Monthly Archives: March 2014

Haru Sushi Bar & Restaurant

Haru is a sushi restaurant located in Kapitolyo, owned by the same people behind Café Juanita. In fact, you can find these two restos right beside each other, just a couple of meters away from Kapitolyo’s main gate. I was actually planning on visiting Haru some other time, but I had to give in to my sushi cravings.

In my opinion, Haru’s main highlight is their architecture. I immediately fell in love with its Japanese-themed décor, the sushi bar, the assortment of Japanese dolls, and the paper lanterns hanging outside. I even loved the traditional Japanese music playing in the background. And one more thing… The place may look really small on the outside, but it can accommodate several groups of people.

Menu: Ippin ryori, Salada, Sunomono, Aemono, Sashimi & sushi, Sashimi or sushi moriwase, Tataki usuzukuri, Maki sushi, Yakimono/Robatayaki, Nimono, Tempura and furai/agemono, Nabemono, Teppanyaki/Misono, Menrui, Gozen, Gohan, Donburi, and Wanmono.

California Maki, and Maguro Sushi (nigiri style). Someday I would like to go to one of those sushi places where they serve the sushi on a conveyor belt, hehe.

Their meaty Gyoza was served with this yummy dipping sauce, which tasted sweet, with a very, very tiny hint of spiciness.

Ebi tempura.

Onigiri katsuboshi (bonito shavings). Not bad!

As usual, dad had the Seafood ramen.

Steamed tofu steak. Incredibly soft tofu, which was also served with a tasty dipping sauce.

Haru is definitely a must-try if you love Japanese food (especially sushi), Japanese-inspired design, or if you want to feel like you’re dining inside an authentic Japanese restaurant. Seriously… My pictures don’t do this place any justice! Especially since they’re slightly blurry… Ugh >_< You have to go check out the place yourself, and enjoy their food as well ^^

Haru Sushi Bar & Restaurant is located at 9 West Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Tel no (02) 631-0597.

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P.F. Chang’s

PF Chang’s is a famous American-Chinese restaurant, the brainchild of Mr. Paul Flemming (PF) and Mr. Philip Chiang (Chang). They have 204 branches across the globe, and if I remember correctly, their first Philippine branch (in Alabang Town Center) is the very first PF Chang’s branch in Asia. Their other branch – The one that I had lunch in earlier this morning – Is located in Bonifacio Global City.

Interior. The first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of foreigners dining in this place.

Menu: Starters (Chang’s vegetarian lettuce wraps, shrimp rolls, dynamite shrimp, tuna tataki), Chicken (Chang’s spicy chicken, orange peel chicken, kung pao chicken, mandarin chicken), Pork (sweet and sour pork), Beef (Mongolian beef, pepper steak, orange peel beef), Seafood (kung pao shrimp, Sichuan shrimp or calamari, salt and pepper prawns, Hunan style hot fish), Dimsum (crystal shrimp dumplings, flaming red wontons, lemon grass chicken dumplings), Salads (ahi cucumber salad), Soups (hot and sour soup, wonton soup), Noodles and Rice (Sichuan chicken chow fun noodles, lo mein, double pan-fried noodles, dan dan noodles), Vegetarian (stir fried eggplant). They also serve gluten-free meals!

Beverages and dessert menu.

I got to try two different types of iced tea – Jasmine, which had a nice, light, fruity flavor, and Tamarind, which had a slightly sweet yet tangy flavor.

Some Egg Drop Soup and Xiao Long Bao for starters!

PF Chang’s Fried Rice. Wok-fried rice mixed with some eggs, carrots, bean sprouts, and scallions.

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. Shrimp mixed in white wine sauce, Chinese black beans, mushrooms, scallions, and eggs. The sauce didn’t really taste like anything, and I expected everything to taste a little bit sweeter, buuuuut… The shrimp practically melted in my mouth, and it had a nice, clean taste, which is one of the main qualities that I look for in shrimp dishes.

Tofu Steak, crispy breaded silken tofu slices topped with bell peppers, onions, and mixed with kung pao sauce. My mom and I really liked this dish since the skin was crispy on the outside, and the tofu was firm on the inside. I was scared that she was going to dislike this dish because it was a little bit on the spicy side, but it turned out to be the exact opposite. ^^

Crispy Honey Chicken – Diced and lightly battered chicken fillet served in a sweet sauce, over a bed of crispy rice sticks. Not as crispy as I had expected, but this dish still get two thumbs up from me. ^^

… Well, we ended up paying quite a lot of money, which was expected since PF Chang’s is a foreign franchise after all. I think it’s worth it, though. ^^

PF Chang’s is located at W Global Center, 30th St cor 9th Ave Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Tel no: (02) 808-7389. You can also find them at the Alabang Town Center. Official Website: http://www.pfchangs.com.ph/. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pfchangsph.

