Month: July 2011

Chocolate Fire

Chocolate Fire

Chocolates are happy food.  You see it being a popular food item given as a bring-home gift/pasalubong or as a romantic gift.  Everyone just loves it!  People just light up whenever they see chocolates.  It’s amazing how a certain food can change moods in a very, very positive way.

So when Chocolate Fire opened its doors in Makati City, it became an instant success.  I’ve been hearing people rave about it.  I was about to join some of my colleagues last year for dinner at Chocolate Fire but something came up and I wasn’t able to join.

Good thing that we had our desserts last night at Chocolate Fire.  Finally, I can share my experience with you.

Ironically, I’m not fond of chocolates.  I know it’s weird but chocolates just aren’t my favorite.  If I get a chance to eat chocolates, my only choice would be white chocolates (ONLY white chocolates).

We parked our cars outside the restaurant located at the G/F of a building in Makati.  You won’t have any problems finding a parking space as there are tons of available space outside.

As we entered the place, I was in awe.  I loved the design of the place!  It was sooooo romantic!  I guess the ambiance won’t be the same if we dined during lunch time.  The romantic scenery at night was totally so cool!

chocolate fire menu

We saw chocolates displayed all over the place.  I mean if you’re a lover of chocolate, it’s impossible not to put up any smile on your face.

chocolate fire selections

There were cakes, dried fruits, glazed fruits, barks, lollipops and a lot more delicious food displayed.  I wonder how you can resist all of those yummy looking chocolates.  You better forget about your diet when dining in Chocolate Fire.

chocolate fire cakes

We were about to order the chocolate fondue but we felt that we might be drowning ourselves with too much chocolate that we won’t be able to finish it.  So we decided to use try out two cakes from Chocolate Fire’s selections.  I hope to try their fondue next time though.

  • Chocolate Ganache Cake (Php 189)

chocolate fire chocolate cake

A Chocolate sponge cake with a top layer of Chocolate Ganache.  I tried it and I think it was okay.  I’m not really fond of chocolates so I’m not the right person to judge this wonderful looking cake.  My friends said that it was just a normal chocolate cake.  I take their word for it.

chocolate fire chocolate cake closeup

Ganache which is one of the main ingredients in this cake is a mixture of chocolate and cream.  It’s basically used here as a filling but it’s also used to make candies and truffles.

Chocolate Garnache Cake is considered as one of the bestsellers in Chocolate Fire.

  • Tiramisu (Php 147)

chocolate fire tiramisu

A popular dessert in Italy, this sponge cake has liquor in it.    That’s tiramisu, beautifully baked by Chocolate Fire.  It was nothing extraordinary but it was a pretty decent Tiramisu cake 🙂

The cakes didn’t impress us much but the iced chocolate drinks were heavenly!  I thoroughly enjoyed my order of white chocolate and it truly made my night complete.

You see, the chocolate used in the drinks were pure Belgian ones!

There are 4 steps to take when we order Chocolate Fire’s Iced Chocolate:

  1. Choose your Chocolate
  2. Choose your Ice Cream
  3. If you desire, select a Syrup
  4. you may also select a Topping
  • Dark Iced Chocolate (Php 165)

chocolate fire milk choco

My friend has chosen the dark chocolate with Vanilla ice cream.  He didn’t look as impressed as I was.  They were mentioning another chocolate shop had better drinks.

  • White Iced Chocolate (Php 195)

Chocolate Fire Roch white choco fav

I, on the other hand, ordered the white chocolate with vanilla ice cream.  I didn’t ask for any more toppings or syrup as I was perfectly fine with the main ingredients.

chocolate fire white choco drink

I truly loved my order!  I enjoyed every sip of those overly delicious chocolate goodness!  Oh my, that was the best white chocolate drink I have tasted so far!  I’ll surely have the same order when I get back to Chocolate fire.  The texture, taste, combination of ingredients, flavors were just spot on!  Outstanding!  Loved it (a lot!).

I’m glad we had desserts as I was able to try out Chocolate Fire finally.  We also had some good conversations going at that time.  It’s always good to catch up with friends 🙂

chocolate fire happy diners

The ambiance in Chocolate Fire is great especially at night.  PERFECT for dates!  So if you want your date to be happy, then bring her to Chocolate Fire.  As they all say, chocolates is the way to a woman’s heart 😉

chocolate fire romantic ambiance

Chocolate Fire
G/F PDCP Building corner of Leviste Street & Rufino Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City, Philippines
(02) 840-3473

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Ersao has been around for quite some time.  It is known to have affordable and delicious milk teas.  However, competition is getting stiff as tea places have been popping up left and right.  In spite of that, Ersao is still as alive as ever.  They have renovated their place plus the menu was completely revamped.

