Monday, July 29, 2013

DIPLAHAN LECHON: ZAMBOANGAS FINEST LECHON NOW IN MANILA!


            Somewhere in Zamboanga lies a small municipality known as "Diplahan". As is the case with virtually any place in the Philippines, Lechon is a staple in their fiestas and celebrations. However, in that municipality of nearly 30,000 people, there are only actually two families that prepare a roasted suckling pig in such a way that it is a cut above from the everyone else in the area.

       Once Character Actor Benjamin "Wee" Abelarde sampled this gloriously succulent version during his stay in Zamboanga last year, he realized everything he thought he knew about Lechon was wrong. He and some partners knew they had to bring the awesomeness of the  Diplahan  Lechon to the metro at all costs. But hat was good about his group, was that they refused to bring a cheap knock off of the real thing. 


        It was the Authentic- Diplahan -Real-Deal-Lechon or nothing. 


       Wee and his group convinced one of the families to partner up with them, and share their lechon making prowess with the Manila team, to bring their prized Roasted Pig to Manila. 


       Though they were very confident with their product, the group at  Diplahan  Lechon were wondering how it would fare when sampled by some of the most (matakaw) ardent Lechon Connoisseurs in Manila.  


      That was the night, after a long hiatus, the Kain-Tulog Gang assembled. 



Saturday, July 27, 2013

SUPER BOWL OF CHINA'S P1 WEEKDAY DEALS & THE YANGCHOW CLASH OF THE TITANS!




            The lights and the cameras were ready.  With five tables and what seemed like an infinite amount of bowls filled with delicious Yang Chow, the stage was set. And we had the best seat in the house. Though I was merely just a spectator, my heart was racing..  I felt like I was watching a live episode of my favorite show, Man Vs. Food. 

           Where was I, you ask? At the Yang Chow Chowdown: The Ultimate of Super Bowl of China event!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE KUNG FU DIVAS TRAILER



          I'm pretty sure I've mentioned in the past that I work for a Post Production House called "PostManila". For the first few years that I've been with PostManila, I was assigned at the Television Commercial division. During the start of this year, my boss asked me to join the Feature Film department. It's been quite a challenge, but I have to admit, the reaction of the people to our work has been quite fulfilling. 

      The first movie that I took part in for PostManila was selected to the Cannes Film Festival Director's Fortnight (I'll talk about that more in a few weeks). The second one just released the trailer today, and the response of the people has been overwhelming.. 

      Of course it helps that Marian Rivera and Ai-Ai are the stars of this CG heavy Comedy Adventure flick.

       It's being seen as a landmark event that Marian and Ai-Ai, superstars from two rival networks are joining forces in one mega movie, for the very first time. 

        I don't want to give up too much about the story, but it's a Action-comedy-adventure movie that breaks away from the norm and will leave you in stitches! 

        Apart from Marian and Ai-Ai, Kung Fu Divas also stars, Roderick Paulate, Nova Villa, Gloria Diaz, Bianca Manalo, Precious Lara Quigaman, Roy Alvarez, and Edward Mendez in his first starring role.


        Kung Fu Divas is showing on September 25. It is directed by Onat Diaz and is produced by Reality Entertainment & O & Co. Picture Factory with the CG work done by Mothership (The same company that did the Visual effects of Tiktik), while Offline Editing, Color grading and Online finishing was done at PostManila (hell yeah!), and distributed by Star Cinema.

YAKU JAPANESE GRILL AT THE PODIUM! - Rinaz

          Though the location of Yaku is quite hidden (some were saying the huge post blocking their entrance was bad feng shui). This was the first thing I noticed upon arriving. Yaku, which means grill, were one of the oldest restaurants in The Podium Mall since the year 2000 and until now they are still very much standing. So much for feng shui! That just proves as well that they have a lot of regulars that love them, and they are attracting new customers as well!