8 Cuts Burger Blends

I finally made it to UP Town Center!!! Yay!!! I couldn’t decide which restaurant to eat at first. In the end, I decided to go with 8 Cuts Burger Blends since I’ve been hearing good reviews about this place. Plus, I’ll never get tired of eating flame-grilled hamburgers, hehe.

The seared, hand-pressed patties from this burger joint are made from fresh New Zealand beef and lamb, and all natural ingredients. All of their patties are house-ground with 8 cuts of beef (hence the resto’s name!). You can also choose from five different varieties of patty: House blend (made from short ribs/ribeye), Beef bomb (chuck/short ribs), Ox blend (flank/oxtail/ribeye), Big game (hanger/brisket), and Steak cut (sirloin/chuck).

Interior.

Menu: Starters (golden cheddar mozzarella sticks, good ol’ hot fried wings, Chinatown shrimp poppers), Classics (burger, the cheeseburger), Tributes (four cheese, lamb, hangover, the coney, the q-daddy), Sides (skinny fries, waffle fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, truffle parmesan, chili & cheese, bacon jam & egg), Other stuff (draft beer-battered fish & chips, Chinatown dan dan Joe chili noodles), Sandwiches (fishy wich, chicken wich), Salads (white ceasar, holiday salad), Great shakes, Sweet nothings/Dig deep desserts (molten chocolate bottoms, blueberry cheesecake, caramel vanilla bread pudding).

I really love the design of their menu, plus it also gives us some info about the different cuts of beef that they use for their burgers. You can also customize your own burger if you want to. ^^

For my burger, I tried their Rising Shroom burger with double patties. This consists of a mustard-fried, quarter-pounder steak cut blend patty of sirloin and chuck, with fried oyster mushroom tempura, white truffle creamed cheese, and sautéed mushrooms on a Kaiser Roll. Ahhhh. The buns were as soft as pillows, and the patties were really thick and flavorful. The main highlight of this burger was the combination of the soft, sautéed mushrooms, and the crispy oyster mushroom tempura. I could barely taste the cream cheese, though. (.__.)

… And for my side dish, I had the Buttermilk chicken tenders with roasted jalapeno ranch and curried mango aioli. Crunchy on the outside, tender and meaty on the inside. The dipping sauces were excellent too, especially the mango aioli one.

My mom had the Shrimp and Tomato Alfredo Pasta.

I had their Salted Caramel Shake for my drinks/dessert (hehe).

I feel like I have to make a second visit to 8 Cuts, since there’s so much more dishes that I want to try. And this also won’t be the last time that I’ll pay a visit to UP Town Center, since it’s definitely a haven for foodies such as myself.

8 Cuts Burger Blends is located at the 2nd floor of UP Town Center, Katipunan, Quezon City.

Ben’s Kitchen

This weekend, we headed back to Harbor Point mall during our yearly trip to SBMA. As soon as we arrived at the mall, I immediately headed over to Ben’s Kitchen to have lunch. I still remember this place from last year’s Bulgogi Brothers lunch, and I’m really glad to see that their amount of customers has doubled.

Their interior reminds me of The Clubhouse and Lunchbox, with the country-themed decorations, and the little glass container filled with pies and cakes.

Menu: Breakfast (breakfast waffles, old fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon toast, crispy club salad, potato salad, tuna macaroni salad), Appetizer (sesame garlic wings, shepard’s pie, Jalapeno poppers), Soup (black bean soup, hearty meatball soup, lentils & ham), Main entrée (chicken pot pie, sausage peppers & onions, broccoli cheese casserole, rosemary lamb with pineapple mint coullis), Pasta (smoked fish risotto, shrimp linguine), Pizza (big Ben pizza), Sandwiches (sloppy Joe, pulled pork sandwich, salmon burger), Desserts (choco chip cookie, baked apples, crepes), Extras, and Drinks.

Appetizer!

Coca Cola Roast Pork. I ordered this since the dish’s interesting name caught my attention. The pork was a little bit tough, but the cola-based sauce was heavenly. You can choose if you want it served with rice, steamed potatoes, or mashed potatoes with gravy.

