Monday, September 22, 2014

My mom has this habit of calling me whenever she is pleased with something.  So one time, she called me and this is how it went: (in semi-Chinese so I translated it)
Mom: You have to try this Chilled Green Tea Taho at Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles!
Me: Oh where is that?
Mom: Here in San Juan.
Me: I don't how you ended up there but I have no intention of going to San Juan (we live in Manila!) for some dessert.  Please just bring one for take home.
Mom: Of course, we can't bring it home.  It's so good! Yum yum yum!  
Me: Okay mom.  Anything else?
Mom:  No, that's all good bye. 


kanzhu hand pulled noodles
So when my friends and I were strolling SM Manila for lunch, I insisted that we try Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles.


kanzhu hand pulled noodles
It's a very spacious place with large wooden tables with matching wooden benches.  They also had a fast WiFi and a nice Chinese playlist.

Food

Noodle Soup
braised beef noodle soup
Braised Beef Noodle Soup (165 php)
The Braised Beef Noodle Soup is delicious!  The braised beef was fragrant and tender which goes really well with the broth.  Indeed, you can tell from the texture that their noodles are freshly-made and hand-pulled.  I've always preferred hand-pulled noodles which is probably why I used to frequent Mey Lin for their Hot and Sour Noodle Soup.  Well, "used to" because when they expanded to various malls, their quality became inconsistent to my disappointment so I never came back.

sliced beef noodle soup
Sliced Beef Noodle Soup (160 php)
The Sliced Beef Noodle Soup is has milder broth and a bit tougher meat despite the thin slice.


kanzhu hand pulled noodles

If you like spicy dishes, you can add some chili oil that's available on the table.


mixed seafood noodle soup
Mixed Seafood Noodle Soup (160 php)
The Mixed Seafood Noodle Soup is quite tasty and generous in terms of toppings.  Unfortunately, I had a bad experience with this since the fish fillet tasted slightly sour.  I think they used an old stock. =( I didn't bother to complain because we were in a rush since it's only a short lunch break.  On the bright side, I didn't encounter any stomach-ache. But still, the sourness really messed up the great tasting broth and spoiled the experience.


Dessert
chilled green tea taho
Chilled Green Tea Taho (65 php)
Finally, my real agenda for that lunch visit is the
Chilled Green Tea Taho.  I wished they didn't serve it with the syrup and sago.  It was overpowering the Chilled Green Tea Taho.  I was literally scooping out the sago just so I can enjoy the delicious taho itself.  I went home a bit disappointed then my mom told me that it was served separately during her visit so she didn't even put some.  I'll probably request that on my subsequent visits.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
If you're looking an affordable hot noodle soup, Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles is a great choice.  Their pricing fits the budget right.  The service is also very good!  The staffs are very courteous and friendly.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles Menu
Ambiance Appetizer | Fried Rice | Noodle Soup | Dimsum | Dumplings |
NoodlesChef Recommendations | Healthy |
Dessert | Tea | Drinks |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles
Branches Quezon City
G/F Prince Jun Condominium, Timog Ave. QC
(02) 782-1285 | 709-4168

San Juan
G/F Citiplace Bldg, J. Abad Santos St., San Juan
(02) 477-7919 | 748-7910

Pasig
Unit 122-123 CFA G/F SM Super Center Frontera Verde, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Ugong, Pasig City
(02) 576-3962

Marikina
Unit 104 nodison center, 9 Marcos Highway, Brgy. San Roque, Marikina City
(02) 646-0235

SM City Manila
Upper Ground Floor, SM City Manila, Concepcion St. corner Arroceros and San Marcelino St., Manila
(02) 950-9874
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 100-300
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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Friday, September 19, 2014

As a lover of Thai cuisine, Basil has long been on my wishlist.  I was really glad that my cousin chose this place to celebrate Father's Day.  

basil thai makati
If you're looking for this place, look out for Roche Bobois Showroom along Pasong Tamo Extension because this is behind it!  We had a hard time looking for this place.  It's a good thing uncle called to instructed us. 