       Yaku is an amazing Japanese restaurant that started off as serving only Yakitori items. It’s their specialty so if you go here, you must try these charcoal-grilled goodness on a stick! I say this to you with sincerity because as i was not feeling very well that night, I was not able to try this plate right here. That is why I am now kicking myself in the butt. But Richie was able to try some so we’ll get to that in a bit. So eventually they also started serving a lot of other Japanese dishes like sushi, tempura, teppanyakis, and noodles such as udon and soba.


Monday, July 22, 2013

RAFFLES HOTEL LONG BAR: POWER LUNCH DONE RIGHT

         
        Earlier this year, a few food blogger friends of mine and I were invited to Spectrum at Raffles Hotel. Unfortunately, Rina couldn't join me, so I had to handle my own photography.. And you know what happens when I do that. As expected, the photos were putrid, and I didn't feel It would do justice to the beauty of Spectrum for me to use it. Thankfully, Rina saved my ass (yet again), and went to the place and took new photographs so I'll be posting about Spectrum soon.

        But before I get into that, I wanted to share with you a Power Lunch that we had over at Spectrum's neighboring restaurant.. The Long Bar.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

THE WINNER OF THE LOMBARDI'S GC IS....



         I normally hold giveaways for around two weeks, yet something in me told me to do the Lombardi's Giveaway for only one week. Which is good because I ended up forgetting to add an important detail in the Rafflecopter options (Professional Giveaway joiners would know which option hehe).

         Good news though, this won't be my only Lombardi's GC Giveaway! I'm pretty sure i'll be having yet another one sometime within the year.!

        But for now, let's enjoy this one, and find out who the winner is! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

MESCLUN BISTRO: A TOUCH OF CLASS AND COMFORT


  
     Late last year, Rina and I were supposed to attend a lunch at Mesclun with my other blogger friends.. As luck would have it, we had already committed to other plans, so we were unable to join the event. Though I had a wonderful time during my own trip, seeing the posts of my other blogger friends made me extremely jealous. Everything looked absolutely amazing.     I intended to bring Rina there one time, but our schedule didn't permit it, until it was eventually forgotten about. 

       When I found out that Mesclun Bistro would be opening in Serendra, It once again re-awakened my longing to visit. This time, luck was on my side, because my and some blogger friends were once again invited to try some items of their menu, I cleared my schedule and made sure Rina and I wouldn't miss it for the world! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NEW BARBECUE SPECIALS FROM BULGOGI BROTHERS! -RinaZ




        I have a confession to make…

         I like watching Koreanovelas. Specifically the romatic-comedy ones. I think they write great plots and I get so kilig with those kilig moments. Kilig to the point that I have to cover my mouth with a pillow to scream. (I know). 


Family dinner scene from Golden Bride


From Full House. Rain eating kimchi rice straight from from a huge bowl

       Anyway, whenever I watch these koreanovelas, there are a loooot of dining scenes. And for me, how they eat is so appetizing. Like what they’re eating is really really good! They never fail to get my tummy rumbling! Especially how they eat steaming white sticky rice with that long spoon. Oh my golly! Really has a effect on my tummy!


Bulgoggi Brothers in Mall of Asia

              So when I went to Bulgoggi Brothers, I was so into the long-spoon-and-rice scenario that I ate 3 cups of rice!!! (No judging please hehe) Well, technically it was 2 and a half because I only finished half of my third bowl. But really, aside from the fact that I was having fun envisioning myself in Korea eating a lovely meal with steaming hot rice using a long spoon, the real reason which made me ate so much was their new Barbecue Specials Menu!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

STAYCATION SERIES: THE VIP TREATMENT AT CROWNE PLAZA MANILA GALLERIA


            In case you missed my previous posts, before the year began, one of my goals in 2013 was to be able to expand my blog to include entries on Hotels.. Be it through travels or Staycations. The month of June began with an incredible Staycation with my blogger friends, and ended with... you guessed it.. ANOTHER STAYCATION!