I have been going to Ersao if I’m craving for milk tea or some light snacks.  I appreciate that their prices aren’t that high so affordability is the key reason why I still go back to Ersao.  It’s very accessible to me as well as Ersao is just a 5-minute drive from my house.

If you’re from the south area, you might not know what Ersao serves as most if not all of their branches are located in the north.  Ersao has branches in Banawe, E. Rodriguez, West Avenue, Abad Santos and Blumentritt.

What is Ersao famous for?  Basically, it’s really their milk teas..  Right now, they expanded their drinks selection with fruit shakes, green teas and other variants of milk teas.

During our dinner at Ersao Banawe branch a few weeks ago, I tried their Avocado Shake (Php 55).  I didn’t appreciate it that much.  I guess they put too much ice in the drink or maybe there was too much sugar.  Anyhow, it was a pretty decent drink, not something I would go back to though.

ersao avocado shake

My friends ordered Taro Milk Tea (Php 45), the original Pearl Milk Tea (Php 45) and Passion Fruit Green Tea (Php 45).  I’ve tasted those drinks before and I can recommend them.

ersao drinks

However, my newest favorite in Ersao is Coffee Milk Tea (Php 50).  We always ask ‘Coffee or Tea?’.  I usually respond with tea.  But hey, we can have the best of both coffee and tea with Ersao’s Coffee Milk Tea!  It was such a delight!  Super yummy!  Even if I still like Ersao’s Pearl Milk Tea, their Coffee Milk Tea is the new king in my book.

ersao coffee milk tea

Ersao has transformed into a restaurant as it also serves combo meals, rice dishes and even noodles.  The ff. were our main courses for the night:

  • Dumpling Noodles (Php 95)

ersao dumpling noodles

Ersao’s Noodles selection basically have the same flavors.  The only difference is the main ingredient.  In this case, my friend ordered dumpling noodles.  We can opt not to order noodles which makes it a dumpling soup (Php 55).  The other noodle items that Ersao offers include maki mi (Php 110), Pork Cha Mi (Php 110), Beef Noodles (Php 130), Jachai Noodles (Php 95), Meatball Noodles (Php 95), Pork Steak Noodles (Php 125) and Seafood Noodles (Php 160).

  • Spicy Pork Rice (Php 75)

ersao spicy pork rice

The food item Ersao is famous for are their spicy squid (Php 50), spicy chicken (Php 50) and spicy pork (Php 55).  My favorite is the spicy pork.  Right now, Ersao offers it as a rice topping too (just add Php 20 for the rice).

Ersao also sells raw spicy pork/chicken/squid in packs.  It’s seasoned already so all we need to do is just fry them.  I can’t cook so I still buy the cooked version 😛

  • Chicken Steak Rice (Php 90)

ersao chicken steak rice

The pork steak rice also looked like the same thing and Ersao offers it at the same price.  If you love fried food, then you might enjoy this pork/chicken steak rice.

  • Beef Topping (Php 130)

ersao sauce rice

Just as I thought that Ersao can only fry food, I saw this beef dish.  I wasn’t able to taste it but I believe it should taste okay as my friend finished her beef topping.  I might try to order this next time.  I just have to stop myself from ordering my usual choice – spicy pork 😛

  • Fish Fillet Rice (Php 125)

ersao fish fillet

I’m trying to diet.  That night, I was also a bit adventurous so I ordered Ersao’s Fish Fillet Rice.  I’m glad they put sauce in it.  It was a pretty decent dish.  The fish was tender and fried well.  The sauce was okay.  Serving size was enough for me too.

  • Radish Cake (Php 50)

ersao radish cake

Radish cake is a favorite of mine.  I always make it a point to try out a restaurant’s radish cake if they serve it.  I like that Ersao put a bit of a sauce in their radish cake coz it gave the dish character.  Fried radish cake is dry and sometimes you would feel a bit tired of the flavor if it’s served plain.

 Ersao will definitely stay as it’s one of the pioneers of the milk tea business here in the Philippines.  Have you tried Ersao?

