Monthly Archives: August 2014

Early Bird Breakfast Club

The owners of Early Bird Breakfast Club believe in the philosophy that a good breakfast equals to a good day ahead – And they try to accomplish this by providing their diners with the yummiest and most scrumptious breakfast foods that they can come up with.

I personally have a special fondness for restaurants that specialize in breakfast meals since I never get to eat breakfast that often (first meal of the day is usually brunch), so I was really excited when I heard that they would be opening up a new branch in Eastwood.

The interior makes the whole place look bright and sunny, even though it was already 6 in the evening when we ate there.

In keeping up with the breakfast theme, their menus are designed like newspapers. Nice!

Menu: Breakfast in bread (ultimate grilled cheese with roasted tomato soup), Breakfast and eggs, Healthy brekky, Bites of breakfast (bacon jam and breakfast pate), Sweet sweet breakfast, Breakfast of champions (the early bird full English), Early Bird signature drinks, Coolers, Coffee break, Teatime.

Eggs Benedict. The English muffin was soft and easy to slice through, plus the flavors of the honey ham, hollandaise sauce, and poached eggs all blended well together. The taste didn’t make me feel queasy at all, which is great.

This pretty lil’ dish right here is their famous Yin & Yang Champorado. Everything about this dish is truly buzz worthy: From the rich taste of the Belgian dark/white chocolate combo (combine it with the small serving of anchovies for a salty and slightly spicy kick!), to its look and presentation. They could’ve added a bit more champorado inside the jar, but other than that, this is truly a must-try.

And lastly, we had The Early Bird Toast – Two extra-large pieces of toast with sunny side up eggs inside – Kind of like a fancier egg-in-a-hole sandwich.

For my drink, I tried their version of the Butterbeer. That’s right – Butterbeer, as in the drink from the Harry Potter series! As a hardcore Potterhead, I knew I couldn’t pass the opportunity to try their Butterbeer – I even tried making some at home a few months ago, but it ended up looking like jelly with a weird butter taste, hehe. The Butterbeer had a nice, smooth taste similar to unsweetened caramel. I also love the little marshmallows mixed inside the froth on top of the drink.

The food was really great. But I have to admit, I found most of their dishes a little bit overpriced, since several of them can be easily made at home (without the fancy plating). But I would not hesitate to come back and try more of their breakfast creations.

Early Bird Breakfast Club is located at the G/F of Eastwood Mall, Eastwood Ave, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. You can also find them at Bonifacio Global City and Century City Mall. Links: Official website || Facebook

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Tokyo Tonteki

Tired of eating the same crunchy breaded pork cutlet, or grilled pork chops? How about trying some pork loin steak instead? Tokyo Tonteki, located in UP Town Center, is a Japanese restaurant that specializes in a different kind of meal – Tonteki, also known as pork loin steak!

The story of Tokyo Tonteki started out when Japanese chef Shusaku Namikawa set out on a quest to search for the most perfect tonteki, after trying it for the very first time while staying in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Even though he loved the tonteki that he ate while he was in Mie, Shusaku wanted to create his own version of the tonteki, with thicker cuts, and a juicier, more distinct flavor. He eventually got to accomplish this goal after years of research, by concocting his own signature tonteki sauce made from a blend of aged fruits and vegetables, and Japanese seasonings and spices. Shusaku’s tonteki became an instant hit, and he opened his very first Tokyo Tonteki branch in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Tokyo Tonteki uses the finest pork loin with just right amount of fat and marbling for their steaks – This guarantees excellent flavor. Temperature is kept low during the cooking process, so the flavor is locked inside the meat. Afterwards, the tonteki is marinated in the restaurant’s signature sauce. The end result is delicate, flavorful, and perfect pork loin steak.

Interior. The kitchen was really large.

Menu: Tonteki sets, Tonburg sets, Chicken steak sets, Starters, Katsu sets, Side dishes, Salads, Rice, Dessert, and Beverage.

Here’s our Chopped Tonteki Set, with a shredded lettuce forest! I was really surprised by the pork steak’s texture – I thought I was going to have a hard time eating this dish, but it turns out, the pieces of lean pork steak were nicely chewy. I know I’ve mentioned several times that I like my pork with a bit of fat—And this is something that the tonteki pieces lacked. But I still enjoyed eating this dish! As expected, it tasted really well when eaten with Japanese rice, hehe.

