Monthly Archives: May 2016

Wasabi Warriors

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Before heading off to my grandmother’s house for a family gathering, my dad suggested that we head on over to Century City Mall to pass the time since it was still early and the event started later in the afternoon. Even though we were still a bit full from our breakfast, we decided to have a light lunch at Wasabi Warriors in Makati.

According to some reviews I’ve read, this Aussie sushi chain is unique since apparently your food is prepared by robots. Yes, that’s right – Robots. To be specific, a robot that can prepare a decent number of sushi in minutes. They only use the freshest local organic ingredients for their food. Wasabi Warriors’ main mindset is to “give back to the Earth”, which is actually a part of the Japanese bushido warrior code.

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Interior.

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Menu: Warrior rolls, Warrior packs, Warrior bites, Nigiri packs, Hot boxes, Sakura packs, Platters, Warrior hearty meal, Warrior farm meal, Warrior bento meal, Active warrior meal.

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Here’s the Honey Soy Chicken roll, and the California Roll (which, interestingly enough, looks way too different from a California maki). Both rolls tasted fresh, and didn’t break apart after I put them in the dipping sauce. Wasabi Warriors uses two different kinds of dips for their rolls – Wasabi, and spicy mayo.

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Steamed Gyoza, served piping hot. Loved this.

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Warrior Udon Soup for dad. The soup wasn’t too bad, and they even had those little tofu pouches that I really like. One small bowl of this udon dish could easily satiate my hunger.

I may have set my expectations too high, because our dining experience here was mediocre, at best. The food was pretty much alright, but what slightly put us off from this place was the staff: They didn’t really attend to their customers properly, and some of them even ignored our calls. If I want to dine at this place again, maybe I’ll just pick a different branch. Shame, this restaurant could’ve had so much more potential too.

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

Wasabi Warriors is located at G/F Unit 5 The Gramercy Residences, Kalayaan Ave Poblacion, Makati. Tel no: (02) 893-2554. You can also find them at SM Megamall and Serendra. Links: Official Website || Facebook || Twitter || IG: @wasabiwarriorsph.

Locavore

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My mother has always wanted to visit Locavore ever since she learned about the restaurant’s reputation for cooking really great Filipino cuisine. And we finally granted her wish on her birthday, by having lunch here before checking in at a hotel nearby.

Just like most of the restaurants that I’ve been reviewing lately, Locavore proudly uses fresh, home-grown and organic ingredients for their food. If you’re a “locavore”, then this basically means that you love to eat dishes that are prepared using local ingredients.

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Interior. As you can see, the resto also doubles as a late-night drinking spot. It also bears a similar look to Kanto Breakfast Club’s own interior.

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More interior shots.

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Menu: Pampagana (kinilaw, sisig), Ensalada (ulam), Panghimagas, Kanin, Extras, Merienda, and Bar Chow.

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Kimchinigang – With pork belly, silken tofu, sigarilyas, taro, arugula, and a tamarind broth. Too sour for my liking.

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Kanto BBQ Rib Fingers – Half-slab of ribs, Kanto-style BBQ, inihaw, singkamas, and mangoes. Ribs are grilled to perfection, and the tender meat cleanly falls off the bone.

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Mac’s Boneless Fried Chicken – Glazed boneless fried chicken. I can’t find the right words to describe this dish… The skin had this lovely salty-sweet tangy glaze, with a very lovely crunch. The meat wasn’t too bland either. I could probably eat a whole bucket of these.

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Sizzling Pandesal Pudding – Custard, pandesal, cheese, salted egg, dulce de leche, and topped with mantikado ice cream. Mmmm-mmm-mmm. Not too cloying, and the pandesal didn’t even get soggy from the melted ice cream/dulce de leche sauce combo.

After our lunch here, I’m happy to say that all of these reviews about Locavore were correct: It’s definitely one of the best Pinoy restaurants around the metro at the moment. I still have quite a handful of restaurants to try out in the Kapitolyo area, but I already can’t wait to come back here.

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

Locavore is located at Brixton St Kapitolyo, Pasig. Links: Official Website || Facebook || IG: @locavore.ph

Earth Kitchen 

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I know I’ve mentioned this a couple of times in this blog, but… I have a love-hate relationship with organic food and organic restaurants. There have been a couple of hits and misses, with, thankfully, more of the former than the latter. Well we finally got to try yet another one of these organic restaurants today – Earth Kitchen, located in the sleepy suburb of White Plains QC.

