Monday, March 2, 2015

Last week, I attended the product launch of Jollibee's latest Mix-In and Shake

jollibee reeses mix ins and cookies and cream shake

The entire Jollibee was excited to introduce the new Jollibee Reese's Mix-Ins and Cookies and Cream Shake.
jollibee reeses mix ins and cookies and cream shake
It's the first time for them to release a mix-in and shake at the same time.  These will be available for a limited period this summer so try them while you can.
 
jollibee reeses mix ins and cookies and cream shake
Being a Reese's fan, I was really excited to try Reese's Mix-InsI was also eager to try c as I was curious to check if they used my favorite brand.
 
jollibee reeses mix ins and cookies and cream shake
Everyone applaud as they served the products for us to try. 
 
jollibee reeses mix ins and cookies and cream shake
Reese's Mix-Ins (45 php) and Cookies & Cream Shake (45 php)
The Reese's Mix-Ins and Cookies & Cream Shake are affordably priced at 45 php.  You can also upgrade your meal drink for any of these by adding 25 php.

Reese's Mix-Ins (45 php)
Look at that!  They are full of toppings.  I'm surely going to grab those at every chance I get especially now that the heat is usually intense.  I hope each purchase will always be as fulfilling.  
 
 
Jollibee Facebook Fan Page

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

On August 15 last year, it was an unforgettable Friday school day  for me because I was scolded and humiliated in class by my professor for forgetting to bring my book to class.  According to him, it meant giving a false pretense that I was too confident.  Naturally, I was a bit down during class.  To my surprise, the family kept calling and texting me to meet them in 678 Manila at San Miguel by the Bay at SM Mall of Asia

678 korean bbq manila
Naturally, I told them I'm still in class but they insisted that I check out this newly discovered Korean BBQ restaurant even if they have to wait for meSo after class, I hurriedly rushed off to the San Miguel By the Bay Area to search for 678 Manila which they told me was beside Razon's

678 korean bbq manila
It was easy to spot since it had Kang Ho-dong's Standee upfront.  It didn't look big from the outside so I was surprised upon stepping in that it was HUGE!  The wooden interiors, shiny cemented floors, dividers and posts with lively Korean songs playing on the background gave it a unique comfortable but luxurious vibe that sets it apart from other Korean restaurants in Manila we've been too.  The place was surprisely cool for a barbecue place.  I guess it is because of the ventilation shafts that efficiently vacuums all the smoke away from the grillers.  It had a large dining space affording privacy and comfort to every table.  The kitchen is just as spacious and you could see what's going on inside too.  It had a large number of staff wearing black caps, black shirts and black pants.  They equipped with wrist watch that alerts they when you hit the buzzer on your table making all of them turn their heads to you.  They also have earpieces and mics (like the bodyguards in Korean telenovelas) so they can quickly receive their orders and before you can even remove you finger from the buzzer, a server is already approaching you're table to make sure you're instantly attended to.  


The next table was a cheery Korean crowdSome of them looked really familiar.  My siblings pointed out that it was Park Sang-Myung (He played in my favorite Korean movies like the tear-jerking Miracle in Cell No. 7 and She's on Duty and several Korean telenovelas like Mary Stayed All Night, King of Baking and Green Rose) and Owner Kang Ho-dong (Korean MC and Comedian) among the group.  We wanted to ask for a photograph since we're huge fans but we were too shy.  The female server told us that Lee Min Ho even promised to drop by the night before but didn't so perhaps he would drop by that night.  We hoped and waited even until the company of Park Sang-Myun and Owner Kang Ho-dong left but he didn't show up. =(
 
678 korean bbq manila
678 Korean BBQ Menu Manila Philippines

I was really amazed by the fact the quality of the food, atmosphere and the appearance of Korean celebrities so I researched the about 678 as soon as we went home.  Although it is hidden and still unpopular in Manila, it appears to be a famous global franchise.  It has branches in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Sydney, China and Tokyo where renowned foodies and chefs such as Anthony Bourdain, Rich Torrisi and David Chang have dined at.  There's even an article stating it turned an 8-year vegetarian back to eating meat. 

Food
678 korean bbq manila
As soon as we ordered, we were served their complimentary brown rice tea.  Then, our server sets our charcoal griller and fills up the sides with red bell peppers, onions, sweet corn with mozzarella cheese and raw egg.  It's the first time we've encountered a griller designed like that.  Later on, as the meats are grilled, the oil will spill on the sides adding flavor to them.  