Flavorful and hearty Chicken Soup, accompanied by some garlic bread.

And… That’s it! We didn’t really order much since we were in a hurry to get home. But even though I only ordered two dishes, I have to say that my lunch at Ben’s Kitchen was great. I’ll make sure to try more of their yummy rice meals, desserts, and breakfast meals when I get the opportunity to dine there again.

Ben’s Kitchen is located at Harbor Point Mall Riverwalk, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Tel no (047) 251-1078.

Mamou

I have been waiting for the right moment to dine at Mamou, and now I finally got the chance! Since this restaurant is a little bit on the pricey side, I figured that I’ll just eat at this resto when there’s a relevant occasion.

Interior. Uh… TBH, the diners here made this place slightly intimidating.

Menu: Appetizers (cracked cheese with fuet and honey, truffle flavored vegetable mushroom, Barcia strips), Soup (hearty lentil soup, orange kamote cream soup), Salads (Mamou’s greens, warm couscous salad), Pasta (linguine al nero, Mamou’s linguine vongole, Mario bottarga al olio), Sandwich (roast beef sandwich, pulled steak sandwich, Mamou’s shroom burger), Meat (angus rib-eye USDA prime rib steak, lamb chops, wawa prime rib, kurobuta sinigang, roast pork & chicken, BBC – beer battered chicken), Seafood (fish mamou katsu, beer battered fish with malt vinegar, steamed live Maine lobster), Vegetarian (grilled vegetable stew), Weekend brunch menu (steak ‘n eggs, Pappy’s toast, French toast, Pol’s pancakes).

And here’s their dessert menu!

For our appetizer, we had a basket filled with warm dinner rolls and butter.

Mamou Mami. A hybrid of Pinoy la paz batchoy, Japanese ramen noodle soup, and Hongkong-style noodles. The soup was flavorful, very tasty, and the noodles were nice and chewy too.

Lorenzo’s Truffle Cream Pasta, which consists of spaghettini pasta, truffle flavored cream, and grana padano cheese. I ordered this dish since I’ve seen and heard people raving about how good this pasta was. Honestly… It was yummy, but I was a tad bit underwhelmed – I guess my expectations were a little too high? Like I expected it to have this indescribable yet delicious flavor, but it just tasted really bland. I did finish the entire plate, though.

Fish Katsu Sandwich, with breaded white fish on white bread (they can also be served on whole wheat bread). This was served with fries and a small bowl of Mamou’s flavorful katsu sauce. This one tasted a little bit better – The fish was nice and tender, and the bread was freshly-baked as well.

Dad tried their Beer Battered Fish with Malt Vinegar. Their fish was a lot similar to the one I had in my sandwich – Light, flaky, and smooth-tasting.

For dessert, I had their Frozen Hot Chocolate. Not bad, but it turned out to be the bitter Spanish-type hot chocolate that I really disliked, so… Bleh.

Uh… Well, one of the things that I really liked about this place was the staff’s attentiveness, as well as the interiors. The food was alright though, but it could use a little more zing. Plus the diners made us feel a little bit out of place too. I guess high-class restaurants like these aren’t really my cup of tea.

Mamou is located at R1/Lvl. Power Plant Mall, Amorsolo Drive Poblacion, Makati. Tel no: (02) 822-6218.

K-Pub BBQ Meat-All-You-Can (100th entry!)

Since I am turning another year older in a couple of days, I would like to share a little fact about myself:

I love K-pop.

I really do.

I listen to it constantly when I’m at home, I watch music videos and the weekly music shows, and, despite being busy with work, I try to keep updated with the latest news about my favorite boybands and girlgroups.

… So when I learned that there was a K-Pop-themed grill located in The Fort, I absolutely KNEW that I had to go visit.

K-Pub BBQ ’s slogan is ‘Meat-all-you-can’, meaning that this barbecue place is a good spot to have lunch or dinner for meat lovers, like me. ^^;

Its interior reminded me of a trendy bar/club. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the second floor coz it looked empty (I think that area was closed too… What a shame). They also have a small store found near the entrance of the restaurant which sells accessories, K-Pop albums, and other types of K-Pop related goodies. FYI, local bands, plus a few stand-up comedians do come here to perform every Thursday-Saturday evenings, so if you want to listen to some live tunes or just laugh your heart out, then you should come on over. A bunch of famous K-Pop stars have also paid a visit to K-Pub as well.

