Monthly Archives: December 2014

Tom Sawyer Fried Chicken

Waaaay before KFC, Bonchon, and Kenny Rogers’ Roasters, there was Tom Sawyer – A fried chicken franchise that became popular in the 70s and 80s. Apparently KFC branches were scarce back in the day, so people would flock to Tom Sawyer just to get a taste of some delicious, Southern style deep-fried poultry.

Now, the Mississippi-based fried chicken chain is back in Tiendesitas, and just about ready to serve their meal to a whole new generation of fried chicken fanatics.

It’s a fastfood chain, so I didn’t expect much from the interior, and the menu.

…. Here’s their famous Fried Chicken with rice and spaghetti!! I only got to take several bites of its crispy skin, but judging from my parents’ reactions while eating, the whole chicken itself was just amazing. Tom Sawyer’s chicken is soaked in their special batter, and then sprinkled in a combination of breading, herbs and spices. This produces juicy, fat-free chicken with crispy skin and white meat that falls off the bone.

Hickory Ribs and Rice – Basically a slab of ultra-tender pork liempo with rich barbecue sauce slathered all over it. Very nice and tasty. Their hickory rice wasn’t available, though. Boo!!!

Not bad for a (sort of) new fast food franchise! My parents and I are already looking forward to our next trip! Hopefully they’ll start making home deliveries soon. Hehe.

And since this is going to be my last review for 2014, I would like to wish everyone a happy new year! I started off this year with a hearty bowl of ramen from one of the best ramen chains in the metro, and now I’m ending it with a simple yet delicious fried chicken lunch. That’s not a bad thing at all – In fact, I’m already looking forward to doing even more reviews for 2015. Can’t wait!

Ambiance/Interior: 2/5
Staff/Service: 4/5
Food: 5/5 (taste) 3/5 (presentation)

Tom Sawyer Fried Chicken is located at 2/F, Building A, Tiendesitas, Pasig City. Tel no: 966-2291. Links: Facebook.

Pink Panda

Coincidentally, this restaurant was located in the exact place where my entire family and I celebrated Christmas this year… Which was pretty awesome since I have been looking for this restaurant for the longest time – Yet still had difficulty spotting it even though I’ve been around Makati several times this year. Pink Panda is owned by food blogger/writer (and major cutie, hohoho), Erwan Heussaff – Some of you may also know him as Anne Curtis’ beau. It specializes in South East Asian cuisine.

Interior. We ate here during lunch, but the place could still use a little more light, in my opinion.

Cute takeout boxes.

Menu: Premium items, Small sharing plates (crispy squid and spiced dilis, dimsum and then some, prawn toasties and tom yum, general p’s chicken, puncak chicken sate, chilled tofu, indo gyoza, shrimp and tanigue sambal kebabs), Greens (south east asian salad, bo bun), Starch (crab mie goreng), Broths (Vietnamese pho sho, pork and dumpling noodle, prawn and pork laksa), Sandwiches (panda sliders), Desserts (panda’s balls, balls of furry).

They also have a drink called ‘Pink panty’. I’m totally not kidding.

VC Spring Rolls. I didn’t expect them to be this huge, hehe. I thought this was just going to be an appetizer. The presentation looks absolutely lovely. This has mushrooms, spiced pork, pickled jicama and grilled shrimp all bundled up in firm rice wrapper.

Pork Pockets – Crispy bits of pork belly, with peanut brittle(!) and yin-yang sauce between two steamed buns, kind of like an Asian taco. Again, this “appetizer” was too huge – But delicious and flavorful too (and you can really taste the herbs/veggies used in this dish).

Crispy Beef Rendang, with lemongrass, cucumber azcar and golden shallots. This was soooo good. The chunks of beef were tender and easy to chew, and I loved the combined nuttiness/spiciness of the caramelized beef curry. I suggest that you eat this with a bowl of steaming white rice.

Pink Panda is the perfect place to chill out with your friends on a Friday night. I would come back here to try more of their dishes, since there’s still much more that I have to try (plus I could use a second helping of their beef rendang, hehe).

Ambiance/Interior: 3.5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 5/5 (taste), 5/5 (presentation)

Pink Panda is located at Y2 Residence Hotel, 4687 Santiago St cor B Valdez Poblacion, Makati. Tel no: (02) 856-3790. Links: Facebook.

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo is a breakfast place hidden inside the suburbs of Marikina. It’s just located right in front of the Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish church, and a few meters away from the Marikina Shoe Museum. One of my dad’s good friends has suggested that we try out this place, and so we did – Just in time for the resto’s second anniversary! Woot!

Their interior reminded me of a watered-down Sonja’s Garden/Antonio’s (or any garden-themed restaurant, really).

Menu: Filipino breakfast tray, Rustic mornings, Salad, 3-egg cheese omelet, Sandwiches, Lunch bowls, Pasta, Pizza, Desserts and pastries, Extras, Frothy iced tea, Coffee, Fruity and healthy, Milk shakes.

The breakfast/brunch period only lasts from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. (I think they have a different menu for dinnertime)

French toast, herbed hash browns, and bacon. The toast and bacon were fantastic, and perfectly cooked – Not too soggy, and not too tough. The herbed hash browns could use a little more salt, but I still loved the crunchiness of the potatoes.

