness of the dish and that despite the ingredients, it's not too sweet! 

Their Deep Fried Oreos (₱60) are also good! However, I like the ones in Flaming Wings (with ice cream and all) more.

It's really hard to resist when a colleague says, "Tara, Kanto!" (*English Translation: "Let's go to Kanto!") because you know you'll get value for your money. They have added 12% VAT to their menu prices which saddens me but hey, all's still good. It's definitely worth coming back to. 

Rating: 4.25/5


Kanto Freestyle Breakfast - 549 San Joaquin Street, Plainview, Mandaluyong City

Sunday, May 17, 2015


As a foodie, I've tried not only interesting places to eat but also enjoy just about anything food-related. TV and films are on that list. My interest ranges from cooking shows like Barefoot Contessa up to animated movies (even fake food is appetizing!) like Ratatouille.

Chef is a 2014 film written, produced, directed by and starring Jon Favreau. The story revolves around Carl Casper, a celebrated chef in a popular gourmet restaurant. But when a notorious food critic gives him one bad review and Casper subsequently learns the power of twitter, all hell breaks loose. He loses his job, gets a viral meltdown video (which is fantastic, by the way), and finds that he has to start over from scratch. 

It's an adorable comedy-drama about taking a journey, rediscovering the passion for work, and valuing the people around you. I like the sincerity of the characters and that modern day techie applications are put to good use here. Plus, I love the smidget up-close scenes when mouth-watering dishes are featured!

Chef is the kind of movie that makes you hungry and satisfied at the same time. :)


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mex It Up!

After watching the latest film on Cinderella, we had an uber filling lunch (Burp! Oof... can still feel them beans) at Mexicali

Truly a mouthful!
The colorful nook is conveniently near the theaters and can seat around 25 persons. Ate Faye had their Chicken Enchilada for ₱194. Corn tortilla stuffed with pulled chicken meat, drizzled with *mole sauce and served with Mexican rice, salsa, and greens. Aside from the mole, she liked the whole enchilada. Pun intended. ;)

I ordered their Combo 5 (Please don't judge me! I shared. Haha.) which comprises one burrito, an order of garlic quesadillas, and drink for ₱304. I chose the chicken burrito which had all the works in it... Rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and chicken wrapped in a lightly grilled wheat flour tortilla. Every bite was divine. Like the enchilada, it was juicy and flavorful.

An array of quesadilla, tortilla chips, and burrito
The quesadillas were phenomenal. We'd definitely come back for these cheesy goodness. 

We had difficulty finishing everything though since we were easily sated, perhaps with all the carbs going on. I'm pleased to know that we can avail good Mexican food for an affordable price.

Now that's a wrap!

Rating: 3.75/5


Mexicali - 4F, The Block, SM City North Edsa, Quezon City

*mole (Spanish). noun. ancient word for 'mix'; now mostly refers to a variety of sauces (often a dark red/brown color) from Oaxaca, Mexico.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Team Tim Ho Wan?

Tim Ho Wan is one of last year's most reviewed restaurant in the country. Being a person who hates falling in long lines, I've often strolled past the place, wondering about their famous pork buns. Until recently, I tested my patience and finally got inside! Better late than never, right?

My sister and I were one of the first to be seated but it soon got cramped! Our table was small, the place was packed, and servers were being summoned from left and right. Again, we waited quite awhile for our food to be served. I felt excited though when I took my first bite of their Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (₱145). Three pieces of crisp, flaky, soft baked bread with pork filling. I really liked it. It was delicious but the taste, which reminded us of cold-cuts asado, wasn't entirely new to us. 

Clockwise: Wasabi Prawn, BBQ Pork Buns,
Vermicelli BBQ Pork, and Beancurd Skin Roll w/ Shrimp
I was very disappointed with the Beancurd Skin Roll with Shrimp (₱140) since it looked and tasted dry. I couldn't help compare it with its counterpart in Causeway which is way better! In contrast, their Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork (₱160) was soggy and gooey. Not a fan of those two. Sorry.

What we loved was the Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumplings (₱140). It had a crunchy wrap with juicy prawn goodness inside. Wasabi sauce was drizzled on top, giving it an extra pow! Their Cold Barley Water (₱50) was also refreshing.

For my verdict, Tim Ho Wan is an upscale version of other dimsum-serving Chinese restaurants. We ordered a few (and some unsatisfactory) items but adding the service charge and 12% VAT, our total bill was too pricey. I understand that it was a busy time but the service was a let-down since we had to follow-up most of our orders, as well as the bill (only to find it wrong!). We were eager to dine here but it didn't live up to the hype.

Rating: 3/5


Tim Ho Wan - Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North Edsa, Quezon City

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Welcome to the Club!

Rice is an essential part of the Filipino meal. I can't imagine my life without it. Seriously. So when I heard of the restaurant Kanin Club, I just. had. to. try. it.

One sunny day, I finally did with my sister and cousin Brian. The place had the traditional Pinoy vibe with their wood and rattan furnitures. However, we opted to have our lunch on the open seating area outside UP Technohub to catch the breeze. 

Clockwise: Aligue Rice, Vegetarian Delight,
Crispy Dinuguan, & Gambas con Kabute
First off, we had their Gambas con Kabute (₱360) which was a slightly spicy dish comprised of button mushrooms, shrimps, and white onions. I liked it but my two companions found it a tad too salty.

I guess we were on a mushroom roll 'cause we also had their Kanin Club's Vegetarian Delight (₱290) which had 3 kinds of mushrooms sauteed with tofu and banana blossoms. The blossoms gave it this overwhelmingly sweet taste which I wasn't a fan of.

What made a big hit on all three of us were the Aligue Rice (₱165), a steaming bowl of rice dolloped with crab fat (hypertensives, beware!) and their famous Crispy Dinuguan (₱274), a must-try! Unlike the usual recipe with bits of soft, chewy *lamang-loob, their version was made of chunks of very crispy, pure pork meat. It had the spicy-sourness I always look for in dinuguan so high marks for that.

The service was tedious because there were many diners that time. But I'm happy to have this as our first Filipino cuisine blog entry. I don't know why it took us so long but I promise to feature more next time! :)

Rating: 3.75/5


Kanin Club - Ground Floor, UP Ayala Technohub, Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City

*lamang-loob (Tagalog). noun. animal organs.