The main highlight for me here was the giant-sized screen which played a bunch of K-Pop music videos. (To all the K-pop fans out there… I think you guys can guess what my favorite entertainment company is, judging from the pictures that I took. Hehe.)

… And here’s my favorite K-Pop group! ❤

We ended up ordering the ‘Eat and Run: Level Up’ option. I wanted to try some of their ala-carte meals, but I don’t think you can have both at the same time (dang!). Other options include Eat and Run, No Limits, No Limits de Luxe, Ala Carte (basically just typical Korean rice meals like bibimbap, japchae, etc.), and Bar Chow.

The ‘Eat and Run: Level Up’ option consists of Crème dori bulgogi, Saewoo (garlic butter shrimp), Uhmuk (fish tofu), Yang gogi (lamb chorizo), Chadol baki (beef sukiyaki), Samgyeopsal (pork belly), Daepae samgyeopsal (Korean-style bacon), Yangnyem samgyeopsal (marinated pork belly in sweet and spicy sauce), Dwaeji galbi (marinated pork chop), and Dak galbi (marinated chicken in sweet soy sauce).

Banchan, plus lettuce leaves for our meat.

A bowl of steamed eggs—Which tasted 100x better than the ones we had at Ba-Be-Q.

Bulgogi kimbap.

Calamari (Ojingo tuigim)! No tentacles this time! *whew*


Korean pizza. We got the bulgogi variety. You can pick from three other varieties: Kimchi and cheese, tomato and cheese, and pork.

And finally… The meat. Let the grilling begin! Huzzah!!!

Grilled bulgogi/samgyupsal/chicken/an assortment of other types of Korean barbecue and seafood, and a slice of kimchi pancake. These kimchi pancakes were REALLY light, crispy, and not greasy at all. And I have to admit, they tasted a lot better than the ones my mom makes at home (sorry, mom!).

A cup of steamed rice, another slice of kimchi pancake, and my soup. The soup wasn’t that bad, but it tasted better when it was still warm.

We had this sweet rice drink for dessert.

Well as expected, we paid a heck of a lot of money for all this food. I think it’s worth it, though? The meat and side dishes were all great, plus the staff was very nice and accommodating too (special shout-out to their lovely Korean waiter, Minjun!!!). But if you want to dine at K-Pub, I suggest that you need to 1.) Bring company… Lots of company, and 2.) Come only when there’s a special occasion, so everything would be worth the price.

K-Pub BBQ is located at Unit D, The Fort Complex Entertainment Center, 28th St cor 5th Ave Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Tel no – (02) 847-1961.

Shi Lin

After my first dental appointment for this year, I had a late lunch with my mom at Shi Lin, which is located at The Podium. Our first choice was Ang Mo Kio, but unfortunately, we later found out that it had already closed down (*sad, heavy sigh* T___T). So we just headed over to Shi Lin instead, which was our second choice.

 

Interior.

Menu: Small plates (drunken chicken, pickled Taiwanese cabbage, crispy prawn cake, spicy shrimp and pork wontons), Steamed dumplings (shrimp pork shaomai, vegetable and minced pork dumpling), Steamed buns (pork bun, deep fried asado bun), Noodles (noodles with sesame and peanut sauce, braised beef noodles, noodles with porkchop, noodles with shrimp and pork wonton), Soups (shrimp and pork wonton, double boiled beef soup, hot and sour soup), Vegetables (stir fry Taiwanese spinach, stir fry bok choy), Fried rice (fried rice with shrimp and egg, fried rice with pork chop and egg), Desserts (red bean dumpling, red bean bun, cool almond jelly with lychee), and Beverages (organic iced teas, organic hot teas).

Fried Rice with Shredded Pork and Egg.

Salt & Pepper Squid. Although the breading was perfect, the squid itself was a little bit tough to chew. And I have probably mentioned this before, but whenever my family orders squid dishes, I get really squeamish when I see the tentacles peeking out.

Fried Chicken Chop. It didn’t really have enough salt and it wasn’t really that spicy and peppery, but the size makes up for it.

And of course, no meal at Shi Lin is complete without their famous Xiao Long Bao. ^^

For my drinks, I tried their Iced Taiwan Milk Tea. It had a strong, robust flavor—Quite different from the milk teas that I’m so used to drinking.

Well, it wasn’t that bad. But it’s a little bit pricey for such mediocre Chinese food. .__.

Shi Lin is located at 3/F, The Podium, 18 ADB Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong. Tel no – (02) 477-4108.