BibimHaru : OpenRice.Com Review

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It is quite a privilege to be able to report to diffferent locations all throughout the week. This means working from different energizing and future ways of working (FWoW) workplaces. Last Friday was no different as we all trooped to Manila Bay for our usual end-of-week team meet up (This Telstra team usually agrees to head to just one site so we can have ‘us’ time at least once a week). Lunch does not always happen at the same time due to workload, though, but thanking God for last Friday’s free calendar hour for lunch! We originally thought there was a chicken restaurant around the area (wrong!) so BibimHaru right across the road caught our eye. Quite interesting to say the name BibimHaru, it sounded like a mix of Korean with a twist of Ilokano (on the haru, wink wink!)

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I went for what they call their bestseller, no less than their Pork Bibimbap. Surprisingly, this Korean restaurant has everything imaginable on their menu! There is Korean, Japanese, and Pinoy food. Background music is equally interesting with their Pinoy pop music (from the 90’s!), as cheesy music as a beer joint can bring (no offense meant). If you are into Korean food adventure, I am sure you did not miss to note that their food, mostly, are spicy. Their Bibimbap is definitely spicy, first off, the difference between their Light and Hungry serving is so minimal we couldn’t tell which one was Light and which one was Hungry when they were served. Bibimbap is a smoking-hot bowl of rice topped with minced pork with sesame seeds, chilli pepper paste (a generous amount of it), carrots, spinach, mushroom and zucchini and of course, the half cooked egg at the center, served on a sizzling bowl on a sizzling tray. It took a while to finish off the plate, my tongue did not know if it was too hot or too spicy (yep, that lethal combo).

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Best other items on the menu you can pair bibimbap with: mais con yelo, fried crispy pork.

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Mister Kabab : OpenRice.Com Review

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Everyone must have known by now that there is a Mister Kabab restaurant in Ayala Fairview Terraces. Back in the late 90’s, there was just one Mister Kabab restaurant located in West Avenue corner Quezon Avenue. It is a Persian restaurant that serves unique food. I remember lining up for a queue that stretches right outside along the road because there was just so many people who want to visit and eat. It is the same flavour that everyone has known to enjoy and the eating experience is even better. Because the other branches we have tried (Technohub and Fairview Terraces) both offer airconditioned rooms. Their kitchen seem to be different, too. I remember the first branch was not airconditioned because the kitchen vents out the smoke right inside the resto. It makes people hungrier smelling the food. The mall branches may not have this but it has the same yummy flavour that we always crave for.

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We will never let the day pass without ordering our Mister Kabab fave Keema (beef with special Persian flavour) and we usually put white sauce that goes with it. This is perfect for buttered rice (they used to serve it with more butter instead of the current’s pinch of butter on plain rice). You may opt to have keema with pita bread instead of rice. My husband enjoys it with chilli sauce, too. I enjoy my meal better with mango shake.

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Till the next meal!

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Focaccia : OpenRice.Com Review

rsz_1mbp_pinkSo it is midweek and all of us at work are getting on a project we are calling: Happy Us At Work (Okay, I made this project name up) The ultimate goal of the project is to be happy at what we are doing at the workplace. In my mind, I know that this will not be too different from what I have always been an advocate for: working at it with all of your heart as if you are working for the Lord and not for men. And so, to celebrate that Happy Us at Work opportunity, three of us trooped to Focaccia at the A. Venue Mall in Makati. Of course, you also have to remember that this is still part of my Yummy October partnership with OpenRice.

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It is interesting to see that a wall welcomes you in, full of scribbles and notes from those who have already dined in Focaccia. Reminds me of a restaurant in Mekong River, Vientiane, Laos with a wall full of colourful notes.

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One thing that stands out for me is their pizza roll, served with fresh arugula and alfalfa sprouts. If you have tried Yellow Cab’s Dear Darla, you may be confused and say that it is exactly the same except that Focaccia had it first since 2011.

So next time you are visiting Mercato right outside A.Venue, roll away your cravings with pasta, pizza and friendship.

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Caramia : OpenRice.Com Review

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And so my gastronomic and tummy-filling relationship with Open Rice still continues. Tastier September may have ended but Yummy October has started and will stretch to Delish November. It seems my Christmas season has started early with the amount of eating I will need to do, but enjoying every second of it. I am not new to the cake scene and in fact, have tried Sonja’s Cupcakes (no longer in Terraces), Tous Les Jours, and even Cake2Go. I am no cake connoisseur but I certainly know my cake.

We were surprised to find out that we walked into Caramia Fairview Terraces in perfect timing, as they offer a 20% off your total receipt when you dine with them between 1pm to 6pm. With the amount of food we had, glad to see a receipt that was under Php500.00.

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First slice to try is Pistaccio Cioccolata, lightly roasted pistaccio brimming with chocolate. Imagine the yum level of a home made refrigerator cake and take that taste to tons of delicious level. If you like the mixed taste of nuts and chocolates on your taste buds, this will be a big hit.

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Caramia is a chocolate cake heaven. Next up was Dream Chocolate cake. It is not like your regularly-red-boxed chocolate cake, not too sweet but flavored enough to take you to eat a couple of slices or even more!

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Sometimes I get confused if what I was eating was regular cake or gelato cake and it is the same delicious and happy confusion I got when I tasted Sea Salted Honey Crunch. There is light mocha cream sandwiched inside the cake and there are solid candy crunchies on top. Just go easy with snacking on the topping, I originally thought it was soft, I gulped a big one with a hard crunch surprise.