        This time, at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY: LOMBARDI'S AUTHENTIC ITALIAN


                    Even though tomato sauce is my waterloo (hyper acidity), I find myself unable to resist the charms of Italian food. I'm a huge fan of Pizza, pasta and the like. Quite surprisingly, I don't have very many posts on Italian food.. Something I must rectify immediately. Although our blog's most recent Italian food post was one that Rina enjoyed very much.. Lomabardi's Authentic Italian. 

            Already having established itself with their first branch at Robinson's Magnolia, Rina and I (Although I was two hours late.. darn day job.. got bills to pay) joined a small gathering of bloggers that were invited to check out their newly opened branch at the New Wing of Shangrila Mall. 

         We had a wonderful time, and now I want to give one lucky reader a chance to try what Lombardi's has to offer! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A FOODIE.PH DELIVERY: RUB RIBS & BBQ


         Perhaps the best compliment I could get as a Food blogger is, “Your blog made me hungry!”.That’s exactly what a food blog is supposed to do, so that means I did my job right. I love it even more when they say, “I hate you! Now i’m hungry!”. I know you don’t really hate me (wait.. do you?), but the
mere fact that the hunger my blog caused was so severe, it transformed itself into hatred, is a testament to my it being effective. However, even though I may have made your tummy growl and mouth water with the tantalizing pictures and tempting descriptions of the food, one thing you readers must
understand as well is.. If you think reading my blog is difficult.. Imagine how hard it is to write it?

         I’ll tell you this.. I’m most comfortable writing at home.. that’s where I feel most of my creative juices flow.. but.. At home, we don’t have a cook. No Joke.. our helper almost burned soup. Rina, bless her soul, is still in the process of learning simple recipes, but she’s been going to so many events she hasn’t really had the time to practice yet. So what I’m saying is, more often than not, after a session of writing, I don’t exactly have a gourmet meal waiting for me.

         Sure, it’s easy to call a food delivery service, but you’re often relegated to the major ones with hotlines. Nothing wrong with that, but as a blogger, obviously, I’m on the net a lot. Since I’m already online, I found it to be much easier to have food delivered with establishments that allow you to order
online. I stumbled onto Foodie.ph, a online delivery service that has an impressive selection of restaurants in its roster.

While I was contemplating whether to try it or not, I checked out what restaurants were available in my area, and the only one was the popular Rub Ribs in Kapitolyo.. Which worked perfectly for me, because everyone knows I love me some good ribs. Not to mention, I’ve been wanting to visit Rub for the longest time but never got around to doing so (#FoodBloggerProblems).




          After a quick sign up, I went to the Rub menu to check out what Rina and I wanted before we placed our order. Once we were ready, we just hit the “Order Now” button.





        The site then took us to a screen wherein we may select the delivery time. This is actually quite helpful for advance orders.


     
     When you select your item for the menu, you get the option of putting any special instructions (medium well, no tomato, no veggies.. etc) and not Who the item is for.




        Since my order of ribs came with a choice of side orders, a window was also readily available for me to select which one I wanted



         When we were done, Foodie.ph gave us a recap of our orders, and gave us an option to edit and add orders if needed. The page also included the running bill, and an option to tip your driver (Nice option).

        Once the order was placed, I was taken to the status window, where it confirmed that my order was indeed in the foodie.ph system

        A minute or so later, I got an email from foodie.ph, confirming that my order was placed.

        The brilliant thing about foodie.ph is that every step that your order goes through.. from your driver arriving at the restaurant.. enroute to your house.. you will be notified of its status. As a customer, that’s very important. The wait won’t seem so long, when you’re getting constant updates of
what’s happening with your order.

      Another couple of minutes later, I got a call from the Foodie.ph operator, who confirmed my delivery details. Although everything was already listed in the website and email, this step is necessary because it provides the human element that gives customers that needed assurance that their order is
being attended to.




       The food arrived after around an hour, which was more or less the estimated time that they had stated. I really liked the huge boxes the food was packed in which environmentally, was much better than packaging it in Styrofoam. If you weren’t at home and no utensils available, these boxes would be ideal. Something that disappointed me though, was that the boxes weren’t labelled “For Richie”, for Baby Rain, etc.. making that entire exercise of them asking who its for pretty much useless.

