Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Wholesome Table

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The Wholesome Table is not just a restaurant designed for healthy eaters – What makes them stand out from other ‘organic’ places out there is that their meals are specifically designed to cater to those who follow a specific diet plan or lifestyle. Are you lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts? Are you vegan or vegetarian? Are you gluten-sensitive? Then The Wholesome Table has a dish for you!

A relative of mine told me about The Wholesome Table a couple of Christmases ago, and I made a mental note to go check the place out.

All of the ingredients that they use for their dishes are 100% organic, all sourced from local farms – Which is good because they do need our support. Also, you only live once, so you might as well eat the healthiest food around (I need to start following this mantra once 2017 comes, hehe).

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Interior.

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Menu: Small plates, Toasts, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches & paninis, Power bowls, Pasta, Woodfired pizza, All day breakfasts, Main course, Desserts.

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Drinks menu: Detox juices, Superfood juices, Nutmilk, Smoothies, Refreshers, Water, Coffee, Tea, Craft beers, and Wines.

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Breakfast Calzone – With arugula, free range eggs, mozzarella from Bulacan, emmental cheese, truffle, crust, and turkey sausage. This was almost good – The arugula had this weird aftertaste to it that I found particularly nasty…

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Grass-Fed Meatballs – Three pieces of beef meatballs, also filled with bits of Bulacan mozzarella. With pickled onions, and onion cherry tomato passato. Pure meaty, beefy, goodness.

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Nutty Garlic – Spaghetti with roasted garlic pesto, and extra virgin olive oil. This wasn’t too bad! Although I find it slightly strange that they used store-bought pasta for this dish instead of just making their own… This could’ve given them the chance to use more healthy organic ingredients too.

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And here are our wonderful organic drinks! Mom had the Be Delightful juice, which contained a tasty blend of carrots, apples, and oranges. Meanwhile, I had the ultra-refreshing Almond Milk – Made from raw almonds, dates, sea salt, vanilla, filtered water, and honey. Now… I’ve enjoyed almond milk for so long, drinking glasses of it, pouring it in my cereal and what not, but… This? This is absolutely incredible. It was creamy, smooth, and tasted 2x sweeter than the almond milk found in stores. I could probably drink an entire jug of this if given the opportunity.

That was great! Despite it being on the pricey side, like most organic restaurants, I still left the place feeling full and content. What a way to end another year of fun and delicious reviews! Can’t wait to find out what places I’m heading off to in 2017.

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

The Wholesome Table is located at LG/F Estancia Mall, Meralco Ave Kapitolyo, Pasig. Tel no: (02) 655-7777. Links: Official Website || Facebook || Twitter || IG: @thewholesometable.

The Breakfast Club 

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The Breakfast Club – Not only is it the name of a classic 80s film, but it also happens to be the name of a small diner located in Kapitolyo. No need to guess what kind of food they serve in here. I had a bit of a hard time looking for information regarding this place, because there’s waaaay too many restos from around the world that carry the same name. Oh well. I believe the one here in Kapitolyo is their second branch – They have another branch in Banawe, owned by actress Erich Gonzales.

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Interior. We were greeted by this seemingly unpleasant smell as soon as we stepped inside… The waiter told us that it was coming from their kitchen. Hmmm.

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Menu shots. Their Banawe branch occasionally sets up a breakfast buffet for their customers – Not sure about the one here in Kapitolyo, though.

We were pretty much the only customers there, but it took more than thirty minutes before our food was served. *side-eyes* <_<

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Beef Pares. The beef chunks were nice and tender, and the sauce had a lovely, sweet finish to it. This was actually good!

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Special Marinated Bangus.

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Fish and Chips. I find it interesting that they used actual chips, instead of fries. The fish was nice and moist, but it was a tad bit salty and my mom even found a small bone in one of the pieces. Uh-oh.

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Waffle with Fried Chicken. For some reason they didn’t have a waffle-maker ready, so I had to settle for pancakes and chicken instead. This isn’t the first time that this has happened. Anyway, they fried a whole chicken leg for this dish – Including the bones and all. The meat was very dry, and the pancakes were a tad bit too thick for my liking.