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Amici : OpenRice.Com Review

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So there is this restaurant that is aptly named for its ambience, Amici, which means ‘friends’ in English, really gives off that perfect backdrop for conversations with friends. I am a pasta lover and one does not need to be in Italy to try that authentic Italian yummy pasta taste we have all grown to love. I do not certainly need violinists around me or a gondola. All I need is the taste of al dente pasta and my cravings for it is instantly satisfied. When do I usually give in to this cravings? Yep, at least once a week.

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We actually ended the previous week at the workplace with ordered food from Amici and I certainly enjoyed the seafood pasta and the chocolate gelato! But I just had to try their food straight out of their kitchen.  And so as much as I always shoot first before eating, my friends have come to love the fact that if we go together, we should be ordering different plates. Thanking God for food buddies! I am certainly now raving about Penne Rosa and Bacon. Penne made more interesting with Italian bacon flavoring. In love about classic spaghetti? Go for Linguine Fantastico Pasta and you will never look at a classic-looking Amici spaghetti again. Bon appetit!

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Conti’s : OpenRice.Com Review

rsz_1mbp_pinkPinoys are always big about the food served on the table. For one, we have one too many family traditions celebrated with food! It is your hamon and bibingka during Christmas, it is your festive fruits and keso de bola on media noche, it is your pansit or spaghetti on birthday meet-ups, or your brewed coffee and cake combo on afternoon visits from friends. And so at the workplace, it is also common for us to either eat at the pantry (which serves good food!) or step out at least once a week, to take time off the walls of your office, or to engage with happy-thoughts-conversations with your favorite people from work.

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And so when we heard that Conti’s is now at Fairview Terraces, we didn’t waste the time to go in and sample what people are raving about. Of course, we have already tried their famous mango bravo cake countless times, it has become Pinoy’s favorite cake present or even favorite potluck dessert to bring.

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Trust Pinoy restaurants to always have the classic carbonara on their menu. And trust me to always go for one. I will probably have to write a separate blog post about the countless carbonara’s I have tried from different restos. So how different is this? For one, it is served warm, it didn’t taste like it has been plated hours before you ordered them. That can’t happen with Conti’s as most of the tables have wait lists.

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Pinoys end a good meal with dessert with an S! We tried two: Mango Cheesecake and the one we will never get tired of: Mango Bravo.

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Il Padrino : OpenRice.Com Review

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How Il Padrino Coffee came to be is an interesting story. It came out of the owner’s need to find the perfect nook to sip his Cafe Americano while working from nearby Fairview area. Unfortunately, he found none. And so he went on setting up one. Il Padrino for me, has been a repeat venue for everything imaginable, catch up with friends, seminar, celebrations and for last night, bridal shower. Since the bride herself has not been around the Philippines for the past year, we all welcomed the Pinoy style Italian fare we have come to love. Shower organizer booked the private room on the second floor which can seat up to 30 people. Since booking this room comes with a consumable cost, we opted to try their group packages. That gives me more option to try everything on the table. Yep, the key is to get small-sized sampling of each so you can sample everything served.

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First plate stop, Meat Feast Pizza, it was served warm which is the best part. Cheesy peasy, loved every part of the pizza, including the crunchy crust.

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The shower started at 7pm so it was perfect to try Roasted Garlic Chicken for dinner. Not a big fan of garlic but the girls made sure no piece of chicken is left on the plate. The chicken made wonders with the sauce, or was it the sauce that made wonders to the chicken? Doesn’t matter, it was gone in no time.

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Bangus Cordon Bleu, yep, Pinoy style cordon bleu. It was tasty that it was passed around the table so everyone can have a taste. Pinoy’s behaviour of leaving one piece untouched didn’t happen because everyone gamely finished off every morsel on the plate.

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If you find the consumable food cost too much for what you ordered, you may opt to take home the rest of the sweet treats equal to whatever amount will complete your consumable food cost.

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Viking’s : OpenRice.Com Review

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I always have a good reason to celebrate and find good food to enjoy with family or friends but this time, for our visit to Viking’s, it was both for a good and sad reason. Good because it marks a beginning of something new and exciting for me at the workplace but sad because I need to say goodbye to a bunch of great people at work to give way to a re-assignment. Read on and know my Viking’s food story. We called in for a reservation but not ready to see that there was a swarm of people waiting in line outside. Actually, not literally in line, but people everywhere! So we have been told that even those who have reserved for tables, needed to be called by number until a table inside gets freed up. And then the rest of the countless peeps there, were among those who decided to walk in, hoping to have reservations cancelled.  It turns out, that your reservation can get cancelled when the receptionist calls your number and no one comes up to get it. So after a little over an hour of waiting (while standing up), we finally got our table.

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So as soon as we got seated, we scampered like we didn’t know each other and headed to the food table. It was probably because of wait time that I decided to go fill my plate with just about anything I fancy. I made a mental note to just get one or two pieces of each so I can sample as much food as I can. That’s what buffets do to me, I end up planning what to put into my plate for a little less size than usual so I can squeeze in more into the plate. By the way, no one was celebrating birthday but a server handed us a birthday cake and we just had to take a picture of it.

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Whatever waiting we had to do, it was worth the wait because the food delivered more than what it promised, hopped from one food bar to the next and even ordered food to get sent to the table (baked oysters, Shrimp Sigang, barbecue and even crabs!)

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I promised myself to get better at making reservations (weekday lunch, maybe) so I can get a better experience at it.

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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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