678 korean bbq manila
678 Lettuce Salad and 678 Veggie Salad
We were expecting the typical banchan to be served instead we were served the 678 Lettuce Salad and 678 Veggie Salad...

678 korean bbq manila
Complimentary Soup, Raw Onions, Gochujang Sauce and 678 Secret House Sauce with Wasabi
Complimentary Soup, Raw Onions, Gochujang Sauce and 678 Secret House Sauce with Wasabi.  The Complimtary Soup with Daikon in Vinegar base was something odd and new for me.


Pork
678 korean bbq manila
Fresh Cut of Pork Belly (350 php)
We had no idea on what to order so we just ordered everything suggested by our server starting with the Fresh Cut of Pork Belly served with a daikon.  Our server took charge of the entire grilling process and even thought as how to enjoy every dish.  As you can see, the thick pork belly was initially placed on a flat slate.   


678 korean bbq manila
Fresh Cut of Pork Belly (350 php)
Then, our server got a grid where our 150 gram of Fresh Cut of Pork Belly was grilled further.

678 korean bbq manila
Fresh Cut of Pork Belly (350 php)
678 korean bbq manila
Fresh Cut of Pork Belly (350 php)
Soon, it was all sliced and ready to be eaten.  The egg on the side is cooked as well taking a custard form.



678 korean bbq manila

Eating it is different from other samgyupsals according to the instructions given to us by our server.  First, we mixed the wasabi with the 678 secret sauce.  We dipped the cooked pork belly there  applied some 678 veggie salad and 678 lettuce salad.

678 korean bbq manila
This is how mine looked like.  All the components are refillable for free by the way.  Wow!  Their quality meat combined with their sauce and salads are so delicious!  I couldn't stop myself from having more and more of it.  Surely, this is one of the best samgyupsal I've ever had.

Special
678 korean bbq manila
Beef Bulgogi (500 php)
The
Beef Bulgogi is served with three kinds of mushroom and lots of shallots.  

678 korean bbq manila
Beef Bulgogi (500 php)
Since it has sauce, it is cooked in a wok atop the charcoal.  We really loved its tenderness and flavor.  It's not overly sweet but a pleasantly flavorful making it great viand with rice.


Side Menu
678 korean bbq manila
Egg Wrap (Cheese) (200 php)
The Egg Wrap is filled with Cheese and laid on a bed of ketchup.  At first glance, it looks similar to the Japanese Dashimaki Tamago

678 korean bbq manila
But, it's different because it's not flavored with soy and it's closer to the American omelette because it's filled with cheese, rougher in texture and more dense.  We loved this!

Meal Menu
678 korean bbq manila
Lunch Box (200 php)

The Lunch Box is served in this tin with a comical picture.

678 korean bbq manila
Lunch Box (200 php)
The Lunch Box comprises of rice, fried egg, kimchi, achovies, tofu, seaweeds and black beans.

678 korean bbq manila
Lunch Box (200 php)
The server then shakes it vigorously giving it a loud clunk before finally opening it and revealing this glorious delicious mess.  We enjoyed this new experience and if you love seaweed like us, you'd really appreciate this.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
I'm really glad that the family happened to walk by 678 Korean BBQ Manila.  This is one of our best Korean dining discoveries.  I highly suggest that you try this or you're certainly missing a lot!  We're really eager for a revisit too.  Crossing my fingers that we spot more Korean celebrities there. =))  The service is excellent!  I'm really impressed at how much they have invested in their gears and training.  The price is very reasonable as most items are good for sharing so bring some company with you in every visit.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating 678 Korean BBQ Manila Menu
Ambiance Pork | Beef Ribs | Special |  
Side Menu | Meal Menu |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
678 Korean BBQ Manila
Business Address Seaside Blvd, San Miguel by the Bay, 
SM Mall of Asia Complex, 
Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 3pm-3am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 250-1,500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 877-0678
Other  Website | Facebook Fan Page
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Almost three years ago, I spotted Mona Lisa Ristorate at The Commerce Center in Alabang when I dined at Studio Kitchen (now Allium in Makati).   I vowed to come back to try it but never managed to go back due to hectic schedule.  I'm glad it opened in SM Aura which was more convenient for us to visit.

mona lisa ristorante sm aura premiere
The glass grants us a view of its alluring interiors.


mona lisa ristorante sm aura premiere
I love the structural design, paintings and the chandeliers.

mona lisa ristorante sm aura premiere
Even the tie of the servers fits the motif of the place.