As much as I enjoyed the food, I have to say this place gets low marks from me thanks to that weird smell I mentioned earlier, and the slow service. Tsk tsk. It really does pain me to criticize a potentially good breakfast place like this one… Let’s just hope they improve their service for the sake of their other clients.

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

The Breakfast Club is located at Pioneer Center, Pioneer St., Kapitolyo, Pasig. Links: Facebook.

Calderon

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I haven’t done many reviews of Spanish cuisine, so I was pretty stoked to finally visit Calderon, a restaurant located in Kapitolyo. My mom’s friend also suggested that we try out this place, since apparently she really enjoyed her experience here too. Calderon also has another branch in San Juan, in Calderon street (which is probably where the restaurant got its name).

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Interior.

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Menu: Paellas, Sopas, Ensaladas, Especialidades, Arroz Pan Pasta, Postres, Tapas.

We ended up ordering tapas and appetizers, since it was late in the evening, and we didn’t want to feel too full before hitting the sack.

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Callos a la Madrilena – A rich, slow-cooked stew of ox tripe, ox feet, chickpeas, pimiento, chorizo, and choice ingredients. This dish has supposedly earned the praise of many callos lovers.

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Salpicao – Beef tenderloin cubes in a special marinade, quickly sautéed in olive oil, and topped with garlic bits. Mmm-mmm-mmm. I had low expectations for this dish TBH, but it ended up becoming one of the highlights of my meal. The beef was very juicy tender. I didn’t even care if I could still taste the garlicky flavor in my mouth the following morning (I brushed my teeth before going to sleep though, I swear!)

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Croquetas – Potato fritters made more delicious with fish and herbs, shaped into bite-sized balls. It took all my energy not to finish the entire bowl. These were amazing.

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Churros con Chocolate – Classic dessert pastry and a cup of delicious chocolate dip. Lighter, crispier, not too greasy, and infinitely better than a certain churro brand currently being in malls (I’m not gonna say which one… But I’m sure some of you know which brand I’m talking about <_<).

I was pleasantly surprised by my dining experience here – Like I said, I had such low expectations for this restaurant, but I’m glad that they were all proven wrong. We should probably come back here during lunch period so that we can try some of their main dishes as well.

Ambiance/Interior: 4/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 4.5/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Calderon is located at 12 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Tel no: 02 5334107. Links: Facebook.

Dohtonbori

(NOTE: Since the entry is too lengthy, I’ve decided to place the rest of it under a cut.)

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Today I paid a visit to Dohtonbori, Japan’s number one okonomiyaki restaurant. There have been several Japanese restaurants here in Manila that usually specialize in one type of dish: Katsu, ramen, sushi, etc. But none for okonomiyaki – So I was really happy when they decided to open up a okonomiyaki restaurant, with a cute raccoon theme to boot! Dohtonbori hopes to foster a ‘teppan communication’ between its diners, in which people can make happy memories while cooking their food on the grill while bonding with their loved ones.

Continue reading

Yayoi

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Yayoi is yet another one of those authentic Japanese restaurants that recently opened up shop here in Metro Manila. Yayoi specializes in teishoku, aka set meals. I bet Yayoi is probably one of the oldest restaurants in Japan, since their first branch opened up waaaaay back in 1886 – That’s during the historical Meiji period! During that time, they were known as Yayoi-Ken – A restaurant known for serving European cuisine. Now, Yayoi has branches all over the globe, including Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and the US.

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Interior.

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These iPad monitors right here are perhaps my most favorite part of the whole Yayoi dining experience – You no longer have to call a waiter to place in your order or pay for your meal (Which is understandable since the restaurant attracts plenty of diners so they do get quite busy during lunch time). You can order in English or, if you’re fluent enough, Japanese. They also inform you if your food is ready, or if it’s still being prepared.