Just like plenty of other organic restaurants, Earth Kitchen was made to support local farmers as well as the indigenous communities. All of the ingredients were taken from Got Heart Farms in Tarlac, and don’t contain any chemicals, GMOs, and pesticides.

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Interior.

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Menu: Appetizer, Soup, Salad, Fresh homemade pasta, Risotto, Soft tacos, Mains, Desserts, Drinks, Wines.

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Risotto Balls – Breaded and fried mushroom risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese, served with tomato sauce. Nice, lightly toasted, and packed with delicious risotto rice. The fresh and creamy tomato sauce isn’t too bad either!

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Mushroom And Egg – Earth Kitchen’s version of carbonara. Filled with chunks of thick bacon, shiitake, milky and button mushrooms, and an organic egg. Hooray for fresh pasta! And the bacon made this dish taste twice as good too.

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Spaghetti Pomodoro – Organic tomato sauce, spaghettini, basil, and parmesan. Managed to eat a few bites of these, even though I normally dislike red sauce. The sauce that they used here actually tasted a lot milder compared to the typical canned marinara sauce used for spaghetti.

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Beef Bulgogi tacos with boneless beef ribs, kimchi rice, salad greens, and seaweeds. The kimchi rice and salty nori flakes add a nice touch to this dish. Could barely taste the beef though, but that’s fine.

What I really love about Earth Kitchen is that not only is their food fresh and organic, it’s also light and doesn’t make you feel really full after a couple of bites. In fact, I would be a regular customer here if their food wasn’t on the pricey side. But that’s not gonna stop me from counting Earth Kitchen as one of my favorite restaurants.

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

Earth Kitchen is located at Katipunan Ave White Plains, Quezon City. Tel no: (02) 577-9138. You can also find them at BGC. Links: Official Website || Facebook || IG: @earthkitchenph

The Dimsum Place

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We were originally supposed to go Makati Shang earlier today to try out their dimsum-all-you-can restaurant, but changed out plans at the last minute since everything was too expensive. In the end, we decided to release our dimsum-related frustrations by having lunch at this new dining spot in Greenhills called The Dimsum Place.

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Interior.

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Menu: Dimsum, Steamed rice bowls, Rice plates, A la carte, Noodle soup, Congee, TDP specials, Vermicelli rice rolls, Chinese pastries, Chinese desserts, Chinese tea.

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Iced Milk Tea, kept cold in a bucket of… Well, crushed ice.

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Steamed Pork Dumplings and Xiao Long Bao. The Dimsum Place’s dumplings were thicker and had more meat in them than the typical steamed dumpling.

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Hacao and Taosi Chicken Feet.

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Baked Barbecue Pork Bun. Light, fresh and fluffy bread filled with sweet and savory barbecued pork. Ended up purchasing three more for takeout.

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Fried Mantou, which came with condensed milk dipping sauce.

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Spareribs with Superior Sauce.

I guess you could say that this restaurant is very similar to Tim Ho Wan, minus the long lines and the energetic atmosphere. The food here is very decent, and I can actually picture them opening up even more branches in the near future.

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

The Dimsum Place is located at Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan City. Tel no: 02 2469069. You can also find them at Fisher Mall, QC. Links: Facebook.

Liberty Kitchen + Brew

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So we were originally supposed to have dinner in Katipunan, but ended up in Eastwood instead since it was already too dark outside – Never mind the fact that our last visit there only happened a couple of weeks ago. We ended up eating at this place called Liberty Kitchen + Brew. It is a bar and restaurant owned by the Lola Group, the same people behind the famous Lola Café + Bar located in Tomas Morato. Aside from beer, cocktails and hard drinks, Liberty also specializes in Asian food, Vietnamese to be specific – Although they do serve food inspired by other Asian cuisines, such as Japanese and Filipino.

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Interior was decent enough, but the music was WAY too loud; we could barely hear each other talk. Also, I don’t think rap is the most appropriate type of music to play when there are kids inside the resto… Just saying.

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Menu: Small Plate, Skewers, Baos, Noodles, Rice Bowls, Mains, and Sweets.

