Monthly Archives: February 2017

Main Street

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Main Street, a resto with two branches in the metro, is not a Canadian franchise – It’s just a place that specializes in Canadian food. I didn’t even realize that they serve Canadian food until I took a look at their interiors and their menu (I thought it was an NYC-themed resto, actually). Main Street’s owner worked in Vancouver as a chef for at least six years, before coming back here, which pretty much explains the reason why he’s an expert when it comes to Canadian cuisine.

Not a lot of people actually consider Canadian food as their favorite cuisine – It’s always been Italian, Japanese, Greek, etc., Probably because in a way, Canada’s food has always been so similar to the US, with the exception of poutine, butter tarts, and milk in a plastic bag (yep). Although I personally have relatives who reside in Canada, I’ve never really heard them talk about Canadian food that much (with the exception of Tim Hortons, and it’s only because of the fact that my auntie works there), and I find that slightly weird, to be honest…. Hmmm.

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Interior.

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Menu.

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Bacon Jam & Grilled Cheese. This sandwich contains homemade bacon jam, melted cheddar, and mozzarella cheese in rye bread. Despite the amount of cheese it contained (which is a given), I didn’t feel queasy at all, thanks to the bacon jam. The dish also comes with a small bowl of tomato soup. After my first sip, I finally understood why these two always get paired up!

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We also had some pizza! This is The Italian, with tomato basil sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced onions, crumbled Italian sausage, and dill. I loved the fact that the pizza was served piping hot. The flavors really blended well together, although the tomato sauce was slightly overpowering at times.

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Chicken Poutine with hand-cut fries, fried chicken poppers, mozzarella cheese curds, chicken gravy, and chives. A very savory dish, if I may say so. I was afraid that I would feel too full after eating this, but it turns out, this dish was really light on the stomach even with the chicken poppers mixed in. I liked the curds too (for some reason I expected it to taste a tad bit sour, hehe. They taste exactly what you would expect mozzarella cheese to taste like).

I really enjoyed our time here in Main Street. There’s nothing better than trying out your first bowl of poutine! I had this inkling that I wouldn’t be able to pay a visit to their branch in McKinley, so I’m really thankful that they decided to open up a branch in Kapitolyo. The food here is just amazing and I can’t wait to try out more.

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

Main Street is located at 10 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Tel no: (02) 2392827, +63 9951541136. You can also find them in McKinley Hill, near BGC. Links: Facebook || IG: @eatmain.

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Cafe Creole

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Remember Italian Market, that restaurant in Resort’s World Manila where I celebrated this blog’s third anniversary? Well I’ve got some good news, and some bad news: The bad news? The resto closed down a while ago. The good news? It has been reborn as a brand new breakfast spot/café called Café Creole! After sending off some relatives to the airport, I finally got to visit RWM again after a very long while – Not only was I more than excited to step foot into this place again, I was also more than ready to try out Café Creole’s New Orleans/Southern-inspired dishes.

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Interior. Glad to see that they kept Italian Market’s giant oven for pizzas.

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Menu: Southern Brunch (café pancakes, bourbon st. hangover breakfast, beef tapa dirty rice), Starters (voodoo gambas, truffle fries and corned beef), Kettle Pot (new orleans seafood gumbo), Plantation Greens (caprese salad), Between Two Breads (reuben sandwich), Pasta (truffle carbonara, clams and mussels vongole), New Orleans Bestsellers (blackened fillet mignon, everglades jambalaya, blackened chicken), Wood Fire Pizza (earth bread, seafood bisque pie), Brick Oven Oyster (oysters rockafeller), Café Creole Specials, Cold Beverages, Alcoholic Beverages

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The parents shared the Bourbon Street Jambalaya, which had andouille sausage, creole shrimp, and dirty rice. Not bad at all, although it could use a little bit more spiciness and saltiness.

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My own meal consisted of French Onion Jam (with beef onion broth, chicken pate toast, and onion jam), and two types of bread from their bread basket: A Butter Croissant and Classic Beignets. I ended up ordering these three instead of a rice meal since I was still feeling slightly full from my McDonald’s breakfast earlier. Ah, bread! ^^ The beignets were freshly-baked and lightly dusted with powdered sugar and almond slices. The croissant was freshly-baked too, and served warm (the butter melted immediately after spreading *dreamy sigh*), although it’s a little bit on the chewy side. I was not happy with the French onion soup, though – It could use a bit of salt, and I didn’t really like its presentation either.

