Indonyaki : OpenRice.Com Review

rsz_1mbp_pinkHave you read the book “Love Languages”? Well, my husband and I put it to the test on a daily basis. Mine is Words while his is Service and so inevitably, what he appreciates most is Service as well, just as I do, Words. And so, as a form of life-long expression of service, and true to how we have grown our friendship before we got married (we used to be part of a group of 5 who would go to restaurants to try never-been-tasted-food), we found this nook that is best known for good food, Indonyaki. Have long been curious about the countless raves I hear about this pocket resto that we just had to go and try it. We were not disappointed. Read on.

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I have never been to Indonesia but if this is what food in Indonesia will be, I can live there forever. Lumpia  is a good plate to start with, has a way of neutralizing your taste buds with familiar Pinoy taste and should also prepare you from stronger Indonesia flavour for the next dishes.

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Fan of canton? Add in seafood plus Indonyaki’s own authentic taste and you got Seafood Canton. It was a hit with the kids. They did not realize that they were eating seafood that they would not usually eat if served separately.

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Other dishes to drool for: Ayam Goreng paired with Indonyaki rice.

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Friday’s : OpenRice.Com Review

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The first thing that greets you the moment you step into Friday’s Fairview Terraces restaurant is the warm smile from its staff. You are then ushered into a table you prefer and the staff right away introduces himself as your server for the day. Ours really went out of his way to come back to our table periodically to ask if there is anything else we will need. Even before the food came, we were liking our experience.

20150825_163256So it was time to sample what we came here for: the food! The first plate served was Chili Ballpark Nachos. It was a plate full of nachos with pork and cheesy nachos sauce. Unlike other nachos plates from other restos, this one has all nachos on the plate covered with sauce and meat! It didn’t go as fast because serving was big enough for me and three other colleagues from work.

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That was not all we loved at Friday’s. There was also their chicken fingers and fries. I automatically made a mental note to try this next time with my kids. So it whiles away fun dining time while munching on delicious fare on the table. It comes served with lemon and dips. By the way, the fries do not taste like they are fresh soaking from the deep fry machine. It is served with less oil and with the right amount of crisp.

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More foodies to try with Friday’s include Tortilla Crusted Fish Tacos and their fries served with mini-burgers. Best to visit before peak dining hours to find the best spot for conversation or for viewing sports telecasts on the screens.

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Banapple : OpenRice.Com Review

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It was not my first time to try Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes, and with two branches at Ayala Fairview Terraces, one can always give in to sweets cravings (One is at a branch on the Central Garden Ground Floor and the other one is a pocket resto within Wellworth Department Store. Looking at their menu is always overwhelming because they have a long list of cake and sweets options, they also have meal options that will make you forget about your diet, if you have one.

banapple1First item to try is Grandma’s Corn Chowder, it is interestingly named because it aptly reminds you of warm visits to Grandma’s house. Best to try on a rainy day, I suppose over a conversation meant to encourage.

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Of course, your Banapple experience cannot be complete without trying their Banoffee pie, this is what most of the Banapple hashtags are all about, this is what makes everyday a cheat day! Surprisingly, it is not a cake that makes you stop mid-slice, it is aptly sugared you can finish up the entire slice in one sitting.

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Visiting for lunch or dinner? Make sure you order Hickory Ribs, Chicken Breast Parmigiano. If you are into pasta like I do, must-try is Trio Sausages Fettuccine.

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Sidestreet Cafe : OpenRice.Com Review

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I recently hosted an intimate group for a bridal shower celebration and we found this cozy nook along Commonwealth Avenue, Sidestreet Cafe. It is known for the crowd at night, with its sports telecasts and live bands performing on acoustic nights. But little did we know that we were in for a food treat for lunch, at the same spot where everyone wants to troop to, at night

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It was such a relief to find out that Sidestreet Cafe has allowed us to dress up the place to make it appropriate for the occasion. So we used DIY centerpieces that is aligned with the theme pink and gray, sprinkled wooden utensils (synched with the couples’ wedding giveaways – silver utensils), and dressed up the rest with pompoms, wooden letters and doilies.

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I decided to cater to everyone’s taste by sampling all of their pizza and pasta dishes. Their carbonara with the perfect al dente pasta, served with toasted slice of bread. Had to ask for extra parmesan (being an extreme pasta lover), it was big enough for a serving of three to four. We also sampled their classic red-sauced pasta, and the taste of tomato combined with the Pinoy spag sauce taste, made my taste buds really happy.