Food

Insalata
Fagioli Bianchi Di Tonno
Fagioli Bianchi Di Tonno (350 php)

The Fagioli Bianchi Di Tonno is mixed greens, chunky tuna, red beets, feta cheese, boiled egg, red and white beans (supposed to be white asparagus according to the menu) in Italian vineigrette.  We found this salad interesting enough to be emptied quickly.

Pizza 
smoked salmon pizza
Smoked Salmon Pizza (550 php)
We're quite health-concious so we chose their special thin-crusted multigrain pizza.  The
Smoked Salmon Pizza is topped with ricotta cheese, asparagus, caramelized onions and sliced lemon.  My family is very picky when it comes to pizza but they adored this to the littlest bit.

Prima (Pasta) Vegetarian
cannelloni
Cannelloni Spinaci and Ricotta Solo (315 php)
The Cannelloni Spinaci and Ricotta Solo is spinach bits and ricotta cheese filled in cannelloni shells.  If you can appreciate the special flavor of spinach enhanced in terms of the creaminess and mild zesty ricotta cheese, you'll find this heavenly like we did.


Prima (Pasta) Meat and Poultry
arrabiata
Spaghetti All' Arrabiata Calebrese Solo (315 php)
The Spaghetti All' Arrabiata Calebrese is supposed to be penne on the menu but we requested to have it substituted to spaghetti.  It has Italian sausage, black olives, mushrooms in spicy and tangy vodka tomato sauce.  I found the blending of flavors quite balanced so I enjoyed this.

pollo
Pollo Pizzemente Solo (320 php)
The Pollo Pizzemente Solo is a penne pasta with bite-size slices of chicken thighs and breast, asparagus, brocolli with creamy porcini mushrooms, light cream sauce and truffle oil.  The light cream sauce masks the dryness of the white chicken meat.  The truffle cream sauce is light allowing us to appreciate the natural taste of the asparagus, brocolli, porcini mushrooms and chicken.

Home Made Pasta
ravioli
Ravioli ai Funghi Porcini Solo (305 php)
The
Ravioli ai Funghi Porcini tops among all the dishes we had that night.  It's ravioli stuffed with porcini mushrooms in a creamy porcini parmesan sauce with truffle oil.  I love that they didn't scrimp on the truffle oil!


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Mona Lisa Ristorante is one of the best authentic Italian restaurants we've tried!  Their subtle but not bland or dull blending soothes our taste profile.  We'd love to come back when craving for Italian.  Everything we ordered is cooked with precision.  The service is good too.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Mona Lisa Ristorante Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Mona Lisa Ristorant
Business Address Alabang
2nd Floor. The Commerce Center, Commerce Ave. Alabang,
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
(02) 556-0708

SM AURA Premiere
5/F Skypark Mckinley Parkway, Fort Bonifacio,
Taguig City, Metro Manila
(02) 403-6834
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 300-1,000
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Other  Facebook Fan Page | Website
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Monday, February 23, 2015

I knew I've tried The Cafe Mediterranean before.  At first, I can't seem rememberBut, dining there refreshed my memory that the family ate there upon the opening of Rockwell Powerplant Mall way back in 1994.  


the cafe mediterranean

It was the first Mediterranean Cuisine I've encountered and during that time.  But, unforunately, I haven't grown the palette to appreciate at that age.   As I've shared before, it was in such an age when my taste buds were limited to visiting and revisiting my favorites: The Old Swiss Inn's fondue, Schwarzwälder's  "Kraeuterhend'l", Yum-Yum Tree and Pancake House
 
the cafe mediterranean

Well, I've come a long way from that.  I've become more eclectic and more adventurous and I've come to love Mediterranean cuisine among other cuisines.

the cafe mediterranean
After trying a lot of other Mediterranean places (click label to see the other 25 which I've tried for the past 2 years that I'm blogging), it's time to go back to where I started.

Food
the cafe mediterranean
Hot Sauce and Garlic Sauce
Laid on each table is their Hot Sauce and Garlic Sauce.  I implore you to use this to your hearts content as I did especially for the grills.