Café Creole’s food was decent enough (the bread was heavenly though), but for me, it doesn’t really hold a candle to Italian Market’s fare (or even the other restos in the area like Johnny Chow or Parmigiana). Or maybe I should come back here so I can try more of their meals and drinks.

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

Cafe Creole is located at Second Floor, Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City. Tel no: (02) 4038926. Links: Facebook.

Annam

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Annam has been touted as ‘The best pho in Manila’. Its arrival on Philippine shores has been greatly hyped – Their first branch opened up in Eastwood last July. Although Annam serves Vietnamese dishes, it actually started off in Singapore back in 2012, under the name Namnam Noodle Bar. The name change only applies here in Manila, since there’s a Filipino resto in Greenbelt that bears a similar name.

Namnam’s Vietnamese owner, Chef Nam, was a refugee who moved to Denmark with his family during the height of the Vietnam war. Despite living in Vietnam for only seven years, he still managed to learn all about Vietnamese culture thanks to his parents. Later on, Nam honed his skills as a chef by working in restaurants and hotels. Eventually, he opened up the first Namnam branch in Singapore. Namnam only uses the freshest ingredients for their dishes, and no MSG. They also rely on quick service to provide their customers with tasty Viet food.

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Nicely lit interior. I enjoyed the music as well – A combination of Motown hits from the 70s, disco, and classic rock songs.

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Menu. According to our waiter, they’ll be adding rice meals pretty soon.

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Sauteed Lemongrass Pork with Cream Cheese Banh Mi. As expected, the baguette was crispy, crunchy, and finely toasted. Could barely taste the cream cheese, but the veggies found inside the banh mi were very flavorful. The pork was sautéed very nicely, and had a tender texture.

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Crispy Imperial Rolls. They used a different kind of rice wrapper for their spring rolls, giving it a nice crunch – Although the thickness of the wrapper does outweigh the amount of ground beef/veggies inside.

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Pho Chicken.

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Pho Australian Beef Steak Slices. The broth had a hint of spiciness to it – Its warmness enveloped my entire body. The noodles weren’t too thick or thin. You can actually choose if you want your pho served with regular rice noodles, or instant noodles (although I probably wouldn’t call it ‘pho’ anymore – More like instant beef ramen). They also had a nice chewy texture to it, albeit slightly slippery. It was quite challenging to pick it up with plastic chopsticks. The beef slices were the main highlight of this dish, since they didn’t just use the regular slim slivers of brisket/tendons you would usually find in a regular bowl of pho. Instead, Annam uses fresh Australian beef, served medium-rare.

Wonderful – Absolutely wonderful. I’ve always loved Vietnamese cuisine because of its usage of fresh ingredients, and Annam’s dishes are no exception here. After trying out their food, I’m going to have to agree with the ‘Best pho in Manila’ title!

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

Annam is located at Unit 4, Ground Floor, 1880 Building, Eastwood Avenue, Libis, Quezon City. Tel nos: (02) 9010070, (02) 2121212. Links: Official Website || Facebook || IG: @annamnoodlebar

Sunnies Cafe

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An eyewear shop opening up their own café/comfort food restaurant might seem silly at first, but it’s totally possible – Just ask the owners of Sunnies Café (popular showbiz personality/model Georgina Wilson and her clique of young, fine, fashionable, fresh and fierce business-savvy friends). They opened up the very first Sunnies Café branch in BGC last August, and I thought the location was just perfect – Since the crowd there was just as stylish and hip as the café itself. Sunnies Café serves comfort food, cocktails, and dessert. At first I didn’t plan on doing a review on this place because of its location – However, I immediately changed my mind when they opened up their second branch in Megamall, which is more accessible.

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Interior. Very cozy. I also find it interesting that none of Sunnies’ main products were on display (that would be the eyewear).

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Menu: All Day Brunch, Salad (salmon poke quinoa, steak lime), Soup (pumpkin puree), Small Plates (crispy tacos, whole roasted cauliflower, fried goat cheese squares), Pasta (baked squid ink lasagna, spicy Pomodoro), Main Course (spicy garlic butter shrimp, pan seared miso salmon, butcher’s steak), Desserts (black bottom banana cream pie, lemon curd blondie).