The dining area was huge!  It had brick-colored walls with artistic steel framed mirrors.  There were large Buddha figures.  Each were holding flickering candles.  It had a fountain in the center and many long tables covered in black linen sheets and big wooden and skillfully carved sturdy chairs. 

How odd that we were the only diners that night.  It's as if we reserved the place all for ourselves.  My brother and male cousins were on their annual traveling tradition so we were less than usual.  We occupied just one long table which happened to be on the very center of the dining area. 

P.S.  My apologies I wasn't able to take a photo.  They say that people born in February are moody.  Well, this night I wasn't in the mood to be a shutterbug.  This post would not have been made positive if not for my kind-hearted little sister who volunteered to take some food photos.


Food

Salad & Appetizer
thai papaya salad
Thai Papaya Salad (255 php)
We loved the Thai Papaya Salad with palm sugar, fish sauce, garlic, chillies, cherry tomatoes, lime juice and crushed peanuts.  It had a dominant sweet peanut flavor. 

yam pla duk fu
Thai Crispy Fish with Green Mango Salad (370 php)
Unlike the Yam pla Duk Fu I've tried before, the Thai Crispy Fish with Green Mango Salad has a solidified crispy catfish.  It was fun to eat together with the very sour green mango strips, onion slices, chillies and cashew nuts.


fresh spring roll
Fresh Spring Roll (260 php)
The Fresh Spring Roll is one of the most chunky I've encountered so far.  It's got shrimp and ground pork bits with carrots and greens.  It is served with a sweet and sour tamarind sauce.

Soup
creamy chicken soup with tamarind leaves
Creamy Chicken Soup with Young Tamarind Leaves (315 php)
We tried both the soups that they offered which were served in a similar method.  The Spicy Seafood Soup (350 php) is a traditional Tom Yum soup with shrimps and oyster mushrooms.  We had our soup mild because my cousins are not fond of spicy dishes.  I enjoyed it!

Every one loved the Creamy Chicken Soup with Young Tamarind Leaves.  It was my first time to try this kind of soup.  One slurp and I'm hooked!  Although I liked the Spicy Seafood Soup, I have to agree with the family that this tangy and creamy coconut-based soup is better.

Seafood 
stir fried fish crispy holy basil
Stir-Fried Fish with Crispy Holy Basil (435 php)
The Stir-Fried Fish with Crispy Holy Basil is fried tilapia fillet in tapioca batter and served with sauteed crispy basil, garlic and chilli.  Love the crunchy texture but the flavor is nothing extraordinary.

Curry

chicken green curry
Chicken Green Curry (325 php)
We had two kinds of curry.  The first was the Creamy Pork Curry (325 php).  It had a rich and thick herby (with hints of lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime and coriander) and spiced Panang curry flavor.  Some of my cousins find the flavor too weird for them but I appreciate its distinct taste.  The pork bits was tender too.

The Chicken Green Curry (325 php) was too diluted that we could hardly taste the green curry and coconut milk.  It looked like a soup with chicken and eggplant bit and basil leaves.

Meat & Poultry
We tried the Spicy Wagyu Beef Short Ribs (490 php).  It was so sweet that you the spiciness is tamed to a very manageable tone.  It was tough to chew so I'm quite surprised that they considered that wagyu.

emerald chicken
Emerald Chicken (295 php)
The Emerald Chicken is Chicken Pandan or chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and herbs.  This one is bite-sized.  It's pretty good!
 
chicken with cashew nuts
Chicken with Cashew Nuts (295 php)

I was expecting this to be similar to the one I had in Mango Tree.  But, I guess Basil likes to define it's own distinct Chicken with Cashew Nuts by making them more pleasurable to eat in a crunchy way.  This was not too herby in flavor so the taste is more on the safe side like the Chinese kung pao chicken.  As expected, this was everyone's favorite as it was emptied quickly.