20150829_124112-1Wanting more pizza options? They have Bolognaise, Gambasetti, Spaghetti Agla Olio with Salsa and Fettuccine Alfredo.

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Crisostomo : OpenRice.Com Review      

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You may have probably already watched Heneral Luna, the movie. By the looks of my social media pages, all posting shoutouts with long-forgotten Pinoy words such as nakapagpapabagabag (it is even hard to spell!) or datapwat sapagkat. I have never heard kabigha-bighani since ages but now the Pinoy classic words are back. And so, no wonder, we just have to try Crisostomo today. To cap that final Heneral Luna moment, we looked for a perfect spot and started browsing through their menus.

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What is interesting about this restaurant is the fact that all their dishes has a Pinoy flavour from its name down to its taste. And so we got started with Pilosopong Pinakbet. This pinakbet seemed to be topped with crispy-pata-like meat. The sauce of pinakbet also is thicker than your usual pinakbet. In fact, the sauce reminded me very much of our kare-kare.

20150926_121649Next up is Sinigang ni Kapitan, shrimp sigang served on top of a ceramic heater. Just be careful serving it to kids on the table as the heater comes complete with small flame right under it. Shrimp on it did not disappoint. It was big enough that each dish can very well serve four!

IMG_20150303_201739Familiar with Crispin and Basilio? Well ask for Crispin and Basilio and you will be served their tokwa’t baboy. It is known to be a Pinoy appetizer but my husband loves eating it with rice and now, my boys do the same.

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IMG_20150926_165908With all of the Pinoy flavour, we just had to order and try their sweet treats. My son went for chocolate shake, originally wanted to try choco mani shake but he changed his mind and didn’t want to experiment and just opted with the classic chocolate cake. Lastly, I tried Olympia, their mangoes and cream pie with a generous heap of cubed ripe mangoes on top.

Will surely try Crisostomo, with or without the Heneral Luna movie experience.

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Moshi Koshi Noodle Boss : OpenRice.Com Review          

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As soon as we walked in to Ecomm Plaza’s Moshi Koshi Noodle Boss, we knew that it was going to be a happy-tummy-food-experience. The spot was not as busy as the others around them, probably because of the perfectly situated kitchen plus quick service that you will never need to have too many staff hopping from one table to the next to update your orders.   It was interesting to see the Japanese word KOSHI defined on the placemat. It is not everyday that you get to add learnings and a new word to add to your food vocabulary. Remembering the other interesting food terminologies I encountered such as your papaya salad, stinky tofu or pad thai.

20150918_113413_1Their kitchen counter shows a window where anyone can peek in and see what is going on in the kitchen. I am keen to see the state of the kitchen everytime I walk into the resto. How the restos showcase their kitchens and how they allow customers to see their kitchens says a lot about how they prepare your food and how they value you as a customer.

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Shoyu ramen is a soy-based broth with noodles, meat and veggies. I am not a big fan of soy but this is the only soy-like food I can devour anytime. Bamboo shoots in this shoyu ramen reminds me of home-cooked meals with what we know as ‘labong’, made more delicious with the ramen’s flavour. Kani Salad, gyoza, gyudon and katsudon completed our Moshi Koshi experience.

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Toby’s Estate : OpenRice.Com Review  

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It was a Philippine holiday but employed for an Australian company, we all trooped to the office for a day at work. Since it is a holiday, it was not surprising to see our office building’s food floor closed, dark and empty. So off we stepped out of the building, walked around Makati which is surprisingly free of heavy traffic, and with crowd-free streets anywhere you look. It was both good and bad because we had to walk around for coffee options when we would normally just go to the second floor for a famous American coffee brand.

20150925_065341We found this pretty nook Toby’s Estate. I am not new to this coffee shop, having tried before several of their pastries. But for this morning, it was a coffee run.

The last time I visited, I had to try their hot latte, it was so beautifully crafted with a heart shaped coffee froth on top. But with a sweet tooth, I was not ready for the bitter taste of coffee. I instantly understood why they have a big number of following from coffee connoisseurs, it was not coffee meant for those who do not usually drink one. For today’s visit, I just had to try the iced mocha, even their mocha coffee was not your usual Pinoy sweet mocha but my taste bud welcomed the combined sweet and bitter taste of freshly brewed flavoured coffee.

FB_IMG_1443187807648-1A colleague from work opted to go for Iced Flat White, for some reason, this is what brings him again and again to Toby’s door. Just before we headed out, we just had to take away bacon and egg roll plus their tuna bread paired with long black coffee with milk. It was super tasty and refreshingly different from your always-sweet-pastry-and-coffee-combo, it was gobbled up by my boss in no time.