Pinoy burrito. I got the beef version. It was nice and chunky, but the rice/beef fillings came apart really easily. It also goes really well with the creamy dipping sauce. I thought that this was going to be just an appetizer, so I was a bit surprised when I saw the burrito’s size.

Crispy tawilis.

Pork longganisa.

Ahhhh. That was excellent! The taste of the food and the resto’s atmosphere made me feel like I was enjoying a warm, hearty and genuinely homemade breakfast. And I guess I’m quite lucky since this restaurant is located near the place where I live, so I can come back here anytime I want.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 4/5 (taste) 5/5 (presentation)

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo is located at Isabelo Mendoza St., San Roque, Marikina. Tel no: (02) 510-6914. Links: Official website || Facebook

Zarzuela

Zarzuela is a Filipino restaurant located in Shangri-La Mall. They are owned by the same company behind Savor, that quiet Filipino restaurant that we ate in near Medical City. I still gave it a go even though I promised myself that I wouldn’t visit any more restaurants that are owned by the same company/restaurateur (unless of course this resto has a different type of cuisine/concept).

I loved the interior because it makes the place seem a little bit sunnier and more family-friendly. And look! They have a cake/dessert rack!

Menu: Appetizers, Noodles, Soup, Poultry, Pork, Beef, Seafood, Vegetables, Rice, Cold beverages, Hot beverages, Desserts, and a Cake selection.

Cowboy Sisig – A delightful and well-loved appetizer made from beef and pork. Very crunchy.

Spam Fried Rice and Egg – Even though I can easily make this at home, this dish was just perfection!

Roasted Cocomilk Chicken, which we got for free. This dish is braised in chilies and coconut milk for several hours, and then roasted afterwards.

Here is what my mom and dad ate: On the left is Zarzuela’s version of Callos Madrilena – A rich stew made from ox feet, tomatoes, chorizo, and garbanzos. Then on the right is Pinangat – Gabi leaves filled with pork belly strips, then slow-cooked in coconut cream. (That actually sounded delicious now that I think about it, too bad I never got to try this dish)

Somehow the atmosphere makes Zarzuela’s food seem a little bit tastier. I would recommend this restaurant to Filipino food aficionados.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 4/5
Food: 3.5/5 (taste) 4/5 (presentation)

Zarzuela is located at 6/F Shangri-La Plaza Mall, East Wing, EDSA cor Shaw Blvd Wack Wack, Mandaluyong

Bobby Box

Yesterday, we headed off to Eastwood to have lunch at a small casual Korean restaurant called Bobby Box. Bobby Box is located in the same building as Mee, so I was slightly worried that their food would end up having the same quality as Mee did, if you know what I mean.

Their interior sorta reminded me of Chef’s Noodle, with the black/yellow hues. The little blue alien thing is Bobby, the restaurant’s mascot. ^^

Menu.

I tried their Bulgogi Pa:n (Nope, this isn’t a typo – I have no clue why ‘pan’ is spelled like that) – Tasty strips of beef topped with fried potato strings.

Mom had the Tofu Box, which came with rice, a small serving of kimchi, anchovies, and some… pajeon-like appetizers. And nicely-fried tofu cubes, of course, drizzled with teriyaki sauce.

Their food was surprisingly good! I actually wanted to eat some of their other dishes, like the Bobby Fry. Too bad it’s not easy for me to go here due to its location, but if I get the opportunity, I would love to dine here again.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 4/5 (taste), 4.5/5 (presentation)

Bobby Box is located at G/F Le Grand Tower 1 , Eulogio Rodriguez Jr Ave Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Tel no: (02) 631-0118. Links: Facebook.

Rosanjin Japanese Restaurant

After doing some more Christmas shopping, mom and I headed over to Rosanjin in SM Megamall to have lunch. I did a search on this restaurant several months ago, and saw that the reviews for this restaurant were less than favorable. So what did I do? I went to the restaurant of course, to see if those reviews were indeed telling the truth.

Interior.

Menu: Grilled seafood menu, Tempura, Sushi, Sashimi, Fried menu, Grilled meat, Hot pot menu, Ramen, Curry, Rosanjin Japanese set, Rosanjin Western set, Salad, Appetizers, Rice, Soup, Drinks, and Dessert.

Miso Soup. The large slices of spring onions give it a bit of zing.

A gorgeous plate of Tuna Sushi.

Ebi Tempura. It was… Alright. A bit bland.

Mom tried the Tonkotsu Ramen, and she told me that the broth was very flavorful, and the noodles were thin and perfectly cooked. The slices of pork tasted excellent, and weren’t tough to chew.

Eh, it was pretty satisfactory. Good, but not really that great. I feel like this restaurant has the same ambiance/feel as some of the more authentic Japanese restaurants that I’ve eaten, such as Haru and Tsumura. But it’s not as bad as some people make it out to be!!!! Now that I think about it, I think those people who gave it bad reviews were just plain exaggerating. If you love Japanese food, then you should give Rosanjin a go.

Ambiance/Interior: 3/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 3/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Rosanjin Japanese Restaurant is located at SM Megamall, Fashion Hall, Julia Vargas Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong.