Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Burger Joint

I’ve always wanted to do a review on The Burger Joint ever since I saw their billboard while passing by SM Hypermarket one Saturday morning. It’s located right beside Krispy Kreme, and serves not just burgers, but hot dog sandwiches, chicken wings, and snacks as well.

Interior.

Menu: The Burgers (juicy lucy), Wings and Extras (buffalo classic, southern fried, loaded nachos), Drinks & Shakes, Desserts.

I had the Bambino, with lettuce, capers, mozzarella sauce, and marinara sauce. Admittedly, I ordered this because of the mozzarella, and was disappointed to find out that it lacked gooeyness. The burger patty itself was good, but I feel like there was just something missing.

Dad had the All-American, which consisted of a quarter-pounder cheeseburger, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, and house sauce.

BBQ Sesame wings. Tasty, but too skinny and small for my liking!

A nice, tall glass of Chocolate Malt Shake.

I guess their burgers are… Pretty much decent? But like I said earlier, I still felt like something was lacking when it comes to the taste of their burgers. Maybe I’ll try another type when I get the chance to dine here again. Hehe. I would still recommend this place to burger fanatics, though.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 4.5/5 – order took a bit too long to arrive.
Food: 4/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

The Burger Joint is located at the ground floor of SM Hypermarket, Frontera Verde Drive, Ugong, Pasig City. Links: Facebook.

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Dolce Latte

Dolce Latte is a small pastry shop/café with two branches so far – One in SM Megamall, and one in Quezon Ave. Their specialty is cakes, and croughnuts – In fact, I think Dolce Latte is one of the few remaining local restaurants whose cronuts I have yet to try. Hehe.

Interior. They also sell bread aside from the aforementioned pastries.

Menu: Breakfast (chocolate banana double decker French toast, bacon and chorizo frittata), Appetizers (pulled pork nachos, foie gras with apple chutney), Soup (seafood tomato soup), Salad (chicken pesto pasta salad, cobb salad), Seafood (baked salmon steak), Pork (baby back ribs), Pasta (baked truffle pasta), Pizza (grilled chicken and avocado), Sandwiches (burger and foie gras, philly cheese steak), Beverages, Sweet endings

French Onion Soup with caramelized onions and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Mom had the Dolcelatte Carbonara, with bacon bits, creamy cheese sauce, and parmesan shavings. According to her, the pasta had way too much cheese sauce that it made her feel queasy after just a couple of bites.

I had the Mushroom Frittata, which consisted of fluffy scrambled eggs mixed with some sautéed shiitake mushrooms, feta cheese, spinach, and topped alfalfa sprouts. Served with some orange slices and two pieces of bruschetta.

And lastly, Cold Milk and Cookies for dessert. Hmmm. I’m not really sure what to think of this dish. I mean, the cookies are decent, and I appreciate the fact that they used non-fat milk, but… There’s just something about this dish that didn’t click well with me. I guess I’m just slightly disappointed at the fact that it’s not chocolate chip. 😡

It’s really such a shame that we never got to taste their croughnuts, or even their cakes, since we were already too full. Maybe I’ll just use that as a reason to come back here. There’s some other stuff on their menu that I want to try out too, so I’m certain that Dolce Latte warrants another visit from me.

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

Dolce Latte is located at the fifth floor of Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City. Links: Official website || Facebook

Coco Ichibanya Curry House

Coco Ichinanya Curry House – Also known as the world’s largest Japanese curry chain with more than 1000 branches – Has finally arrived in Manila. I have heard stories from different food bloggers about how delicious their curry is, and how it’s one of the best ones that they’ve tried. This restaurant has also received constant praise from one of my favorite travel bloggers, so I was really excited to try this place out.

Had a hard time taking some really good interior shots. T_T

Menu: Recommended mix menu, Meat curry, Seafood curry, Original curry, Vegetable curry, Omelet curry, Hashed beef, Gratin, Children’s curry, Salad.

You can control the amount of rice that you want in your plate, as well as the spiciness level of your curry.

Dad ordered the Vegetable Curry.

Mom had the Cheese Hamburger Curry, a burger patty swimming in a pool of curry and plenty of rice. Where is the cheese, you ask? It’s actually stuffed inside the patty! And it’s the nice, gooey kind of cheese too, and not the solid, processed type. The patty itself had a strong beefy taste, but if you ask me, cheese and curry don’t really make a good pair…

I had the Pork Cutlet Omelet Curry – A giant slab of sliced katsu, sitting right beside a small pile of rice covered in fluffy scrambled eggs, and also drenched in lots of curry. Unlike the Cheese Hamburger Curry, the katsu slices/egg/curry combo was just heavenly. The katsu itself also had a nice mix of fat and meat.

I can now see why Coco Ichibanya Curry House is a famous Japanese franchise. Out of all the Japanese curry restaurants that I’ve been to, their curry packs the most flavor and had just the right amount of spice. It’s also nice to see that more and more Japanese curry restaurants are now sprouting all over the metro, which is pretty much a good sign that this is the next Japanese food craze to watch out for.

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

Coco Ichibanya Curry House is located at Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Meralco Ave Kapitolyo, Pasig. Tel no: (02) 696-1649. Links: Facebook || Official Website

Plato Wrap Sandwich Shop

Did you know that Plato Wraps has a sandwich shop located in SM Jazz? Well now you do! Plato Wraps’ Sandwich Shop not only specializes in sandwiches (and their famous wraps, of course), but also in pastas, rice meals, salads, and coffee.