Drinks Menu: House Blend Coffee, Hot Tea, Iced Tea, Milkshakes (salted caramelsutra, kimye),

Honestly I couldn’t really decide which dish to order, especially in the All-Day Brunch section (you guys know me, I love my breakfast/brunch!). They all seemed really good. Or maybe it was just the hunger talking.

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Charlie’s Golden Ticket milkshake – Chocolate chip ice cream, milo, whipped cream, malted milk. Very creamy, and even though it wasn’t the thickest milkshake I’ve had, I quite had a hard time finishing it. Probably because I was too busy with my food. It was decent enough – Very chocolatey, almost like drinking a Milo milkshake *does the energy gap dance*.

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Southern Style Fried Chicken Wings, served with honey and homemade gravy. Packed with flavor, although it does make you crave for a very sweet dessert afterward thanks to the grease…

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Sunnies Risotto – Risotto, caramelized bacon, sous vide egg, homemade gravy, and grana padano cheese. Slightly bland flavor-wise, but a very pretty dish to look at.

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Crusty Herb Fish Fillet – Herb-crusted fish of the day, crab fat fried rice. This wasn’t too bad either, but the herbs kept getting stuck to my teeth most of the time, and the fish was slightly overcooked? Its edges were a bit too crispy for my liking, and were also tough to chew.

Honestly? The presentation was beautiful but they could definitely improve a little bit more on the taste/quality of the food. It’s almost as if these dishes were created just for the sole purpose of getting posted on people’s blogs/Instagram/Facebook accounts or something. On the other hand though, I did eat a lot – So much so that for a solid five minutes, I seriously thought I was going to blow chunks in one of the mall’s public bathrooms (TMI). (._.’’) Still a nice café, but they shouldn’t depend too much on their ambiance/looks to gain more customers.

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

Sunnies Cafe is located at 2/F SM Megamall, EDSA cor Doña Julia Vargas Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong. Tel no: (02) 7181862. Links: Official Website || Facebook || Twitter || IG: @sunniescafe

Mien San

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Restaurants along the Granada area have come and go, but Mien San has always been there, serving bowls of warm noodle soup to customers since the 90s. I guess you could say it’s an institution in the local Chinese culinary scene – Plenty of authentic Chinese restaurants in Metro Manila last very long, I’ve noticed. Anyway, I decided to try out their food since I’ve been hearing plenty of rave reviews about their dumplings and noodles.

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Interior was nice and cozy, it reminds me so much of those authentic Chinese restaurants found in Binondo.

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Menu: Noodle With Soup (Beef, seafood & plain soup, pork & chicken, lomi), Fried Noodles, Dry Noodles, Rice & Bento Box (Beef, seafood, pork, chicken), Fried Rice, Congee, Dishes (Beef, seafood, pork, chicken, spicy & vegetable), Soup, Dimsum, Cold-cuts/Appetizers, Dessert, Drinks, Frozen Food.

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Our number one Chinese food staple, Yang Chow Fried Rice.

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Fried Porkchop Noodle – Was disappointed with this dish. I mean, I like that the breaded porkchop didn’t have little bones in it, and the noodles were nice and firm. The soup, however? Bland, bland, bland (Even if I placed all of the porkchop pieces in it, to give it even a slightest hint of flavor).

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Steamed Kutchay with Pork Dumplings – Tastes really good with soy sauce. This was bland too, but I forgave this dish easily since it was definitely fresh, and there was more pork filling inside the dumpling as compared to the skin. And I can never hate pork dumplings.

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Chop Suey with Tofu Pot.

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Beef with Tendon Pot. This was a recommendation. IDRK what’s going on in this dish, but I tried one of the tendons and winced because I wasn’t so used to the gelatinous texture.

Wow… I had such high expectations for this restaurant, and was ready to be wowed by their food. Unfortunately, everything just fell flat. Something tells me I need to give it another chance, though! Maybe I’ll order another noodle soup (or one of their dry noodle dishes) next time I come back?

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

Mien San is located at 42 Granada Street, Valencia, Quezon City. Tel no: (02) 7215794.