Rice and Noodle
thai bagoong rice
Thai Bagoong Rice (298 php)
Our favorite Thai rice dish is of course the Bagoong Rice.  I liked their Thai Bagoong Rice because it had fried shrimp bits.  The pork is very sweet so the portion is just right as it is intended to be eaten with the rest.
 
thai fried noodles
Thai Style Fried Noodles (360 php)
Another Thai staple that we usually order is the Pad Thai Basil's
Thai Style Fried Noodles is one of the best!  The noodles were bouncy and fun to chew.  The tamarind dressing and crushed peanuts blended excellently along with the other tasty ingredients.

Dessert
sticky rice mango
Sticky Rice with Mango (130 php)
We wanted to try all their desserts but the Sticky Rice with Mango is the only item available. The Sticky Rice with Mango had the most beautiful presentation I have ever seen. Unlike other sticky rice with mango, this had lots of crushed peanuts.  For the price, it was a hefty servings.  Peanut lovers will enjoy this but for me, I still prefer the one with dominant coconut milk flavor.


Drinks
The Thai Milk Tea is the only non-alcoholic beverage available.  It was too sweet!

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
If you're looking for the most bang for the buck fine-dining Thai experience, Basil is definitely a great choice.  The dishes composed of authentic Thai herbs and spices and other quality ingredients.  The food is affordable given the large portions which is not usual for a Thai and fine dining restaurant.  We were really surprised by it.  We surely missed the presence of the guys when we ended up with so many left overs and take home packages hehe.  However, we felt that they was a misalignment with their luxurious ambiance and the poor service.  Given that we were the only diners for the night, we found it difficult to call the attention of the servers.  It took too long for them to comply with our requests or some were not even complied with. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Basil Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 Menu 2
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Basil
Branches Makati (Behind Roche Bobois Showroom)
2100 Pasong Tamo Ext Magallanes Village, 
Makati City, Metro Manila
(0916) 438-1543

Katipunan
White Plains Ave cor. Katipunan Ave Ugong Norte, 
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 911-4158
Business Hours 12pm-10pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 300-800
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Other 

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ramen Daisho has been repeatedly mentioned as one of the best Ramen houses by Japanese ramen consultants and influential food bloggers so we just had to try it out for ourselves.  Daisho means big and fly high.


ramen daisho
According to other posts, the owners of Ramen Daisho bought the same ramen recipe used in Ukkokei Ramen Ron which so happens to be one of the first ramen houses I reviewed in this blog and my favorite too.  So, no doubt I just couldn't help but compare or use Ukkokei as a referrence. 

ramen daisho
For the ambiance, Ramen Daisho and Ukkokei Ramen Ron as so far apart.  The former is so bright, modern and spacious.  While the latter is traditional, dark and a bit eerie.


ramen daisho
On the table is an origami for the chopstick holder.  It can keep you pre-occupied while waiting for your order.

ramen daisho
It transforms into this.

ramen daisho

Both Ramen Daisho and Ukkokei has a paper place mat.  But, as you can see the former has informative cartoon pictures, comic strips and English texts.  While, the latter has an image of an old man and Japanese texts.

ramen daisho
Ramen Daisho's menu is more informative as it describes the broth and the kind of noodles used.  I noticed that there's an error in the description of the Shio Chasyu Ramen.  That description is meant to be for the Hakata Ramen. =p  It also offers ramen in two serving sizes: Regular and Large. The Regular is priced near that of Ukkokei's.  Ukkokei's menu has a clearer product image so you can see the size and the toppings well.  But, there are no descriptions.

Food

Ramen
The two are also different in terms of ramen variety.  Ramen Daisho has Shio, Shoyu, Miso and Hakata.  While Ukkokei has Shio, Shoyu and Miso with a twist of the butter corn for each kind and their limited TantanmenRamen Daisho uses different kinds of noodles while Ukkokei uses only one type.

The toppings of their ramen is different as well.  Ramen Daisho serves their ramen with a runny ajitsuke tamago (egg), nori (seaweed), menma (bamboo shoots), green onions and fried onions.  While Ukkokei's ramen toppings vary depending on the type of ramen.  The default rameen toppings is menma (bamboo shoots), green onions and  bean sprouts.