Chicken Karaage, breaded and fried chicken chunks served with a side of shredded cabbage. I only got to try one piece. It wasn’t too bad.

Special Fried Rice, Pork Miso Soup and a small dish filled with pickled cucumbers.

For our appetizer, we tried the Spring Roll of Prosciutto, Avocado, and Onsen Egg. It has a very smooth, refreshing taste, which goes really well with the slightly salty-tasting pork steak. The prosciutto ham’s texture was also very chewy.

My bowl of rice and a glass of sweet Red Iced Tea.

If you’re a Japanese food lover who wants to try something else other than the usual katsu, sushi or ramen joint, then make sure to pay Tokyo Tonteki a visit! Personally, it felt really good to try something both new and familiar at the same time. The branch here in UP Town Center is their first one in the Philippines, so I’m wishing them the best of luck and hope that they’ll branch out, so others will get the opportunity to discover the flavorful taste of tonteki.

Tokyo Tonteki is located at the UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Links: Official website || Instagram: @tokyotontekiph.

Katsu Sora

Katsu Sora is a restaurant that serves four—count ‘em—four types of katsu: The Japanese Kurobuta pork, the Canadian Sakura pork, and two types of Spanish pork: Shimofuri and Iberico.

To summarize everything quickly, Kurobuta, also known as the ‘Wagyu of pork’, is made from the highly-marbled meat of Berkshire pigs. Shimofuri comes from Spanish Duroc pigs, and also called the ‘black Angus of pork’ because of its flavorful taste. Iberico, the other type of Spanish pork, has a texture similar to butter and is highly coveted for its meat. Surprisingly, it lowers bad cholesterol because Iberico meat is rich in oleic acid. And lastly, Sakura pork from Canada has a lighter color and a firmer texture since the pigs are fed with barley.

Interior.

Another thing that sets this restaurant apart from the other katsu places is the unlimited rice/miso soup/salad buffet.

Menu: Salad & dressing, Soup, Rice, Tonkatsu, Otameshi set, Katsu, Oroshikatsu, Miso katsu, Mille feuille, Katsudon, Curry, Menehi katsu burger, Katsu sandwich, Kids meal, Side dish, and Dessert.

A tall glass of iced tea for my drink.

For our appetizer, we had their Chicken Tatsuaage, aka Japanese-style fried chicken. These boneless pieces of chicken meat are marinated inside a special soy sauce and garlic concoction, then coated with flour and fried in light oil. It was served piping hot and fresh with a sweet chili sauce dip.

Mom and I shared this Iberico Pork Tonkatsu Set, which came with miso soup, salad, hot tea, and a bowl of Juugokokumai rice. As far as I know, Katsu Sora is the only katsu place here in the PH that uses Iberico pork for their katsu. According to their menu, Iberico is the most sought-after pork meat in the world! ^^ So I guess I have to say that I’m really lucky that I got to taste such high-quality meat. I also liked the Juugokokumai rice. This rice is filled with 15 different grains like corn, millet, black beans and sesame seeds – So not only is it tasty and filling, it’s also healthy for you! Hooray!

The katsu slices were very, very crunchy, and the meat practically melts in your mouth. I’ve tried other types of katsu but I have to say… This one definitely takes the cake. Its texture really does remind you of butter. It also has the right amount of meat and fat. And it tastes really spectacular if you dip it in their sweet yet tangy katsu sauce.

Chicken Katsu Set. The chicken katsu was actually just as tender as the Iberico katsu, but I could barely taste the cheese and seaweed found inside. ._.

I think it’s safe to say that my parents and I were more than happy and satisfied with our lunch here at Katsu Sora. I think this restaurant does live up to its name (with ‘sora’ translating to ‘sky’ in Japanese) – It will take you to katsu heaven once you give it a try.

Katsu Sora is located at Greenhills Shopping Center, Promenade Greenhills, San Juan. Tel no: (02) 925-1411.

Roku Sushi + Ramen

Roku is a Japanese restaurant tucked inside one of the Katipunan’s tall concrete buildings. I have wanted to visit this restaurant for a really long time, but I kept putting it off. After seeing an article about the restaurant inside one of my favorite fashion magazines this month, I decided that it was time to finally visit this place. This resto is very popular with college students, since it’s conveniently located near some of the country’s famous universities.

Interior.

Menu: Starters, Sushi and sashimi, Sushi rolls, Donburi, Ramen, Ramen top-ups, Tempura, Yakitori, Ala-carte, and Dessert.