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Fantasia Cafe : OpenRice.Com Review

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It is fun to have started a food review journey as a blogger. I get to hop from one restaurant to the next, while making sure that my taste buds are sharp and on the lookout for the best taste that a resto can offer. I am officially calling the rest of September as ‘Tastier September’. So come with me as I lead you to a longer option of food destinations in the Philippines. Today’s food focus is Fantasia Cafe in Ayala Fairview Terraces.

20150917_115022I am a big pizza lover and so it makes sense to try their Four Cheese Pizza. It has a fermented cheese taste that most Pinoys love, what I loved about it is the thin crust that comes with it, it is not like any other pizza that is too much crust or the other extreme: crust is too thin you cannot even feel the crust anymore. It is just perfect for pizza lovers like myself.

20150917_115452I dined with two other friends who are the best people to eat with when I visited Fantasia Cafe, ordered and tried their Vegetable Quesadilla which is a hit for its four choices of dips. We went for lunch and surprised for the crisp and fresh quesadilla bread, it must not be the spare bread from the previous day!

20150917_115435Also tried the Carbonara, it was served on extra-ordinarily big plate, perfect for their huge table space but we had to ask for smaller plates for a more comfortable dining experience.

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Drinks are refreshing, Mango juice, Red Tea and chocolate shake. The flavoured shakes are taller than your usual. It is almost double the size of your regular-sized water glass.

20150917_114243Overall, it was a delicious and unique lunch at work. Try the same experience when you visit Fantasia Cafe.

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MANILA PAVILION’S MID-AUTUMN MOONCAKE FESTIVAL

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Mooncakes are not just all Japanese. In fact, more and more, we see mooncakes at all corners of Manila, you find them at malls, bakeshops, even from your souvenir shops at a local tourist destination in the Philippines. There is even more reason to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon season as Manila Pavilion’s Patisserie lays out a delectable spread of mooncakes from September 14 to October 18, 2015 at the Patisserie.

Purchase a hearty mooncake perfect for your tea party on the 27th of September. Revel in the delightful aroma of palatable moon cake variants available at the Patisserie. For the large mooncakes, there’s the lotus with macadamia, egg custard, mixed nuts, lotus with 1 or 2 eggs, lotus plain, mongo with 1 or 2 eggs and mongo plain. And for the mini mooncakes, available flavors are chocolate, ube, egg custard, mixed nuts, lotus plain and mongo plain. Prices start at Php1350 per box of four. Also comes in gift boxes perfect for giveaways starting at Php450 per box of four.
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If you are a working mom like me who want to celebrate with family, make this occasion more festive with Manila Pavilion’s Mid-Autumn Room Package starting at Php3,500nett for an overnight stay with buffet breakfast for two (2), one (1) limited Mommily Holiday Privilege Card, a box of mini mooncakes, 20 percent discount voucher from all F&B outlets and complimentary use of the swimming pool and Wi-Fi.

For inquiries, please call the Manila Pavilion Hotel at (632) 526 1212 extension 2326 for the mooncakes and extension 2382 for room reservations. For regular updates log on to www.waterfronthotels.com.ph and follow us through social media @WaterfrontMNL.

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Discovery Suites : OpenRice.Com Review

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It was for an event that I had the chance to go and visit Discovery Suites. It was the ease of not having to make any reservations or not having to go and worry about whether or not we can find a free table to ourselves for a yummy and quite heavy afternoon snack. Since it is in the commercial area of Ortigas, it is accessible from all directions, whether you are coming from the north or southern part of the city. Now location is always a decision maker when choosing food options.

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It was served from a buffet-like table and everyone was encouraged to just fill the plates whenever. The canapés from the food table are as delicious as it looked. The ornate glass where they sit is as inviting as it tasted. If you like the tanginess of pastries, you may want to go for their salted caramel cheesecake. Just make sure you go easy on the chocolate strip topping it, it may be too dark and sugary if you go at it with one bite.

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What seemed like your usual penne with red sauce, it turned out, is their baked cream shrimp penne rigate. Not too many meat there but if you like classic-taste-pasta, this can be for you. Not too saucy as most Pinoys would have it, not too cheesy like your usual resto penne dishes.

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As it is also a hotel, more than a restaurant, just be ready to pay premium as it is pricier than your regular restaurant options. See more food review at OpenRice.com.

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