For the Chashu, Ramen Daisho makes use of the pork shoulder part which is thin, lean and meaty.  While Ukkokei makes use of the pork belly part which is marbled with fat.
 

ramen daisho
Shoyu Ramen Regular (300 php)
The Shoyu Ramen is soy based.  The taste of the broth is similar to that of Ukkokei so its hardly distinguishable. 

ramen daisho
Shoyu Chasyu Ramen Regular (380 php)
The Shoyu Chasyu Ramen has an addition of two more Chashu so its 80 php more expensive.  With this option, I really wonder why there is an extra topping of Chashu available for 120 php. 

 
ramen daisho
Shio Chasyu Ramen Regular (380 php)

Mom really loved her Shio Chasyu Ramen.  The flavor of the salt-based broth is mild and soothing.  Its slightly lighter and less oily than Ukkokei's.
 
ramen daisho
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen Regular (300 php)

The Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen is not offered in Ukkokei so I was eager to try it.  You can just from the looks of the broth that it is milky white as proof of the tastiness it acquired from long hour of cooking pork fat and bones.  I loved how flavorful it and it would have been the best one I've tried yet if only it wasn't a bit salty. 


Side Menu
Gyoza (110 php/5 pcs)
Aside from ramen, the family has also grown fond of searching for the best gyoza.  Price-wise, they are one of the cheapest.  But how about the taste?

Gyoza (110 php/5 pcs)
We loved their juicy, meaty and ginger-y Gyoza!  This is one of the best we've tried.

Tsinoy Foodies Other Ramen House/Shop Reviews
Akira Restaurant 
Hanamaruken Ramen 花丸轩  
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
Kitchitora 1 | Kitchitora 2
Kokoro Ramenya
Menya Genki Tonkotsu Ramen
Miso-Ten
Mitsuyado Sei-Men
Moshi Koshi 1 | Moshi Koshi 2
Rai-Rai Ken Ramen House
Ramen Bar
Ramen Cool
Ramen Ichiban-Kan
Ramen Nagi
Ramen X (Closed)
Ramen Yushoken
Ukkokei Ramen Ron
Wrong Ramen

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Ramen Daisho is definitely worthy of being one of the top best ramen houses in the Metro!  Surely, this should be included in every ramen lovers list.  I'd love to come back and try their Miso Ramen next.  In referrence to Ukkokei Ramen Ron, I think it offers a different dining experience in its own. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Ramen Daisho Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Ramen Daisho
Business Address Unit 2, Sunshine Square, Liberty Center
312 Shaw Blvd., Pleasant Hills, 

Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
Business Hours Lunch: 11:30am-2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm-10pm
Last order is 30 minutes before closing
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 774-0036
774-0036
Other  Email: gyubou_yakiniku@yahoo.com.ph Website
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Bistro Remedios or formerly known as Ang Bistro Sa Remedios has been an iconic restaurant in Malate for 3 decades.

bistro remedios
I've always been a fan of the LJC group for their consistently delicious Filipino offerings. 

bistro remedios
The place offers the same homey vibe with minor retouches throughout the years.

Food
As it's celebrates its 30th year, it gives diners the chance to try its new dishes.  But, it's really difficult to pass out on its classic Kapampangan accented dishes so I'll start with them.

Maliit na Plato (Appetizers and Pica-Pica)
bistro remedios
Sinuteng Baby Squid (199 php)
I've tried the Sinuteng Baby Squid at Abe before and still have the sentiments for it.

Duon Po Sa Aming Nayon (Well Loved Capampangan Specialties for the Adventurous Gourmet)
bistro remedios
Sisig Pampabata (195 php)
The Sisig Pampabata is a classic Filipino pulutan dish with minced pork head meat, chicken liver, garlic and chili.

 
crispy spiced kamaru
Crispy-Spiced Kamaru (225 php)

For those up for a more exotic dish, the Crispy-Spiced Kamaru is an excellent choice.  I've actually tried kamaru as Adobong Camaru by Ikabud in Pampanga before and didn't like it.  I guess that was too native for me as it was larger in size and had its head and legs intact.  I'm glad that Bistro Remedios has a staff who is specializes in cleaning these so I couldn't stop digging spoonfuls of this dish and enjoying its crunchiness and clean flavor.