668 Banawe St., Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 408-9665

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Miss B’s Tuckshop

Miss B's Tuckshop

This is one of the most unique restaurants I have been to.  I’m really so excited to share this with you as I truly enjoyed my dining experience with my newest discovery, Miss B’s Tuckshop.  The restaurant is located somewhere along Jupiter Street and it’s a bit near my workplace.

I’ve gotten to know Miss B’s Tuckshop through a group buying site.  I wondered what kind of food they serve and if it would be worth a try.  I invited a friend and we went straight to the place after work.

Parking won’t be a problem as there are ample space in front.  It also won’t be hard finding Miss B’s Tuckshop as it’s beside Distillery.  You might wanna reserve a seat or go a bit early as the place is small.  It can only cater to a few groups of people and tables get filled up pretty quickly.

This is one of the places I consider as hidden as not a lot of people know Miss B’s Tuckshop.  I hope that they get more exposure as I believe the restaurant has great potential! 🙂

The first thing I noticed when we entered Miss B’s Tuckshop is the classroom theme of the place.  Tables and chairs are made of wood and they looked so similar with our classrooms in school.  I felt like a schoolkid again which is so cool!  The menu written in the blackboard is a great touch!  It’s very innovative and it saves paper!  They don’t need to create another booklet when they need to change the menu as all they need to do is just to erase and change.  Wow!

Miss Bs Tuckshop Classroom design

Me and my friend were just in total awe with Miss B’s Tuckshop.  We were blown away with the design and we were also impressed with their water bottles! hahaha!  Look at how cute those ‘lil bottles are (see photo below).

miss Bs Tuckshop Water

How about our orders?  Yes, we liked them too!

  • Iced Tea (Php 85)

Miss Bs Tuckshop Iced Tea

Look at those jars!  So cute!  It wasn’t the first time that I’ve seen jars being used as containers for drinks but I was glad to see Miss B’s Tuckshop use it too.

  • Crispy Pork Confit Burger (Php 185)

Miss Bs Tuckshop Crispy Pork Burger

The biggest surprise for the day was the crispy pork confit burger.  It had a very generous serving of lechon kawali put in a bun.  If you love pork and if you love cholesterol (:P) then this is meaty heaven for you!

  • Pulled Pork Burger (Php 185)

Miss Bs Tuckshop Pork Burger

My friend ordered the pulled pork burger.  This one was a bit different from mine because the pork was softer and more tender.  The taste was a combination of sweet and spicy much like ‘hongma’ (chinese meat dish).

  • Salt & Vinegar Chips (Php 65)

Miss Bs Tuckshop Potato Chips

I only get to try out restaurants every now and then.  That’s why I try to order as much as possible.  We also ordered chips to try out.  First was potato chips!  I’m a sucker for junk food and Miss B’s tuckshop just didn’t disappoint.  The potato chips was newly cooked and I really wonder how they put the vinegar into the chips but it was too tasty, soooo yummy!  It took a bit of time for them to prepare it though.  Anyhow, it was worth the wait! 🙂

  • Cajun Fries (Php 65)

Miss Bs Tuckshop French Fries

We also tried the cajun fries.  By the way, before I forget both the fries and chips are unlimited.  You can ask for a refill as much as you want! 🙂  You have to wait for them to prepare though as they cook them as you order.

  • Roasted Marshmallow Milkshake (Php 180)

Miss Bs Tuckshop Marshmallow Shake

It might have looked like that we had a complete meal.  However, I knew we had to try Miss B’s tuckshop’s milkshakes.  It seemed that our meal won’t be complete without the milkshakes.  So we had to order.  I ordered the roasted marshmallow milkshake which is composed of fresh milk, vanilla ice cream and three pieces of roasted marshmallow.  Boy, was the milkshake big!  It’s good for sharing and I had to take half of it home as I can’t finish everything after all the food that we have eaten 😛

  • Red Velvet Milkshake (Php 180)

miss Bs Tuckshop Red Velvet

My friend ordered Red Velvet milkshake which I really hoped I ordered.  This one was a clear winner for me!  It tasted like cold milk chocolate with cheese!!  Yes, it had cheese!  I never thought that it would taste that good!  If I remember it right, the ingredients in this drink were chocolate beans, vanilla ice cream and cream cheese.  I will surely order this when I get back to Miss B’s Tuckshop!  A must order!