Appetizers & Little Plates
the cafe mediterranean
Sampler Plate of 3: Labneh, Hummus and Falafel with Pita Reg (275 php)
For starts, we had the Sampler Plate of 3: Labneh, Hummus and Falafel with Pita.  This is my first time to try the Labneh and Falafel.  The Labneh is like thick and smooth cream cheese with a comforting tanginess since it's yogurt-based.  I loved it!  The Falafel is a deep-fried ball filled with chickpea fillings.  The coating was a bit thicker than I expected so it was rough and surprisingly filling to eat.  It left a pretty good first impression for me.  The hummus is one of my favorite Mediterranean dishes.  Their version of the Hummus was very good.  It was the richest and creamiest I've encountered yet. 

the cafe mediterranean
Sampler Plate of 4: Moutabal, Falafel , Foule and Hummus with Pita Reg (275 php)
The Moutabal was really good because it has a bold smokey and sweet taste.  I think this is the best moutabal I've tried yet. 


Sandwiches (all served with fries)
the cafe mediterranean
Panino Vegetariano with Housemade Yogurt (210 php)
I've indulged so much on the starters so the next course is lighter.  The Panino Vegetariano with Housemade Yogurt is filled with grilled zucchini, eggplant, onions and fresh tomatoes.  The Ciabatta was prepared well so it was crispy on the outside yet soft to chew. 

Pizza
the cafe mediterranean
Pizza Mediterranea (385 php)
My companions requested the Pizza Mediterranea without the anchovies which is probably why it lacked the X factor for me.   It could either be because it almost has the same ingredients as the Panino Vegetariano with Housemade Yogurt which we had just before this.  On the bright side, I liked their tangy herby sauce and their crispy yet chewy dough.


Large Plates
the cafe mediterranean
Shish Taouk with Basmati (315 php + 30 php)
I was very impressed with their Shish Taouk!  It is definitely very far beyond the other shish taouks I've tried.  It was so tender, juicy and flavorful.  YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!

moussaka
Moussaka with Basmati (310 php + 30 php)
I've always loved the moussaka and order one whenever I see it on the menuSomehow this Moussaka failed to leave a positive impact for me to order it again.  But my companions continuously praised it.

 
parmigiana
Eggplant Parmigiana with Whole Wheat Pita  (295 php + 30 php)
The
Eggplant Parmigiana was cheesy but too oily for me.  Perhaps, I would have liked this better if the sauce was more zesty to counter the oiliness.  My friends seemed to enjoy it though.


Kebabs
Grilled Beef with Basmati (395 php + 40 php)
The Grilled Beef is served with Labneh and TabboulehI loved the Grilled Beef for its superb savoriness and tenderness.  It was pillow-soft and goes well without sauce or with any sauce.  This is definitely one of the best kebabs in Manila!  The Tabbouleh however, lacked the slight crunchy texture and minty essence from the parsley that I'm yearning for.


Desserts
Panna Cotta (100 php), Tartufo Al Cioccolato (100 php) and Tiramisu (175 php)
The Panna Cotta has a smooth, creamy and gelatinous texture.  It goes so well with the orange sauce.  The Tartufo Al Cioccolato is a very rich with mini chocolate bits to boot.  Yet, it's the kind of richness that you'll want more of.  The Tiramisu is more mascarpone than the coffee and liqueur component so alone it was lacking for me.  But, I've discovered that eating the Tartufo Al Cioccolato together with the Tiramisu delivers a surprisingly magical sensation.

Drinks
Mango Lassi (135 php)

The Mango Lassi is very refreshingly sweet with only mild sourness.  Compared to the other lassi I've tried, I think this is suitable for those who want to be initially acquainted with this drink as the tartiness won't overwhelm them.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
The Cafe Mediterranean is definitely worth visiting and revisiting over and over especially for their kebabs!  I'm not even a fan of kebabs but they just made me an avid fan of it.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating The Cafe Mediterranean Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |
Menu 3 | Menu 4
Menu 5 | Menu 6
 
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
The Cafe Mediterranean
Branches Greenbelt 1
Ayala Center, Makati City
(02) 720-8757

Powerplant
Rockwell Center, Makati City
(02) 898-1301 | (02) 756-5010

The Podium
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
(02) 631-7297

Entertainment Center
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
(02) 556-1690

Corte de las Palmas
Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
(02) 850-1690

Estancia
Unit 45&46 Basement 1, Estancia Mall Capitol Commons, Meralco Ave for. Shaw Blvd, Pasig City
(02) 532-0338

Davao
Level 1 Abbreeza Mall, Bajada, Davao City
(082) 305-6316

Chimes
Chimes, Davao City
(082) 305-0975
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 350-800
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Other  Website
Cafe Mediterranean Powerplant Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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