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(But if you’re not used to this kind of technology, not to worry – You can always ask for a physical copy of the menu.)

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Menu: Teishoku, Yayoi gozen, Hitsumabushi, Jyu, Udon, Kids’ sets, A la carte, Salad, Beverages, Alcohol, Dessert.

Each Teishoku set comes with rice, miso soup, and two side dishes.

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Namban Teishoku – Fried chicken steak in sweet and sour sauce and topped with Yayoi’s special tartar sauce. What’s better than a fried chicken steak? A fried chicken steak with mayo! This was probably the tenderest piece of chicken that I’ve eaten in my entire life, and that’s saying a lot. It felt like the meat was melting in my mouth.

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My cousin had the Teriyaki Chicken Teishoku, chicken steak in a teriyaki sauce.

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Karaage Teishoku, Japanese deep-fried chicken.

I think it’s pretty cool that Yayoi came up with the idea of putting you in charge of your entire meal- It makes them stand out amongst all of the other Japanese restaurants, in my opinion. Although their food is a little bit on the pricier side, I assure you – Everything is worth it.

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

Yayoi is located at 3/F SM Megamall, Building B, Doña Julia Vargas Ave Highway Hills, Mandaluyong. Links: PH Facebook || Official Website

Benassi Ristorante

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Before heading off to The Medical City for a checkup, we decided to have lunch at Benassi Ristorante, located in Ortigas. Admittedly, it’s really tough trying to find a good parking spot when you want to dine in an Ortigas restaurant, especially the ones that aren’t located in a mall – but I’m just glad we were able to pull through – I’ve been wanting to come to this particular restaurant for a while now.

Benassi is owned by an Italian-Filipino family who originally hailed from Massa, Tuscany. Their delicious, homemade Italian recipes have been passed down from one generation to the next.

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Interior. Ambiance is really pleasant, gives more of a café vibe than an Italian restaurant.

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Menu: Zuppa (Crema de zucca, crema de funghi, crema de mare, minestrone, cioppino), Antipasti (Insalata di mare, insalata caprese, insalata di granchio, salmone carpaccio, bresaola carpaccio, burrata caprese), Brick oven pizza (Prosciutto e rucola, frutti di mare, speck e mascarpone), Stromboli (Prosciutto e rucola, frutti di mare), Grilled Panini, Risotti (Risotto con funghi porcini, risotto al frutti di mare), Pasta (Carbonara, salmone, vongole, frutti di mare, frutti di mare aglio olio, aragosta, porcini e tartufo), Pasta fresca (Ravioli con spinaci, ravioli con aragosta), Piatto principale (Pollo con aglio olio, pollo alla cacciatore, angus corned beef, osso buco, wagyu bistecca, manzo con aglio olio), Dolci (Mascarpone cake).

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Basket of fresh bread, a staple in most Italian restaurants I’ve been to.

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Ravioli con Funghi Porcini, with ricotta cheese and porcini mushrooms. You can choose between three sauces for your ravioli: Pesto, butter sage sauce (as seen here) and pomorola. The ravioli tasted really fresh, but the butter sage sauce was slightly overpowering. Also, the serving was too small – I wanted more! Hehe.

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Margherita Pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Hmmm… I know their menu has stated that this is brick-oven pizza, but it’s just so different to me. I prefer my brick-oven pizzas on the chewy side with a strong, smoky flavor, and this pizza doesn’t even have both of those qualities. Oh well.

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Aglio Olio E Peperoncino with garlic, olive oil, parsley, and a hint of crushed chili peppers.

That wasn’t so bad! They could’ve served more of that homemade ravioli, though. The pasta was great, but I feel like they could improve their pizza a little bit more. Other than that, this was still a decent restaurant all in all.

Ambiance/Interior: 3.5/5
Staff/Service: 5/5
Food: 4/5 (taste), 3/5 (presentation)

Benassi Ristorante is located at G/F The Exchange Regency, Exchange Rd cor Jade Dr Ugong, Pasig. Tel no: (02) 310-8566. Links: Facebook.