THE FOOD

        I won’t lie to you.. The Rub Ribs Solo wasn’t my first choice. I was honestly contemplating ordering the Beef Fingers or the grilled pork belly, before I came to my senses and realized you can’t order from “Rub” without trying their Ribs.

RIBS



      Funnily enough, the ribs was actually the dish I liked least. Don’t get me wrong.. Im not saying it was bad.. Because it was actually quite tasty and packed with so much flavor, I didn’t need the extra side of sauce that it came with. What Im saying is, it wasn’t anything mind blowingly different from the others I’ve tried. What makes Rub stand out more than anything is its price, which is extremely reasonable. I’ve got to hand it to them though.. the meat tore cleanly off the bone, and like I said, it was very flavourful. On the whole, it’s great value for money.




      One thing I was very disappointed with, was the “Texas Toast”, mainly because.. well.. It wasn’t Texas toast. It was slices of French bread with butter on it. So it was “buttered toast”. If they said that from the start, I wouldn’t have ordered it. From the thickness of the bread alone, it’s clear that this wasn’t Texas toast wasn't Texas as Toast at all. I wouldn’t recommend it as a side. 


Go for the Grilled Corn instead :)

CHICKEN


            I actually enjoyed the fried chicken much more than the ribs. It was coated in a light batter with a touch of spices into it, and fried nicely, giving the skin a beautiful crunch, but keeping the meat juicy. The gravy needed a tad bit of salt, but had a lovely creaminess to it.


        Not to mention, the order seemed close to a “bucket meal” than an order for one person.

FISH & CHIPS


           The Fish and Chips was ordered as an afterthought by Rina. She wanted a fish dish that we could order for Rain, that we could eat ourselves afterwards since she probably won’t finish it by herself.

           It turned out to be the best thing we ordered that day. The fries had some sort of coating on it that gave it a little bit of texture, but needed to be cooked a little bit more so it would be crispy. A shame, because flavour wise, it was delicious. The fish was amazing. The coating was a bit on the heavy
side, but it was fried to a gorgeous crisp that gave way to an immaculate white fish meat that felt like it was melting in your mouth. The fish went perfectly with the creamy aioli sauce that offered a bit of a garlicky kick. After my first bite, I was actually contemplating telling Baby Rain I’ll buy her a pony when she’s eight years old in exchange for letting me have the last few pieces of fish.

       Foodie.ph provides an easy and convenient alternative to ordering food delivery, in a manner so efficient, you can’t wait to plan your next order! 

 Thanks to Foodie.ph, delicious food delivery is just a few mouse clicks away!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Scrumptious Spanish Dishes, Mario's Way! - RinaZ

Rain enjoying her Minnie balloon I bought for her from the streets of Tomas Morato :-)
            It's funny, because I have been familiar with the restaurant Mario's for as long as I can remember, but I never really recall actually dining there. Don't ask why because I'm not sure why either. And when we recently got the chance to try their specials at their branch in Tomas Morato with our little baby girl Rain, I questioned myself more. Their dishes truly are special in their own Mario's way!
          



           Marios has a simple but definitely classy Spanish feel to it's interiors. It's a place where you can have intimate dinners but at the same time a nice place where you can treat your family to a hearty meal! 
          


We started lunch with Mario’s signature Ceasar Salad (P255). You might be thinking, what’s the big deal about a starter Caesar Salad? Well, Mario’s Caesar Salad, is THE BEST Caesar Salad I have ever tasted! It’s so special that they even prepare it table side! 



After tediously making the dressing, it's tossed with fresh lettuce!


 It's then drizzled with bacon and Parmesan cheese! Yum! For the complete step by step, check it out here at Rina's Rainbow!



I took a sip from our friend’s Cucumber Mint Slush. And to my surprise it was quite refreshing! The taste of the cucumber is not as strong and the drink itself is not too sweet. Just right.