Skipped the gyoza this time and tried their Dream Roll. This light yet tasty roll includes tempura-battered salmon and cream cheese.

Gyuniku Ramen. The sukiyaki-thin beef slices were so tender, the noodles had the right amount of thickness/consistency, and the shoyu-based broth was filled with tons of flavor. It also had an egg, shiitake mushrooms and bok choy mixed in. I have to say that I think I made the right choice in picking my ramen. ^^

Salmon Donburi – Pan-seared salmon mixed with scrambled eggs and teriyaki sauce.

For dessert, we tried their heavenly Green Tea Cheesecake. Not too sweet, and not too plain – Just exactly what I love in a cake. You can really taste the matcha/green tea flavors in this slice of cake.

I guess the only complaint that we have about Roku is that the food is just a teensy-bit overprized, compared to other ramen joints/Japanese restaurants. Oh, and the coffee that they served dad was cold. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying my meal here, and I’ll be sure to come back soon. I’m also hoping that this restaurant would put up other branches, so more people can get the opportunity to try their fabulous dishes.

Roku Sushi + Ramen is located at 5/F Oracle Bldg, Katipunan Ave Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Tel no: (02) 352-5780. Links: Facebook.

Sci-Fi Cafe

It’s a restaurant!

It’s a diner!

Nope…

… It’s Sci-Fi Café! This is a small café in Robinson’s Galleria with a unique theme—Comic Books and Sci-Fi movies (as you can tell from its name). The café’s quirky name and concept fascinated me, plus the location is very accessible, so I decided that I had to visit this place.

Once you step inside, you will be greeted by rows upon rows of glass shelves filled with toys and action figures. Most of these action figures are comprised of Star Wars collectibles, Disney toys/dolls, and of course, superhero action figures.

But some of the toys that are displayed here are not just meant to be stared at, oh no. You can browse through their collection of books, hold and play around with the displayed movie props, and even dress up in different costumes (just ask the staff!). You can also walk around the café and take close-up pictures of the toys. While we were having lunch, a few families came inside just to look at the array of toys.

… Or you can just stay in your seat and watch a free movie while enjoying your meal. ^^

Menu: Starters (save the world platter), Pizzas (planet of the shrimps, two face double treat), Burgers (heroes’ breakfast, hellboyburger), Pastas (sebastian, the godfather), Meals (total recall cheesy chick, the chickenator, under the sea, twin ufos), Others (I am your father package), and Drinks.


I tried their Macha Rock Salt and Cheese drink. It tasted and looked average.


The Greench – Garlic pesto pasta with Hungarian sausage slices. Delicious.


I had the Dr. Porkchop, which consists of two slabs of grilled pork steak served with savory gravy and thick-cut fries. It may look appetizing, but the porkchop’s meat was so TOUGH, I couldn’t even slice it with my knife. -_- It didn’t taste bad, I just didn’t like the texture of the pork. The gravy didn’t taste like anything either – It was too insipid, but I still dipped my fries and porkchop slices in it.


The Two Towers, a combination of onion rings and squid rings served with lime, honey mustard sauce, and more fries.

Leathery porkchop aside, I had an excellent time here at Sci-Fi Café. It just has a really nice friendly and relaxing vibe, like a place where you can gather all of your friends and talk about all sorts of things. Plus the impressive assortment of toys and other superhero collectibles makes this place a paradise for comic book fans, toy enthusiasts, and pop culture savants everywhere.

Sci-Fi Cafe is located at 4/F East Wing, Robinson’s Galleria. EDSA corner, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City. Tel no: 0920-964-8211. Links: Facebook.

Phat Pho

Phat Pho is a small Vietnamese restaurant found in Serendra. This restaurant started out in Cebu, and is currently owned by the Abaca Group, the same people behind 8 Cuts Burger Blends and a whole bunch of other restaurants that I’ve heard about, but have yet to try (someday, someday…). When I found out that we were heading off to BGC earlier today, I ended up picking Phat Pho out of the dozens of other restaurants that I wanted to review in the area.

The interior was quite cramped, which made me slightly uncomfortable. Not to mention there was a group of EXTREMELY loud and chatty middle-aged ladies sitting right next to our table -_- I couldn’t concentrate on my food since they were making so much noise -_-

Menu: Little dishes, Rice paper rolls (goi cuon), Noodle soup (pho), Eat pho like a pro, Noodle bowls (bun), and Specialties).