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Smoked Beef Brisket noodle soup with mustard greens, eggs, meat jus, and egg noodles. The broth was very warm and highly satisfying, and I really love thin egg noodles too.

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Spring Rolls with prawns, vermicelli noodles, and herb sauce. The rice paper that they used was pretty sticky/soggy, so the entire roll came apart before I could put in on my plate. The herb sauce was very fragrant, and it felt like my tastebuds were pretty much welcoming five different flavors in one go.

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I tried their Fried Chicken Bao, with marinated thigh meat, sriracha mayo, and cabbage slaw. The chicken thigh fillet was as crispy and juicy as can be. The steamed bao buns were fresh too.

I’m really glad that Liberty Kitchen’s food was there to cheer me up, because… Well, let’s just say this particular trip to Eastwood ended on a rather sour note for yours truly (but that’s another story for another time, hehe). Their dishes really captured the essence of what Asian/Vietnamese cuisine was all about.

Ambiance/Interior: 3.5/5
Staff/Service: 4.5/5
Food: 5/5 (taste) 5/5 (presentation)

Liberty Kitchen + Brew is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City. Links: Facebook.

Isla Cafe

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This restaurant immediately caught my attention when they first opened their doors in Robinson’s Magnolia a couple of years back. Isla Café is a sister restaurant of XO46, with both restos specializing in Filipino cuisine (Although I’m gonna assume that Isla Café is the more affordable one of the two). Isla Café is also pretty famous for their homemade puto and other Filipino desserts/snacks.

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Interior, which also doubles as an exterior shot. Hehe.

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Menu shot. ‘Malaubeng Pangarap’ has got to be one of my favorite dish names, ever. Also impressed by our waiter’s knowledge of deep Tagalog words.

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Ginumis.

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Sago’t Gulaman, my all-time favorite samalamig.

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Lechon Sisig. If I could describe this dish in three words, it would be: Delicious, greasy, and sinful. Chopped up lechon and chilies mixed with mayo, plus rice topped with fried egg. What could be better than that?

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Pinakbet at Bagnet for mom…

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… And Ginisang Monggo at Tinapa for dad. Could use a little more pizzazz, IMO.

That was pretty delicious! And their puto isn’t too bad – So moist, soft, and chewy. Filipino food fanatics are sure to love this restaurant.

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

Isla Cafe is located at 4/F Robinsons Magnolia, Aurora Blvd Valencia, Quezon City.

Milky Moustache 

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Milky Moustache first opened their doors in BF Homes Paranaque, serving high-quality and tasty milkshakes in many delicious flavors. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but BF Homes is located pretty far from where I live – Good thing they opened up a branch in Solenad, so we were able to visit this place before heading back to Manila. At first I lowered my expectations when I did my review, because I’ve heard from several people that the quality of the food wasn’t that great, and that their drinks were a tad too sweet. But still, this milkshake shop didn’t stop me from bringing my family and my own self to their yard (see what I did there?).

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Interior could use a little more decorating/color.

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Menu: Milkshakes, Nutty milkshakes, All-time favorites, Others & add-ons, Coffees, Blended drinks, Appetizers, Salads, All day breakfast, Entrée, Pastas, Burgers with fries, Panini with chips, Sandwiches.

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Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce. Nice, piping-hot strips of crunchy chicken fillet with homemade (at least I think it’s homemade) honey mustard sauce. The fillet itself tasted very fresh. I always love a good chicken strip/honey mustard combination.

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Grilled Chicken Pesto. I have this nagging feeling that they used one of those instant pasta mixes for their pesto, but at least the pasta was al dente. The dish in general could also use a little more flavor.

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I tried their The Villain chocomalt milkshake – Basically Malteasers in liquid form. The shake was super good, and the only bad thing about the drink was that the amount of ice chips in it made my throat ache a bit. But other than that, this shake was just lovely and refreshing.

Well that wasn’t so bad! I admit their pesto pasta could use a little more improvement, but other than that, everything was tasted fabulous. Those who gave this resto some pretty low marks need to come back here and give their food/milkshakes another try, to prove themselves wrong.

Ambiance/Interior: 3.5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 4.5/5 (taste) 4.5/5 (presentation)

Milky Moustache is located at Solenad 3, Sta Rosa-Tagaytay Rd Santa Rosa, Laguna. Links: Official Website || Facebook || IG: @ilovemilkymoustache.