Everyone ordered their own dishes and so we didn’t get to try all of it. But here are the photos nonetheless:


Gambas Con Chorizo (P345) is also one of their signature dishes. Shrimps and chorizo combined in garlic olive oil. What’s not to love?


The Millenium Platter (P245). Enjoy a meal of garlic rice, two eggs, and Danggit + Vigan Longanisa! They also have a Daing na Bangus and Chicken Pork Adobo. Choose your pick!



They have Steak and Eggs (P290)! Can't go wrong!


Of course they also have Batangas Beef Tapa (P220) for tapsi lovers!

(FRIED CRABS NA MAY KALABASA SA SIDE)

Soft Shell Crabs in Coco Cream Sauce (P495) looked really good as well! This is one of Mario’s Seasonal Dishes. It is served with plain rice and vegetable of the day.


The Barbecue Spare Ribs (P400) is a sight to behold. Marinated and smothered in Mario’s very own barbecue sauce and served with garlic rice.



I ordered the Filet Mignon (P640) because I saw the description that it was wrapped in bacon, but completely forgetting the fact that filet mignon has zero fat. Pure lean meat. But I still enjoyed it nonetheless especially the mashed potatoes and the bacon.


Another beautiful classic is the Rack of Lamb (P850). Cooked charbroiled and then served with port mint sauce. This one’s pricey but for sure the quality will give justice to it. (I didn’t get to taste sorry!) This is actually one of Mario’s specialties!



The Chicken Parmesan (P350) also looks promising. Looks like a really good creamy comfort food! When I saw this I admit I actually wished I ordered this instead. I just hope they used thigh part instead of breast haha! I’m a red meat kind of person. The chicken breast is topped with a creamy cheese sauce, and fettuccini al burro. 


They also have a steak version which is the Steak Bearnaise (P635). It’s a top grade tenderloin steak served with fettuccine al burro.


And last but not the least, our favorite! Included in the Chef’s Special menu: The creamy and very flavourful Three Mushroom Pasta in Black Truffle Oil with Bacon! Richie is a fan of oil-based pastas (basically because he can’t eat tomato-based ones because of his hyper-acidity). The bacon serving is not bad too! Huge chunks actually. It’s dishes like this that deserves to be framed and displayed. (Oh by the way it also has Shiitake, button, and oyster mushrooms. Was so focused on the bacon that I forgot to mention that. After all it IS called Three Mushroom Pasta haha!)


Okay... this is not a photo of the eye of Sauron or a fire breathing dragon. This is actually DESSERT TIME! And there’s only one way to have an awesome dessert, and that is to do it FLAMBE style! (Ole!!!)


They have three types of famous flambes, Crepes Suzette, Fruit Crepes, and Jubilee (P350) which is what we had. It’s mango, banana or strawberry (depending on season), immersed in liqueurs and then flamed over a delicious vanilla ice cream! All of their flambés are good for two. An inexpensive but very impressive dessert to offer your date! (pogi points!)

Trust me when I say that ordering in Mario’s is hard as everything looks delicious! Mario’s years of experience is apparent in their dishes. You really get what you pay for!  Can’t wait to try their Great Sunday Lunch Buffet! You can check for their latest promotions here. (http://www.marios.com.ph/promo.php)

         Here are just some more mala-"family" photos of our fun luncheon at Marios! but it's not a photo of me, Richie, and Rain. They're photos of our fun blogger friends and adorable Rizzo, the son of the one and only Marty and Tin of Mad Meats who was able to join us that day! Fun fun fun!:-)

Rizzo and Tito Spanky (Pwede na Spanks! hehehe)

Rizzo and Tito Gerry
Having a discussion on what else to order hahaha!

191 Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Scout Gandia
Quezon City

Telephone Numbers:
372.0360 / 415.3887 / 376.6210

Fax Number:
372.0352

Email Address:
mariosqc@marios.com.ph






  





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