What an unforgettable foodie experience!  I was raving about Miss B’s Tuckshop for a few days.  It felt like I had a hangover hahaha!  Anyhow, you should try this place out if you wanna try something unique and different.

miss Bs Tuckshop Ambiance

Miss B’s Tuckshop
# 20 Valdecon Bldg., Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati City, Philippines

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Mangetsu Japanese Restaurant

Mangetsu Japanese Restaurant

At work, I always buy food for lunch.  I do not know how to cook, that is why.  To be totally honest, I’m really starting to get tired of the same food that we eat.  We do not have much food choices nearby our office.  So one day, we decided to eat out somewhere.

One of my colleagues’ wife is Japanese.  He told us that a restaurant in Makati Creekside Mall serves good authentic Japanese food.  Who else do we get advice when it comes to Japanese food but him, right?  We were excited!

The name of the restaurant is Mangetsu.  I never heard of it but I was looking forward for a great dining experience.  According to my colleague, Mangetsu Japanese Restaurant’s lunch boxes are pretty popular.  I couldn’t wait to order one!

As we entered Mangetsu Japanese Restaurant, I noticed that it’s very dark.  The first thing that came to my mind was, “Gee, this is going to be hard to take pictures!”.  hahaha!  Anyhow, I was able to take some pictures.

We went straight to the 2nd floor.  I immediately checked the menu and started deciding which lunch box set to order.  I was really excited as I was starving then.  I certainly loved the view because while we await for our orders, we can take a peek at the kitchen through the backseat.

mangetsu seats

We saw the chef preparing our food.  And it made us feel more excited to eat their food!

I noticed that the chef kept cleaning after cooking a single dish.  Apparently, Mangetsu uses Ozone Water to clean food.  As written in Mangetsu Japanese Restaurant’s menu: “Ozone Water is a sterilizer several hundred times more powerful than conventional chemical treatment (chlorine).  It deodorizes, bleaches, preserves food freshness, resolves pesticides and many other profitable effects as secondary effects.”

Mangetsu Kitchen

I also enjoyed the free tea being served.  If I guess it correctly, it was rice wine.

mangetsu house iced tea

We were a group of 10 but all of us ordered Mangetsu’s lunch set.  We ordered almost the same thing so even if there were 9 different lunch box sets available that day, I can only share 3 in this post.

Some of my colleagues ordered the ff.:

  • Stir-fried Eggplant & Beef (red miso flavor) with Rice & Soup (Php 300)

mangetsu eggplant set

This set is a unique one.  Only one of our colleagues ordered this but I was able to taste it and I kinda liked it!  The set includes the eggplant and beef, rice and soup.

mangetsu eggplant

Miso, a popular Japanese ingredient was used in this eggplant-beef combination.  Miso has 2 types, the red and the white.  For this particular dish, red was used.  The difference between the 2 types is that white is much sweeter and milder.

This Eggplant-Beef box set can be a great choice but I still loved the one that I ordered [I’ll get to that later.  Continue reading on :)].

  • Mangetsu Bento Box (Php 420)

Mangetsu Bento Set

Several of my colleagues ordered this.  You see, with just Php 420, you get three authentic Japanese dishes!  I almost ordered this bento box but I had to order the other best seller.  I said to myself though that I’d be ordering this when I get back to Mangetsu next time.

Box 1 – Tuna Sashimi Salad

mangetsu sashimi salad

Box 2 – Potato Salad.  Pork Tender Cutlet.  Boiled Broccoli.

mangetsu pork chops

Box 3 – Deep fried tofu with Beef thickened sauce and rice

mangetsu beef

My colleague let me try the beef and I must say it was delicious!  It didn’t feel oily or buttery thus I didn’t feel much guilt when I sampled Mangetsu’s version of Beef Yakiniku.

Overall, the Mangetsu Bento Box is a must order lunch set when you have a big appetite!

Finally, the most recommended lunch set in Mangetsu was my order.  Most of my colleagues ordered the Chicken namban lunch set too!  I had high expectations of this dish.  I must say that after I tried it, the Chicken Namban didn’t disappoint!

Chicken Namban Rice Bowl with Soup & Salad (Php 350)

mangetsu chicken set

The set includes soup…

mangetsu soup

mini salad…

mangetsu mini salad

and of course, the star of the meal — Chicken Namban Rice Bowl.

mangetsu chicken

The chicken was basically fried and seasoned with vinegar and tartar.  I’m not a fan of tartar sauce but the combination of ingredients just made me like the dish.  The chicken was juicy, the meat was soft and the sauce was just heavenly!  Delicious!!!