Pho Bo Vien – Classic beef pho with a beef-based broth. We asked the waitress to split this into two bowls, but she didn’t really pay attention to our instructions, and we ended up having to divide it by ourselves. -_- The Vietnamese meatballs were alright, but they were a little tough to chew and apparently had little pieces of bone inside them (although I didn’t really feel any rock-hard bits while I was munching on them)

Crispy Spring Rolls filled with pork and shrimp, noodles, and wood ear mushrooms for our appetizer. It wasn’t anything special.

This is their Saigon Baguette Banh Mi, which is the dish that I liked the most. The baguette bread was nice and crispy. The coriander, pickled carrots, daikon raddish, and shaved cucumber slices were all fresh. I also liked the little chunks of pate, cha lua, meatballs, and shaved ham found inside the sandwich.

Some Bon Bo Hue for dad, since they didn’t have seafood soup on the menu. This pho has a spicy pork and beef-based broth. Floating inside the broth are some pork knuckles, braised beef slices, and tendon.

Bland Lemon Tea for my drink.

Well, the food was just alright, but the staff’s inattentiveness to our simple requests and the loud, slightly muddled atmosphere (no thanks to the noisy group of ladies) didn’t make my dining experience at Phat Pho enjoyable. Although admittedly, there are still some dishes that I want to try, so I won’t hesitate giving this place a second chance.

Phat Pho is located at Serendra, 11th Ave, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Tel no: (02) 804-1646.

La Creperie

La Creperie is a French café that specializes in serving crepe dishes (hence the name) – Savory ones, sweet ones, all served with fresh ingredients and a delicious French twist. This isn’t my first time visiting their branch in Robinson’s Galleria—I remember eating one of their fish dishes during my first visit, and… Yeah. It didn’t really taste that good. 😐 But I decided to give them another chance today.

It’s a small place, so I only took two pictures of the interior.

Menu: Galettes de Sarassin (lulu, italienne, savoyarde, quatre fromages, fantina), Les gastronomiques (super mer, simple, le f.f., Hungarian, crevette, angus beef), Gourmet crepes sucrees (salidou, blueberry banana, coco crepe-aroon, churro crepe, crepas de cajetas, super Christine, crepe brulee with strawberry and banana, mango peach nutella, mango hazelnut au chocolat, apple crisp ala mode, double chocolate fudge brownie crepe, strawberry mango jubilee, the spoiled mummy), Faite la vous meme!, La petit dejeuner (la petit dejeuner aux Philippines, banana walnut, la pomme, mango nutella), Les soupes (soup of the day), Les salades composees (salade nicoise, chicken ceasar salad, shrimp with mango, salad lyonnaise), Les pates (Bolognese, telefono style, truffled mushroom sausage, shrimp aligue and lemon zest), Sides, Hearty meals (sole meuniere, blanquette de boeuf, coq au vin), Les burgers (premium wagyu beef burger, mini burgers), Ice cream delights (ice cream delights by the scoop, fudge sundae, brownie sundae, banana split), Les jus de fruits (strawberry balsamic), La chocolat chaud (Angelina’s, Angelina’s express, frozen hot chocolate), Le café (café de Cuba, café viennois, café affogato), Les boissons

Some creamy, heartwarming Potato Soup for our starter. They had French Onion Soup on their menu and I wanted to order some since I’ve been craving it for the past couple of days… Unfortunately, I had to skip it since it was quite expensive for a small bowl of soup. T_T

Pesto Cream Carbonara, al dente pasta mixed with ham and mushrooms. On the outside, it looks more like a carbonara pasta dish than a pesto pasta dish, but once you try it, you’ll discover the balance between the creamy carbonara sauce, and the fresh pesto sauce.

Oreo Cookies and Cream for our crepe – A marbled blend of regular sweet and chocolate crepe batters with crushed Oreo cookies, with bittersweet chocolate and vanilla ice cream. I can’t really describe what I felt while eating this crepe. Just pure heaven.

What a surprise! Maybe I just ended up picking the wrong dish when I first dined here. Everything we ate was just truly awesome. I would like to suggest La Creperie if you’ve got a hankering for some delicious pastries/crepes, or if you’re looking for a nice place to spend some quiet time by yourself.

La Creperie is located at Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas Ave. cor EDSA Ugong Norte, Quezon City.