Interior.

Menu shots.

Our appetizer was this bowl of Pumpkin Soup. The soup wasn’t creamy enough and could use a little bit more salt, but it still tasted excellent, especially when you pair it up with the large yet uber-thin pieces of toasted bread.

My sandwich was the Pepperlyoner. The bread was perfectly toasted, and the combination of tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, cheese, and peppery ham all blended well together.

Carbonara. Just like the soup, the pasta could use a little bit more salt.

One sip of their iced tea, and you will easily be able to tell that it’s made from tea leaves, and not the powdered variety.

Not only are the sandwiches in this place wonderfully made, they’re very cheap too. I would go to this place if you’re looking for an inexpensive yet filling snacktime spot.

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

Plato Wraps Sandwich Shop is located at SM Jazz Mall, N Garcia St Bel-Air, Makati. Tel no: (02) 556-4053. Links: Facebook.

I am Kim

No, I did not just tell you my real name – I am Kim is a Korean restaurant that specializes in one of the healthiest dishes in Korean cuisine (and one of my personal favorite Korean dishes) – Bibimbap! I am Kim is owned by the same people behind Nomama, whose two branches have, unfortunately, closed down earlier this year. T_T

Interior. Just like Nomama, I am Kim is also located in Capitol Commons (in Estancia mall, to be exact).

Menu: Appetizers (kimchi bacon & tofu), Salads, Soups (kimchi with tofu jigae, Korean-style ramen), Composed Baps (classic, bbq, spring onions & ginger, vegetarian, beef tartare). You can also create your own bibimbap using a variety of rice/meat/veggies/sauces.

Korean Sausage for our appetizer – Ground beef and pork crepinette wrapped in shisso leaves, and served with a small bowl of kimchi slaw. Really delicious and meaty.

Korean Fried Dumplings for our other appetizer. This one has dried shiitake mushrooms and chicken seasoned with aromatic soy sauce, then deep fried and coated with Korean spicy sauce. The dish is served with pickled radish, and lettuce/shisso leaves. You can wrap the dumplings inside the leaves, like pieces of samgyupsal.

The B.E.C. Bap, with crispy strips of bacon, grilled chicken thigh fillet, bok choy, sous vide egg, green peas, and a scrambled egg. I tried my hardest to like this dish, but it just fell flat. It lacked flavor (even after I paired the chicken pieces with barbecue sauce, and some gochujang).

Salmon and Tuna Bap, fresh raw chunks of salmon and tuna, teriyaki sauce, carrots, leeks, and raw egg. It had a rather strong, fishy aftertaste. Didn’t like it that much.

Our dinner here wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t that delicious either. But since this is still a very new restaurant, I’m sure they will eventually improve the quality of their dishes.

Ambiance/Interior: 5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 3.5/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

I am Kim is located at Basement 1 of Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Oranbo, Pasig City. Tel no: 02 5422558.

Bizu

We ate at Bizu’s Greenbelt branch again after a long while, before heading over to a relative’s house for some family time. Bizu is a French-style café that specializes in serving delicious, authentic French pastries. The last time I went to Bizu, I ordered their croque madame, which was heavenly – Let’s see if they can wow me a second time.

I love its whimsical and somewhat girly interior.

Menu: Breakfast sets, French omelette sets, Pancakes and French toast, Starters, Soups, Baked rice meals, Salads, Pastas, Sandwiches, Mains, and Dessert.

Unfortunately, a lot of the items in their menu (mostly the seafood-based ones) weren’t available during that time, since we ate here on Black Saturday. Which means that the whole establishment was closed during Thursday and Friday – Hence no delivery of fresh seafood, or even the fruits/veggies.

Freshly-baked bread for our appetizer.

This has got to be the gooiest French Onion Soup that I had so far. Bizu’s version features some slow-cooked onions with beef stock, topped with some mozzarella cheese (no wonder!) and crostini.

Prosciutto Aglio Olio – Slices of (very) salty prosciutto ham, garlic, butter, parmesan cheese, and tagliolini, aka angel hair egg noodles. Yes, egg noodles, not pasta. Honestly, the dish wasn’t really filling, since the serving was small and the noodles were as thin as needles (even thinner than the typical angel hair pasta).

Grand Filipino Breakfast, which consisted of garlic rice, tomato with white cheese and pesto, beef tapa, pork tocino, pork longganisa, and fried bangus.

Kouign Amann for dessert – Four pieces of small baked caramel pastries with a large scoop of salted caramel ice cream on top, and vanilla sauce.

Of course no trip to Bizu is complete without trying out their famous macarons. Pictured here are the pistachio (in bright green), earl gray (in mint green), and espresso (brown) flavors.

Frankly speaking, our meal was just so-so. Maybe we just ordered the wrong dish (should’ve ordered their croque madame again). If I were to go back to Bizu, it would be for the dessert/pastries/macarons.

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

Bizu Patisserie & Bisto is located at G/F Greenbelt 2, Esperanza St. Ayala Center, Makati. Tel no: (02) 757-2498. Links: Official Website || Facebook || Twitter