My colleague was right!  Mangetsu is definitely a restaurant to try out if you love Japanese food!  Authenticity at its finest.  The chefs aren’t Japanese but I heard they were trained by Japanese chefs thus we can’t tell the difference anymore.  It’s always nice to have a taste of international cuisine in our own country.

mangetsu design

Have you tried Mangetsu?

Mangetsu Japanese Restaurant
RG4 Makati Creekside Mall, Amorsolo corner V.A. Rufino streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines
(02) 894-1553

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Barrio Fiesta

Barrio Fiesta

It’s pretty obvious that I love eating out.  One thing you have to know is that my ultimate favorite Filipino restaurant is Barrio Fiesta.  It has been my favorite since I was a ‘lil kid.  This is mainly because of their mouth-watering dishes like Crispy Pata and Adobong Kangkong.

A few days ago, a Facebook friend posted a picture of Heart Evangelista with a big sign of Barrio Fiesta Greenhills at her back.  Heart is a famous celebrity here in the Philippines and she’s part of the family who owns the Barrio Fiesta franchise.  Seeing that picture immediately made me wanna go straight to Barrio Fiesta and sample their awesome food.  However, I had to wait for dinner time.  I called up a friend and we went to Barrio Fiesta Greenhills for a delicious dinner.

It didn’t take long for us to find the place.  It was a bit ironic that Barrio Fiesta is located beside its direct competitor.  The competitor’s entrance is located at EDSA side while Barrio Fiesta’s entrance is at the back street.  I only have eyes for Barrio Fiesta.  No other restaurant have stolen that ultimate favorite Filipino restaurant title from Barrio Fiesta in my eyes yet.

The ambiance of the Greenhills branch is far from my impression of Barrio Fiesta.  It looked like they applied the accepted design for modern restaurants.  The place was well-lighted and well-designed.  The art work displayed on the walls gives that distinction to Barrio Fiesta.

barrio fiesta greenhills ambiance

If you go to Barrio Fiesta’s Makati branch, you can see the difference when it comes to interior design.  The Makati branch has the Filipino ambiance with their tables and seats designed as a Jeepney (Philippines’ famous transportation vehicle).

Barrio Fiesta Makati

No matter how different the restaurant design between Barrio Fiesta branches are, their food is just the same (even from 10-20 years ago!).  I always have the same food order whenever I visit Barrio Fiesta.  However, I wasn’t able to order everything during our visit [missed Buko Juice (Php 65) and Sinigang na Hipon (Php 356)].  I’m really in a tight budget right now but next time, I’ll be back to getting all my original favorite dishes.

  • Crispy Pata – Large (Php 587)

barrio fiesta crispy pata

Anyone in their right state of mind will order Crispy Pata in Barrio Fiesta.  The dish is what made the restaurant famous.  Barrio Fiesta now offers their crispy pata in three sizes, small (Php 487), medium (Php 550) and large (Php 587).  I don’t care if there was only two of us dining but large size was our order.  It was as crispy as ever!  The meat didn’t feel dry at all.  Gee, just writing this entry makes me wanna go back there again.  I must resist!

  • Adobong Kangkong – Half (Php 134)

barrio fiesta adobong kangkong

Another must-order in Barrio Fiesta is their Adobong Kangkong.  Available in different sizes: Half (Php 134) and Medium (Php 253).  What I like about this dish is that the meat and vegetables are swimming in tasty sauce.  Every spoonful was so heavenly especially when you pair it with rice.  You should try it out if you haven’t.

  • Garlic Rice – Family (Php 129)

barrio fiesta garlic rice

Last, but definitely not the least, Barrio Fiesta’s Garlic Rice/Sinangag.  I know this is weird but there’s just one distinct taste in this dish.  Maybe, they put a secret ingredient in the rice or they just perfected the recipe of garlic rice.  I just couldn’t get enough of it!  We even ordered their family size which is good for 4 people!  The server was recommending the cup size (Php 36) but he didn’t know that we could finish the bigger size.  It’s that good!

You have to note that I’m not in any way related to Barrio Fiesta and I paid for our own food.  I really just love Barrio Fiesta and it will always be my ultimate favorite Filipino restaurant.  Whenever I go to this restaurant, I always have this huge smile on my face.

Very Happy Roch at Barrio Fiesta

Barrio Fiesta
Edsa Cor. Rochester St., Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 726-7836

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