Ensalada at Atsara (Country Salads and Relishes)
pako salad
Pako at Itlog Maalat (145 php)

The Pako at Itlog Maalat is the same as the Paco Fern and Tomato Salad I loved at Abe.  I volunteered to finish this off. =)

Lutong may Sabaw (Dishes with Soup)
sinigang na bangus
Sinigang na Bangus (395 php)
I've first tried the Sinigang na Bangus at Fely J's a long time ago and I can still recall how much I loved it.  Finally, I got to refresh my memory as I devoured over this bowlful of sinigang in fish and guava broth with kangkong and boneless Bangus to the very last drop.  An order is good for sharing for 2-3 persons.

Tampok na Lutuin ng Remedios (Why our guests return again and again)

tadyang
Crispy Tadyang "D Original" (495 php)
The Crispy Tadyang "D Original" is their special marinated deep-fried crispy beef ribs that will leave you crackling for more. 

kalderetang kambing
Kalderetang Kambing (450 php)
The Kalderetang Kambing is a Filipino-style tomato-based stew with carrots and bellpeppers.  The goat meat is so tender and clean tasting that each chunk of it is a pleasure to eat.


Lutong Gulay (Vegetables Dishes)
gule magalang
Gule Magalang (255 php)
It's my first time to try the Gule Magalang.  It's a campampangan dish with squash and squash flowers and bits of broiled catfish.  It's unique flavor yet light on the belly effect made me finish this with ease.

New Dishes
frog legs
Frog Legs
For those who are wary of trying frog dishes, this version of Frog Legs will make it an easy and enjoyable start for you.  I bet even kids will have fun munching on these.


pininahang baboy
Piniñahang Baboy (320 php)
The Piniñahang Baboy is a coconut milk based stew with green onions, pork, carrots, green and red bell peppers, potatoes and pineapple.

adobong hito
Adobong Hito (420 php)
The Adobong Hito may just be the best catfish dish I have ever tried!  It has huge chunks of catfish swimming in coconut cream with adobo seasoning.


sinugba platter
Sinugba Platter (585 php)
The Sinugba Platter has prawns, pork belly and chicken (my favorite) grilled Cebuano style and served with atchara and vinegar.

lechon kawali gata
Lechon Kawali sa Gata (350 php)
The Lechon Kawali sa Gata is the classic Filpino favorite lechon kawali made heathier in rich coconut cream sauce.

Panghimagas (Dessert)
maja blanca
Maja Blanca Remedios (105 php)
The Maja Blanca Remedios is a cool and sweet coconut milk pudding with coconut shreds, rice crispies and corn kernels.

turon
Turon (120 php)
Their Turon may seem ordinary but dip it into their jaggery or thick sugar sauce and it magically transforms into a blissful sensation.


fruits
Fresh Fruit Platter (175 php)
chocnut cheesecake
Chocnut Cheesecake

A bite of the Chocnut Cheesecake will send you to the heavens with its rich chocnut goodness and melts-in-your-mouth creaminess.


pandan cake
Pandan Cake
The Pandan Cake has an enchanting pandan essence that perfectly complements its light icing and chiffon base.  A few seconds was how long it took before the family finished it.
 

green mango shake
Green Mango Shake


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Whether their classic or new dishes, Bistro Remedios has certainly lived up to its 30 year prestigous foundation. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Bistro Remedios Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |  
Menu 3 | Menu 4 |  
Menu 5 | Menu 6 |  
New

Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Bistro Remedios
Business Address 1911 M. Adriatico Street Remedios Circle,
Malate, Manila
Business Hours Lunch: 11am-3pm
Dinner: 6pm-11pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 350-800
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 523-9153
Other  Website | Facebook Fan Page
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